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  • Here we go again…

    by Sunny
    6th June, 2006 at 7:41 pm    

    On Sunday meanwhile, in central London, groups of Sikhs peacefully commemorate the anniversary of 1984 and show how mature they have become. Or not.

    India flag

    Taken from Another friend who went said he was constantly harassed by those taking part in the “protest”.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Organisations,Sikh

    98 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Don — on 6th June, 2006 at 8:16 pm  

      Is that lighter fluid? that’s really dangerous. Wouldn’t go to one of his bbq’s.

    2. Visiting rudeboy — on 6th June, 2006 at 8:24 pm  

      No Don, I think it’s nail varnish remover. Aw bless, he’s a big angry Sikh poof with painted nails.

      Why do people always burn flags? Perhaps they make excellent fuel. I must check this out - it could a be solution to China’s power shortage. If we could somehow harness all flag-burning energy worldwide. The Middle East alone could fuel most of Asia.

    3. Don — on 6th June, 2006 at 8:26 pm  

      Bugger gold futures, buy flags.

    4. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 6th June, 2006 at 8:57 pm  

      Is burning flags really the solution to our energy needs?

    5. Don — on 6th June, 2006 at 9:42 pm  

      Anyone interested in investing in IncendiFlags Inc.? Self-igniting and guaranteed to give a photogenic blaze for up to two minutes. Same day delivery to all major trouble-spots. Please allow an extra 48 hours for delivery of Costa Rican and Icelandic flags.

    6. Vladimir — on 6th June, 2006 at 9:44 pm  

      Not too sure what to say after seeing the image. What has always interested me in regard to this issue is the fact, that though a lot of people remember the 1984 incident and its aftermath, the people who protest most about it live in the Western World notably the United Kingdom or Canada.

      I think he’s getting his barbecue ready for the tandoori chicken.

    7. Amir — on 6th June, 2006 at 9:46 pm  

      Now, I hate flag burning [with a passion]…

      But don’t let the above photograph obscure the true meaning of today’s gathering: to remember the victims of the 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots. It is India’s equivalent to Kristallnacht or the Sabra & Shatila massacre. A truly horrific blot on India’s history.

    8. peacekeep — on 6th June, 2006 at 10:07 pm  

      Yes Yes, and yes we all know about the terrible massacre that entailed… but surely burning a flag does it really help? I feel for every family who lost truly I do, as my knowledge of the event grows my mind wanders to a place I hope represents a better place.

      I’ll bet that most of these flagburners from IncendiFlags inc visit their relatives back in india every other year… kind of contradictory for someone who turns their back on A NATION. Why not go the whole hog and get your relatives who still reside in India to seek asylum and join another affiliation, oh i don’t know ‘Great’ Britain? :D

    9. Kismet Hardy — on 6th June, 2006 at 10:09 pm  

      Another apt Bill Hicks moment:

      I personally do not believe in burning the flag. It’s a personal belief, but I’ll tell you something, I think people are overreacting, oh, just a little bit.

      “Hey buddy, my daddy died for that flag.”

      Well, I bought mine. Sorry. You know they sell them at K-Mart for three bucks, you’re in, you’re out, brand new flag, no violence was necessary.

      “Hey buddy, my daddy died in the Korean war for that flag.”

      What a coincidence - my flag was made in Korea

    10. Sid — on 6th June, 2006 at 10:22 pm  

      The British Raj committed a far worse offence upon Sikhs. But these guys, they’re not stupid, they know which side of their paraatas is buttered.

    11. Katy Newton — on 6th June, 2006 at 10:35 pm  

      In America, burning the flag is constitutionally protected free speech.

      Just thought I’d chuck that in there.

    12. Harvz — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:09 am  

      The Indian Army committed acts of state terrorism upon not only Sikhs but other peoples within the Indian Union since its inception in 1947. Look in assam, bodoland, sikkism, tamil nadu, punjab, kashmir,etc.

      They are all ineffect different nations and ethnicities held up in an union they do not wish to be part of. Therefore this symbolic act of burning the Indian flag by Sikhs shows the infamous operation bluestar on the holiest shrine of sikhs in 1984 and the follow up anti-sikh riots after Indian “hitler” Gandhi’s assasination and the genocide of the youth is still fresh in the minds of Sikhs and will not be easily erased without justice.

      And 22years on those guilty of committing acts of Indina state terrorism against the Sikh people of India have yet to face a court of law, therefore proving the worlds largest so called democracy is ineffect the worlds largest joke.

    13. Jageerdar — on 7th June, 2006 at 3:42 am  

      “the people who protest most about it live in the Western World notably the United Kingdom or Canada.”

      fear the (punjab) police.

    14. Vikrant — on 7th June, 2006 at 7:42 am  

      1984 Anti-Sikh Riots. It is India’s equivalent to Kristallnacht or the Sabra & Shatila massacre. A truly horrific blot on India’s history.

      It was the INC (Indian National Congress) rather than the Indian nation that deserves all the blame. Vast majority of Indian populance protected Sikhs from the Congress inquisitorial squads. Bluestar and 1984 gave Khalistan movement a legitimacy it didnt have. You’ll all see people protesting about 1984 and Bluestar but who protests for the deaths of thousands of Punjabi Hindus and Unionist Sikhs at the hands of Khalistani goons? Even Kanishka murderers are spared by the corrupt Canadians. The Khalistan movement enjoyed all its support through the barrel of gun once Khalistanis were thoroughly defeated in 1993 normalcy has returned to the province.

      @Harvz and Jageerdar:
      Yeah right thats what you may feel growing up in your Khalistani cocoons of Southall. Go to Punjab and see for yourself. During my last visit there most people seem to have forgotten about the “trouble” years. Last assembly elections saw 60% voter turnout higher than national average.
      Look in assam, bodoland, sikkism, tamil nadu, punjab, kashmir,etc.

      Now thats funny. Granted the fact that Nagas are ethnically different from us but tamil nadu & punjab? Seriously Sikhs arent an ethnicty, Kashmiris, Sikhs, Hindu Punjabis (who consititue 40% population i must add) and even me a Rajput-Maratha share same blood. Tamil Nadu and Sikkim dont even have active sepratists movements.

    15. Tilling — on 7th June, 2006 at 7:53 am  

      I presume Incendiflags Inc can offer discounts on job lot orders of American and Israeli flags?

    16. mirax — on 7th June, 2006 at 8:38 am  

      >Tamil Nadu and Sikkim dont even have active sepratists movements.

      Why let minor details like that get in the way of a good rant?

    17. Vikrant — on 7th June, 2006 at 8:58 am  

      mirax… hows it in Singapore… remember we’ve a date next year!!

      btw could you please articulate on what points u disagree with my posts?

      Oksie i g2g… got the last test today… metcha guys at 2

    18. mirax — on 7th June, 2006 at 9:24 am  

      I was referring to Harvz’ rant, not you Vik.I broadly agreed with much of your post 14. Sorry that it was not clear. Ace the exam!

    19. Raj — on 7th June, 2006 at 10:20 am  

      Check out the website. - they need photographers on the street. News people etc. make some bucks!

    20. Your Humble Servent — on 7th June, 2006 at 11:01 am

      Some good images on this website. Why not check them out.

      Well I suppose the journalists just want to home in on the flag burning!

      Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    21. curious? — on 7th June, 2006 at 11:15 am  

      The flag burning should have been done by people who actually endured suffering under the hands of the indian regime, not by some kids.

      For people dismissing this as absolutely discussing, here are a few reminders of how Sikhs suffered and were humiliated by the Indian nation.

      The sacred Guru Granth Sahib (whom Sikhs regard as their living Guru) was martyred on a number of occasions during the 70s/80s.
      The Indian Army desecrated the Akal Takht in 1984, burned and pillaged the Sikh reference library again destroying saroops of Guru Ji.
      The Indian gov’t ethnically cleansed tens of thousands of amritdhari youths in the punjab during the 80s/90s.
      The Indian gov’t sponsered the massacres of Sikhs in India in 1984 in which 10,000 lost their lives.
      These are just a few pointers.

      Sunny, it would be nice of you to demonstrate some professional journalism by showing perhaps the whole picture rather than just flag burning.

    22. Kismet Hardy — on 7th June, 2006 at 11:16 am  

      It’s. just. a. flag.

    23. curious? — on 7th June, 2006 at 11:23 am  


      Have you heard of the black cats or masked goons who were hired by the police to kill innocent Hindus and Sikhs in order to discredit the Khalistan movement.

      And congress are not the only ones who are responsible for the killings of minorities.
      During bjp raaj over 2000 Muslims were massacred in gujarat.
      bjp promote the line ‘Hindu-Sikh bhai bhai’
      Which is ironic considering that during Clintons visit in 2000 to India, Indian paramilitaries under the orders of the gov’t killed 40 innocent Sikh villagers and blamed it on Muslim fundamentalists.
      This was agreed upon by eyewitness reports and even Ex-President Clinton in Madaline Albright’s biography.

    24. curious? — on 7th June, 2006 at 11:28 am  


      The Indian gov’t wants and is trying their best to make ppl forget about what happened in 1984 for fear of a ressurection of the Khalsa spirit which was so apparent then. Punjab is in a total mess today my friend and all the state and national gov’t care about is filling their own pockets.

      1984 can never be forgotten because if we forget our history then we are bound to repeat it again.

      Its a shame we had tara singh representing the Sikhs in 1947

    25. Brar — on 7th June, 2006 at 11:44 am  

      This is just a flag.

      Remember in June 1984 Operation bluestar thousands innocent Sikh men,women,children were massacred.The actual number of innocents killed in Operation Bluestar will perhaps never be known as Sikhs were celebrating a big religious festival that day and had come from all over and were butchered mercilessly.Graphic eye witness accounts of what actually happened can be found on many sites besides bbc.
      Bodies of all those innocent people killed in Operation Bluestar were disposed of in heaps in municipal corporation refuse trucks.

      Besides this in November 1984 more than 10,000 sikhs were burnt alive in New Delhi,Bokaro,Madhya Pradesh and many cities across India with burning tyres around their necks by mobs.

      Moreover the media and press were kicked out prior to Operation Bluestar.

      What happened after that ie the fake encounters,rapes etc by police and army are a part of history never to be forgotten and Sikhs will never forget.

      But the question is are these young people(who burnt the flag) ready to sacrifice their lives for the Sikh nation ?

    26. sarbsingh — on 7th June, 2006 at 11:45 am  

      We burned a flag….they burned our families!!!!

      There is no comparison, so stop complaining.

      You would understand if you were Sikh.
      There is no middle ground on which you can stand here. You know who is to blame 100% for the genocide of 1984.


    27. Sikh, British & Proud! — on 7th June, 2006 at 11:57 am  

      A flag, a rag, a piece of cloth got burned in London June 2006….

      In Delhi November 1984 thousands of Sikh men were burned in public during mob violence…..

      Which scene is more gruesome!!!!

    28. Thick Sikh — on 7th June, 2006 at 12:31 pm  

      LOL…. Wowwee, an Indian flag got burnt by a Sikh. Funny how easy that flag burning issue overrides the atrocities committed by a state run government to a minority community.

      The thousands of families who lost their loved ones still seek some kind of justice. But the sunny hundals of the world would rather write about a rag burning then to attempt to seek any justice for the victims.

      Sikhs are just thick, innit sunny..

    29. Roger — on 7th June, 2006 at 12:35 pm  

      Was the “flag, a rag, a piece of cloth” burned only because the burners were unable to burn people though they wanted to? It is very easy to make the psychological jump from burning symbolic representations to burning real people.

    30. calculator — on 7th June, 2006 at 12:36 pm  

      if you think this annual rally is helping to get justice for the victims then yes you are thick my friend!

    31. Thick Sikh — on 7th June, 2006 at 12:42 pm  

      Calculator my friend, help us get justice for the victims then! What is the way forward?

    32. sonia — on 7th June, 2006 at 12:46 pm  

      the flag burning thing surely is a side issue ( though i agree its not a good use of fuel! :-) Don’s suggestion above could be considered..) after all its symbolic. though what the symbolism is behind burning the flag im not quite sure, but hey. if it’s an outlet then that’s the function it’s playing.

      mob violence is disusting pure and simple - i shudder when i think about it. i don’t think being Sikh should make any difference - why should it?

    33. sonia — on 7th June, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

      mob violence across the subcontinent happens all too often.

    34. Kismet Hardy — on 7th June, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

      “It is very easy to make the psychological jump from burning symbolic representations to burning real people.”

      Who are you, Kieth Vaz? I kill symbols that represent people on a computer game, I don’t kill real people

      Crazy man

    35. Sid — on 7th June, 2006 at 12:50 pm  

      effigies are so much more fun. ;-)

    36. sonia — on 7th June, 2006 at 12:51 pm  

      “The flag burning should have been done by people who actually endured suffering under the hands of the indian regime, not by some kids.”

      ? oh right you have to suffer first ( and are probably dead now!) before you’re allowed to burn a flag.

      what’s with all this criticism of flag burning? for goodness sake it’s a piece of cloth.

      someone up above had a valid point of not treating the whole indian nation as guilty but rather the administration for fueling such a frenzy. now that’s a sensible sort of thing to look at.

    37. Roger — on 7th June, 2006 at 12:57 pm  

      “Who are you, Kieth Vaz? I kill symbols that represent people on a computer game, I don’t kill real people”
      I’ll take your word that you don’t kill real people, KH. However there is evidence that symbolic killing makes it easier to move to real killing. What’s Keith Vaz got to do with it anyway?

    38. Kismet Hardy — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:03 pm  

      ‘I’ll take your word that you don’t kill real people, KH’

      Thanks man. I wish you’d have a word with Mother

      Oh the Kieth Vaz thingy:

    39. Sid — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:03 pm  

      However there is evidence that symbolic killing makes it easier to move to real killing.

      How many people have you killed Roger since all those November the fifths from your childhood, when you collected pennies for the Guy and then proceeded to burn it/him?

    40. sonia — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:06 pm  

      oh i didn’t realize the flag burning was some sort of pretend people killing


    41. Thick Sikh — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:08 pm  

      Symbolic killing, never heard of that one. So people with playstations are potential murderers!

      If a West Ham supporter burns the Liverpool flag, then he’s a potentially going to kill a Liverpool fan.

      Grow up Roger and stop stereotyping people.

    42. Sid — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:10 pm  

      But Thick, the question remains; how does this macho posturing and this gesture-politics of flag burning going to help the victims of 1984?

    43. Thick Sikh — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:26 pm  

      Sid mate, the truth is it ain’t gonna help them. 22 years of this hasn’t contributed too much. We get a small mention on the BBC website and some Indian dailies. But the hope is that someone will hear our voice and recognise our plight.

    44. Roger — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:31 pm
      for one example. Now that TV is appearing in St Helena a lot of social scientists are going there to check up on the effects it has on behaviour.
      Certainly the symbolic burning of a flag, allegedly representing people, is much less serious than killing people, but it’s still somewhere along the same continuum.

    45. Thick Sikh — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:32 pm

      Some websites above regarding the history behind the remembrance day.

    46. Harvz — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:40 pm  

      Roger you want to know who burned people in reality? Take a look at this picture

      This is just one burning body of a innocent Indian Sikh man who was murdered in anti-sikh riots in New Delhi (1984) by Indian govt congress party backed terrorists. You can clearly see the armed mob with one assault rifle in his hand looking for Sikh’s and their familes to murder, loot or rape. In all 5,000+ innocent Indian Sikhs were murdered in cold blood in just 3days of blood letting up and down India. This not a spontenous reaction to death of Indira “hitler” Gandhi but an organised act of state sponsered terrorism and 3rd genocide in the history of the Sikhs, which will not be forgiven or forgotten.

      Thats just one picture. Theres hundreds similar on the web if you wanted to see the gruesome reality.

    47. HighCommissioner — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:44 pm  

      Amnesty International still banned in 5JAB.

      Anybody know why?

    48. mirax — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:52 pm  

      It looks like there is a Khalsa brigade that is on call whenever PP runs a Sikh story. Sorry but but some of the accounts of Bluestar- not to mention the numbers of sikhs killed in retaliation- do not accord with more neutral accounts.But carry on with breastbeating and gnashing of teeth!

    49. Sid — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:00 pm  

      I don’t see much in the way of “breastbeating and gnashing of teeth!” here mirax. Is your imagination running away with you again?

    50. Sid — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:08 pm  

      Except Killer Roger’s “breastbeating and gnashing of teeth”, of course.

    51. Thick Sikh — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:12 pm  

      Where are the neutral accounts mirax? It would be useful to see. Is it an Indian govt report?

      PS. I will keep breastbeating and teeth gnashing for as long as is needed.

    52. Sam — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:14 pm  

      These displays and comments of the flag burning and contempt for India surprise me that why dont the vast number of Sikhs not want to also do and feel the same?

    53. Sikh, British & Proud! — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:17 pm  

      Mirax says “Khalsa Brigade” the name…LOL…I suppose it’s just a joke to most people. HoHum!

    54. sonia — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:26 pm  

      we need to realize the significance of acknowledgement of ‘wrongdoing’ before people can get over such traumatic events. yeah nothing’s gonna help the dead people - but for the rest of the community for healing to take place its clearly significant.

    55. Old Boy — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:31 pm  

      I dont think people are comprehending the issue here. State Run Genocide happened in Punjab!!! You can bash on about flag burning and conflicting reports but thats the bottom line. India is not great, it stinks with the blood of Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Kashmiris and many more minorities.

      Mirax, you will be breast beating too if your family or community was targeted for their Religious Identity

    56. sonia — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:43 pm  

      yeah you’re right old boy - there’s been plenty blood that’s been shed. the point is that everyone’s been shedding everyone else’s blood, so the we are the only victims of the lot attitude which i think is the only thing people are commenting on. however all victims tend to display that attitude so it’s not really surprising.
      (humans being what we are)

      in terms of constructive criticism, the nation of india obviously needs to take that on board somehow or other. just bashing a country from outside isn’t likely to help - people within need to consider the impact of this kind of violence.

    57. vi2006 — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:46 pm  

      how can you have a rally full of brown people and NOT have a flag burning, HUH…burn baby burn, the flames are sooo fascinating.

    58. Old Boy — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

      Oh yeh, its good to see Sunny pick on points that total blur the main issue. Why can he highlight the plight of the Sikhs?

      No instead he picks on a point that a couple of kids burning a flag of India LOL, forget about the Genocide!

      Stop sensationalising and actual educate people on the happenings in Punjab!

    59. raz — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:56 pm  

      I hope everyone is impressed with my lack of anti-Indian trolling in this thread. I’m a changed man :)

    60. Old Boy — on 7th June, 2006 at 2:58 pm  

      totally agree sonia

      But at least we can start to educate people about the plight of India’s minorities. An Indian flag was burnt in London. What is more significant is those who gather in London cannot forget and have been attending for the last 22 years. Many have be victims of State Atrocities either where family members have going missing, or imprisioned. The Genocide is at such a large scale that UK sikhs have directly suffered.

      Immaturity exists where ever there are protests, does that have to become the topic of discussion? is that more important than the murder of Minorities?

    61. Sikh, British & Proud! — on 7th June, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

      vi2006, “Brown people” that’s pretty polite, we’ve been called much worse..thank you for the kind reference.

      Looks like it’s very difficult to move from the kid burning the flag issue. The power of the image!!.

    62. Sid — on 7th June, 2006 at 3:06 pm  

      Yes exactly. And when people are arguing about these valid issues, they’re invariably associated with the loudest, snottiest, snarkiest flag-burning kids. And before you know it, you’re a terrorist sympathiser and a flag burner. Oh, and by Roger’s standards, a killer as well.

    63. sonia — on 7th June, 2006 at 3:08 pm  

      i don’t know that thinking in terms of minorities is always helpful. who is in the majority in india? there are so many ethnic groups after all.

    64. justforfun — on 7th June, 2006 at 3:12 pm  

      Hands up anyone who has actually witnessed a riot in India first hand. Its a definite cure for constipation I can tell you - there is no logic to any of the barbarity that happens. All you can do is hope you survive and luck is on your side. I can give no explaination for it.

      If it is justice you want for those murdered after Indira Gandhi was assassinated, then you will not find it here in the UK. The people who personally committed the murders are long gone and in India no-one will rake over the past. The whole Sikh seperatist movement was a nightmare which no-one in India, Sikh or other wants to go through again.

      People talk about not forgetting the past so that history does not repeat itself. Well that is true, but it also requires one not to just remember, but also to learn the lessons. Indira Gandhi mixed religion with politics and pitted Sikhs against Sikh to destabilise the non Congress Punjab state government. She thought she could manipulate and control ‘her’ Sikhs, like Binderwale - but she could not and the whole situation spiraled out of control as each side murdered the other for political control and then her ‘Sikhs’ escalated the situation by demanding Khalistan. Unfortunately for the common man of Kashmir, she had meddled enough in Kashmir before she was assasinated, and after here death General Zia was able to exploit the situation and Pakistan has maintained a low intensity simmering conflict ever since. Operation BlueStar was just the blood bath that spared the Punjab from the same fate as Kashmir. Indira Gandhi’s assasination and massacres after were the last twitches in a conflict that all sides wanted to end.

      So the lesson - Religion in Indian politics is a Pandora’s box and it needs to be firmly kept shut. The BJP never learnt it but Indians have, and for this reason as well as others the BJP is not in Central Government anymore. I think the Congress party especially the Gandhi family have learnt the leason and I really hope we will not see these religious inspired politics again.

      So when you next decide to burn the Union flag, not everyone will understand that all you seek justice. Some may think you desire the break up of the Union and there are many who will not accept that, both secular and those with a religious fervour in their mind.

      Justforfun (sorry - does sound appropriate for this post)

    65. sonia — on 7th June, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

      also there’s plenty of mob violence in dhaka for example - nothing to do with minorities ( ahem im not saying that doesn’t happen but in a place like bangladesh there’s plenty of violence apiece) the interesting point about mob beatings is usually it happens because people don’t have any faith in authority and justice happening - so they take it on themselves to carry this out. vigilantes gone made. it certainly seems to make it more acceptable in the minds of people.

      justforfun’s got a good point re: the barbarity it involves.

      [of course, this is one of the most interesting areas of study in social psychology and group dynamics - how individuals who wouldn't kill a fly normally or commit murder individually when in a heaving maddened mob commit all sorts of atrocities. it's been happening time and time again throughout history and is extremely frightening]

    66. sonia — on 7th June, 2006 at 3:18 pm  

      erm. typo up above..i meant vigilantes gone mad..

    67. Old Boy — on 7th June, 2006 at 3:31 pm  

      The Sikh Seperatist movement was an excuse by the Punjab Police to kill innocents by the thousands under this disguise.


      Mass Extra-Judicial Killings in Punjab

      The Disappeared
      Throughout this period of unrest many thousands of civilians have ‘disappeared’, leaving their families uncertain as to their fate and with little legal redress, as most lack the resources to take their case to court, and those who are able to do so receive a standard denial of any state wrongdoing. The ‘disappeared’ are mostly young men, suspected of being supporters of autonomist sympathisers, who were arrested or abducted by the police never to be seen again, although some women, elderly people and children were also victims. Despite Indian State claims that these ‘disappeared’ died in armed encounters with police, or fled abroad, human rights observers recognise that the vast majority of them have been killed in police custody, the term “encounters” in Panjab has become synonymous with extra-judicial executions.

      Observers estimate that, since 1984, over 50,000 1 people have been killed in Panjab and thousands more have suffered torture and illegal detention. The responsibility for a huge amount of these deaths lies with a variety of Indian State forces, including the Army, the Border Security Force, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Central Reserve Police Force, and, most of all, the Panjab Police, who the European Court of Human Rights described as “accustomed to act without regard to the human rights of suspect[s]”. 2

      “Thousands of Sikh homes in the Panjab villages have been raided by the police and paramilitary forces. Young Sikhs have been dragged away for questioning never to be seen again” The Guardian

      “The pattern in each village appears to be the same. The army moves in during the early evening, cordons a village, and announces over loudspeakers that everyone must come out. All males between the ages of 15 and 35 are trussed and blindfolded, then taken away. Thousands have disappeared in the Panjab since the army operations began. The government has provided no lists of names; families don’t know if sons and husbands are arrested, underground or dead.” 3 Christian Science Monitor

      1 The Human Rights and Democracy Forum that was set up to investigate those ‘disappearances’ found that in just three cremation grounds in the area of Amritsar in Panjab, over 3,000 bodies had been cremated by the police as unclaimed between 1984 and the end of 1994. It is now known that over fifty cremation grounds in Panjab have been used regularly by police to cremate bodies.

      2 Application No. 70/1995/576/662, Strasbourg , 15th November 1996

      3 Mary Ann Weaver: Christian Science Monitor 4

    68. Harvz — on 7th June, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

      For those Sikhs directly affected by operation blue star, anti- sikh genocide… India will forever be the enemy, and who can blame them? As for other Sikhs within India today who were not effected or born after the troubles for them life goes on. So you will see Sikhs in two camps

      1) Those who have been aggrieved by the Indian govt use of state terrorism therefore wanting a break up of the union and have a seperate state (Khalistan) free from persecution and future genocides.

      2) Those who werent affected directly and wish to try their luck within Indian society and the unionist experiment.

    69. justforfun — on 7th June, 2006 at 3:39 pm  

      Harvz - you forgot the 3rd catagory of Sikh. I’ll give you a moment to try and remember them.


    70. justforfun — on 7th June, 2006 at 4:05 pm  

      Harvz - not remembered the third group yet? or do you want me to jog your conscience.

      Old Boy - “The Sikh Seperatist movement was an excuse by the Punjab Police to kill innocents by the thousands under this disguise. ” Do you mean the Sikh seperatist movement was just a charade or do you mean that since then, it has been used as an excuse for the Punjab Police who have a high proportion of Sikh officers to go around murdering Sikhs.

      The whole irony of it is that Bhindranwale was Indira Gandhi’s man - without out her help he would never have got anywhere and all the Sikh on Sikh killings before Blue Star would never have happened and the Punjab would be spared the madness. if I am wrong you had better go and correct the Wikipedia entery for him.

      It seems really odd to say this now, but I was wandering around North India for a year in 1983 and remember scooting through the Punjab real quick to avoid the troubles. Buses were given armed escorts on all trunk roads and I ended up spending 6 months with over the winter in Kashmir, in the mountains, and spent a few long evenings drinking with the good old boys of the BSF.


    71. Old Boy — on 7th June, 2006 at 4:12 pm  


      It was used as an excuse to mass murder.

    72. justforfun — on 7th June, 2006 at 4:16 pm  

      Sonia - the interesting point about mob beatings is usually it happens because people don’t have any faith in authority and justice happening - so they take it on themselves to carry this out

      It is a question of percieved injustice and settling scores. People here in the West have this nieve notion that the Court and Judicial system in India is a well oiled machine. Well it is is you think of the oil as money, but for the vaste majority there is no meaningful criminal or civil court system. This is India’s greatest challenge - to create a functioning judicial system that can keep pace with its economic and democratic progress. Because without it , politicians will remain with their hands on the levers of ‘rough’ justice that these mobs inflict and use to get their required revenge, which is what most people think justice is.


    73. sonia — on 7th June, 2006 at 4:22 pm  

      goodness i had no idea that anyone would’ve thought that - ” that the Court and Judicial system in India is a well oiled machine”. yep that would make them naive indeed!

    74. justforfun — on 7th June, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

      Sonia - :-) - there seem a few posts on this topic that seem to think that dancing around a burning flag in the UK will somehow bring to justice murderers living in India. So yep - I think they are naive or at least misguided in their means of persuing justice. If they truelly want justice they should get together a big big pot of money and the opound - rupee exchange is in their favour and pay a politian in India to bring the murders to justice, because one infront of judge there is a chance at justice. Nothing else will work. Or they can contine to burn the flag each year until possibly 2055 which would be my wild guess as to when anyone in India will pay any attention.


    75. Sid — on 7th June, 2006 at 4:50 pm  

      As early as 2055 huh?

    76. Sikh, British & Proud! — on 7th June, 2006 at 4:52 pm  

      Justforfun, thanks for the idea. Might actually work, how much do you reckon we can pick up and Indian MP for? What’s the going rate? Seriously, the only to fight the system is to use the system as a weapon.

    77. Vikrant — on 7th June, 2006 at 5:11 pm  

      @all Khalistani trolls:

      Remember as a Rajput many of the Sikhs are my blood brothers. Khalistani movement and the whole bogey of “Brahmins-destroying-our-religion” was spun up by power hungry megalomaniacs. If you say Indian state is dictatorial then why havent Jajgit Singh Chouhans, Hurriyat and Arundhati Roys been sent to “encounter” squads. Face “Sant” Bhindrewale was no sant atall…

      As for 1984-riot victims, i’m ready to hop on a train right now to protest in front of Indian embassy provided you show in Southall seeking justice for thousands of Hindus and unionist-Sikhs who were slaughtered by “Khalsa” (you guys dont deserve title of Khalsa). The truth aint black & white mate… hundreds of thousands died in the senseless conflict for nothing at all…

    78. Vikrant — on 7th June, 2006 at 5:13 pm  


      P.S My tests went good hope to scrape atleast an A… if not A*

    79. Sikh, British & Proud! — on 7th June, 2006 at 5:26 pm  

      Vikrant geeza, I don’t warm to you. You don’t feel like a blood brother. To be honest with you I don’t what a Rajput/Sikh blood brother is. Don’t we belong to the Human Race! I thought we all had the same blood in us.

      Also just for your info, not all Sikh live in Southall. Your post stinks of a bit prejudice.

      I am not a khalistani troll, far from it. But it’s strange how you typecast anyone with a strong opinion from a Sikh background as one. Oh well, go back to your ethnically pure rajput world!

    80. Vikrant — on 7th June, 2006 at 5:33 pm  

      Geez, i’m the last person to show caste arrogance, pride yes arrogance no no… Since we belong to Human Race then why is there any need for Khalistan? Vasundhaivkutumbakam….

    81. justforfun — on 7th June, 2006 at 5:42 pm  

      Seriously, the only to fight the system is to use the system as a weapon.

      And what system would that be?


      PS - I would think an Indian MP is as expensive as a UK MP -they have more hangers on that need paying off ;-)

    82. Harvz — on 7th June, 2006 at 6:25 pm  

      Vikrant, not all those who believe the right for Sikhs seperatists to have self-determination are Khalistani’s. Why you labelling people you have no idea about.

      I am a British Sikh I have no desire for a Khalistan nor am I against cos I wasnt affected by the events in India but for those aggrieved by the Indian government to seek justice and want a seperate state (Khalistan) to live free from persecution and discrimination is their human right and I stand by that.

      Isn’t it ironic how the Indians were oppressed by the British Raj for 100years protested and fought for azadi (freedom) and since they got it they themselves become the oppresser and wish others not to have the same azadi.

    83. Sunny — on 8th June, 2006 at 12:42 am  

      Someone above asked if I thought these people burning the flag were “thick Sikhs”.

      Duh, of course! What a silyl question to ask. I wouldn’t have posted the picture unless I thought the above were a bunch of idiots. There’s no two ways about it.

      There are legitimate reasons for hating the Congress govt, or the Indian govt in general for their treatment of Sikhs in India. I’ve never even denied that.

      What is funny about this stupid charade every year is that it epitomises the state of modern Sikh kids today. There’s no real attempt to have a devise a long term lobbying strategy on getting justice.

      There doesn’t seem to be much in terms of a proper debate or discussion on what the exact figures are and what happened. You get idiots posting on websites about 250,000 Sikhs lost in a “holocaust”. I mean really, who the hell apart from some armchair warrior is going to take that seriously.

      This annual flag burning charade does nothing at all. In fact it serves the Indian government perfectly because you end up alienating all the non-Sikh (and Sikhs) Indians who want justice but still identify with being patriotic Indians. Unless those people put pressure on their government to own up and do something about the terrible crimes of 1984, you can scream and shout as much as you want - you can set up as many websites as you want - it will mean fuck all.

      There is no strategy. There is no clear thinking behind it. There is no real plan. There is just the usual suspects of fired up kids who find it easy to hate someone, and get involved in a flag burning. Wow! Great!

      Like hell I’m going to applaud a bunch of losers.

    84. kalyan — on 8th June, 2006 at 1:34 am  

      here is a pragmatic solution I can think of. Instead of buying Indian flags and burn them, they can donate it to a poor sikh family.

    85. Sakshi — on 8th June, 2006 at 7:06 am  

      By burning the flag of the country…where your roots belong, is just plain sick !!

      The only point these people are making is…displaying their arrogance and stupidity at the same time.

      There are surely many better ways of getting yourself and your cause noticed.

    86. abc — on 8th June, 2006 at 10:36 am  

      For those of you interested - the following is the speech by the Indian PM Manmohan Singh (a Sikh) on the court verdict in the 1984 riots.

    87. Sikh, British & Proud! — on 8th June, 2006 at 10:41 am  


      The flag burning was a waste of time, it was an incident that lasted 20 seconds carried out by a bunch of kids..however it’s funny how it gets noticed! I mean we’re discussing it now.


      You’re off on your high horse again! Whether a flag was burned or not you’d still attack Sikhs for just being Sikhs. Your comments I’ve read on barficulture and pickled politices regarding Sikhs is always bigoted. But that’s you…we’re use to it.

      Vikrant my blood brother,

      Was that long word at the end of your posting?

    88. Roger — on 8th June, 2006 at 12:24 pm  

      ” And before you know it, you’re a terrorist sympathiser and a flag burner. Oh, and by Roger’s standards, a killer as well. ”
      No- just that you’ve taken one step on the long descent by blaming a collective identity rather than individuals acting from individual motives. I don’t have much time for flags actually. Flag-flapping and flag-burning are similar ways of behaving and reflect similar and dangerous ways of thinking. I can remember 1984 very well, in fact: quite a few of my colleagues were Indians- including several sikhs- and we saw a reflection- or parody- of what happened in india. As the union rep I was involved in keeping people calm and- i sometimes thought- from killing each other. People who gad worked together for years just saw each other as representatives of Hinduism Domination or Sikh Separatism with appalling ease.

    89. sonia — on 8th June, 2006 at 1:59 pm  

      roger’s got a very good point up above - ” blaming a collective identity rather than individuals acting from individual motives”

      that’s definitely the problem.

    90. mirax — on 8th June, 2006 at 6:36 pm  

      Sid, my imagination doesn’t run away as often as yours. I just don’t wrap myself up in identity/grievance politics the way you’re inclined to. And yes, I do have a distaste for those that troll in gangs on a single issue, like with the Khalsa brigade. Rants like Harvz which go back to to 1947 grievances during the partition obscure the issue of what happened in 1984(which is horrible enough in itself and needs NOT the embellishment of suspect numbers and the thoughtless stupidity of words like genocide and holocaust!) and are ultimately a disservice to the victims. They certainly preclude a sane or balanced discussion of the issue.

      What is under discussion is NOT:

      1. the whys and wherefores of the separatist troubles in Punjab, ie who (really) killed whom.

      2. Operation Bluestar. That was a highly controversial military operation(the 3 month long military siege before the storming is often brushed aside as an irrelevant fact but is it really?) but a reasonable case can be made for either side.

      3. Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Yeah she was a right bitch but still it was the deliberate murder of a head of state by her own bodyguards.It’s the same old problem as with the muslim ‘community’- when are sikhs individuals and when are they a collective?

      What we do want to focus on is THIS :
      the highly organised massacre/pogrom (chiefly in Delhi but also elsewhere in N India, to a much lesser degree) of innocent Sikh citizens of the Indian state. By mainly Congress apparatchiks with the active participation/connivance of Delhi police. There was hardly a spontaneous uprising by the masses who set off to butcher Sikhs,though the first Congress appointed commission tried to paint it that way. “Rioters” were bussed in; voters’ lists containing sikh names distributed; weapons and kerosene for the arson supplied.

      The carnage of 1984 is an indelible stain on India’s reputation - it is the biggest massacre to date since partition and against a minority that had contributed way beyond its numbers to India’s security and prosperity. And yes, justice has not been served to the victims. Not at all. After nearly 22 years.

      You know what, I am totally pessimistic that justice in its traditional sense will ever be served (same with Gujarat 2002)- the political elite (Congress, BJP) look out for their own murderers and sometimes, each other’s (such is the sheer corruption of Indian politics)

      But that does not mean that Indians- hindus, muslims, hindus,whoever- shy away from from knowing the FULL TRUTH and seeking justice in non-conventional ways. there was a brilliant article in the Hindu recently on this very topic.
      It discusses the failure of retribution-oriented criminal justice mechanisms in India and introduces those that focus on truth telling, reparation and healing. That is not to say that one junks the search for court convictions, just that it is often futile in the Indian context.

    91. mirax — on 8th June, 2006 at 6:38 pm  

      >just that it is often futile in the Indian context.

      In case the usual suspects think that I am just making excuses, think back on what ‘justice’the vicyims of Bhopal- 1984 also!- have received so far.

    92. mirax — on 8th June, 2006 at 6:40 pm  

      That article in the Hindu throws up so much for discussion, that I really hope some of the more serious posters read it.

    93. sleepy — on 9th June, 2006 at 9:34 am  

      Great article. It gives me actual words to use when I argue with my grandmother over why the Khalistani movement isn’t the only way to give some justice and closure to the victims of 1984. Usually I just end up blithering about how Sikhi shouldn’t just become a political party and she loses interest :)
      I find it unlikely that people are going to get justice from a system that has failed many times but I also think that burning the Indian flag isn’t going to solve any problems either. Perhaps we need to redefine justice, and like the article says, allow the victims into the process. I’m sure that many of them are searching for normal lives, and it seems that the people burning flags are looking for larger than life and sensational outcomes.
      Maybe I’m just being ignorant, but in the diaspora at least, it seems like 1984 is the one political issue discussed at great length amongst the Sikh community. There are many other problems that we have created ourselves (I remember reading about skewed sex ratios and selective sex abortions a while back) and these seem to be relegated to the status of domestic issues, the family can solve these. But 1984, yeah, your view on that IS your politics.

    94. sleepy — on 9th June, 2006 at 12:29 pm  

      Oh, and another thing that bugged me about that picture, the little kid. Does he really need to be there? Don’t hate me for saying this, please. I’m not equating ANYONE to a racist idiot but it reminds me of a similar image in a white power rally in Texas. A little girl was holding her mom’s hand and walking in the hate parade. She was there because her mom was there. Who knows what these kids may grow up to believe and support, but give them the chance to grow up before they show up in pictures of flag burnings.

    95. Roger — on 9th June, 2006 at 12:51 pm  

      ” Who knows what these kids may grow up to believe and support, but give them the chance to grow up before they show up in pictures of flag burnings. ”
      The ultimate irony of that kind was in photos of a South African AWB rally demanding a separate white state several years ago. Several small children were there being carried by their black nannies.

    96. Joe90 — on 9th June, 2006 at 1:28 pm  

      I write as an Englishman who has a generally very positive view of the Sikhs I’ve met through both business and social contacts. I doubt I have a spiritual bone in my body, but what I’ve read of the Sikh faith indicates that it has many reasonable and humane tenets.

      Please don’t go down the route of flag-burning to make a point. It’s a particularly crass display because it suggests that the burner invests the flag with a kind of magical significance, that by burning it you inflict injury on your opponent, like sticking pins in a voodoo doll.

      Demonstrations are often the worst form of unimaginative street theatre. It’s bad enough with our own home-grown English left, who seem never happier than when squawking incoherently through a megaphone, or the displays of shambling human mediocrity occasionally put on by the far right. Leave flag-burning to the idiots who can only aspire to being predictable.

    97. Ez — on 9th June, 2006 at 5:07 pm  

      If this were ‘Moslems’ no doubt it would be splashed on every front page in the Western world.

    98. curious? — on 3rd July, 2006 at 11:41 am  

      Its funny how ppl fall prey to propaganda and jump on any bandwagon. Nowadays because some truth has emerged out of the last 22 years people are saying ‘well indira has made some mistakes, but we must forget and move on.’

      Well during those times Sikhs were branded as terrorists and young amritdhari’s were hunted and killed and at the same time the world turned a blind eye. Most ppl in India didn’t give a crap and Indira was referred to as durga mata (goddess of war).

      As for the Sikhs who fought back- well they hads every right to-if members of your family were raped, tortured and killed then would you take up arms or report it to the punjab police who carry out these atrocities.

      The taking up of arms against oppression is sanctioned by Guru Gobind Singh. The struggle came down to a struggle for the Sikh identity bestowed by the Guru’s which to a Sikh is more important than their own lives.

      The annual marches are more to do about rememberence than justice cus the truth is that the Indian gov’t won’t give justice. As for lobbying and awareness raising that does go on in the diaspora but to little avail.

      The figure of around 250,000 dead is confirmed, maybe if some of these so called online journalists had put there skills to good use then they would have found out that this figure were agreed by national and international human rights bodies, Sikh lobbying groups and even the Indian judiciary in some high profile cases. Maybe a brief look at Shaheed Jaswant Singh Khalra’s findings concerning mass graves would go far.

      For those jokers who criticised Sant Bhindranwale- you mimmick puppets who fall prey to propaganda. Sant ji was someone of extremely high character who awoke a sleeping nation. Why not actually listen to his speeches or speak to ppl first hand who knew him rather than listen to or read rubbish.

      The truth will emerge and justice will prevail.

      bhul chuk maaf

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