Excerpts from the book:

This crisis of identity was the sore from which Bhindranwale squeezed such hatred of Hindus. His fundamentalism was founded not on love or fear of God, but fear of Hinduism. https://twitter.com/adarshrjha/status/1274739942980087808
Akali Dal, saw the modernism that came with prosperity (with green revolution) as a menace to their faith, a threat to their identity.
Master Tara Singh, who had dominated Akali politics since the 1920s. Born into a Hindu home, he converted to Sikhism at school.

(I hope it reminds everyone of Swami Vivekananda's famous quote, "Every man going out of Hindu pale is not a man less, but an.......")
Master Tara Singh decided that the only way to prevent modernism and Hinduism drowning the Sikhs' identity was to demand official recognition as a separate community. He told the new government, 'If we have no separate existence, we shall have nothing to be proud of . . .'
In 1952 a leading Akali, Hukam Singh, wrote : 'Pandit Nehru is, to say the least, the spearhead of militant Hindu chauvinism who glibly talks about nationalism, a tyrant who eulogises democracy and a double dealer in the services of Indian reaction.'
Akalis (demanded) state's language should be Punjabi in Gurmukhi script. The script devised by the second Guru for the Sikh scriptures. It was not widely taught or used outside Sikh religious institutions.
(Therefore Hindus considered it to be a religious demand.)
Nehru, remained resolutely opposed to the creation to a Punjabi Suba. He too was convinced that the Akalis' demand was communal. He told Parliament: 'There is no doubt that it [Punjabi Suba] has grown up not as a linguistic issue but as a communal issue.'
Master Tara Singh made a dramatic announcement: 'I do not want to die but while living I do not want to see the Sikh Panth insulted and the Sikhs treated as inferior to other communities.
I shall begin my fast unto death from August 15th, and continue it till the demand for the Punjabi Suba is conceded.'
Unfortunately it was only too true that the Master did not want to die. Nehru remained resolute in the face of his threat and after forty-three days Tara Singh gave up his fast. He was arraigned before the Akal Takht and sentenced to five days' penance.
He was ordered to perform the most menial of tasks, cleaning the shoes of the pilgrims who came to worship at the Golden Temple.
The schoolmaster from Rawalpindi district who had guided the Akalis through the freedom movement and the first fourteen years of independence ended his political career in ignominy.

(Nehru deserves applause for not bowing down to anti-Hindu demands)
The leadership of the Akali Dal passed to the Master's lieutenant, Sam Fateh Singh. This was a significant change because Fateh Singh was a Jat, the peasant caste dominant in East Punjab. His succession set the seal on a process of the domination of the Akali leadership by Jats.
Nehru remained adamantly opposed to the Punjabi Suba until his death in 1964 but in 1966 his daughter Indira Gandhi agreed to the formation of a Punjabi-speaking state. Fateh Singh helped her by stating unequivocally that his demand was for a linguistic not a Sikh state.
Mrs Gandhi also undoubtedly saw the Akalis as potential allies in the fight she was having with the Congress party bosses her father had left behind.
Punjab had a narrow Sikh majority of 56 per cent, but language not religion was the basis for the division. Sant Fateh Singh was overjoyed. A bachelor, with typical Sikh rustic humour, he announced, 'A handsome baby has been born into my household.'
Within months of the Punjab settlement Sant Fateh Singh hadstarted a fast unto death to force Mrs Gandhi to concede the city of Chandigarh to the Punjab. Chandigarh was therefore a prized possession and Mrs Gandhi baulked at the difficult decision.
Sant Fateh Singh called off his first fast without achieving his aim. Then in 1969 the Sant was really put on his mettle by a veteran non-Akali Dal politician, Darshan Singh Pheruman. He actually did fast to death for Chandigarh.
To avoid being upstaged the Sant announced that he would sacrifice his life by burning himself to death if Mrs Gandhi did not award Chandigarh to Punjab.
But Mrs Gandhi stepped in before the Sant was put to the final test and announced that Chandigarh would go to Punjab. She also insisted that Punjab would have to surrender two tahsils, Abohar and Fazilka, to Haryana. This was a messy award too.
The only justification for giving the two tahsils to Haryana was that they were Hindu majority areas. They were Punjabi, not Hindi, speaking. So the award went against the spirit of Pandit Nehru's stand on the alteration of state boundaries on a religious basis.
The award was never implemented and
Chandigarh became the issue on which negotiations finally broke down just before Operation Blue Star.
To make matters worse Mrs Gandhi's CM in Punjab, Giani Zail Singh, was stealing Akalis' thunder by taking every opportunity to placate Sikh religious sentiments. He went so far that many senior Congressmen complained to Mrs Gandhi that the Punjab government was communal.
The Akali leaders therefore set up a committee of eminent Sikhs and charged them with 'redrawing the aims and objectives of the Sikh Panth (community) to give a more vigorous lead for their achievement . . . because of the anti-Sikh policies of the Congress government.'
In 1973 the Akali Dal Working Committee adopted the eminent Sikhs' proposals at a meeting in Anandpur Sahib, where the last Guru had founded the Khalsa. The committee's report was subsequently known as the Anandpur Sahib Resolution.
They proposed restricting what, in the English translation of the Resolution, they described as the central government's 'interference' to 'Defence, Foreign Relations, Currency, and General Communications'.

To concede that demand would have meant threatening the unity of India.
During the negotiations with Mrs Gandhi b/w 1982 and 1984 the Akali Dal leaders tacitly agreed not to press the demand to limit the central government's powers to defence, foreign relations, currency and general communications.
However Bhindranwale continued to insist on nothing less than the full implementation of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution.
In the Anandpur Resolution the Akali Dal boldly stated its claim to be the party of all Sikhs. It said, 'The Shiromani Akali Dal is the very embodiment of the hopes and aspirations of the Sikh nation and as such is fully entitled to its representation.'
Bhindranwale fanned the flames of the uprising in Punjab with that foreboding, but it was the Akali Dal which started the fire.
Jarnail Singh went to Damdami Taksal an influential school founded by one of the great heroes of Sikhism, Baba Deep Singh. The Damdami Taksal he founded had been in the vanguard of the fight against Sikh apostasy for 200 years by the time that Jarnail Singh joined as a young boy.
Most young Sikhs who go to religious schools end their lives in comparative obscurity, reciting the Guru Granth Sahib in gurudwaras or travelling around villages preaching. Bhindranwale, however, soon became a dominant figure in the Damdami Taksal.
Zail Singh advised Sanjay to try to break the Akali Dal. He recommended Sanjay to look for a new religious leader to discredit the traditional Akali Dal leadership. So Sanjay and Zail Singh looked for a cause which was both political and religious.
In 1978, the Akali Dal government announced that the Nirankaris would be allowed to hold a convention in the holy city of Amritsar.

Bhindranwale (announced), 'We will not allow this Nirankari convention to take place. We are going to march there and cut them to pieces!'
Bhindranwale, and an agricultural inspector of the Punjab government called Fauja Singh, then marched out of the Temple at the head of a procession shouting slogans against the Nirankaris.
Along the two-mile route to the Nihangon ka Bunga or Nihang's shelter, one of the agitated Sikhs cut off the arm of a Hindu sweetshop owner. Still the police made no attempt to stop the procession.
When the Sikhs reached the convention, Fauja Singh drew his sword and swiped at the neck of the Nirankari Guru, Baba Gurbachan Singh. One of the Guru's bodyguards shot Fauja Singh dead, and a battle broke out in which twelve Sikhs and three Nirankaris were killed.
Sanjay Gandhi and Zail Singh also needed a party to promote Bhindranwale. The party was called the Dal Khalsa, the party of the pure, the name of the Sikh army in the days before the empire of Ranjit Singh.
The inaugural meeting was held in Aroma Hotel and, according to the staff of the hotel, the bill of 600 rupees was paid by Zail Singh. The Government White Paper admitted '(It) was originally established with the avowed object of demanding an independent sovereign
Sikh State.'
Bhindranwale was never openly associated with the Dal Khalsa. Until his death he maintained that he was a man of religion, not a politician; but the Dal Khalsa was always known as Bhindranwale's party.

(Zail Singh was Union Home Minister from 80-82 before becoming the President)
When Darbara Singh became Chief Minister in 1980 he decided to reverse Zail Singh's policies and revert to what he saw as the orthodox Congress policy of secularism.

On 24th April 1980 Baba Gurbachan Singh, the Guru of the Nirankari sect, was shot dead in his house in New Delhi.
Bhindranwale's name figured in the police report on the
murder of Baba Gurbachan Singh. When Bhindranwale got wind of this he took sanctuary in one of the hostels of the Golden Temple. He stayed there until Zail Singh told
Parliament that (he) had nothing to do with the murder.
Shortly after that statement, Bhindranwale announced that the killer of the Guru of the Nirankaris deserved to be honoured by the High Priest of the Akal Takht, the most senior priest of Sikhism. Bhindranwale also said that he would weigh the killers in gold if they came to him.
On 9th September 1981 Lala Jagat Narain, (editor, Punjab Kesari), was shot dead. Police reported that (Bhindranwale) had conspired (the murder). Darbara Singh, decided to arrest Bhindranwale.
He fled to the gurudwara at Mehta Chowk, large
numbers of Sikhs had gathered.
Before his arrest, (he) preached a fiery sermon against the Punjab (govt) which was going to arrest him and then, having worked his followers into a frenzy, he told them not to become violent when the police took him away.
As soon as Bhindranwale had gone, his supporters opened fire on the police and a battle ensued in which at least eleven people were killed.

The very day Bhindranwale was arrested the violence began which was to bring down Darbara Singh's government.
On 14th October, Zail Singh told Parliament that there was after all no evidence that Bhindranwale
was involved in the murder of Lala Jagat Narain.

The decision to release Bhindranwale was taken by the government. It was not the verdict of a court.

(To be precise, Zail Singh's)
Bhindranwale came to Delhi to celebrate his release (where) he openly flouted the law. He drove around the capital with eighty of his supporters, many of them sitting on the roofs of their buses brandishing illegal arms.
During that visit Bhindranwale and his companions, accompanied by thousands of Sikhs drummed up by the Delhi Gurudwara Management Committee, drove in a triumphant procession from a gurudwara on the northern outskirts of the capital to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.
The Home Minister (Zail Singh) also allowed Bhindranwale to go to the Tihar jail to visit a Sikh politician imprisoned there.

(Bhindranwale) himself said after his release, 'The government has done more for me in one week than I could have achieved in years.'
In order to incite Hindus, heads and other parts of the
anatomy of cows were thrown into temples and the Dal Khalsa claimed responsibility.
Bhindranwale's strategy was to cause such communal tension that Hindus would leave Punjab in fear.
To the great credit of Hindu leaders no lasting threat to Sikhs living outside Punjab did develop during Bhindranwale's lifetime.
On 4th August 1982 in the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Longowal announced a 'Dharam Yudh' to fight for the implementation of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. Bhindranwale announced that his morcha for the release of Amrik Singh (his close aide) was merging with the Akali morcha.
The whole operation was organised by Longowal who was known as 'Morcha Dictator'. He made sure that jatha from one part or the other of Punjab came to the Golden Temple each day. Within two months the jails were overflowing and special prisons had to be established.
On 11th September, thirty-four members of a jatha were killed when a bus in which they were being taken to jail crashed with a train as an unmanned railway crossing near Amritsar.
Bhindranwale and Longowal both alleged that the thirty-four had been deliberately killed by the police, and they were declared martyrs. The Sikhs like to mark every historic occasion with a gurudwara, and so now they are building a gurudwara at the site of the accident.
They are calling it Gurudwara Takkar Sahib (Gurudwara of the Collision). That accident led to a violent demonstration in the heart of Delhi itself.

On 10th October a vast procession wound its way through the streets of Delhi carrying the ashes of the 'martyrs'.
That procession passed off peacefully but the next day thousands of Sikhs tried to storm Parliament. They set fire to buses, tore down street lighting and uprooted road signs. Police and paramilitary forces battled with them for several hours.
(Negotiations between PM and Akalis had failed.)

Bhindranwale was delighted because he had often said that there was no point in dealing with that 'Brahmin woman'.

Sikhs are deeply suspicious of Brahmins, seeing them as
intellectual enemies of their religion.
A month after the Asian Games Longowal called a meeting of Sikh ex-servicemen at the Golden Temple. Sikhs make up at least 10 percent of the army, including a large number of the officers. There are also Sikhs in the navy, the air force, and in the paramilitary police forces.
As many as 170 retired officers above the rank of colonel responded to Longowal's call to rally to the Sikh cause. Many of them fell under the spell of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale at that meeting in the Golden Temple.
Retired Sikh General, Jaswant Singh Bhullar, wrote: 'The treatment meted out to Sikhs by the Haryana government during the days of the Asian Games has badly jolted the Sikh psyche.'
Bhullar was to join Bhindranwale, leaving the Golden Temple just before Operation Blue Star. He has since set up an organisation in the United States to propagate Sikh independence.
Narinderjit Singh Nanda, the scholarly and gentle PRO of the SGPC, was present at the convention. Longowal was surprised by the turnout of officers and men. (According to Nanda it was 30000).
Mark Tully asked (Bhindranwale) 'Do you or do you not support the demand for Khalistan, Sikh independence from India?'
(He) answered, 'I am neither in favour of it nor against it. If they give it to us, we won't reject it.'

(A similar statement was made again in 2020 by...)
(After the killing of DIG Atwal, Bhindranwale went on humiliate Akali who wished to sideline themselves from him.)

The journalist Tavleen Singh was there. She said, 'Longowal was on the platform but to Bhindranwale went the honour of speaking last.'
The government was attacked, Hindus were attacked, and
Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, was mocked.
One of the songs played over the loudspeakers ran: 'Our
bapu (Guru Gobind Singh) had arms and fine arrows and their [the Hindus'] bapu had an old man's stick.'
Satish Jacob once watched a middle-aged woman and her grown-up son pleading their case before Bhindranwale. The woman said that her husband had deserted her and was refusing to support her. She asked Bhindranwale to 'finish' him.
Bhindranwale replied, 'I only finish those who are enemies of the Sikh faith like policemen, government officials and Hindus.'
After the anti-Hindu slogans, speeches and songs at the students' meeting in the Golden Temple, Bhindranwale concentrated his attention on that community. He had to have enemies to maintain the fervour of his followers
and the Hindus were the obvious candidates.
On the night of 5th October, 1983, Sikhs hijacked a bus in Kapurthala district, separated the Hindu passengers from the Sikhs, and shot the Hindus. Six Hindus died and one was seriously injured.
The next day Mrs Gandhi suspended the state government and imposed President's Rule.
(Eight months of violence and failed negotiations finally led to Operation Bluestar)
More than a month before the CRP took up positions surrounding the Golden Temple, the prelude to Operation Blue Star, the government had experimented with a different type of operation– a siege.
The paramilitary Border Security Force in the town of Moga, which is the nearest town to Bhindranwale's own village, was given orders to lay siege to the Sikh temples there and not to lift the siege until the terrorists who had sought sanctuary inside them had surrendered.
Five days after the sieges started the Sikh High Priests threatened to lead a march on Moga if they were not
lifted. The Home Minister replied by telling the priests to get the terrorists out of the temples themselves if they wanted the sieges to be lifted.
The head of the Punjab police, P.S. Bhinder, told journalists who arrived in Moga the next day that sixteen terrorists had surrendered and that was why the siege had been lifted. However I could find no evidence in Moga that anyone had surrendered.
Lieutenant-General Sunderji, who commanded the eventual assault, admitted that he had considered laying siege to the Golden Temple to starve out Bhindranwale and his followers, and that one reason he had decided against it was the fear of uprisings in the countryside.
That lesson was learnt at Moga. With the settlement rejected by Bhindranwale and a siege ruled out by the army, Mrs Gandhi had no alternative left – she had to raid the Akal Takht.
The government's explanation for starting the operation on (martyrdom day of Guru Arjan) with all the risks of involving innocent pilgrims in the battle was that Bhindranwale was about to start a well-organised campaign to murder Hindus in villages throughout the Punjab.
A senior official of the Home Ministry told Satish Jacob that intelligence officers had intercepted messages from Bhindranwale and Shahbeg Singh instructing their followers to start killing 'en masse' on 5th June.
(23) people were killed in (24 hr) before (PM) made her broadcast.
(Finally, Operation Bluestar was successfully executed by the Indian Army.)
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