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‘Khalistan Zindabad’ chants help us ‘release’ the pain: Akal Takht head priest justifies separatist slogans raised in the temple complex

To mark the 37th anniversary of Operation Blue Star, the Indian military action to eliminate separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale who had taken refuge in The Golden Temple, pro-Khalistan slogans were raised in the temple complex.

As the 6th of June marked the 37th anniversary of Operation Bluestar at the Golden Temple, the occasion on Sunday was marked by separatist sloganeering, defended by Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh and SGPC Chief. 

The five-day event which began with putting the bullet-hit Bir of Guru Granth Sahib on display ended with chants like ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ by a section of Sikh hardliners. “This is a deep wound on Sikhs, which gives pain throughout the year. On its anniversary, we reduce this pain by uttering ‘Khalistan Zindabad’. It can never be forgotten. It will be part of our memory forever,” said the acting Jathedar during his customary address on the anniversary of Operation Bluestar.

However, this wasn’t the first time that a demand for Khalistan was raised from the event. While addressing the occasion last year, the Jathedar had stated that every Sikh wished for a Khalistan and if the government offers them a separate nation, “they will accept it happily”.

“No voice was raised when masjid was demolished”

In an attempt justify the separatist slogans, Jatherdar remarked, “It was fortunate that the Sikh community reacted promptly if any wrong was done to its significance. No voice was raised when masjid was demolished to pave way for raising mandir or Article 370 was abolished, yet when recently a Sikh was thrashed in UP, the Sikhs not only from India but from UK, US and Canada raised voice against it. This was an example of our live soul and our strength which has to be maintained.”

Term the event as ‘Amritsar Sikh Genocide’

Jathedar informed that they have been receiving several emails from people demanding to name the event ‘Amritsar Sikh genocide’. However, the attack was not executed only on the Golden Temple but also on 37 other Sikh shrines across the country, exclaimed the Jathedar.

“It was not constrained to Amritsar only. In 1984, the genocide had started on the streets of Delhi, Kanpur, Tata Nagar and other areas between November 1-4. Hence, it should be termed as ’84 da ghallughara (genocide),” he said.

Further justifying his statement, the Jathedar informed that the earlier massacres of Sikhs in 1746 by the Mughal empire in which 7,000 Sikhs lost their lives was termed as ‘chhota ghallughara’ whereas, the 1762 massacre in which 35,000 Sikhs were killed by Mughals was termed as ‘vadda ghallughara’. The 1984 Army attack was nothing short of it, he claimed. 

SGPC Chief supports the ‘Josh’

Endorsing Jathedar’s views on ‘pro-Khalistani slogans’, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Bibi Jagir Kaur said, “This is an expression of the Sikh youth’s ‘josh’ (vehemence). As Singh Sahib (Jathedar) stated the youngsters demonstrated their sentiments and healed their pain on the occasion.”

“This ‘josh’ suggests that the Sikh community is alive and acts independently. A community losing ‘josh’ is considered dead. When the youths raise these slogans, they demonstrate that they are competent to fight the enemy. So, we have no objection to it,” she added.

Son of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale honored with ‘siropa’

Later in the event, the Jathedar honoured Ishar Singh, son of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale along with Bhai Manjit Singh and Satwant Kaur, the brother and daughter of Bhai Amrik Singh, former federation head with ‘siropa’ (robe of honour) at the Akal Takht.

Takht Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh, and head priest of Akal Takht Giani Gurmukh Singh and SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur were present for the ceremony.

Red Fort violence accused present at the occasion

The prime accused of the Red Fort violence and out on bail Deep Sidhu with their supporters along with SAD (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann were also present on the occasion. 

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