The book, The Khalistan Conspiracy: A former RAW officer unravels, is written by GB Sindhu, a retired civil servant. The objective of writing this book is to make the reader aware of the circumstances that led to the Operation Blue Star and the subsequent Anti-Sikh pogroms.
The language used by the author is simple for the reader to comprehend and the manner in which the chapters of the book are arranged, make it easy for the reader to critically analyze the contents of the book.
At the onset, Sindhu embarked by giving a brief outline of the history of the Sikhs. He went on to explain how Canada became a hub for the Sikhs. After that, he gave the pulse of the political scenario of Punjab in the 1970s. It brought to fore the skirmish between the Indian National Congress and the Akali Dal, the ruling party of Punjab. He explained that after winning the 1980 Lok Sabha election, Indira Gandhi prepared a plan to create a sense of insecurity in the minds of the Hindus from the Sikh extremists. She portrayed herself as the defender of national integrity and decided to exploit the nationalistic sentiments of the people to win the 1985 Lok Sabha election as well as the state elections in Punjab.
The seed of the crisis was sown when Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the Jathedar of the Damdani Taksal came into prominence due to his mass political appeal and role in the infamous Sikh-Nirankari clash(1978). In 1982, he along with the Akali Dal launched the Dharma Youdh Morcha. The main objectives of the morcha were to implement Anandpur Sahib Resolution and to provide some economic development to Punjab. When the movement failed to gain its objectives, the leaders of the Akali Dal decided to meet with the Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. However, the talks failed and the Akali Dal’s leaders decided to continue the movement. They also feared that in case they withdrew the movement without any substantial gain, Bhindrawale might turn against them and they could have serious political repercussions. Meanwhile, Bhindranwale had created terror in Punjab by killing police officers who attempted to arrest the members of his organization.
In New Delhi, there were proposals put forward before the Central Government to take actions against Bhindranwale who was residing at the Golden Temple Complex. The government turned down the request. The reason was that the attack on the Golden Temple could lead to the killing of civilians. Suddenly, in the month of May 1984, Indira Gandhi ordered the army to carry out the preparation to launch an attack to exterminate the growing threat of Bhindranwale. The attack was carried out on 23rd June, the day on which a lot of civilians visited the temple to celebrate the birthday of one of the Sikh Gurus. This attack is known as Operation Blue Star. The operation led to the loss of lives and many people were injured. Finally, Bhindranwale was eliminated and Punjab became free from the threat of Bhindranwale. Indira Gandhi emerged as a national hero. The time was apt as the national elections were to be held soon.
In this book, it has been shown that Indira Gandhi was aware that one day she would be killed by Sikh extremists. After the operation of Blue Star, the orders were issued to ensure that no Sikh alone was to guard Indira Gandhi. However, on a fatal day on 31st October 1984, the order got breached and India lost her fourth Prime Minister. After the death of Indira Gandhi, anti-Sikh riots broke out in the swathes of Delhi and later the pogrom spreaded to the other parts of the country. The riots took the toll of thousands of innocent Sikhs. It is shown in the book that the policemen in Delhi collaborated with the rioters and permitted the slaughtering of the Sikhs.
The Khalistan Conspiracy: A Former R&AW Officer Unravels the Path to 1984
At last, the author has made the appeal to the reader to understand that in secular India, people must show compassion to one another and the feeling of ill-will towards people of other religions must be shed away. He makes a call for peace in order to bring a strong and united India. Thus, he book appeals to its reader to not fall prey to the parochial appeals of religion in lieu the people of all religions must work together to eliminate those who seek to feather their own nest in the name of religion.
- A Worth Read 0