[From Liberation, July 1984.]
The despicable attack on the Golden Temple and the genocide of Sikhs by the Indian army has created more problems than it could solve. Whereas only an insignificant minority among the Sikhs formerly opted for ‘Khalistan’, now the entire Sikh Community desires the same. Whether in India or abroad, everywhere Sikhs are demonstrating against the Indian Government, Sikh soldiers of the army are rising in revolt in every cantonment, and in Punjab itself, the Sikh peasantry has joined in grim battles against the Indian army. Death tolls are rising and with each death attitudes are hardening further.
The Sikhs, who have always been upheld as the ‘builders of modern India’ and ‘staunch soldiers of national integrity’, have all of a sudden assumed the distinction of being an ‘unpatriotic’ lot in government propaganda. How did things come to such a pass? Who is the main culprit behind these unfortunate events? These are the questions haunting the minds of every sensible and patriotic Indian.
It was the wrong policies of the Congress Party led by M.K. Gandhi which led to the partition of our beloved motherland in 1947. And now, the policies of Mrs. Gandhi are leading the country towards further disintegration. Even after 37 years of formal independence and despite a virtual monopoly of Congress rule at the Centre headed by ‘strong personalities’, communal clashes, caste wars, regionalism, religious fanaticism and separatism are intensifying day by day. India, the sacred land of all of us who live here, has been turned into a Hindu India, an India which has become the hunting ground for foreign lumpen politicians and all the scum and dregs of society, a graveyard for the workers, peasants and youth who dare to fight for their rights, and a prison for religious minorities, backward nationalities and national minorities.
It was Indira Gandhi who, for her political ends, refused to hold any serious and meaningful dialogue with the Alkalis, and deliberately perpetuated the conflict between Punjab and Haryana and within Punjab between the Sikhs and the Hindus. It was she who, in her bid to counter the Akali Dal, first made a Frankenstein out of Bhindranwale, encouraged and abetted terrorism to check the emergence of any powerful people’s movement, and finally turned Bhindranwale into a martyr.
With Indira Gandhi at the helm of affairs, national unity is at stake. And the parliamentary opposition has proved itself to be a worthless lot. Their task is to go on denouncing Indira Gandhi in ‘ordinary’ times, only to stand firmly by Indira Gandhi in times of ‘crisis’. They have no independent voice and no effective programme of their own.
The task of maintaining communal harmony and defending national unity has fallen on the shoulders of revolutionary communists, all progressive people and genuine patriots. And this task is inseparable from the struggle for building a new India, a people’s India, a democratic India.
Condemn the heinous attack on the Golden Temple, stand firmly by the aggrieved Sikh brethren and demand a speedy solution of the Punjab problem. Don’t be misled by the government and opposition propaganda of false patriotism. It will only hasten the birth of ‘Khalistan’.
In the past, we had believed the ‘brave’ words of the Congress and ‘Communist’ leaders and left all initiative to them, but in the end, we could not stop the partition of our beloved motherland.
Let us not repeat the same mistake once again.
India cannot be kept united by guns and cannons. Only the unity and solidarity in common struggles of the people of various communities can keep the country one.
11 June 1984