BY Harsimran Kaur ON Feb 12, 2021 IN BOOK REVIEWS, The Khalistan Conspiracy
G.B.S. Sidhu, a former R&AW officer, has penned down certain facts and analogies pertaining to the Punjab crisis between 1980 till 1984, giving its reader a comprehensive view of the entire milieu. The author has assiduously defined the algorithm that led to the Operation Blue Star. He affirmatively states that the operation was not an instantaneous decision but a meticulously planned strategy premeditated long before by the congress to attain power.
The book traverses the origin of Khalistan movement, and the bearing it had on the minds of Indian Sikhs and the Sikh diaspora in the US and Canada. Khalistan was a needle in the bush which nobody wanted to find. It was best laid down to rest to avoid national unrest. But certain miscreants in the Congress party made it a propaganda to settle their scores with the Akalis, and corroborated with Bhindranwale, the Sikh extremist, to have a formidable hold in Punjab.
Bhindranwale in due course of time, with the support of some of the leaders of congress, became obstreperous carrying out massive killings and creating a sheet of unrest in the city of Punjab. His implacable attacks could have been cut under the feet if political anomaly had not taken precedence. His Refuge in the Akal Takht was the last brick that the congress succeeded to cement to finally break it.
The author presides over each juncture of information with sharp scrutiny. The rise of Bhindranwale to the fall of Akalis, the religious concerns of the Sikh Diaspora in the US and Canada to the vulnerable Sikh population in Punjab, the introduction of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution to the failing negotiations, the uproar of the Dal Khalsa to the fortification of the Akal Takht, the ignominy faced by Sikhs during the Asian Games to the crest fallen Sikhs after the Golden Temple attack, and the assassination of Mrs. Gandhi to the anti-Sikh riots, the book encapsulates the motive behind every action. The distinction between SFF –led Heliborne Operation and Operation Blue Star in their respective strategies and shortcomings is lucid and thought provoking.
Once the book finishes, the reader is compelled to be awaken to the incomplete assessment of the Operation Blue Star and the 1984 Sikh riots. Was it a religious agenda for political gain or an honest decreed to flush out the terrorist for communal harmony? What happened after that concludes the impertinence and faulty decision making of the congress party. The price paid was humongous and irrevocable.
I have given my review and thoughts on the book Amritsar – Mrs. Gandhi’s Last Battle. Both these books together reveal the eccentricity of the Operation Blue Star. The massive destruction and loss of lives could have been averted by fastidious detailing and acting at the right time.