Monday, December 05, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Punjabi Sooba
Bijla Singh

Background

In 1947, India was partitioned which caused largest migration of population and the worst riots in the history. More than half of Punjab was given to Pakistan and rest remained in India. Sikhs had no choice but to leave Pakistan and migrate to India. More than 2 million Sikhs were killed, property worth millions was burnt and destroyed and about 175 Gurdwaras were left behind. All of this had a great impact on the Sikh nation majority of which had been left homeless in new India where the new government did little to nothing to help them settle down. Although Sikhs had made a great sacrifice and lost major portion of their religious places and history, they were full of hope and were looking forward to finally live free way of life and exercise the right to self-determination. Unfortunately, this hope did not last long and Sikhs had to get ready for yet another long struggle with the new regime.
Unfulfilled Promises and Sikhs in New India
Prior to independence, Indian leaders had made numerous promises to the Sikhs such as setting up a state in the north part of the country where Sikhs would enjoy freedom. Three major promises were made to the Sikh nation, which were systematically broken.

1) First promise was that Congress will not pass any resolution that did not please the Sikhs.

"...in future, the Congress shall accept no constitution which does not meet with the satisfaction of the Sikhs" (The Lahore session of the Congress Party. December 31, 1929 cited in Sikh Politics, K.L. Tuteja, Pg. 168) "I ask you to accept my word and the Resolution of the Congress that it will not betray a single individual much less a community. If it ever thinks of doing so, it would only hasten to its own doom. I pray you to unbosom yourself of all doubts and apprehensions. Let God be the witness of the bond that binds me and the Congress with you (the Sikhs). I venture to suggest that the non-violence creed of the congress is the surest guarantee of good faith, and our Sikh friends have no reason to fear that it would betray them. For the moment it does so, the congress would not only thereby seal its own doom but that of the country too. (M. K. Gandhi, Communal Unity, pg. 165-167)

The congress assures Sikhs that no solution in any future constitution will be acceptable to the congress that does not give them full satisfaction. (Indian constitution documents, Vol. 11, By A. C. Banerjee)
After 1947, this promise was not kept. On October 10, 1947 Sikhs were branded as “lawless people”, called upon to forget about their distinct appearance and submit themselves under Hindu laws.

“The Sikhs are a lawless people and a menace to the law abiding Hindus ... The [Government] should take strict measures against them." (Pandit Nehru, Indian Prime Minister)
Furthermore, Article 25 was added in the constitution specifically stating that Sikhism was a sect of Hinduism. No Sikh approved the constitution but regardless it was adopted by the Indian government.

2) Second promise was made to setup a state in the north where Sikhs would have the right to self-determination.

The main purpose of creating linguistic states is that the culture, language and script of minority of the linguistic area shall be protected. (Resolution passed by Congress in Calcultta, 1937)

Redistribution of provincial boundaries is essential and inevitable. I stand for same autonomous unit as well. If Sikh desire to function as such a unit, I should like them to have a same autonomous in the province so that they may have a sense of freedom. (Jawaharlal Nehru, 1945)

"...the brave Sikhs of Punjab are entitled to special considerations. I see nothing wrong in an area set up in the North of India wherein, the Sikhs can also experience the glow of freedom." (Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lahore Bulletin, January 9, 1930)
Indian leaders not only backed out on this promise but regarded this demand as a threat to the unity of the country.

The congress found itself in a dilemma, to concede to Akali demand would mean abandoning a position to which it was firmly committed and letting down its Hindu supporters in the Punjabi Suba. The merits were no consideration, as the policy of the Congress, as enunciated in 1949 by Jawahar Lal, Vallabh Bhai and Patta Bhai Sitaramayyia had been not to concede reorganization of North India whatever the merit of such a proposal might be. (My Truth, Indira Gandhi, 117)

I can afford civil war in the country but not Punjabi State. (Jawaharlal Nehru)

We are aware that Sikhs have suffered greatly before and after 1947 but we have come to the conclusion that granting them any special rights such as an autonomous area is not reasonable. (Sikh Politics of 20th Century, Ajmer Singh, Pg. 144)
Creating a Punjabi linguistic state meant prospering of the Sikh nation which no Indian leader let alone a Hindu approved of.

3) The third promise was made to provide security and safeguarding minorities.

Adequate safeguards would be provided for monitories ---- it was a declaration, a pledge and an understanding before the world, a contract with millions of Indians, and therefore, in the nature of an oath, which we must keep. (Framing of Indian Constitution, B. Shiva Rao, Pg 181)

In the divided Indian Punjab, special constitutional measures are imperative to meet the aspirations and rights of the Sikhs. (Legislative Assembly, 1947)
This promise was forgotten just like the above two. Instead, statements were released to make India a Hindu country where minorities will have to either live as second class citizens or merge themselves in the Hindu majority.

According to Mahaveer Tyagi:

“We do not believe in kicking the minority groups out of the country. Instead, our desire is to change their religion and convert them all to Hinduism.” (Sikhs in History, Sangat Singh, Pg. 249)
I do not like the word “minority” (Aeengar)
When Pakistan was created at the time of partition it became crystal clear that there remained only one community (Hindus) in India. (Vallabh Bhai Patel)
When the British left, no promise was kept by the Indian leaders.

The Sikhs felt that since they had made more sacrifices for independence than other communities and had suffered a great deal during partition, the Congress would consider their demands sincerely and grant them special rights as promised by the Indian leaders. But, the Congress acted the opposite, ignored all the promises and turned against the Sikhs……Sikhs were insulted by the media and opposed by the Hindu community. Hindus started discriminating against Sikhs and abandoned Punjabi. (Tale of Blue Turban, Giani Laal Singh, 100)
The so-called democracy only existed in papers and was never put into practice. The Sikh nation felt agitated, uncomfortable and trapped in the chains of new slavery. This further solidified their doubts when they started to face discrimination at the hands of the government and Hindu public. From 72% to 96% high government jobs were occupied by the Hindu majority in Punjab. The army enlistment became dependent upon population instead of merit. This decreased Sikh enlistment from 40% to 1.2%. The situation of Sikhs in Punjab is very well described by Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer:

Hindus had started to make insulting jokes on Sikhs, discriminate against them in every profession and attack innocent Sikhs on numerous occasions. Especially in the cities of Punjab, it had become extremely difficult for Sikhs to live a peaceful life. (Punjabi Suba Morcha, Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer, Pg. 6)
Violence of Hindus had increased significantly in Punjab so much so that they attacked Sikh procession held in the memory of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Stones and home made acid bombs were thrown at the procession causing injury to several Sikhs. Seeing all of this, the police took no action and let the perpetrators run free. This further enraged the Sikh community.

The Indian government had also reorganized the states on languages basis in the south. Kerala, Tamil and other states had been created on language basis but nothing was done in the north. Sikhs felt betrayed and raised their demand for setting up a Punjabi State in which Punjabi language would serve as the primary language of the state and Sikhs would have an autonomous area. This demand led to the struggle for Punjabi State.

Struggle Begins
In 1955, the government not only refused to setup a linguistic state for Sikhs but also declared it unlawful to raise any slogan in the name of Punjabi state. This was not only unconstitutional move but in direct violation of freedom of speech act. Sikhs resorted to oppose this act of the government in a manner of peaceful protests. On the first day, Master Tara Singh started his speech by saying:

“We Sikhs demand freedom but the government wants to keep us as slaves. Now, we have been restricted to not even utter a word on Punjabi Suba. This is all being done to destroy our dignity…We will raise slogans in the support of Punjabi Suba and then present ourselves to the police for arrest. This should be done in a peaceful manner.”
Subsequently, it was decided to form small groups that would openly raise slogans in favor of Punjabi State and then present themselves for arrests. Thus began the long struggle for Punjabi State which lasted more than a decade. As soon as the struggle had begun, the Hindus started to speak against it by calling it a conspiracy of Pakistan.

Violence and Opposition by Hindus

Hindu leaders and media greatly opposed the Sikh struggle and started labeling them as “traitors”. Several Hindu organizations and leaders such as RSS, Arya Samaj, Lala Jagat Narayan, Khushal Chand, Lal Chand and many others openly spoke against Sikhs and started threatening the Sikhs to stop their agitation.

Inderjit Singh
The entire Hindu media started to spread false information about Sikhs and their motives behind the struggle. They were labeled as “terrorists”, “traitors” and “agents of Pakistan”. Their patriotism was questioned by the media. The government used its puppets in Congress and the police to increase its brutality against the Sikhs. On one hand, Congressman Partap Kairon and the likes were threatening to crush the movement and on the other hand the police were arresting many of the Sikh leaders and throwing them in jails without any charge or trial. This was all being done on the orders of the central government to destabilize the Sikh movement. The police had become so ruthless that peaceful protestors were beaten with sticks and fired upon by the police. Women and children were not spared. The police had greatly been influenced by the media. In Karnal, some Sikhs had gathered peacefully in support of the Sikh cause when they were fired upon by the police. Inderjit Singh, a ten year old Sikh boy, was beaten, thrown in irrigation well and killed. In other states, fate of the Sikhs was not any different. Gurdwara Sees Ganj Sahib in Delhi was surrounded by the police and about 2000 Sikhs were arrested. By 1960, 25 thousand Sikhs had been arrested and jailed. This was done to inform Sikhs that they were second class citizens in India.
Hindu residents of Punjab were not any different. They held large processions in the opposition of Sikhs. Sikh properties were targeted, destroyed and burnt in Punjab. Sikhs resident places were attacked. Police was ordered not to intervene or stop the Hindu hoodlums. Seeing the inability of the police, the Hindus attacked many Sikh policemen causing injuries to several of them and death of one Sikh inspector. Toleration of the Hindu violence by the police and the government gave rise to attack on Sikh religious places. Many Gurdwaras were attacked and cigarettes were thrown in the sarowars (holy nectar). Guru Granth Sahib was ripped, burnt and disrespected in highly immoral manner. This was in direct contrast to the Hindu belief that Sikhism was a sect of Hinduism. Had there been any truth to it, Hindus would never have attacked one of their own and disrespected their own holy scriptures. In 1964, the police attacked Gurdwara Paonta Sahib in Himachal and killed many Sikhs.

Out of all the India leaders, Jawaharlal Nehru, prime minister of India, despised Sikhs the most. Sikh leaders met him on many occasions but every time he refused to listen to Sikhs and consider their demands. During the three primary meetings between the Sikh leaders and Nehru it was alleged that the demand for Punjabi State was neither beneficial to the country nor to the Hindus of Punjab. According to Nehru:

“Creating a Punjabi State is against the prosperity of the Hindus and would put Sikhs in other states in a grave danger.” (Sikh Politics of 20th Century, Ajmer Singh, Pg. 177).
In the last meeting he stated:

“Granting the demand for Punjabi State is out of the question.” (Punjabi Suba – The Story of Struggle, Ajit Singh Sarhaddi, Pg. 389).
During the meeting in 1961 with Master Tara Singh Nehru lost his sense and threatened Sikhs by saying:

Enough is enough. If you do not stop your protests, I will teach you a hard lesson that you will not forget for many generations to come.” (Sikhs in History, Sangat Singh, Pg. 306)
After all the polemics of Nehru were answered he closed the case by saying, “How can I entrust power to the enemy?” (Sikhs in History, Sangat Singh, Pg. 308)

This truly showed the real face of the Hindu leadership. The threat to the safety of Sikhs living in other Indian states was clearly given by the Indian leaders and Sikhs were called enemy of the country. Why is it that no violence or riots took place when states were reorganized in the south? Sikh demand was solely for a Punjabi speaking state not for the greater autonomy for the Sikhs. Then why only Sikhs were being threatened instead of Punjabis that included Hindus and Muslims? This was all because the government had ill intentions against the Sikhs and anything that remotely benefitted the Sikhs directly or indirectly was opposed by the government to the highest degree. On one hand, Hindus were asking for their safety in Punjab where they were never in danger in the first place but on the other hand the same Hindus were threatening Sikhs to kick them out of other states and providing no safeguards to them.

Truth or Misconception
Hindu media and opposition parties had spread many misconceptions about the Sikhs. Although their main motive was to destroy Sikhism and its roots but they were hesitant to openly admit it. Also, large Hindu population could not be won over for this reason. So they resorted to making excuses and blaming Sikhs for trying to further divide India. Hindus were given the impression that Sikhs were demanding a separate Sikh State in which Hindus will be oppressed. But this misconception was uneducated, without any concrete evidence and far from the truth. There has never been a single incident of Sikhs oppressing or being hostile to Hindus in 500 years of Sikh history. In fact, Hindus have always been on the opposing side of the Sikhs. The fact that 62% of the people in Punjab were Hindus was greatly ignored by the Hindu leaders. It was highly irrational to believe that a tiny population of less than 2% in the country could ever oppress Hindus who were majority in India as well as in Punjab. Further, they ruled the country, controlled the military, formed majority in rest of the states, government was theirs and Congress was the ruling party in Punjab. The only way Sikhs could gain political power in Punjab was if they won the majority vote which was not possible due to Hindu supporting Congress. Therefore, Sikhs could never have oppressed Hindus even if they wanted to. It is evident that such misconception was spread to cause hatred and division between Hindus and the Sikh nation. The initial demand of the Sikhs was to setup a State in which Punjabi would be the primary language irrespective of the population in it.

During an interview, Fateh Singh made it clear:
We do not want a Sikh majority State. We do not care about percentage of the Sikh population. We just want a state where Punjabi would be spoken as the primary language. All areas speaking Punjabi should be included. Whether Sikhs are in majority or minority should not serve as a factor in this matter.” (Punjabi Suba – The Story of Struggle, Ajit Singh Sarhaddi, Pg. 346)

During one of the speeches, Master Tara Singh openly said:
“I do not demand a separate Sikh state nor have I ever been in its favor. I simply want equality and freedom of the Sikh nation in India.” (Ibid, Pg. 319)
According to historian Ajmer Singh:

“For Hindu leaders the main factor was not whether the demand of Punjabi State was just or unjust or whether it benefits the Sikhs or not but how to destroy and eradicate the distinct identity of the Sikhs.” (Sikh Politics in 20th Century, Ajmer Singh, Pg. 119)
Giani Laal Singh states:

The demand for a Punjabi speaking state was constitutional and valid from every aspect. It was based on the same rules that created Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. But Hindus feared that they will not be a dominant force in the new state since Sikhs would make up 42% and will not be a minority anymore. Thus, making it more difficult for the Hindus to dominate and slowly eradicate the Sikh religion. (Tale of Blue Turban, Giani Laal Singh, 102)

Sikhs leaders and some educated Hindus had very well realized that raising misconceptions against Punjabi State was only an excuse of the fascist Hindus and Hindu media when the real fact was that they did not favor any area which would benefit Sikhs, their language (Punjabi) and safeguard their distinct identity. Indian leaders and Nehru started questioning the loyalty of the Sikhs by stating that the sole purpose of creating a Punjabi State was to divide the country and that later Sikhs would join Pakistan and endanger the unity of India. Many educated people and some journalists tried to persuade Hindu leaders to accept the demand of the Sikhs. According to them not accepting the demand would be the real threat to the unity of the country.

Especially in Punjab, Congress and its supporters have always looked upon Sikhs as their enemy. No Indian leader has ever tried to understand the Sikh problems. Sikhs have no choice but to demand a Punjabi State. They wish to safeguard their distinct identity, language and religion. Setting up a Punjabi State is the solution to the Sikh problem. (Times of India, 15 August 1951)
It has become crystal clear that the demand for Punjabi State is being looked upon as unconstitutional and conspiracy of Pakistan by the large Hindu population. Many Indian leaders have openly admitted that establishing Punjabi State means empowering Sikhs which will endanger the unity of the country. Nehru further supported this ludicrously by saying that Sikhs may join Pakistan and pose threat to India. From these statements it means only one thing that the majority wants to keep minority as a slave. What do we learn from the Sikh history? That not a single Sikh joined the Mughals against Hindus but at many occasions Hindus joined the Mughals in exterminating the Sikhs. The fact is that we should resolve these matters with peace and harmony otherwise falsely accusing Sikhs would alienate the Sikh community which would lead to another division of the country. (Spokesman, 22 April 1951)

In my personal opinion, instead of opposing the Sikh demand, Hindus should be encouraged to adopt the Punjabi language and support the demand for Punjabi State. This would not only be the largest State in the north but also strongest and richest in India. This would solidify India’s borders and protect it from its foreign enemies. Economically, this state would largely benefit the entire country. Hindus shouldn’t oppose the Sikhs but support them otherwise they will be directly responsible for dividing the country and making a way for a separate Sikh State which can be stopped right now very easily. (Professor Om Parkash Kohal, 17 October 1951)

Despite all the efforts, Indian leaders and Hindus did not change their mentality and kept opposing the Sikhs. Seeing the opposition of the Hindus, Sikh leaders became aware that Sikh identity would not be safe unless an area consisting of Sikh majority was established. They started to raise their demand for an autonomous area for the Sikhs which was promised by the Indian leaders prior to independence. Gurcharan Singh Tohra stated:

“We are separate from Hindus…We demand a State where we can safeguard our heritage and culture.” This was further supported by Master Tara Singh. He said, “Our main motive is to free Sikhs from the slavery of Hindus…We demand a state where Sikhs will have the right to self-determination.” (Sikh Politics in 20th Century, Ajmer Singh, Pg. 120).
Therefore, the demand from establishing a linguistic state was changed to establishing a Sikh state within the Indian Union where Sikhs would be the majority population.

Attack on Darbar Sahib
Beating Sikhs to Quell Them
Sikh protestors continued to grow in numbers. All the jails in Punjab had been filled and it had become increasingly difficult to contain the Sikh movement. Since the movement was started at Darbar Sahib, it was considered “headquarter” of all the operations and the government took strict measures to prevent Sikhs from going to Darbar Sahib. The police surrounded Darbar Sahib. No one was allowed to enter the premises without permission and having been searched by the police. Many Sikhs were arrested just on the basis that they were going to Darbar Sahib. It was naturally assumed that they were going to join the protestors. Even tourists were insulted and arrested. This brutal action of the police was more than enough to awaken the Sikh nation. They marched towards Darbar Sahib in large numbers and forced police to retreat and leave the vicinity of Darbar Sahib.
Finally, it was decided to crush the movement by all means necessary. Ashwani Kumar, DIG of Jalandhar police, asked for permission to practice unlimited privileges and promised to destroy.

Police Attacking Unarmed Sikhs
the movement within 5 days. Upon getting the permission, he ordered the police to confiscate handguns, rifles and all other firearms kept by SGPC, Sikh leaders and members of Akali DalCensorship was put on Sikh newspapers disallowing them to highlight the truth and educating the public of the real situation. The police stopped printing of the newspapers and closed down the main buildings. Many Sikh journalists and news reporters were arrested. Printing press was stopped, confiscated and all of the printed material was burnt by the police. It was all part of the plan so that no one would know the extent of the police operation and the mass public will stay uninformed.
After disarming the Sikh leadership, the police started its operation. First, Darbar Sahib was surrounded by thousands of policemen and the public was stopped from going in and out of the complex. Then all the rest houses were searched and everyone found was arrested. All of the political members and leaders within the vicinity of Darbar Sahib were arrested and taken to jail. Everything was searched in the SGPC office. Then the police moved to Manji Sahib. When the Sikhs protested they were met with heavy sticks and tear gas.

Police in Darbar Sahib
By this time the police had fortified every building standing outside of the main complex and started to throw tear and poisonous gas at the Sikhs. Then the police entered the main complex with shoes on and fired upon the Sikhs that had gathered there to protest peacefully. Many bullets were fired at the main building and Akal Takhat Sahib. All the religious activities such as Kirtan and Akhand Paath were stopped and every Sikh including women was insulted, beaten and then arrested. This was all done to immobilize the Sikh movement. The police kept full control of Darbar Sahib for four days. More than 3000 Sikhs were arrested including many of the leaders and employees of SGPC. Several hundred including women and children were injured.

Sikh Spirit on the Rise

Attack on Darbar Sahib touched the soul of every Sikh. Initially, only Sikhs from Punjab were participating but after the attack Sikhs from all over India started to come and present themselves for arrests. The number of Sikhs coming from outer states was in several hundreds. Many came with their entire families. Several leaders of Sikh organizations came forward and joined the Sikh movement. Sikh women showed a great interest in the movement and formed their own groups to support their fellow Sikh brothers. Bibi Joginder Kaur, a radio singer, paid her visits to Darbar Sahib and inspired the Sikhs by singing songs of the bravery of Sikhs. She reminded Sikhs to remember the martyrdom of many shaheeds of the past who had given up their lives for the cause of freedom. The government became increasingly intolerant against her and released a warrant to arrest her. She along with many women presented herself for arrests.
Consequently, several groups consisting of dozens of women also gave arrests and went to jails. Some women went to jails with their children. It was clear that attack on Darbar Sahib had a great impact on the Sikh mind and infused the spirit of sacrifice within the Sikh nation.

War of 1965
While the Sikh movement was in high spirits, the country faced a great turmoil when Pakistan suddenly started to secure its borders and send troops across the border to India. It was decided by the Sikh leaders and masses that the enemy should be dealt with first and postpone the struggle for Punjabi State until the war was over. For Sikhs protecting the country became the ultimate cause and they supported the Indian military in everyway possible. Writer D. R. Manekar in his book “Twenty-two Fateful Days” narrates attitudes of ordinary Sikhs. According to him one Sikh said:

“If our crops are destroyed then let that be the fate. We can get crops next year but if we lose our country we will not get freedom easily. Freedom at the price of crops cannot be jeopardized.” Another Sikh said, “We have left our homes once but now we will never leave and no one has the power to kick us out.”
In the areas of Amritsar and Gurdaspur, Sikhs took up spears, swords and sticks and joined the army men in search and destroy mission. They destroyed their crops to make the way for the army. They served the military with food, water and other necessary supplies. Sikh support served as an inspiration to the Indian military and motivated them to continue the fight. Many ordinary Sikhs were assigned duties by the military. One Sikh named Sajjan Singh was well acquainted with the bordering area and worked as a spy. He identified many bunkers and hidden places of the Pakistani army. One religious Sikh man named Sohan Singh traveled ten miles everyday to provide food, and milk to the army. With the help of the Sikhs in the military and Sikh public, India won the war and Pakistan was defeated. It was admitted by many military officers that the support and participation of the Sikh masses was truly inspiring for them and the government should consider their demands with new perspective.

Punjabi State Established
After the war, death of Nehru, and arrests of thousands of Sikhs opposition against the Sikhs had decreased and the government found it extremely difficult to postpone establishment of the Punjabi State. Sikhs had showed a great amount of loyalty towards the country and protected it from the enemy. No one could raise a finger on Sikhs and brand them as “terrorist”. At last, in 1966 the government established a Commission to identify and establish the borders of Punjabi State and propose its recommendations in a report. After the report was submitted it was decided to divide Punjab into three parts: Punjab, Haryana and Himachal. The most preposterous action of the commission was that it chose 1961 census as its basis to identify Punjabi speaking areas. During 1961 census Hindus had abandoned Punjabi language and chose Hindi as their primary language. Although they spoke Punjabi on day to day basis but since they had registered Hindi as their primary language, their areas were identified as non-Punjabi speaking areas. All of these Punjabi speaking areas were given to Haryana. Chandigarh, the capitol, was taken away from Punjab. Punjab was forced to share many of its resources with Haryana. Resources of electricity such as Bhakhra and Byas dams were taken under the control by the government. Water and electricity were given to Haryana for free.

Punjabi became the primary language of the State. In schools, parents were given the right to choose the first language of their kids. This was again an injustice to the Sikhs. In other states such option was not granted to anyone. Every kid was required to study in the language of the State but only in Punjab this requirement was not implied. This was done to appease the Hindus and separate them from the Sikhs on language basis. Hindus started enrolling their kids in Hindi and Sikhs chose Punjabi. The division between the two communities was further increased.

Aftermath
Establishment of Punjabi State was announced which caused uproar in the Hindu community. Curfew was imposed in Punjab and Haryana and Hindus were given five days to get their anger out on Sikhs. For entire five days, Sikhs became the target of Hindu violence. Large processions were organized that marched through the streets raising anti-Sikhi slogans.

ਸੂਬੀ ਕਾ ਮਜਾ ਚਖਾਏਂਗੇ, ਵਾਹਗਾ ਪਾਰ ਪੁਚਾਏਂਗੇ ।
ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰੇ ਜਲਾਏਂਗੇ । ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਸੂਬਾ ਮੁਰਦਾਬਾਦ ।
“Sikhs will be taught a lesson. We will burn their Gurdwaras and kick them out of the country. Death to Punjabi State.”
In other states, violence was not any less. Some Sikhs were burnt alive in Delhi. In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena released a statement threatening Sikhs to leave.

“Maharastra is a state for Marathas only. Others are not allowed to live here. We are informing everyone especially Sikhs to leave the state and go back to Punjab within six months. After that we will not be held responsible for their fate.” (Indian Terrorism on the Land of Punjab, Baljit Singh, Pg. 26)
In areas of Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana the violence was uncontrollable. Property worth more than 2 million was burnt. It was bizarre that the police was not only siding with the Hindus but arresting every Sikh who was attacked by the violent mobs. More than 2500 Sikhs were arrested. Although violent took place in other parts of India especially in Delhi but its extent was much less than that of Punjab.

Whereas Sikhs were being forcibly kicked out of other states, Hindus from outer states were being relocated to Punjab for the purpose of turning Sikhs into a minority. In Chandigarh alone, one hundred thousand Hindus were brought in and settled by the government. It must be noted that after the creation of Punjabi State, no Hindu was oppressed let alone kicked out of state by Sikhs but on the contrary it was Hindus who had done everything they falsely accused Sikhs of. Though Punjabi State had been established and recognized but it was not what Sikhs demanded and hoped for. For them they had been betrayed once again. Loss of Punjabi speaking areas, capitol and control over electricity and water left them disturbed. They had no choice but to start another struggle to gain what had been forcibly taken away from them.

Bibliography
Dr. Dilgeer, Harjinder Singh: Punjabi Suba Morcha. SGPC, Amritsar. 1999
Singh, Ajmer: Sikh Politics in 20th Century. Singh Brothers, Amritsar. 2004
Khalsa, Baljit Singh: Indian Terrorism on the land of Punjab. Azad Khalsa, Amritsar. 2004
Zakhami, Karam Singh: History of Punjabi Suba Agitation. SGPC, Amritsar. 1999
Sarhaddi, Ajit Singh: Punjabi Suba – The Story of Struggle. B.D. Printer, Jalandhar. 1992
Singh, Sangat: Sikhs in History. Radiant Printer, New Delhi. 1999
Singh, Giani Laal: Tale of Blue Turban. Singh Brothers, Amritsar. 1994

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