OPERATION BLUESTAR : The untold story
Investigation Team : Amiya Rao, Aurbindo Ghose, Sunil Bhattacharya, Tejinder Ahuja and N.D.Pancholi
“Operation Bluestar” and “Ghallughara”. Two different terms for the same episode – the Army action on the Golden Temple in June 1984. Two different meanings give to the same unprecedented event. “Operation Bluestar” in the Government’s term, connoting a necessary military operation to flush out terrorists and recover arms from the Golden Temple, the implication being that it was an unavoidable cleansing act of purification. Where as “Ghallughara” is how the Sikhs of Punjab remember the episode, connoting aggression, massacre and religious persecution. The unmistakable allusion is to the killing in Punjab of tens of thousands of Sikhs by the Afgan raider, Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1762, after which the word “Ghallughara” was coined to become an integral part of the Punjabi folklore.
The contrast between “Operation Bluestar” and “Ghallughara” as two different perceptions of the same reality is symptomatic of the wide gap between the official version and the people’s recollections of what really happened at the Golden Temple when the army attacked it in June 1984. Listening to the gripping eye-witness accounts of those who were inside Golden Temple at that time, we felt the need to tell the truth, the as-yet untold story and in the process to correct the Government’s version as put out by the Army, the Press, the Radio, the T.V. and the White Paper.