Roots And Wings: 1984' Answer To You O' India

Gurmeet Kaur

Pre - 1984

I was merely a little girl then,
I lived far away from Punjab
I read the biased news about my people in your papers
I grew up believing we were wrong.

In your text books O India
Sikhi was just another stream off your Noble Heritage
Gone astray by militant philosophy of the tenth Guru
And in present times it did not make sense.

We grew up being ridiculed
By teachers, playmates and street goers
fighting prejudice everyday
And being ashamed of our own selves.

My parents were busy making ends meet
They were the children of the 1947 displacement
They had no time for sharing Sikh life and pride
They lost it somewhere with all the socio-economic strife.

So I grew up confused without an identity
With you telling how you did a favor on us refugees
I did not know about Sikh history and heritage
And its contribution to your freedom, power and existence.

But, we had a Sufi1 worker at our business
He was so spiritual and had a sense of wisdom
I always found him longing to touch the feet of Guruís Sikhs
He always told me that Gur-Sikhi Jeevan2 commanded utmost reverence.

His words ignited a spark in my soul somewhere
The truth had to be found
My parents had given me wings
It was time to dig the roots in the ground.

Then came 1984

The news about several innocents being killed
In busses and trains of Punjab
Why did I know were setups and propaganda,
To create a context for BlueStar3.

When you stormed Harimander4
Hot month of June it was
Sangat5 in tens of thousands had come to pay reverence
To the great Guru Arjan Shaheeda-de-Sirtaaj6.

In pretext to disarm a few dozen men
You brought tanks, rocket launchers, heavy artillery and cannons
You entrapped thousands and cut off their supplies
And used poisonous gas to consume those innocents.

You killed uncountable mothers, fathers and children
After you parched them with thirst,
You filled the sarovar7 with the blood of thousands
And tried to patch up your acts by mass cremations.

When Lion Bhindrawale8 was declared found
With hundreds of GurSikhs around
Something had ached my heart
For you it was the beginning of the end; for me it was just a start.

Then came fake encounters9
I suspected things were not how they were shown
But just a teenager I was
With no access to the truth or cries
of bereaving mothers in Punjab.

But You know what O cruel Brahmanvaad10
The ties of Guruís Kaum are very strong
Generations away from Guruís land
But my blood and soul was always a Punjab.

Then 30th of October came
Satwant & Beant11 had done their share.
You decided to teach 18 million of us another lesson
And issued the orders of Sikh massacre.

Our house was set afire and a few relatives blazed,
Rape, torture and death we had barely escaped.
With days of hiding, uncertainty and gloom ahead
The spirit was still Guruís; it couldnít be scared.

When the sad news poured in from all directions,
O India you had opened our eyes to the Sikhi connection.
We were connected, we were made one;
Punjab or outside any place in the world.
That awakening had finally taken place
That feeling was invaluable, that discovery priceless.

As you unveiled your centuriesí long hatred
And unleashed your long held wrath!
It was a blessing in disguise, Iíll tell you
And finally everything had made sense.

It was our identity you loathed
It was our sovereignty and strength that you despised
It was our magnanimity that you thrived on
It was our subjugated loyalty that you desired.

When those fearless souls revealed the truth
And masses pledged to stand up for their nation
You feared losing your strength and position
And planned this brutal retaliation.

The spark had turned into a flame
To be a Sikh was no longer a shame
I knew we were not one of you
And standing up for equality, liberty and justice would never please you.

You finally dug your own grave
Your cover-ups and false promises will bear no fruits
My parents had given me the wings
But Thank You India; You put me in touch with my roots.

June, 2006

I am a parent of a pre teen now
And the flame is a full grown fire
That fire; it also burns in his heart
And that to you is the start of my 1984ís answer.

The fire now burns with full vigor
It will consume me lest I take an action
Hence I will not sit quiet
I pledge to turn it into a revolution.

I brought him up telling stories about his heritage
About your betrayal, your intentions and your treacheries
I am not alone; thousands of Mothers there are
That dedicated their lives to this purpose.

I will not let him down; in grounding him to his roots.
Not one day has passed since he was born
That I didnít tell him a story of Sikh pride
Of Khalsa Nation and its sacrifice.

This is my revenge O India
I will never forget and forgive you
I will raise many such more daughters and sons
They will never let your cruel intentions come true.

They will walk tall; They will be in your face
Proving we survived against all odds
They will not demolish themselves ashamed by your lies
But will stand eternally in Guruís grace.

We will be a strong Nation, We will be sovereign
You cannot stop us, The game has just begin.
For you see,
We are the people of our own destiny, of spirit and of freedom
We have wings we roam everywhere,
We also have roots in truth and perfection.
We have roots only in truth and perfection.

[1] Follower of a mystic sect of Islam
[2] Living the life completely in tune with the Guruís teachings
[3] Name of the 3 day long Army Operation conducted by Indian Govt. Harimander Sahib (AKA Golden Temple) and 37 other Sikh shrines were attacked by modern artillery; thousands of innocents were killed
[4] Temple of the Divine: Commonly known as Golden Temple the most revered Sikh Center of worship established in 16th Century where tens of thousands of devotees worship everyday
[5] Congregation / Worshippers
[6] The fifth Guru of Sikhs Ė Martyred by Mughal Emperor of India - Jahangir for exercising and propagating freedom of religion and beliefs
[7] The Pool surrounding Harimander Sahib
[8] Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa (Bhindrawale) Ė Revered Leaders of the Sikhs who instilled pride in Sikhs and called f or action towards injustice and oppression
[9] Sikh Youth was rounded up and killed all over in Punjab in well disguised and so called terrorist encounters for 10 years post BlueStar. Missing Sikh Youth Estimates exceed 250,000
[10] Philosophy of Supremacy of the ruling Brahman class
[11] Satwant Singh and Beant Singh Ė Avenged the attack on Harimander Sahib and killing of uncountable innocent Sikhs by killing Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister of India who masterminded the attack.

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