Mission: “My mission is to administer Amrit,
to explain the meanings of Gurbani and to teach Gurbani to those
around me; .... that a Hindu should be true Hindu, a Muslim should be
a true Muslim, and a Sikh should be a true Sikh.” Conversation, 22
Respect For All Faiths: “Who was Jaidev?
Wasn’t he a Hindu from amongst you? He was a Brahmin. Jaidev is
sitting here in Guru Granth Sahib. If a son of a Sikh has made
obeisance here he has done so at the feet of Jaidev, the Brahmin.”
Speech, early 1982.
Demands: “Our demands were primarily the
release of our Singhs and classification of Amritsar as a holy city.
That was all. These were the basic demands.” Conversation, January
Separate State: “How can a nation which has
sacrificed so much for the freedom of the country want it fragmented
but I shall definitely say that we are not in favor of Khalistan nor
are we against it.” Speech, 11 May 1983.
Police Atrocities: “The police force is set
up for the protection of the public, but today’s police have taken on
the form of robbers to loot the public.” Speech, 30 July 1983.
Possession And Use Of Weapons: “With
reference to weapons I shall only say that you should bear arms. Being
armed, there is no greater sin for a Sikh than attacking an unarmed
person, killing an innocent person, looting a shop, harming the
innocent, or wishing to insult anyone’s daughter or sister. Also,
being armed, there is no sin greater than not seeking justice.”
Speech, 20 October 1983.
On Defending Harmandar Sahib: “Do not commit
any excesses, do not be unfair to anyone but just as for a Muslim
there in only wilderness after Mecca, for a Sikh of the Guru, there is
nothing but wilderness beyond Harmandar Sahib. We do not got to
anyone’s home, we do not loot anybody’s shop, nor do we lay siege to
any place. However, if someone intoxicated by his power as a ruler
attacks our home, we are not sitting here wearing bangles that we
shall continue to suffer as eunuchs and as lifeless people.” Speech,
18 May 1983.
Some Reports About Sant Bhindranwale
“The Sant’s following grew as he successfully regenerated the ‘good’
life of purity, dedication, and hard work by reviving these
fundamental values of the Sikh religion’s way of life.”
Shiva: The Violence of The Green Revolution, Research Foundation for
Science and Ecology, Dehra Dun, 1989.
“Bhindranwale’s Amrit Prachar was a resounding success. Adults in
their thousands took oaths in public to abjure liquor, tobacco, and
drugs, and were baptized. Videocassettes showing blue films and cinema
houses lost out to the village Gurdwara. Men not only saved
money they had earlier squandered in self-indulgence, but now worked
longer hours on their lands and raised better crops. They had
much to be grateful for to Jarnail Singh who came to be revered by
Khushwant Singh: A History of the Sikhs, Volume 2: 1839-
1988, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1991.
“Contrary to the popular belief that he took the offensive, senior
police sources in the Punjab admit that the provocation came in fact
from a Nirankari official who started harassing Bhindranwale and his
men. There were two or three Nirankaris in key positions in the
Punjab in those days and they were powerful enough to be able to
create quite a lot of trouble.”
Tavleen Singh: The Punjab Story,
edited by Amarjit Kaur et al., Roli Books, New Delhi, 1984.
“By early this year, it was apparent to her (Indira Gandhi, then Prime
Minister of India) that Bhindranwale had become so popular he
had usurped the Akali’s authority, leaving the party impotent in
negotiations and fearful of his violent fanaticism. No matter how long
talked to the Akalis, Mrs. Gandhi concluded, they could never deliver
on an agreement that would hold while Bhindranwale was alive.”
Laura Lopez: India, Diamonds, and the Smell of Death, Time, 25 June
“The army went into Darbar Sahib not to eliminate a political figure
or a political movement but to suppress the culture of a people, to
attack their heart, to strike a blow at their spirit and
Joyce Pettigrew: The Sikhs of Punjab, Zed
“The pattern in each village appears to be the same. The Army moves in
during the early evening, cordons a village, and announces
over loudspeakers that everyone must come out. All males between ages
of 15 and 35 are trussed and blindfolded, then taken away.
Thousands have disappeared in the Punjab since the Army operation
began. The Government has provided no lists of names; families
don’t know if sons and husbands are arrested, underground, or dead.”
Mary Ann Weaver, Christian Science Monitor, 15 October, 1984.