Sant Bhindranwale and dharam yudh morcha: A.R Darshi

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-A.R Darshi

…The first phase, jail bharo, of Dharm Yudh Morcha ended with unprecedented success. The second phase com-menced with the Akali workers marching on Delhi again Asiad games were held by the Congress (1) government in Delhi in November December 1982.

Sant Jaranail Singh Bhindrawala

Many Afro-Asian and Arabian countries participated in the games. Prominent foreign countries who took part in the games were Russia, China andJapan. The Akali Dal decided to send some of their  workers to Delhi for distributing their charter of demands to the delegates of foreign countries. Their aim was simply to draw attention of other countries to the oppressive and repressive measures
adopted by the Central government to subdue the Sikhs as well as to apprise them of their just demands.

Rajiv Gandhi, who was then the General Secretary of the Congress (I), was made by Indira Gandhi incharge of the games. He felt alarmed and became panicky when he learnt that the Akalis were bent upon to carry forward their demands to the international forum.
Indira Gandhi PM also shared her son’s fears. The Indian government, therefore, decided to prevent the entry of all Sikhs to Delhi during proceedings of the games. All Sikhs bound for Delhi even on their personal missions were debarred from entering the boundaries of Delhi. All routes leading from
Punjab to Delhi were completely sealed and the city metropolis was declared out of bounds for the Sikhs of all shades and belonging to all political parties.

Whatever their status was they were dragged out of all modes of transportation, harassed and
humiliated. They were even arrested and detained by Haryana para military forces Prominent personalities such as former Chief Air Marshal Arjan Singh Arora were subjected to humiliation by the fanatic Hindu paramilitary forces and police.

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Other dignitaries like judges of High Court, Brigadiers and all and sundry had to face indignity. So much so Congress (I) member of Parliament, Amarjit Kaur. was not spared by the Haryana Police: This high-handedness and vandalism against the Sikhs further injured their psyche and they were forced to
believe that they were being treated by the Indian Government as the second class citizens.
Inspite of all this barricading arrangements enforced by the Indian Government some Sikh youths man-aged to enter the stadium and distributed pamphlets to 67 the foreign delegations. The foreign delegates thus came to learn of the discriminatory behavior being meted out to the Sikhs by the Indian
Government.

Thus this naive move of the Indian government to black out the publicity with regard to the Punjab problem proved a failure. It was unwittingly given wider publicity than was being planned by the Akali  Dal.
The Sikhs of all shades by and large reacted sharply to the humiliation they or their brothers had suffered during the Asiad Games. Taking full advantage of this opportunity the Akali Dal gave a call to block road traffic on 4th April 1983.

The responseto their call was remarkable. All the roads, national and state highways, passing through Punjab were jam packed by the volunteers. Lakhs of people converged and squatted in the middle of the roads.

Continue…..

 

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