Southampton Sikhs join protest against massacre

Hundreds of Sikhs join protest against massacre

Hundreds of Sikhs join protest against massacre

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

HUNDREDS of Sikhs from Hampshire marched through the streets of London in a protest over the storming of India’s Golden Temple 30 years ago.

More than 200 people from Sikh gurdwaras in Southampton were part of a contingent in London to protest about a massacre at the temple in Amritsar in India in 1984 where hundreds of people were killed.

The vice-president of the Gurdwara Nanaksar in Peterborough Road, Amrik Sandhu, organised five coaches to the capital to join more than 40,000 people who took part in demonstrations.

Mr Sandhu said the protest was part of a bid to force the British Government to recognise the event as an act of genocide, and followed a report which cited British involvement.

On the orders of the then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, the Indian army was sent into the Golden Temple complex – the holiest shrine for Sikhs – to flush out militants in the first week of June 1984.

In the massacre and subsequent killings, Sikhs claim thousands of people were killed.

Mr Sandhu said: “It should be recognised as genocide. It was pre-planned, they knew people were going to be there and they sent the Indian army in.

“People were forced to shoot their own parents. It is nothing but genocide. They just wanted to eliminate Sikhism from India.”

Recently British Sikhs have been further angered by the suggestion in previously secret papers published by the UK Government in January that an SAS officer was recruited to help plan the operation.

In February, an investigation by Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood found that British military advice was given to India ahead of the attack but it had only “limited impact”.

Related links

Mr Sandhu added Sikhs in this country believe there has been a cover-up and want to know the true extent of British involvement.

He said: “There were some files missing, some were burnt. There’s some sort of cover-up going on. We just want some investigation into what happened with British involvement. We are not happy.”

The London march, from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square, was led by five Sikhs in ceremonial dress with swords drawn.

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:13am Wed 11 Jun 14

sotonboy84 says...

All this is doing is fuelling the fire of hatred which is caused by many religions.

The Malabar Rebellion of 1921 - 10,000 Hindus killed by Muslims.

Partition of India in 1947 – approximately £1m people were killed. Sikhs and Muslims by Hindus and Muslims by Sikhs and Hindus.

Gandhi was killed by a Hindu and Indira Gandhi was killed by her Sikh bodyguards which was the basis of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to attack the Golden Temple as it was being used by Sikh separists for hoarding weapons.

Whatever a religion's beliefs are, as with many religions the Sikhs here are selectively remembering parts of history rather than seeing that all religions are as bad as each other, all with blood on their hands.
All this is doing is fuelling the fire of hatred which is caused by many religions. The Malabar Rebellion of 1921 - 10,000 Hindus killed by Muslims. Partition of India in 1947 – approximately £1m people were killed. Sikhs and Muslims by Hindus and Muslims by Sikhs and Hindus. Gandhi was killed by a Hindu and Indira Gandhi was killed by her Sikh bodyguards which was the basis of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to attack the Golden Temple as it was being used by Sikh separists for hoarding weapons. Whatever a religion's beliefs are, as with many religions the Sikhs here are selectively remembering parts of history rather than seeing that all religions are as bad as each other, all with blood on their hands. sotonboy84
  • Score: 10

1:28pm Wed 11 Jun 14

Bagamn says...

It didn't happen here. I was not ordered by UK. we are nothing to do with it. So why oh why protest march through London causing a disturbance. You are annoying people and this is not what you want. You celebrations and feasts are allowed in Southampton but this is neither.
It didn't happen here. I was not ordered by UK. we are nothing to do with it. So why oh why protest march through London causing a disturbance. You are annoying people and this is not what you want. You celebrations and feasts are allowed in Southampton but this is neither. Bagamn
  • Score: 2

4:37pm Wed 11 Jun 14

normal1965 says...

rubbish
rubbish normal1965
  • Score: -1

5:39pm Wed 11 Jun 14

mickey01 says...

what a load of trouble making nonsense
what a load of trouble making nonsense mickey01
  • Score: 4

7:47pm Wed 11 Jun 14

forest hump says...

Use the spoonerism of heat seeking missiles.
Use the spoonerism of heat seeking missiles. forest hump
  • Score: 1

8:06pm Wed 11 Jun 14

Paramjit Bahia says...

Very tragic events in India during 1984, regarding which all the parties involved appear to have very selective memories should not be made any part of British public life. Every resident of UK should be concentrating on making this place the best on planet Earth, by contributing their bit through our democratic process and by peaceful means.

If there are any lessons to be learnt from the tragedies of India, the most important one should be to avoid making any religion part of politics and preferably keep all the religions out of all parts of public life.

British politicians should also stop secretly making mischiefs in other nations, as Maggie Thatcher had done by providing advice to the then Prime Minister of India on attacking Golden Temple in Amritsar. Something that was kept confidential til few months ago when some hawk eyed hack found it in the old records of British government.

That may provide excuse or reason for certain sections within the UK's Sikhs to drag unsavoury Indian mess into Britain, but at what cost to comparatively peaceful co-existence of our society at large?

Shouldn't all of us in UK learn lessons from how exploitation of religion for other motives costed many human lives in Northern Ireland? And why have Indians (talking in generalised term because every body is not the same) failed to learn what exploitations of Islam did to whole of Indian Sub-Continent in 1947 when the nation got divided into India and Pakistan and millions from all kinds of religions and non religious backgrounds lost their lives and on top of that many more got displaced??? But sadly the nations created with divisions of India still keep fighting each other, and wasting their wealth which should be used to eradicate poverty.

I was in India in 1984 and strangely was going to visit Golden Temple with friends on the tragic day, although I am not religious person, but that day of June Golden Temple tends to have amazingly friendly atmospher and all kinds of people uniting as one human race. So I have often thought that even I and my mates could have become part of the casualties and spin doctors of Indian government describing us as terrorists, although as almost Gandhians none of us supports violence for politics.

Were there some armed militants holed up in the Golden Temple Complex? Certainly yes, but vast majority were there for religious reasons and others like us.

But who were these so called militants whom Indian government called terrorists and how did they ended up in Golden Temple Complex?

And even more important question what role Indian political class played in creating that movement, what were their motives and how much Pakistan's intelligence (ISI) was involved in encouraging that mess?

Yes a very complex subject, will need the size of War and Peace to explain that.

Why on earth government of India decided to attack Golden Temple (operational name Blue Star) with full might of Indian Army, especially on the day when there were going to be exceptionally large number of innocent people in the complex? Why other methods were not used? Why Maggie Thatcher got seceretly involved in that?

Having known some of the people involved (Most certainly not Thatcher!!!) on both sides I can only believe sending might of Indian Army was one of the two most stupidest decisions of Mrs Indra Gandhi, other one was to declare emergency rule in India after losing election. These will always remain scars on her otherwise her many great achievements.

Considering later on when some of the so called militants once again got holed up in the same Golden Temple and they got removed without hurting civilians and while fully respecting the sacred temple with police operation master minded by a friend of mine Ajit Kumar Doval only convinces me that Operation Blue Star was not only a folly but also ended in the assassination of Mrs Gandhi and has given birth to Sikh Sepratist movement.

Although I know some of the big players in Sikh community who are demanding a seprate state for Sikhs I never have nor ever will share their aim. They should learn from massive problems of religious states like Bangladesh, Pakistan and whole of the Middle East including Israel, which has become one of the most hated nation on earth.

But if these leaders of Sikh Sepratist Movement (called Khalistanis) in UK and other countries can't change their minds, I will suggest that they should be pushing their luck in Punjab state of India (where there is hardly any support left for their views amongst mostly secular minded Sikhs) and please let us all unite to concentrate on making Britain better place for ALL of us who live in the UK. So kindly stop creating distractions by keep on moaning and protesting about what happened in far away India over 30 years ago.
Very tragic events in India during 1984, regarding which all the parties involved appear to have very selective memories should not be made any part of British public life. Every resident of UK should be concentrating on making this place the best on planet Earth, by contributing their bit through our democratic process and by peaceful means. If there are any lessons to be learnt from the tragedies of India, the most important one should be to avoid making any religion part of politics and preferably keep all the religions out of all parts of public life. British politicians should also stop secretly making mischiefs in other nations, as Maggie Thatcher had done by providing advice to the then Prime Minister of India on attacking Golden Temple in Amritsar. Something that was kept confidential til few months ago when some hawk eyed hack found it in the old records of British government. That may provide excuse or reason for certain sections within the UK's Sikhs to drag unsavoury Indian mess into Britain, but at what cost to comparatively peaceful co-existence of our society at large? Shouldn't all of us in UK learn lessons from how exploitation of religion for other motives costed many human lives in Northern Ireland? And why have Indians (talking in generalised term because every body is not the same) failed to learn what exploitations of Islam did to whole of Indian Sub-Continent in 1947 when the nation got divided into India and Pakistan and millions from all kinds of religions and non religious backgrounds lost their lives and on top of that many more got displaced??? But sadly the nations created with divisions of India still keep fighting each other, and wasting their wealth which should be used to eradicate poverty. I was in India in 1984 and strangely was going to visit Golden Temple with friends on the tragic day, although I am not religious person, but that day of June Golden Temple tends to have amazingly friendly atmospher and all kinds of people uniting as one human race. So I have often thought that even I and my mates could have become part of the casualties and spin doctors of Indian government describing us as terrorists, although as almost Gandhians none of us supports violence for politics. Were there some armed militants holed up in the Golden Temple Complex? Certainly yes, but vast majority were there for religious reasons and others like us. But who were these so called militants whom Indian government called terrorists and how did they ended up in Golden Temple Complex? And even more important question what role Indian political class played in creating that movement, what were their motives and how much Pakistan's intelligence (ISI) was involved in encouraging that mess? Yes a very complex subject, will need the size of War and Peace to explain that. Why on earth government of India decided to attack Golden Temple (operational name Blue Star) with full might of Indian Army, especially on the day when there were going to be exceptionally large number of innocent people in the complex? Why other methods were not used? Why Maggie Thatcher got seceretly involved in that? Having known some of the people involved (Most certainly not Thatcher!!!) on both sides I can only believe sending might of Indian Army was one of the two most stupidest decisions of Mrs Indra Gandhi, other one was to declare emergency rule in India after losing election. These will always remain scars on her otherwise her many great achievements. Considering later on when some of the so called militants once again got holed up in the same Golden Temple and they got removed without hurting civilians and while fully respecting the sacred temple with police operation master minded by a friend of mine Ajit Kumar Doval only convinces me that Operation Blue Star was not only a folly but also ended in the assassination of Mrs Gandhi and has given birth to Sikh Sepratist movement. Although I know some of the big players in Sikh community who are demanding a seprate state for Sikhs I never have nor ever will share their aim. They should learn from massive problems of religious states like Bangladesh, Pakistan and whole of the Middle East including Israel, which has become one of the most hated nation on earth. But if these leaders of Sikh Sepratist Movement (called Khalistanis) in UK and other countries can't change their minds, I will suggest that they should be pushing their luck in Punjab state of India (where there is hardly any support left for their views amongst mostly secular minded Sikhs) and please let us all unite to concentrate on making Britain better place for ALL of us who live in the UK. So kindly stop creating distractions by keep on moaning and protesting about what happened in far away India over 30 years ago. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 2

11:47am Thu 12 Jun 14

forest hump says...

Paramjit Bahia wrote:
Very tragic events in India during 1984, regarding which all the parties involved appear to have very selective memories should not be made any part of British public life. Every resident of UK should be concentrating on making this place the best on planet Earth, by contributing their bit through our democratic process and by peaceful means.

If there are any lessons to be learnt from the tragedies of India, the most important one should be to avoid making any religion part of politics and preferably keep all the religions out of all parts of public life.

British politicians should also stop secretly making mischiefs in other nations, as Maggie Thatcher had done by providing advice to the then Prime Minister of India on attacking Golden Temple in Amritsar. Something that was kept confidential til few months ago when some hawk eyed hack found it in the old records of British government.

That may provide excuse or reason for certain sections within the UK's Sikhs to drag unsavoury Indian mess into Britain, but at what cost to comparatively peaceful co-existence of our society at large?

Shouldn't all of us in UK learn lessons from how exploitation of religion for other motives costed many human lives in Northern Ireland? And why have Indians (talking in generalised term because every body is not the same) failed to learn what exploitations of Islam did to whole of Indian Sub-Continent in 1947 when the nation got divided into India and Pakistan and millions from all kinds of religions and non religious backgrounds lost their lives and on top of that many more got displaced??? But sadly the nations created with divisions of India still keep fighting each other, and wasting their wealth which should be used to eradicate poverty.

I was in India in 1984 and strangely was going to visit Golden Temple with friends on the tragic day, although I am not religious person, but that day of June Golden Temple tends to have amazingly friendly atmospher and all kinds of people uniting as one human race. So I have often thought that even I and my mates could have become part of the casualties and spin doctors of Indian government describing us as terrorists, although as almost Gandhians none of us supports violence for politics.

Were there some armed militants holed up in the Golden Temple Complex? Certainly yes, but vast majority were there for religious reasons and others like us.

But who were these so called militants whom Indian government called terrorists and how did they ended up in Golden Temple Complex?

And even more important question what role Indian political class played in creating that movement, what were their motives and how much Pakistan's intelligence (ISI) was involved in encouraging that mess?

Yes a very complex subject, will need the size of War and Peace to explain that.

Why on earth government of India decided to attack Golden Temple (operational name Blue Star) with full might of Indian Army, especially on the day when there were going to be exceptionally large number of innocent people in the complex? Why other methods were not used? Why Maggie Thatcher got seceretly involved in that?

Having known some of the people involved (Most certainly not Thatcher!!!) on both sides I can only believe sending might of Indian Army was one of the two most stupidest decisions of Mrs Indra Gandhi, other one was to declare emergency rule in India after losing election. These will always remain scars on her otherwise her many great achievements.

Considering later on when some of the so called militants once again got holed up in the same Golden Temple and they got removed without hurting civilians and while fully respecting the sacred temple with police operation master minded by a friend of mine Ajit Kumar Doval only convinces me that Operation Blue Star was not only a folly but also ended in the assassination of Mrs Gandhi and has given birth to Sikh Sepratist movement.

Although I know some of the big players in Sikh community who are demanding a seprate state for Sikhs I never have nor ever will share their aim. They should learn from massive problems of religious states like Bangladesh, Pakistan and whole of the Middle East including Israel, which has become one of the most hated nation on earth.

But if these leaders of Sikh Sepratist Movement (called Khalistanis) in UK and other countries can't change their minds, I will suggest that they should be pushing their luck in Punjab state of India (where there is hardly any support left for their views amongst mostly secular minded Sikhs) and please let us all unite to concentrate on making Britain better place for ALL of us who live in the UK. So kindly stop creating distractions by keep on moaning and protesting about what happened in far away India over 30 years ago.
Paramjit, I applaud your summary but you are missing the point. The majority of people in the UK do not give a fig about what happened albeit tragic. Also, the Sikh community should not bring this disruption to London. If they really care then go to India. They have no place in our society with this behaviour.
[quote][p][bold]Paramjit Bahia[/bold] wrote: Very tragic events in India during 1984, regarding which all the parties involved appear to have very selective memories should not be made any part of British public life. Every resident of UK should be concentrating on making this place the best on planet Earth, by contributing their bit through our democratic process and by peaceful means. If there are any lessons to be learnt from the tragedies of India, the most important one should be to avoid making any religion part of politics and preferably keep all the religions out of all parts of public life. British politicians should also stop secretly making mischiefs in other nations, as Maggie Thatcher had done by providing advice to the then Prime Minister of India on attacking Golden Temple in Amritsar. Something that was kept confidential til few months ago when some hawk eyed hack found it in the old records of British government. That may provide excuse or reason for certain sections within the UK's Sikhs to drag unsavoury Indian mess into Britain, but at what cost to comparatively peaceful co-existence of our society at large? Shouldn't all of us in UK learn lessons from how exploitation of religion for other motives costed many human lives in Northern Ireland? And why have Indians (talking in generalised term because every body is not the same) failed to learn what exploitations of Islam did to whole of Indian Sub-Continent in 1947 when the nation got divided into India and Pakistan and millions from all kinds of religions and non religious backgrounds lost their lives and on top of that many more got displaced??? But sadly the nations created with divisions of India still keep fighting each other, and wasting their wealth which should be used to eradicate poverty. I was in India in 1984 and strangely was going to visit Golden Temple with friends on the tragic day, although I am not religious person, but that day of June Golden Temple tends to have amazingly friendly atmospher and all kinds of people uniting as one human race. So I have often thought that even I and my mates could have become part of the casualties and spin doctors of Indian government describing us as terrorists, although as almost Gandhians none of us supports violence for politics. Were there some armed militants holed up in the Golden Temple Complex? Certainly yes, but vast majority were there for religious reasons and others like us. But who were these so called militants whom Indian government called terrorists and how did they ended up in Golden Temple Complex? And even more important question what role Indian political class played in creating that movement, what were their motives and how much Pakistan's intelligence (ISI) was involved in encouraging that mess? Yes a very complex subject, will need the size of War and Peace to explain that. Why on earth government of India decided to attack Golden Temple (operational name Blue Star) with full might of Indian Army, especially on the day when there were going to be exceptionally large number of innocent people in the complex? Why other methods were not used? Why Maggie Thatcher got seceretly involved in that? Having known some of the people involved (Most certainly not Thatcher!!!) on both sides I can only believe sending might of Indian Army was one of the two most stupidest decisions of Mrs Indra Gandhi, other one was to declare emergency rule in India after losing election. These will always remain scars on her otherwise her many great achievements. Considering later on when some of the so called militants once again got holed up in the same Golden Temple and they got removed without hurting civilians and while fully respecting the sacred temple with police operation master minded by a friend of mine Ajit Kumar Doval only convinces me that Operation Blue Star was not only a folly but also ended in the assassination of Mrs Gandhi and has given birth to Sikh Sepratist movement. Although I know some of the big players in Sikh community who are demanding a seprate state for Sikhs I never have nor ever will share their aim. They should learn from massive problems of religious states like Bangladesh, Pakistan and whole of the Middle East including Israel, which has become one of the most hated nation on earth. But if these leaders of Sikh Sepratist Movement (called Khalistanis) in UK and other countries can't change their minds, I will suggest that they should be pushing their luck in Punjab state of India (where there is hardly any support left for their views amongst mostly secular minded Sikhs) and please let us all unite to concentrate on making Britain better place for ALL of us who live in the UK. So kindly stop creating distractions by keep on moaning and protesting about what happened in far away India over 30 years ago.[/p][/quote]Paramjit, I applaud your summary but you are missing the point. The majority of people in the UK do not give a fig about what happened albeit tragic. Also, the Sikh community should not bring this disruption to London. If they really care then go to India. They have no place in our society with this behaviour. forest hump
  • Score: -3

1:06pm Thu 12 Jun 14

skeptik says...

Paramjit - in your browser 'Scribd' open the link and then expand the 'upload' box and in this ' Sikhs a handbook for the Indian army 1899 -(reprinted 1940) an insight.
Paramjit - in your browser 'Scribd' open the link and then expand the 'upload' box and in this ' Sikhs a handbook for the Indian army 1899 -(reprinted 1940) an insight. skeptik
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Thu 12 Jun 14

camerajuan says...

Why would protesting in London about something that happened 30 years ago make any difference at all?!?!

Were people from London to blame? Will it change anything?
Why would protesting in London about something that happened 30 years ago make any difference at all?!?! Were people from London to blame? Will it change anything? camerajuan
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree