The violence that broke out was patterned on the themes of political/religious intolerance and ethnic cleansing. Pertinent issues of concern include the lack of proper police response, as well as organized perpetration of crime that went unabated by concerned security agencies (in Delhi). The involvement of government officials will be discussed, as well the Indian Army’s role-play.
The massacre of the Sikhs in Punjab, India was an organized crime that was supported by the government following the assassination of Indira Gandhi who was Prime Minister at the time of her death, having had a massive influence on India’s political landscape because of her relation to Mahatma Gandhi, India’s most revered personality. The massacre led to the death of many people and destruction of a lot of property following the effective organization of the massacre. It is during her administration that the Indian Emergency (the 1970s) was imposed with this subsequently resulting in the detention of thousands of Sikhs who were politically agitating for some form of autonomy (Deol 78). During this era, sporadic violence was present, resulting from the increased armed activity of an armed Sikh separatist group. The Indian government’s apt designation of this separatist group as a terrorist entity further worsened the already tense political atmosphere (Deol 75).
This culminated in the commencement of Operation Blue Star, where Prime Minister Indira ordered an attack on the Golden Temple by the Indian Army. This was in response to the violent occupation of the Temple by Sikh separatists, who being viewed as insurgents, were reported to have been stockpiling weapons (Singh). Her tough stance towards the group resulted in this direct order that was to focus on eliminating any insurgents founds, with later armed operations initiated in the larger Punjab state’s countryside.Indian paramilitary forces were commanded to clear any separatists that were hosted in the countryside with no option of negotiation (Rana).