Valor of Sikh youths and the defeat of Indian army in June 1984

Valor of Sikh youths and the defeat of Indian army ;

             The infantry division of Indian army had surrendered before the valiant Sikh youths. The fierce fight which was fought continuously for nearly 72 hrs. had stopped the advance of a mighty and best army in world which had earlier defeated Pakistan and captured its 93000 soldiers, was not able to fight with these handful Sikh youths.

The distance from Clock tower entrance to Sri Akal Takhat in complex of Darbar sahib is hardly 200 meters. The Army generals were sure to take over the Akal Takhat within half an hour but this largest army which had already covered up whole of Punjab, couldn’t cover this distance of merely 200 meters for 72 hrs, it marked a question on their valor. It had to face such a heavy resistance. The Indian army could never think of od such stiff resistance, it had not thought the handful Sikh youths who were not properly trained shall stop the mighty Indian army.

The Generals of Indian army had forgot that the Sikhs have a charm to get martyrdom since their childhood and they feel proud to offer their heads to their Guru and getting martyred in battlefield.

The Sikh youths were fighting those who had invaded with a malicious thought to destroy their holiest shrine, to protect the house of lord and to make it’s sanctity, these Sikh youths had one motto only —- to sacrifice for a good cause, and to get martyred, they practically proved in the battlefield the prophetic prononuncement of Guru Gobind Singh ji that “Chirian to main baaz tudaun, Gidran to main sher banun, Sawa lakh seek laraun, Tbhai Gobind Singh naam kahaun”, means “ only if I can make sparrows fight against hawks, make lions out of jackals, and make one person fight against 1.25 lakh (one hundred twenty five thousand) enemies—only then I deserve to be called Gobind Singh”.

These Sikh youths sacrificed their lives to prove these words whereas the soldiers of Indian army were just obeying the orders of their queen Indira.

The Generals of Indian army had deliberately selected the martyrdom day of fifth Guru of Sikh religion to attack Darbar sahib while making strategy because on such day the Sikhs arrives in large numbers to Gurudwara along with their families. The Indian army could use their large gathering of congregation to achieve their mission of capturing Akal Takhat.

It could deliver two benefits:-

First— by presence of large congregation the army could reach Akal Takhat  easily in cover of these innocent Sikhs, if the army opened fire, the chances were of killing of  innocent Sikhs from either side, the Sikhs may be from devotees or the followers of Sant Jarnail Singh ji. Indira Gandhi had also issued such orders that whether whole of Amritsar is destroyed but Bhindranwala must not be left alive. Thus, the Indian army had planned to proceed safely towards Sri Akal Tkhat in cover of innocent devotees and then to attack there like the soldiers proceed in battle fields in the cover of buffalows or other animals to save their lives.

The Generals of Indian army too made the same strategy that their soldiers shall capture Sri Akal Takhat within half an hour by getting safe cover of congregation of devotees there because these generals were sure that the Sikh youths shall never fire on their brothers, sisters or the children in congregation but the brave warriors inside the shrine had got Gurilla training from retired Maj. General Shubeg Singh who was expert in such wars. These brave Sikhs finished the first attack in minutes. All those soldiers who were sent inside at periphery of Darbar sahib were killed by indiscriminate firing.

The fierce fight to capture Akal Takhat was continued for nearly 72 hrs but when infantry division of Indian army failed to proceed a few meters, than Armored personal carrier vehicles was brought into service to ferry the soldiers safely to Akal Takhat but such an APC vehicle was blown off by a missile.

Now the Generals were sweating as their all strategies were failed. The fight which they imagined to be finished within half an hour had been continued for 72 hrs. and not stopped. Leave the humiliation or defeat, the casuality army suffered was very heavy. The Generals had assured Indira to capture Akal takhat within half an hour but their was no end to it.  Therefore the Generals now sent a request to use heavy armor and artillery to attack, than  in the wee hors on 6th june, the permission to use tanks was given.

As per reports given by Mark Tuli (BBC correspondent) there were only 14 Sikhs in the Akal Takhat at that time but the infantry had been so frustrated and weak that they surrendered. It was not possible for them to continue fight with these last 14 valiant Sikh youths.  Therefore in the end these Generals of Indian army took the decision to use the Tanks to get control on Akal Takhat. They fired 80 shells on Akal Takhat and demolished this highest temporal seat of Sikh religion and blew it off this sacred historical building. All the brave 14 Sikh youths thus martyred.

All the world was stunned on this tyranny. There were tears in eyes of Sikhs but not flowing, dried due to disgust, unbelievable on demolition of Akal Takhat. It seemed as there was no blood in veins of Sikhs. They were just amazed, had no words to condemn. If it had been in their hands, they would have formed their own nation on that day. Sikhs all over the world were very angry upon Indian army, Indira Gandhi and They had fired 80 shells on Akal Takhat and destroyed this highest temporal seat of Sikh religion and blew it off this sacred building. All the brave 14 Sikh youths thus martyred.

The Helicopters and planes of Army and Air force were also used for s the DIVERS FROM THE INDIAN NAVY . This battle was AT PAR WITH THE BATTLE OF CHAMKAUR fought under command of 10th Guru Gobind Singh ji with his 40 followers against mighty one million strong army of Moguls.

Then in disgust and anger, Sikh nation took a sad decision.

Now it was the turn of Indira Gandhi whose end was finalized by the Sikh martials.

Before this attack, Sikhs were also a part of Indian army. In both the previous world wars, they fought in Italy, France, Malayaisa, Africa, Burma etc (In whole of Europe, middle east and south Asian countries) and proved their valor. Even now memorials are built in these nations to commemorate their memories. 83005 Sikhs were martyred and more than one hundred thousand got wounded.

There was a majority of Sikh soldiers and officers in Indian National Army (INA), they formed 60% of INA.

The contribution of Sikhs in India’s freedom struggle can not be ignored. Hindus may form majority in this nation but their own contribution in it’s freedom struggle was very low, almost outnumbered, this is a bitter truth which was also accepted by the ruling Congress party published in it’s magazine. This was published by Maulana Abul Kalaam Azad. (Book source: “History of Indian National Congress”)


Kindly see the figures provided by him as follows;

Punishment Suffered 







Imprisoned for life (KALA PANI)   



Killed at Jalianwala Bagh  



Killed at Budge Budge Ghat 



Killed in Kooka Movement

91…………. NIL…………..91


Killed in Akali Movement 



Grand Total  

3697………   1074……..4771

      By:- Ajmer Singh Randhawa                                     

Being a part of Indian army, the Indian army could never realize the valor of Sikhs. It never had any opportunity to face might of Sikhs before operation blue star in 1984. The enemies of this nation have faced and penned down the valor of Sikhs in their own words in books.

Lieutinent General Kuldip Singh Brar (Major General then) who himself was born in a Sikh family but had discarded his parents religion commanded it. He disclosed the number of wounded and died in his book, “ Saaka Neela Taara” in Punjabi language as follows;

 1984 statistics of Operation Bluestar

 Kindly see this picture showing a page description of his book where he disclosed the dead soldiers 15307 and wounded 17897, 43 officers were also killed whereas the number of civilians killed by army was also in thousands but the Sikh youths who stopped the advance of Indian army for 72 hrs were only numbering in 200-250 only. They retaliated consequently for 72 hrs. They had not got any army training, If the youngest among was only 10 years old, the oldest was above 70 years of age. They were given training by a retired Sikh Major General Shubeg Singh who was senior to KS Brar Shubeg singh ji trained Mukti wahini of Bangla Desh (East Pakistan) in 1971 war and he was master in gurilla war tactics.

There is no doubt that Indian army suffered a heavy loss due to indira Gandhi’s decision to attack on Golden temple. I remember the Military hospital all over northern India were full with wounded soldiers. General K Sunder ji also confirmed the number of high casuality. In a press conference soon after the Operation blue Star on June 6 at Chandigarh, he admitted in a very sad tone that his 20% army is killed in this operation. And that the army had not got such loss in all its previous battles fought with Pakistan. He also paid his homage by his words of appraisal in honor to these Sikh warriors as… “If any army has such brave warriors, it won’t lose any battle.”

He meant to say that the 20% army personals deployed out of total one hundred thousands was killed. It approves the disclosure made by general KS Brar who gave a full account of dead and wounded. It’s very close to that account.

These valiant Sikh youths though less in numbers got martyred in this operation but none of them surrendered before army. The total casuality suffered by Indian army was much higher then it suffered during all its three major wars fought twice with Pakistan and once with China.

Ajmer kesri

 Ajmer Singh Randhawa.

How could the Sikhs call India their nation when atrocities of 1984 are still fresh in our minds?

“Grenades and poisonous gas shells were thrown at the men, women and children, who had locked themselves in the rooms, bathrooms and toilets of Guru Nanak Niwas, Guru Ram Das serai and Teja Singh Samundri Hall. Those who tried to come out were pierced with bayonets and shot dead. Some soldiers caught hold of small babies and children by their feet, lifted them up in the air and then smashed them against the walls and thus breaking their skulls.” ~ Harvinder Kaur; Blue Star Over Amritsar (Delhi, 1990) ”

It was a virtual massacre. A large number of women, children and pilgrims were gunned down.” ~ As reported by The Guardian on 13th June 1984.

June 1984 never forgettable but fills our minds with disgust and hate to this nation;
ਵਹਿਸ਼ਤ ਦੀ ਇੱਕ ਹੋਰ ਦਿਲ ਦਹਿਲਾਉਣ ਵਾਲੀ ਹੱਡਬੀਤੀ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਸਕੂਲ, ਪਾਉਂਟਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੀ ਇੱਕ ਸਿੱਖ ਅਧਿਆਪਕਾ ਨੇ ਸੁਣਾਈ | ਉਹ ਅਤੇ ਉਸਦੇ ਦੋ ਹੋਰ ਅਧਿਆਪਕ ਸਾਥੀ (ਇੱਕ ਮਰਦ ਤੇ ਇੱਕ ਔਰਤ), ਛੇ ਤੋਂ ਚੌਦਾਂ ਸਾਲ ਦੀ ਉਮਰ ਤੱਕ ਦੇ 65 ਬੱਚੇ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਬੱਸ ਰਹਿਣ 2 ਜੂਨ 1984 ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰੂ ਅਰਜਨ ਦੇਵ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਸਹੀਦੀ ਪੁਰਬ ਮਨਾਉਣ ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਸਮੂਹ ਵਿਚ ਆਏ ਸਨ | ਫੌਜ ਵੱਲੋ ਸਖਤ ਕਰਫਿਊ ਲਗਾਏ ਜਾਣ ਕਰਨ ਉਹ ਉਥੇ ਹੀ ਘਿਰ ਗਏ| ਬਚ ਨਿਕਲਣ ਦਾ ਕੋਈ ਵੀ ਰਾਸਤਾ ਨਾ ਹੋਣ ਕਾਰਨ ਉਹ ਗੁਰੂ ਰਾਮਦਾਸ ਸਰਾਂ ਦੇ ਹਾਲ ਕਮਰੇ ਵਿਚ ਘੁਸੜ ਗਏ | ਖੂਨ ਦੇ ਤਿਹਾਏ ਫੌਜੀ ਭੇੜੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਮਰਦ ਅਧਿਆਪਕ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ 33 ਬੱਚਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ 5 ਅਤੇ 6 ਜੂਨ ਵਿਚਾਲੜੀ ਰਾਤ ਨੂੰ ਗੋਲੀਆਂ ਨਾਲ ਭੁੰਨ ਸੁੱਟਿਆ| ਬਾਕੀ ਦੇ ਪਤਾ ਨਹੀ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਗੋਲੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਮਾਰ ਤੋਂ ਬਚ ਗਏ| ਇਹ ਜਵਾਨ ਅਧਿਆਪਕਾ, ਜਿਸਨੇ ਲੁਧਿਆਣਾ ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਚ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਇਹ ਖੌਫਨਾਕ ਕਹਾਣੀ ਸੁਣਾਈ, ਨਾਲ ਫੌਜੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਮੂਹ ਕਾਲਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਅਤੇ ਉਸਦੀ ਸਾਥਣ ਅਧਿਆਪਕਾ ਨੂੰ ਅਣਦੱਸੀ ਥਾਂ ਤੇ ਲੈ ਗਏ | ਮੈਂ ਜਿੰਦਾ ਬਚੇ ਨਾਜੁਕ 32 ਬੱਚਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਜੇਲ੍ਹ ਚ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਜੋ ਹਾਲੇ ਵੀ ਸਹਿਮੇ ਹੋਏ ਲੱਗਦੇ ਸਨ| ਮੈਂ ਵਹਿਸ਼ਤ ਦੀ ਇਹ ਖੌਫਨਾਕ ਕਹਾਣੀ ਸੁਣ ਕੇ ਹੱਕਾ ਬੱਕਾ ਰਹਿ ਗਿਆ| ਮੈਂ ਕਦੇ ਕਿਆਸ ਵੀ ਨਹੀ ਸੀ ਕਰ ਸਕਦਾ ਕੀ ਭਾਰਤੀ ਫੌਜ ਐਨੀ ਨਿਰਦਈ, ਐਨੀ ਜਾਲਿਮ, ਐਨੀ ਰਾਖਸ਼ੀ ਤੇ ਐਨੀ ਚਰਿਤਰਹੀਨ ਵੀ ਹੋ ਸਕਦੀ ਹੈ|

ਕੀ ਨਾਜੁਕ ਉਮਰ ਦੇ ਮਾਸੂਮ ਬੱਚੇ ਅੱਤਵਾਦੀ ਤੇ ਦਹਿਸ਼ਤਗਰਦ ਸਨ ? ” _____ ਏ. ਆਰ ਦਰਸ਼ੀ Writer of “ The Gallant Defender”.

Were these children offender age extremists or ter­rorists? 

The Bridge of Sighs

Any way, it is a fact that the Army was in full con­trol of both the Complexes on 6th June. Major General Brar, who was present inside the Temple Complex, or­dered the infuriated and blood thirsty soldiers to search all the rooms situated around the Parkarma and the ad­joining buildings. The soldiers went berserk and threw hand grenades inside the rooms and blasted every inmate. The rooms which were bolted from inside were broken open by machine gun fire and the Sikh pilgrims found there were shot dead. Those Sikhs who surrendered or were seized from other buildings, including the Hostel Complex, were lined up and gunned down. These inno­cent victims of army, wrath were the pilgrims who had come to observe the martyrdom day of Guru Arjun who had fondly built the holy shrine surrounded by the Saro-var. The Army mercilessly killed even children and women. Some survivors told me later that young women and girls were raped by the army and some of them were killed. Some of them, however, escaped and told their woeful stories.

One young woman of about 20 years who alongwith other women was confined in the Central Jail Ludhiana narrated me a horrible tale of terror. Her hus­band had bought a new truck. A male child was born to her a couple of months before. Her husband, therefore, took, his whole family, including their grand mother, to the Golden Temple for paying obeisance. They were four­teen in number. All of them except this young woman and the grand mother of about 80 years, were shot dead by the savage soldiers. Her two months old child was hit by a bullet and killed while he was in her arms. She was raped and then taken to the army camp. Another mar­ried young girl, who was also lodged in Ludhiana jail, was gang raped by the army.


Another tale of error was narrated by a young Sikh woman teacher of the Khalsa School, Paunta Sahib. She alongwith her two colleagues, one male and another fe­male teacher, had brought in a bus 65 students, ranging between six and fourteen years, to the Golden Temple Complex on 2nd June 1984 to observe the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev. They were trapped there when the Army had imposed strict-curfew. As they had no way to escape they all huddled themselves in a hall in the Sarai Complex. The blood thirsty army mercilessly mowed down 33 children alongwith the male teacher on the night in­tervening 4th and 5th June. The rest of them miracu­lously survived the bullets. The young female teacher, who had narrated the horrible story in the Central Jail Ludhiana. was raped by the Army personnel and her other colleague was taken away to unknown place. 1 met the 32 surviving students of tender age in the jail who were terror-stricken and still looked frightened. I was stunned on listening the terrific tale of terror. 1 could never im­agine if the Indian Army could be so cruel, so brute. and so monstrous.

I reported this matter to the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana district and pleaded with him that these in­nocent children, who had experienced the horrible trauma, should be immediately released from the jail but he had expressed his inability saying that the Army was not inclined to set them free. Then I sought his permis­sion to release them myself by exercising my power in the capacity of Special Magistrate for State of Punjab, which powers the state government had vested in me during the emergency to enable me then to deal with the detainees belonging to different districts of Punjab. The D.C. was reluctant to give me a formal concurrence.

Thereafter some noble lawyers filed a petition in the Su­preme Court for gross violation of human rights by the government. The Supreme Court accepted the petition and ordered the release of these innocent children with immediate effect. Only then they were released 

Excerpts from THE GALLANT DEFENDER written by Shri AR Darshi, ex-joint secretary, Punjab Govt.

Ajmer kesri

Ajmer Singh Randhawa

Mai Harinder kaur narrates her tail of horror in june 1984 at Golden temple

Here I give auto-biography of that brave Sikh woman which she herself has described her tale of horror after she was arrested in Amritsar from golden Tem-le during Operation Blue star—- Mai Harinder Kaur is still alive.

Mai Harinder Kaur

                                 Mai Harinder kaur

In the court of Duryodhan the Draupdi was brought pulled by her long hairs and then tried to undress her in full audiences — is a black spot on Hindu religion even to-day but this incident caused the battle of Mahabharat. This is a bitter truth but the atrocities carried out upon our women and girls by Indian govt.; it’s para-military forces, Indian army and police are countless but here I quote just one example of this brutality faced by a brave Sikh woman, her own statement is being given here in her own words. I can’t say how many other Sikh women and girls would have faced such brutalities upon them —- I feel disgusted from this motherland India where such sinners are deployed in force and rule this nation and carry out such brutalities on women without any shame.

How could I feel proud in calling myself an Indian, how could I accept this nation as my own? Why should I not demand a separate nation for we Sikhs where the pride of our women, our sisters and our daughters be always safe? If it’s an offence to demand a separate nation after facing such brutalities and killing of our thousands of innocent brothers in fake encounters, then certainly I am an offender. Hang us in this offence? Why not any action is ever taken against that butcher Police officer KPS Gill against his crimes against humanity?  Whether we should call ourselves with pride that WE ARE INDIANS?


The Crimes of Indira Gandhi:

The Last Time I was in Amritsar – June 1984


June 4, 1984

I was in Amritsar with my husband, Mani, and thirteen-year-old son, Sandeep. We had been in the city since mid-May, visiting relatives, of which we have many in that area.

The date, for those of you who don’t recognize it, was the beginning of Operation Blue Star – as it was named by the Indian government – when the Indian army stormed the Harmandar Sahib, claiming to be looking for ‘terrorists.’

The army knew that thousands of people were in the gurdwara complex to commemorate the Shaheedi Gurpurab of Guru Arjan. They opened fire on the whole complex and killed who knows how many. Fortunately, we were at a cousin’s house when it all started and thus were safe, or so it seemed.

No such luck. Two days later, the police barged into the house where we were staying and took us all.

Fortunately, as it turned out, the three of us had our passports on us. I’m not sure exactly where we were taken, a police stationsomewhere. They separated the men and the women; I was afraid that that was last I’d see of my men.

Then they put put each of us women in different rooms. And I waited. For the first time in my life, I was really scared. After a time, a very young policeman came in. Although my hands were bound behind me, I managed to pull out my Canadian passport.

He was not impressed.

“Are you Sikh?” Expressionless.

“Yes.” Calmly.

“Wrong answer.” He slapped me across the face.

“Are you Sikh?” Expressionless.

“Yes.” Calmly.

“Wrong answer.” He slapped me HARD across the face.

“Are you Sikh?” Expressionless.

“Yes.” Calmly.

“Wrong answer. And you’re also really stupid.” He doubled up his fist and slugged me in the mouth.

“Are you Sikh?” Smiling slightly.

“Yes. I’m Khalsa.” Blood was coming out of my mouth. I wish I could say I was afraid, but that would be a lie. A BIG lie. I have, to this day, never been so terrified in my life. But I managed to keep my voice steady.

He reached over to me and tore my shirt off. Then he pulled out my kirpan. “The little Saint Soldier has her little knife, I see.” In a sarcastic voice. He drew the blade across my throat. I laughed nervously. A strange reaction.

Unlike most Sikhs, I usually do not carry a blunt kirpan. I know, I know. A kirpan is a religious article, not a weapon. I’m sorry if Ioffend anyone here, and I know I will, but I have never believed that our spiritual father, Guru Gobind Singh, intended us to be unarmed. I usually carried a razor-sharp medieval French war dagger that had belonged to a lady ancestor of mine. I suppose it couldn’t really be called a kirpan, but it was what I carried. I’m not sure why that day, I didn’t have my dagger on me. If I had, I would be dead.

So I laughed nervously.

That seemed to infuriate him and he pulled my pants down. At this point a second cop came in. The first one started pulling at my hair.

“You Khalsa have a real fetish about this, don’t you? Is it true that you’ll die before letting it be cut?”

I nodded. “Yes.”


The second cop handed him a big pair a scissors. He pointed them at my hair. “I’m going to use these. The choice is yours: here,” pointing at my hair, “or here?” He cut the top of my kacchhera, so they fell down. pointing the scissors at my crotch.

He laughed and laughed.

Paralysed with terror, I said nothing, but inside I screamed with every fibre of my being.


No ‘Guru,’ no ‘Singh,’ no ‘Ji.’

Just, “GOBIND!”

The result was instantaneous. I was not afraid. I was not in pain. I don’t know how I knew they wouldn’t dare cut my hair; I couldn’t care less what else they might do to me. My dad’s words came to me: “No one can humiliate me without my consent.”

I laughed. “I’m Khalsa.” I looked at the mirror across the room. I’m not a complete idiot. I know mirrors in interrogation rooms are one-way glass. And I was certain that the cops were forcing my son and husband to watch this. Sadistic f****ing bastards! I nodded to my unseen men and smiled.

He slugged me in the stomach. It didn’t hurt. He slugged me like that several more times until he finally knocked me off my feet and I fell to the floor. I have never felt so calm and complete, as strange as that sounds. I was completely unafraid.

He stood over me and stared at me, now completely naked, lying on the floor. He kicked me in the head repeatedly. Then, he pulled me up by my hair and with the help of his colleague sat me in a chair. He cut open a hot chili and rubbed it all over my face, up my nose and into my eyes. I didn’t react at all.

He opened my legs and rubbed the chili all over my vaginal area. The second one pulled me forward to my feet, while the first one shoved it up my anus. He pulled it out and stuffed it into my mouth. The whole time, he was trying to taunt me by saying all sorts of insulting things. None of it got through to me at all. I will not record what he said, partly because it was mostly in colloquial Punjabi, of which I understood little, and partly because it would serve no purpose beyond teaching someone how to be insulting.]

After he finished with the chili, he started with the scissors, which turned out to be very sharp. Little cuts, not big ones, all over my breasts, then my stomach. When I didn’t react to that, the bottoms of my feet. By this time, he was completely livid. I thought he was going to maybe cut my throat or gouge my eyes.

Again he grabbed me by the hair and threw me on the ground, and opened my legs. He raised the scissors over my crotch, clearly intending to use them as a weapon of rape. He stopped, clearly savouring the moment.

At exactly that instance, the door opened and someone burst through, yelling. “Stop! We have orders not to mess with the Canadians.”

He glared at me, with pure hatred. But he stopped. The second cop untied my wrists.

I stood up, pulled up my kacchhera, then my pants. My shirt was torn beyond any usefulness, though. My mouth was still full of blood which I spat on the floor at his feet. He spoke, very softly, so only I could hear: “If I ever see you again, you’ll be sorry I didn’t finish with you today.”

So what was going on in me, while he was torturing me? I believe this does qualify as torture. I could see, hear and feel everything that was going on. But I felt no pain, either physically or psychologically, then or later. Instead, I was aware of various
voices singing the Mool Mantar, over and over. It was the most beautiful thing you could imagine. It completely transported my being to another level where pain simply doesn’t exist. This was the second time something like this had happened to me in this life – and it has not been repeated since.

I was operating in two completely different states of being. All of my senses seemed to be in overdrive. My hearing was enhanced. Colours were vivid and alive. I was fully, completely conscious and aware. I want to emphasize that I was not being brave or strong or heroic. And I am not masochistic. I was as calmly joyful as I could ever imagine being. It simply made no difference to me what they were doing.

Why do I think this happened to me? Because I relied on a promise made by one who was a father to me. There is nothing special about me in this. Any Khalsa in this position has the right, perhaps even the obligation, to do the same. No special, secret words, no silly rituals, just the total intention.

I’d like to make a couple of aside comments here. First, there are still a few things I have left out, for the sake of decency. I was not raped, since rape is vaginal penetration. Please notice that it takes nothing fancy to torture someone, no special equipment, in this case, just some chili, a pair of scissors and something to tie my hands. Also, very little imagination.

I have not mentioned that, at this time, I was in my first trimester of pregnancy. They, of course, had no way of knowing that. Not that it would have made any difference tothem! Why I didn’t lose the babies then and there I can only ascribe to the fact that I was being protected by my Guru in some fashion.

I just kept smiling. “I’d like my kirpan back, please.”

The second cop handed it to me, along with my passport.

They took me, still half naked and bleeding, to a hallway, where I was reunited with Mani and Sandeep. With great dignity, my son took off his shirt and helped me put it on.

“Here, Mom”‘ His voice was shaking a bit. I looked at them. They had been roughed up a bit, and normally neither would have ever tied a turban so sloppily. We would discuss all that later. I evidently got the worst treatment, physically.

Later we discussed the incident. Mani looked into my eyes. “There for a moment, I thought you might break.”

I met his gaze. “So did I.”

“I could see you change. All of a sudden, it was like you became someone else. What happened?”

I told him. He turned to our son. (Of course, all this happened 22 years ago, so all the quotes have been approximations, except this, which I remember verbatim.).

“Your mother is a magnificent person. You won’t find another like her, but I hope when you get married, you’ll marry a woman you can love and admire as much as I do my wife.’

What woman could possibly forget such praise from her husband?

Sandeep looked at me, and said, in a whisper, “Mom, you were so lucky they got stopped when they did.”

Both of us said, in unison, “Luck had nothing to do with it.”

I will leave the story there, only noting that it was not my strength and courage that made me strong; it was a gift from my father Guru.

The only part I can really take any credit for is crying out for help when I needed it.

We could not get back to our family home that day, but fortunately some good people saw us right outside the police station and took us in.

Although some of the city’s water was cut off, it was running where our host family lived. I felt incredibly dirty. Thank God for a good shower! Mani helped me clean up, washed and conditioned my hair – which, against all odds, was intact – and combed it out for me. He couldn’t believe I could walk on those lacerated feet, but even afterwards, while I was healing, I was in no pain. I have a few scars left, my hearing was slightly damaged, but nothing too important.

Mani, being a physician, thoroughly examined me, but even with the beating I had taken, there were no major injuries.

Our hosts, who were Hindus, gave us clean clothes, some really good food, comfortable beds and a feeling that there were still some decent people in Amritsar. We burned our old clothes, except I kept the shirt Sandeep had given to me. Our family in Amritsar still has it, as a remembrance.

There is much more I could write about Amritsar at that time, the smell, the heat, the noxious insects, the sacred sarovar filled with blood and dead bodies, but that can be found elsewhere on the net. I’m trying to record only my personal experiences.
Mai Harinder Kaur. 

Courtesy:  The Unringed Bell. Edited for]

October 31, 2011


The above narration was personally approved by Mai Harinder kaur as she is personally known to me since 2007.

Ajmer kesri

Ajmer Singh Randhawa.