Five Major Sikh Events of 1982

1) Meeting with Indira Gandhi – A third and final meeting with Indira Gandhi was held on April 5, 1982. It had become clear to Sikhs that she was not going to listen to their demands. Because of this, the Akalis started to organize peaceful protests.

Indira Gandhi PM of India
Indira Gandhi PM of India

2) Dharam Yudh Morcha and Agitations – After their demands were rejected by the Indian Government, the Shiromani Akali Dal organized block the canal (nahar roko) agitation on April 24, 1982. The canal in question was a canal in Haryana that was not in the best interests of Punjab, or Punjabis, however Indira Gandhi needed votes from Haryana, so she went ahead with the planned construction of the canal, despite protests from Punjab. On July 26th the Dharam Yudh Morcha was launched effective August 4th. The Morcha was a collection of peaceful protests and agitations that supported the implementation of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, which had been rejected by the Indian Government.

Takhat Sri Kesgarh Sahib, at Anandpur Sahib
Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, at Anandpur Sahib. The city where the Anandpur Sahib Resolution was originally written.

3) Arrests –  On July 17th two of Sant Jarnail Singh`s men were arrested. On July 19th Bhai Amrik Singh was arrested, and on July 20th Bhai Thara Singh was arrested. After the arrests Sant Jee decided to leave Mehta Chowk to start a peaceful agitation against the arrests from the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) complex. He approached the Akalis for support of his Morcha to have the innocent Singhs freed from jail. They asked him to join the Dharam Yudh Morcha under the leadership of Harchand Singh Longowal

Harchand Singh Longowal
Harchand Singh Longowal

4) Plane Hijacked – On August 20, 1982 a plane was hijacked by Musibat Singh (Manjit Singh). It was not permitted to land at the Lahore airport, so the plane returned to its airport of origin and the hijacker was persuaded to surrender. However, he was shot dead by the police as soon as he came out. There was no cause to shoot him as he had surrendered. Sant Jee took this as an insult to Sikhs because when Indira Gandhi had been arrested, two brothers had hijacked a plane in protest of her arrest. When Indira Gandhi came back to power in 1980, she rewarded both the brothers by giving them seats in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. There were separate sentences given out for the same crime, Sikhs were punished, and Hindus were rewarded. This had a big impact on the movement giving it more support as mainstream Sikhs were beginning to realize that they were being treated as second class citizens in their own country.


5) Asian Games – Longowal announced in early November 1982 that the Akali Dal would hold demonstrations in Delhi during the Asian Games. They would show the world how India had treated Sikhs. This needed to be avoided at all costs by the Indian Government. The Chief Minister of Haryana vowed that no Sikh would be able to pass through Haryana into Delhi in time for the Asian Games. Any Sikh that attempted to go to Delhi was stopped, searched and humiliated. Many Sikhs had their Dastars  (turbans) knocked off. From that moment on, the feeling of alienation began to grow tremendously within the Panth (Global Sikh society).

 A photo of recent police brutalities against Sikhs
A photo of recent police brutalities against Sikhs.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here