Five Major Sikh Events of 1983

1) President’s Rule in Punjab – On October 5th 1983 a bus traveling from Amritsar to Delhi was hijacked near the village of Dhilwan; six Hindu passengers were taken off the bus and killed. (Acts like these were carried out by agents of the Indian Government to discredit Sikhs) Indira Gandhi used this as an excuse to impost President’s rule in Punjab, a way for her to have more direct control of the affairs of Punjab.

Killer of innocent men, women and children, Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi, killer of innocent men, women and children.

2) Akali Agitations Continue – The Akalis organized rasta roko (block roads) on April 4th, rail roko (block trains) on June 17th and kam roko (stop work) on August 29th. These agitations were very successful with thousands of Sikhs participating in them. Thousands of Sikhs courted arrests filling the jails and even temporary jails set up. Parchar of Gurmat started happening inside the jails, many non-Amritdharis decided to take Amrit while in jail due to the Parchar happening in the jails. Bhai Amrik Singh and Bhai Thara Singh who had been imprisoned the year before had been instrumental in setting up Parchar in the jails.

Bhai Thara Singh, Sant Jarnail Singh, Bhai Amrik Singh
Bhai Thara Singh, Sant Jarnail Singh, Bhai Amrik Singh

3) Dharam Yudh Morcha – 1983 was a big year for the Dharam Yudh Morcha, (demonstrations and protests) the agitations organized by the Akalis were very successful. Whenever it seemed that the Morcha was gaining ground Indira Gandhi invited the leaders to Delhi to negotiate. Time, and time again, she¬† misled them and tricked them into giving up ground. Sant Jee was the only person to see through the politics of Indira. He advised the Akali leaders not to visit her, but instead to continue on with the Morcha. However Longowal, Barnala, Balwant Singh, Badal, Tohra and the other leaders were using the Panth and the Morcha as a way to gain themselves greater power so they wanted and needed to meet with Indira. Sant Jee was the lone leader who’s only goal was the betterment of the Panth, the rest were all concerned with themselves.

Traitor Harchand Singh Longowal
Traitor Harchand Singh Longowal

4) Longowal’s Betrayal – After Sant Jarnail Singh was able to win the hearts of almost the entire Panth, Longowal and saw him as a great threat to his own power. He gave the green light to Indira Gandhi to arrest Sant Jee at Guru Nanak Niwas, assuring Indira Gandhi that the Guru Nanak Niwas was not apart of the Darbar Sahib Complex, and she could send her army into the building to arrest Sant Jee. Longowal with Granthi Kirpal Singh and three others: Surjit Singh Barnala, Balwant Singh Ex Finance Minister and Balwant Singh Ramuwalia were all responsible for this betrayal. Sensing the betrayal Sant Jee shifted to his residence to Akal Takht.

akaltakht2

5) Major General Shabegh Singh – It was in early 1983 when General Shabegh Singh joined Sant Jarnail Singh and the Dharam Yudh Morcha. Sant Jee had organized a convention at Amritsar. He was a hero of the Bangladesh war of 1971. He became legendary for his role in the victory, however Indira Gandhi could not let anyone else claim credit for the victory, she wanted the credit all for herself. So she came up with a fake charge of corruption, and had him dismissed just a day before his retirement without any pension. Major General Shabegh Singh came to Sant Jee and told him how unfairly he had been treated by Indira Gandhi, Sant Jee took him in, and from then on he became the chief military adviser for Sant Jee. He played an instrumental role in training the Singhs with Sant Jee and setting up defenses around the Darbar Sahib Complex.

Major General Shabeg Singh
Major General Shabegh Singh

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