NEW DELHI—Rubbing salt on the unhealed wounds of Sikh psyche, the Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on May 14 said that the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was convinced to her stance of ordering armed invasion into the holiest Sikh shrine Sri Harmandir Sahib in June 1984.
Speaking at the launch of a centennial commemorative volume on Indira Gandhi, Mukherjee said he had apprised Indira Gandhi about the consequences that the Mughal Emperor Ahmad Shah Abdali had to face after attacking Sri Harmandir Sahib but she was adamant on her stance to order army attack to make the sanctum sanctorum free of ‘militants’.
“As a student of history, I was afraid to do anything with the Golden Temple… I recalled (at Cabinet committee meeting) how Ahmed Shah Abdali had to face serious consequences after the Third Battle of Panipat when he did something wrong with the Golden Temple,” the President said.
He then narrated what Indira Gandhi told him: “Sometimes history demands some action to be taken which may not prove correct later on but perhaps is most relevant at that time. This decision cannot be avoided.”