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TRUTH   JUSTICE   FREEDOM

WHAT THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT DOES NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW – THE TRUTH ABOUT JARNAIL SINGH BHINDRANWALE

“INDIRA GANDHI AND CONGRESS HAVE LABELLED ME AN EXTREMIST. IF BAPTIZING SIKHS AND EDUCATING THEM TO STAY AWAY FROM DRUGS AND ALCOHOL, TO KEEP THEIR ‘KESH’ AS PER THE SIKH CODE OF CONDUCT, TO DEFEND THE HONOUR OF OUR SISTERS AND THE SPILT BLOOD OF THE SHAHEEDS.....IF THIS IS THE WORK OF AN EXTREMIST THEN YES - I AM AN EXTREMIST" (Quote from Sant Bhindranwale)

The Indian establishment still shudders upon hearing the name of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was just a straight forward preacher from rural Punjab. Thirty years on, he is still vilified by the Indian press, who paint a picture of a religious zealot wanting to destroy the very fabric of India. Recently, we have seen a wave against corruption and Indians are now beginning to understand that it exists at the heart of all India’s agencies. The coloured picture of Bhindranwale painted by the establishment and the State controlled media, was far removed from the truth. What Sant Bhindranwale spoke fearlessly about three decades ago, is as relevant today as it was back in the 1980’s. Bhindranwale’s mission was a simple one:

• ANTI CORRUPTION – to fight against the corruption which was rampant in the three arms of the State - police, judiciary and politicians. These State agencies were seen to act in unison, meaning that incidents like the killing of 13 innocent Sikhs in Amritsar in April 1978 and 18 young Sikhs in Chowk Mehta killed by police firing in 1981, went unpunished. Bhindranwale realised that justice in India came at a price and it could be bought and sold by powerful individuals. In reality this meant there was no justice for the ordinary, poor man or the minority communities. TODAY 30 YEARS ON, SIKHS STILL FACE EXECUTION AND CONTINUE TO LANGUISH IN JAIL, INNOCENT YOUTH ARE STILL SHOT DEAD ON THE STREETS BY POLICE AND THE PERPETRATORS OF THESE CRIMES CONTINUE TO WALK FREE.

• ANTI-ALCOHOL AND DRUG CONSUMPTION – addiction was destroying many families in Punjab. Bhindranwale understood that in many rural families where the practice of Sikhism had diminished, the void was being filled with other influences that led to the breakdown of families and the functioning of society. So, by educating the youth and bringing them back to their Sikh roots, Bhindranwale empowered the people of Punjab which in turn meant they could not be easily corrupted by manipulators such as, politicians, cult leaders and bribery by the distribution of intoxicants. TODAY 30 YEARS ON, OVER 70% OF PUNJAB’S YOUNG MEN ARE ADDICTED TO HARD DRUGS AND ALCOHOL.

• DEVELOPMENT OF PUNJAB – Bhindranwale showed his support for the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, which demanded more autonomy for the State of Punjab. Greater control of Punjab’s natural resources including water and electricity would increase productivity and development in the ‘breadbasket of India’. TODAY 30 YEARS ON, PUNJAB’S WATER TABLE IS DEPLETING AT AN ALARMING RATE AND POWER CUTS ARE THE RESULT OF A SERIOUS SUPPLY SHORTAGE. AS MORE AND MORE FARMERS ARE CRIPPLED BY LOANS AND DEBT, SUICIDE RATES ARE INCREASING.

• WARNED OF A SOCIETY WITHOUT MORALS - excessive materialism such as lavish weddings beyond the means of the family and the system of dowry, punished the family of the bride. Bhindranwale intervened when poorer families, be they Sikh or Hindu, approached him for help and he used his influence to mediate and resolve. TODAY 30 YEARS ON, EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS ARE SPENT ON WEDDINGS PUSHING FAMILIES FURTHER INTO DEBT. HORRIFIC ‘DOWRY KILLINGS’ TAKE PLACE DAILY AND THE RATE OF FEMALE INFANTICIDE MEANS THAT A QUARTER OF PUNJAB’S GIRLS ARE KILLED BEFORE THEY ARE EVEN BORN.

Bhindranwale’s message was in support of the ordinary man, the man who did not have influence or money to manipulate the system. The very systems that were put in place to protect the common man had been corrupted to benefit the rich and powerful. It was these ordinary people of Punjab, who flocked to Bhindranwale because in him they saw a leader who frankly spoke the truth and did not waiver from his path. With his rise in popularity, based on principles that empowered the ordinary man, Bhindranwale’s following threatened to overrun the corrupt power structures within the State. So, he had to be stopped, the Akali’s wanted him removed and Congress also wanted him gone.

With the passing of time, the truth of Bhindranwale’s message is clear to see. The events of June 1984 and the carnage that followed, proved to the world the extent of the Indian Government’s corruption and the depths those traitors in power go to, in order to maintain their positions. If the true message of Bhindranwale was more widely known, he would be celebrated as a hero not just in Punjab, but across all of India. Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was the first Indian since independence, to make a stand against corruption and injustice – which is why the ruling elite fear even the mention of his name and continue to do everything in their power, to discredit his image and lessen his appeal.  

© The Sikh Organisation for Prisoners Welfare 2020