Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh
New Delhi: BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday that the Government of India should come out with the truth regarding Operation Bluestar. He also said that this would enable the people of India to conclude whether the operation was a strategic miscalculation.
In an article posted on his official site Jaitley wrote, “Operation Bluestar in June 1984 will remain one of the most controversial acts of the government in independent India. In order to marginalize the moderate Akalis, a build up of the extremists was ignored. Instead of preventing extremist’s hardliners from collecting in large numbers with arms and ammunitions inside the Golden Temple, the Government of India decided to look the other way.”
He further says, “It had hoped that moderate Sikh politicians would become irrelevant. It probably had planned that on the eve of the 1984 elections a police-military confrontation with the extremists would take place and the 1984 elections would be won by the Congress on the patriotic slogan of saving Punjab and saving India from terror.”
Jaitley adds, “Those in the Government of India have recorded these incidents differently. I was amongst those present at the release of Dr PC Alexander’s memoirs a few years ago. He was the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister in May-June 1984 and perhaps one of the best witnesses to what was going on. A chapter in his book on the Operation Blue Star gives an impression that it is only when the dialogue between Dr. PC Alexander and Sant Longowal failed that General Vaidya was called towards the end of May 1984 and asked to get ready for a military operation.”
The BJP leader questions, “Did the Government of India take the necessary intelligence and political inputs as to the impact the military action would have on the Sikhs, one of the most patriotic communities? Indeed that was not a consideration for the Government of India. The fall-out of ‘Operation Blue Star’ was not only the alienation of the Sikh community but the eventual assassination of Mrs. Indira Gandhi and the massacre of Sikhs across the country.”
As per Jaitley, “While we in India still continue to debate on the judgement we wish to make on the controversial ‘Operation Blue Star’, a new set of documents now published in Britain throw a different light on the subject. The Principal Secretary at 10, Downing Street on 6th February 1984 writes to Brian Fall of the Foreign and Commonwealth office on the plan for removal of dissident Sikhs from Golden Temple . He records that “The Prime Minister is content that the Foreign Secretary should proceed as he proposes. She will look forward to receiving a report on the advisor’s visit and notes that the Home Secretary would be informed if the Indians seemed likely to proceed with the plan.”
The BJP leader again questions, “Was the ‘Operation Blue Star’ being planned on British advice?”
“Contrary to what we have been told that it was the collapse of the dialogue in May, 1984 that led to the `Operation Blue Star`, the Government of India was in dialogue with the British Government on the plan to remove the dissident Sikhs from the holy Golden Temple,” the BJP leader writes, adding, “If British Government was being consulted in February 1984, it only lends credence to the fact that Government of India neither believed in nipping the problem at the initial stage nor in exploring alternative methods of evacuating the extremists from the Golden Temple. It wanted to invade the sacred precincts of the Golden Temple no matter even if it hurt the national interest and certainly the interests of the Sikhs.”
Jaitley asks the government to come out with the truth. “It is about time that the Government of India decided to tell us the truth as to what the real facts were. This would enable the people of India to conclude whether ‘Operation Blue Star’ was a strategic miscalculation.”
A lawmaker from Britain`s Labour party has claimed that he has witnessed documents which suggest then PM Margaret Thatcher`s administration dispatched Britain`s Special Air Service (SAS) officials to help Indira Gandhi in the storming of the Golden Temple. The `Stop Deportations` website quotes from the documents. The documents regarding the operation was made public by the National Archives in London under the 30-year rule as part of a series over the New Year.
The operation in which the Indian Army took part was ordered by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in order to remove Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers from the Golden Temple in Amritsar city.
Five months after the Operation Bluestar, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards which led to anti-Sikh riots in the country.