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Indira did not consider Operation Bluestar a mistake

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Indira did not consider Operation Bluestar a mistake: Alexander

Prabhjot Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15

“Indira Gandhi did not consider Operation Bluestar a mistake. The mistake was in the manner of implementation of the decision and not in the decision itself,†writes Mr P.C. Alexander in his book “Through the Corridors of Powerâ€. Mr Alexander, who retired as Governor of Maharashtra a couple of years ago, was Principal Secretary to both Mrs Indira Gandhi and Mr Rajiv Gandhi.

“It was Indira Gandhi’s consistent policy not to criticise the Army either in private or in public even if she was convinced about the lapses in the implementation of the decision,†he writes in the chapter on the Akali agitation.

The initial Army action was “confined to the siege and flushing out operations in the identical gurdwaras in different places and in the Golden Temple in Amritsarâ€. “There was no reference to any plan except for an effective siege of the buildings involving cutting off telephones, electricity, water, food and inflow of men and weapons. However, there were major and sudden changes in the plan that had been approved by the Prime Minister on May 25.â€

General Vaidya after a quick visit to Punjab and after consultations with his senior colleagues in the Army sought an urgent meeting with Mrs Indira Gandhi on May 29 to inform her of some important changes in the plan.

“Needless to say the PM was taken aback by this sudden change. She was quite perturbed at the suggestion of use of force inside the temple and asked Vaidya several questions seeking clarifications. She enquired as to what would happen if the terrorists put up stiff resistance ? She also wanted to know how long it would take to subdue such resistance and particularly as to what would happen if the terrorists took refuge in the inner sanctum where the Guru Granth Sahib was placed.

She asked him why the previous strategy of siege and flushing out was being discarded so soon (after all, Vaidya, had outlined it only on May 25). She also sought details about the comparative analyses in terms of loss of life and damage to the temple with respect to either of the plans. Another question she raised was whether such an action inside the temple would have any adverse effect on the loyalty and discipline of the Sikh jawans in the Indian Army,†writes Mr Alexander in his book.

He further says that Vaidya spoke with such confidence and calmness that the new plan he was proposing appeared to be virtually the only option open to the Army. Vaidya said that the other option was fraught with dangerous consequences and hundreds of innocent people may fall victim to firing along the roads leading to Amritsar and in the vicinity of the temple.

Mr Alexander also reveals in chronological order the sequence of events about the series of secret meetings a special panel headed by Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao had held with jailed Akali leaders. Some of these meetings had taken place in a private house in Chandigarh and a few others in another private house in Vasant Vihar in Delhi.

Claiming that as one closely associated with all behind-the-scene discussions, decision making processes and strategies concerning the Akali agitation during the period 1981-84, he was perhaps more in the know of the facts on the subject than many others who had written about it, he was always conscious of his responsibility as a witness to history to present the facts correctly to the people at large.

He writes that he wanted to include the Akali agitation in Punjab and how Indira Gandhi handled it in his series of articles he had written about his years with Mrs Gandhi after quitting as Governor of Tamil Nadu in 1990.

“When I informally consulted Rajiv Gandhi for his opinion, he expressed his anxiety that publication of certain facts might lead to unnecessary controversies. His advice was to postpone the publication for some more time. But ‘this some more time†turned out to more than a decade as I was Governor of Maharashtra till July, 2002. Now that I am free from the trammels of office, I can place the full facts about the Akali agitation, as I knew them,†writes Mr Alexander.

While talking about the possible reason of why Indira Gandhi did not consult Giani Zail Singh before Operation Bluestar, Alexander says that “the only reason I can think of as to why she did not inform President Zail Singh about her decision on the final stages of Punjab operations was that her relations with him by then were strained to the extent of her losing full trust in him.

Another reason may be that the way the operation inside the Golden Temple turned out was quite unexpected and she could not have anticipated the seriousness of the damage caused.â€

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ek Oankar Wahiguru Ji Ki fateh

During the election campaign of 1998 and 1999 General election,sonia gandhi was talking in rather apologetic terms towards Sikhs as if some mistake was done in past. Present CM of Punjab too left congress at that time.

Regarding Gen KS Brar who was a patit(clean Shaven),AR Darshi book claims that he had a personal grudge towards Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindrawale as Sanji use to taunt patits by saying,'a person whose face does not resembles to that of his father,What is that person called'.

Incidentally face of das(Sikh) is also not like his father(a Hindu).

Anyway Indian Army is professional Army thier men are like the machine,They mechanically do what they are told by thier political boses,They are professional only due the fact that they do not think on issue but follow instructions.

Brar in his book has praises for the commitment and bravory of the 'terrorists' of Dal Khalsa(force of bhindrawale).While babers ,the force of AKJ was rahter more fighting seprately. But in any case das has seen many of the Indian Army officers Sikhs as well as hindus feeling realy sorrry for what they were made to do.

They also were impressed by the courage shown by the Sikhs in defence. They said if only 10,000 of such people could have been in Army,We would have taken Aksai chin (Indian area of ladhak under chinese rule)back .

Ahmad shah did wrong to our golden temple but we were genrous enough to help his Grand son and great Grand son,So did Gurudev helped the son of Auranzeb(Bahdur Shah 1st). so for the folly of a particular political lobby hatered towrads the whole creed we need to remove among our selves.

If something wrong is written das seeks an apology and seeks a proper guidence.

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Guest Sardar Moderator Singh

Thank you for sharing this with us Mehtab Singh, on a side note, please accept from us all, belated wishes and praise for your recent Amrit Sanchar, may Maharaj keep you in Chardi-Kala.

Warmest Regards,


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