Today, the Sikh Coalition joins Sikhs around the world as we pause in remembrance. On this day in 1984, the Indian Army launched Operation Blue Star: A coordinated assault on Darbar Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, and dozens of other gurdwaras throughout Punjab.
We continue to believe that this coordinated operation to decimate the community was an inflection point in modern Sikh history. In addition to claiming thousands of Sikh lives, it marked the beginning of a years-long campaign of targeted killings, mass mob violence, disappearances, and general repression of Sikhs by the Indian state. Those who perpetrated this violation and discrimination–and who perpetuate it, in varying forms, to this day–largely continue to enjoy impunity for their actions.
As part of our shared commemoration, it is important to continue to keep our history alive through honest retellings of the trauma that we have experienced. The Sikh Coalition applauds the work of 1984 Living History Project, which has documented interviews of eyewitnesses and family members, and Ensaaf, which has done significant research in extrajudicial killings and disappearances in the many years following 1984. We encourage you to review their work and the following additional resources:
Videos and Personal Accounts
- An interactive map (released by Ensaaf in 2018, which uses survivor interviews to document more than 5,000 disappearances and extrajudicial executions of Sikhs throughout India)
- A Witness Among the Bodies (by Ensaaf)
- Survivor Interviews, Days After Nov. 1984 (by Ensaaf)
- The Last Killing (by Ensaaf)
- Mapping Crimes Against Humanity (by Ensaaf)
- 1984 Living History Project
- Mapping June 1984 (by the 1984 Living History Project)
- Sawinder Singh Recounts His Experiences with 1984
Bigotry and nationalism remain pressing threats in India, the United States, and around the world. From the repression faced by protesting Indian farmers and the attempt to falsely frame demonstrators as extremists to the ongoing fight against xenophobia and white supremacy in the United States, the work to protect and empower our community continues. We stand firm in our demands for accountability and justice, and we reiterate our commitment to fighting alongside other marginalized groups in our common struggle.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly, and to remember and honor those who died doing so.