Operation Bluestar

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Slogans favouring Khalistan (sovereign state for Sikhs) were raised recently in the premises of the Golden Temple complex in Punjab’s Amritsar during the 40th anniversary of ‘Operation Bluestar’.

About Operation Bluestar:

  • It was an Indian military operation in June 1984ordered by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to root out a group of militant Sikh separatists who had occupied the Golden Temple in Punjab’s Amritsar, the Sikhs’ holiest shrine.
  • The leader of the group was Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a Sikh fundamentalist, former head of the Sikh seminary Damdami Taksal, and a key figure in the then-emerging separatist Khalistan movement
  • The military operation was planned to regain control of the complex while minimizing civilian casualties.
  • Timeline of the operation:
    • June 1-3, 1984: The operation began on June 1, 1984, with the deployment of Indian Army troops around the Golden Temple complex. Bhindranwale and his followers fiercely resisted the army's advance, leading to intense gun battles.
    • June 3-6, 1984: The Indian Army intensified its assault on the complex, using heavy artillery, tanks, and helicopters. The fighting resulted in extensive damage to the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh authority, as well as other parts of the Golden Temple.
    • June 6, 1984: The operation officially concluded on June 6, 1984, when the Indian Army gained control of the Golden Temple complex.
  • While the army was successful in achieving its goals, some Sikhs were outraged as they saw the operation as an attack on their faith.
  • According to the Indian government, about 400 people were killed, including 87 soldiers.
  • Operation Blue Star led to the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was killed by her Sikh bodyguards in revenge five months after the operation. 

Q1: What is the Golden Temple?

The Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib, is the holiest shrine in Sikhism and one of the most prominent religious and cultural landmarks in India. Located in the city of Amritsar in the state of Punjab, India, it holds immense religious and historical significance for Sikhs and is a major tourist attraction. The Golden Temple serves as the central religious and spiritual hub for Sikhs around the world. It is the place where Sikhs come to worship, meditate, and connect with their faith. The temple houses the Guru Granth Sahib, the central religious scripture of Sikhism.

Source: 40th anniversary of ‘Operation Bluestar’: Pro-Khalistan slogans raised at Golden Temple in Amritsar