Operation Blue Star took place on the date June 1st, 1984.

India was once called the golden bird. It had everything to sustain a great economy. It still has everything, the people, the fertile soil, the advantageous geolocation, and a time-tested culture. It is hence no surprise that India also has many enemies. After India gained Independence in 1947, evil forces from around the world kept their eyes on India. They have done everything to stop India from regaining its former glory. One such act was fuelling and funding of anti-India and separatist movement of the formation of Khalistan in 1984. Operation Blue star was the final move to end this movement for one and all.

India’s intelligence agency R.A.W. got the information about three prominent Khalistani leaders visiting Pakistan. The idea of Khalistan was to create a separate nation for the Sikhs. The idea which looked organic at first was now turning out to be a foreign-funded plan.

It was the era of the cold war. USSR and USA divided the world into two halves. India found itself closing in on the USSR side. This was a reaction of the USA supporting Pakistan. The intelligence agency of the USSR and India jointly found out the root of the entire Khalistani movement.

USA and Pakistan were funding Sikh extremists with money. A former Indian army officer was the provider of weapons and training. Sikh gurudwaras across Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh were training grounds for new recruits.

Indira Gandhi was the then Prime minister. She was known for her no-nonsense and direct approach. She attempted to negotiate with the leaders of the Khalistan movement. But it resulted in nothing. The opposition was demanding military action as well.

And on the morning of June 1, operation blue star was launched. Operation blue star’s objective was to raid each identified gurudwara and eliminate extremists within its wall.

At the centre of this was the holiest Gurudwara of all, the Golden Temple, Amritsar. For seven months the temple was being prepared for a battle. Fortification of the temple was done in secret. Trucks meant for the service of the temple were used to transport weapons. Local authorities and political parties ensured that this whole planning remained a secret. 

Right before operation blue star, India’s intelligence agencies provided the Indian government with some astonishing information. The compound of the temple was protected by Lightweight machine guns, which were strategically placed. Small holes were dug in the walls to fire from the inside. Locals have given information about a small grenade manufacturing unit inside the complex.

With new data, the Indian army had to call its top men. Special Commandos from different regiments were called in. They were provided with six tanks and a few helicopters to break into the compound.

On the evening of 5 June. A three-sided attack began on Golden temple. Tanks blasted the walls of the compound. Men guarding the wall were shell-shocked and the Indian army cleared them off easily. The army then announced to the pilgrims to leave the compound. They also gave options to the extremists for a peaceful surrender. And many did. After two days, Bhrindewal was killed as well. The operation in its entirety lasted for 10 days. The operation saw 554 militants dead. It also saw 84 officers sacrifice their life.

Indian government thought that the grey clouds had now gone. But these clouds were just the beginnings of the monsoon. Things got worst. As a reaction to operation Blue Star, prime minister Indira Gandhi was killed by her two Sikh bodyguards. Indira was a very popular and beloved leader. Her death led to a massive hatred towards the Sikhs throughout India. The event we now know as the Anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

This chapter of history teaches us something very basic, something we learned as children. There is strength in unity and weakness in division. One of the best ways to break down a strong enemy is to create a conflict within. History is written so that we learn from our mistakes. And this was independent India’s biggest mistake.

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