Sikh Forum advise Sikhs to close Nayar controversy – But there is much to discuss before closure
Published: July 17, 2012
Ludhiana (July 18, 2012): As per media reports Sikh Forum, a Delhi based Sikh organization, has asked the Sikhs to accept apology tendered by journalist and columnist Kuldip Nayar, over the issue of some portions in his new book “Beyond The Lines: An Autobiography” which hurt the Sikhs, and to stop any demonstrations against him.
Sikh Forum President Major General (Retd) Mohinder Singh Chadha, secretary Wing Commander Randhir Singh Chhatwal, other members including writer Dr Mahip Singh, Senior Supreme court advocate H. S. Phoolka, Dr Anooop Singh, Dr A. S. Narang and Colonel Manohar Singh in a joint statement said that Nayar has been consistently speaking out and writing against the excesses committed on Sikhs in the last three decades especially during Operation Blue Star and 1984 massacre of Sikhs in Delhi. He also contributed a lot during hearings of Mishra Commission and Nanawati Commission which were constituted to probe the massacre.
Sikh Forum has appealed to the Sikh organizations that now the demonstrations against Nayar, an old well wisher of the Sikh community, should be completely stopped after he has tendered an apology and has promised to remove the portions which were being considered objectionable.
But the controversy seems to be far away from closure as many Sikh circles are of the view that Kuldip Nayar had been part of a core group that was able to build a false image of being Sikh sympathiser, while actually they were working to harm the Sikh cause and undermine the distinctiveness of Sikh identity through promotion of lab-built notion of Punjabi nation.
This way Kuldip Nayar has extensively worked for the Indian state to harm the Sikh struggle and Sikh identity.
During November 1984, in a write-up Published in a Punjabi Daily on November 15, 1984 Kuldip Nayar wrote that: “Hindus would never accept that Sikhs are a distinct nation”. He presented it as a prime condition to rebuilt cordial relations between Hindus and Sikhs.
He further wrote, just a few days after the brutal massacres of Sikhs in Delhi and elsewhere in India, that: “… Sikhs, as a community have their relevance as long as they are inseparable part of the [Indian] nation. If the Sikh community dare to play any other role for itself, as the Sikhs living in foreign countries are instigating them to do, then this thing would not be without danger for the Sikhs”.
In this article Kuldip Nayar attributed the massacres of 1984 to the “fact” that “after Indira Gandhi’s death, the vessel of patience of Hindus out-flowed”.
Mr. Kuldip Nayar, who is said to be sympathiser of Sikhs, also participated in popularizing false and baseless State propaganda against the Sikhs and thus participated in misinformation war against Sikhs. In his co-authored book “Tragedy of Punjab” (Published in 1984) he stated that bullets were fired from inside the Darbar Sahib itself by Sikh militants. This is a known fact, and there are many surviving eye witnesses to the fact that no bullet was fired from Sri Darbar Sahib. In this book Mr. Nayar used the technique of telling half truth to create and impression that 22 fighters surrendered, or were arrested by the Army, from Sri Darbar Sahib itself. The reality is that they were Granthis, Kirtaniyas and other Sewadars who were in the Darbar Sahib to perform their daily duties.
In this book Mr. Nayar went on to defend Operation Blue Star and Operation Wood Rose in a suggestive tone, whereas now he is claiming that he opposed the army action of June 1984.