Repercussions of 1984 Sikh Massacre Continue

November 1, 2004

Source: The Times of India

On November 1, 2004 The Times of India reported, " If turbans have become the ubiquitous symbol of the Sikhs, the gurdwaras are the touchstones of its faith. When Indira Gandhi fell to the bullets of her Sikh security guards, however, they became red flags to hordes of enraged rioters. For the first time in the history of free India, places of worship became the target of mob attacks. Of about 450 gurdwaras in Delhi, some three-quarters were either damaged or destroyed. In fact, they were the first targets by the 1984 rioters, perhaps to prevent Sikhs from collecting there and putting up a combined resistance. The first targets also became the last refuge of most Sikh families. At a time when Sikhs had lost faith in all authorities, gurdwaras became not just a source of strength but also a reaffirmation of the spirit of the Sikh community. The gurdwaras have come a long way since 1984 and no physical scar remain of the horror attack mounted 20 years ago. But there have been repercussions."