CHANDIGARH: Veteran journalist Tavleen Singh in her recently released book ‘Durbar’ has disclosed that late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was afraid of attacking Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) and sending Army to the precincts of the shrine.
During the 1980s, Tavleen Singh had interacted with many eminent personalities such as Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, General Shahbeg Singh etc and written about the turbulent conditions prevalent in Punjab during militancy.
As per Tavleen Singh, Indira never wanted to attack Darbar Sahib but Rajiv Gandhi and his coterie convinced her to give nod for the attack. Quoting Gandhi’s relative, Arun Nehru, Singh says, “The former Prime Minister was a religious and god-fearing person. She never wanted to send Army to the precincts of Darbar Sahib.”
Writing of Operation Bluestar, Tavleen Singh has mentioned that more devotees had gathered on the day than usual. She met General Shahbeg Singh at afternoon in Guru Ram Das Saraa.
“In that battle was another General who fought on the side of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale because of his bitterness against the way he was treated by the army and the government. General Shahbeg Singh was helping Bhindranwale’s ragtag army build fortifications in the Golden Temple when I met him in the weeks just before Operation Blue Star. When I asked him why he was preparing to fight the very army that he had served with dedication for so many years, he said it was because false cases of corruption were made against him and he was dishonourably discharged a day before he was due to retire. As the man who helped create the ‘Mukti Bahini’ he was among the biggest heroes of the Bangladesh war, so the humiliation of his discharge was especially painful.
General Shabeg Singh went to court against the army and won his cases and it was to give thanks for this that he came to the Golden Temple and met Bhindranwale. He was killed by his side on June 6, 1984. What I can say with certainty is that he would not have been helping Bhindranwale had he been treated better by the army and the Ministry of Defence”.
“Shahbeg Singh said Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale wanted to form a new nation and wanted his help.”
Tavleen Singh met Sant Bhindranwale for the last time at the Langar Hall where he was holding his ‘darbar’. She was the only woman present at the meet. Sant who was expressing his anguish towards few Sikh youths present there, stopped in the mid of conversation and summoned her and her photographer.
Her photographer Sandeep was quite afraid and stopped clicking the photographs. Bhindranwale questioned her, “If she was the one who wrote the article ‘Why am I ashamed of being a Sikh?’
Tavleen Singh said she was ashamed that Darbar Sahib was fortified and there was men laced with guns, to which Bhindranwale replied that Guru had given the right to every Sikh to carry arms.
Courtesy: Tavleen Singh