Muhammad Aslam

Operation Blue Star was an Indian military operation which occurred between 3-8 June 1984, ordered by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in order to establish control over the Harmandir Sahib Complex in Amritsar, Punjab, and remove Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers from the complex buildings.

The operation had two components-Operation Metal, confined to the Harmandir Sahib complex, and Operation Shop, which raided the Punjabi countryside to capture any suspects. Following it, Operation Woodrose was launched in the Punjab countryside where Sikhs, specifically those carrying a kirpan and doing protest, were now targeted.

The operation was carried out by Indian Army troops with tanks, artillery, helicopters, and armoured vehicles, and chemical weapons on a very sacred Sikh religious day, the martyrdom day of Guru Arjun Dev Ji, the founder of the Harmandir Sahib. Due to the religious observance of Shaheedi Day of Guru Arjun Dev Ji the gathering of Sikh men, women and children was much more than the normal day. Therefore, the casualty figures of Operation Blue Star were J.I” manifold. In addition, the CBI is considered responsible for seizing historical artifices and manuscripts in the Sikh Reference Library, before burning it down.

The military action led to an uproar amongst Sikhs worldwide and the increased tension following the action led to assaults on members of the Sikh community within India. Many Sikh soldiers in the Indian army mutinied, many Sikhs resigned from armed and civil administrative office and several returned awards and honours they had received from the Indian government. Four months after the operation, on 31 October 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by Satwant Singh and Beant Singh who were her two Sikh bodyguards, in what is viewed as an act of vengeance. Subsequently, more than 3,000 Sikhs were killed in the ensuing anti-Sikh riots.

Current Scenario

 Within the Sikh community itself, Operation Blue Star has taken on considerable historical significance and is often compared to what Sikhs call “the great massacre” by the Afghan invader Ahmad Shah Durrani, the Sikh holocaust of 1762. The Sikhs have not forgotten the brutal genocides by the Indian government as well as its Army. Therefore, Sikh hold protests rallies and programme in Pakistan and all over the globe in the memory of Operation Blue Star every year.  The purpose of observing the Operation Blue Star Anniversary is to keep alive the bitter memories of Sikh carriage from 1984 to 1994. It keeps the Sikh spirits high against the oppressors. These protest rallies/camps tell the Sikh youth about the happenings of 1984. Pakistan Sikhs play their part by contributing in Protest Camps/rallies in front of Press Club or Punjab Assembly Hall.


The protest created a huge impact especially on Indian Sikhs. They feel if the Pakistani Sikhs, who were not directly affected with the happenings of 1984, (Because no relative of Pakistan Sikhs was martyred in. 1984) are quite zealous to observe the anniversary of Operation Blue Star, then why the Indian Sikh whose relatives were martyred in the bloody events of Operation Blue Star and after that are not feeling the real pain.