Documents and Scripts taken away by the Indian Army during Operation Blue Star

India News (Punjab) Debate
July 22, 2017

Return of Documents and Scripts related to Sikhs and Punjabi’s taken away by the Indian Army during 1984 Operation Blue Star.

I would like to thank the Dr. Dharamvira Gandhi, Honourable Lok Sabha Member from Patiala for his effort and contribution on the matter.

The loss of priceless relics including precious items, scripts, manuscripts, musical instruments – several of them including handwritten manuscripts belonging to my ancestors, was a back stab on one of South Asia’s greatest legacies.

It is a pity that, one, such loss was not anticipated and therefore preempted, and two, that if this matter had come to light, why did the concerned government agencies not ensure that each item was listed and returned back? This theft of Gur-Sikh and Nanakpanthi heritage is India’s greatest shame!

The letter of Dr. Gandhi only asks about the documents and scripts but there was much more that has been lost. It was robbery too! The concerned ministry’s response states that “that manuscripts found in the premises of the Darbar Sahib during operation Blue Star were returned to Shri Mohan Singh, Curator Museum (Punjab Government). Other items were handed over to SGPC functionaries, Government Treasurer, Amritsar and CBI”. The written response further adds that “no manuscripts/items are held with the Army”.

The above mentioned quote from the MoD response (manuscripts/items) confirms my assertion that there were many more relics than merely “precious manuscripts and documents” for which the query of respected Dr. Dv Dharamvera Gandhi was somehow limited to. It needs to be notes that there were items that were sifted and appropriately given to Curator Museum, SGPC functionaries, Government Treasurer posted at Amritsar at the time, and CBI.

As it seems there are at least 6 lists out there somewhere and we need each one of these lists with details of all missing items. 1) List all items missing from Darbar Sahib, Amritsar —{1}; 2) Collated list of all items taken by all government government agencies at the time —{2}; 3) Lists of items given by the concerned agencies to SGPC functionaries —{3}, Curator Museums (Punjab) —{4}, Treasurer of Punjab Government responsible for Amritsar —{5}, and the CBI —{6} respectively; 4) Individual lists from all the mentioned recipients —{10} of all items received respectively with details of all that was done with the materials received; list of all items, their whereabouts and current state —{14}. If you count all of these, there would be upto 14 lists. If the MoD made a single jointly-undersigned receipt each when giving items (to the four agencies) as mentioned in their response to Dr. Dharamvira Dv Gandhi’s letter, then the number of lists would be 10.

We need to know the identity of the people who made the list, so that some responsible investigative journalists may interview them.

We, as a nation, also need to make appropriate legislations to not to soil the heritage of any Indian community in the future.

A special bi-partisan position with a Cabinet Rank may need to be announced and someone with impeccable credentials and wherewithal may need to be appointed by Punjab Government to help recover the lost heritage and thereby helping the redressal and healing processes respectively.

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