Mission: “My mission is to administer Amrit, to explain the meanings of Gurbani and to teach Gurbani to those around me; .... that a Hindu should be true Hindu, a Muslim should be a true Muslim, and a Sikh should be a true Sikh.” Conversation, 22 February 1984.
Respect For All Faiths: “Who was Jaidev? Wasn’t he a Hindu from amongst you? He was a Brahmin. Jaidev is sitting here in Guru Granth Sahib. If a son of a Sikh has made obeisance here he has done so at the feet of Jaidev, the Brahmin.” Speech, early 1982.
Demands: “Our demands were primarily the release of our Singhs and classification of Amritsar as a holy city. That was all. These were the basic demands.” Conversation, January 1983.
Separate State: “How can a nation which has sacrificed so much for the freedom of the country want it fragmented but I shall definitely say that we are not in favor of Khalistan nor are we against it.” Speech, 11 May 1983.
Police Atrocities: “The police force is set up for the protection of the public, but today’s police have taken on the form of robbers to loot the public.” Speech, 30 July 1983.
Possession And Use Of Weapons: “With reference to weapons I shall only say that you should bear arms. Being armed, there is no greater sin for a Sikh than attacking an unarmed person, killing an innocent person, looting a shop, harming the innocent, or wishing to insult anyone’s daughter or sister. Also, being armed, there is no sin greater than not seeking justice.” Speech, 20 October 1983.
On Defending Harmandar Sahib: “Do not commit any excesses, do not be unfair to anyone but just as for a Muslim there in only wilderness after Mecca, for a Sikh of the Guru, there is nothing but wilderness beyond Harmandar Sahib. We do not got to anyone’s home, we do not loot anybody’s shop, nor do we lay siege to any place. However, if someone intoxicated by his power as a ruler attacks our home, we are not sitting here wearing bangles that we shall continue to suffer as eunuchs and as lifeless people.” Speech, 18 May 1983.
Some Reports About Sant Bhindranwale
“The Sant’s following grew as he successfully regenerated the ‘good’ life of purity, dedication, and hard work by reviving these fundamental values of the Sikh religion’s way of life.”
Vanadana Shiva: The Violence of The Green Revolution, Research Foundation for Science and Ecology, Dehra Dun, 1989.
“Bhindranwale’s Amrit Prachar was a resounding success. Adults in their thousands took oaths in public to abjure liquor, tobacco, and drugs, and were baptized. Videocassettes showing blue films and cinema houses lost out to the village Gurdwara. Men not only saved money they had earlier squandered in self-indulgence, but now worked longer hours on their lands and raised better crops. They had much to be grateful for to Jarnail Singh who came to be revered by them …”
Khushwant Singh: A History of the Sikhs, Volume 2: 1839- 1988, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1991.
“Contrary to the popular belief that he took the offensive, senior police sources in the Punjab admit that the provocation came in fact from a Nirankari official who started harassing Bhindranwale and his men. There were two or three Nirankaris in key positions in the Punjab in those days and they were powerful enough to be able to create quite a lot of trouble.”
Tavleen Singh: The Punjab Story, edited by Amarjit Kaur et al., Roli Books, New Delhi, 1984.
“By early this year, it was apparent to her (Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India) that Bhindranwale had become so popular he had usurped the Akali’s authority, leaving the party impotent in negotiations and fearful of his violent fanaticism. No matter how long she talked to the Akalis, Mrs. Gandhi concluded, they could never deliver on an agreement that would hold while Bhindranwale was alive.”
Laura Lopez: India, Diamonds, and the Smell of Death, Time, 25 June 1984.
“The army went into Darbar Sahib not to eliminate a political figure or a political movement but to suppress the culture of a people, to attack their heart, to strike a blow at their spirit and self-confidence.”
Joyce Pettigrew: The Sikhs of Punjab, Zed Publishers, London, 1995.
Mary Ann Weaver, Christian Science Monitor, 15 October, 1984“The pattern in each village appears to be the same. The Army moves in during the early evening, cordons a village, and announces over loudspeakers that everyone must come out. All males between ages of 15 and 35 are trussed and blindfolded, then taken away. Thousands have disappeared in the Punjab since the Army operation began. The Government has provided no lists of names; families don’t know if sons and husbands are arrested, underground, or dead.”