Regardless of one’s position, political ideologies and beliefs – today, exactly 28 years ago marked a historical moment in Sikh history.
January 26th, 1986 marked massive response to India’s massacre of Sikhs during the invasion of and the assault on the Golden Temple Complex in 1984.
Despite the Indian governments attempts to intercept and prevent a democratic gathering with army road blocks and sweeping arrests across the state, the people of Punjab attended a peoples assembly known as the Sarbat Khalsa to self-determine their fate. With estimates ranging from 500,000 to 1,000,000 the people of Punjab made a declaration.
The Sarbat Khalsa in a state that had suspended democracy, illustrated how Khalistani activists could self-govern with a massive demonstration of democratic force. With unanimous consent of upwards of 1 million attendees, the people of Punjab passed a resolution to fight for an independent state and the flag of Khalistan was hoisted onto Sri Akal Thakt Sahib – Political Institution of the Sikh people.
Further, the people, demolished the state-built Sri Akal Thakt Sahib, after it had been restored with government resources and money (after the army itself had destroyed it). By doing so, they rejected the occupying states resources and instead re-established the sovereignty of Punjab by rebuilding the Akal Takht Sahib through the traditional practice of Kaar Sewa; a Sikh tradition of selfless-service and volunteerism for the betterment of humanity.
The 1986 Sarbat Khalsa also passed numerous resolutions including the establishment the Five Member Panthic Committee to steer the way towards self-determination and self-governance.
As of date, a Sarbat Khalsa has not taken place to over turn the decision of the 1 Million Strong. Through the traditional democratic practices and institutions of Punjab, Sikhs vowed to struggle for the self-governance on this day 28 years ago.
Today, many continue to do so, peacefully.
Written with files from: www.neverforget84.com