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Golden Temple Endorsed Indira Gandhi's Assassination

Pashaura Singh obtained his Ph.D. in 1991 from the University of Toronto under the direction of W. Hew McLeod. The subject of his Ph.D. dissertation was The Text and Meaning of the Adi Granth. He is currently Lecturer III of Sikh Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Sikh Times categorically condemns Indira Gandhi's assassination as well as the use of violence as an avenue for problem resolution.

Sikh-Diaspora (Yahoo! Groups), Feb. 5, 2004

[W]hen the Guru Granth Sahib [the Sikh holy scripture] was installed without 'proper ceremony' in the Golden Temple [Amritsar, India] after Operation Blue Star [a reference to the Indian army's invasion of the Golden Temple to flush out armed Sikh fundamentalists] on June 7, 1984, the following vaak/hukamnaama [daily guidance/commandment] of Guru Arjan's hymn in Sorathi raga was read aloud [at the Golden Temple]:

kisu haum jachi kisu aradhi ja sabhu ko kita hosi
jo jo dissai vadda vaddera so so khaku ralasi
(Adi Granth, p. 608)


Of whom shall I beg favours, whom to supplicate, when all are your creation?
All those who appear to be high-ups will mingle with dust in the end.

This hymn was viewed as a 'death warrant' for the person [i.e. Indira Gandhi] responsible for the desecration of the holy place [the Golden Temple].

[W]hen Mrs. Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own two Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984, the following vaak of Guru Amar Das's hymn in Sorathi raga was read aloud at the Golden Temple:

bhagatan di sada tun rakhada hari jiu dhuri tun rakhada aia
prahilad jan tudhu rakhi lae hari jiu haranakhasu mari pachaia
(Adi Granth, pp. 637-638)

O Lord, You have always succoured your devotees - succouring them from Primal Time.
You have preserved the honour of devotees like Prahilad, destroying the demon Harnakash.

. . . I have examined this issue in my book The Guru Granth Sahib: Canon, Meaning and Authority (2001), pp. 271-75 . . .