I have the privilege to be married to a Sikhni for twenty five years and I hold the Sikh people in high regard: proud, hard working, friendly and outgoing.

During the 1984 anti-Sikhs riots that followed Indira Gandhi’s assassination, my father in law’s factory was burnt to the ground and my wife’s brother had to remove his turban and cut his hair to avoid being targeted by the rampaging mobs. Of course, the insurance never reimbursed the cost of the factory…

I am not a great fan of Mrs Indira Gandhi, though I hardly knew her, but there is no doubt too that the Blue Star Operation, which she ordered, caused a great trauma to Sikhism.

I know that Mrs Gandhi has often been accused of having created Bhindranwale. But that is only partly true and there are four questions that I need to ask my friends the Sikhs :

  • Why did the Sikhs allow Pakistan, to foster the demon of separatism amongst them? Sikhs are a tiny minority of India, 2%, yet they have always been the cherished sons of the soil and the pampered ones. Their presence in the army, for instance, during British times and thereafter, was disproportionate to their numbers and they played an important part in the economy because of their hard work. Bhindranwale was originally the creation of Pakistan – not of Mrs Gandhi, even if she used him subsequently for her own selfish purposes..
  • If the Golden Temple is so sacred to Sikhs, as it should be, why then did they allow Bhindranwale to occupy their most holy shrine, for so long, storing arms and liquors, plotting assassinations and constantly defying the Government?

They are been many voices who remarked that Bhindranwale was invited into the premises of the Golden Temple by the SGPC president, Mr Tohra, otherwise nobody could live in the premises of the Golden Temple without the permission of the SGPC president.

“For six years, writes Mark Tully, who has been a critic of Operation Blue Star and cannot be accused to be a friend of Mrs Gandhi (who had him briefly imprisoned), Bhindranwale had been telling Sikhs that they had become slaves of the majority Hindu population in India. His young supporters had mounted a reign of terror and murder in Punjab, attacking police, terrifying villagers and extorting money. There had been a spate of murders by Bhindranwale’s supporters and they were threatening to disrupt the supply of food throughout the Punjab”.

No country in the world would tolerate that its most holy place be taken over by terrorists. Remember what happened in the Mecca, when the Grand Mosque was taken over by 70 terrorists wanting to overthrow the Saudi monarchy, accusing it of having betrayed Islamic principles and sold out to western countries?  Within a few days, Saudi forces, helped by French commandos, drilled holes into the courtyard and dropped grenades into the rooms below, indiscriminately killing many hostages but driving the remaining rebels into more open areas where they could be picked off by sharpshooters. More than two weeks after the assault began, the surviving rebels finally surrendered. At dawn on Jan. 9, 1980, in the public squares of eight Saudi cities, including Mecca, 63 Grand Mosque militants were beheaded by sword on orders of the king.

Though Harmandir Saheb and the Akal Takht were heavily damaged, The Golden Temple itself was intact, scarred only by a few bullet holes. While defenders had fired from the Temple, the army had clearly obeyed orders not to fire at it.

Why make saints of Indira Gandhi’s assassins ? Satwant Singh and Beant Singhwere murderers who killed a defenceless woman lying on the ground that they had sworn to protect. She had been asked by her advisers to remove them, yet she had trusted them.

  • Why is the Sikh minority drifting away from its Hindu brothers and sisters? They should remember that they were created to defend the Hindus. Indeed every Hindu family used to give their eldest son to Sikhism. This is how my wife’s grandfather became a Sikh. And they did indeed defend them, particularly against Aurangzeb, or at the time of Partition, when Muslims mobs murdered Hindus at will and Sikhs retaliated, protecting Hindus.

    But today many Sikhs, particularly abroad, insist they have nothing to do with Hindus and think of themselves as separate. I remember meeting some Sikh community leaders of JK1 in Delhi a few years ago, to ask them to host an exhibition on Aurangzeb, which my Foundation FACT ( had mounted. I was shocked when they told me that they felt closer to Aurangzeb than to Bush (who was President of US at that time), whereas Aurangzeb had one of their dearest Gurus, Teg Bahadur, beheaded ! Another time in the USA, I met some of the richest US Sikhs, to raise money for the Museum of Indian History I am building in Pune. We have an exhibition on Sikhism, which was inaugurated by HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the SPG president in the Bangla Sahib Gurdwara in Delhi, and is now hosted permanently in the Museum ( . But they aggressed me because at that time the French Government had banned the wearing of the hijab in French public schools and out of fairness, they also had forbidden the Sikh turban.

I salute Mrs Gandhi, who whatever her faults, died a martyr.

Francois Gautier


  1. A question worthy of introspection by everyone involved.

  2. Interesting questions. Strange about Sikhs liking Aurangzeb more than Bush. The answer would be no always. Yes, the distance tween Sikhs and Hindus has grown for various reasons, it started from the days when Punjab was carved into smaller states and it widened after 1984. I would not call it animosity tween the two, let’s put it this way, if they were coalition partners earlier, the support is now on case by case basis. The other reason is that with the information explosion all Indian communities have started to develop their own identities and begun to notice the little differences they hadn’t noticed, or ignored before.
    As for Bhindrawale in the Golden Temple, I would give the same answer I give to Muslims today when they come up with that ” don’t blame the entire community for the deeds of a few” it is the responsibility of each community to stand up and clean up its house, if it can’t then don’t criticise the world for pointing fingers at you and don’t blame the world when it cleans up your house.
    I am a Sikh

  3. well conspiracies created by ppl in power, are never understood by common man, in this media dominated world ppl in lower class, are made to think whatever goverments want them to think for their ulterior motives,
    we never know exactly what happened inside king’s[[ ppl in power] we just know whatever we are told by ppl who control these power houses.. so the truth is mostly hidden and ppl are controled by emotions for coming to power bywinnning elections be it sikhs in power or any one else

  4. Mohammad Shamim

    You are an ill soul who spreads only hate and lies and rumors. Why not some illustrations on French killing French and other innocent Europeans. Be a human and spread love. Forget sick past, look into a bright better future. Be a little civil and cultured

  5. Bhupinder singh

    “They should remember that they were created to defend the Hindus”.: This is not true. The first guru of the Sikhs was Guru Nanak, who did not “create” Sikhs to defend the Hindus. Indeed in his writing he was critical of many Hindu ideas, such as idol worship, prevalence of caste, renunciation of temporal world, use of rituals such as thread ceremony,etc.Similarly all gurus and the Adi granth is full of such ideas. Sikhs faced a lot of persecution to maintain their identity, not to “defend” Hindus, many of who were against the gurus and Sikhs and were supporting the Mughal rulers.

  6. I do not know who spread and killed the Pm and innocent citizens of this country but one thing i know those are writing telling communicating that minorities in this country 2% 5% or 10% that is pure upsetting the nation thinker and great citizens leaders of India since till u have looked in History PM also told same line in his interviewed when He was FM but he chosen PM without member of Parliament. President was our great leader freedom fighter may be some one have such in their mind but still majority love each other always poison of drop or sour of drop make milk bad like some may be. Our beloved Muslim brother have every position in India top position no where in India Hindu have given but this country search talent and never think who ruled may Aurangzeb be good for every one but what temple have looted broken some section have sentiment against him no one forget Noor zahan and Shahjahan no one forget Peshawr to Calcutta GT of Sher shah Shuri no one for get Akbar the great this country was HIndu but ruled by several world cast religion ruler but 90% Hindus only shame slave in this own country looted cheated and insulted thank to Mangal Pandey save respect at that time. Here we marry any one from world giving respect as daughter in law if some opening mouth we are giving answered without her open mouth so we must learn our past and know what is mean of Hindus Hindu is the word who bear humiliation and help to humiliates such peoples make India dirt and save for their promotion and kingdom. So before comment must read history of Hindus they fought within looted within wreaked each other but never disturb guest they have given key to them within fight my red back. So many insulting our religion but every one seeing calmly but u throw a chit making some sketch whole country will burnt. so do not write such people will feel bad now some Hindus are being literate knowing Hindus knowledge were killed and being killed.BY OP Upadhyay _414006

  7. you r totally misguided. n check ur facts. n u r no authority to ask us.

  8. Very well debated piece. Food for thought indeed. It raises many uncomfortable questions which need to be left unanswered. There is no doubt this period in the history of Punjab will go down as a blot on our nationhood. But what is remarkable is the fact that it has not left a scar on the social surface of the state. There are no two communities/religious denominations anywhere in the world as harmoniously assimilated into each other and connected as the Hindus and the Sikhs. I am a Punjabi who is very proud of this connect.

  9. you have raised some very valid questions. what i find most surprising is that despite 1984 riots and their unhappiness with indira gandhi for operation blue star, a large number of sikhs still can be seen supporting and being part of congress party. many sikhs are distancing themselves from hindus but recently in the communal riots between sikhs and muslims in saharanpur, uttar pradesh, hindus were heavily targeted by the muslim crowd as for them sikhs and hindus were the same. in fact more hindu shops and properties were burnt and damaged in these riots as compared to sikhs. you are absolutely right that when the golden temple was misused the community silently watched it and tacitly supported the extremists who openly killed hindus in punjab taking them down from the buses and other public transports. to this also the sikh community in general was a mute witness.

  10. Ravinder Nath Bhat

    I may not comment as I see no free reason in the above comments however Guru Nanak was Guru of not only Sikhs

  11. Appreciate ur thoughts. The response I have is extensive which would answer the queries raised. Let’s forge a meaningful fact based not opinion based conversation. If ok pl respond on email

  12. Ks ahluwalia. Pl do cc me in yr mail if you choose to respond to this. I’d be v interested to hear yr point of view

  13. ‘Bhindranwale was originally the creation of Pakistan’ can you explain

  14. Suppose if someone hit/cut your body with knife, you will feel the pain and then u must realise that pain too and if don’t you will not always aware of that pain. so my dear friend feel the pain first then ask questions. dont ask baseless questions for liking and comments. go and join press.

  15. Great Sir. Wonderful. Best write up I have ever read on Sikh terrorism.

  16. Great thoughts. You need to be in main stream media and tv . When i read you , i find mainstream media hopelessly inadequate ,probably mainstream media is living in past.Keep it up.Mr Gautier. I live in Nanded close to Sachkhand Gurudwara since more than 46 years.To me Sikhs are the elder brothers of Hindus .Some one may or may not accept it .To me Gurudwara is equally important as it is to my elder Sikh brother.You have asked valid questions about Bhindranwale.

  17. kya bakvas chal rahi hai! koi kaam dhandha nahi hai sabke pas kya?

  18. One million % I agree with you Mr FRANCOIS GAUTIER !

  19. The % term is applicable from 0 – 100 any value above or below it stands void, so please first get your figures correct!

  20. posted on behalf of a friend dr.j.s. ranyal

    [disclaimer- i may not agree with his views]
    Mr. Gautier
    I will answer all your questions, but in my order.First-I am not a scholar of Sikhism, just a plain practicing Sikh.I like your interest in our affairs.In the end, I have a question for you too.
    1.Sikhs were not created to protect Hindus.This is a often repeated statement & full of ignorance.Sikhism starts with Guru Nanak(the first of ten gurus.).He has written extensively in verse but nowhere he mentions such a purpose.His entire purpose was to put the masses of India back on path to connect with God.Guru Gobind Singh who created Khalsa, wanted to create people who are dedicated in their search for God(SANT).Because Khalsa was created in the times of a very oppressive Mughal emperor(AURANGZEB), He (THE GURU) wanted khalsa to be able look after its own safety as well as those of other downtrodden people–Hindus were particularly suppressed by Aurangzeb.Just think if some body with the mentality of Osama bin Laden or Baghdadi is king, esp. before the birth of Media.Khalsa were a Warrior class who extended their protection toHindus & that is not the sole reason of their existence.
    2.prescence of “alcohol” & such things in Harminder Sahib complex.This is not the truth but cheap Govt. propaganda to sway public opinion against sikhs.If you visit this holy place & see the fervour & attachment of Sikhs,anybody will easily see why sikhs cant do such a thing to this place.
    3.Bhindrawale in Harminder sahib; I believe Indira Gandhi had allowed Bhindrawale to become such a monster, that SGPC could not have stopped him.But yes, TOHRA could have lodged a FIR against him.He did not do this out of fear or comradeship I dont know, but wish he had done so.
    4.Murder of Indira Gandhi by her bodygaurds;the day Indira Gandhi ordered Army into Golden temple, she wrote & signed her own death sentence.The than PM was herself poorly educate to understand the Psyche of Sikhs & I think badly adviced by her General & ministers.Sikhs could never have forgiven anybody for doing such a thing.If you think the bodygaurds were sworn to protect her, than they were also sworn to protect their religious affairs.Actually some or other Sikh would have killed IG, it just so happened that these fellas got the chance.
    5.Help from Pak.-If you closely see the affairs pre1984,the whole of Punjab looked like an Army cantonement- & it was just like enemy of enemy is your friend.Apparently terrorists lapped up help from where ever they got.and at that time Pak was only country offering that.Bhindrawale made the fatal mistake of fighting against a state with his rag tag group armed with little beyond their fervour.
    6.Overall this was a very sad state of affairs, with many players.Naturally now you can not forward your questionnaire to IG
    & only bystanders like me are available to comment on a historical blunder.

    And Sir, now my question to you.
    France has always enjoyed a reputation of very liberal & literate State.I wonder how your country put a ban on “sikh turban.”
    Why West continues to confuse Sikh turban with a similer muslim attire.

  21. Mohammad Shamim, just like all Muslijms is closed to reality, not able to see the truth. Truth is harsh, and he will cover it up with the pretence of some other morals, which is actually trying to look away from true facts.

  22. The Prophet of The Religion of Peace, who asked to kill and slay all the nonbelievers is a noble and divine soul indeed.. very generous, peaceful, and divine. We except such things from divinity.

  23. You are not Married to A Sikh, A True Sikh woman would never marry a Non-Sikh man, look at you Pasty White Man and Old and Ugly. Show us what this Fake Sikh wife of yours looks like.

  24. Sikhs should never Stopped Islam from raping millions of underage Hindu girls as the Hindu men were selling them for pennies to aboiv being beheaded. So Muslims are actaully better then these traitoreous Hindus. ANd look at this BIGOT RACIST pasty White Man, he is a Hindu and his Wife is a Desi Prostitute. No Sikh sleeps in premarital affairs, this guy is insulting Honor of all Indians.

  25. Abudulla Frook

    The White Racist man, is anti Sikh, he is married to a Hindu girl who he raped as she was underage at the time, to get EU visa she married him. No one that young marries a ugly old man except to escape poverty, she came from dirt poor family, so this man purchased her – shame less. Indian men are Handsome Ayranys look at this ugly white trash man.

    Hindu hate Indera Ghandi as she is anti Dharam.
    Islam Hates Indera GHANDI as she is corrupting muslims with bribes of free money to go to Hajj. Muslims are forbidden to accept any money of compensation to go to Hajj, Subsidy is forbidden as Harram.

  26. @ Francois Gautier… Thanks for your answer which cover all parts of discussion. Although nowdays June 3 Ghallughara Remembrance March which held in Amritsar to remember all terrorist person and pay obeisance. Manly ISI and Pro Khalistani people encouraging the people around the world to make it more remarkable. Moreover Sikh separate leader must accept the basics of their religion is based on various Sufi, Sadhu and other notable people not only limited to Guru Sahibans. Guru Gobind Singh also praised Chandi (Goddess). But they always refuse to accept it. Furthermore in Ardas there is also a line which explained direct link between Hinduism and Sikhism. EK ONKAR SHRI BHAGAUTI JI SAHAY.
    Everyone in India knows that Bhagauti mean BHAGWATI. So there is no misunderstanding over that word and rest of things. Other i also noticed that there is website which called sikhiwiki that explained that Chandi di vaar in their own translation. . Here they must accept it that whatever is written in Sri guru granth sahib is taken from real life. But few of fake people especially Bhapa community is creating difference between Hindus and Sikhs because they always feel unsecure over Sikh Jatts and Hindus in society. Sikh extremists they should know that Guru Sahibans showed their help for Kashmiri Hindu community which was minor over that time. They must also look at the History of Rajputs and Maratha Warriors who faught many fights with Mughals and never looked anyone for help.

    So all in all this Bhapa community making difference between Hindus and Sikhs. Especially president of SGPC and DSGPC who are playing their political cards on base of community which needs help and education not this terrorism.

    Anyone can Look at both SGPC and DSGPC, Avtar Singh Makkar and Another is Manjit Singh GK. Both are from Bhapa community and they are dividing people. If someone raise the voice over them then they will threat that person. This is not what religion teach us. But they are doing it openly.

    ਦੇਹ ਸਿਵਾ ਬਰੁ ਮੋਹਿ ਇਹੈ ਸੁਭ ਕਰਮਨ ਤੇ ਕਬਹੂੰ ਨ ਟਰੋਂ ॥ ਨ ਡਰੋਂ ਅਰਿ ਸੋ ਜਬ ਜਾਇ ਲਰੋਂ ਨਿਸਚੈ ਕਰਿ ਅਪੁਨੀ ਜੀਤ ਕਰੋਂ ॥ ਅਰੁ ਸਿਖ ਹੋਂ ਆਪਨੇ ਹੀ ਮਨ ਕੌ ਇਹ ਲਾਲਚ ਹਉ ਗੁਨ ਤਉ ਉਚਰੋਂ ॥ ਜਬ ਆਵ ਕੀ ਅਉਧ ਨਿਦਾਨ ਬਨੈ ਅਤਿ ਹੀ ਰਨ ਮੈ ਤਬ ਜੂਝ ਮਰੋਂ….

  27. I have come across, and have privilege or excess to know some Jatt Sikhs and few more others living in Europe and US are purely in Favor of Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists and are against India, Bharat, Hindus, Modi and Yoga ! Some of them are working together with Pakistanis.
    In Europe many Hindus visit Gurdwaras but hardly go to a Temple .

  28. sir I agree with many things in your article except one… sikhs were not made to protect HINDUS they were instructed to help everyone..

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