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A History of the SikhsVolume 2: 1839-2004$
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Khushwant Singh

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195673098

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195673098.001.0001

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Assassination and After

Assassination and After

(p.373) 22. Assassination and After
A History of the Sikhs

Khushwant Singh

Oxford University Press

This chapter talks about the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in retaliation for the violent assault on the Golden Temple. The sections of this chapter provide the events that followed the former Prime Minister’s assassination. These involve the political and administrative complicity in a mass murder of innocent people (mostly Sikhs), the likes of which nobody has seen since India became an independent state. Looting, arson, and sporadic violence were some of the activities that reigned in the streets. On the night of 31 October 1984, Operation ‘Teach the Sikhs a lesson’ began. The next four days were nothing but chaos and violence. In the latter section of the chapter, the question of whether the general massacre of the Sikhs could have been prevented is considered, and a discussion of the events that unfolded after the violence had ended is provided.

Keywords:   assassination, Indira Gandhi, mass murder, Operation Teach the Sikhs a lesson

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