Revisiting the events that led to Operation Bluestar on its 33rd anniversary. (Image: The Quint/Susnata Paul)
Revisiting the events that led to Operation Bluestar on its 33rd anniversary. (Image: The Quint/Susnata Paul)
  • 1. What Was the Khalistan Movement?
  • 2. What was the Anandpur Sahib Resolution?
  • 3. Who Was Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale?
  • 4. How did Bhindranwale Gain Popularity?
  • 5. Why Was the Indian Army Called in?
  • 6. What Did Operation Bluestar Entail?
  • 7. What Happened After the Operation Concluded?
Explainer: Khalistan Movement, Bhindranwale & Operation Bluestar

On 2 June 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi spoke on All India Radio and appealed to “all sections of Punjab not to shed blood, but [shed] hatred”.

The call was disingenuous, since the army was already preparing for its assault on the Golden Temple, notes Ramchandra Guha in India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy.

For nearly five days, the Indian Army used heavy artillery, tanks and helicopters to remove Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was demanding the establishment of Khalistan – a Sikh homeland – from inside the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

This was Operation Bluestar.

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