Genocide is the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group like the Sikhs.
Ghallughara is a punjabi word meaning a large scale massacre, carnage, genocide or holocaust and is used to identify what happened to the Sikhs.
There have been many, many occasions where Sikhs have been massacred and murdered in cold blood.
Genocides took place firstly by muslim, then british and finally hindu regimes. Sikhs are morally conscientious and inherently pacifist, however they have been recognised as a threat to established religions and population social structures. This is simply because Sikhism is unique, promotes universal equality for ALL and stands against tyranny and oppression, something which muslim, then british and hindu regimes were not able to allow.
The Chōṭā Ghallūghārā (Gurmukhi: ਛੋਟਾ ਘੱਲੂਘਾਰਾ) was a massacre, of a significant proportion, of the Sikh population by Muslims during the waning years of the Mughal Empire. Chōṭā Ghallūghārā is punjabi for "Lesser Massacre". An estimated 7000 Sikhs died in the chōṭā ghallūghārā with 3000 captured and subsquently beheaded.
Muslims ordered Sikh places of worship to be destroyed and the holy scriptures burnt. The muslims decreed that anyone uttering the word 'Guru' would be put to death. Even saying the Punjabi word for 'sugar' which is 'gur', which could be mistaken for sounding like 'Guru', could be cause for the death penalty.
The Wāddā Ghallūghārā is known to Sikhs as the Great Holocaust.
The 18th century Afghani muslim invader Ahmad Shah Abdali led his sixth major assault against the Sikhs in 1762 A.D. The Shah's general Nur ud-Din Bamezai had suffered defeat in battle with the Sikhs who set up Jassa Singh Ahluvalia as the regent of Lahore, in what is now Pakistan.
Endeavoring to wipe out Sikh resistance, the Shah led his troupes from Qandahar of Afghanistan in a conquest to overtake a cavalcade of Sikhs comprised of fighting men, women, children, and the elderly, in transition from Malva to the interior of India. The Sikh warriors formed a ring to protect the families they escorted, and fought furiously as they pressed onward. Despite valiant efforts, the Sikhs succumbed in a bloody battle close to the village of Kup, in the vicinity of Malerkotia.
In early February (3-5), 1762 an estimated 10,000 - 12,000 Singhs and about 20,000 Sikh women and children died, none escaped without being wounded. Altogether, about 32,000 Sikhs lost their lives in the vicious massacre which has since been called Wāddā Ghallūghārā, or the Great Holocaust.
The events that took place in the first and second ghallūghārās are rememebered, and we are reminded, every time we repeat or listen to the ardas (daily prayer).
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, a ruthless and corrupt politician, intiated an Indian military operation which took place 3–8 June 1984 against the most holiest Sikh gurdwara. In an action that involved 250,000 troops across the punjab, 10,000 Sikhs were killed.
Four months after the operation, on 31 October 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated. Subsequently, more than 20,000 Sikhs were killed in Congress (political party) and government led genocide.
Post 1984, during the next decade, up to 100,000 Sikhs were killed. The media was banned from the Punjab.
Sikhs are still awaiting justice.
It is important to note, the racism, hatred and intolerance of Sikhs is still continuing, and is witnessed across the world every day.
In the western world, ignorant people are victimizing Sikhs thinking they are turban wearing muslims (over 95% of Dastar (Turban) wearers in the western world are Sikhs. Some governments, in the past, like the British in 1984, have supported Indian authorities in planning Sikh genocide.
The western world, including the UN, continues to turn a blind eye to Sikh atrocities for fear of impacting trade relations. However, countries such as Australia and, specifically, Canada have been major supporters of Sikh rights.
In India, the regime and the hindu right wing, are currently running organised and undisguised campaigns against Sikhs. The Indian media has an open anti-Sikh bias. More worrying are the covert and enigmatic operations against Sikhs, some of whom have placed proxy/ puppet leaders to govern Sikh institutions and political parties.
Gurmat Gyan (Knowledge)
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