June of 1984
Attack on the Heart Of Sikhism
In early June 1984 the Indian Army invaded the most sacred of all Sikh shrines, the Golden Temple complex to flush out Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale a Sikh leader and his militant followers who had made the temple their refuge. The destruction and loss of life marked the darkest chapter in Sikh history this century. This event marked a critical turning point for all Sikhs around the world as it made them realize that they could not take the existence of their religion for granted.
What is tragic is that a tense situation which could have been resolved without a shot being fired was allowed to deteriorate to the point where the sacred sanctity of the Golden Temple complex was violated and desecrated in the most brutal and unholy way. Thousands of innocent visiting pilgrims and temple workers lost their lives in a sacred place of worship.The Akal Takht, the seat of supreme Sikh temporal power was reduced to rubble. Harmandir Sahib was riddled with over 300 bullets. The Sikh library with precious manuscripts of the Gurus was burned to the ground. The Temple treasury Toshakhana with priceless historical artifacts of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was destroyed. The continuos reading of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Harmandir Sahib was interrupted for the first time in hundreds of years. These events have forever left a permanent scar on the Sikh psyche.
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