Secret documents of the British Government that have now become open to public following their declassification, have confirmed that Operation Bluestar was carried out with close coordination between the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s government and the Margaret Thatcher government of Britain.
According to the documents, the Thatcher government had received a request from the Indira Gandhi government for intelligence assistance in planning and launching the assault on the Golden Temple. The British government acceded to this request and sent a top member of the SAS to coordinate with Indian intelligence agencies and the Army in carrying out the military operation.
An internal letter within the British government written on February 23, 1984 says amongst other things: “The Indian authorities recently sought British advice over a plan to remove Sikh extremists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar….. with the Prime Minister’s agreement, an SAS (Special Air Services) officer has visited India and drawn up a plan which has been approved by Mrs Gandhi. The Foreign Secretary believes that the Indian Government will put the plan into operation shortly.
Further on it says “….it might also increase tension in the Indian community here, particularly if the knowledge of the SAS involvement were to become public. We have impressed upon the Indians the need for security; and knowledge of the SAS officer’s visit and his plan has been tightly held both in Delhi and in London….”
The letters clearly indicate that both the British and Indian governments were fully aware of the terrible consequences of the Operation Bluestar on the people of the Sikh faith, both in India and in Britain.
On June 6, 1984, the Indian Army launched a full scale attack on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, in the name of “flushing out Sikh terrorists”. This attack was launched on the eve of the martyrdom of Guru Arjun Singh, when this holy shrine of the people of the Sikh faith was full of women, men and children who had come to offer their prayers. Tanks and heavy artillery were used in this attack and the Akal Takth, the holiest shrine for people of the Sikh faith was razed to the ground. The White Paper presented by the government of India to parliament admitted that over 3,000 people were killed in this brutal Army assault.
Following Operation Bluestar, the Army launched military operations on numerous gurudwaras in Punjab. For a whole decade and more, thousands of innocent people of the Sikh faith were murdered in cold blood by the security forces, after being labeled “extremists” and “terrorists”. Passions were inflamed on all sides by deliberately organising cold blooded murder of people of the Hindu faith in buses, trains and market places, and blaming all this on “Khalistani terrorists”. In November 1984, following the assassination of Mrs Gandhi, the genocide of Sikhs was organized in Delhi and other places in the country by the Congress Party with the full support of the police and state authorities.
The justification provided by Mrs Gandhi for the brutal assault on the Golden Temple was that the “government has no choice”. In fact, what the internal correspondence of the British government shows is that Operation Bluestar was a well-coordinated, preplanned act of the Indian state carried out in full collaboration with the Thatcher government. The plan for the army assault had been made at least four months in advance. The Indian and British governments both knew well the consequences of the army action. They went ahead with it consciously. The Indian government has kept the involvement of British intelligence in the operation a secret, for thirty years on end, as agreed upon bAetween the two sides.
Operation Bluestar marked the beginning of a period in India wherein the bourgeoisie launched a no-holds barred offensive against the working class and people of our country. In the name of fighting “Khalistani terrorism and fundamentalism” and “defending national unity and territorial integrity”, a reign of communal and fascist terror was unleashed against the people. Fake encounters, the incarceration and torture of innocent people under the notorious TADA, were all justified. The unity of the toiling masses was deliberately disrupted, and the program of modernization was launched, to be later followed by the program of globalization through liberalization and privatization.
The involvement of British imperialism in Operation Bluestar was not something accidental. Margaret Thatcher in Britain and Ronald Reagan in the US were leading the struggle of Anglo American imperialism to attack the working class movement in their own countries, the revolutionary and liberation struggles of peoples abroad, and to bring about the destruction of the Soviet social imperialists.
Within Britain, Margaret Thatcher took the leadership role in attacking and destroying the militant trade union movement in Britain, and in launching the anti-social offensive against all the rights won by the British working class and people over decades of struggle.
The SAS of Britain had played an important role in the war against Argentine to occupy the Falklands Islands, as well as in trying to organize counter revolution in Iran following the victory of the Iranian revolution. Margaret Thatcher aggressively worked to undermine the control of Soviet social imperialism over the countries of Eastern Europe, by supporting counter revolutionary forces in those countries. In Afghanistan, British imperialism was collaborating with the US in arming and organising various mujahideen groups against the Soviet occupation forces. This was the context of the collaboration of British intelligence with Indian government in jointly planning and executing Operation Bluestar.
Beginning with the nineteen eighties, imperialism headed by Anglo American imperialism launched a massive anti-social offensive directed against the working class and people of all countries, against the national liberation movements, and against socialism and communism. They were assisted in this by the Soviet social imperialists, who had destroyed socialism in the Soviet Union, and were contending with US imperialism for world domination. The rise of Gorbachov to power in the Soviet Union in 1985 was a signal that imperialism was succeeding in its plans. The final destruction of the Soviet Union which marked the end of the Cold War signaled the beginning of a period of retreat of revolution on a world scale.
The fact that the Indian state and the British state have collaborated with each other in Operation Bluestar is not surprising. The Indian ruling class was trained by the British colonialists, and the Indian ruling class has always looked up to the Anglo American imperialists for guidance to carry out their attacks on the working class and people of our country and on the movement for revolution and national liberation. At the same time, the British ruling class systematically organizes racist attacks on the people of Indian origin and other national minorities, and tries to smash the united working class movement in that country.
The Communist Ghadar Party condemns the collaboration of the Indian and British governments against the people of India.