The book authored by Manoj Mitta and H S Phoolka deals with the 1984 Sikh riots. This is the first book that I have read about the carnage that followed the assassination of the then Prime Minister of India, Mrs Indira Gandhi. She was killed by her own "Sikh" bodyguards - it was an act to avenge Operation Blue Star - an operation in which the army stormed the Golden Temple at Amritsar to flush out militants holed up inside.
[While I was reading on the internet for more information - to ensure as unbiased a view as possible, I discovered a chronology: Khalistan Movement - Operation Blue Star - Indira Gandhi's assassination - Anti Sikh riots - Operation Black Thunder]. Do let me know if you see a scope for correction or addition]
The book traces the events starting with the killing of Indira Gandhi and the government-led massacre of Sikhs that followed. The book carries with it a good amount of credibility because (as the book itself says and I believe)
H S Phoolka, spearheaded the struggle for justice for carnage victims right from the beginning. Legal journalist Manoj Mitta served as catalyst to the cause by exposing cover-ups at critical stages.It is a must read for everyone because:
- It is a book that can be trusted. Written by two eminent people, it forms a good starting point to further your read on this topic.
- It exposes the not-so-pleasant underbelly of Indian government machinery. It takes into consideration the loads of damning evidences that surfaced when Nanavati commission, which was asked to investigate the 1984 riots, started working.
- It dispels any myth of Government's clean image. The complicity of the government of the day was starkly evident. People who chose to hear their conscience were straight-jacketed in one way or the other.
Concluding this post, some of the links that I came across while reading on the internet are here:
Also, a very good blog
A rediff special on 20 years of Operation Bluestar
Bharat Rakshak, a group of websites about the Indian Armed Forces