Jump to content

Extracts From An Interview With Bibi Bimal Kaur, Shaheed Beant Singh’S Wife


bakaree
 Share

Recommended Posts

Extracts from interview with Bibi Bimal Kaur, Shaheed Beant Singh’s wife (published in Vangaar 1993):

Did you know that Bhai Beant Singh was going to assassinate Indira Gandhi?

No. He did not divulge this information with me. However looking back in hindsight, all the pieces of the jigsaw fit together. After the attack in June 84, as all Sikh at that time, we were all hurt, shocked and confused by the actions of the government.

Sardar ji took leave from work and we visited Sri Harmandir Sahib. The extent of the devastation, the number of innocent Sikhs killed and atrocities committed was incomprehensible; it shook Sardar ji (Bibi ji referred to Bhai Beant Singh as Sardar ji throughout interview) to his core. He felt that it was done to suppress the Sikhs. He spent hours walking the Parkarima, through the blood soaked rubble, trying to absorb what happened that day.

He was inspired and in awe of the defence put up by the handful of Sikh Freedom Fighters who fought to protect the sanctity of Sri Harmandir Sahib, and also evacuate as many pilgrims as possible. Inspired by how they stood up against oppression, later on when he became more religious, I would always note his voice tremble during his Ardaas, when he would come to the reference to the Shaheeds “Jehna ne Sikhi layee kurbanitaan dittiyaan” (blessed are those martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the survival of Sikhi).

The earliest and most significant clue as to his later actions and intentions was when at Sri Harmandir Sahib, he randomly stated “I want to become a Shaheed”. I asked him what would happen to our children, the youngest of whom was two at the time. He responded “what about the young children that were made Shaheed here, what about the children that lost their parents here, they will have to manage, and so would our kids”. He didn’t say much else, and I didn’t take it serious, for after all people say a lot in grief.

Shaheed Bhai Kehar Singh

Bhai Kehar Singh was a very spiritual and religious man. The two had a lot of affection for each other. During the last few months he would go and see Bhai Kehar Singh a lot, and he would frequent our house regularly. I later learnt that one day when they went to the Gurdwara to listen to keertan, a prominent Keertani had performed keertan in Bairaag (deep and emotional mood), and had done Katha (sermon) about the attack on Sri Harmandir Sahib. Sardar ji broke down in tears, then Bhai Kehar Singh turned to him and said “Singh Soorme (warriors) do not cry, they fight oppression to get justice”.

He had a very strong role in getting Sardar ji prepared spiritually for the mission he had chosen to undertake.

Bhai Satwant Singh

Bhai Satwant Singh was a very young and sincere man. It is highly commendable that at a young age (early 20’s) he took full responsibility and issued a statement as to why the actions had to be carried out.

He and Sardar ji were very close and he would come over to our house every other day, they would spend most of their time in deep and serious conversations. I later learned that Sardar ji and Bhai Satwant Singh had been trying to assassinate Indira Gandhi since August and that there had been many attempts which were unsuccessful.

Leading up to the assassination

From June 1984 he was never the same again. His thoughts and actions became slowly more religious. He started to wear his Kachera again, go more regularly to the Gurughar, and keep company with more religious people like Bhai Kehar Singh.

One day he came from work and said that a Baaj (Falcon) was seen circling the Prime Ministers quarters and settled on a tall tree. All the security staff were amazed and even bowed to it in reverence, even when one started a motorcycle to see if it would be frightened; it stayed; only later flying off. I said to him that he never believed in such things before, but he didn’t reply.

(The tenth master, Guru Gobind Singh Ji was referred to as ‘Chittay baaja wala”, the keeper of the white falcon. From time to time a white baaj is seen in the mountains of the Himalayas in the surrounding areas of Hemkund Sahib where Guru Gobind Singh ji performed much meditation. After the attack on Sri Harmandir Sahib, many saw a white baaj, seen by many it circled and perched on a branch, Sikhs took this as a sign that the Guru was with them.)

Around September 1984 (just under a month before his Shaheedi), he would go to the Gurdwara every day, he became disinterested with worldly affairs and became very sincere and passionate in his Sikhi.

One day he came home and said “I am going to take Amrit”. I was surprised by this and said that how come he didn’t discuss it like we usually discussed things. His reply was “you know how I used to drink with my friends before, and sometimes I would drink a bit too much, you used to get angry”. I thought to myself well at least he won’t drink again and was pleased.

(On 24th October 1984, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh took Amrit at a Gurdwara in Delhi.)

Your opinion on the assassination, and the Sikh Freedom Movement

When a tyrant is born, his killer is also brought into this world. Sardar ji was not coerced, neither did he act in a moment of madness. Instead he bettered himself religiously; believing that by becoming a more spiritual Gursikh he would be gifted the Seva (boon) of following his Guru's Hukam (teachings) by standing up against oppression, and delivering justice for thousands of Sikhs who were killed, and for the desecration of Sri Harmandir Sahib.

I'm very proud of being his wife, the government can say what they want, because at the time of Shaheed Bhagat Singh he was treated as a terrorist by his own government. They did not support him then, but today there are statues of him all across India, and government ministers queue up to adorn him with garlands of flowers.

I believe everyone in Punjab should join together and join the movement. The Indian government is an oppressive regime, despite what is said in its constitution, false imprisonment, torture and illegal killings are rife. The Sikh freedom movement is for greater financial, religious, social, cultural and political freedom for all Punjabis. The Congress government has amended the constitution 65 times yet it cannot change it once to acknowledge the Sikhs as a separate religion. They want us to stop our movement and compromise, but they do not wish to change, they do not wish to deal with the root issues, our grievances.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt


  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Too add another piece of the puzzle of what apnay experienced during the colonial period (as requested in the OP).         It’s easy to be mistaken by this picture of a gentle, stooped, grandfatherly 95 year-old. He was in fact one of the most feared and dangerous men in British India. So feared was he by the British that, shackled in irons, he was held for 16 years in near solitary confinement 1000kms off the shore of India for fear of the revolution he tried to spark. This is Sohan Singh Bhakna, founder of the revolutionary Ghadr Party. When India joined WW1, every young Punjabi man was vigorously encouraged to join the Indian Army; British officials, Indian nobility, Indian district bureaucrats, even the Indian National Congress and Mahatma Gandhi joined forces to promote recruitment. Opposing that consensus was a vociferous, violent energetic group, operating from North America called the Ghadrs, or revolutionaries. Sohan Singh Bhakna became active in the early nationalist movement before he joined the small pioneering stream of men who moved out of Punjab to the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900s where he worked in lumber mills. America wasn’t colonising India but there was no lack of racism and discrimination toward the ‘Hindoo’ labourers and Bhakna rapidly joined the early Indian labour movement. He founded the Ghadr party with other North American Indians who agitated for the overthrow British colonial authority in India by means of an armed revolution. The Ghadrs viewed the Congress-led Independence movement as soft and unambitious so adopted a harder stance with their principal strategy to entice Indian soldiers into armed revolt against the British taking particular advantage of the vulnerability of the First World War. Their revolutionary plans included smuggling arms to the passengers of the Komagatu Maru on their return to India, making overtures to the German Embassy in the US, pumping out revolutionary messages to Indian soldiers via their prolific pamphleteering. Their most seditious and dangerous plot was to coordinate violent armed revolutionary activity with Indian soldiers in SE Asia. Alarmed, the British promptly arrested Sohan Singh as he tried to enter India in 1914 and tried for conspiracy. Found guilty, he was sentenced to death. A sentence later commuted to life imprisonment in The Andaman Islands, 1000kms off the shore of India. There Sohan Singh settled into a period of revolt and activism with repeated hunger strikes to improve the conditions for his fellow prisoners. Both in the Andamans and back in India where he was imprisoned until 1930 he carried out hunger strikes for Sikh prisoner’s religious rights, the rights of lower caste Indian prisoners and in support of Bhagat Singh. By the outbreak of the Second world war, Sohan Singh had been released 10 years and was an active and fearsome political voice for the Communist Party. War brought new rules, and the Indian Government arrested and interred the now 70-year-old Sohan Singh for 3 more years in an Indian jail lest he revive his violent tendencies during a time of wartime vulnerability. He lived another 20 years after Indian Independence and the Partition, a constant and prolific voice in early Indian politics. He died in 1968, ending a phenomenal life of 98 years, in his home district of Amritsar. -Amandeep Madra https://barusahib.org/general/sohan-singh-bhakna-the-man-who-shook-the-britishers-with-fear/
    • I've worked around a lot of them over the years. For all their faults, none of them (that I've met) seem remotely concerned with the colonial thing, they seem too shrewed and self-serving for that. It's some western raised apnay that do this.    
    • I agree that the situation is improving among western born Sikhs, but I don't think there has been any significant growing consciousness in that regard among Indian Sikhs.
    • You're right, but I don't see hordes of apnay queuing up to join in, like before. We do have a ground level movement that questions the past in the UK like never before. 'No more sepoys'. The whole colonial period is under scrutiny across the board these days.  Interestingly, this is part and parcel of a growing consciousness in broad areas amongst Sikhs. Of course we will have opportunists and the gullible who struggle to put the past in proper context, but then that just makes the job of de-brainwashing apnay all the more important. We might not be able to educate every last person, but we can make a big difference, enough to reign in the confused.  
    • This is no big mystical revelation imho.  European whites fighting amongst themselves has been on the cards for ages. It's the natural state of things if long term history is anything to go by.  The only good point right now is that we don't hordes of our own illiterate pendu peasants lined up to do goray's dirty work for peanut money that was stolen off them in the first place (like in the previous conflicts with krauts/nazis).  Shasters will be/are important, but anyone who doesn't recognise how important ashtars i.e. projectile weapons like guns, canons, missiles etc. are today is a bewakoof of major proportions. Those of us in the western diaspora: abled bodied young men and women, get ready to defend your own community in the potential face of a rise of racism. It's been done before. Plus the indigenous nazis in many western disaporas have now been reinforced by 'refugee' eastern european ones.  It doesn't take a genius (or a mahapurash sant) to figure out what we may have to face.  
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use