The Role of Christians in the Sikh Genocide
On 3 December 1983, the Christian Congress of India pressed the Central Government to immediately arrest Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale on charges of making inflammatory speeches and supporting “terrorists”. The Christian Congress made this demand because some Sikh students at the Baring Union Christian College run by Christians in Batala City of Gurdaspur district in Punjab, tried to organize an Akhand Path Sahib in the college. Sikh students stated that the college building belongs to Sikh Maharaja Sher Singh. The building was leased to Christians for 99 years and the period of lease had expired in March 1983. Even today, there is the office of the principal of Baring Union Christian College in the palace of Maharaja Sher Singh.
In 2014 the world learned about the role that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher played in supporting Indira Gandhi in attacking Akal Takht Sahib. A major reason for this was the opposition to Sant Jarnail Singh by the 1983 Christian Congress. The role of the Christians did not stop here. Former Christian Punjab Police Chief Julio Francis Ribeiro played an instrumental role in a "ferocious crackdown" on Sikh militants, in a policy christened "bullet for bullet". These days, every third day he writes anti-Modi articles in newspapers. This has now made him a favorite of comrades and liberals in Punjab and in India. He says that Modi is discriminating against Christians a lot. The same Ribeiro had led the staging of false encounters of the Sikh youth after 1984. Today, it would be considered a human rights violation. Ribeiro had also raised objections when Sikh students demanded Maharaja Sher Singh’s land back
on which the Baring College was established. After occupying Punjab in 1849, the cultural and architectural heritage of the Sikh state was either destroyed by the Christians or churches were built in their place by the British. Given this legacy of the Christian state, it is not difficult to understand why the Christians would hate for the Sikhs to demand their land being given back to them. Given such a history and background, there is now an opportunity to take back the land of Baring College and the palace of Maharaja Sher Singh.
If the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee does not keep up with this demand, then the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee should take the initiative instead, and the palace of Maharaja Sher Singh and his land should be freed from the possession of the Christians. All Sikh organizations should come forward to join this demand.