Contents: Preface. Introduction. 1. The Sikh psyche. 2. Independence talks, promises and the Sikhs. 3. Struggle for a linguistic state. 4. A state without its own capital. 5. The Abyss of Realpolitik. 6. A graveyard of political initiatives. 7. Lessons from history. Postscript. Appendices: 1. Sachar Formula. 2. Regional Formula. 3. Anandpur Sahib Resolution. 4. List of reduced demands. 5. Rajiv-Longowal Accord. 6. SAD Memorandum to the Sarkaria Commission. 7. Text of apology of PM Manmohan Singh in the Rajya Sabha. 8. Parliamentary Committee on Punjabi Suba. 9. Punjab Boundary Commission Report 1966. Glossary. Bibliography. Index.
"The traumas of 1984 were a culmination point of Centre-Sikh conflicts that began even before India's Independence and erupted into a chain of conflicts each weaving into the next one as years passed by. They were triggered by the Congress Party's repudiation of its pre-independence promises to the Sikhs, complicated by total distrust of them and made more complex by its interventional policies. The Centre-Sikh conflicts began to consume the state by the 1980s because by then the Congress Party under the leadership of Indira Gandhi had set out to destroy institutionalised politics represented by the Akali Dal through a militant leader, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Instead of countering such politics the Akali Dal joined in to support him, as his popularity grew, to save itself from political extinction. The politics of the period cost the country gravely. Twenty five years after the tragedies of 1984--Operation Blue Star, Anti Sikh Pogroms and assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the book brings out the story of intrigue and conflict in Centre-Sikh relations and explores its cost to the nation to draw lessons for the future. The study examines the Congress Party's policies towards Punjab and looks at the tragedies of 1984 in the perspective of the apologies offered by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Indira Gandhi's daughter-in-law, Sonia Gandhi, after she became the Congress President." (jacket)