Towards Conflict Resolution in the Third World
By Goran Lindgren and Peter Wallensteen, eds.
This Article Summary written by: Mariya Yevsyukova, Conflict Research Consortium
Citation: "Towards Conflict Resolution in the Third World." Report from the 1988 Advanced International Programme CONFLICT RESOLUTION. Ed. Goran Lindgren and Peter Wallensteen. Uppsala: Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University. 1989. Pp. 126-127.
The conflict over the creation of independent Punjab started in 1952. Since that time there were many incidents of violence and counter-violence between Sikh separatists and Hindus. In the 1960s, Punjab was divided into Punjab and Haryana as a result of "agitation for a Sikh-dominated area" led by Sant Fateh Singh (p. 126). In the late 1970s, Sikh leader Bhindranwale started pressing for the creation of an independent Khalistan. Bhindranwale and the Central Government began a discussion of the Punjab issue. Sikh terrorists became active and made the Golden Temple their headquarters, where they kept a lot of weapons. The Golden Temple was considered a sacred place, but the Indian army was ordered to suppress terrorist activities and empty the Temple, which led to heavy casualties. The violence backlashed. Some Sikh soldiers deserted the Indian Army, and in 1984 Indira Ghandi was assassinated by her Sikh body guards. This led to counter-violence: mass massacres of Sikhs took place, especially in Delhi. Mediation efforts did not bring success and extremists on both sides took over leadership in the struggle.