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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Sikhs at Tucson temple don’t agree with action of ‘bloodthirsty’ Indians

    Thursday, November 1, 1984

    Sikhs at Tucson’s Maha Deva Ashram do not condone the Sikh factions who claimed responsibility for the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi but said yesterday they were not surprised at the violence.

    “”We were very anxious when we heard of the assassination attempt, and were concerned about whether she would live. We were hoping she would live through the attempt,”” said Gurubhai Sign Khalsa, the resident minister of Sikh Dharma at the Maha Deva Ashram, 1050 N. Cherry Ave.

    Khalsa said Gandhi would not have been assassinated if she had not ordered the attack on the Golden Temple of Amritsar, which had been converted into the head-quarters by a militant Sikh faction.

    In June, when Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to occupy the temple, more than 450 extremists were killed. The Tucson ashram has held monthly memorials every month to commemorate the June 6 massacre. About 50 Sikhs live at the ashram.

    “”That’s the whole reason. Without that attack they would not have made that attempt on her life,”” he said.

    Immediately following the assassination announcement, Kalsa said many Indian Sikhs were “”dancing in the streets on New York,”” or saying on television in Los Angeles that Gandhi was the equivalent of Hitler.

    “”We are not celebrating. The Sikhs of Indian descent here and in England are very bloodthirsty. Their reactions are coming from emotionalism and revenge, and theat’s not part of our religion,”” Khalsa said.

    “”It’s going to be the people in the Punjav (a predominantly Sikh region) who are going to suffer,”” he said.

    “”We’ve lost a great leader,”” said Vasudeva P. Atluri, president of the UA’s India Club and a graduate student in metallurgy.

    Atluri said he expects silent marches with mourners carrying black flags and people to weep in the streets of his hometown of Hyderabad.””

    “”It was completely unexpected,”” said Varadarajan L. Narasimhan, a member of the India Club and a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering. “”I felt really bad against Sikhs at that moment,”” he said.

    This weekend the club will hold a meeting for the 270 members, and also will hold a two-minute silent vigil, Atluiri said,

    He said the Sikhs had taken advantage of India’s tolerance when the Sikhs occupied the Golden Temple of Amristsar, and that Gandhi was very patient with Sikh protests.

    “”They (Sikhs) must be feeling very bad after the attack on the holy temple, but she (Gandhi) gave them a chance. The Sikhs have taken advantage of tolerations,”” said Atluri, who is a Hindu.

    For India’s future, Atluri said that “”out of India’s 746 million people, there will be someone who is a leader.””

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