Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh on Sunday created a controversy when he glorified and paid tribute to Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale on his death anniversary. The World Cup-winning player hailed Bhindranwale as a ‘martyr’ and offered him ‘pranam’ in one of his Instagram stories.
Posting the message on the 37th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, the cricketer captioned it saying ‘Salute to the martyrs’. The text in the image written in Punjabi reads, “Heartfelt tribute to those martyred in Operation inside Shri Harmandir Sahib on June 1- June 6, 1984”.
— Mayank Pandey 🇮🇳 (@MayankP44023549) June 7, 2021
Harbhajan didn’t write Bhindranwale’s name but the post featured his photo at the centre wearing a blue turban. Safe to say, netizens didn’t like Harbhajan’s distasteful post that worshipped a terrorist who had killed hundreds of Hindus. The anger was visible and Harbhajan wasn’t spared one bit.
One tweet said, “There is no count how many Hindus were killed by Bhinderwale. This is how @harbhajan_singh repays the love showered on him by fellow Indians.”
— अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) June 6, 2021
1. Cricketer Harbhajan Singh glorified terrorist Bhindranwale in Instagram story.
2. Cricketer Harpreet Barar glorified Bhindranwale in his tweet
3. Cricketer Yuvraj Singh's father insulted Hindu women & said: Inki aurate take-take bhaw bikti thi. Can't we make another Jarnail?
— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) June 6, 2021
While Harbhajan, who has played over 100 Tests for India was seen singing songs of praise for Bhindranwale, Khalistani flags were being hoisted and waved during an event inside Sri Harmandir Sahib. According to news reports, Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Harpreet Singh Giani emphasised on maintaining unity among the Sikh community and tagged the event as “Chaurasi (84) Da Ghallughara” (holocaust).
Delivering his customary ‘sandesh’ (message) from the podium of Akal Takht, he said that words like ‘Operation Bluestar’ or ‘Saka Neelataara’ must be avoided to refer to the event as it hurt the sentiments.
Comparing the Indian Army’s Operation Bluestar on Golden Temple and Akal Takht with the war between the two nations, Giani said, “Like, the earlier two ‘ghallugharas’, the third one occurred in 1984 when the Indian Army attacked the Golden Temple, the way China and Pakistan attacked India in 1962 and 1965. Upon attack, the Indian authorities did worse than what the winning forces did with the defeated nation’s citizens.”
Indira Gandhi, the Congress leader and country’s PM at the time in 1984 had ordered Operation Blue Star to clear the pious compounds of Golden Temple from the clutches of Bhindranwale and his coterie of terrorists that took over the Akal Takht complex and hid there from the forces. The operation to flush out the terrorists took place between June 1 and June 8 and as per the official reports, 83 Indian Army jawans were martyred while 492 civilians lost their lives throughout the whole operation.
This is not the first time that Harbhajan has worked and voiced support for anti-India forces. Reported by TFI last year, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh had contributed money and conducted a solid PR campaign for Shahid Afridi’s foundation, few days before the Pakistani cricketer foul-mouthed the Indian Prime Minister and simultaneously called for freedom of Kashmir from India whilst touring Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.
After being put under the pump by the public, both cricketers had to reverse their stance and lash out at Afridi on Twitter. As for the post on Bhindranwale, the cricketer is yet to tender an apology. Already loitering at the fringes of the Indian National cricket team, having last played a game in the Indian jersey back in 2016, Harbhajan Singh hasn’t done any favours to his brand by serenading a terrorist. The public might have a short memory but no one will forget that a player claiming to play for his country showed solidarity for a killer and a terrorist.