San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
In June 1984, the Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi launched an armed assault on the Golden Temple, Sikhism's most prominent place of worship, ostensibly to dislodge and capture several Sikh militants who had sought refuge there. Sikhs had been peacefully protesting several perceived injustices they had suffered since the formation of India in 1947. A charismatic preacher named Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale had became the focal point of Sikh resistance in the 1980s and was accused by the government of violent actions. Several thousand innocent Sikh men, women and children, pilgrims who were in the Temple to celeberate a major Sikh Holiday were killed in the assault, which further alienated Sikhs, who represent a miniscule 2% of India's population.
Several months later, in an act of vengeance, Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards. In response, her political party, The Congress, unleashed several days of terror on Sikhs in Delhi. Armed mobs roamed India's capital with impunity killing, raping and looting. When the pogrom was over several thousand innocent Sikhs lay dead and millions of dollars worth of property destroyed. Even though various Human Rights groups clearly implicated Congress leaders in the attacks and documented the names of hundreds of perpetrators, 29 years later, nobody has been brought to justice.
Given the constraints on speech that ironically exist even today in the 'largest democracy in the world', there has been a marked lack of art in response to this brutal historical episode. With the exception of a documentary and a couple of feature films, the events of 1984 have largely been forgotten.
Two Paths Productions , a company of young artists from the Boston suburb of Hopkinton, present Kultar's Mime, an immersive theater experience, which depicts the pogrom from the perspective of several children who were victims of the violence.