‘It was wrong to keep media out of Amritsar during Op Blue Star. Without them, there were rumours and a lot of mutinies’
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After the recent attack on him in London, Lt Gen (retd) K S Brar speaks to The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta on NDTV 24x7's Walk the Talk about leading Operation Blue Star and the lessons learnt
I am in Colaba in south Bombay and my guest this week is an old general who, sadly, is not being allowed to fade away although that might have been his wish—General K S Brar, Bulbul to friends. General, these are odd circumstances. You and I only meet in odd circumstances.
We met in 1984 during the time of Operation Blue Star and now we meet here again.
And you tried very hard to fade away quietly.
I jump into my Nano car, go off to the golf course, play a game of golf and get back. But now, my movements are going to be restricted. I have to be a little more careful.
Was there a point in your life where you thought that life is back to normal, as it is in Punjab?
Never. Because whether the situation in Punjab improves or deteriorates, as far as I'm concerned, there was always a very serious threat to me. After Operation Blue Star, Bhindranwale's relatives, his followers, the Babbar Khalsa, the Khalistan Commando Force, all his soldiers who died in the temple, their relatives, they all swore revenge in front of the Granth Sahib. Who were they going to take revenge on? Mrs Gandhi (who was the Prime Minister), General A S Vaidya (the army chief), General K Sundarji (the army commander), General Dayal (Gen Sundarji's co-commander) and General Brar (I conducted the operation). Now, at this point of time, with Mrs Gandhi assassinated, General Vaidya assassinated, and General Sundarji and General Dayal having died natural deaths, I'm the only one left. I knew that once they have given a threat of this nature from a holy place, they are going to carry it out some day or the other. There have been threats all along. I have been receiving letters, phone calls and there are messages being posted on websites—'We are going to kill him. Being a Sikh himself, he dared to enter the bastion of Sikhs.'