You could have heard a pin drop

You could have heard a pin drop

(Date: June 10th or 11th, 1984 – General Brar via his ADC (Aide de Camp) requested to meet a few of the old Sikh and Hindu families in Amritsar. Grudgingly, my parents agreed to host the dinner. The General (wearing his decorated uniform) along with 5-7 Indian Army Officers entered our home in a celebratory mood, as if they were to going to attend a victory lap. But, what transpired was very different. There were approximately 40 civilians from various families also present.)

General Brar addressed my Mother: Madam, if we had not attacked the Harmindar Sahib complex immediately the Pakistani Army would be sitting in this very house.

Mother: General, we have had 2 wars with Pakistan and not one person from the Pakistani Army has dared to step foot in my house. It is shameful for an Indian Army General to be making statements like you just did. Is this the confidence you are instilling in the Indian civilian population? You could have heard a pin drop…

General Brar: During my time at the Indian Army, I have fought all the major wars we have had.

Mother: General, it seems like you actually enjoy the business of war.

You could have heard a pin drop…

General Brar: I got this medal for the first Pakistani War; this one for the Burmese attack, this one for the 2nd Pakistani war…

Mother: General, looks like you are trigger happy.

You could have heard a pin drop…

General Brar: Our intelligence sources told us that a Pakistani attack at the border was imminent. Therefore, we had to use tanks to root out the terrorists hiding in the Akal Takht Sahib quickly. We did not fire upon the Harmandir Sahib due to its sanctity.

Mother: General, what if the terrorists were hiding in Harminder Sahib. Would you have used tanks or waited due to the sanctity and let Pakistan attack at the border?

You could have heard a pin drop….

General Brar: Our soldiers maintained the sanctity of the Darbar Sahib Complex and went in bare feet.

Mother: I knitted woolen socks during the Pakistani war for your jawans (soldiers). The same jawans that went in with their boots on. We already know that!

You could have heard a pin drop….

Mandhir Singh serves on SikhRI’s Board of Directors. He works in the financial services industry and lives in New Jersey with his family.
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