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Punjab: 36 years after trauma of Blue Star, new play reveals scars that refuse to heal

Renowned Hindi author Dr Ajay Sharma’s new play, is story of a soldier trapped between faith and duty, and talks about how the final conflict could have been averted by timely intervention, and how it has left an impact on Sikh psyche that cannot be wished away.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar | Published: June 6, 2020 4:29:48 am
Ajay Sharma play, operation blue star, chandigarh news, punjab news, Indian express news The play is mainly a conversation between two characters, Tejwant Singh and Rajvir Singh, who are soldiers in the Army and deployed on site just before the operation. (Representational)

In his latest work titled ‘Operation Blue Star’, renowned Hindi author Dr Ajay Sharma shines a searing arc-light on trauma the commoners caught in the crossfire during the unfolding events of June, 1984 suffered.

Sharma’s new play, that he has completed just as the state marks the 36thanniversary of Operation Blue Star, is story of a soldier trapped between faith and duty, and talks about how the final conflict could have been averted by timely intervention, and how it has left an impact on Sikh psyche that cannot be wished away.

The play is mainly a conversation between two characters, Tejwant Singh and Rajvir Singh, who are soldiers in the Army and deployed on site just before the operation.

A soldier, with a family history of his two earlier generations serving the Army, Tejwant, is called to his first duty post marriage, but to a spot he vividly remembers visiting since childhood to pay obeisance. Both soldiers discuss the planned operation for June 6, the need for the government to opt for it after ignoring ground realities for long, the dilemma of firing at their “own people” and killing innocents.

At one point Tejwant remarks, “Our gurus taught us that we are ‘saints and soldiers’ at the same time. As a soldier, I cannot show my back while on duty, but at the same time I cannot attack this pious place where humanity is above every religion.”

The intense internal conflict makes him lose his mind as he shouts: “There is no enemy here….we are all countrymen…save lives”.

Talking about the play, Dr Sharma said: “This depicts the anguish of the entire Sikh community through Tejwant….a man who so deeply affected by the very thought of attacking the place that he becomes a victim even before the actual operation takes place. It affects him so much that he ends in a mental asylum.”

He added: “The dialogue between these two friends shows that the operation wasn’t a result of events that happened in a day, a month or a year, but that governments created these circumstances as per their choice and convenience.”

Dr Sharma said that even after 36 years, the Sikh community is just as hurt about the operation today as it was back then.

Talking about the play, Assistant Professor and a research fellow Gurmeet Singh said: “Such plays depict the true picture of a political scenario where commoners become the victims of circumstances and various socio-politico-religious changes occur subsequently in the society.”

The author, Dr Sharma, has written 11 novels three of which — including ‘Basra Ki Galian, ‘Chehra Aur Parchhai’, and ‘Nau Dishayen’ — are the part of that syllabus in MA classes in Punjabi University Patiala, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar and Lovely Professional University. Around 24 MPhils and 2 PhDs have been done based on his work. Dr Sharma had also written two teleserials about the farmers’ issues, with 26 episodes each, which were telecast on DD Kisan.

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