Damdami Taksal is all set to start construction of a “martyrs gallery” inside Golden Temple premises, which will also have a multimedia show to explain its version of Operation Blue Star, to visitors. On Tuesday, an Akhand Path will begin inside Blue Star Memorial Gurdwara which will lead to commencement of construction of the gallery from Thursday, the day the uninterrupted recitation of Guru Granth Sahib will end.
The Blue Star Memorial Gurdwara was constructed inside Golden Temple premises in 2013 and a new gallery will now come up in basement of this building. Sikh militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who headed the Taksal in 1984, had taken position inside the Akal Takht, leading the Army to launch Operation Blue Star to clear the shrine.
First phase of the construction will involve making the basement soundproof so that it can be used to set up a multimedia gallery.
“We will try to use all the available media tools to explain what happened in 1984 during Operation Blue Star and why it happened. Our motive is to explain the history to all the devotees and tourists, who visit Golden Temple. It will be our effort to make this gallery multilingual so that all can understand our view,” Damdami Taksal spokesman Sarchand Singh said.
He added, “We have record of around 300 Sikh fighters and innocent devotees who were killed inside Golden Temple premises during Operation Blue Star. But still, these are not complete records…We will also ask family members of the victims to approach us with missing names. We will also seek help from researchers for this project.
“Apart from installing pictures of devotees and Sikh fighters, we will also use video, audio and other available material from that time to make a multi-media presentation for the visitors,” he said.
While Damdami Taksal had been demanding such a gallery for a long time, the SGPC had not given it permission to make the memorial more than a regular gurdwara.
After the recent Assembly polls in Punjab, in which SAD (Badal) — the party that controls SGPC — won only 14 seats, the SGPC suddenly allowed Damdami Taksal to use the basement of memorial to construct the picture gallery.
“We have around 500 square metre area inside basement to set up this project. It will not be possible to make sitting arrangement for the visitors but we will find a way. Our main motive is to explain history to visit us in best possible way using modern-era media tools,” said the Taksal spokesperson.