All was quiet in the Golden Temple complex on Sunday, a day after the inauguration of the controversial memorial to Operation Bluestar that was dedicated to former Damdami Taksal chief Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and others killed during the June 1984 army operation.
There was a heavy weekend rush of devotees at the Golden Temple, as they waited for long hours to offer prayers at the sanctum sanctorum. Besides, they also paid obeisance at the Akal Takht and even the newly constructed memorial whose management is now with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
While the regular visitors to the Harmandar Sahib prefered to bow at the sanctum sanctorum followed by a visit to the Akal Takht, only a few entered the gurdwara memorial to the Operation Bluestar where a 'granthi' recited from the Sikh scriptures.
However, most pilgrims from outside Punjab, while offering prayers at the sanctum sanctorum and other important spots along the 'parikrama', also made it a point to visit the memorial to pay obeisance.
A majority of these pilgrims were not even aware that the newly constructed memorial was dedicated to the community a day earlier. As the reference to Bhindranwale was in Gurmukhi, the devotees who could not read the language did not even bother to inquire about the importance of this particular holy place. It seemed the memorial was like any other spot in the Golden Temple complex where they had to offer prayers during their visit.
Meanwhile, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh was not available for comments on the issue of reference to Bhindranwale above the memorial entrance, despite efforts to contact him. However, sources at his office said that SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar had so far not brought the matter to the Jathedar's notice despite claiming after the inauguration on Saturday that he would talk to the Jathedar on the issue.
On the other hand, Dal Khalsa's spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh said that the memorial would convey the message of the Sikh community to one and all that “the Sikhs have deep respect for the martyrs of the faith.”