July 23, 2024

Chandigarh Headline


Uncovering Truths: ‘Kaurs of 1984’ Reveals the Heart of Sikh Women’s Stories

2 min read

Chandigarh, July 2, 2024: As the 40th anniversary of Operation Blue Star and the anti-Sikh massacres of Delhi approaches, a poignant new book emerges to illuminate a forgotten chapter of history. “The Kaurs of 1984,” authored by Sanam Sutirath Wazir, meticulously chronicles the harrowing experiences of Sikh women who endured the tragic events of 1984 published by HarperCollins.

Amidst widespread devastation and loss, countless Sikh women in 1980’s found themselves thrust into the heart of turmoil—some as witnesses, others as victims. Many of these stories have remained untold until now, hidden in the shadows of contemporary Indian history. Through extensive oral testimonies and rigorous historical research, Wazir brings these narratives to light, weaving together tales of grief, betrayal, and resilience.

“In ‘Kaurs of 1984,’ I set out to give voice to those who have been silenced for too long,” says Wazir, whose decade-long research journey took him across northern India to meet with survivors still grappling with the aftermath. “These women’s stories are not just about suffering; they are about strength, survival, and the enduring quest for justice.”

Aakar Patel, Chair of Amnesty India in his endorsement for the book writes, The lived experience of the pogrom’s survivors recorded here is vital to our understanding of the events of 1984. Patel praises Wazir’s work, emphasizing that Wazir has spent the last decade researching the anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984 and its fallout on communities that have received neither justice nor closure. Having worked with him for several years while he campaigned and mobilised on this issue, I was witness to the exceptional quality of his work and his deeply felt interest in the cause and this book is a reflection of it.

Renowned Bollywood director Shonali Bose, known for her impactful films like Sky is Pink starring Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar, and “Amu,” which also explores the 1984 Sikh violence, in her endorsement of the book, writes, The State organized genocide against the Sikh community in 1984 was a watershed event in our history and yet it was completely covered up. Today in it’s 40th anniversary year there is still too little done – too little justice; too little known; too little written of something so enormous. Sanam’s book is a welcome, powerful, courageous and unique perspective of this entire time period through the lens of those who bore the most brutal brunt of it – The Kaurs. A must-read.

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