Reflections on 1984 – Condemned To Die

A Poem by ‘The Singh Twins’, 2006


Condemned to die

For what possible reason?

A faith in one God and service to others,

A love for all humans as sisters and brothers?

Arts _ Culture-Reflections on 1984-1

What was their crime?

Those who gathered to pray

At their holiest shrine on a holy day?

Butchered by bullets like lambs at the slaughter

Mother, father, son, daughter

Arts _ Culture-Reflections on 1984-2

And washing their hands of this innocent blood

A world remained silent or blinded by lies

Churned out by censured media eyes


The massacre of Sikhs in 84

Was nothing new; it happened before!

Arts _ Culture-Reflections on 1984-3

Throughout India’s past and her ongoing fight

Against religious intolerance and the political might

Of foreign invaders and tyrannous rule,

When religion was used as a political tool,

Sikhs were targeted for fighting back

Hunted, tortured, shrines attacked.

Arts _ Culture-Reflections on 1984-4

Without fear or submission they accepted their fate

Offered their heads to defend freedom’s gate.


The flame of Amritsar honors their story

Testifying to the loyalty and glory

Conveniently ignored in a political game

Which sought to slander their respected name.

Dividing Hindus and Sikhs and their traditional affection

In a desperate bid for re-election.

Arts _ Culture-Reflections on 1984-5

Condemned without reason

Except to feed the selfish ambition and political greed

Of those in power, with something to gain

From the terror, misery and suffering they reign

On those who are blameless of any crime.

Victims of circumstance, place and time.

Arts _ Culture-Reflections on 1984-6

Hard to forget, harder still to forgive,

Yet survivors find strength in their faith to live

As a people condemned in a Nation they serve

Suffering a fate they don’t deserve.

Arts _ Culture-Reflections on 1984-7

Poem and Artwork Copyright The Singh Twins:

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About The Singh Twins

The Singh Twins are internationally acclaimed artists, acknowledged for creating a unique ‘Past-Modern’ genre in Contemporary British Art through a pioneering development of the Indian miniature tradition. Their award-winning work explores social and political issues of universal debate, challenges cultural stereotypes and redefines generally accepted narrow perceptions of heritage and identity.

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  • Parminder Kaur Dhillon

    The Singh Twins have expressed their sorrow and heartache through their Art. When we are faced with so much hurt we all act differently, some get angry, some get violent, some write their feelings, some fight for justice, yet most people forget and move on with their lives! Dr. Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India, stayed quiet, with an expressionless face and a fixed smile, the whole of India is making fun of him, however, this Sava Lakh Singh brought about the downfall of the Nehru Family and their party! In his mind, he was thinking, no one has ever attacked the heart and soul of Sikhi and survived ! What a clever man, he worked from within! I will show them he must have thought! He played his cards well !

  • Simran Kaur

    What a moving out-pour of emotions!!! The artwork appears to be poetry with brushstrokes and the poetry- simply a masterpiece painted with words.

  • Poet Balwant Gurunay

    Amazing poem and an amazing art work. One rarely gets to see such superb paintings. Though the poem is documenting history very well and no doubt the sikhs have been used as pieces by political players but lets not forget that extremely unfortunate incidents of 84 had political manipulation at its root and for that many sikh leaders were responsible too. Sikhs once again paid a huge price for deceit and vile of their own ‘Letdown leaders and Jathedaars’ and greedy and manipulative Delhi. May Vaheguru Bless the Twins. May your art grow and flourish. Fateh Darshan..Charhdi kalla. …Poet Balwant Gurunay

    • Lakhdeep Singh

      Wonderful work of art by the “Singh Twins”.
      “many sikh leaders were responsible too. Sikhs once again paid a huge price for deceit and vile of their own ‘Letdown leaders and Jathedaars'” – I agree
      What great deed did those leaders perform? Their own actions lead to the whole operation(which was no doubt a hasty and badly planned one), it was not the government alone resposible.
      Even though Khalistan was not created, Punjab is much better today than it was in the 1970s & 1980s. If Khalistan would’ve been created then it would have turned out to be like Afghanistan under Taliban/Al-Qaeda.
      Polital factions are always working to keep these wounds bleeding in order to stay in power. However, government should be blamed for not controlling the Anti-Sikh riots.

      I am a sikh, but I am not blind.