Day 22 – Q 2. Explain the factors that created instability in Punjab in the 1980s. How did the government respond? Discuss. (10 Marks)

  • IASbaba
  • February 21, 2022
  • 0
GS 1, Indian History & Post-Independence, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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2. Explain the factors that created instability in Punjab in the 1980s. How did the government respond? Discuss. (10 Marks)

1980 के दशक में पंजाब में अस्थिरता पैदा करने वाले कारकों की व्याख्या कीजिए। सरकार इससे कैसे निपटी? चर्चा करें।


Students are expected to write about the insurgency led instability in the Punjab. Then how government responded with different operation to defeat movement.  


The Insurgency in Punjab, from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, was an armed campaign by the Sikh militant nationalist Khalistan movement. In the 1980s, the movement had evolved into a secessionist movement after the perceived indifference of the Indian state in regards to mutual negotiations. 


Factors created instability in Punjab: 

  • The insurgency in Punjab originated in the late 1970s, was a threat to the unity and integrity of India due to the militant Sikh ethno-nationalism known as Khalistan movement. 
  • Bhindranwale then joined the Akali Dal to launch the Dharam Yudh Morcha in 1982, to implement Anandpur Sahib resolution. 
  • Bindranwale also increased the level of rhetoric on the perceived “assault” on Sikh values from the Hindu community. 
  • Pakistani elements too that supported the Khalistani movement in order to weaken the country. 
  • Failing to get the Anandpur Resolution implemented, he declared his intention to carve out a semi-autonomous homeland for Sikhs in the Punjab region of India. 
  • In 1983, to escape arrest, he along with his militant cadre occupied and fortified the Sikh shrine Akal Takht. 


  • Hence, Operation Blue Star was launched between 1st June and 6th June 1984, with the aim of getting rid of Bhindranwale and his demands. 
  • There were two components to the operation, Operation Metal, which was the invasion of the temple complex, and Operation Store, which was restricted to the state’s countryside. 
  • This operation helped to eradicate Khalistani extremism, resulting in the death of Bhindranwale. 


Though the Golden Temple was restored and made free of militants and arms, the operation was criticised by Sikhs the world over, since it was carried out at their holiest site of worship. The long-term result of the operation left the Khalistan movement defeated. It also left India united, and Punjab free of militancy, and ensured that the Golden Temple is free of violence, guns and ammunition. 

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