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1984 Living History Project – an initiative to preserve the memory of Ghallughara 1984

June 26, 2017 | By

Chandigarh: “1984” has attained the status of ‘cultural trauma’ of the Sikhs. The events of 1984, Indian army’s attack on Darbar Sahib (Amritsar) and various other Sikh Gurdwara Sahibs in Punjab in June 1984 and adjoining states and a series of genocidal massacres of the Sikhs throughout the Indian subcontinent in November 1984, has something with the Sikh would never forget. Those who survived the Ghallughara are living with the painful but historic memories of it.

“1984 Living History Project” (website: is an initiative to preserve the memory of the Ghallughara. The project has Sikh Research Institute, Jakara Movement, The Surat Inititative, Ensaaf, Saanjh, SikhNet, SAFAR, World Sikh Organization of Canada, The Sikh Coalition, Sikh Chic, Sikh Ungdom and Dasvandh Network as its partners.

1984 Living History Project has already presented hundreds of video testimonies, memories and experiences about 1984 shared by persons from different folks of life.

As per brief introduction to the project, published on its website, the 1984 Living History Project’s mission is to mark the watershed year of 1984 through capturing the stories of anti-Sikh violence in India, while recognizing the survival and resilience of a people.

Through a do-it-yourself easy process, everyone can contribute videos to the Project and build the archive of Living History.

Brief Introduction to 1984 Living History Project ~ VIDEO:




This Project seeks to build awareness of state-sponsored human rights violations, suppression of information & social trauma.

Whether in Punjab, in Delhi, in Calcutta, in California, in Singapore, Nairobi or anywhere else in the world, any Sikh old enough to remember 1984 has a story to tell!

The 1984 Living History Project is a tribute to survival and strength. This Project was born at Saanjh, during a Bay Area Sikh leadership retreat, as young U.S. students and professionals discussed the importance of preserving memories, story-telling, and developing a layered understanding of the 1984 events that changed the Sikh people forever.

A screenshot of Video map showing the number of videos collected from various parts of the world

The videos which the managers of the project began collecting illustrated one fact: Sikhs will forever share 1984 as a common experience, across differences, as a community; whether direct victims of violence, or then in faraway places; whether bankers or farmers or doctors or government employees; whether men or women or girls or boys; whether young or old; whether rich or poor; whether professionals or students; whether politically left-wing or right-wing or in between …

During 2014, marking 30 years since the deadly events of 1984, the 1984 Living History Project marked a Year of Videos.

The project is open for everyone to contribute as it invites everyone to submit a video, or tens of videos, that simply capture what an individual remembers about 1984, the June Army attacks and/or the November pogroms, and how True to the spirit equal representation and opportunity, we strongly encourage all to, as far as possible, record videos that follow a similar format.

A Toolkit for Submitting Video provided by the managers of the project is a helpful resource which guides a projective contributor on how to make and submit videos for this project. The toolkit is available in Punjabi and English and it is recommended that the willing contributors should read it carefully before making videos. Here is the link to the toolkit: .

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