Thesis

The diffusion of ideas in Punjab, India: a failed social movement

Thesis (M.A., Communication Studies)--California State University, Sacramento, 2018.

In June of 1984, the prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi, ordered the Indian army to invade one of the holiest of temples of the Sikh faith, The Golden Temple (Sri Harmindar Sahib), in Amritsar, Punjab, India. This attack was titled “Operation Bluestar”. The objective was to detain one Sikh activist fighting for injustices inflicted upon Sikhs and terrorist in the eyes of the Indian government. Efforts to detain the Sikh activist, Bhinderawale, resulted in cruel and heartless casualties of innocent lives who pilgrimaged to the temple from around the world. Brutally murdered, men, woman, elderly, and children were recalled by surviving eye-witnesses. Following this attack, Indira Gandhi’s two Sikh bodyguards shot and killed Gandhi due to the attack on their faith.
 Following the murder of the prime minister, the Indian government launched “Woodrose Operation”, a strategic and systematically planned out removal of all Sikhs. Thousands of Sikh families were shot, beat, raped, and burned alive in broad daylight and
 v
 night shamelessly, while police officials did not intervene. Many Sikh men were imprisoned during that time as well under unlawful and fake charges.
 As the prisoners’ sentences were completed recently nearly 30 years after Operation Bluestar, the Indian government refuses to release them. In 2013-2015 a social movement, #SikhLivesMatter was launched in efforts to add pressure to the Indian government to release the prisoners. While the movement gained international attention, the movement made no major accomplishments to release the prisoners and silenced after a good two-year uproar.
 Utilizing the Diffusion of Innovations theory, this thesis examines the #SikhLivesMatter movement to understand what factors led to the movement’s failure and how the movement can be resurrected effectively and successfully.
 Qualitative research techniques of social media, post collection analysis and interviewing were used to make major conclusions. Interview participants included Indian-Sikhs and American-Sikhs.
 This thesis concludes that perhaps this movement was an “emergent social movement” as it lacked many important requirements of a social movement that is successful. For example, a lack of central leadership that can promote effective communication, outlined, collective goals and actions to create a massive and inclusive support system.

In June of 1984, the prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi, ordered the Indian army to invade one of the holiest of temples of the Sikh faith, The Golden Temple (Sri Harmindar Sahib), in Amritsar, Punjab, India. This attack was titled “Operation Bluestar”. The objective was to detain one Sikh activist fighting for injustices inflicted upon Sikhs and terrorist in the eyes of the Indian government. Efforts to detain the Sikh activist, Bhinderawale, resulted in cruel and heartless casualties of innocent lives who pilgrimaged to the temple from around the world. Brutally murdered, men, woman, elderly, and children were recalled by surviving eye-witnesses. Following this attack, Indira Gandhi’s two Sikh bodyguards shot and killed Gandhi due to the attack on their faith. Following the murder of the prime minister, the Indian government launched “Woodrose Operation”, a strategic and systematically planned out removal of all Sikhs. Thousands of Sikh families were shot, beat, raped, and burned alive in broad daylight and v night shamelessly, while police officials did not intervene. Many Sikh men were imprisoned during that time as well under unlawful and fake charges. As the prisoners’ sentences were completed recently nearly 30 years after Operation Bluestar, the Indian government refuses to release them. In 2013-2015 a social movement, #SikhLivesMatter was launched in efforts to add pressure to the Indian government to release the prisoners. While the movement gained international attention, the movement made no major accomplishments to release the prisoners and silenced after a good two-year uproar. Utilizing the Diffusion of Innovations theory, this thesis examines the #SikhLivesMatter movement to understand what factors led to the movement’s failure and how the movement can be resurrected effectively and successfully. Qualitative research techniques of social media, post collection analysis and interviewing were used to make major conclusions. Interview participants included Indian-Sikhs and American-Sikhs. This thesis concludes that perhaps this movement was an “emergent social movement” as it lacked many important requirements of a social movement that is successful. For example, a lack of central leadership that can promote effective communication, outlined, collective goals and actions to create a massive and inclusive support system.

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