Indian Sikhs And The Cauldron Of Khalistan Movement

Kehkashan Bukhari

The demand for autonomy evolved into the movement of independence as the card didn’t work (as expected by the government), played by Sanjay Gandhi son of Indira Gandhi.

Since 1947, after the partition, Akali Dal was demanding the Sikh Majority State, the party demanded on linguistic basis and raised voice for ‘Punjab Suba’. The struggle notched the target in 1966, when PM Indira Gandhi somehow, accepted the demand of Akali Dal and Chandigarh became the capital of Punjab.
The Sikh majority state became “talk of the town” in 1971 when New York Times published an advertisement proclaiming an independent Sikh state. The advertisement was placed by Indian politician Jagjit Singh Chauhan, who promoted the Khalistan movement in the US and collected millions of dollars from the diaspora.

In 1973, the Akali Dal party came up with ‘Anandpur Sahib’s resolution’, the motto was to safeguard the identity of Sikhs and non-interference by the central government.
This time Indira Gandhi considered it nothing but a secessionist resolution.
After the end of the emergency in 1977, Akali Dal formed sarkar in Punjab, but things started to heat up in 1982, when Akali Dal and Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale launched ‘Dharam Yudh Morcha” and joined hands together, to shake up the government, one must have to come forward to play from congress, Giani Zail Singh, the ex-CM of Punjab advised Sanjay Gandhi to choose someone amongst them, the prime minister’s son picked Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the card who was supposed to change the game for Congress, led it to ‘Operation Blue Star’ and turned Akali Dal’s demand into ‘Khalistan Movement’.

The scheme failed when the holy place ‘Golden Temple’ known as Harmandir Sahib was occupied by several militant groups in the early 80’s. Heavy weapons including anti-tank guns were stocked in the temple, the soldier saint along with the retired major of the Indian army General Shabeg Singh guided and trained the militants, to clean Guru Nanak’s birthplace from the aroma of terrorism, in June 1984, PM Indira Gandhi ordered the army to remove Sikh militants from the holy place, the military made the move and started 6 days operation ‘Blue Star’ led by Lt, Gen Kuldip Singh Brar, began on 1 June and ended with the loss of 83 soldier’s life on 6th June. According to the army’s record, more than 500 militants including Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale died where 248 army men got injured.

The operation hurt the sentiments of Sikhs around the world, violence erupted in India, PM Indra Gandhi also assassinated by their Sikh bodyguards. Later, Manmohan Singh former PM of India, a member of the Congress party blamed Indira Gandhi by taken the step earlier.
India alleged on Pakistan for supporting Khalistan Movement, according to the report of Press Trust India, it is said that in 1971, under the administration of Richard Nixon and General Yahya Khan’s government in Pakistan encouraged the separation movement. It is also said that the leader of Khalistan movement, Jagjit Singh Chauhan was invited to Pakistan by Yahya Khan and exchanged holy relics, the Indian government also accused Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of supporting the movement.

When Benazir Bhutto was elected as the PM of Pakistan the same card pop up with the question “Are you going to support the Khalistan movement?”. The daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and the leader of Pakistan People’s Party Benazir Bhutto replied: “Drop the card”. However, she made several statements that in return for not supporting the movement Rajiv Gandhi promised her to move the troops from Siachen but he couldn’t keep his promise, she berates him by saying that how can one become the leader of the world’s largest democratic state but breach his commitment.
Recently, Imran Khan’s government chose by opening Kartarpur Corridor in Punjab, on 9th November 2019, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the corridor will be built great relations between the two countries.

But again, the ongoing farmer’s protest in India, brought Pakistan back in limelight as Indian Union Minister Raosaheb Danve had alleged that China and Pakistan were behind the ongoing protests by farmers, however, the spokesman of the foreign ministry of Pakistan, Zahid Hafiz Chaudhry said that the statement reflects the true mindset of BJP, the state is blaming others for internal falling.
The protest took the nerve of the Indian Government as thousands came to the streets of New Delhi, the protest is still going on, people are holding a placard and enchanting slogans against the constitutional reforms, demanding to fulfill the rights of farmers, the issue is discussing globally now, even on social media Twitterati including international artists, standing in support of farmers.

The Indian media even started propaganda against Rihanna, claimed that she’s a Pakistani spy as the international singer tweeted in support of farmers and got trolled by media for having close relations with Zulfi Bukhari, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan, not only this but when the trend “Support Farmers” started on Twitter, the government quickly made the move and dragged Bollywood and Cricket personalities. Actors as well renowned cricket stars tweeted in favor of the Government’s policy, declared the protest nothing but a conspiracy against India, and blamed other nations for the ongoing situation.

The largest democratic state in the world is picking cards to control the chaos but not ready to repeal three contentious farm laws, however, fear of emerging the Sikh majority state is pushing Modi sarkar to think who’s behind it? the fear is nothing but history repeats itself and India proudly takes the credit for the separation of East Pakistan.

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