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Shifting focus: Is the Khalistan movement really ‘Justice for Sikhs’?

The mighty and intelligent among the Sikh community must come forward to denounce the idea of Khalistan so this dies a natural death.

I was a 4 years old incoherent kid, unable to understand why in 1984, the starting of November was horror-filled and blood-soaked for Sikhs. I witnessed my father, my neighbours, guarding their homes, their streets carrying iron rods, sticks in their hands. My father used to tell us, kids, to stay inside and look after each other. We saw those days through.

As I grew up, I began to learn the horrors that were cast upon Sikhs on the streets of Delhi and surrounding areas just because a “big tree had fallen” and “the earth had supposedly shaken.”

Coming from a Punjabi/Sikh family myself, I’ve been raised in both the cultures and never really felt any difference while praying at a temple or at a Gurudwara. I feel the same love and serenity in both places and devote myself equally.

In the present time, through social media, I’ve realized how a particular section of Sikhs hate Hindus and India. This raised my curiosity as to why would one hate their motherland and their fellow brethren, the Hindus. After all, Sikhism was formed out of Hinduism. When Khalsa Panth was established, every Brahmin, Kshatriyas came forward to give away one member of their family to be a Khalsa.

So why after nearly 400 years is there this bitterness that some Sikhs can’t bear India and want a separate land for themselves?

The Khalistan Movement was started by Jagjit Singh Chohan, who through the democratic procedure of election in India, went on to become a Legislature in Punjab Assembly in 1967. After losing a couple of elections post that, he then went to UK to embark his quest for forming Khalistan. Soon he was contacted by Pakistani Army dictator, Yahya Khan.

Yahya Khan played the Khalistan movement to his interest, which is to help disintegrate India. Chohan in June 1984, threatened Indira Gandhi against Operation Blue Star and mentioned that Gandhi will be beheaded in few days. Operation BlueStar was carried out between June 1st to 8th 1984 to take out Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from Harminder Sahib (The Golden Temple), Amritsar.

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was another monster created by Indira Gandhi herself. During the late 70s, Bhindranwale was supported by Indira Gandhi to weaken Akali Dal by creating a vote bank for Congress. Congress elevated the stature of a not-so-influential Bhindranwale to be a major Sikh leader. Congress then realized a gross miscalculation from them as Bhindranwale came out with his clear intention of creating Khalistan, a separate state, from India.

In 1982, Bhindranwale managed to assemble a large fleet of like-minded Sikh Jatts inside Harminder Sahib to give them arms training. During 1982-1984, there were many casualties reported of Hindus and patriotic Sikhs. In 1984, Indian Govt deployed the Indian Army to carry out Operation Blue Star to counter Bhindranwale. Although official figures report that there were 430 civilians and 83 soldiers martyred, however, some sources claim that figures could be upto 1600 civilians and 3000 Army men. The operation lasted 8 days.

On Oct 31st 1984, the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, was assassinated by two of her bodyguards, who were Sikhs. After that, some Congress leaders then took charge to create chaos in the city in a fit of rage. It was a rampant onslaught in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. There were lists made from voter cards and Sikhs were searched and hunted for. Faceless cowards, who were hired by Congress, started killing Sikh men, children, raping Sikh women. The Earth kept shaking!

Some protesting Sikhs with whom I’ve interacted so far, blame the Indian government, Hindus for the atrocities of 1984. It is irrespective of who’s in power, their hatred for Indian establishment prevails. They hate Hindus because they feel it was the Hindus at large who massacred Sikhs.

As I’ve already stated above, and as admitted by Ex-President of Indian National Congress, Rahul Gandhi, in an interview to Arnab Goswami in 2014, that there were Congressmen who were involved in riots, then why does a moinor section of Sikh youth want to remain ignorant to the true picture and why hate India at large?

The answer also lies in that #JusticeForSikhs movement has been taken over by ISI in Pakistan as it suits their agenda of dividing India by creating a rift among its people. ISI has been funding Khalistani Separatists, headed by Gopal Singh Chawla whose hatred for India isn’t hidden. Some of the Sikh youth still carries the same sentiment and blames Hindus at large for 1984. The focus has completely shifted from the real culprit Congress to India and Hindus, which plays largely in favour of Pakistan.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannu is one of the radical Khalistani supporters who has been carrying this movement in the current age. He is being seen as one common face who’s trying to gather SFJ activists from across India, Pakistan, UK, US, Canada and other countries. In a recent event, he along with Singer Hard Kaur (Taran Kaur Dhillon), who has been charged for sedition for speaking against Indian establishment, was seen speaking and threatening Indian Govt. Hard Kaur too went on to abuse Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. She is seemingly appearing distressed and delusional in that video.

With such non-entities coming forth to be in the limelight in the name of seeking Justice of Sikhs, it is just Pakistan ISI which is gaining advantage out of this and the real Sikhs are losing the battle. History speaks that many Sikh Gurus laid their lives fighting against radical Islam and yet we have these flimsy Khalsas, colluding with ISI, whose motive is just to carry out Jihad.

It won’t be long when they realize that they had been used as Pawns in the long run. The mighty and intelligent among the Sikh community must come forward to denounce the idea of Khalistan so this dies a natural death. Captain Amrinder, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, Sukhbir Singh Badal, Harsimrat Badal are mainstream Sikh politicians, who should speak against Khalistani movement and make people realize the importance of national integrity of India.

(The article has been co-authored by Hitesh and Sudhir)

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