A Myth carried forward by vested interest groups ignores historical facts
Who wants Khaistan? The native Indian Sikh community in Punjab has absolutely no interest even to discuss the subject in the routine life. Sikh Diaspora attached with the main land has no interest in the issue. But some disgruntle anti-national set of people prompted by the foreign funding are running a futile campaign to instigate the subject with no support from credible places. The sikh community in India is the most progressive and prosperous community of the country. It has proudly represented the highest offices of the country – the president and the prime minister, army general, top bureaucrat, technocrats, and state heads. Independent India with a majority 80% Hindu population size has showered tremendous love and respect to 2% Sikh community in every sphere of life. It can be a unique case study model anywhere in the world wherein the overwhelming population majority has voluntarily offered respect and position to the almost dismal population size group. Sikhs have completely justified the faith and they have reciprocated the gesture with full commitment in every sector that it has represented. Sikhs have completely justified the faith and they have reciprocated the gesture with full commitment in every sector that it has represented.
Off course, there are differences of opinion and minute governance disputes within the family but the two communities have integrated well enough to be bifurcated by vested foreign interest. Desperate Pakistan led by ISI has put a lot of stakes in abetting the Khalistan movement since the operation blue star incident. There are western interest groups based in the USA, Canada, UK are putting up loop sided effort to flame the fire to keep the Indian progress in check and at the same time, they are keeping the Indian government in good humor to balance the new emerging world order. Frankly, the limited section of Sikh Diaspora aided by western powers and the rouge Pakistani ISI have wrongly evaluated the bond between the Hindu’s and Sikhs in India and surely one needs to spend time in India to understand the genuine cultural integration between the two communities.
Lately, the prominent countries where this mischief is played have decided to come up with clear policy of no support to Khalistan. Canada has rejected the idea of Khalistan. In a statement, it said: “ Canada respects the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of India, and the Government of Canada will not recognize the referendum”. The Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that the categorical stand taken by the Justin Trudeau government on this issue is exemplary. He hopes other nations and governments should come out, and be against SFJ as well—which has been banned by India as a terrorist organization. The founder of SFJ, Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, has been declared as a terrorist for actively promoting Pakistan-backed terror activities on Indian soil. The Chief Minister added that failing to oppose the separatist SFJ organisation could set a dangerous precedent for any country; this could be seen as covert support to an organisation that would freely be propagating secessionist activities. This was in the interest of global peace and security to reject forces, that are hell-bent on spreading terror, the Chief Minister added. Sikhs in Punjab had categorically rejected SFJ’s pro-Khalistan movement, which the outfit was spreading at the behest of Pakistan’s ISI, he concluded.
Dejected by the stand taken by the USA, Canada, EU countries to reject Khalistan, groups associated and funded by anti-India forces are desperate to fuel the unrest in Punjab, three ‘hardcore supporters of the ‘Khalistan movement’ were planning to execute targeted killings in several states of Northern India were arrested by Delhi police. on the KLF radar were several activists, politicians, and religious leaders, particularly from Punjab. During the interrogation of the three accused and further investigation, it was revealed that they were in contact with Pakistan ISI-sponsored Khalistan leader Gopal Singh Chawla and leaders of the banned Khalistan group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), based in Pakistan and the US respectively. The dossier New Delhi shared with Islamabad about Khalistani anti-India propaganda led by Gopal Singh Chawla. Pakistani intelligence agency asset Go- pal Singh Chawla is the former General Secretary of Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee and President of Punjabi Sikh Sangat. Chawla is a well-known Khalistan element, who often spews venom against India in his speeches, and supports terrorism in Punjab. Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) is a lesser-known Khalistan group based in the US, which was banned by the Indian government in July 2019. SFJ has been involved in several recent anti-India protests in the US, UK and Canada, which have been indirectly sponsored by Pakistani agencies.
In October 2018, Gopal Singh Chawla,in a telephonic interview, had confessed to having knowledge of the role of Khalistan in the killing of RSS leaders in Punjab. “The killing of the RSS leaders will continue in Punjab. RSS leaders are our very first target. We don’t want any interference of RSS in our gurdwaras or in Punjab. The Indian government may do whatever it wants, but we won’t tolerate interference in Punjab in any way,” he had told this journalist. On being asked about the support of globally-designated terrorist and chief of terror group Lashkar- e-Tayyiba, Hafiz Saeed, Chawla said: “I have had relations with Hafiz Saeed and continue even now. Doesn’t mean we operate together. Hafiz Saeed is my ideal person. (sic).” While several ISI chiefs in the past have been vocal supporters of the Khalistan movement – including former Army General General Hamid Gul – the Pakistani deep state seems to have now embarked on the K2 (Kashmir and Khalistan) strategy with newfound hate and vengeance. A part of this hatred stems from the fact that diplomatically, Pakistan has failed to gather any global momentum against India. Post abrogation of article 370, the terror groups in Kashmir have been at their weakest in the last three decades, with Indian security forces killing about 116 terrorists in less than six months (including the top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen who acted as the ground assets for Pakistani terrorists infiltrating India through J&K).
Misguided section of Sikh Diaspora plans unofficial vote in 2020
Sikhs for Justice says poll to be organized in Punjab and 20 countries abroad to press for a legally binding referendum on India but India has categorically rejected the demand since it is Pakistan sponsored activity to disturb peace in Punjab.
Diaspora group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) argues Punjab is “currently occupied by India” and vows to organize a non-binding vote —both in Punjab and 20 countries abroad where Sikh diasporas exist on the issue of establishing an independent country, which they call Khalistan. The group believes that “an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote” would “start the process through which we will eventually conduct an official legally binding referendum in Punjab thereby peacefully establishing Khalistan.” SFJ says it aims “to get 5 million votes in support of independence for Punjab” in the unofficial vote, the result then “presented to the United Nations with a request for them to intervene and negotiate an agreement between the Punjabi peoples and India for holding an independence referendum in Punjab,” a legally binding one this time.
The group has not disclosed how it will be able to organize the vote in Pun- jab in the face of Indian opposition to it. Analysts say support for independence is more popular among diaspora Sikhs than in Punjab itself. In Punjab, the government has been traditionally dominated by either the nation-wide Indian National Congress or the Shiromani Akali Dal —a conservative, Sikh- majority, pro-autonomy Punjabi party currently not striving for independence, despite the fact that in past times some of its leaders and factions had been secession proponents. And the current Chief Minister of Punjab Capt Amarinder Singh of INC is the tallest nationalist leader having the support of the entire Punjab and Indian Sikh community so the so-called vote by SFJ remains a non century, however, Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent were more successful and saw the emergence of Islamic states over Hindu-majority populations.In the early 16th century, one such state was the Mughal Empire, founded by the successful king Babur in northern India. Meanwhile, in the later 15th century in the Punjab, Sikhism had been proclaimed by Guru Nanak as a new monotheistic religion that rejected both Hinduism and Islam, and rapidly gained followers. Perceiving the growth of the Sikhs as a threat, the Mughal authorities began to persecute them, and in 1606 Sikh leader Guru Arjan was executed by Mughal emperor Jahangir, starter in the mainland Punjab.
1947 partition to 1984 tragedy ignores history
The Khalistan independence movement decries Punjab partition between India and Pakistan in 1947. Still, SFJ is merely calling for independence from India, not Pakistan. Sikhs make up 58% of the population of the Indian state of Punjab, while they are a very tiny minority in Pakistan’s Punjab after most of them left the area at the time of partition while thousands were killed in inter-communal violence. Faced with the choice between India and Pakistan, most Sikhs went for the former. Yet blindfolded power-hungry traitors like Gopal Singh Chawla, Ranjeet Singh, Lakhbir Singh, Wadhawa Singh Babbar, Paramjit Singh with few of their followers are trying to defy the bare fact of the history by using the bluestar operation misadventure for political purpose and by forgetting the supreme sacrifices made by Sikh Guru’s fighting Mughal rulers for the protection of their religious rights.
Between the 7th and 11th centuries, Islamic armies conducted several campaigns into the Hindu-dominated Indian subcontinent, making conquests limited to present-day Pakistan and Punjab. From the 12th through the 16th apparently for helping prince Khusrau. Sikhism split into two movements: one led by Guru Arjan’s son Guru Hargobind began to regard Guru Arjan as a martyr, became more political and militaristic, and started organising armed rebellions against the Mughals; the other led by Guru Arjan’s older brother Prithi Chand focused on peace and nonviolence, and rejected uprisings. The Sikhs first raised their weapons against the Mughal Empire under Guru Hargobind. The tenth and the last Guru, Guru Gobind Singh organized Sikhs into a military sect called Khalsa (means “pure”), in 1699, against the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Before his death in 1708, he sent Banda Bahadur to lead the Sikhs of Punjab. Banda Bahadur through his outstanding leadership skills weakened the Mughal grasp over the eastern Punjab. But he was later captured and beheaded in Delhi in 1716, during the reign of Farrukhsiyar. Thereafter, Sikhs became leaderless and were divided into Misls. Although their martial skills were enormous, their political disunity made them vulnerable to foreign attacks. In 1738, Nadir Shah of Iran, attacked India , looted Delhi and Mughals were never able to recover their power in Punjab. Later, Punjab was subject to constant invasions of Ahmad Shah Durrani of Afghanistan, who upon hearing of the persecution of Muslims of Punjab by the invading Sikhs, took it as his duty to protect the Muslims. Abdali tried many times to recover Lahore but ultimately had to return to Pashtun territories. After his final invasion of Punjab in 1767, he left Lahore which was when it was re-captured by the Sikhs. For more than three decades, Sikhs consolidated their power in areas of Punjab. But the decisive moment came in 1790, when Ranjit Singh of Sukerchakia misl became misldar. He started uniting misls and finally took Lahore in 1799. His coronation on 12 April 1801 marked the beginning of the Sikh Empire, which went on to conquer the whole Punjab, Kangra, parts of Kashmir and briefly, the city of Peshawar.
The tenth and the last guru of Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh organised themselves in jathas, who would see their first battle in 1621. The tenth Sikh Guru is remembered as the spiritual master, warrior, poet and philosopher. When his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, Guru Gobind Singh was formally installed as the leader of the Sikhs at age nine, becoming the tenth Sikh Guru. His four sons died during his lifetime – two in battle, two executed by the Mughal army. Guru’s mother Mata Gujri and his two younger sons were captured by Wazir Khan, the Muslim governor of Sirhind. His youngest sons, aged 5 and 8, were tortured and then executed by burying them alive into a wall after they refused to convert to Islam, and Mata Gujri collapsed on hearing her grandsons’ death. Both his eldest sons, aged 13 and 17, also killed in the battle of December 1704 against the Mughal army. After several decades, small Sikh states known as misls combined to form the Sikh Confederacy in 1716, that jointly fought against Mughal power. In 1735, the jathas would be combined into a single army, the Dal Khalsa. Though successes varied, the Sikhs contributed to the decline of the Mughal Empire during the first half of the 18th century. By the 1750's, the neighbouring northwestern Islamic Durrani Empire and the southern Hindu Maratha Empire had all but destroyed the Mughal Empire, which retained a small territory around Delhi. This is a glorious factual chapter of Sikh history that certain so called Sikhs are completely ignores to serve their vested interest.
Foolishly, ISI back Chawla and nine designated terrorists namely Ranjeet Singh Pakistan based Chief of terrorist organization, “Khalistan Zindabad Force”, Lakhbir Singh Pakistan based Chief of terrorist organization “International Sikh youth Federation”, Wadhawa Singh Babbar Pakistan based Chief of terrorist organization “Babbar Khalsa International”, Paramjit Singh Pakistan based Chief of terrorist organization “Khalistan Commando Force”, Gurmeet Singh Bagga Germany based key member of terrorist organisation “Khalistan Zindabad Force”, Bhupinder Singh Bhinda Germany based key member of terrorist organization “Khalistan Zindabad Force”, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun USA based key member of Unlawful Association, “Sikh for Justice”, Paramjit Singh United Kingdom-based Chief of terrorist organization “Babbar Khalsa International”, Hardeep Singh Nijjar Canada based Chief of “KhalistanTiger Force” have been declared terrorists under the provision of UAPA. All of them are blindfolded to read the script written by Pakistan to use them for destabilizing India. Likewise the confused Sikh Diaspora is affluent and well accomplished in the academics yet some of the anti-national community leaders are distorting the image of the community by their actions and ignoring the history of the great Khalsa Path. The tragedy of Sikhs is that they have not found a leader worthy of carrying forward the legacy of their illustrious Gurus since Maharaja Ranjit Singh The first work of Guru Nanak who is invariably referred to as the founder of Sikhism, maintained, propounded original teachings, established a new religion and gathered round himself a following drawn from both Hindu and Muslim. This continued for about a century till Guru Hargobind, the sixth guru whose period occupies most of the first half of seventeen century adopted the doctrine of ‘miripiri’ and resorted to an arm rebellion against the attempts made by Mughals to interfere and curb the religious rights of Non Muslims in India. He accordingly responded `to the Mughal threat of violent repression by arming his followers though nothing basic had, however, been changed. The tenth Guru Gobind Singh having observed the growing hostility of Mughal authorities reached a momentous decision to form a structured group of fighters to be named as Khalsa having military discipline.
Indian leaders blame SFJ over alleged links to Pakistan
Both the Indian and Punjab governments oppose referendum calls, claiming that SFJ is being helped by Pakistan to undermine the unity of its longtime regional foe. India CDS and Ex-Army Chief General Bipin Rawat referred to “external linkages” to “revive insurgency” in Punjab, as Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh linked SFJ with Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI. The row has reached Canada, the US, and the UK, where large Sikh communities live. The Indian intelligence agencies are on alert keening watching the overseas footprint of a group of foreign aided vested interest to fuel the movement and create unrest in the border state of India. It is a shame that Pakistan society is damaging temples, Gurudawaras, Churches with impunity having the full support of the establishment since it is a declared Islamic state yet traitors like Gopal Singh Chawla, Ranjeet Singh, Lakhbir Singh, Paramjit Singh are working against the overall interest of the Sikh community by collaborating with ISI and non-state players to hurt the Indian interest. Surely, they have virtually no support in Indian state of Punjab or in India but certain section of western supported Sikh Diaspora are fueling the fire by funding groups to weaken Indian state that is likely to be the most powerful nation in terms of military and economy in the next decade.
It is high time that his disgruntle group should shed the violence and anti-India activities by collaborating with overseas vested interest groups and seek pardon from the mighty Indian state so that they can be integrated with the mainstream Sikh community of the country that remains the pride of the country. The illusion of Khalistan completely ignores the history and it misrepresents the larger interest of the Sikh community. The glorious sacrifice made by the Sikh community for their motherland is unparallel in the recent past and contribution made the community in the nation-building remains second to none. Lastly, India is considered by many as a soft state till the narrative is altered by the current government of Narendra Modi hence it is highly advisable for the traitors working against the interest of the country to be on guard because Doval’s offensive-defensive strategy doctrine can really hurt them badly. As Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah has indicated to all the disgruntle elements to shun the violence and talk to government to secure peace on all ends, this is the only option left now.
By Prashant Tewari Editor in Chief with Prakhar Misra Political Editor: Opinion Express.