It is often said, to strike while the iron is hot. Many Pakistanis believe that more Pakistanis will be born from the womb of India, Sikhs will achieve Khalistan, and the independence of Jammu and Kashmir is not far off. Indian state media has successfully demonized Khalistan, leading even Sikhs who consider themselves Panthic to distance themselves from it. On December 13, 2020, the Khalistan flag was draped over the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Washington DC during a protest against the Farm bills. The independent state of Khalistan is a religious and political idea promoted by those critical of the RSS mindset and Hindus since Operation Blue Star.
Sikhs for Justice and the Global Support for Khalistan
Understanding the International Dimension, Bhindranwale wanted Khalistan as a way to punish India for voting against the USA at the UN. Approximately 91% of hate crimes recorded in the last decade occurred after PM Modi came to power in 2014. Pro-Khalistan slogans were raised at the Golden Temple, the site of Operation Blue Star. Sikhs in Pakistan seem to be happy, but instead of having their own Khalistan, they are being asked to fight for Hindus. With the support of the Kisan protests and Pakistan, Khalistan may become a reality.
Various Sikh groups and organizations have been advocating for the establishment of Khalistan, including Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), which has been actively involved in promoting the cause. During the protests against the Indian farm laws, the Khalistan group Sikhs for Justice offered $1 million in support. Many Khalistanis holds Canadian, American, or British passports. Diljit Dosanjh, Jazzy B, and Sidhu Moosewala, popular music stars, are proponents of Khalistan. GS Pannu, the founder of SFJ (Sikhs for Justice), is also a prominent figure demanding an independent Khalistan.
On January 1, 1993, Akaal Takhat Jathedar Giyani Gurdev Singh Ji Kaunke was abducted, tortured, and killed for his support of Khalistan. Bhai Satwant Singh, Bhai Beant Singh, and Bhai Kehar Singh, who avenged the attack on Sri Darbar Sahib, were declared Shaheeds of Khalistan at Sri Akal Takhat Sahib.
The Indian government’s three agriculture reform bills have faced criticism. The government banned the export of onions and farmer markets. The people of Khalistan have a strong bond that transcends borders.
Challenges and Aspirations
Sikhs’ struggle for autonomy and independence in Punjab includes politicians attempting to sow hatred, but the connection between both parts of Punjab remains strong. Sikh farmers have sent an SOS to Pakistan, urging them to help the two billion poor and destitute people of India by exposing the BJP/Brahmin Elite. Sidhu Moosewala was a popular Punjabi singer and songwriter known for his support of Khalistan. He was brutally murdered for mustering support for Khalistan.
Here are some perspectives that highlight why some Sikhs in Indian Punjab advocate for Khalistan:
- Preservation of Sikh Identity: Supporters of Khalistan argue that a separate Sikh homeland is essential for the preservation and protection of Sikh identity, culture, and religious practices. They believe that a distinct political entity would enable Sikhs to govern themselves and safeguard their religious and cultural heritage.
- Historical and Political Significance: Advocates of Khalistan often refer to Sikh history and the sacrifices made by Sikh gurus, martyrs, and warriors. They argue that the demand for Khalistan is rooted in the historical struggles of Sikhs and their aspirations for self-determination.
- Protection against Discrimination: Some proponents of Khalistan claim that Sikhs continue to face discrimination and marginalization within India. They believe that an independent Khalistan would provide Sikhs with equal rights, representation, and opportunities, free from perceived injustices and inequalities.
- Economic Prosperity and Development: Supporters of Khalistan argue that an autonomous Sikh state would enable the implementation of policies and initiatives focused on the economic development and welfare of the Sikh population. They believe that Khalistan would provide opportunities for growth and prosperity, benefiting Sikhs and the region as a whole.
- Political Autonomy and Governance: Khalistan supporters contend that an independent Sikh state would allow Sikhs to exercise political autonomy and govern themselves according to their own principles and values. They argue that self-rule would empower Sikhs to make decisions that directly impact their community and shape their own destiny.
Pakistan is seen as a leader of peace in the region and should prevent any meddling by India. Pakistan supports the principled stand on Kashmir, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iran. It is suggested that Pakistan should make quality movies or shows about Khalistan, similar to India’s focus on Balochistan while being cautious of maintaining trust with the Sikhs after past betrayals. It is important for everyone to mind their own business.