Canadian Sikh's Murder: How Long Will Modi Continue to Escape Accountability?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accused the Indian government of involvement in the murder of a Canadian Sikh leader on Canadian soil. Trudeau announced this week that Canada was "actively pursuing credible allegations" that Indian intelligence agents had potentially been involved in the murder of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June, 2023. Canada, a member of the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance with Australia, New Zealand, UK and the US, is reported to have shared intelligence on the incident with Washington.  The US and UK say they are "deeply concerned" and encourage Indian officials to cooperate in any investigation. There have been similar "mysterious" assassinations of Sikh leaders in Pakistan and the UK this year. Can the West afford to ignore these assassinations? Will Modi government be emboldened to continue its campaign of murder of more leaders of the significant Sikh diaspora in the West if the US fails to hold Modi to account now? 

Three Sikh Leaders Assassinated in 2023

Since the 2020-21 farmers' protests in Delhi, the Sikh diaspora has staged massive rallies at Indian diplomatic missions across western capitals. These rallies were followed by systematic, and near-simultaneous, killings of various Sikh leaders in Canada, Pakistan and UK. On May 6, 2023, Paramjit Singh Panwar was killed in Lahore, Pakistan. Avtar Singh Khanda was assassinated in Birmingham, England. on June 11. On June 18, Hardeep Singh Nijjar was murdered in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. 

Reacting to the report of Trudeau's allegation against the Indian government, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Syrus Qazi said: “We are aware of the nature of our eastern neighbor, we know what they are capable of … so it is not a surprise for us. “We caught [one of their] serving naval intelligence officers on our soil. He (Kulbhushan Jadhav) is in our custody and admitted that he came here to create instability and spread evil,” he added. 

Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said her country remained a “target of a series of targeted killings and espionage by (Indian Intelligence Agency) RAW".  “In December last year, Pakistan released a comprehensive dossier providing concrete and irrefutable evidence of India’s involvement in the Lahore attack of June 2021. The attack was planned and executed by Indian intelligence,” she said, adding that in 2016, a high-ranking Indian military officer Kulbhushan Jadhav confessed to his involvement in directing, financing and executing terror and sabotage in Pakistan.

Narendra Modi has a long history of murdering minorities in his country. After the Gujarat anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002, Narendra Modi made the cover of India Today magazine with the caption "Hero of Hatred". Modi was denied a visa to visit the United States.  The US visa ban on Modi was lifted in 2014 after he became prime minister. Since then,  Narendra Modi's image has been rehabilitated by the West as the US and Western Europe seek allies in Asia to counter the rise of China.  However, Modi's actions on the ground in India confirm that he remains "Hero of Hatred" and "Divider In Chief" at his core.  A recent two-part BBC documentary explains this reality in significant detail. The first part focuses on the 2002 events in Gujarat when Modi as the state chief minister ordered the police to not stop the Hindu mobs murdering Muslims and burning their homes and businesses.  The second part looks at Modi government's anti-Muslim policies, including the revocation of Kashmir's autonomy (article 370) and a new citizenship law (CAA 2019) that discriminates against Muslims. It shows the violent response by security forces to peaceful protests against the new laws, and interviews the family members of people who were killed in the 2020 Delhi riots orchestrated by Modi's allies. 

Having been caught by Ottawa in the act of murdering one of its citizens, the Indian government has reacted angrily, calling the Canadian allegations "absurd". In fact, India has labeled victims of assassination campaign "terrorists".  The Indian response will only force Canada to publicly share evidence of wrongdoing by New Delhi. Such public disclosures will expose India's links to similar recent "mysterious" murders in Pakistan and the UK.  It will also force London and Washington to confront the issue because the UK and the US also have hundreds of thousands of Sikh citizens whose leaders will be vulnerable to potential assassinations by the Modi government. 

Here's Indian National Security Advisor on how to use Taliban to attack Pakistan:

https://youtu.be/eYRuk8H5M9E?si=ZB1c7Dd8ntQdKeFi

https://www.youtube.com/embed/eYRuk8H5M9E?si=kioJoC8X-6nHSzSV"; title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe>" height="315" src="https://img1.blogblog.com/img/video_object.png" width="560" style="cursor: move; background-color: #b2b2b2;" /> 

 Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Karan Thapar Dismantles Official Indian Narrative on Kulbhushan Jadhav

Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan? 

Indian Agent Kubhushan Yadav's Confession

Has Modi Stepped Up India's Covert War in Pakistan?

Ex India Spy Documents Successful RAW Ops in Pakistan

London Police Document Confirms MQM-RAW Connection Testimony

India's Ex Spooks Blame Kulbhushan Jadhav For Getting Caught

Ajit Doval Lecture on "How to Tackle Pakistan" 

Mohan Lal Bhaskar: An Indian Raw Agent in Pakistan

Views: 154

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 25, 2023 at 10:19am

The Observer view on Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing: Narendra Modi’s hubris is ill-judged
Observer editorial

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/sep/24/the-observer-...

Public expressions of concern by the US and UK governments were followed up in person when Joe Biden and other western leaders met Modi at the recent G20 summit in Delhi. This, too, should have persuaded Modi that, whatever the truth of the matter, he faced a damaging diplomatic row. Yet, unwisely, he escalated, expelling a Canadian diplomat and suspending visa services and trade talks. At this point, it is unclear where righteous indignation ends and purblind arrogance begins.

It’s true, as Indian critics say, that Trudeau faces domestic political complications. Canada’s sizeable Sikh minority wields significant influence. It’s also true that India has long regarded the Khalistan movement as a destabilising separatist force supported by terrorism. Yet Modi, an authoritarian populist who tends to treat any opposition as a betrayal akin to treason, faces political complications of his own, principally a general election next year. Confronting Canada, a fellow Commonwealth country associated by some with the British imperial era, serves his Hindu ultra-nationalist agenda.

India is a rising power on the global stage that ostensibly shares western values. Britain and the US view it as an important ally in the wider contest with China. But the Modi government’s behaviour at home and abroad raise doubts about its commitment to democracy and India’s reliability as a partner. Nijjar’s assassination, like that of the Saudi dissident, Jamal Khashoggi, leaves a bloody stain that will be hard to wash away.

From Elon Musk to Rupert Murdoch, a small number of billionaire owners have a powerful hold on so much of the information that reaches the public about what’s happening in the world. The Guardian is different. We have no billionaire owner or shareholders to consider. Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest – not profit motives.

And we avoid the trap that befalls much US media – the tendency, born of a desire to please all sides, to engage in false equivalence in the name of neutrality. While fairness guides everything we do, we know there is a right and a wrong position in the fight against racism and for reproductive justice. When we report on issues like the climate crisis, we’re not afraid to name who is responsible. And as a global news organization, we’re able to provide a fresh, outsider perspective on US politics – one so often missing from the insular American media bubble.

Around the world, readers can access the Guardian’s paywall-free journalism because of our unique reader-supported model. That’s because of people like you. Our readers keep us independent, beholden to no outside influence and accessible to everyone – whether they can afford to pay for news, or not.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 25, 2023 at 10:34am

Sadanand Dhume
@dhume
India’s per capita income is less than 1/5th of China’s, and Beijing is busy unilaterally grabbing chunks of territory that India claims. Yet, somehow, in the Indian imagination the West needs India more than India needs the West.

https://x.com/dhume/status/1705664824254840896?s=20

--------------

Interview: India’s exaggerated value and the danger of S Jaishankar’s ‘new world order’ posturing


https://scroll.in/article/1049569/interview-indias-exaggerated-valu...

“the US already has other military partners like Japan and Australia, whereas India doesn’t really have anyone else that can help balance against China. Our value to the US is being partly exaggerated”


Interview: India’s exaggerated value and the danger of S Jaishankar’s ‘new world order’ posturing
Rajesh Rajagopalan, author and professor of International Politics at JNU, says we are living in a bipolar age and it is dangerous for India to think otherwise.
Rohan Venkataramakrishnan


“I think the economics of the world, the politics of the world, and the demographic of the world is making the world more multipolar.”

“The world is moving towards greater multi-polarity through steady and continuous re-balancing.”

“The Indo-Pacific is at the heart of the multipolarity and rebalancing that characterises contemporary changes.”

“The United States is moving towards greater realism both about itself and the world. It is adjusting to multipolarity and rebalancing and re-examining the balance between its domestic revival and commitments abroad.”

Those are all comments by Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar over the last few years. Indeed, Jaishankar is a big votary of the concept of multipolarity – the idea that the world is not dominated by just one power (the United States), or two (the US and China, just as it was the US and the United Soviet Socialist Republic during the Cold War), but is instead now seeing a global order with a number of powers that are somewhat equally matched in terms of economic and military capacity and influence.

Jaishankar sometimes speaks of the need for establishing a multipolar world. And sometimes his comments seems to suggest the world is already multipolar or will soon be there.



Not everyone agrees. Stephen G Brooks and William C Wohlforth, in a Foreign Affairs article in April , argued that multipolarity is a “myth”.



Brooks and Wolworth argue instead for “partial unipolarity”, in part because Chinese military power remains “regional”.

Rajesh Rajagopalan, professor of International Politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University and author of Second Strike: Arguments about Nuclear War in South Asia, thinks the answer is clearer: We are living in a bipolar age. And it is dangerous for India to think otherwise.

I spoke to Rajagopalan about multipolarity vs bipolarity, why he thinks that Jaishankar describing the world as multipolar is problematic even if it is a purely rhetorical tactic, and what he made of Ashley Tellis’ much discussed piece from earlier this month – with the controversial headline, “America’s Bad Bet on India” – which argues that the US should not expect India to side with it in a military confrontation with China, unless its own security is directly threatened.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 25, 2023 at 1:34pm

India had been riding a geopolitical high. But it comes to the UN with a mess on its hands

https://apnews.com/article/india-canada-killing-united-nations-d4e5...


NEW DELHI (AP) — The Group of 20 Summit, hosted by India earlier this month, couldn’t have gone better for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His pledge to make the African Union a permanent member became reality. And under his leadership, the fractured grouping signed off on a final statement. It was seen as a foreign policy triumph for Modi and set the tone for India as a great emerging power.

Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was expected to seize on India’s geopolitical high in his speech at the United Nations on Tuesday. But circumstances have changed — quite abruptly — and India comes to the General Assembly podium with a diplomatic mess on its hands.

On Monday, Canadian leader Justin Trudeau made a shocking claim: India may have been involved in the killing of a Sikh Canadian citizen in a Vancouver suburb in June.

Trudeau said there were “credible allegations” of links to New Delhi, which India angrily rejected as absurd. It has been a free fall since: Each expelled a diplomat, India suspended visas for Canadians, and Ottawa said it may reduce consulate staff over safety concerns. Ties between the two once-close countries have sunk to their lowest point in years.

“In the immediate term, this will bring New Delhi back down to Earth. It has a crisis that it needs to work through, quickly but carefully,” said Michael Kugelman, director of the Wilson Center’s South Asia Institute.

TENSIONS WERE ALREADY SIMMERING
On the last day of the G20 summit, Trudeau posed and smiled with Modi as world leaders paid respects at Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial. Behind the scenes though, tensions were high.


Trudeau skipped an official dinner hosted by the Indian president, and local media reported he was snubbed by Modi when he got a quick “pull aside” instead of a bilateral meeting. To make things worse, a flight snag saw him stranded in New Delhi for 36 hours. Finally back in Canada, Trudeau said he had raised the allegations with Modi at the G20.

As India heads to the United Nations, the allegations have “thrown cold water on India’s G20 achievements,” said Happymon Jacob, founder of the New Delhi-based Council for Strategic and Defense Research.

India has long sought greater recognition at the United Nations. For decades, it has eyed a permanent seat at the Security Council, one of the world’s most prestigious high tables. But it has also been critical of the global forum, partly because it wants more representation that’s in line with its rising soft power.

“The U.N. Security Council, which is the core of the United Nations system, is a family photo of the victors of the Second World War plus China,” Jacob said. India believes “it simply does not reflect the demographic, economic and geopolitical realities of today,” he added. Others in the elite group include France, Russia, Britain and the United States.

In April, Jaishankar said India, the world’s most populous country with the fastest growing economy among major nations, couldn’t be ignored for too long. The U.N. Security Council, he said, “will be compelled to provide permanent membership.”

The United States, Britain and India’s Cold War-era ally Russia have voiced support for its permanent membership over the years. But U.N. bureaucracy has stopped the council from expanding. And even if that changes, China — India’s neighbor and regional rival — would likely block a request.

INSTEAD OF THE UN, INDIA MAKES SOME END RUNS
Kept out of the U.N.’s most important body, Modi has made sure that his country is smack at the center of a tangled web of global politics. On one hand, New Delhi is part of the Quad and the G20, seen as mostly Western groups. On the other, it wants to expand its influence in the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, where Russia and China dominate.

The deft juggling of the West and the rest has come to define India’s multipolar foreign policy.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 25, 2023 at 1:34pm

India had been riding a geopolitical high. But it comes to the UN with a mess on its hands

https://apnews.com/article/india-canada-killing-united-nations-d4e5...


Its diplomatic sway has only grown over its reluctance to condemn Russia for its war in Ukraine, a stance that resonated among many developing countries that have also been neutral. And the West, which sees an ascendant India as crucial to countering China, has stepped up ties with Modi. By doing so, it looks past concerns of democratic backsliding under his government.

In the immediate aftermath, the first reaction from Canada’s Western allies — including its biggest one, the United States — was tepid. But as the row deepens, the question likely worrying Indian officials is this: Will the recent international fiasco jeopardize its surging ties with the West?

After an initial muted response, the White House has intensified its concerns. “There’s not some special exemption you get for actions like this, regardless of the country,” security adviser Jake Sullivan said. On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. was deeply concerned about the allegations and that “it would be important that India work with the Canadians on this investigation.”

While there’s been no public evidence, a Canadian official told The Associated Press that the allegation of India’s involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist, is based on surveillance of Indian diplomats in Canada — including intelligence provided by a major ally. On Friday, the U.S. ambassador to Canada confirmed this, saying information shared by the intelligence-sharing ‘Five Eyes’ alliance helped link India to the assassination.

At the United Nations, where he held a news conference and meetings but will not be speaking for his nation on Tuesday, Trudeau told reporters that he doesn’t want to cause problems but said his decision was not made lightly. Canada, he said, had to stand up for the rule of law and protect its citizens.

For New Delhi, the U.N. meeting may present a possible opportunity. Indian and Canadian diplomats could meet on the sidelines to try to lower temperatures with a potential assist from Washington, Kugelman said. Canada’s delegation chair, Robert Rae, is delivering the country’s remarks 10 spots after India.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 25, 2023 at 1:36pm

India had been riding a geopolitical high. But it comes to the UN with a mess on its hands

https://apnews.com/article/india-canada-killing-united-nations-d4e5...


NEW DELHI (AP) — The Group of 20 Summit, hosted by India earlier this month, couldn’t have gone better for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His pledge to make the African Union a permanent member became reality. And under his leadership, the fractured grouping signed off on a final statement. It was seen as a foreign policy triumph for Modi and set the tone for India as a great emerging power.

Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was expected to seize on India’s geopolitical high in his speech at the United Nations on Tuesday. But circumstances have changed — quite abruptly — and India comes to the General Assembly podium with a diplomatic mess on its hands.

On Monday, Canadian leader Justin Trudeau made a shocking claim: India may have been involved in the killing of a Sikh Canadian citizen in a Vancouver suburb in June.

Trudeau said there were “credible allegations” of links to New Delhi, which India angrily rejected as absurd. It has been a free fall since: Each expelled a diplomat, India suspended visas for Canadians, and Ottawa said it may reduce consulate staff over safety concerns. Ties between the two once-close countries have sunk to their lowest point in years.

“In the immediate term, this will bring New Delhi back down to Earth. It has a crisis that it needs to work through, quickly but carefully,” said Michael Kugelman, director of the Wilson Center’s South Asia Institute.

TENSIONS WERE ALREADY SIMMERING
On the last day of the G20 summit, Trudeau posed and smiled with Modi as world leaders paid respects at Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial. Behind the scenes though, tensions were high.


Trudeau skipped an official dinner hosted by the Indian president, and local media reported he was snubbed by Modi when he got a quick “pull aside” instead of a bilateral meeting. To make things worse, a flight snag saw him stranded in New Delhi for 36 hours. Finally back in Canada, Trudeau said he had raised the allegations with Modi at the G20.

As India heads to the United Nations, the allegations have “thrown cold water on India’s G20 achievements,” said Happymon Jacob, founder of the New Delhi-based Council for Strategic and Defense Research.

India has long sought greater recognition at the United Nations. For decades, it has eyed a permanent seat at the Security Council, one of the world’s most prestigious high tables. But it has also been critical of the global forum, partly because it wants more representation that’s in line with its rising soft power.

“The U.N. Security Council, which is the core of the United Nations system, is a family photo of the victors of the Second World War plus China,” Jacob said. India believes “it simply does not reflect the demographic, economic and geopolitical realities of today,” he added. Others in the elite group include France, Russia, Britain and the United States.

In April, Jaishankar said India, the world’s most populous country with the fastest growing economy among major nations, couldn’t be ignored for too long. The U.N. Security Council, he said, “will be compelled to provide permanent membership.”

The United States, Britain and India’s Cold War-era ally Russia have voiced support for its permanent membership over the years. But U.N. bureaucracy has stopped the council from expanding. And even if that changes, China — India’s neighbor and regional rival — would likely block a request.

INSTEAD OF THE UN, INDIA MAKES SOME END RUNS
Kept out of the U.N.’s most important body, Modi has made sure that his country is smack at the center of a tangled web of global politics. On one hand, New Delhi is part of the Quad and the G20, seen as mostly Western groups. On the other, it wants to expand its influence in the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, where Russia and China dominate.

The deft juggling of the West and the rest has come to define India’s multipolar foreign policy.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 25, 2023 at 1:37pm

India had been riding a geopolitical high. But it comes to the UN with a mess on its hands

https://apnews.com/article/india-canada-killing-united-nations-d4e5...


Its diplomatic sway has only grown over its reluctance to condemn Russia for its war in Ukraine, a stance that resonated among many developing countries that have also been neutral. And the West, which sees an ascendant India as crucial to countering China, has stepped up ties with Modi. By doing so, it looks past concerns of democratic backsliding under his government.

In the immediate aftermath, the first reaction from Canada’s Western allies — including its biggest one, the United States — was tepid. But as the row deepens, the question likely worrying Indian officials is this: Will the recent international fiasco jeopardize its surging ties with the West?

After an initial muted response, the White House has intensified its concerns. “There’s not some special exemption you get for actions like this, regardless of the country,” security adviser Jake Sullivan said. On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. was deeply concerned about the allegations and that “it would be important that India work with the Canadians on this investigation.”

While there’s been no public evidence, a Canadian official told The Associated Press that the allegation of India’s involvement in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh separatist, is based on surveillance of Indian diplomats in Canada — including intelligence provided by a major ally. On Friday, the U.S. ambassador to Canada confirmed this, saying information shared by the intelligence-sharing ‘Five Eyes’ alliance helped link India to the assassination.

At the United Nations, where he held a news conference and meetings but will not be speaking for his nation on Tuesday, Trudeau told reporters that he doesn’t want to cause problems but said his decision was not made lightly. Canada, he said, had to stand up for the rule of law and protect its citizens.

For New Delhi, the U.N. meeting may present a possible opportunity. Indian and Canadian diplomats could meet on the sidelines to try to lower temperatures with a potential assist from Washington, Kugelman said. Canada’s delegation chair, Robert Rae, is delivering the country’s remarks 10 spots after India.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 25, 2023 at 4:48pm

The West’s Modi Problem Isn’t Getting Any Easier

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2023-09-25/india-canada-...

The backlash against Canada reveals a hyper-masculine new national identity, forged out of old feelings of humiliation, helplessness, and insecurity.

By Pankaj Mishra

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to make public any evidence supporting his sensational allegation that India was behind the killing of a Canadian citizen this June. But strident counter-accusations by the Indian government, and ferocious denunciations of Canada and its Western allies in India’s civil society, already point to an extremely volatile factor in geopolitics today: Narendra Modi’s India.

Only a fortnight ago, Modi, India’s prime minister, was leading barefooted Western leaders to lay wreaths at Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi’s memorial in New Delhi. At the G-20 summit, he presented India as the torchbearer of peaceful co-existence, harmony, and inclusivity — “one earth, one family.....

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 16, 2023 at 4:20pm

Rogue nation - Newspaper - DAWN.COM


https://www.dawn.com/news/1781292


Indian media have reported that the slain man, Mohammad Shahid Latif, was suspected by New Delhi of having facilitated the attack on an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot in 2016.

However, there seems to be little evidence to substantiate this allegation, and no link was ever made public tying Latif to the Pathankot incident.

Indeed, the murders of Latif and the others before him would seem, on the face of it, to be part of an international campaign that also saw the high-profile killing of Sikh nationalist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, Canada, in June this year. The Canadian government has said it has evidence of Indian involvement in the murder; and now Pakistan is claiming the same.

It would seem as if New Delhi wants anyone whom it suspects has played a role in any one of the nationalist movements active within the territories under its control killed. But India cannot go around murdering people in other countries with impunity. There must be severe consequences imposed on it.

It is also pertinent to ask our own authorities how they could let so many individuals be murdered on Pakistani soil before a network apparently being run by an enemy power was finally busted.

Pre-empting such attacks is a core task for counter-intelligence officials responsible for the nation’s security, and as such, it is their responsibility to ensure that Pakistan’s enemies do not use its soil to carry out vendetta killings.

Nothing can be more embarrassing for them than the enemy managing to infiltrate the country while they are busy dealing with domestic issues they legally and technically have no business being involved in.

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 28, 2023 at 7:53am

3059 Indians held while attempting to enter US from Canada in September

https://www.newindiaabroad.com/news/3059-indians-held-while-attempt...

Among those arrested were four unaccompanied children, four other children accompanied by family members.

In September of this year, a total of 8,076 individuals of Indian origin were apprehended by United States law enforcement agencies as they attempted to enter the country illegally through various routes. Notably, 3,059 of these individuals were detained at the U.S.-Canada border, according to data provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Indian arrests at the U.S.-Canada border mark the highest monthly total between October 2022 and September 2023.

According to The Times of India, a source said, “Many illegal immigrants, primarily from Gujarat, have either settled in Canada or are awaiting an opportunity to enter the US. In August, 2,327 illegal immigrants were caught trying to cross over to the US. This number rose to 3,059 in September.”

Among those arrested were four unaccompanied children, four other children accompanied by family members, and 530 children with their parents and siblings. Additionally, a total of 2,521 single adults were apprehended. It's worth noting that Indians attempting to enter the U.S. unlawfully typically do so via the U.S.-Mexico border. According to official data, between February 2019 and March of this year, U.S. law enforcement agencies arrested a total of 190,000 individuals of Indian origin.

Efforts by Indians to engage in illegal migration to the U.S. persist, even though there have been numerous tragic incidents in which several families lost their lives during these hazardous journeys.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 5, 2023 at 8:56pm

Why India Is Targeting Sikhs At Home and Around the World | TIME


https://time.com/6342873/india-sikhs-persecution/

By Simran Jeet Singh and Gunisha Kaur


India began its nation-building project, bringing the immense challenge of forging a common identity among large and religiously, linguistically, and culturally diverse populations. What a majority of the total population shared, though, was a Hindu identity, and this religion became the center around which political leaders decided to coalesce Indian national identity, much to the dismay of India’s minority populations.

Indian leadership came to see religious minorities as a threat to their nation-building project, viewing Sikhs with particular suspicion and disdain, recognizing they catalyzed anti-colonial efforts and played a leading role in them. They were also aware that Sikhs still had recent memories of political autonomy in Punjab. Indian elites worried about Punjab becoming a majority Sikh state that would gain in political power and threaten the stability of young India. This led Indian leadership to deny Punjab and its Sikhs consequential rights that were afforded to other states, including official language status for Punjabi and its own state capital. India also weakened Punjab’s political power by carving out territory from it for other states, such as Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Moreover, contravening riparian law, an international norm, India diverted Punjab’s river waters to other states and regions, a massive economic blow to the state long-known as the breadbasket of India, and a threat to the livelihood of Punjab’s agrarian society.



Punjabi Sikhs soon began agitating against the Indian government, protesting the erosion of its cultural, economic, and political rights. In 1978, Sikh leadership drafted the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, which laid out a list of demands to safeguard the rights of Sikhs in Punjab and other minorities around India.

A charismatic Sikh leader from a religious seminary emerged during this period, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, whose ascent caught the eye of the Indian government. Bhindranwale spoke adamantly against the infringements of the Indian state, which by this stage had escalated to include gross human rights violations. He called on Sikhs and minorities everywhere to stand up against oppression. Citing him as an anti-national who threatened India’s stability, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi launched a military assault against him and his followers at the Golden Temple of Amritsar—the most significant site for Sikhs—on a major religious holiday. Bhindranwale was killed in the assault, along with thousands of other Sikh pilgrims who were worshipping there.

The global Sikh community was furious about the government’s attack and demanded justice. In this moment, the movement for a separate Sikh homeland was reborn. Bhindranwale had stated openly that he neither supported nor rejected the idea of Khalistan – but that if the Indian government ever invaded the Golden Temple complex, the foundation for an independent Sikh homeland would be laid.



Later that year, Ms. Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, presumably to avenge her assault on the Golden Temple. In the days that followed, the ruling Congress Party, utilizing state agencies and infrastructure, organized violent anti-Sikh pogroms across North India, focused primarily on the Indian capital of New Delhi. The pogroms left thousands of Sikhs dead, thousands more displaced, and all Sikhs wondering if they could ever have a home in India.

Comment

You need to be a member of PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network to add comments!

Join PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network

Pre-Paid Legal


Twitter Feed

    follow me on Twitter

    Sponsored Links

    South Asia Investor Review
    Investor Information Blog

    Haq's Musings
    Riaz Haq's Current Affairs Blog

    Please Bookmark This Page!




    Blog Posts

    Pakistan Elections: Imran Khan's Supporters Skillfully Used Tech to Defy Powerful Military

    Independent candidates backed by the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party emerged as the largest single block with 93 seats in the nation's parliament in the general elections held on February 8, 2024.  This feat was accomplished in spite of huge obstacles thrown in front of the PTI's top leader Imran Khan and his party leaders and supporters by Pakistan's powerful military…

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on February 16, 2024 at 9:22pm — 1 Comment

    Soaring Illegal Immigration of Indians into the United States

    Illegal immigration from India to the United States is soaring. A record 96,917 Indians were detained while attempting to enter the US illegally from October 2022 to September 2023, representing a 50% jump from the corresponding period in the prior year. Vast majority of the arrested Indians came from Prime Minister Modi's state of Gujarat while others came from the state of Punjab. There are about 725,000 undocumented Indian immigrants in the US – the third-largest population of illegal…

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on February 2, 2024 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

    © 2024   Created by Riaz Haq.   Powered by

    Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service