Khalistan movement

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Separatist Flag of Khalistan
Map of Khalistan

The Khalistan movement is a Sikh nationalist movement that wants to create an independent state for Sikh people, via peaceful struggle, inside the current North-Western Republic of India Such a state existed in Punjab from 1709 to 1849. This Sikh Empire had its capital in Lahore, Lahore Pakistan. Most of historical Sikh empire is now part of Pakistan. Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and Pakistan administrated Kashmir were part of the Sikh empire. Pakistani Punjab, FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were major part of the Sikh empire. The new state created would be called Khalistan in the modern territories of Eastern Pakistan and Western India. Its stated capital would be Lahore, a city where Sikh empire was commenced by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and ruled for centuries by his descendants. Khalistan has many separatist groups such as Khalistan Liberation Force and other groups such as Babbar Khalsa.

Jagjit Singh Chauhan, Sikh Militant Leader in India, Dies at 80

Today, it is seen on a smaller scale. There are claims that the movement supports young people financially, if they join militant groups fighting to get a Sikh homeland.

On April 12, 1980, Jagjit Singh Chauhan, a prominent supporter of the movement, met with Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India. After the meeting, he declared that he had formed the National Council Of Khalistan, at Anandpur Sahib.[1] He said he was the President of this movement, and Balbir Singh Sandhu was its Secretary General. In May 1980, Chauhan travelled to London and announced the formation of Khalistan. A similar announcement was made by Sandhu, in Amritsar. Sandhu also released stamps and currency of Khalistan. Some people said, the Indian authorities in Amritsar and elsewhere should not have been inactive [2]

Important events and issues[change | change source]

In the 1980s, some supporters of the movement responded to oppression with violence. The Indian Army reciprocated the violence. In one such incident, the Indian Army forced their way into the Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple. The Indian Government was criticised for how they handled the operation, which resulted in an official death toll of 575, with unofficial reports of up to 3000 people, including innocent pilgrims, killed.[3] Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards, and many thousands of Sikhs were massacred in the following riots. In January 1986, the Golden Temple was occupied by militants of the All India Sikh Students Federation and Damdami Taksal.[4] On 26 January 1986, the gathering passed a resolution (gurmattā) favouring the creation of Khalistan. The people in favor of Khalistan want Punjab to be big by adding places that were once parts of Punjab. Those opposed to the idea said the state would probably become a theocracy.

The Constitution of India says it is forbidden to make new states which are independent of India. This is known as "secession". Different groups in favor of Khalistan fought an insurgency against the government of India. Indian security forces suppressed this insurgency in the early 1990s. Since then, little has been done inside Punjab to get a Sikh state, but certain organisations in favor of Khalistan, such as Dal Khalsa (International) are still active outside India.[5]

Support[change | change source]

People in the US who supported the idea of Khalistan include Dan Burton,[6] Jesse Helms[7] and Edolphus Towns.[8]

Other people who sympathise are Eric Lubbock, fourth Baron Avebury[9] and Lord Nazir Ahmed.[10]

References[change | change source]

  1. Nayar, Kuldip (1985). Tragedy of Punjab. India: Vision Books Pvt. Ltd. p. 51. ISBN 1851270698.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  2. Singh, Satinder (1982). Khalistan: An Academic Analysis. Delhi & Punjab: Amar Prakashan. p. 114. 
  3. "Golden Temple attack: UK advised India but impact 'limited'". BBC News. 2014-06-07. Retrieved 2017-08-20. 
  4. Sikh Temple sit-in is a challenge for Punjab. The New York Times, 2 February 1986
  5. The Ghost of Khalistan, Sikh Times
  6. Dr. Aulakh, others expose Indian human rights violations at Congressional Hearing
  7. Studying the Sikhs: issues for North America By John Stratton Hawley, Gurinder Singh Mann, 1993 SUNY Press
  8. Dr. Aulakh of Council of Khalistan nominated for Nobel Peace Prize. Hon. Edolphus Towns of New York in the House of Representatives, Thursday, 15 October 1998.
  9. (8) IHRO Watch- August 1991
  10. Self determination: the only basis for human rights in South Asia Sunday 31 July 2005.