Who really did start the demand of Khalistan? Was this demand from Sikh leaders really? When did the demand of Sikh Nation, Khalistan start? Who were the leaders behind the demand? Did Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale really want to separate from India and create Khalistan?
In 1966, Punjab was divided and new state Haryana was formed and many Punjabi-speaking parts went to Haryana. After the division of Punjab in 1966, some parts with Punjabi dominated speakers went to Haryana hence Sikh leaders from Punjab were not happy with the way the central government had divided the Punjab.
The Anandpur Sahib Resolution was presented at the 18th Session of the All India Akali Conference at Ludhiana on 28-29 October 1978, presided over by Jagdev Singh Talwandi, where it was proposed by Mr Tohra, SGPC Chief and seconded by Mr Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab and endorsed without any dissent. Chandrashekhar, leader of the Janata Party was present at the Conference and endorsed what the Akali Dal proposed. The Congress leaders did not respond to the resolution in any form. The CPM regarded it akin to their demand for greater autonomy.
The Anandpur Sahib Resolution had demanded such as an equal representation of Sikhs in the various fields (such as in Indian Army), Setluj river water be given to Punjab on priority and Chandigarh be handed over to Punjab. (In case you are interested in reading the whole Anandpur Sahib Resolution, read here.)
The Anandpur Sahib Resolution document was almost forgotten for some time after its adoption but came into the limelight in the 1980s. The Akali Dal and the religious leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale joined hands to launch the Dharam Yudh Morcha in 1982 in order to implement the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. Thousands of people joined the movement at that time thinking it would be a real solution to demands such as a larger share of water for irrigation, lessening the control of centre government on Punjab and the return of Chandigarh to Punjab.
But Indira Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, had different plans and viewed the Anandpur Resolution as a secessionist document, which was not true and if you read the document it had no such demand as breaking from India and forming the separate Sikh Nation, Khalistan. Akali Dal officially stated that the Anandpur Sahib Resolution did not envisage the autonomous Sikh State of Khalistan. President of Akali Dal, Harchand Singh Longowal declared –
“Let us make it clear once and for all that the Sikhs have no designs to get away from India in any manner. What they simply want is that they should be allowed to live within India as Sikhs, free from all direct and indirect interference and tampering with their religious way of life. Undoubtedly, the Sikhs have the same nationality as other Indians.”
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was initially supported by the Congress during the late 1970s. The Congress backed Bhindranwale to weaken the Akali Dal in Punjab and split the Sikh vote. The Congress supported the candidates backed by Bhindranwale in the 1978 SGPC elections.
Indira Gandhi without thinking and considering any repercussions ordered the attack on the Golden Temple where thousands of Sikh followers visit every day. In the attack, thousands were injured and many died. After almost 6 months of Operation Blue Star, she was killed by her Sikh bodyguards.
“I don’t give a damn if the Golden Temple and the whole of Amritsar is destroyed, I want Bhindranwale dead” – Indira Gandhi, communicating to General Vaidya during operation Blue Star.
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was fighting for the implementation of Anandpur Sahib Resolution and oppression of Brahminical forces and the way Brahminical government at Center was oppressing minority community, Sikhs. He also never mentioned the demand of separate nation, Khalistan but was more for fighting against the injustice done by Congress to the people of Punjab. If it was not for Sikhs or Bhindranwale, who did start the demand of Khalistan and how did it become popular? Was it a lie spread by Brahminical media?
Here is one viewpoint from Waman Meshram’s speech, who is the national president of BAMCEF.
“When Janata Party was coming to fight an election in 1977, they had in their manifesto that it would apply the Kalelkar Commission report (1955) about the backward classes in India. After coming to power, Morarji Desai was in no mood for the application of the report and then established other commission under the chairmanship of B P Mandal. When the question of application of the report submitted by B P Mandal actually rose, the Janata Party government was gone and Indira Gandhi’s government had just come. In order to suppress the question of application of Mandal commission report a debate about Khalistan v/s India was started. This debate earlier was nowhere but was established to win elections. As the Lok Sabha seats of Punjab were just 13 in the 1980s. This debate could safeguard their other seats of Lok Sabha which were 530 out of 543″
So the debate about Khalistan was first started by the Congress party itself. Why then why was the movement called Khalistani movement when demand was started by Congress?
Lies about Pakistan Supporting Khalistan Movement
When the Khalistan movement became active in India and abroad, the Indian government claimed that Pakistan armed, trained and to a certain extent financed Khalistanis.
It is also wrongly projected by Brahminical Indian governments that Pakistan was helping those who were demanding Khalistan. In fact, Prime Minister Bhutto, in a bid to create a friendly atmosphere, had collected all information about Sikh activists and reportedly sent it to Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi through a special messenger. This information apparently helped Rajiv bring an end to the Sikh uprising.
So, who spread these lies and who was/is benefitting from such lies? Why are these attempts to defame Sikh community on regular basis? Do Hindus hate Sikhs to so much that they wouldn’t mind spreading lies about Sikh community?
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Saheb Kanshi Ram
There was never a conflict between Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Saheb Kanshi Ram’s ideology. They both lived around the same time and Bhindranwale peaked around the same time when DS4, BAMCEF and BSP were formed so it would be stupid to say that they were not aware of each other’s work. Their aim was same, both hated Brahminism. Bhindranwale spoke against violence and crime against poor and was for equality.
I will leave you with a quote from Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale to decide who really start the demand of Khalistan and who was trying to get benefit out of it?
“I shall not hesitate. Last night I humbly said to the young men that first I have to tell them that we are slaves. No matter how much we talk, no matter how much we boast, until it is ingrained in the mind of every son of a Sikh, of every old man, of every mother and sister, that we are slaves, we shall not be able to throw off the yoke of slavery and achieve freedom. Freedom from slavery is achieved only when a person starts to feel and understand that he would prefer death to life as a slave; when he does not consider living (as a slave) worthwhile. Only then one gets rid of slavery, never otherwise.”
I know I have not answered many of the questions raised above and answering all those questions about Khalistan was not the point of writing this article. It was more like to start a discussion on the topic. Let us know in the comments section, what you think about the Khalistan’s origin and the role of Brahminical media.