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    Afghanistan, Sikhs and 1984


    by Sunny on 8th December, 2009 at 2:16 pm    

    Two feminist cases for staying in Afghanistan: Why Feminists Love the Surge and also - A Feminist Case for War?

    Meanwhile, Parvinder informs us that the National Union of Journalists has backed the Justice for (Sikh victims of) 1984 campaign.

    Britain’s National Union of Journalists (NUJ) will support a campaign to seek justice for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in India. The union passed a motion at the annual delegate meeting in Southport, proposed by Parvinder Singh of the Book Branch, expressing ‘alarm’ that after 25 years, “none of the key perpetrators have been brought to justice”.

    Well done!


         
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    Filed in: Current affairs, India, Middle East, South Asia






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    1. Fojee_Punjabi — on 8th December, 2009 at 6:58 am  

      Brilliant news but I can't believe it's taken 25 years!

    2. Cauldron — on 8th December, 2009 at 7:00 am  

      Ain't gonna happen. Many of the instigators have ties to the current Indian government.

      As an aside, in one sense modern India owes an enormous debt of gratitude in relation to the events of 1984. The removal of Mrs Gandhi and her ridiculous socialism turned out to be one of the two most important pre-requisites for economic revival in India.

    3. Fojee_Punjabi — on 8th December, 2009 at 7:03 am  

      Oh but it will happen- it's already happening.

      The upper echelons of Indian society are made up of Sikhs- we never forget 1984 and we never will and real soon those who instigated the murder of our Sikh brothers and sisters will be brought to justice.

      Rab rakhe. What joyous news! :D

    4. halima — on 8th December, 2009 at 8:13 am  

      But eventually-in the not too distant future-the US and the UK will have to pull out - and when we do, it will be down to Afghanis themselves to establish how best to move forward and protect women's rights. Unfortunately this won't happen in a democratic way, it will be through the brute force of another power broker, the Taliban-led ethnic Pashtuns.

      The war in Afghanistan was never about women's rights .

    5. mangles — on 8th December, 2009 at 8:16 am  

      Parvinder that is excellent news.

      What exactly can the British NUJ do here? Will this mean that the press here will also be more objective and look at the facts about 1984 rather than the Indian state led propaganda that so often follows this story, though it is limited to the pogroms?

      Hopefully some of the sad-excuses of journalists in India may take note and read a dictionary definition of journalism, cos most just romanticise the wonderful life that was Mrs I Gandhi rather than the pogroms that followed. They still fail to report how ruthless she was in the 1970's with the emergency she imposed, sterilisation programme she enforced and how good she was at quelling political opposition, her main reason for interfering with Sikh politics after the Sikhs stood against her dictats.

      Rab rakha!

    6. Dalbir — on 8th December, 2009 at 9:14 am  

      I hear Bollywood are making a film about her (Indira). Odds are that the narrative will follow the romanticised fiction that she was the mother of India. Going by existing portrayals of Sikhs in Bollywood movies, I'm not expecting too much from the flick myself.

      Whilst I applaud NUJ for its support and hope that this will signal a change in the reporting (or should I say non reporting) of what has taken place, I find it difficult to summon any sort of optimism for change at Delhi.

      Besides, haven't you heard? We've got new problems at Ludhiana.

    7. parvinder — on 8th December, 2009 at 9:28 am  

      We were able to raise the issue of 1984 for the first time to a non-Sikh audience, first by showing a short film on the events at a fringe meeting and then debating the motion which was passed unanimously.

      Along with the NUJ, we may not be able to influence politicians in India, but we can ask our own government to pursue this issue with the Indian representatives here.
      The full motion can be found here: http://www.buzzibuzz.com/fr/content/view/19454

    8. Rumbold — on 8th December, 2009 at 9:29 am  

      Well done to Parvinder. But what will be the practical effect in India? As long as the guilty remain or have friends in power, they will stay free.

      Dalbir:

      The director of Indira sounded gushing about her.

      t took me years to find a way into her story, but I found it with her role as a mother – both to her family and to a nation with its teeming millions. Indira was India.

      “The story is of how Indira is a mother in every aspect of her life, and how she used her instincts, compassion and tough love to hold the nation together – ultimately ending with her violent death and martyrdom to the cause of national unity.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-ne...

    9. Cauldron — on 8th December, 2009 at 9:38 am  

      @Dalbir

      “Going by existing portrayals of Sikhs in Bollywood movies, I'm not expecting too much from the flick myself.”

      Our of curiosity - and I've no axe to grind either way no this - what did you think of Singh is King? Amused or offended?

    10. Cauldron — on 8th December, 2009 at 9:45 am  

      “…but I found it with her role as a mother – both to her family and to a nation…”

      If I recall correctly, Indira was mother to one of the most corrupt psychopathic wankers in the entire sordid history of Asian political dynasties - Sanjay Gandhi.

      Sanjay Gandhi's demise was of the course the #1 reason behind India's resurgence. If he'd succeeded his mother, India would now be like Congo. Or Pakistan.

    11. Shamit — on 8th December, 2009 at 10:25 am  

      If I recall correctly, Indira was mother to one of the most corrupt psychopathic wankers in the entire sordid history of Asian political dynasties - Sanjay Gandhi.

      Spot on Cauldron
      ****************************
      Dalbir - isn't it sad how people idolise the dead especially in India.

      This was a lady who tried to kill of democracy, almost ruined the federal structure of India and established the poison of dynasty in Indian politics.

      Why are some of those perpetrators not in Jail facing the death penalty? especially those who planned it and used the power of their offices to do nothing

    12. Dalbir — on 8th December, 2009 at 10:51 am  

      @Rumbold:

      What can I do other than brace myself for yet another biased, negative portrayal of Sikhs? Whatever their faults, the other side were certainly no angels. I just wish we could get to the heart of how much of what transpired was engineered by the centre. I often wonder, did they plan, manufacture and foster a mini rebellion in Punjab that blew up out of their control? Did the Damdami Taksal's previous head's resistance to Indira's 'emergency' play a part in her actions and animosity? How much of the alleged atrocities were committed by Sikhs and how much was done by government operatives/agents? Whatever Jarnail SIngh Bhindranwale was, he himself was never a proponent for Khalistan. What did he see or learn from his interaction with the centre that led him to take the stance he took?

      In any case, given that a certain degree of autonomy have been conceded to the Scots here and that this will probably be the case for the Welsh sometime in the future, was the Sikh demand for greater autonomy really such a repulsive notion? What pisses me off is the simplification of the matter into a narrative of the extreme or separatist versus the democratic government. Then using this as a justification to attack the Golden Temple on a majorly significant day, when umpteen other options were available and people who were visiting the temple that day still missing 25 years later plus with no explanation.

      I have only come across one statement of Bhindranwale referring to Khalistan, and he seemed reluctant about it! The official position is full of holes!

      @Cauldron

      I saw the first few minutes of Singh Is King and by the time it got to the point that the 'Singh' swooped down with his parachute and grabbed a villian and flew up [WTF??], I had begun to lose the will to live so I switched off the DVD. I'm no fan of Bollywood post Sholay era.

      I'm not sure if it's mild ADHD but even the mere thought of sitting through 3 hours of a modern Bollywood movie makes me feel depressed.

      For the record I share the reaction of a contemporary Panjabi artist as reflected in the title of his latest album:

      Singh is better than king!

    13. Shamit — on 8th December, 2009 at 11:02 am  

      Dalbir -

      I think the Central Government of India was to be blamed for a lot of things that created the insurgency and also Zia Ul haque and Pakistan's ploy to cut india with a thousand cuts had a lot to do with it. I would not disagree with that.

      What I take exception is your assertion that if Sikhs were given autonomy. Sikhs have been and are integral part of the Indian economic, military, sports, academic successes. And it was not all the Sikhs who wanted autonomy.

      Further, I am completely against any religious groups getting governance autonomy. Each state except for J&K have autonomy with regard to education, home, police, health etc etc and much more than the Scots and the Welsh do. They even have tax raising powers and they always had it. So your argument about the autonomy is bullshit (which is becoming a norm now) -

      I wonder what the thousands of jawans and officers of the Indian Army who are Sikhs would think — Sikhs are integral to India - the khalistan movement was against the whole notion of India. And seeing Sikhs separate to India is something almost unimaginable to most Indians.

      You are sounding more and more like Balasaheb (the idiot) Thackeray.

    14. Dalbir — on 8th December, 2009 at 11:19 am  

      Shamit

      I'll be honest, I do my own idolising of the dead. It's a part and parcel of both the culture and religion I was raised in.

      I do however, try and find some worthy characteristics in those I do look up to.

      I've posted this before but not long ago a Hindu doctor I met expressed his fury at Indira Gandhi and her divisive politics. I personally believe that before her 'khartootan' the vast majority of Sikhs were loyal, patriotic Indians.

      Herein lies a textbook example of how to alienate people en masse and turn them into your enemy.

      What's the deal with Sanjay? I know nothing about him other than he died in a helicopter crash I think? I keep hearing little murmurings suggesting he was a sicko? What did he do?

    15. Dalbir — on 8th December, 2009 at 11:36 am  

      I think you are confusing a degree of autonomy with separation. From my understanding, the former was being asked for, not the latter. I think it was agreed that some areas (like defense) were to remain in central hands. It's been many years, it's all hazy now and I think I'm past caring (or getting there fast).

      Anyway, don't make assumptions about what I personally believe or not. And your argument about India being integral to India are bullshit because India did okay without them when Sikhs were a separate entity. As far as I know India was surviving just fine and dandy for all those years the English were sitting across the Sutlej waiting for Maharajah Ranjit Singh to die. It is natural for people to want to rule themselves. India will mature when it accepts this. There is no rush so don't be a schzio Hindu at the first sign of a Sikh expressing a desire for sovereignty. Some want it, some don't. I accept that. Besides, who knows Hindustan may get its act together with its new prosperity. Anything's possible.

      Anyway, don't think that I am in any way for Khalistan given the current disgraceful and frankly inept state of Sikh polity.

      And seeing Sikhs separate to India is something almost unimaginable to most Indians.

      If this bullshit was true 'Indians' wouldn't have denied justice to Sikhs for so long and continually portrayed them as laughing stocks in their jokes and shit movies.

    16. Shamit — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:11 pm  

      “…so don't be a schzio Hindu at the first sign of a Sikh expressing a desire for sovereignty.”

      Dalbir with the greatest of respect I do not think with my Hindu hat on. Never did and never will.

      What would you say to the current Indian PM - the numerous jawans and officers and army chiefs and industrialists who were proud to be Indian and vast majority of them still are. And, Sikhs have always been seen as some of the most patriotic Indians ever born. The economics of India for the past 2 decades have been defined by two Sikhs - Manmohan Singh and Montek Singh Aluwalia.

      And some stupid jokes about Sikhs don't make them any less patriotic or clever. Ever since I have been born I have heard how Bengalis are cowards and they only talk blah blah blah — that does not mean Bengalis should seek a new nation.

      The concept of India does not allow and should not allow division based on religion, or regionalism etc etc.

      I agree with you that justice has been denied to Sikhs and also those in the Bhopal tragedy. And I think that is the biggest problem of India - that the concept of justice delayed is way too common in the Indian judicial system. And I believe those who perpetrated those riots should be given the death penalty.

      And I reiterate:

      And seeing Sikhs separate to India is something almost unimaginable to most Indians. Sikhs are and have been integral to India's success both agricultural, economic and in every other way. And I do not see a successful India without Punjab and Sikhs — as I think India would disintegrate if that happened.

      Again Balasaheb Thackeray says almost the same things you say about Marathis - its parochial - out of its time.

      And for the record, before the British united India — there was no truly united India - it was made up of a lot of kingdoms which fought amongst each other.

      With the utmost respect I disagree with you and I think you are just being divisive and parochial. And I guess its not our place to decide anyways as if I am correct none of us carry Indian Passports. Even though I do have a PIO.

    17. Rumbold — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:33 pm  

      Dalbir:

      I am not so sure I buy the whole conspiracy angle. I am sure that there were double agents amongst the Khalistani ranks, but why then storm the Harminder Sahib? I think people sometimes assume too much. Not that the Indian government wouldn't do something like that, but I suspect it couldn't.

      Whilst the Indian state needs to take responsibility, some Sikhs do need to work harder to divorce calls for justice for 1984 with calls for Khalistan. Otherwise outsiders find it easier to dismiss Sikhs who are fighting for justice.

      Thankfully (and ironically?) it was a Sikh who pulled India out of the Nehru-Gandhi economic malaise.

    18. Rumbold — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:34 pm  

      I don't think an independent Khalistan is practical. I would prefer to see more focus on issues like the Punjab dwindling water supply.

    19. mangles — on 8th December, 2009 at 4:13 pm  

      Rumbold

      while i hear and note your pessimism about Khalistan in relation to its practicality, the issues of Punjab's dwindling water supply is now a mere token issue and rests on the backdrop of many such similar scenarios worldover.

      However the double edged sword of Indian double standards is I think what will eventually push Punjab towards Khalistan. Double standards in Punjab being the only state (other than Haryana) having a shared state capital, in that Punjab had to agitate for nearly two decades after partition to get linguistic recognition wheras for other states they were automatically granted. Then you have the troublesome continued injustice, whereby for example just last week Bihari migrant protestors protest in Ludhiana, they riot, burn down some shops and cause other damage to property and they are lathi charged, gassed, and shots fired in the air. A few days later when Sikh protestors do the same they are lathi charged, gassed and shot at with upto seven killed unofficially (though officially still 1 and several 'missing').

      These are the double standards that will push Punjab towards Khalistan. I dont see even that happening for at least a decade but i do sense it will happen. Its inevitable, with everything thats happening in the rest of India including Maharashtra, Assam, the spread of the Maoist uprising, the Kashmiri issue, India will have to give in. Its current defence budget is unsustainable, and the quickening pace of econimic progress (beit thanks to a Sikh PM) and technological progress will mean that it cant keep covering up the Ayodhya, the Mumbai and Gujarat Riots, the 1984 pogroms nor the political anhilation of a generation of Sikhs in Punjab.

      My opinion of conspiracy theory regarding Operation Bluestar- absolutely. The BJP were campigning on that ticket before Operation Bluestar and the former BJP PM himself claims in his auto-biography that he forced Indiras hand. Indira would have had her arse wipped had she gone to the polls without it. The wanton destruction of heritage of a tiny minority is a small price to pay - just like at Ayodhya. With ayodhya you'e got 100,000,000 people, with Sikhs its only 20,000,000 votes. And you haen't got to worry about any international pressure. The killing of thousands of minority citizens is collateral damage - there are now too many examples in India - just look at the 1984 pogroms, Gujarat riots, Chattispur massacre, Mumbai riots. Why not June 1984 as well.

      Rab rakha!

    20. Michael Knight — on 8th December, 2009 at 4:24 pm  

      Those murderers within the Congress party must be shaking in their boots and unable to sleep now that the NUJ have come to this decision. Yes what a monumental decision.

    21. parvinder — on 8th December, 2009 at 4:45 pm  

      Interesting piece about the Journalist, Jarnail Singh of the Indian newspaper, Dainik Jagran:
      http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?262944

    22. mangles — on 8th December, 2009 at 5:15 pm  

      Michael Knight good point but its a moral victory that the NUJ in Uk is able to take such a motion but no national union in India would have the balls to pass such a resolution, even if doesn't still lead to any justice. lets not forget that only a month ago the stupid dipsticks at the UK Border Agency granted a visa to Tytler one of the most highest ranking Indian officials linked to the 84 pogroms.

      Khal'stan.

      Rab rakha!

    23. Cauldron — on 8th December, 2009 at 6:11 pm  

      Mangles, my sense is that the likelihood of India fragmenting has considerably lessened in the past 15 years, for precisely the same reason that the likelihood of China fragmenting has lessened: people are less discontented when their incomes are rising at breakneck speed. In that respect, the person most responsible for increasing cohesion within India is of course Dr. Manmohan Singh.

      The demographic odds are against separatism too. Revolutions happen most frequently when societies get a bulge in teenagers and twenty year olds. That bulge is peaking right now and from this point forward India starts to age. Paunchy middle agers make less promising revolutionary stock.

      Of course it is entirely possible for politicians to manufacture conflict. And given that venality flows strongly through the veins of the Gandhi family anything is possible.

    24. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 9th December, 2009 at 12:58 am  

      Excellent links.
      I keep saying the only way for success in Afganistan is through a strong womans movement …. I won't add another link to liberia now.
      Though I do think it is something they will have to do themselves eventually, it would take alot more than military protection or surge - actually I would say it's the alternative plan to that type of action - anyway. I'm glad this idea is getting more attention.

      On the second part of this post and all the comments on India.
      I have been a reader of this blog for about 5 years now … I do read but don't always comment much, and would like to know the people here a little better. I am trying to find something to relate to here and understand different points of view. I grew up in an Italian immigrant family … I guess my grandfathers personal history is one reason for my obsession with WWII , so I get and appreciate the reflecting on history. Also, even though I was born in the US, I do often claim myself as “Italian” - so I can relate to the identity stuff -
      If someone is willing answer, I would to ask why there is such a passion for Indian politics and current affairs, from those who were not born there?
      I try to think of what would inspire that in myself and can't think of any reason I would care about Italian politics today on such a personal level….? just curious

    25. mangles — on 9th December, 2009 at 2:29 am  

      Cauldron I read your comments with thought, and though I apprecaite your well considered argument, the economic success in India has meant that the economic divide between the rich and poor has greatly enlarged also (don't know about China). Its is these same people who continue to get the worst deal from the justice system as well. Their population is still growing and isn't about to age any time soon because of the lack of opportunities, poor health care and dwellings.

      Rab rakha!

    26. Rumbold — on 9th December, 2009 at 2:36 am  

      Mangles:

      I am minded to agree with Cauldron, in that it is unlikely that India will break up. Remember too the fierce nationalism of many, who wouldn't accept another loss of parts of India. Remember, apart from Pakistan and a land dispute with China, India has no real external enemies so it can afford to concentrate its forces internally.

      Regarding Operation Bluestar, electoral pressures no doubt did play a part, but I think it was a reaction rther than a plan (in the same way that, in this country, the government is trying to 'crack down' on bankers' bonuses).

    27. mangles — on 9th December, 2009 at 3:40 am  

      Rumbold

      I think we're gonna have to disagree on that on both your points. You can still apply for a visa for Khal'stan (when we get independence) would love to show you around the sites and take you to the local multi-cultural and multi-faith hangouts, can't promise any bars though.LOL

      Rab rakha!

    28. parvinder — on 9th December, 2009 at 5:06 am  

      Mangles, although I share much of your fustration and anger over the treatment of Sikhs and other minorities and the poor of India in general, do you really think a separate piece of land will solve the aspirations of the ordinary people?
      Would a separate state have the same borders as present day Punjab (a land-locked land)? If so, do you really think it will be able to accommodate the ambitions and entrepreneurial outlook of the Sikh people?

      In 1947, Sikhs had to leave Nanakana Sahib (the birthplace of Guru Nanak) to Pakistan. Now you are asking us to leave Patna Sahib in Bihar (the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh), Hazoor Sahib in Maharastra (where Guru Gobind Singh was assassinated) as well as other places of importance to Sikhism eg. Hemkund Sahib. Would you be happy with this? Why sell Sikhs short. They should lay claim to the whole of India along with other communities.

      True, the Sikh gurus encouraged the Sikhs to aspire to political power - Raj Karega Khalsa. Nothing wrong with that as you need power to change things. But my reading of the faith, correct me if I'm wrong, is not about segregating from others, ie. create a state based on one religion. Jinnah had the same idea and you can see the results everyday by switching on the news. It should be about fighting for a better society for everyone.

      Having said that, we don't let the Indian state off the hook. All the issues you have outlined vis-a-vie inter-state power, language, state capital, water and electricity, denial of justice and corruption are still outstanding and will not go away so soon.

    29. mangles — on 9th December, 2009 at 7:18 am  

      Parvinder

      Borders aren't really an issue - Punjab is already landlocked and only a fraction of the pre-British state that it once was. So yes it will 'accommodate the ambitions and entrepreneurial outlook of the Sikh people' cos the work ethic is engrained in us as part of our philosophy, it has nothing to do with borders nor whether we have access to a port.

      No Parvinder no-one is asking anyone to leave anywhere; the Hindus, Muslims and Christians of Punjab can stay put as can the Sikhs wherever else they reside - no one of any faith or heritage needs to be sold short -Sikhs have lived with other comunities peacefully for centuries, and will continue to do so in Khal'stan. Only difference will be that the same laws will apply for all faiths, and the rights of all citizens will be respected equally.

      Laying claim to the whole of India or the planet is greedy. I'd be quite happy even if the state of Khal'stan was, like the Vatican, just the holy city of Amritsar. The important thing is that Akal Takhat and Sikh affairs are sovereign and should remain so. And somebody is able to stand up on Sikh matters and for Sikhs without fear or favour.

      A Sikh state would not segregate from others, just as Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji didn't nor did any of the other Guru's. The Sikh state as has already been visualised, would be a cosmpolitan, multi-faith, multi-ethnic place - anything else would go against the ethos of Sikhi; it will allow other faiths to aspire; only thing is it will respect all faiths and expect all faiths and their followers to be respected, including Sikhi And Sikhs. Sounds like utopia- that is precisely what Khal'stan will be, cos Sikhi is based on forward thinking values, not reactionary policies or gesture politics.

      Rab rakha!

    30. mangles — on 9th December, 2009 at 7:26 am  

      By the way Rumbold I wouldn't compare Operation Bluestar to the crack down on bankers' bonuses - I haven't seen the rights of bankers suppressed, nor heard of any bankers who have been dissappeared by the Chancellor nor executed, just regulation of their powers and excesses.

      Punjab is still seeing the suppression of separatist politics - that is politics not militancy. Despite no political violence for over a decade Sikh activists in their hundreds are still rounded up and imprisoned on all sorts of trumped up charges. These are not the actions of a democracy, but the fear by a corrupt state that people may make use of their liberties and justice and choose an alternative political solution.

      Rab rakha!

    31. Cauldron — on 9th December, 2009 at 8:09 am  

      @Queen of Fiddlesticks:

      I’m guessing that the degree of involvement that émigrés retain in the politics of their ‘original’ nation is a function of (1) the number of generations from migration (obviously); (2) the ability to stay ‘in touch’ (a function of modern communications plus things like language barriers); (3) the circumstances in which the original migrants left and (4) the existence, or otherwise, of nation-based or group-based grievances.

      Italian Americans appear to have maintained some superficial cultural affiliations to their places of ‘origin’ – pasta, tricolour flags a couple of times a year and a professed support for the Azzurri ‘soccer’ team. But they don’t retain a lot of political affiliations. I’m guessing that is a result of (1) At the peak of Italian migration to the US in the 1920s, regional identities were stronger than national identities (Italy being a relatively young nation state at that time); (2) loss of the ability to speak Italian and (3) the absence of a unifying external threat to Italy.

      By contrast, émigré groups that have a strongly defined sense of grievance such as American Armenians stay involved in the affairs of their countries of origin for years and some, such as Irish Americans, even fund terrorist organisations.

    32. Vikrant — on 9th December, 2009 at 9:00 am  

      If this bullshit was true 'Indians' wouldn't have denied justice to Sikhs for so long and continually portrayed them as laughing stocks in their jokes and shit movies.

      You don't pay attention to Bollywood caricatures of Marathis, Gujjus, Bengalis and South Indians do you? Funnily every linguistic minority in India claims to be victimised by the Hindi-Punjabi mainstream. It might come as a big surprise to you, but most Hindus don't really “think with a Hindu hat on” as Shamit puts it. Its not as if Hindus were cheer leading Indira. Did you know that she practically put a whole of RSS/BJP types behind the bars as well.

      What's the deal with Sanjay? I know nothing about him other than he died in a helicopter crash I think? I keep hearing little murmurings suggesting he was a sicko? What did he do?

      Well google ” Indian emergency sterelisations ” and the monstrous waste of tax payer money that was Maruti. Under Indira's term her half-educated car salesman son from Crewe basically had a free reign over Indian politics.

    33. Dalbir — on 9th December, 2009 at 10:14 am  

      @Vikrant

      So we have the distinction between the 'secular' evil as typified by the Gandhis versus the religio-ideologically influenced morons as typified by the RSS. Great choice. What they do share is an attitude of indifference to others and a PROVEN track record of a total lack of conscience when dealing with other ways of life.

      Anyway, even if the Bollywood bullshit is on the bottom end of the scale of grievances, it isn't like there isn't the inconvenient matter of mass murder to deal with. What about denial of identity? Do you think it is okay to get Sikhs married under the Hindu Marriage Act despite their protests? What makes it even more ridiculous is how people like yourself, who seem to presenting themselves as the 'moderate' face of Hindus, seem keen to play down what others are making noise about. What is that all about? What the hell would Hindu India have to lose by allowing Sikhs to marry under their own act? Pettyness on small issues like this starkly highlight the hidden attitude towards Sikhs and the way in which even the most reasonable desires are run roughshod over.

      India is the home of some of the most unjust and inhumane ways of thinking to emerge on this earth. It is entwined into the national fabric. That is why you can have the fiction of Bollywood, next to the most debased, cruel adject poverty and act like nothing is happening. Frankly, what is known today as Hinduism has to take a large part of the blame for being the root cause of this. More condemnation and little less apathy is required.

      I'm not at all surprised Indira produced a son like that by teh way, that whole Indian privileged by birth mentality, steeped in caste, seems to do little else. Sad thing is, that toxic thinking is contagious and now you can see the same shite with the family Badal. Who himself seems to be in the pocket of the centre.

      Are you really that surprised that soem people want to keep away from Bollywood trash Hindustani culture and the type of insidious politics that characterise Delhi? Seriously? How do you think the average Panjabi conservative father who react to his own daughter behaving in the way modeled by typical Bollywood queens on screen?

      @Rumbold

      How can the issue of justice for 84 be separated from Khalistan, when the west keep referring/characterising to the battle that took place at the Akal Takht as one between separatists and the state? I said before, Bhindranwale was not an out and out Khalistani as made out.

      It is the western and Indian media who are conflating these issues for obvious reasons.

    34. damon — on 9th December, 2009 at 10:39 am  

      On Afghanistan, having just finished today, Rory Stewart's excellent book on his year running a shia province in southern Iraq (in 2003/2004), and also knowing Afghanistan very well, I have to lend great weight to his arguments.

      ''What worked in Iraq won't help Afghanistan
      Rory Stewart has witnessed both our major conflicts. Here, in an extract from a speech at Chatham House, he suggests a new way forward''

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/column...

    35. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 9th December, 2009 at 10:57 am  

      Thank you for answering :)
      I agree with all you have said -
      My Father came here with his parents in 1956 - I am first born american.
      Though from your statement I would say 1920 Italy was full of both external and internal threats. but I guess that may fall under “dividing” influence. still good insight from you and maybe italians at that time were involved.
      My family came here in the post world war !! wave and I always figured were just sick and tired of politics and ready to get on with life and living.

      From what else you have said I think I would have to include religion as a influence, since your examples of both Armenian and Irish have roots deep in faith based politics.
      Where in Italy I would say the church and state are seperate powers.
      Thank you again for the comment cauldron

    36. Vikrant — on 9th December, 2009 at 10:59 am  

      Do you think it is okay to get Sikhs married under the Hindu Marriage Act despite their protests?

      There you go… another manufactured grievance. India doesn't have a uniform civil code. Hindu Marriage Act is *just* a flipping name applied to an act that governs marriages between people of Dharmic derived faiths.

      What the hell would Hindu India have to lose by allowing Sikhs to marry under their own act? Pettyness on small issues like this starkly highlight the hidden attitude towards Sikhs

      Anyone with cursory knowledge of India, would know that the “hindu India” *wants* a uniform civil code. It was one of BJP's poll planks in the 90's. The current fractured civil code (which allows polygamy for Muslims etc,) is maintained largely because Congress wants to placate Deoband crowd.

      Every time someone refers to “Hindu India”, it makes me cringe. There is no such notion. Do you realise, it can be fairly argued that Hinduism is the most officially regulated religions in India? Indian government controls and regulates the affairs of all the major Hindu temples. Funds of major shrines like Tirupati are controlled by government. All while other religious communities have full control of their holy places. India's lopsided idea of secularism means that you can have schools giving preference to Sikhs, Muslims, Jain etc but Hindus can't.

      Indian govt. extends something called a Haj subsidy to Muslims. Go google it. Indian civil code i believe has been modified once to placate the mullahs (shah bano case). If you are suggesting Hindus are given a preferential treatment in India, that is certainly not the case.

      Frankly, what is known today as Hinduism has to take a large part of the blame for being the root cause of this. More condemnation and little less apathy is required.

      You are conflating Indian culture with the Hindu religion it self. I mean surely 600 years of Sikhism should have ridden the Sikhs off casteism, somehow those idiots sporting Jatt pride bumper stickers never got the memo it seems. This Indian aspect of apathy is something that Naipaul touches in his book “India: A wounded civilization”.

    37. Rumbold — on 9th December, 2009 at 1:42 pm  

      Mangles:

      You can still apply for a visa for Khal'stan (when we get independence) would love to show you around the sites and take you to the local multi-cultural and multi-faith hangouts, can't promise any bars though.

      Heh. As long as I get to raise the floorboards I will be happy.

      By the way Rumbold I wouldn't compare Operation Bluestar to the crack down on bankers' bonuses - I haven't seen the rights of bankers suppressed, nor heard of any bankers who have been dissappeared by the Chancellor nor executed, just regulation of their powers and excesses.

      Sorry, I didn't explain myself well. I just meant they were comparable in that both events were a political reaction to a situation.

      Dalbir:

      But this is my point. You can separate out Khalistan from 1984. One is a questionable and chequered stance on the constitutional organisation of the Punjab, the other is a massacre. Until 1984 becomes just about 1984 we won't see progress.

    38. mangles — on 9th December, 2009 at 3:00 pm  

      Rumbold:

      floorboards lol- lost me for a bit, but liking it.

      As Bhindrawale said 'they keep rasing the floorboards but where are they going to put them?'. Are you suer you're not really a secret Khal'stani, you know one of those closet ones just itching to get out? I'm sure Sunny is.

      Rab rakha!

    39. Desi Expat — on 9th December, 2009 at 5:39 pm  

      Justice for the victims of 1984 is long overdue, and I wish there was more movement on the issue.. However there's no way that trying to bring about Khalistan is going to help with this. Another revival of the separatist movement in the Punjab is just a recipe for disaster.

      The track record for theocracies is not that they end up as multi ethnic, multi religious utopias where everyone lives in harmony . Right now there aren't any religious restrictions on Sikhs in the Punjab or anywhere in India as far as i know.. Most of the administration of Punjab is already Sikh, the bulk of the police and other services are as well , so I'm not sure how a separate Khalistan is really going to make a difference.

      Anyway, the likelihood of Khalistan being established anytime soon is very remote, and in my view that's a good thing, as I don't think we need to go thru another partition again… Nor do we need to have a rerun of the violence that we saw in the 1980s.

    40. mangles — on 9th December, 2009 at 11:18 pm  

      Desi Expat

      Why should another revival of a separatist movement which is legal, politically sound and non-violent be a recipe for disaster in Punjab?

      If you don't already know do your reserach and find out exactly what restrictions there are on Sikhs in Punjab and elsewhere in India; start off by reading Dalbir's post above which has already pointed to some. Then find out if the Indian constitution actually even allows for a separation of the Sikh faith form the Hindutva fold, let alone the acceptance of a Sikh nationhood.

      Yes, as you note most or in reality some of the administration in Punjab may well be Sikh however if their terms of reference are to enforce rules, policies and laws which are inherently anti-Sikh and at best discriminatory to Sikhs then what is the point of having Sikh administrators? It is no different to Indians working for the Raaj pre-1947.

      I agree with you that the likelihood of Khal'stan being established anytime soon is remote and even that given the precarious situation within the Sikh communiy that is a good thing. But please stop scaremongering; violence for separatist political movements is usually a reaction to state persecution and suppression of political or religious freedoms, just as it was at the time of the Mughals and British Raaj contemporary India is no different.

      If the Sikh faith is not allowed even a single holy city wherein the tenets of the faith are respected (you can find out how many Hindu holy cities there are yourself), and proxy-cults are allowed to spew their venom, despite the minorities' commissions ban on them in Punjab, and the state continuously finds the necessity to murder political and religious activists and to hold hundreds without charge at any given time, and even 25 years after pogroms killing thousands there is neglect of conscience of its apparatus, then it may just be reasonable to expect a violent reaction from the victims. However that still doesn't excuse your absurd suggestion that a Khal'stan movement has to necessarily be violent.

      Similarly if India is such a congenial and peaceloving country then it ought to stop reminiscing about the Bhagat Singhs, Sarabhas and Udhams, cos they didn't exactly sit in their loin cloths spinning yarn to get independence for India. When they realised that all legal and democratic means to justice and independence were stacked against them, even they had to resort to violence; even then as in the case of Bhagat SIngh it started out as a symbolic protest and for Udham Singh it was to avenge a dastardly massacre of his countryfolk at Jallianwala Bagh, for which the commanding officer and administrators showed no remorse, but basked in satisfaction. No different you would have to agree to the protracted political suppression using extremely brutal and illegal means that was exploited by the Indian state throughout Punjab in the 80's 90's and is even used today.

      Rab rakha!

    41. Dalbir — on 10th December, 2009 at 8:26 am  

      No one in their right mind would want a rerun of the 80s and as Parvinder highlighted the panth must consider the fact that we have important places outside of the Panjab and wouldn't want restricted access to them as is the situation with Pakistan.

      I think Vikrant clearly highlighted the kind of mentality Sikhs are facing with his subtle defense of attempts to drag Sikhs into the Hindutva umbrella. “It's just a flippin name” he says , and with those simple words he attacks the distinct identity that Sikhs have been trying so hard to forge over the last few centuries. This one way dialogue is central to the issues at hand.

      The situation is analogous to some twisted, overbearing mother would doesn't wish for her own son to stand on his own two feet and tries everything to keep him at home tied to her apron strings for her own selfish reasons, trying to dampen any independent behaviour through hook or crook. It is sad and wrong.

      Personally, I would prefer a higher degree of autonomy in a federal India rather than complete separation mainly for the reasons that Parvinder mentioned previously. But if India continues to interfere with Sikh institutes and identity, then I wouldn't be surprised if the yearning for Khalistan grows stronger.

      But Vikrant does make the valid point that many of those claiming to be Sikh themselves can't shake of their own version of supremacist caste hangovers. Whilst Hindus may have some excuse as such nonsense is deeply ingrained in their culture, Sikhs have no justification as their heritage is one that has castigated and attacked such notions rigorously. If such people ever got at the helm of theoretical Khalistan, I can't imagine it being anything other than an unjust caste ridden nation myself.

      No rush for Khalistan, we all have a lot of growing and learning to do before that can ever be a serious consideration. That should only be an aspiration for the distant future.

      Rumbold I hope people report Bhindranwale's position properly in future and not in simple terms such as 'extremist' or 'separatist' or 'Khalistani'. That aside, those murdered in Delhi had nothing to do with the movement in the Panjab, so it can't be that hard to separate these two issues! The fact that 25 years later we still have to make this obvious distinction says a lot in itself. Looks like people have been making consistent effort not to learn anything?

    42. ssjohal — on 10th December, 2009 at 10:12 am  

      Punjab belongs to all those who have made it their home, the Sikh, Hindu's, Christian and those who have no faith. No single ethnic group or religion has the right to dominate the other.

    43. Desi Expat — on 10th December, 2009 at 10:34 am  

      Mangles,

      I'm not aware that the Indian govt has any official policies to discriminate against Sikhs. Sikh citizens don't have less rights than Muslim or Hindu citizens. Regarding Dalbir's point about the marriage law, Sikhs can also register their marriage under the Special Marriage Act so they don't have to use the Hindu Marriage Act. Are Sikhs discriminated against in the UK because there's no specific Sikh marriage law ?
      In any case there's nothing Hindu about the marriage law anyway so its just a question of semantics. These different marriage codes are a legacy of the Raj and as Vikrant pointed out their continuing existence is more of a sop to conservative Muslims rather than anything demanded by Hindus.

      Punjab is currently ruled by the Akali Dal which is a Sikh political party, do u feel they are anti Sikh ? As to 'cults' being banned, wouldn't this restrict the rights of people who follow these other religious movements ? I'm sure the people who follow these various gurus and godmen don't see their faith as a 'cult'. If you truly desire a pluralistic society , then surely there's no place in restricting the right of people to follow whatever faith they wish. Are Sikhs being forced to follow these 'cults' ? Christians did view the Mormons as a cult and many still do, but no one in this day and age would argue that Mormonism should be banned or that they can't refer to themselves as Christian.

      As to my 'scaremongering' , I don't see anyway that a separatist movement could result in a independant Sikh Khalistan in the Punjab (which is 40% Non-Sikh ) in a peaceful manner. If almost half the population is not Sikh, the demand for a Sikh theocracy within the current boundaries of the punjab is unlikely to be achieved via a peaceful political movement .

      I don't see the Indian State as some sort of Angel, there are issues with poor governance all over, as there are in many countries, but there is no overarching “Hindu” conspiracy to bring down Sikhs.. Sikhs continue to be one of the more influential communities vis a vis their numerical size, and are well represented in the 'Elite' section of Indian society.

    44. Vikrant — on 10th December, 2009 at 11:14 am  

      “It's just a flippin name” he says , and with those simple words he attacks the distinct identity that Sikhs have been trying so hard to forge over the last few centuries.

      Do you even know what Hindutva is? Or who Hindutvadis are? Anyways there is no homogeneous Hindu community you speak of. Punjabi Hindus (despite the targeted ethnic cleansing campaign launched against them by Bhindranwale and other Khalistanis) are likely to closely identify with Punjabi Sikhs more so than anyone else.

      Personally, I would prefer a higher degree of autonomy in a federal India rather than complete separation mainly for the reasons that Parvinder mentioned previously. But if India continues to interfere with Sikh institutes and identity, then I wouldn't be surprised if the yearning for Khalistan grows stronger.

      Is there even a yearning for Khalistan outside Southall and Brumland and perhaps BC? What is this India that you refer to? The Indian government which is headed by a Sikh? You reek of anti-Brahmin paranoia so typical of Khalistanis. As someone who partly grew up in India and had actual contact and interactions with Indian Sikhs (albeit in Bombay), i daresay most of them dont really care much about Khalistan. Khalistanis who are mostly abroad, are out of touch with the ground realities. Given that Sikhs have thrived within India for over 60 years, what makes you think there is a concentrated attempt to subvert their culture?

      Just as Desi Expat said, there is no Hindu “conspiracy” that you speak of.

    45. Dalbir — on 10th December, 2009 at 11:16 am  

      but there is no overarching “Hindu” conspiracy to bring down Sikhs.. Sikhs continue to be one of the more influential communities vis a vis their numerical size, and are well represented in the 'Elite' section of Indian society.

      All you have to do is stick a few token, easily controllable puppets in place to give this illusion. You also need to understand that many of us are not interested in any 'elite' but the common rank and file of Sikh society.

    46. Dalbir — on 10th December, 2009 at 11:36 am  

      Just as Desi Expat said, there is no Hindu “conspiracy” that you speak of.

      Like you would own up to it if there were…….

    47. Rumbold — on 10th December, 2009 at 11:43 am  

      Mangles:

      Heh. No, neither Sunny nor I are secret Khalistanis. We both want justice for 1984, and blog about it, but I (and I think I speak for Sunny) don't see the point of Khalistan. How would it operate? Would there be religious freedom? What do you mean by proxy-cults in the Punjab? Would the vast majority of Sikhs really be much better off (an enraged India is unlikely to have full diplomatic/trading relations with a part of it that mananged to break free, at least at first)?

    48. ssjohal — on 10th December, 2009 at 12:05 pm  

      You also need to understand that many of us are not interested in any 'elite' but the common rank and file of Sikh society.

      Dalbir,

      I agree with your above comments, but the question is what are we doing to stop the suicide amongst the farmers in Punjab, [these are mostly Sikhs] the discrimInation on the basis of cast. Female foeticide in Punjab the highest in India. The youth of Punjab are increasingly resorting to drugs. What did we do to highlite the atrocities committed on the agitating farmer in Chandigarh and Mansa.. NOTHING

    49. Shamit — on 10th December, 2009 at 1:54 pm  

      Vikrant is spot on - the whole Khalistan angle and agenda comes from outside of India.

      And most Sikhs in India could not care less.

      Dalbir - I am getting a bit tired of your continuous innuendos about this Hindu - Sikh division that you and mangles persistently call for. Well, the Government of India is headed by a Sikh, The Government of Punjab is headed by a Sikh, The Chief Secretary of Punjab is a Sikh, the DGP is a Sikh - and both you and Mangles starting to sound like Reza. So what is your point? I guess they have all lost their marbles and supporting a Hinduvta agenda - well now that is exactly how Anjem Chaudhary speak like.

      I am all for people like Tytler and other Congress cronies to face actually the fucking death penalty - just like I would support it for Narendra Modi. You may ask why?because as politicians and people in power they have the responsibility of protecting citizens not devise conspiracies to kill them. In my book, that deserves a fucking death penalty.

      There are enough divisions in the world and I think we rather not have this divide that you seem to thrive on. And, vast majority of the people in India including Sikhs would agree that Sikhs are integral part of India.

      Now, if you are so hell bent on these divisions, why don't you go there and try to articulate your thoughts in Punjab or in India. Nah — that would not go down very well. So its best to do that in a pub in ol' Blighty innit?

      For fucks sake - what the hell is wrong with you?
      ******************************************************************
      Dr. Singh yesterday agreed that he might allow a telengana bill to split Andhra Pradesh come through and guess what its having a massive ripple effect and something India would have to deal with.

      Sovereignty is a No No — you are more and more sounding like those idiots in California who wanted to have California as an independent nation or the former first dude of Alaska. Not a very pleasant company I would say.

    50. Shamit — on 10th December, 2009 at 2:01 pm  

      Can't edit my posts. Can we please please go back to the old system.

    51. Dalbir_S — on 10th December, 2009 at 2:40 pm  

      And most Sikhs in India could not care less.

      At least have the honesty to admit that most of the Sikhs that did were murdered in India.

    52. Desi Expat — on 10th December, 2009 at 3:47 pm  

      Dalbir

      And do you have the honesty to admit that many of the proponents of Khalistan were not averse to murdering in pursuit of their goals ?

    53. Shamit — on 10th December, 2009 at 4:13 pm  

      Dalbir

      You seem to resent the fact that most Sikhs in India are patriotic citizens and in India the Sikh Community is integral to the success of India. You seem to have a problem with them as if they are traitors.

      Seems like you are British yet you are looking down upon someone who love their country and want to be part of it. What gives you that right?

      And there is no insurgency, no cry for Khalistan in India and right now India is being very ably led by a Sikh. This election victory was his — not Sonia Gandhi's, not the Congress Party but of Manmohan Singh. And attacking the Indian PM as weak was one of the stupidest political mistakes made bY BJP.

      Urban India, aspirational India and young India actually look up to this man. So Dalbir, I think it would be best for both of us (none of us are Indians by law) if we shut up about this and let Indians decide what they want.

      But please stay away from the Hindu - Sikh division that you so much like to talk about. I resent that because you are unnecessarily stirring up shit when there is none. If you honestly think there is a huge division between Hindus and Sikhs in India or for that matter anywhere else - then you are in a sad minority I must say.

      Division along religious lines is always dangerous and history has enough examples. And, the heinous crimes of 1984 or the 2002 Gujarat riots were not act of hindus but criminals who used hinduism as their excuse. Just like Al-qaeda does or those who killed innocents in the name of Khalistan. None of their acts would find favour with any religion or GOD.

      Painting everyone who follows the same religion with the same brush is something I expect Reza to do and we fight him and we call him names such as stupid fuck. I wonder why you would start the same crap all over again —

      I personally don't give a fuck about any organised religion - and I don't take kindly to anyone who judges people on their religious beliefs. If you do that to me you are no better than Anjem Choudhary, or Reza.

      Jai has written couple of excellent posts about Sikhism - multi culturalism - may be you should have a read.

      This is sad.

    54. Shamit — on 10th December, 2009 at 4:20 pm  

      Desi Expat -

      There is no doubt that Gov. SS Ray and KPS Gill did use extra judicial killings as a way to curb the insurgency and they went to other states [pursuing them as well. And they did kill innocent Sikhs and other Punjabis.

      This was handled badly by all concerned and the only people laughing were Zia and his cronies. So going tit for tat may not be the most prudent way to continue this discussion - at least in my opinion.

    55. Desi Expat — on 10th December, 2009 at 5:26 pm  

      Shamit,

      Yeah you're right, there was violence on innocents from both the State and the Militants in that period, I wasn't intending on going down the tit for tat route, just felt that Dalbir's glib assertion warranted a similar comment.. I'm in full agreement with what you said, I grew up in India and still visit often so found Dalbir and Mangles characterization of the current relationship between Sikhs and Hindus in India to be way off the mark. That's not to say that i would whitewash any of the crimes of the Congress govts in the 80s ,but Indira Gandhi and all those other politicans were motivated by Power & Greed and not Religion.. There was no “Hindu” conspiracy to bring down Sikhs..

    56. Vikrant — on 10th December, 2009 at 6:01 pm  

      So Dalbir, I think it would be best for both of us (none of us are Indians by law)

      Exactly Shamit! Though when i lived in India i had an OCI, which is ironic since i was neither overseas nor a citizen of India :P . To be fair to Dalbir, i doubt he has actually been to India that much hence his gross mischaracterisation of Hindu-Sikh interaction in India or for that matter Indian Hindus. I have a lot more to say, but its finals time in Yankeeland and i should be studying for one that is up in 20 hours!

    57. parvinder — on 11th December, 2009 at 2:46 am  

      Shamit, I agree with much of what you have said. Having lived and worked in India myself and having family in both Delhi and the Punjab, I can say that both our communities live in relevant harmony. What happened in 1984 was a politically-motivated massacre of innocents, led by the Congress (I). Many thousands of Sikhs were killed but many thousands saved by their Hindu neighbours.

      I have also witnessed in the past few years a realisation on the part of many Hindus, people like the journalists Manoj Mitta of the Time of India, who I met recently at the Houses of Parliament see http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Legala...

      and human rights worker, Ram Narayan Kumar, who passed away earlier this year, that until the wrongs of ’84 are put right, India will not be able to move forward morally.

      The rot in the elite is deep. I was shocked when Manoj told me that in November throughout India, the death of Mrs Indira Gandhi was officially commemorated in all states and yet the deaths of 5,000 men, women and children were totally ignored. We also have a Prime Minister who tells us to ‘get over it’, and a ruling party that continues to protect the killers in its ranks. Shockingly, Tytler is on the organising committee of the Commonwealth Games which takes place next year in Delhi?

      In conclusion, putting other issues aside, we should focus our minds on building a multi-faith united front to secure justice for the victims and their families. There’s a million and one ways we can do this, or at least raise the issue, through our community and faith groups, trade unions, political representatives etc. Time to act is long overdue.

    58. Shamit — on 11th December, 2009 at 4:38 am  

      Parvinder -

      I could not agree with you more. It is sad and despicable that Tytler is walking around free.

      Justice delayed is justice denied - and its been bloody 25 years. The carnage especially in Delhi was simply heinous and it was a conspiracy by people in power. Why did not the PM of the day put the armed forces on the streets immediately?

      Since 1984 other incidents have taken place which are equally wrong such as 2002 — again people in power conspiring to kill innocent citizens. I think despite many successes the biggest drawback in india lies in the fact that the rule of law only applies if you do not have the political clout and money. Unless that changes it would be difficult for India to move forward.

      Saying that, I am impressed by the current Indian PM - with his lack of venality and I do respect the anonymity his immediate family seeks and tries to live by. But one would expect more from him and Chidambaram (another very honest and capable leader) the Home Minister in trying to deliver justice for those who deserve it most.

      Finally, your conclusion is spot on.

    59. Dalbir — on 11th December, 2009 at 9:36 am  

      And do you have the honesty to admit that many of the proponents of Khalistan were not averse to murdering in pursuit of their goals ?

      I have no problem in saying this. Some Khalistanis did morally objectionable things. People must also admit that at least some of the atrocities attributed to Khalistanis were actually government operations. Will you admit this?

      No one comes out of this clean.

      The foot dragging involved in giving justice to Sikhs and the absolute reluctance to admit that the centre played a large part in creating the nastiness of those times needs immediate addressing. People must all make an effort to free themselves of deeply entrenched positions that dictate their positions on the matters.

      I know on a ground level relationships between Hindus and Sikhs are generally positive. I have Hindu relatives myself. But to deny the possibility that some element of Hindu-Sikh antagonism played a part in what happened (however small) is living in cloud cuckoo land. I've said previously on this very forum that an interpretation of the events as a straight Hindu-Sikh narrative is a gross simplification of the matter, but nonetheless, some element of this does in my opinion hold true. But the larger picture is an infinitely more complexed/layered one in which the aspirations and prejudices of the Gandhis and their Congress sycophants played the largest part?

      Whatever our views, lets all put them aside for now and try to fight in the corner of those who did and did not survive those few days in Delhi that followed Gandhi's demise.

    60. Fojee Punjabi — on 12th December, 2009 at 8:03 am  

      Please don't use the pursuit of a Sikh state as mud in your slinging match.

      Yes, there is still a pandering for a Sikh homeland amongst the pardes but what you have to understand is that the Indian government simply quashed any grass roots campaigns for Khalistan by force and so we were effectively driven underground but by dint of the Sikh diaspora's fantastic wealth and influence we will get our homeland back by using ardent political pressure.

      We already took the Premiership from Sonia Gandhi so India and its ruling elite knows who really rules the roost.

      Until such a time when the Hindu majority accept that Sikhs are an autonomous ethno-religious group we will continue our fight, albeit with the pen, for what is rightfully ours.

      As for Tytler… he'll get his comeuppance…

    61. Pablo — on 12th December, 2009 at 9:07 am  

      Mangles - you are delusional if you thinjk Khalistan is ever going to happen. A few Khalistanis agitating for it is not going to make it occur, no matter how much they try - for the simple reason that people don't want it. Seeking justice and autonomy is not the same as wanting to form a religious-theo-political state. Also, Dalit Sikhs will never accept a Khalistan run by fascistic Jatt Sikhs. Keep dreaming.

    62. Pablo — on 12th December, 2009 at 9:11 am  

      “Sounds like utopia- that is precisely what Khal'stan will be, cos Sikhi is based on forward thinking values, not reactionary policies or gesture politics”

      ++++++

      Right…..so why hasn't Sikhi caused utopia to be created already in Punjab? What a load of arrant, head-in-the-clouds nonsense.

    63. Pablo — on 12th December, 2009 at 9:20 am  

      “As to my 'scaremongering' , I don't see anyway that a separatist movement could result in a independant Sikh Khalistan in the Punjab (which is 40% Non-Sikh ) in a peaceful manner. If almost half the population is not Sikh, the demand for a Sikh theocracy within the current boundaries of the punjab is unlikely to be achieved via a peaceful political movement”

      +++++++

      Exactly - but its more than that. Dalit Sikhs will never, never, never want Khalistan. And in my opinion, most of the remaining Sikhs would never want to be ruled by theocratic fiat of oafs and hysterics. Khalistanis are delusional.

    64. Pablo — on 12th December, 2009 at 9:31 am  

      “by dint of the Sikh diaspora's fantastic wealth and influence we will get our homeland back by using ardent political pressure”

      ++++++

      So…..you live in the West, but fight for your 'homeland'…..to set up a theocratic basket-case of a state like a Sikh version of Pakistan? You guys are hilarious. As if anybody in the west or elsewhere in the world is going to support the religious partition of India now, as if anybody in the world community is going to support the creation of a religious nationalist state….you guys are delusional to the point of lunacy…..you are delusional to the point of hilarity……and yeah, you sit in the comfort of your western 'diaspora' homes dreaming your dreams, and the majority of people in Punjab couldn't give a damn or care for the delusional pompous pipe dreams you type out on your keyboards…..you guys are hilarious!

    65. Dalbir_S — on 12th December, 2009 at 9:41 am  

      Pablo does highlight the fact that inter-caste discrimination between Sikhs is something that severely effects the cohesion of the community and prevents the panth from speaking with one voice.

      Those guilty of pandering to their egos in this way should hang their heads in shame.

      I myself am not anti-Khalistani but as one person put it to me years ago “You have to be careful of simply replacing one set of fascist arseholes, for another with getting Khalistan, that is no victory.”

      Conflating issues affecting a particular caste to the wider Sikh community is a problem. Trying to portray such issues as a Sikh problem is in itself false as nonSikhs from the same historical occupational backgrounds engaged in the same business would be suffering in the same way.

      Like I implied before, SIkhs have to resolve such issues prior to any serious consideration for a theoretical Khalistan unless they jus want a microcosm of India at its worse.

      Although Sikhism does have beautiful principles that would be wonderful as the underpinning of a state, many Sikhs failure to even attempt to live up to them seriously negates the idea of Khalistan.

      All talk should be of growing through undoing the caste based and materialistic rot that way too many people adhere too, Panjabis and nonPanjabis, Sikhs and nonSikhs alike.

      Let's be honest. If we are to have a nation based on a particular theology, we must expect people to live by the ideals they are purportedly defending.

    66. Supinder — on 12th December, 2009 at 9:52 am  

      The fate of Khalistan is linked with the economic conditions in Punjab; as the water runs dry from the Punjabi aquifer and if the Riparian treaty that demands that Punjab surrender 2/5ths of its water to neighboring states (and Rajastan via the Indira Gandhi Canal) remains, the Punjabi Jatt youth will agitate.

      Punjab has never been at peace during the last century, there has been a continuity of violence from Jallianwala bagh through to this week conflagration over Ashutosh Maharaj of Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan. Punjab has burned brightly throughout its 60 year union with India. There has never been a halcyon period of peace with Sikhs and hindoos; there is documentary evidence of major communal conflicts in the early 1960s, 1978, 1981-84, 88-91 and 2002.

      In fact it is only in cities that the two groups actually ever meet on an equal footing; in rural punjab the only hindoo the Sikh meets are Bihari.

      Posters on these forum repeat the same canard that its only the Sikh diaspora that agitate for Khalistan. If one were to visit Punjab today, one would clearly see decals, posters and images of Sant Bhindranwale on building, cars and motorcycles. All these espouse Khalistan. The Khalistani cause is alive and well with Punjabi youth throughout every Punjabi conurbation.

      The hindoos made their choice in 1966 during the Punjab Subha movement as to there love of all things Punjabi; when they chose on mass to choose hindi as their vernacular rather than Punjabi; hence the hindoo already has a Punjab…its called Haryana.

    67. Pablo — on 12th December, 2009 at 10:07 am  

      The 'Hindoo'? Why spell Hindu in that old sneering colonialist spelling? What a bunch of rednecks some of you are…..Sikh rednecks…..agitating for hatred, conflict, bigotry…….horrible Sikh rednecks…..get a life you hatemongers

    68. Pablo — on 12th December, 2009 at 10:15 am  

      “If one were to visit Punjab today, one would clearly see decals, posters and images of Sant Bhindranwale on building, cars and motorcycles. All these espouse Khalistan. The Khalistani cause is alive and well with Punjabi youth throughout every Punjabi conurbation.”

      ++++++

      I go to Punjab all the time and you are spouting absolute rubbish. Your best hope is to constantly foment hatred using redneck Sikh tactics, appeal to the primitive self image of Jatt izzat and all that nonsense, hope that there is a catastrophic economic crisis in Punjab, and promote hatred and BNP type ideology. The overwhelming majority of people in Punjab don't want anything to do with Khalistan — 40% of Punjabis are non Sikh, and Dalit Sikhs will never accept such nonsense, and most of the remaining Sikhs don't want it either - self-alienated, listless, Jatt Sikhs filled up with grievance mongering saying it is going to happen won't make it so no matter what the delusions of grandeur of the 'diaspora' are……whatever happens they are going to have to foment hatred between 'Jatt Sikh' fanatics and every other Sikh and non Sikh to achieve it…..that is all these ideologists have…..hatred and delusion and redneck tactics…..

    69. Supinder — on 12th December, 2009 at 10:38 am  

      I would proffer to suggest that one open their eyes (maybe take off the tiranga coloured spectacles) next time they visit the Punjab.

      Link: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategoriz...

      Especially creative is a popular car decal showing the outline of Bhindranwale carrying a Teer (arrow).

    70. Dalbir_S — on 12th December, 2009 at 10:55 am  

      Supinder

      Whilst I wouldn't disagree with some of the main assertions of your post, you have clearly demonstrated that for many (if not the majority), Khalistan hangs on economic considerations that largely effect a particular subgroup and not Sikhs in general. Given that there is about a 60/40 percent split between Jatts and nonJatts in Panjab, and that large swathes of Jatt are vehemently against the notion of Khalistan (see Panjab Police KPS Gill types), any strong agitation for K'stan would be strongly contested between Panjabis themselves, unless the large block can be persuaded to support the cause. I haven't even factored in the large scale immigration from Bihar into these tentative figures either!

      I disagree that Sikhs do not encounter Hindus in villages. I know there are a few Hindu Panjabi families in my ancestral pind and I would hope the experiences of the last few decades would serve as a deterent on randomly hating Hindus. That being said the actions that led to Haryana being created is one that would have any SIkh raising an eyebrow.

      You talk of the water redirection as if it was a main issue. I think people have their heads in the buried in the ground regarding the next few decades in the Panjab. Asides what you mentioned, we will also have to consider the effects of climate change which could be severe. If the land doesn't dry out, the thawing waters of the Himalayas may cause the opposite. We also have things going on across the border which we need to keep an eye on.

      If anyone is planning to go to war in future, turning this into a simple narrative of Hindu versus Sikh will inevitably lead to a loss on the 'Sikh' side. If anything has to be learned from the 80s it is that jumping into a war with AK47s and all the braver and will in the world doesn't guarantee success. It requires a little more sophisticated thinking than that.

    71. Supinder — on 12th December, 2009 at 11:43 am  

      I would not suggest that the primary focus of Sikh-hindoo communal conflict in Punjab is faith; but I would subscribe to Vandana Shiva's view that conflict is primarily an economic one for the control of finite resources.

      If one were to take religion out of the equation and view the situation as one of class conflict (as Vandana Shiva's thesis on the conflict in Punjab with reference to the Green Revolution attempted to do). Shiva's thesis is based on the postulate that Punjabi hindoos are predominately city based bourgeoisie; whereas the Sikhs (especially the influentially Jats) are predominately rural farmers.

      Whenever there is an ecological scarcity (I.e. water shortages, land disputes, interstate riparian disputes); there is a class conflict between the city dwellers and the rural land owners (viz a viz who has primacy over these resources); - because of the religious make up of these 2 classes, ecological scarcity gets interpreted as religious; thus fueling religious conflict.

      As Punjab's water table gets even lower (decadal (1993 – 2003) drop of 8.2m); the Jatts (who economically have the most to lose) will start to claim primacy over finite resources, this translates into Sikh chauvinism and the agitation for Khalistan will grow.

      Fred Pearce (author of 'when the rivers runs dry' and editor of the 'New Scientist periodical) comments on the devastating ecological situation in the Punjab, making it “…one of the most water stressed regions on the planet”; the unregulated use of cheap Japanese bore hole motors to exploit the epoch old Punjab aquifer on the Doaba plain is nothing short of a disaster. In a quest for cheap food stuffs to feed a billion odd populace, the center along with the tacit approval of Akali politicians has sold Punjab down the river (sic); Punjab formally known as the sub-continent's 'breadbasket' will have a new moniker – the sub-continent's 'basketcase'.

      Therefore, Shiva's contention is that unless these ecological problems are dealt with in the Punjab; religious strife will grow. Alas, i would suggest that it is far too late and far too many vested ineterests involved in order to avert such a scenario.

    72. Dalbir_S — on 12th December, 2009 at 12:27 pm  

      If what you are saying holds true then it may simply translate as pro-centre Jatts versus the agitating Jatts in the Panjab (with the pro centre faction having extra material and propaganda support including personell). I can't see much of the rest of the nonJatt Sikh populace summoning much enthuiasm for farming related strife myself. They will probably fluctuate between empathy, apathy and antipathy. If recent history is anything to go by then we can expect the forces of darkness and sadism to be unleashed on the Panjab.

      I applaud your honesty in highlighting the issue as one primarily concerning material wealth. I think it is infinitely more honest to frame this as such as opposed to a religious conflict. People must remember many Sikhs are not tied to arrable land and are relatively unaffected by things that effect the people that are. Besides, given the nature of dwindling landholdings through inheritence, unless Jatts learn to diversify outside of farming, they will perpetually have problems. Why are they not thinking forward? The current mentallity essentially guarantees a conflict every few generations. lol

    73. ssjohal — on 12th December, 2009 at 2:49 pm  

      pablo,

      you are spot on. I want to ask these supporters of Khalistantan why did they kill my dear friend Paash the revolutionary poet and my dear friend Jamal Padda

    74. Dalbir — on 13th December, 2009 at 9:12 am  

      I want to ask these supporters of Khalistantan why did they kill my dear friend Paash the revolutionary poet and my dear friend Jamal Padda

      The other side could easily ask pro 'gorment' forces why did they kill….<fill in>.

      This could be quite a big list including a majority of innocent people.

    75. ssjohal — on 13th December, 2009 at 10:24 am  

      The other side could easily ask pro 'gorment' forces why did they kill….<fill in>.

      Dalbir, let me answer my own question. Jamal Padda was gunned down on the 19th March 1988, He was the leader of the Kirti Kishan Union, he was killed because he campaigned against the khalistani terrorism and State terrorism. they went village to village and exposed both sides, they fought for Sikh-Hindu unity. We all know that many innocent people were killed and majority of them were Sikhs. The difference is some died fighting against this evil forces and it can't be done by sitting behind the Internet. As Guru Nanak said '' if you have the desire to play the game of love then put your head on your palm and come to my gully''



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