OPINION: Countering Khalistan Narrative — Why India Will Have To Play Its Card Cautiously

The third week of March witnessed many violent assaults on Indian authorities amenities and Hindu temples by Sikh protesters within the UK, the USA, Australia and Canada. The governments of the nations largely remained mute witnesses to those incidents of arson on the pretext of respecting freedom of speech. The Indian authorities reacted furiously as these protesters desecrated Indian symbols of sovereignty. Prime diplomats from these nations have been summoned and informed in a stern language that it was the duty of the host governments to guard the official amenities of Indian authorities as assured below the Vienna conference.

The Khalistan separatists have unfold their wings in lots of capitals of the western world, who by way of their planted brokers like Amritpal Singh are creating troubles within the Indian state of Punjab. That the 31-year-old Amritpal has no native help is clear from the truth that the strange lots usually are not bothered about his wellbeing, and their sentiments are being exploited within the identify of Guru Granth Sahib. There was no demonstration of public help to protest towards the arrest of Amritpal in India however the Sikh activists overseas are agitated as a result of their sport plan has been uncovered.

It’s well-known that some Sikhs who reside in these nations willy-nilly fall within the entice of those Khalistani separatists. In spite of everything, they must survive in a completely alien surroundings, for which they want psychological and monetary help. The migrant Sikh youths are recognized to be supplied providers like getting asylum and resettlement, job and so on. These Sikh youths then change into torch-bearers of the Khalistani trigger, which is prospering solely on the distant lands. These youths, who migrate to those developed nations searching for good life and employment, can’t dare to talk towards the activists as they’ve cash and muscle energy, and discover themselves trapped within the Khalistani plot. The Punjabi youth who go to those nations from rural Punjab are brainwashed and terrorised to help them and participate in anti-India actions.

Efforts to revive the Khalistan motion has been on the playing cards for the previous few years however alarm bell rang solely when Amritpal Singh laid siege to a police station in Ajnala, close to Amritsar, on February 23. Later, when the safety companies went to arrest Amritpal Singh on March 18, an enormous cache of contemporary firearms was discovered, indicating the grand plan to launch armed rebel towards the Indian state.

The so-called motion for Sikh homeland has all the time acquired covert and overt help from international powers, from the West to the East, the place the Sikh diaspora reside in massive numbers. Initially, when the Sikh homeland rule motion within the sixties and the seventies started, a small group of Sikh separatists emerged and thrived in these nations. They have been handled as minor pawns of Chilly Warfare politics within the south Asian context.

Within the subsequent many years of eighties and nineties, the motion adopted terrorist strategies, with monetary and army coaching from Pakistan, to terrorise and destabilise the Indian authorities and instigate the lots in Punjab to revolt towards Indian State. However the Sikh separatists didn’t mobilise the strange lots, and got a loss of life blow by Indian safety forces. The Sikh motion later waned for some years, however they regrouped from international lands the place they evidently spearheaded their motion with the tacit help of native governments.

Because the Sikh diaspora continued to develop in numbers in nations from the UK to Canada, to Australia and the USA, they turned outstanding gamers in home politics and began to be handled as main vote banks. The native politicians sought their help throughout elections. The Khalistanis grabbed the chance with s well-laid-out technique chalked out by Pakistan’s ISI together with monetary assist to mobilise their help world over. Within the identify of preventing human rights violations and discrimination, the separatist Sikhs fashioned Sikhs for Justice, which appealed to the uninformed Western politicians and human rights activists. They even organised so-called worldwide referendum among the many Sikh diaspora for a separate homeland, below the very nostril of the governments of the Western nations who these days vouch for robust strategic partnership with India. To indicate concern for India, the governments of nations the place the Sikh diaspora reside in massive numbers should inform the activists that they’d not like every anti-India exercise on their soil, which seeks to interrupt up and destabilise India.

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The Problem And Process Earlier than India

The problem earlier than the Indian diplomacy is to persuade these so-called champions of free speech and democracy that they will’t concurrently search greatest relations with India whereas permitting anti-India separatist actions on their lands. An India embroiled in home separatist actions wouldn’t show to be the most effective companion, who should focus most of its assets and power in countering these anti-India separatists. The Western governments should realise that Pakistan ISI has been orchestrating these actions by way of a devoted plan to destabilise India. In spite of everything, they’ve been permitting the Chinese language authorities to station its police to have a detailed watch on the actions of Chinese language dissidents. Ought to this not be construed as an assault on particular person freedom? However the host governments from the UK to Australia, Canada and the USA have stored mum and solely began initiating motion towards the Chinese language police stations when rigidity began brewing between China and these governments.

When Indian tri-colour was pulled out of the Indian Excessive Fee in London on 19 March, there was a livid response from India, which yielded some outcomes. The UK authorities promised to offer full safety to Indian amenities within the nation. However there was no promise of taking direct motion towards Khalistan activists. Except these activists are reined in, risk to life and property of Indians and Indian authorities will stay very excessive. Khalistani activists attacked and defaced Indian temples within the US, Australia and the UK, however the native police handled these incidents of arson in an off-the-cuff method.

As India’s financial and political clout on the world area grows, the western authorities wouldn’t wish to antagonise India, however India should play its card cautiously. In spite of everything, the western governments whose survival depends upon their vote banks, which has change into an necessary consider electoral democracy, even have to consider their constituencies. Since these democratic nations additionally vouch for respect of rule of legislation in all circumstances, Indian interlocutors should present credible proof of full respect of democratic values in India as enunciated within the a lot revered Indian Structure.

The writer is a senior journalist and strategic affairs analyst.

[Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs, and views expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs, and views of ABP News Network Pvt Ltd.]

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