The Khalistani movement is raising its head again in Punjab with Ampritpal Singh Sandhu being propped up as Bhindranwale 2.0 and ascending to become the head of Waris Punjab De. Shri Ratan Sharda held discussions with Shri Harinder Sikka, Shri Jaibans Singh, and Shri Rajan Khanna regarding the ground reality and how the Khalistani issue is playing out differently this time as compared to the 1980s on account of social media and other factors.
Shri Jaibans Singh who has studied ISI for the last two decades believes that the Pakistani spy agency has propped up Amritpal Singh Sandhu. He further highlighted that Sandhu’s arguments and statements are those of the ISI. The wordings and context of his speeches are similar to Kashmiri Islamist terrorists. Jaibans also stated that ISI created Sandhu’s media and social media presence thereby giving Sandhu visibility.
“The movement certainly is backed by the ISI but there is also internal support. Why do the Khalistanis become inactive when the Badals (Shiromani Akali Dal) are in power and return from hibernation as soon as the Badals lose power in Punjab? It is also a well-known fact that AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) is funded by Khalistanis yet we are unable to act against them”, stated Shri Harinder Sikka.
“More than 12600 villages in Punjab are affected by drugs. 20-25 youngsters in each village have lost their lives due to drug overdose. ISI has realized that they can’t fight the Sikhs so they are attempting to coopt them by funding Khalistani separatism and brainwashing Sikh youth as soon as they land in foreign countries”, he added highlighting Punjab’s drug problem and how ISI is harvesting the Khalistan issue for its benefit.
Harinder also believes that it isn’t the ISI alone that is funding the movement but other foreign anti-Bharat forces are also providing monetary aid to fuel Khalistan 2.0 movement. He opines that holding the long-overdue SGPC (Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee) election is the apt solution to deal with the issue.
“Khalistani elements got a law passed in the Parliament about 200 years ago limiting sects that can vote in SGPC elections. Sahajdaris, Keshdaris, those who have not been baptised with Amrit, and many others were excluded. They have, thereby, narrowing down which Sikhs can vote in the SGPC elections only to strengthen their position. This is against the Sikh religion, the Constitution, and the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib. Politicians are doing this so that they have an iron grip on SGPC”, notes Sikka.
“In 1978 firing was ordered on Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s group heading for Nirankari meet. ISI saw an opportunity to sow seeds of separatism in Punjab using Bhindranwale as a pawn. Additionally, opportunistic politicians further aided and used the Khalistan movement to further their political agenda. Akali was in power at that time with Parkash Singh Badal as the CM. Indira Gandhi’s advisors told her that defeating Akalis was possible only if she backed Bhindranwale”, Shri Rajan Khanna said.
He further pointed out that geopolitics is also at play here. Earlier, America required Pakistan for its geopolitics against Russia and hence, the USA supported Pakistan’s illegitimate activities in Bharat. According to Rajan Khanna, Punjab has borne the brunt of this. From being the largest contributor of Wheat, Punjab’s contribution today stands at merely around 15%. At the rate at which Bharat’s economy is growing, Punjab’s youth don’t have to go abroad for jobs.
Another important point that came forward from the discussion was the silence of the vast majority of ordinary Punjabis and Sikhs. Anti-Bharat forces such as Soros Foundation, ISI, and others would not refrain from their attempts to destabilize the country, the onus is on the society to defeat such divisive forces by taking responsibility.
Also, Sandhu is getting the backing of both external forces as well as internal ones including the state government and Sikh religious bodies. The Khalistan movement needs to be nipped in the bud which is possible only if the internal forces stop backing the likes of Sandhu.
All of them highlighted the need to nip this in the bud and also make people aware of their Hindu roots. Making society aware of the real history is essential. Guru Granth Sahib contains verses that attest to the Hindu roots of Sikhism. People aren’t allowed to read them because it’ll unite society.