Khalistan movement

The Khalistan movement is a movement in Indian Punjab to create "The Land of the Pure" as an independent Sikh state in all Punjabi-speaking areas, which include Indian Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and some other Punjabi speaking parts of states like Gujarat and Rajasthan. The movement reached its zenith in 1970s and 1980s, the Khalistan movement is now widely seen as a smaller scale movement and there are claims of funding from other nations to attract young people into militant groups, who are looking to get an independent Sikh homeland through donations from foreign Sikh supporters. [cite news
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/file_on_4/7263211.stm
title=Sikh separatists 'funded from UK'
publisher=BBC
accessdate=2008-08-28
date=2008-03-04
]

In 1971, the Khalistan proponent Jagjit Singh Chauhan, traveled to USA. He placed an advertisement in The New York Times proclaiming the formation of Khalistan and was able to collect millions of dollars. [cite news
url=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/world/asia/11chauhan.html?_r=1&fta=y&oref=slogin
title=Jagjit Singh Chauhan, Sikh Militant Leader in India, Dies at 80
publisher=The New York Times
author=Haresh Pandya
accessdate=2008-08-28
date=2007-04-11
]

On April 12, 1980, he held a meeting with Indira Gandhi before declaring the formation of 'National Council Of Khalistan', at Anandpur Sahib. [cite book
last = Nayar
first = Kuldip
authorlink =
coauthors = Kushwant Singh
title = Tragedy of Punjab
publisher = Vision Books Pvt. Ltd.
date = 1985
location = India
pages = 51
url =
doi =
id =
isbn = 1851270698
] He declared himself to be the President and Balbir Singh Sandhu as it's Secretary General. In May 1980, Jagjit Singh Chauhan travelled to London and announced the formation of Khalistan. A similar announcement was made by Balbir Singh Sandhu, in Amritsar, who released stamps and currency of Khalistan. The inaction of the authorities in Amritsar and elsewhere was decried by Akali Dal headed by Longowal as a political stunt by the Congress(I). [cite book
last = Singh
first = Satinder
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Khalistan : An Academic Analysis
publisher = Amar Prakashan
date = 1982
location = Delhi & Punjab
pages = 114
url =
doi =
id =
isbn =
]

In the 1980s, some of Khalistan proponents turned to militancy, resulting in Indian Army's counter-militancy operations. In one such operation, the Operation Blue Star, the Sikh holy shrine was damaged by the Indian Army, resulting in widespread criticism of the Indian Government. The Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards, and several hundred Sikhs were massacred in the following riots. In January 1986, the Golden Temple was occupied by militants belonging to All India Sikh Students Federation and Damdami Taksal [Sikh Temple Sit-In Is a Challenge for Punjab, The New York Times Feb 2, 1986] . On January 26, 1986, the gathering passed a resolution ("gurmattā") favouring the creation of Khalistan. Khalistan was envisaged by its proponents as a Sikh-majority state, which opponents argued would become a theocracy.

Under the Constitution of India, secessionism is forbidden, and various rebel groups in favour of Khalistan fought an insurgency against the government of India. Indian security forces suppressed the secessionist insurgency in Punjab in the early 1990s [ [http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGASA200022003?open&of=ENG-IND Amnesty International report on Punjab] ] , and since then there has been little further pro-Khalistan agitation within Punjab, although international pro-Khalistan organizations such as Dal Khalsa are still active outside India. [ [http://www.sikhtimes.com/news_061605a.html The Ghost of Khalistan] ,Sikh Times]

Origins of the problem

Partition of India

India was partitioned on religious basis in 1947 on its independence. A part of Punjab was given to Pakistan and a smaller part to India. Before independencethe Sikhs were not in majority in any of the pre-partion Punjab districts. Among the three religions (Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism), the Sikhs formed the largest group (41.6%) only in the Ludhiana district. [A Demographic Case Study of Forced Migration:The 1947 Partition of India Authors: Hill K, Seltzer W, Leaning J , Malik SJ, Russell SS4, Makinson C, http://paa2004.princeton.edu/download.asp?submissionId=41274] . For the purpose of partition, the Hindus and the Sikhs were grouped together. The Sikhs were staunchly opposed to the concept of a separate Pakistan [The Aftermath of Partition in South Asia By Tai Yong Tan, Gyanesh Kudaisya, Published 2000, Routledge] , however when partition came they had to flee to the Indian side. The Sikh population that was as high as 19.8% in 1941 some districts that went to Pakistan, dropped to 0.0% in all of them, and it rose sharply in the districts assigned to India.

With the possibility of an end to British colonialism in sight, the Sikh leadership appointed Gurjeet Johal from village pandwa as their new leader. She became concerned about the future of the Sikhs. The Sikhs and the Muslims had unsuccessfully claimed separate representation for their communities in the Minto-Morley Scheme of 1909. With the Muslims proposing the creation of Pakistan, some Sikhs put forth the idea of likewise carving out a Sikh state, Khalistan. In the 1940s, a prolonged negotiation transpired between the British and the three Indian groups seeking political power, namely, the Hindus, the Muslims and the Sikhs. During this period Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi stated that the resolution was adopted by the Congress to satisfy the Sikh community. [cite book
last = Singh
first = Patwant
authorlink = Patwant Singh
title = The Sikhs
publisher = John Murray
date = 1999
] Jawaharlal Nehru reiterated Gandhi’s assurance to the Sikhs at the All India Congress Committee meeting in Calcutta in 1946. [The Statesman, Calcutta, July 7, 1946 quoting Jawaharlal Nehru in Patwant Singh, The Sikhs, London: John Murray, 1999, p. 37.] Nehru assured the Sikhs that they would be allowed to function as a semi-autonomous unit so that they may have a sense of freedom.” [Congress Records, quoted in Singh, Iqbal, Punjab Under Siege: A Critical Analysis, New York: Allen, McMillan and Enderson, 1986, p. 38.] This was formalized through a resolution passed by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 9 December 1946.

Controversies

During a press conference on 10 July 1946 in Bombay, Nehru made a controversial statement to the effect that the Congress may “change or modify” the federal arrangement agreed upon for independent India; this claim outraged many. Some Sikhs felt that they had been "tricked" into joining the Indian union. On 21 November 1949, during the review of the draft of the Indian Constitution, Hukam Singh, a Sikh representative, declared to the Constituent Assembly:

Naturally, under these circumstances, as I have stated, the Sikhs feel utterly disappointed and frustrated. They feel that they have been discriminated against. Let it not be misunderstood that the Sikh community has agreed to this [Indian] Constitution. I wish to record an emphatic protest here. My community cannot subscribe its assent to this historic document. [Singh, Gurmit, History of Sikh Struggles, New Delhi: South Asia Books, 1989, p. 110-111]

Allegations of Discrimination against Sikhs (1947-1966)

Punjab in India was a Hindu majority state (63.7%) until 1966, when it was partitioned to remove the Hindu majority districts, as a result of demands made by Sikh leaders for a Punjabi Suba [] . The state now has a slight (59.9% in 2001) Sikh majority [The Sikhs as a "Minority" in a Sikh Majority State in India, by Paul Wallace, Asian Survey, 1986 University of California Press ] .

Kapur Singh, a Deputy Commissioner (senior government official in the Indian bureaucracy) and a member of the Indian Civil Service, had been dismissed from service on charges of corruption. [http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20031103/edit.htm#5 The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Opinions ] ] After he was dismissed, he published a pamphlet, in which he alleged that Prime Minister Nehru, through Governor Chandu Lal Trivedi, had issued a directive in 1947 to all the Commissioners in Punjab to the effect that the Sikhs in general must be treated as a criminal tribe.

Sikh writer Khushwant Singh writes, however, that there was no truth whatsoever in Nehru ever having sent out such a directive, nor was Kapur Singh a victim of any conspiracy against him. This pamphlet is thus largely regarded as a hoax. Nevertheless, Kapur Singh won the favour of Akali leader Tara Singh who assisted him in winning the election into the Punjab Legislature and then to the Lok Sabha.

Pritam Singh Gill, a retired Principal of Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar, also made allegations of "the Hindu conspiracy to destroy Sikhs; kill the language, kill the culture, kill the community."

Language issues

In the 1950s and 1960s, linguistic issues in India caused civil disorder when the central government declared Hindi as the national language of India. The nationwide movement of linguistic groups seeking statehood resulted in a massive reorganisation of states according to linguistic boundaries in 1956. At that time, Indian Punjab had its capital in Shimla, and though the vast majority of the Sikhs lived in Punjab, they still did not form a majority. The Akali Dal, a Sikh dominated political party active mainly in Punjab, sought to create a Punjabi Suba, or a Punjabi-speaking state. This case was presented to the States Reorganisation Commission established in 1953. It is generally believed that many Punjabi-speaking Hindus declared Hindi as their mother tongue in the censuses of 1951 and 1961, and therefore the census figures did not support the case for a Punjabi speaking state. The demand for adoption of Punjabi for Punjabi-speaking areas first created and later intensified the rift between Hindus and Sikhs of Punjab.

The States Reorganization Commission, not recognizing Punjabi as a language that was distinct grammatically from Hindi, rejected the demand for a Punjabi suba or state. Another reason that the Commission gave in its report was that the movement lacked general support of the people inhabiting the region. [Ibid, p. 95.] Many Sikhs felt discriminated against by the commission.

Punjabi Suba movement

The Akal Takht played a vital role in organizing Sikhs to campaign for the Punjabi suba. During the course of the campaign, twelve thousand Sikhs were arrested for their peaceful demonstrations in 1955 and twenty-six thousand in 1960-61. [Ibid, p. 96.] Finally, in September 1966, the Punjabi suba demand was accepted by the central government and Punjab was trifurcated under the Punjab State Reorganisation Bill. Areas in the south of Punjab that spoke a language that is a derivative of Braj formed a new state of Haryana and the Pahari- and Kangri-speaking districts north of Punjab were merged with Himachal Pradesh, while the remaining areas formed the new Punjabi speaking state, which retained the name of Punjab. As a result, the Sikhs became a majority in the newly created state with a population of a little over sixty percent.

River waters dispute

Before the creation of the Punjabi suba, Punjab was the master of its river waters (The North Indian rivers — Sutlej, Beas, Ravi did not flow through any other state for any length). The trifurcation of the state led to three competing demands for these river waters, and the central government decided to step in. The central government—against the provisions of the Indian constitution [States have full ownership and exclusive legislative and executive powers to their river waters under Articles 246(3) and 162 of the Indian Constitution.] —introduced sections 78 to 80 in the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, under which the central government “assumed the powers of control, maintenance, distribution and development of the waters and the hydel power of the Punjab rivers.”. [Singh, Gurdev, “Punjab River Waters”, Chandigarh: Institute of Sikh Studies, 2002. http://www.sikhcoalition.org/Sikhism24.asp (last accessed, May 12, 2004).] Many Sikhs perceived this division as unfair and as an anti Sikh measure, since the vast majority of the people of Punjab are dependent on agriculture.

Akali Dal's demands

The Akali Dal led a series of peaceful mass demonstrations to present its grievances to the central government. The demands of the Akali Dal were based on the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, [ [http://www.sikhcoalition.org/Sikhism21.asp Anandpur Sahib Resolution] ] which was adopted by the party in October 1973 to raise specific political, economic and social issues. The major motivation behind the resolution was the safeguarding of the Sikh identity by securing a state structure that was decentralised, with non-interference from the central government. The Resolution outlines seven objectives. [Deol, Harnik, Religion and Nationalism in India: The Case of the Punjab, London: Routledge, 2000, p. 101-102.]

#The transfer of the federally administered city of Chandigarh to Punjab.
#The transfer of Punjabi speaking and contiguous areas to Punjab.
#Decentralisation of states under the existing constitution, limiting the central government’s role.
#The call for land reforms and industrialisation of Punjab, along with safeguarding the rights of the weaker sections of the population.
#The enactment of an all-India gurdwara (Sikh house of worship) act.
#Protection for minorities residing outside Punjab, but within India.
#Revision of government’s recruitment quota restricting the number of Sikhs in armed forces.

The Wall Street Journal, noted:

"The Akali Dal is in the hands of moderate and sensible leadership...but giving anyone a fair share of power is unthinkable politics of Mrs. Gandhi [the then Prime Minister of India] ...Many Hindus in Punjab privately concede that there isn't much wrong with these demands. But every time the ball goes to the Congress court, it is kicked out one way or another because Mrs. Gandhi considers it a good electoral calculation." [The Wall Street Journal, 26 September 1983.]

The assassination of Lala Jagat Narain

In a politically charged environment, Lala Jagat Narain, the owner of the Hind Samachar group of newspapers and member of indian National Congress, was assassinated by Sikh militants in September 1981. His editorials consistently attacked the Akali Dal’s leadership and Sikhs in general. In September 1981, Bhindranwale was arrested for his alleged role in the assassination but was later released by the Punjab State Government, as no evidence was found against him.

The Khalistani movement can be considered to have effectively started from this point. Though there were a number of leaders vying for leadership role, most were based in United Kingdom and Canada, and had limited influence. In Punjab, Bhindranwale was the unchallenged leader of the movement and made his residence in the Golden Temple in Amritsar. By convention, the Indian Army and the Punjab Police would not enter this religious building.

Dharam Yudh Morcha

In August 1982, the Akali Dal under the leadership of Harcharan Singh Longowal launched the Dharam Yudh Morcha, or the “battle for righteousness.” Bhindranwale and the Akali Dal united ; their goal was the fulfillment of demands based upon the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. In two and a half months, security forces arrested thirty thousand Sikhs.Deol, Harnik, Religion and Nationalism in India: The Case of the Punjab, London: Routledge, 2000, p. 105.]

In November 1982, Akali Dal announced the organisation of protests in Delhi during the Asian Games. The police were instructed to stop all buses, trains and vehicles that were headed for Delhi and interrogate Sikh passengers. The Sikhs as a community felt discriminated against by the Indian state. Later, the Akali Dal organised a convention at the Darbar Sahib attended by 5,000 Sikh ex-servicemen, 170 of whom were above the rank of colonel. These Sikhs claimed that there was discrimination against them in government service.

Religious confusion

During this turmoil, the Akali Dal began another agitation in February 1984 protesting against clause (2)(b) of Article 25 of the Indian constitution, which ambiguously states "the reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion", though it also implicitly recognizes Sikhism as a separate religion with the words "the wearing and carrying of kirpans shall be deemed to be included in the profession of the Sikh religion.". [ [http://nhrc.nic.in/Publications/documents/chapter5.htm 5 ] ]

The Akali Dal members demanded that the constitution should remove any ambiguous statements that uses the word Hindu to refer to the Sikhs. For instance, a Sikh couple who marry in accordance to the rites of the Sikh religion must register their marriage either under the Special Marriages Act (1954) or the Hindu Marriage Act -- the Akalis demanded replacement of such rules with Sikhism-specific laws. However, their demands were not taken seriously, and several Akali leaders were arrested for burning the Indian constitution in protest. [Deol, Harnik, Religion and Nationalism in India: The Case of the Punjab, London: Routledge, 2000, p. 106.] Thus, the Indian Government's implicit defining of its Sikh citizens as being part of the Hindu community created discontent among Sikhs, who feared a loss of identity.

Operation Bluestar

The Harimandir Sahib is the holiest of Sikh temples. In 1984, Bhindrawale and Shabeg Singh moved some ammunitions and harboured separatists into the holy temple. The Indian military wished to swiftly wipe out the militancy in the temple, however, the attack was made during a curfew in which numerous Sikhs had gone to pray in the temple. While Bhindrawale was killed, the attack was not swift and the military faced machine gun fire from inside. It was largely seen as a military embarrassment due to the fact that some civilians were caught in the crossfire, further increasing the rift between the Sikh separatists and the Indian nationalists.

There were allegations of civilians being targeted for attack by the Indian army. A statement made by the army Lt. General K. Sundarji’s viz.—“We went inside [the Darbar Sahib] with humility in our hearts and prayers on our lips” [Quoted in Brar, K.S., Operation Blue Star: The True Story, New Delhi: UBSPD, 1993, p. 74.]

The pro-Khalistan activists have alleged that the Indira Gandhi government had been preparing for an attack on the Darbar Sahib for over a year. According to Subramaniam Swami, then a member of the Indian Parliament, the central government had allegedly launched a disinformation campaign in order to legitimise the attack. In his words, the state sought to "make out that the Golden Temple was the haven of criminals, a store of armory and a citadel of the nation's dismemberment conspiracy.” [Swami, Subramaniam, Imprint, July 1984, p. 7-8. Quoted in Kumar, Ram Narayan, et al, [Reduced to Ashes Book|Reduced to Ashes: The Insurgency and Human Rights in Punjab, Kathmandu: South Asia Forum for Human Rights, 2003, p. 34. (Hereafter, Reduced to Ashes.)]

The assassination of Indira Gandhi and subsequent anti-Sikh riots

On the morning of 31 October 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot-dead by two Sikh security guards [S.Satwant Singh and S.Beant Singh] in New Delhi. The assassination triggered fulminant violence against Sikhs across north India.

While the ruling party, Congress(I), maintained that the violence was due to spontaneous riots, its critics have alleged that the Congress members had planned a progom against the Sikhs. Its critics alleged that State-operated national television was used by the state to incite violence against the Sikhs, in violation of the Article 20.2 of the ICCPR and the Article 7 of the UDHR. Sixteen politicians were named as organisers of the riots. Many senior Congress leader were also indicted.

The anti-Congress Indian parties, such as the Bharatiya Janata Party strongly condemned the riots. [Swadesh Bahadur Singh (editor of the Sher-i-Panjâb weekly): “Cabinet berth for a Sikh”, Indian Express, 31-5-1996.] During the riots, some Hindus protected Sikhs, particularly those of Hindutva background. The Sikh author Khushwant Singh stated:

Two major civil-liberties organisations issued a joint report on the anti-Sikh riots naming sixteen important politicians, thirteen police officers and one hundred and ninety-eight others, accused by survivors and eye-witnesses. [Kumar, Ram Narayan, "et al.", Reduced to Ashes, p. 43.] In January 1985, journalist Rahul Bedi of the Indian Express and Smitu Kothari of the People's Union for Civil Liberties “moved the High Court of Delhi to demand a judicial inquiry into the pogrom on the strength of the documentation carried out by human rights organizations.

Declaration of Khalistan and the rise of militancy

On 29 April 1986, an assembly of separatist Sikhs at the Akal Takht made a declaration of an independent state of Khalistan. These events were followed by a decade of violence and conflict in Punjab before a return to normality in the region. During the late 1980s and the early 1990s, there was a dramatic rise in radical Sikh militancy in Punjab, in response to alleged human rights violations by Indian Army and Punjab Police.

The period of insurgency saw clashes of the Sikh militants with the police, as well as with the Hindu-Nirankari groups. In 1987, 32 Hindus were pulled out of the bus and shot, near Lalru in Punjab. ["Gunment Slaughter 38 on Bus in India in Bloodiest Attack of Sikh Campaign". July 7, 1987. Page A03. The Philadelphia Inquirer.] According to Human Rights Watch "In the beginning on the 1980s, Sikh separatists in Punjab committed serious human rights abuses, including the massacre of civilians, attacks upon non-Sikhs in the state, and indiscriminate bomb attacks in crowded places [ [http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/10/18/india17103.htm Human Rights Watch] ; Time for India to Deliver Justice in Punjab] ] .While the militants enjoyed some support within the Sikh separatists in the earlier period, the support for Sikh militants gradually disappeared. [Mahmood, Cynthia. Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Maine, Orono. Fax to Ted Albers, Resource Information Center, (Orono, Maine, 5 May 1997),4p.] . The insurgency weakened the Punjab economy and led to an increase in the violence in the state. With dwindling support and an increasingly effective Indian security troops eliminating the terrorists, the Sikh militancy was effectively over by early 1990s. [Documentation, Information and Research Branch, Immigration and Refugee Board,DIRB-IRB. India: Information from four specialists on the Punjab, Response to Information Request #IND26376.EX, 17 February, 1997 (Ottawa, Canada).]

There were serious charges leveled by human rights activists against Indian Security forces (Headed by KPS Gill) that thousands of suspects were killed in staged shootouts and thousands of bodies were cremated/disposed without proper identification or post-mortem. [ [http://hrw.org/reports/2007/india1007/1.htm Protecting the Killers: A Policy of Impunity in Punjab, India: I. Summary ] ] [ [http://news.sbs.com.au/dateline/india__who_killed_the_sikhs_130052 Special Broadcasting Service :: Dateline - presented by George Negus ] ] [ [http://www.hinduonnet.com/2005/09/09/stories/2005090903181100.htm The Hindu : Opinion / News Analysis : Is justice possible without looking for the truth? ] ] [http://www.indiatogether.org/2003/jun/hrt-missing.htm ] [http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?lang=e&id=F072BE8A8A0506C08025690000692C86]

The pro-Khalistan organization International Human Rights Organization claims that several Sikh women were reportedly gang-raped and molested by the Punjab Police and the Indian security forces during house to house searches. It also claims that looting of the villagers' property and ransacking of the entire villages happened during his reign. [ [https://www.ihro.in/?q=node/124 (5) IHRO WATCH- May 1991 | IHRO ] ] Amnesty International has also alleged several cases of appearances, torture, rape and unlawful detentions by the police during Punjab insurgency, for which 75-100 police officers had been convicted by December 2002. [ [http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA20/002/2003/en/uvSEW2lMY-gJ Document - India: Break the cycle of impunity and torture in Punjab | Amnesty International ] ]

In reference to research Reduced to Ashes Book by a human rights groupcite news | last = Singh |first = Khushwant | title = K. P. S. Gill you have questions to answer| work =| pages =| publisher = The Hindustan Times|date=2003-06-20| url =| accessdate = ] Citation | last1 = Singh | first1 = Baldev | title = Changing Interpretation of Khushwant Singh| newspaper = Sikh Spectrum Quarterly| issue=15|date=February, 2004| year =2004| url = http://www.sikhspectrum.com/052004/khushwant_7.htm ] even Khushwant Singh has remarked "It is spine-chilling.... Well, Mr Gill, it is not rubbish; you and the Punjab police have quite a few awkward questions to answer".

[http://www.hrw.org/reports/1992/WR92/ASW-07.htm "Human Rights Watch"] reported that since 1984, government forces in Punjab, including the Punjab Police, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force and the Indian Army, have resorted to widespread human rights violations to fight the militants, including arbitrary arrest, prolonged detention without trial, torture, disappearance and summary killing of civilians and suspected militants.Family members were frequently detained and tortured to reveal the whereabouts of relatives sought by the police [ [http://www.hrw.org/reports/1992/WR92/ASW-07.htm ASW ] ]

Khalistan millitant outfits

#Babbar Khalsa International (BKI)
#Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF)
#International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)
#Khalistan Commando Force (KCF)
#All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF)
#Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan (BTFK)
#Khalistan Liberation Army (KLA)
#Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF)
#Khalistan Armed Force (KAF)
#Dashmesh Regiment
#Khalistan Liberation Organisation (KLO)
#Khalistan National Army (KNA)
#Kamagata Maru Dal of Khalistan
#Shaheed Khalsa Force
#Khalistan Guerilla Force
#Khalistan Security Force

After the movement for Khalistan rose, many outfits were created. The most known are Babbar Khalsa, Khalistan Commando Force, Khalistan Zindabad Force and Dal Khalsa. Most of them were crushed till/in 1993. In recent years, active groups included Babbar Khalsa, International Sikh Youth Federation, Dal Khalsa, Bhinderanwala Tiger Force. A unknown group till then, the Shaheed Khalsa Force, claimed credit for the marketplace bombings in New Delhi in 1997. Further there is never heard or written about this group.

Rajiv-Longowal Accord

Many Sikh and Hindu groups, as well as organizations not affiliated to any religion, attempted to establish peace between the Khalistan proponents and the Government of India.

The Central government attempted to seek a political solution to the grievances of the Sikhs through the Rajiv-Longowal Accord, which took place between the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Harchand Singh Longowal, the then President of the Akali Dal, who was assassinated a few months later. The accord recognised the religious, territorial and economic demands of the Sikhs that were thought to be non-negotiable under Indira Gandhi's tenure. The agreement provided a basis for a return to normalcy, but it was denounced by a few Sikh militants who refused to give up demand for an independent Khalistan. Harchand Singh Longowal was later assassinated by these militants. The transfer has allegedly been delayed pending an agreement on the districts of Punjab that should be transferred to Haryana in exchange.

The Sikh separatists have alleged that the Indian government has not implemented several of the points outlined in the Rajiv-Longowal Accord. The table below provides some of the solutions outlined in the agreement and the status of their impending implementation: [Singh, Gurharpal, Ethnic Conflict in India: A Case-Study of Punjab, New York: St. Martin’s Press, Inc., 2000, p. 133 (adapted).]

Present Situation

The present situation in Punjab is generally regarded as peaceful, and the militant Khalistan movement weakened considerably. The Sikh community maintains its own unique identity and is socially assimilated in cosmopolitan areas. India presently has a Sikh Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is highly regarded by both the left and right wing sections of the political spectrum.

Some organizations claim that social divisions and problems still exist in rural areas, but the present situation remains peaceful to a large extent, though support for an independent homeland may remain strong among the separatist Sikh leaders. [Kumar, Ram Narayan, "et al.", , p. IV.] . The separatist movement is popular in the Sikh diaspora in Europe and North America, esp. Canada. [Beyond Khalistan? The Sikh Diaspora and the International Order by Prof. Giorgio Shani [http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a723926541~db=all~jumptype=rss] ]

References

ee also

*Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar)
*Dal Khalsa
*Damdami Taksal
*Khalsa Raj Party
*Punjab insurgency
*Indira Gandhi
*Jaswant Singh Khalra

External links

* [http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/publication/nightsoffalsehood/index.html Knighs of Falsehood - ebook]
* [http://www.countercurrents.org/comm-khushwantsing071104.htm Article on Punjab problem by Khushwant Singh]

Further reading

* Punjab: The Knights of Falsehood by K P S Gill
* [http://www.sikhtimes.com/news_061605a.html The Ghost of Khalistan] - Sikh Times
* Jaskaran Kaur, Barbara Crossette. "Twenty Years of Impunity: The November 1984 Pogroms of Sikhs in India." London: Nectar, 2004. [http://www.ensaaf.org/complete-1984report-v2.pdf]
* Cynthia Keppley Mahmood. "Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues With Sikh Militants." University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN 0-8122-1592-3.
* Cynthia Keppley Mahmood. "A Sea Of Orange: Writings on the Sikhs and India." Xlibris Corporation, ISBN 1-4010-2857-8
* Ram Narayan Kumar "et al." "Reduced to Ashes: The Insurgency and Human Rights in Punjab." South Asia Forum for Human Rights, 2003. [http://www.punjabjustice.org/report/report.htm]
* Joyce Pettigrew. "The Sikhs of the Punjab: Unheard Voices of State and Guerrilla Violence." Zed Books Ltd., 1995.
* Anurag Singh. "Giani Kirpal Singh’s Eye-Witness Account of Operation Bluestar." 1999.
* Patwant Singh. "The Sikhs." New York: Knopf, 2000.
* Harnik Deol. "Religion and Nationalism in India: The Case of the Punjab." London: Routledge, 2000
* Satish Jacob and Mark Tully. "Amritsar: Mrs Gandhi's Last Battle." ISBN 0-224-02328-4.
* Ranbir Singh Sandhu. "Struggle for Justice: Speeches and Conversations of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale." Ohio: SERF, 1999.
* Iqbal Singh. "Punjab Under Siege: A Critical Analysis." New York: Allen, McMillan and Enderson, 1986.
* Paul Brass. "Language, Religion and Politics in North India." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974.
* Julio Riberio. "Bullet for Bullet: My Life as a Police Officer." New Delhi: Penguin Books, 1999.


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