Khalistan Movement And Rise Of Young Amritpal Singh – OpEd


The Khalistan is a separatist movement, led by various Sikh leaders and organizations such as Sikh For Justice (SFJ), that seeks to create an independent Sikh state in Indian Punjab. The Sikhs across the globe have been working for independent homeland for their community since 1970s and was led by prominent and senior Sikh members and International Sikh Youth Federation.

The movement was driven by several factors, including a sense of marginalization and discrimination against Sikhs in India, the demand for greater political autonomy and a desire for religious freedom. The movement gained momentum in the wake of Operation Blue Star in 1984, which was a military operation conducted by Indian government to remove armed militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest site of Sikh community. 

The Khalistan movement was marked by violence and terrorism, including assassinations of Indian officials and bombings of public places. Indian government responded with a crackdown on militant groups and increased security measures in the Punjab region. Indian government remains opposed to the idea of a separate Sikh state, and considers the Khalistan movement to be a threat to national security.

Sikh community continue to advocate for an independent Khalistan without supporting or engaging in any violent or extremist activities in pursuit of this goal. In fact, most Sikhs reject violence as a means of achieving political ends, and instead advocate for peaceful and democratic means of addressing their concerns. The idea of a Khalistan Referendum, which would allow Sikhs in India to vote on whether or not they want to separate from India and form an independent state of Khalistan, is an and sensitive issue.

Proponents of the Khalistan Referendum argue that it is a democratic and peaceful way to address the grievances of Sikh community, who they say have suffered discrimination and marginalization in India. They point to similar referendums held in other parts of the world, such as UK, Australia and Canada. The entire process of referendum was conducted in a peaceful and democratic manner. However, opponents of Khalistan Referendum argued that it is unconstitutional and illegal under Indian law, and that it could lead to violence and instability in the region. They also argue that the grievances of the Sikh community can be addressed through peaceful and democratic means within the framework of the Indian constitution.

It is true that there have been instances where members of the Sikh community in India have faced discrimination and marginalization, and there have been allegations of human rights violations by Indian government in past. The government of Hindu fanatics in New Delhi is blatantly crushing rights of minorities across the country. Non-Hindu groups are being targeted, killed and their properties are vandalized. It is also important to recognize that Indian government has a responsibility to maintain law and order, and to protect the safety and security of all its citizens. Seemingly, it has failed to act against such elements, who are working under the patronage of their Hindu leaders. 

The marginalization of minorities, including Sikhs, in India is a serious issue that deserves attention and action from both Indian government and international community. It is important for Indian government to take steps to address the root causes of discrimination and marginalization, such as poverty, lack of access to education and healthcare, and biases in law enforcement and judicial systems. The government should also work to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue, and to create an inclusive and tolerant society where all citizens are treated with dignity and respect.

Recently, a young Sikh leader Amritpal Singh Sandhu has started another campaign for Khalistan.  Amritpal Singh Khalistan separatist, having radical thoughts. He is self-styled Sikh preacher and leader of the organisation Waris Panjab De from Punjab. A new wave of pro-Khalistan rhetoric, led by young leader, appears to favour Sikh community the most. Amritpal’s rise will consolidate Sikh community’s narrative. In his speeches, Singh often argues that the demand for Khalistan is absolutely justified. He also seems to hold considerable appeal for his followers. While starting his struggle for Khalistan, he highlighted discriminatory policies of BJP towards Indian Punjab in general and Sikh community in particular. The chain of events since last few months in Indian Punjab Amritpal to national attention.

 At the same time, the international community has a role to play in promoting human rights and holding governments accountable for upholding those rights. This includes monitoring and reporting on human rights abuses, providing support for civil society organizations working to promote human rights and democracy, and using diplomatic channels to engage with governments and advocate for change.

It is important to engage in constructive dialogue and work towards finding peaceful and democratic solutions to any grievances or disputes that may arise between different communities in India, rather than resorting to violence or extremism. Any allegations of human rights violations should be thoroughly investigated and addressed through appropriate legal channels. Likewise, it is necessary for all parties involved to work towards peaceful and constructive dialogue, rather than resorting to violence or extremism. Any disputes or grievances should be addressed through democratic and lawful means, within a framework of respect for human rights and the rule of law.

The ruling BJP should respect the rights of all communities, including the Sikh. This includes upholding the principles of religious freedom and tolerance, and promoting inclusive policies that ensure equal opportunities and protection under the law for all citizens, regardless of their religious or ethnic background. The ruling BJP has a responsibility to address any grievances or concerns raised by the Sikh community, and to work towards finding peaceful and democratic solutions to any disputes or conflicts that may arise.

At the same time, it is important for all parties involved to engage in constructive dialogue and to work towards building bridges of understanding and mutual respect, rather than resorting to violence or extremism. Ultimately, the promotion and protection of human rights and dignity for all individuals and communities should be a shared priority, and it is only through collaborative efforts that we can work towards creating a more just and equitable society.

Asad Ali

Asad Ali is an Islamabad based expert of South Asian Affairs

2 thoughts on “Khalistan Movement And Rise Of Young Amritpal Singh – OpEd

  • March 30, 2023 at 7:24 am

    Stop this false narrative ! In India Sikhs and Hindus live like family !

  • March 30, 2023 at 8:00 am

    It is not the Rise of Amritpal Singh in Punjab but he has been cleverly trained and planted by ISI of Pakistan.Pakistan is facing one of the worst periods in its history. Inflation has reached record levels, with food price inflation touching 46 per cent! Even flour is out of reach of the people.We do not hear the headlines about the impact of this reality on the populace but the mainstream media attempt to discuss Anti India as a Hashtag and it is now more of Anti Modi-BJP.
    India I say has unlimited freedom of speech. ALL minority communities including Sikhs,Muslims,Christians and others in India have held highest positions including the President and large numbers have risen to the ranks of Generals. In India Sikh community is the most respected whereas in Pakistan the Sikh community is hunted around with their women not safe. Even Indian Muslims in Pakistan are treated as outcasts. Lahore boasts of a noticeable population of Sikhs, yet the city is without a single school where Gurmukhi script is taught and remain deprived of their basic right to learn to read and write their mother tongue. Yet another Hate India from Pakistan. The theme of India’s G20 Presidency “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or the ‘World is One Family’ “One Earth-One Family-One Future” is based on India’s ancient scriptures and The theme of India’s G20 Presidency “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or the ‘World is One Family’ “One Earth-One Family-One Future” is based on India’s ancient scripture and Pakistan’s also has the roots there but want to shed the rich linkages…The world needs to learn from India …


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