What is Khalistani Movement and Logic of Referendum? Explained Amid Australia Scuffle With Diaspora

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A scuffle broke out between the Indian diaspora and Khalistan supporters in Australia throughout a referendum referred to as by the banned Sikhs For Justice for the creation of an unbiased Sikh state, native media reported. The transient fracas broke out at 4.30 p.m. on Sunday after a bunch of pro-India supporters waving nationwide flags arrived on the voting web site in Federation Square, Melbourne, The Age reported.

The Victoria Police, which used pepper spray to quell the protests, mentioned two males, aged 34 and 39, have been arrested and issued a penalty discover for his or her riotous behaviour. In a number of movies posted on Twitter, Khalistan supporters have been seen attacking Indians with sticks in broad daylight. They have been additionally seen snatching and damaging the Indian Tricolour.

Reacting to the movies, BJP chief Manjinder Singh Sirsa tweeted: “I strongly condemn anti India actions by professional Khalistani in Australia. Anti-social parts which might be making an attempt to disrupt the peace & concord of the nation with these actions, have to be handled strongly and culprits have to be dropped at books.”

Meanwhile, Delhi Police’s Special Cell on Sunday arrested two men in connection with alleged “anti-national” and “Khalistan-related graffiti” that appeared on walls in areas of west Delhi on January 19, ahead of Republic Day, officials said.

The walls were painted with slogans like “Khalistan Zindabad”, “SFJ”, “1984″, “Punjab Banega Khalistan”, “Vote for Khalistan” and “Referendum 2020″ at various locations in Vikaspuri, Janakpuri, Paschim Vihar, Peeragarhi, Meera Bagh and adjoining parts in west Delhi, they said.

The accused — Vikram Singh (29), a resident of Tilak Nagar, and Balram Singh (34), hailing from Bharatpur in Rajasthan — were tasked to paint “pro-Khalistani” slogans in western half of Delhi in lieu of Rs 2 lakh and additional profitable affords in future, a senior police officer mentioned. However, they have been paid solely Rs 2,000 after the act, he added.

So, who’re Khalistanis and what is the Khalistani motion?

The Khalistan motion is a Sikh separatist motion that seeks to ascertain a sovereign state within the Punjab area referred to as Khalistan (‘Land of the Khalsa’), in keeping with reviews.

The proposed state could be made up of land that presently kinds Punjab, India and Punjab, Pakistan, with Lahore as its capital, and could be positioned prior to now geographical area of Punjab, the place the Khalsa Empire was as soon as established.

Since the separatist motion gained traction within the 1980s, Khalistan’s territorial ambitions have included Chandigarh, sections of Indian Punjab, together with the whole lot of North India, and some elements of western India.

How It Started

Gur Gobind Singh’s declaration of the Khalsa in 1699, and the religio-political imaginative and prescient that accompanied it, fueled the Sikh creativeness with the assumption that it was their God-given proper to rule Punjab, Britannica explains in its report on how the Khalistani motion began.

Sikh forces captured Sirhind, essentially the most highly effective Mughal administrative centre between Delhi and Lahore, in 1710, led by Band Singh Bahdur, and established a capital in close by Mukhlispur (“City of the Purified”). They minted coins, created an official seal, and issued letters of command invoking God and the Gurs’ authority. At the time, the belief that “the Khalsas shall rule” was formally added to Sikh liturgical prayer, the report mentioned.

Although the ‘Khalsa Raj’ beneath Band Singh was short-lived, the idea was realised within the early 19th century within the type of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s kingdom (1780–1839). Though the Khalsa Raj’s subsequent fast decline and eventual loss to the British (1849) was a painful expertise, it didn’t extinguish many Sikhs’ hope that the Khalsa Raj would return in some type.

The idea of an unbiased Sikh state was outstanding within the prolonged negotiations that preceded the partition of Punjab in 1947. The Sikh inhabitants’s numerical weak spot compared to different residents of Punjab rendered this an unviable proposition, but it surely has reappeared in varied kinds since, the report explains.

For a decade within the 1970s and 1980s, a violent secessionist motion to create Khalistan paralysed the Punjab. And it reached its pinnacle within the late 1990s, after which the insurgency petered out and the motion failed to attain its objective for a range of causes, together with a heavy police crackdown on separatists, factional infighting, and disillusionment.

There is some help inside India and among the many Sikh diaspora, with annual protests in reminiscence of these killed throughout Operation Blue Star.

Police in Punjab arrested a number of militant teams in early 2018. Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh claimed that latest extremism is being supported by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and “Khalistani sympathisers” in Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

What is Referendum 2020

The unofficial “referendum” is a voting train organised throughout a number of international locations by the US-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) organisation, which was banned in India in 2019 for “espousing secessionism and militant actions”.

The referendum seeks to forge an agreement among Sikh communities to establish Khalistan, a separate homeland within India. It is generally proposed that this be accomplished by carving out the Indian state of Punjab, the country’s only Sikh-majority state. The campaign group says it would then approach the UN and other international human rights bodies with the demand to re-establish “Punjab as a nation state”.

The SFJ was based in 2007 and is led by Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Panjab University legislation graduate who works as an lawyer within the United States, in keeping with a report by the Independent.

The group first introduced in 2018 that it could maintain an unofficial voting train, on the time dubbed “Referendum 2020″, across several countries with sizeable Sikh diasporas, with the aim to “liberate Punjab from Indian occupation”.

“The SFJ introduced in its London Declaration [in August 2018] the primary ever non-binding referendum among the many international Sikh neighborhood on the query of secession from India and re-establishing Punjab as an unbiased nation,” according to the SFJ website.

It stated that the referendum would be held in Punjab, as well as major cities in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Kenya, and the Middle East.

According to Indian authorities in Punjab, SFJ and the “Referendum 2020″ marketing campaign are being promoted and funded in Pakistan with a view to destabilise India. As proof, intelligence businesses in India have acknowledged that the SFJ web site shares its area with a web site primarily based in Karachi.

With inputs from IANS

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