Thursday, April 5

30,701 reasons

Khalistan’s president’ died in a peaceful, prosperous Punjab. That’s India’s victory, according to an editorial in The Indian Express,
Today an entire generation of Indians takes peace in Punjab for granted and would find the term ‘Khalistan’ a curious construct. This in itself is testimony to the fact that the country has successfully left behind a tragic and bloody interregnum in its history. The death of the man who once proclaimed himself ‘president’ of the ‘republic of Khalistan’ and who had three decades ago hoisted the flag of Khalistan from Anandpur Sahib comes as a reminder of this emphatic closure.
Jagjit Singh Chohan’s idea of Khalistan was anchored on Hindu-Sikh antagonism. He died in a Punjab which had just voted to power — for the second time in 10 years — a Sikh-Hindu political alliance which signals that old fissures have healed. The failure of Chohan’s political project was in many respects the triumph of a democratic Indian state because it could not, ultimately, turn ordinary Sikhs against ordinary Hindus. Punjab of the eighties and early nineties was nightmare country: the excesses of Operation Blue Star, political assassinations, including that of a prime minister, unrelenting terrorist violence and the unravelling of peace initiatives led to the entire state, and the Sikh community in particular, paying a terrible price. Looking back, there came a point in this ugly war when the militants got the message that the Indian state had the strength, resources and determination to defeat them. It needed political will and patience to carry on with the fight until that inflexion point was reached. It needed political sagacity to recognise that moment and respond with civil society initiatives of reconciliation, including that of an election.
Today what was one of India’s most trouble-prone states is right there among the lights. In 2004-05, Punjab, with a per capita income of Rs 30,701, emerged as the country’s most prosperous state. It is inspiring and educating, this story of Punjab’s emergence from the brink.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I support the Sikhs in their campaign for Khalistan.

The Khalistan movement is a community movement for human rights. It is a campaign for autonomy and it will not go away.

It should not go away. It is as justified as Tibet, Israel, Nagaland, and any other campaign for the freedom of an oppressed nation.