Washington, DC – The Khalistani movement, once a live movement for separation of Punjab from the Indian democratic federal system is dead in India, but simmering in the Western countries, so the question was raised: Are Khalistani allies in the West complicit in encouraging a secessionist movement in India?
Terry Milewski, retired senior correspondent for CBC News and author of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute report “Khalistan: A Project of Pakistan,” said Western politicians provide only lip service to the movement.
These politicians abandon their support as soon as questions are raised about their involvement, and are quick to add they support a united India, noted Milewski. “It’s about those who try to get the votes for the domestic politics who pander to the Khalistani, who think they speak for all Sikhs when they do not,” the veteran journalist added.
Noting that Canadian politicians don’t hesitate to attend events honoring individuals with criminal records, the articulate moderator Jonathan Kay, senior editor at Quillette Magazine referenced the poster of Talwinder Singh Parmar outside a gurdwara in British Columbia, who is projected by some in the community as a martyr. Parmar was acquitted of all charges over the June 23, 1985, bombing of Air India flight 182, an investigating commission later concluded that Parmar “is believed” to be the mastermind behind the deadly event. Kay points out that the media overlooks such connections but asked what kind of an outcry will ensue if Osama Bin Laden’s face was plastered on posters everywhere.
Milewski noted, “The Khalistani Sikhs have managed to convince politicians that they are the authentic voice of the Sikhs. Subtle, well, not-so-subtle racism is going on where white politicians stereotype all Sikhs as separatists. So, if you’re an anti-separatist, you’re a racist!”
Sticking to the Sikh beliefs, Gurdeep Randhawa, member of Angela Merkel’s ruling party CDU and councillor in the German county of Wachsenburg said, “Sikhs believe we have one race, we are all brothers and sisters.”
Going down memory lane, Kay felt Canada saw a mass movement 20 to 30 years ago but is on the wane. Shipra Mathur, pioneer Indian journalist and founding editor of “penliteracy.com” agreed, saying, “Absolutely, Khalistanis have lost their ground.”
On the Khalistanis infiltrating the ongoing Farmers’ Agitation in India, Mathur cited the Indian security reports saying, “The farmers’ protests became the Khalistanis’ easy target with a huge population of mainly Punjabis. So, this is how they grab the attention of the global community, and there is very clear evidence that a lot of money has been funnelled for the Khalistani network in Canada and the U.K.”
There was unanimous agreement on educating the society as Mathur said, “Policies, transparency and technologies help educate society.”