Sunday, January 23, 2011

Khalistani Movement - An Introduction

The Khalistani movement marked a historic epic in the history of post-Independent India. This reactionary communal fascist movement advocated the liberation of Sikhs and a separate state to be carved out for the Sikh people. Khalistani ideology advocated a separate theocratic state based on all the tenets of Sikhism.

Jagjit Singh Chauhan was the founder of this movement in the late 60's abroad. Natively from Punjab he had settled abroad, and in Britain formed Sikh religious groups advocating a new state for the Sikhs.

The Khalistani dictates included a ban on cigarettes, a ban on eating meat, a ban on drinking liquor, a ban on beauty parlours, prohibition against shaving and compulsion of women to wear Salwar Kameez. The people had to observe the Khalistani code in all ways of life.

In Punjab the Akali Dal represented the religious Sikh politics through the Akali movement which had its origin in the Singh Sabha movement of the late 1920's which tried to communalise a secular anti-imperialist movement. To divert it, the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak committee was formed with the blessings of the British.

The Akali movement professed the Anandpur Sahib resolution that converted several democratic issues into Sikh demands. Democratic demands of the people like the arrest of the Jodhpur detenues, the sharing of river waters with Haryana, the transfer of the capital from Chandigarh to Amritsar, and the punishing of criminals during the Delhi riots were taken up as religious issues.

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