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history behind the Khalistan

History Behind The Khalistan

Khalistan is the demand for a separate Sikh State, which will be made by cutting Indian Punjab from India. And why is this demand being made in India today? To understand this, we’ll have to understand the history of the Khalistan Movement.

History

All of this started in the year 1823; at that time, the entire Sikh empire was ruled by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. At that time Britishers did nothing, and no attack happened, but as soon as Maharaja Ranjit Singh died and the Sikh empire got weaker, the Britishers attacked and captured the Sikh empire. Those Britishers added this Haryanad to the Sikh empire. Earlier, Haryana wasn’t there in the Sikh empire. Britishers, when they captured the Sikh empire, sent the kids of Raja Ranjit Singh to Britain for education. So that the British don’t face any problems in the future. And therefore, now there was no one to lead the Sikh empire or represent it. And thus, the priests of the local Gurudwara became the heads that controlled it now. That moment created pressure on the Britishers that the priests of Gurudwara could not control them anymore. The Sikh community didn’t like this thing much. So in 1920, the community started the Akali Movement.

Sikhs used to believe that the rule was temporarily on them, Britishers will further be removed, and there will be again a rule by Sikh Empire. And further, the pressure raised so much that a 175-member committee called ‘Shiromani ‘Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’ (SGPC) was formed. SGPC regulated the gurdwara, and it still does it. Since then, Its president is still elected in a proper election. SGPC has been the front face of the Sikh community. And the Akali Dal and SGPC have worked in close proximity since then till now.

The Sikh empire was a very powerful and influential empire of that time.

Partition and Independent Sikh State

In 1929 when Motilal Nehru began the movement of Purna Swaraj, which demanded complete independence from the British for India. There will be an independent Indian nation where people will be voting, and democracy will follow. But this declaration was rejected by three main factions.

  1. Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Muslim League.
  2. B.R Ambedkar (who felt that the British hand actually liberated the Dalis from the oppression of the Hindus)
  3. Master Tara Singh of the Shiromani Akali Dal(He demanded a separate homeland for the Sikhs)

In 1946, meaning one year before independence, when the idea was surfacing that the Britishers were to go, the Sikh leaders raised the point that the Britishers had deceived Sikhs; they had captured Punjab from them. And now they are going, so they should give Punjab back to the Sikhs. But things were not simple anymore; whatever the situation was there before did not matter. Now the most important factor will be about numbers. 

The Indian Government brought a state reorganization act in 1956. In this act, states were divided on the basis of language because India is a secular country, so that’s why states could not be divided on the basis of religion or caste. Telugu-speaking people got Andhra Pradesh, Marathi-speaking people got Maharashtra and Sikh being to see that other than Haryana, the whole of Punjab has the language of Punjabi, so you, please take Haryana into Hindi speaking state and give us Punjabi State. And Punjabi is the official speaking language. But the Government rejected the demand completely.

From 1956 to 1965, many movements happened. But in 1965, when the India-Pakistan war happened, the Sikh community supported the Indian Government. They stopped all the moments and stood along with the Indian Government. In this war, Sikh soldiers played a very important role.

In 1966 the points of the Sikh community were agreed upon, and Punjab was divided. Punjab is divided into three states, Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. But Chandigarh became complicated again. At that time Chandigarh had 55% of the Hindi-speaking people. The Center Government had made Chandigarh a union territory. It said that it would be shared by both states. But the Sikh community was not at all happy, that’s why in Anandpur Sahib Resolution too, there is some talk about Chandigarh. All those things were going on, but now Punjab had become a separate state. Then the first election took place in Punjab. Akali Dal fought the election and won the election, but it did not complete its five years. After that, it wins again, but the Government collapses after a few days. Till 1997 still, those guys could not complete their term. And this fault was given to Congress, that they make a change in the ministry or influence the ministers to bring the Gov down. 

They got the greatest shock in 1972 when they even lost an election against Congress. And the CM of Punjab was now Gyani Jail Singh, who later became president too.

Anandpur Sahib Resolution

In 1973, Akali Dal re-thought itself and created a committee of 12 specific people and did multiple meetings to discuss all the issues of Punjab from beginning to end. Like bringing Chandigarh back to Punjab, the water of Punjab should be given to Punjab, and the influence of the central Government should be limited. A report was created of all those issues there, named Anandpur Sahib Resolution. Sardar Kapur Singh made its first draft in English, and it was described to Sant Fateh Singh, who wasn’t affluent in English. He approved it by listening verbally. In 1973 it was not famous or focused upon by the public. In august 1977, Gyani Ajmer Singh, the secretary of Akali Dal, created a new version of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, which became popular around. It was a little different from the original resolution. You can call it the updated version of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. And over the version of this Anandpur Sahib, the resolution there was much controversy over it. Even today, there is much controversy around it.

The Anandpur Sahib Resolution had become like a weapon that everyone used in his will. When the dispute grew too much, then Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, the president of Akali Dal, sent copies to Indian Parliaments both houses and said. He said there is no demand for a separate nation in it, and if anyone is saying so, then he is saying it wrong. The authentic version of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution is this. So no one gets to misinterprets the resolution.

If you look, you will find that the Akali Dal that created this document had never asked for a separate nation.

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