KHALISTAN, This week (01 st June 2020-08th June 2020) under saw the thirty-sixth anniversary of the Operation Blue Star that involved trifle between the Indian Army and separatist faction militant group demanding a separate state of Khalistan which was led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and involved driving them out from Darbar Sahib complex in Amritsar. This event was deeply traumatic for the Sikh community in India and sowed the seeds for the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, and the Sikh genocide in the national capital.
The controversial Khalistan which had been previously subsided is once again in headlines as a statement by the Akal Takht (highest temporal seat of Sikhs) Jathedar Giani (high priest) Harpreet Singh stated in a response to a question during a press conference which followed the function on the anniversary of Operation Blue Star. While the function was conducted peacefully, discord from extremists raising slogans marked protests in Golden Temple’s complex disrupting the tranquillity.
In a reply to the question regarding pro-Khalistan earlier that day, Harpreet Singh stated, “There is nothing wrong if slogans in favor of Khalistan are raised after the function by the Sikh hardliners. If the government offers us Khalistan, what else do we need, we will accept it, because every Sikh wants it.” Singh also justified the hardliner’s sloganeering saying
that such slogans are acceptable unless raised within the annual anniversary function of Akal Takht Sahib.
Gobind Singh Longowal, President, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) also sponsored Giani Singh’s view stating, “If the government offers it (Khalistan) we will accept it.” Ardas and Kirtan were offered in the memoir of those who lost their lives in the army’s operation. In his anniversary speech, Harpreet was quoted saying, “As Sikhs lack unity, there are these restrictions by the police for devotees at the Golden Temple.” According to various reports, activists in large numbers belonging to various Sikh organizations arrived in the temple to pay homage at the Golden Temple but they were deterred by police as they tried to stop them from entering the temple premises.
Reportedly, the incident involved a heated agreement after which these activists managed to enter the temple. In a response to the statement by Harpreet on Khalistan, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Cabinet minister, Punjab government which is led by Congress stated, “I don’t believe that any Sikh or Punjabi wants Khalistan. We oppose Khalistan. I haven’t read the complete statement (made by the Akal Takht Jathedar), but I have always opposed Khalistan.”