Dr. Sulakhan S. Dhillon

THE excesses of the Indian government (particularly of Congress) toward Sikhs have clearly marked’ the lines where Sikhs belong, Dr. Rajni Kothari’s impartial investigations bear the cold, hard facts that Congress (I) upper-class Hindu power groups are the chief instigators in causing immense injuries to innocent Sikh families in Delhi, as well as to the Sikh community as a whole. Can Sikhs, as Dr. Kothari suggests, find final solace in punishing these culprits by defeating Congress (I), and by joining other Indian minorities, as is happening in Kashmir and other states, and by considering the adoption of the Anandpur Resolution? Dr. Kothari’s dream may be unrealistic, though his optimism is certainly admirable. The problem, however, appears more complex and unfolds another political theory. The root cause of the political problems in India is the severe abuse of the democratic process. Sikhs do not or cannot assert themselves effectively because according to the Indian constitution, they are considered to be Hindus. In a situation of this kind, where democracy is corrupted and communalism can take the upper hand, Sikhs will never be able to get what is their due. The so-called moderate Sikhs who blindly join the opportunist ranks, increase not only their own sufferings, but the sufferings of their brethren. How can anyone make sense of their Sikh politics? The lack of unity in the Sikh community may be shattered even further if Sikhs embrace a new horizon of political theory, as proposed by Dr. Kothari, which could emerge after the defeat of Congress (I). Politics generally becomes a coldblooded, maneuvering enterprise; who knows in that structure, the flames of communalism may ignite again, (as Indira managed to create a bonfire after she was defeated by the Janata Party) —— God forbid!

India, and particularly the Sikhs, do not need such a new political scenario. For the Sikhs to swim in the sea of minority politics of India seems an alien endeavor, and they may be better advised to stick to their own, Politically, Tealism is more expedient than idealism.

The minority Federal structure beyond Congress (I) whatever its form, appears to be a jungle of a million odds, where the Sikh minority may be hard’ to trace. They could be outmaneuvered and out produced, Even at the defeat of Congress (I), communal elements of Hindu society, RSS, and Shiv Sena are not going to disappear. India: belongs to them, too, as much as it belongs to other minorities. Also, as pointed out in the publication, NEWS INDIA (Feb. 20, 1987) “Rajiv gets opposition support to fight Punjab crisis”, — Rajiv’s policies are well known towards the Sikhs. The minorities can be used by anyone but do Sikhs need to join that enterprise? Absolutely not: if they jump in to it, their goals will elude them, their growth will be hampered, and Sikh history will be forced to record an unnecessary chapter of detours taken by the Sikhs which will require many years to straighten out.

Let us keep Sikh politics on the simple lines of self-determination, which is embedded in Sikh values, where one moves to eliminate the problems rather than multiplying them several fold. Let the construction of India be done by those who shall rule it. For the Sikhs, the reconsideration of the Anandpur Resolution (Who gives what to whom, and how much) is now a step backward. Why beat a dead horse? No one has time to carve out autonomy from the suffering endured for sovereignty. How can anyone restore the honor of the Sikh people which has been built by hammering home Sikh thought for several hundred years?

These arguments lead’ to the conclusion that, politically, the less Sikhs have to do with India, the more freedom and dignity they will gain. The Congress (1) or any future tyrants shall be miles away to meet on different grounds. Sikhs admire Dr. Kothari’s political theory while being skeptical of his conclusions. His impartial work, efforts, and dedication are certainly praiseworthy. If we had more Hindus like him, What a sweet country India would be! The golden sparrow that India once was has not even the skeleton of the sparrow left to see. Sikhs shed tears with Dr. Kothari in that context. The forces of communalism and fascism, with their fanatic moves, do not even smother the Indian Toses (so well loved by Nehru) but tarnish and demolish the beautiful religious temples so that the “sacred” in India could have no meaning. Where the “sacred” disappears, there disappears the soul of the people. Therefore, Sikhs, by being extremely Cautious, cannot afford to lose their soul. They must not fail to preserve it for their own happiness and meaning in life, and particularly for the benefit of their future generations.

Article extracted from this publication >>  May 1, 1987