The Khalistan resolution was adopted at the Fatehgarh Sahib conference with an unprecedented show of popular support. Nearly two lakh people assembled on the occasion of the annual Jor Mela gave a thumping approbation to the resolution with shouts of “BolesoNihal, Sat Siri Akal”. The U.A.D. leaders watched the spectacle in utter helplessness. The spontaneous support for Khalistan nailed for all times the persistent lie that only a handful of Sikhs supported the demand. It became abundantly clear that only a handful of degenerate Sikhs with vested interests were opposed to it. The overwhelming majority among the Sikhs have come to realize that Sikhs have no future in a political set up that is unashamedly promoting Hindu religion and is bent upon liquidating the minorities.

The rulers, however, will not still accept the truth. They will continue hawking their putrid lies and the morbidly communal media of India will, as usual, go on stretching its vocal chords to the breaking point in trying to be more loyal than the King himself. They will distort, twist, invent and resort to every conceivable villainy to undermine the genuine sentiments of the people expressed so very openly and unambiguously at the Jor Mela. Perhaps, a referendum conducted by a neutral agency alone will make them admit the reality. The All India Sikhs Students Federation has done well in demanding referendum over the Khalistan issue. If Ray and Ribeiro have confidence in their claims and if Rajiv has the requisite courage, then, there should be no hitch in holding the referendum. There cannot be a better way to determine the legitimacy of the contending claims.

The experience of Fatehgarh Sahib should also serve as an eye opener to the U.A.D leaders. Instead of frantically disowning the resolution to avoid harassment, they should take forthright stand and declare that in the increasingly suffocating climate of fundamentalist Hindu resurgence and its compulsive hold on the administration, it is not possible for the Sikhs to suffer slavery any further. Because of their ambivalent stand, the U.A.D. leaders are daily becoming more and more irrelevant. They can still redeem themselves by acting in accordance with the pulse of the people.

They should not be swayed by distracting mediators who give the impression of being unaligned but actually peddle nothing but the hollow formulas prepared in government laboratories.

There is no sedition involved in spearheading a popular movement against slavery and tyranny. Sedition lies in inciting rebellion against a lawfully constituted government and not in peacefully articulating and asserting the collective will of a whole community. The resolution of “Puran Swaraj” adopted at the Lahore session of the Indian National Congress in 1929 was not a seditious act as it represented the collective aspirations of the Indian people. Had it been so, then, Nehru, Gandhiand others would been packed to Andaman Islands to perish there in the dark and dreary cells rather than allowing them to hold “tyrst with destiny” on August 15, 1947.

Let the U.A.D. leaders show some grit and aspire for a “tryst with destiny” instead of angling for “chairs” that have their remote controls in Delhi. During the Dharam Yudh Morcha, they courted arrest for the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. In the radically changed situation, they should not be reluctant to court arrest for the establishment of Khalistan. It is primarily because of their ambivalence that the innocent Sikh young men are being butchered by the security forces. The bullets of the security forces will begin to freeze in their barrels the day Delhi gets a glimpse of the collective mood of the Sikh nation. World powers will also not be able to remain idle spectators to a popular movement for freedom. The ball is in the court of U.A.D. leaders. They would be judged from the way they play it. One more wrong move and they would be history a chapter that all lovers of liberty will despise and condemn. The choice is theirs. Let us hope they will make the right one.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 15, 1988