Morning, they say, shows the day. The first month of the so called Akali government has left no sensible person in doubt about who really rules in Punjab. It is the Congress “Hand” that holds the “Scales”. The performance of Barnala is hardly distinguishable from the anti-Sikh and anti-Punjab policies and programs of Darbara Singh. He too is playing the old tune and appears more anxious to please Delhi than to redeem these pledges to the Panth. Barnala’s cabinet colleague S. Sukhjinder Singh, who had always posed as the most uncompromising Champion of Khalistan., declared after taking oath of office that “the dream of Khalistan had been realized with the swearing in of Akali ministry.” His ‘bold’ assertion looks as hollow as the boastful claim of Giani Zail Singh who, after becoming President of India, had also said that whole of India was a “Khalistan.”

In Zail Singh’s ‘Khalistan’, Indian Army destroyed the Akal Takht and butchered thousands of innocent Sikh pilgrims. Mobs mercilessly massacred more than 10,000 Sikhs, In Sukhjinder Singh’s “Khalistan,” Sikh youths are rotting in jails Sikh army ‘deserters’ are being sentenced to long prison terms, army and paramilitary troops continue to terrorize the Sikh masses, economic plunder of the state resources goes on unabated and the sanctity of Sikh holy shrines is increasingly violated.

Dharam Yudh was launched to undo religious discrimination against Sikhs and to stop economic plunder of the Punjab resources. It was a struggle for the recognition and restoration of the political rights of the Sikhs that had been undermined in order to finally destroy their separate identity. It was a struggle against the betrayal of solemn pledges given to Sikhs on the eve of Indian independence. The struggle has ended for those who were seeking nothing more than a “flag car,” but those seeking justice and freedom will not give up till the final victory. In other words, ‘Kursi Yudh’ has ended but “Dharam Yudh” continues.

Barnala and his colleagues must bear in mind that they would never be allowed to develop their power base in Punjab. Developing Akali power base means bringing all Sikhs together. Nothing makes Delhi more uncomfortable than unity among Sikh ranks. Delhi would do anything to destroy it. To achieve this end, it would create dissensions among the Akali leaders and so manage that Barnala Ministry would always feel shaky. Barnala would be made to believe that he would not be able to survive without Congress support and his opponents would be given the impression that if they tried to topple him, Congress would come to his rescue. In this ideal situation Delhi would continue ruling Punjab through Barnala and Sikhs would continue to remain second class citizens.

Government knows that this would alienate Barnala ministry from the Sikh masses and strengthen the Dharam Yudh. It also knows that All India Sikh Students Federation is the most important factor that can keep the Dharam Yudh alive and effective. That is why, government is reluctant to release the students and is trying to divide this powerful organization. It also considers Sikhs living abroad as the other important factor in the struggle for freedom. Consequently desperate moves are afoot to make them ineffective. It is being done partly by using trade pressures on foreign governments, partly by spreading rumors about the sincerity of Sikh leaders and partly by creating the impression, through deceptive propaganda, that Punjab peace was being destroyed by foreign Sikhs who have no stakes in Punjab. Sikhs are up against a cunning power and must remain vigilant of disruptive forces if they wish to succeed in their mission.

Article extracted from this publication >>  November 1, 1985