To make your opponent dissipate his energies and resources over nonproductive nonissues is an old practice. The fact of its being old has not in any way reduced its effectiveness. It continues to be the most favorite strategy both on the battlefield and on the chessboard of power politics. The success of this strategy depends upon the extent of subtlety and finesse employed in beguiling the opponent. The secret lies in craftily selling an idea or a plan that would divert him from the center of arena to some peripheral and exhausting exercise.

The ruling majority community in India had always managed to detract and dilute the Sikh aspirations till the valiant Saint Soldier, Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale neutralized all their cunning strategies with his forthright nonpolitical approach. His characteristic truthfulness made each of their moves to recoil upon them. They were so incensed that in sheer desperation they ordered a full-fledged army attack on the holiest of holy Sikh Shrines solely to murder a superior man.

The ruling majority community has again adopted the old game of making Sikhs dissipate their resources upon nonissues. Various teams and individuals have been detailed to involve Sikhsin distracting projects. A senior Sikh Congress party man, who had a passing flirtation with Akali Dal also, is currently touring America and Canada. Interestingly, he is trying hard to persuade Sikhs that installing the statue of S. Beant Singh, the alleged killer of Indira Gandhi, either in Chandigarh Orin his (Beant Singh’s) village can reinvigorate the movement and can also add to the glory of the Sikh Students Federation.

Nothing can prove more suicidal for Sikhs than such motivated sabotage of their struggle. S. Beant Singh is the revered martyr whose name would forever shine in the history of Sikhs along with such illustrious names as that of S. Sukha Singh and S. Mehtab Singh. No statue can add to his glory and greatness. Besides, installing a statue is not in keeping with Sikh traditions. It would only lead AISSF to a head-on collision with the Punjab Government. Sikhs today are not fighting the Punjab Government. Their quarrel is with the Central Government. It is immaterial to the Sikhs whether there is Barnala ministry or Darbara Singh ministry as long as it is controlled from Delhi. The failure of the Akali Ministry is inevitable as it would not be allowed to cater to the Sikh aspirations. Sikh predicament in India is bound to become more precarious and vulnerable in the face of growing Hindu fundamentalism. Sikhs would never be considered part of the mainstream. Sikh alienation has reached a point where no Prime Minister would ever trust a Sikh in his security force. No Sikh civil or military officer would ever be given a top secret assignment. In the present dynastic set up equality for Sikhs is unthinkable. How can Sikhs feel secure where the destroyer of Akal Takht is officially worshipped, where the killers. Of Sikhs are honored and rewarded with high offices? Let no one dupe himself or anybody else with make-believe constructions or misplaced hopes. Let it be realized that the sovereignty of the Sikh Nation is the only tenable solution to their problem and they must pursue this end with singular devotion. They must not allow themselves to be bogged down with nonissues like installing of statues or irrelevant controversies like mixing of politics with religion.

Article extracted from this publication >>  November 22, 1985