The nebulous suggestions of a likely conflagration at the Indo Pak border appear to be assuming tangible forms. Such a climate is being deliberately created by the Indian rulers. The Home Minister, Buta Singh presented in the Parliament a specially contrived report about Pakistan’s involvement in the Sikh struggle for independence. He informed the House that the Sikh freedom fighters were being imparted military training at seven different centers in Pakistan. Pakistan President, Mr. ZiaulHaq, however, has denied the charge.
By giving a specific number of seven, Buta Singh has attempted a psychological trick to authenticate his fictional charge. After the miserable failure in its efforts to isolate the freedom fighters from the Sikh mainstream by undertaking a variety of Machiavellian exercises including disseminating disinformation through the captive media, the Indian government has now geared its machinery to create the impression that war with Pakistan is round the corner. Its media minions like Prem Bhatia, Rajinder Sareen and Co. have already started advocating a chastising strike against Pakistan.
The rationale behind the building up of the war hysteria is primarily to discredit the Sikh freedom fighters by projecting them as “antinational” puppets serving a foreign government rather than what they truly are — a legion of self sacrificing soldiers of the Panth who are determined to die for their noble cause and who stubbornly refuse to suffer the yoke of slavery any further. The secondary purpose is to distract the attention of the Indian electorate from the rampant corruption and political economic failures of the government.
Surprisingly, it has never occurred to Prem Bhatia or others of his ilk, both within and outside the government, to hold Nepal responsible for the Gurkha trouble in Darjeeling. The Gurkha separatists have much closer social, religious and ethnic ties with Nepal than Sikhs have with Pakistan. Who is supplying sophisticated weapons and explosives to them? The answer to this question can be both disquieting and disturbing. The West Bengal Chief Minister has on many occasions pointed an accusing finger at the Rajiv government in Delhi for supporting the Gurkha. On the other hand the recovery of Soviet made rockets and other explosives from a village in Punjab clearly rules out Pakistan’s involvement in Sikh struggle. The Soviet made weapons is neither with Pakistan nor with Afghan freedom fighters. The Soviet Union is too “dependable” a friend of India to betray it. The suspicion inescapably points only to one direction. The weapons must have been sold to the freedom fighters by the Indian army personnel.
There is nothing surprising if an army officer also feels tempted to make easy money when the Prime Minister of the country feels no compunction in pocketing huge kickbacks from the defense deals? But the Indian government and its minions would violently protest against such a possibility because of its frightening consequences. The exposure of the mounting corruption and disenchantment among the army ranks can lead to a chain reaction, thus destroying the fragile fabric of the ethnic assortment called the Indian army. Every student of history knows that a corrupt and disenchanted army invariably spells disaster for the country.
In the prevailing situation the possibility of army taking over the administration of the country cannot be ruled out. To ward off this danger, it is necessary that the tempo of war hysteria Pakistan should be continuously maintained at a high pitch. The specter of Pakistan’s support to Sikh freedom fighters has, therefore, been purposely created. Evidently, it has no relation to the reality.
This hide and seek game is not likely to lead the rulers in Delhi anywhere. It would only further complicate the situation. The writing on the wall is clear and wisdom lies in straightaway recognizing the inalienable right of the Sikhs to freedom as no other course will ensure peace in the region.
Article extracted from this publication >> April 22, 1988