CHANDIGARH: The noted jurist Mr. Ram Jethmalani, on Sunday made a strong plea for the formation of an autonomous “Khalistan Sikh state within the Indian union as a solution to the vexed Punjab problem. He was speaking ‘on the concluding day of a two day seminar on analysis and solution of the Punjab problem organized by the Bharat Mukti Motcha of which he is the national president

Mr, Jethmalani however, emphatically said that the demand for “Khalistan” outside the Indian union was extremely “absurd and un-practicable. He said that the Anandpur Sahib resolution was not secessionist and its implementation would rather strengthen the nation than weakening he appealed to the Sikh youths to shun the path of violence to achieve their ends. He said that during his discussions with some of the Sikh youths he came to know of their feelings. I would have taken them close to their goals had they sought my advice,” he stated. Mr. Jethmalani strongly opposed the idea of separating religion from politics. The genesis of all the problems, he said, was the superficiality of religion and degeneration of moral values. If religion is taken away from politics, only corruption would be left. Therefore, I want religious fundamentalism to grow,” he pointed out. “Punjab is no longer a free part of the country. Black laws have been imposed here and these may be extended to other states as well” Mr. Jethmalani apprehended. The jurist also, criticized the demand of the Bharatiya Janata Party to impose army rule in Punjab. The army should not be used in politics as it will create much more problems. He said he would ask his misguided friends in the BJP to stop talking about induction of the army in Punjab. Mr. Jethmalani said that most of the problems in Punjab today had been created by the Centre. Once the state abandons the way of uncivilized behavior with the Sikhs, the Punjab problem can be solved,” he commented. He said that the Punjab Governor Mr. S.S Ray and Mr. Rebeiro who were employees of the Congress I should be sent back. He alleged that a Bombay industrialist, who has been given a subsidy of Rs 1200 corer had promised the Congress I to provide Rs 125 corer for each and every constituency in the ensuing parliamentary elections. He said that it was foolish on the part of the Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi to talk of taking the country into the 21st century when millions of people were unemployed and dying to hunger. “I want to sacrifice my life in the service of farmers and downtrodden,” Mr. Jethmalani said. Rajiy Gandhi is the most corrupt least educated and most expensive of all Prime Ministers India had so far,” he commented. Mr. Jethmalani said that no sane person could overlook the Bidar incidents and the damage it caused to the Hindu-Sikh relationship. It ‘was the constitutional rights of Sikhs to stay receive education and settle down in any part of India. “The whole of India is your home and that sense the whole of India belongs to you” he told the Sikhs and appealed to the Sikh students to return to Bidar. He said that the Karnataka Chief Minister Mr. S.R. Bommai had promised to provide full security to Sikh students in his state. Reading out from a booklet entitled “Gensis and solution of the Punjab problem the Sikh case” prepared by the Punjab unit of the Bharat Mukti Morcha at the instance of Mr. Jethmalani, Colonial Partap Singh said that there was no “altemative to the formation of an autonomous Sikh state within India” and it should now engage the deliberations of the opposition leaders today. The booklet suggests that an autonomous Sikh state should be on the basis of the Sachar formula and should comprise all contiguous Punjabi speaking areas without bringing in the consideration of any community. Such a state must have full internal autonomy with complete control ‘over its economy and only defense, foreign affairs, communications and currency be central subjects. Speakers at the seminar alleged that the Punjab problem was the creation of the Government. The Union Government wanted to keep the Sikh problem alive till the next Lok Sabha elections and the state violence against the Sikhs would never lead to ushering in peace in Punjab. Opening the seminar Col (retd), Partap Singh, president of the state unit of the Bharat Mukti Morcha said Sikh youth were today picked up by the authorities in Punjab from their homes and were being murdered in cold-blood. r. Shivinder Kaur Jauhal said the Punjab problem would continue till Sikhs were given justice. Justice AS, Bains (retd) president Punjab Human Rights Organization said that the problem had gone beyond discussion and now it was high time that something practical was done.

Beware of Anti-Sikh Rumors

Article extracted from this publication >> November 18, 1988