It is unfortunate that Hindus and even Sikhs in Punjab have been unable to understand the real cause of the present problems plaguing Punjab. In no way was the problem a conflict between Hindus and Sikhs but it is a fight between the people of Punjab and the central government of India. People of Punjab wanted their basic demands to be met and problems solved through negotiations.
However Mrs. Gandhi’s government adopted the divide and rue policy in order to avoid the real issues. We should not be surprised rather we should be prepared to face this factor when her son Rajiv has openly declared to continue her policy. In fact even Pandit Jawahar Lal had the same policy towards Punjab. I would like to quote here a passage from Nehru Unlimited written by A. N. Bali in 1953 or so to support my view about Mr. Nehru. Mr. Bali writes:
“Who has created the Hindi Sikh problems in the province? Master Tara Singh was in a chastened mood after the partition and he could easily become the most popular leader of the refugees if he has espoused their cause. He was willing to do so when approached by friends and his public, utterances about the coming war against Pakistan which he said was _ inevitable thrilled Punjabi hearts. All refugees whether in the East Punjab or West Punjab were eagerly looking forward to going back to their homes and hearths on the undoing of monstrous partition, which, of course would have followed the short and successful war against Pakistan.
But the Congress High Command got alarmed. The wheels of political intrigue were set in motion. Master Tara Singh was publicly denounced as a war monger by the congress rulers and later on put into jail. The Jats of Haryana Prant with the leaders provided from Delhi began to make special demands about the safeguarding of their language and culture. A leader is credited with the ingenuity of putting up the claim of Hindu’s from Haryana side on one hand and the claim of Punjabi from Patiala side on the other hand. The Sikh Sardars were fully utilized to create dissensions among the Sikh Community. To cloud the issue one party sympathized and sided with the Hindus as their self-appointed sympathies, the other party made impossible demands. Master Tara Singh was never quoted correctly and fully and his stray remarks made here and there would be misconstrued into meaning something different by a section of the press. All Punjabis in general and refugees in particular hated the congress as they hated nothing else in the period immediately after the partition. The Hindu Maha Sabha, the R.S.S. and the Akalis all echoed this sentiment. But when Master Tara Singh began openly to side with the Hindu organizations on the point of opposition to the common enemy he was at once misrepresented. Even the Hindu refugee press began to talk about a combination of communalists in the Punjab and indirectly supported the congress as the only non-communal body in the country! The language controversy dragged on. There was a time when the Punjab leaders of the Hindus and Sikhs left to themselves would have solved this problem on the basis of Punjabi, and Hindi to be the language of the two parts of the province with the option to read and write either in Hindu or Gurmukhi script. But here was a golden opportunity for the Congress High Command to keep Punjab divided and to sabotage the chances of Master Tara Singh’s becoming a leader of the Hindus and Sikhs.
Nawab Liaquat Ali Khan would not have liked it and naturally Nehru could also not like it. Hence directions began to be issued by the High Command about the language formula of Punjab. Ultimately Mr. Sachar was utilized to give effect to the instructions of the congress rulers and there was proclaimed for the Punjab a language formula now known as Sachar formula which has produced more bitterness in the Punjab than was produced by the demand for Pakistan by the Muslim League in the United Punjab.”
As I have pointed before, this policy of anti Panjab in general and anti-Sikh in particular has entered the third generation as far as rulers in Delhi are concerned. The choice before Sikhs is only one to survive or to perish. Events after Mrs. Gandhi’s death clearly point out that Hindu majority has openly endorsed the mother and son’s policy. The basic human rights and lives of Sikhs are in danger in India. No amount of assurance from any Hindu Government can be taken at its face value. The only way to survive is to have Sovereign Sikh State. It will not be easy and cannot be created overnight. However United Sikh Nation cannot be denied their basic right very longs either.
Article extracted from this publication >> January 25, 1985