The Sikh question is the distorted expression of the Punjabi national question.
Which side those who call themselves as “Communists” and the vulgar atheists and rationalists stand on the Sikh question? It does not need lens to see the moon the side of the Hindu communal and Hindi imperialist interest. To be precise, they are on the side of the establishment! Their objection to the Sikh dilemmma and the fundamentalist solution to the dilemma arise out of the premises which may appear rational at the surface but in fact irrational if analyzed.
Firstly, they aver that the religious form of expression of the Sikh dilemma is the cause for their opposition to the Sikhs. In fact, what was the real cause for such refraction?
Who scuttled Punjabi Suba?
The Punjabi Suba demand was based on the principle that all those who speak the Punjabi language, nurtured historically in Punjabi culture and cherished the Punjabi identity belonged to the Punjabi nation or nationality. The demand of Punjabi Suba was first raised by G. Adhikari, one of the leading theoreticians of the CPI, in the forties in his pamphlet entitled Sikh Homeland (Mohan Ram, Hindi Against India). It was in accordance with the then Communist Party’s and the Leninist principle of the right of self-determination. The Congress Party, and particularly Jawaharial Nehru, had all along been very obstinate in refusing to accept the Punjabi Suba demand. Delhi tried to divide the Punjabis into Sikhs and Hindus in order to defeat the aspirations of the Punjabi nationality. The Hindu Hindi imperialist policies were continued by Lal Bahadur Shastri. In the wake of the surging tides of struggles of the Punjabis for a Punjabi Suba culminating in the year 1953, and in terms of the promise made to the Punjabis during September 1965 war with Pakistan, the Shastri Government had to appoint a Parliamentary committee to report on the Punjabi Suba demand. This committee was headed by Hukam Singh, the then Speaker of the Lok Sabha. The intention was in fact to frustrate this demand, which was already 18year old then, by using Hukam Singh as a tool to concoct an adverse report on the demand: Hukam Singh says;
Hukam Singh exposes Indira
“When my report was nearly ready, Mrs. Indira Gandhi went to Mr. Chavan and said she had heard that Sardar Hukam Singh was going to give a report in favor of Punjabi Suba, and that he should be stopped. Lal Bahadur Shastri continued the policy of Jawaharial Nehru and was dead set against the demand of Punjabi Suba, as was Nehru. So, when he was urged by Mrs. Gandhi to stop Hukam Singh, he did not waste any time. Mr. Shastri called Mr. Gulzari Lal Nanada, then Home Minister, to his residence, and conveyed to him the concern about the feared report. Every effort was made by Mrs. Gandhi, Mr. Shsastri and Mr. Nanda to stop me from making my report. But when nothing succeeded, the Congress forestalled the Parliamentary Committee Report by agreeing to reorganize Punjab by a vague resolution dated March 6, 1966 while the Committee’s report was signed on March 15, 1966, a week later. It was deliberate attempt to bypass this Committee and undermine its importance.” (Hindu-Sikh Conflict in Punjab Causes and Cure, Sri, Guru Singh Sabha, Bangalore560008, p. 22).
The Hindu-Hindi impenalism was crafty enough to fool the Punjabis by referring the issue of reorganisation of Punjab on linguistic basis to the Shah Commission. The Sikhs were again deceived by Delhi by making the 1961 Census as the basis for such reorganization, and also by treating tehsil as the unit instead of village to decide the Punjabi speaking areas. The 1961 Census was based on the communal principle rather than on language basis. The 1961 Census was deliberately chosen for it had manipulated more on the basis of religion than on language, and the Punjabi Hindus had been falsely shown as Hindi speaking.
If the village was taken as the unit to decide as to whom Abohar and Fazilka should go, they should actually go to Punjab. It should be noted that Abohar and Fazilka lie deep inside the Punjabi speaking areas. To deceive the Punjabis, the Hindu imperialists manipulated in a way to make the tehsil as the unit so that Haryana could claim them as Hindi speaking areas. This stunning truth has recently been let out by Rajinder Puri who wrote in The Sunday Observer on August 4, 1985:—
“Happily, the agreement today has been signed on the principle that Hindi speaking areas will go to Haryana on the basis of treating village as a unit, and of terntorial contiguity. This was what the Akalis had always demanded. By this formula, unless there is chicanery, there is no question of Abohar or Fazilka going to Haryana. All noises being made by Bhajan Lal today are merely for public consumption.”
How revealing is this trickery of the Hindu Hindi imperialists in only causing the Hindu Sikh division in order to distort the Punjabi national question, and perpetuate their domination and oppression.
The Punjab’s national aspiration for a separate state (though they would also be a vassal state under Delhi as the other such states are) was thus turned effect less and therefore useless. In fact, this was the cause for distorting the genuine aspirations of all the Punjabis to be accepted as a nation and nationality. It laid the seeds of mutual suspicion and tension between the Sikhs and Hindus.
Where were the “Communists” at that time? They had by then unashamedly given up the Leninist principle of the right of self-determination to nations and nationalities (which essentially meant the right to secede as Lenin had conceived it). It all began with eh
1954 Madurai Congress of the CPI. They had thus become the open protagonists of the neobrahmanical concept of “Bharat” which subseries the BrahminBania imperialist interests by perpetuating oppression on the various nationalities and religious minorities in the subcontinent.
It is these renegades, who by their “integrationist” theory, had forced the Sikhs to take refuge in the Sikh fundamentalism. It is the Sikh fundamentalism which has reinforced the selfdefence psychology in the Sikhs to preserve their identity either by seeking autonomy through the Anandpur Sahib Resolution or the much feared Khalistan demand. It was the only alternative before a Sikh with any self-respect and sensitivity. Not only had the Hindu leaders (right from Gandhi and Nehru) betrayed the Sikhs, but also the “Communists” in collaboration with the Hindu interests. They alone should be held responsible for the birth of the Sikh fundamentalism, for it was only a reaction and not the cause for the problem.
Who creates Fundamentalist?
If the “Communist” and vulgar atheists today talk of religious overtones being the content of the Sikh movement, it could not be anything than a gross misinterpretation of facts. All religions, which were antiestablishment at the time of their birth, were in fact political movements in the guise of religious protests. They were in fact the political movements. So were the early Budhism, Jainism, Vaishnavism, Christianity, Islam, and Sikhism. We had seen the early role of Christianity, Islam and Sikhism in the subcontinent. They were the instruments through which the oppressed masses had expressed their protest against the inhuman castes apartheid and untouchability.
Sikhs were in fact miserably helpless when they saw their Punjabi national aspiration repeatedly being aborted by the Hindu Hindi imperalists. The only instrument which they could seize was the fundamentalist notions based on the tenants of early Sikh teachers. It had enabled them to draw a distinct line between the said Hinduism and the Sikhism which was rightly expressed through the Sikh demand that they should not be braked with the Hindus under the Indian Constitution.
The economics of the Punjabi national question is another side of it. It has been the cause for demanding autonomy for Punjab or Khalistan. It is the vast area to be investigated in relation to the present Sikh politics. The Sikh peasant seizing the opportunity when the new technology was introduced into Punjab, and their transforming Punjab into a granary to feed even the Hindi hearland is an aspect of it. The growth of small and mediumscale industries and the denial of large scale industries in Punjab by the Delhi rule is another aspect. The tributary economic relation which the Delhi imperialists had developed and perfected for robbing and exploiting the vassal states revenue and tax collections is yet another aspect, All these aspects have their bearing on the growth of the recent Sikh militancy.
Religion conceals big agony
Religion is only the skin that covers all these basic factors, for it could be the only factor that could actually unite the Sikhs to express their agony and anger against the oppression on them as part of an enslaved nationality. The Communists and the vulgar atheists are thus identified as playing hoax by pointing out to the Sikh fundamentalism but effectively serving the BrahminBania interests, though they voice some radical rhetoric to deceive us.
Rajagopalachari had once said that the strength of the moderates is the strength of the extremists. What an insight in this “southern fox!” What strength had enabled Longowal to bargain on behalf of Sikhs to sell out the Sikhs’ cause as such? Is not his strength inversely propoportional to the strength of the Sikh militants? How would Longowal’s “sellout” then hold on? On the other side is Bhindranwale’s ghost in its multiplied forms and resides in the court of his father Baba Joginder Singh. Beyond these two segments of the Akali framework lay the decisive factor in the Sikh politics. They are teh militant Sikh youth pleading for Khalistan. This is the section which should actually be counted as the opposite polarity to Delhi imperalists. The strength of these militants is their alienated consciousness and the fundamentalist connections which is so youthful. It is the camp that takes Bhindranwale, their martyred leader, as their apostle. The other side of it is the sacrifice of a few tens of thousands of Sikhs who had laid their lives at the altar of the Hindu Hindi interests.
Howare we to place these coins in the present day chessboard of Sikh politics? What are the true equations in terms of Longowal’s “sellout?” We are yet to see the dialectics of another impending partition for which it is not the Sikhs to be blamed, but only the Hindu Hindi imperialist designs and intolerance which is instrumental in awakening the Sikhs.
Communists’ suicidal course even this much of sense cannot be found in the understanding of the so called “Communists” who richly deserved the total rout in the latest Punjab elections. And so we pity them for having doggedly chosen a suicidal course and have become totally irrelevant as a segment worth existing, independent of the patronage of the present establishment.
Courtesy Dignity Chandigarh
Which side those who call themselves as “Communists” and the vulgar atheists and _ rationalists stand on the Sikh question? It does not need lens to see them on the side of the Hindu communal and Hindi imperialist interest. To be precise, they are on the side of the establishment!