How could there be any other future for the Sikhs besides one emerging from the events of last four years. Does Rajiv Longowal accord seem to address and resolve all the Punjab problems? Obviously not. The complexity of Punjab problems is rooted in the Sikh religious identity in its traditions and history along with the new issues raised by the Dharm Yudh (Morcha) of Longowal. This all has raised long standing and fundamental questions as to the place of Sikhs in the Indian scheme of things.

Sant Bhindranwale’s sacrifice is and will remain a vital part of Sikh politics and Akalis will have a hard time to erase it, let alone ignore it. Kuldip Nayyar (India Abroad August 2, 1985) rightly points out: “That perhaps the fear that the feeling of separatism may engulf the entire Sikh community before long has influenced Longowal to conclude a settlement.” If Mr. Nayyar 18 right then one wonders a8 to the real foundation of this accord. Longowal has been known not to be § deep thinker but a politician who would act to give his skin more than to project basic directions of Sikh the political process. In this scenario it is very difficult to see lasting solution of the Sikh problem and Longowal appears to be a passing phase. Lately the opposition of Parkash Singh Badal and Mr. Tohra including Baba Joginder Singh (United Akali Dal) is bound to get momentum and keep smouldering the genuine political assertiveness of Bhindranwale. Sikhs by nature are free and rebellious people, therefore, the fire of self-determination make it flame at any state.

Moderate solutions only come by talking, reasoning, or politicing, but Sikh politicians traditions has been more serious than that. Since actual sacrifices have been made all along. Akalis

cannot turn this around though Longowal group is wishing, willing and acting as if it were possible. A healthy scepticism about the Akalis has taken deep roots in Sikh minds and it is not going to disappear in Rajiv era. A Prof. Damodar Sardesai a historian at UCLA has said. “The tradition of all history being such I can say that for centuries to come people will believe that a far greater number of Sikhs were massacred by the Hindu regime” (India Abroad Aug. 2, 1985)

Such events with serious consequences became historical scars that form the basis of political action. Therefore, one could expect the tradition of Sikh freedom emerging. Sikhs have gone through a lot of problems and we cannot just sweep this under the rug. That would amount to a political suicide, therefore the future of Sikh politics has vital roots that will grow and show its effect.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 16, 1985