The world has often been oblivious to the extent of the Khalistani threat and viewed it as an India-centric problem. However, this illusion was broken in 1985 in the horrific explosion in an Air India plane going from Toronto to London, in which 329 innocent people lost their lives.
Flipping through the pages of history, there is a horror story of how the seeds of Khalistan, a violent separatist movement, were sown and nurtured by people close to the political establishment. This is the story of power, ambition and the treacherous alliance that led to the recruitment of charismatic preacher-turned-militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale for political gain. As the country watched, top leaders of India’s political giant Congress Party unwittingly nurtured the leader who ultimately led to Operation Blue Star and the tragic assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.
When did the world realize the fear of Khalistan?
The scars of those turbulent times still haunt the collective memory of the nation. The world has often been oblivious to the extent of the Khalistani threat and viewed it as an India-centric problem. However, this illusion was broken in 1985 in the horrific explosion in an Air India plane going from Toronto to London, in which 329 innocent people lost their lives. This was a scary reminder of the incident which made the world realize for the first time that Khalistani terrorism knows no limits. Yet, the West and the rest for the most part failed to understand the gravity of this threat. Now, in the present times, the genie of Khalistani militancy is once again raising its head in Canada, where the separatist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) organized a controversial Khalistan referendum, which reignited a smoldering issue. This is a story of terror that the world needs to pay attention to.
Referendum held again in Canada
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was recently in front of his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau. He expressed India’s deep apprehensions about increasing anti-India activities on Canadian soil. It was a plea for attention, presented with a sense of urgency that had been going on for years. Just across from this, the Khalistan referendum took place in a Gurdwara in Surrey city, the same Gurdwara headed by SFJ’s Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was shot dead on June 18. India’s repeated concerns to the Government of Canada amount to a warning, a desperate appeal for vigilance against misuse of Canadian territory for separatist activities. But as time passed, it became clear that immediate action was an elusive dream.
Oblivious or uncaring Trudeau
Prime Minister Trudeau, during his New Delhi visit to the G20 leaders’ summit and a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi, painted a picture of reluctance to respond to India’s pleas. The genie of Khalistani insurgency persists, a terrifying presence that continues to test the bonds of diplomacy and the resolve of nations. On March 20, 2023, the world also witnessed a shameless spectacle of anarchy and destruction, when a mob of Khalistani radicals vented their anger on the Indian High Commission in London. Barely a day later, the Indian Consulate in San Francisco also became the victim of a similar attack. Then the shadow of terror was looming over the Indian Embassy in Washington, but our alert secret services foiled this nefarious conspiracy. These shocking incidents are a reminder that the revived Khalistan movement is no longer a distant, India-centric concern, it is a venomous snake coiled around the heart of Canada. The epicenter of this radicalism, this potential tinderbox of separatism, is not Punjab, it is Canada.
This threat looms global
The world cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this dangerous reality. Prime Minister Trudeau, now is the time to trust us, if you do not do so, the flames of Khalistani extremism may engulf not India but Canada. The threat is real and it is knocking at your door. Canada’s stance on pro-Khalistan elements has drawn outrage and disappointment on the international stage. While Prime Minister Trudeau reiterates his commitment to protecting freedom of expression, his government’s soft approach towards those issuing open threats to India and the Indian community stands in stark contrast to the brutal reality faced by victims of violence . It is a stance that sometimes appears to prioritize abstract notions of freedom of expression over the safety of individuals and communities. Faced with demolished Hindu temples and the specter of insurgency, the world watches with a mixture of shock and dismay as the Canadian government’s words of assurance do little to address the real and serious concerns of those affected by the threat of Khalistani extremism. , The actions of a few individuals may not represent the entire community or country, but inaction in the face of such threats can certainly tarnish a nation’s reputation on the global stage.