Dr Muhammad Khan
Internationalization of Khalistan Movement had started in the 1990s, just few years after the massive genocide of Sikh community in secular India.
The Sikh community was massively killed by Hindus and state machinery of India to the level of genocide after two Sikh security guards killed the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi on October 31, 1984.
Many Sikh youths managed to escape the Indian atrocities from the 1980s through 1990s to various parts of the world, mostly in the United States and Europe.
They were well received by the civilized western world and given political asylum. While being in various parts of the world, Sikh community informed the host governments and various human right organizations about the excessive oppression committed on the Sikh community by the Indian Government and majority Hindu community of India.
Despite massive persecution of Sikhs in India, they decided not to surrender to Indian military might.
Rather, they formally organized them and decided to have their own homeland, thus started political and social struggle for their right to self-determination.
While there was an on-going Sikh Movement against Hindu rule in India, the Sikh Diaspora has devised wider strategy of pursuing international community to recognize their right to self-determination by having their own homeland with the name of Khalistan.
In order to achieve their legal right, over the years Sikhs have transformed their movement at the global level.
For a global coverage and international recognition, the Sikh Diaspora has decided to organize Referendum in all countries wherever there is presence of Sikhs.
So far, there have been eight phases of referendum for a separate Sikh homeland (Khalistan).
This referendum was conducted in various cities of the UK having Sikh Diaspora.
The 8th phase of Khalistan Referendum was held in various parts of Britain on 9 January 2022.
The referendum for a separate Sikh homeland started from London on 31 October 2021 with participation of over 30,000 Sikhs.
All Indian attempts to stop Sikh referendum exercise in Britain failed miserably, despite good diplomatic relationship between India and the United Kingdom.
The movement for the Khalistan referendum had sent a strong message to India to accept the Sikh’s long-awaited demand for a separate home land and to put an end to discrimination against Sikhs.
The Sikh community has decided to share the results of the referendum with United Nations Organizations, the major powers and other international forums, since they are a separate community in India by all means.
As announced, Sikh’s referendum will be conducted in United States, Canada, Australia and the Indian Punjab, after its successful conduct in the UK.
The US-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) Organisation has already mobilized itself for the conduct of Referendum in the US with the sole objective of a separate homeland for Sikhs with the name of Khalistan.
The organisation has been fighting a long peaceful legal battle against the Indian government and politicians involved in the 1984 deadly operation against Sikhs since 2011.
Since then, SF Jhad filed criminal and human rights cases in the US courts against prominent leaders of the Congress Party allegedly involved in Golden Temple massacre.
The world-wide planned referendum of Sikhs is indicative of the fact that every Sikh desires to have an independent homeland for Sikhs.
Indeed, Sikhs will never forget what India has done to them; the genocide of the 1980s, a planned strategy to annihilate the Sikh identity and to undo their history.
Today Sikhs are advocate of only one mandate; Sikh’s ‘salvation lies only when they live in an independent homeland called Khalistan’.
Sikhs are determined to have their right to self-determination sooner than later. They are also determined that their voice cannot be suppressed anymore.“We have shown to the world today that our voice cannot be suppressed.”
Top Sikh leadership in India and elsewhere in the world has reached a consensus, “India is a fascist state which believes in the supremacy of Hindus only and doesn’t tolerate other religious minorities”.
The map of Khalistan showing not just Punjab but Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and several districts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh as its part of Khalistan.
The new map depicts that the area will be cut off from India and made into the Sikh country “Khalistan”.
The right to self-determination is ingrained in international law, including under Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations.
The Sikh community is of the view that if international community believes in a free and open society that respects fundamental and universal concepts like democracy, freedom of expression, human rights, respect for the rule of law and the rights of the individual, then surely they also believe in the right of different peoples to determine for themselves how they wish to be governed and by whom?
From South Africa to South Sudan, the experience has shown that no people can forever be denied the right to self-rule.
For their separate homeland more than 200,000 Sikhs have taken part in the Khalistan Referendum Voting which is counted as a great success.
There is a growing recognition of Kalistan referendum movement at the international level.The referendum has attracted widespread publicity in UK, Europe, US and Canada.
With this voting, the Khalistan Movement has entered into its conclusive stage which can no longer be stopped. After all, it is the fundamental right of Sikhs to have their own independent homeland.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.
Courtesy Pakistan Observer