Chandigarh, May 4: It is a treatment that Capt Amarinder Singh, the Congress MP in 1984 who resigned both from the Lok Sabha and the party in protest against Operation Bluestar, might not have expected when he landed in United States of America to woo the mythical NRI vote bank sometime back.
The video purportedly released by the Sikhs for Justice today that shows some Sikhs, including clean shaven ones, heckling Capt Amarinder Singh in California by raising slogans of Khalistan Zindabad, of course, is interesting and significant with several dimensions. It was given out that the provocation was his statement given months back giving ‘clean chit’ to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler whose name figures in the list of guilty men of November 1984 anti-Sikh violence.
He has explained his position several times on this issue that has ceased to be part of political discourse in Punjab but came handy to some of those who had gathered to listen to him in California. He was rushed to his vehicle to escape the wrath of the sloganeers. Here is the same Amarinder Singh who, as the Chief Minister, had addressed an impressive gathering at Dixie Road gurdwara in Canada with Khalistan banner as the backdrop. The organisation that has sabotaged his visit to Canada this time is the Sikhs for Justice.
The SFJ had filed complaints against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi during their US visits for human rights violations in Punjab. The Canadian law in operation now is stringent as a person can be arrested despite the fact that such crime was not committed there.
This writer sent few questions to SFJ chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannun as he did not come on the line and his man who picked up the phone advised to mail the questions.
-How many cases have been filed by the SFJ seeking action against Indian leaders, including their names.
-What has been the ultimate outcome of these cases.
-What is the cost of filing such a case.
-Are people in Punjab concerned about the issues that SFJ takes up in USA and Canada?
The e-mail has not even been acknowledged.
The issue of the victims of 1984 violence is raked up in almost in every election. There are several organisations representing these victims. Any organisation can use them to stage demonstrations whenever needed.
People in Punjab have paid a very heavy cost during militancy period and few talk about the same. Even the people who raise such issues in Punjab are just a few and those who are the interested party or individuals whose audience is mainly in USA, Canada and to a lesser extent, in UK. Khalistan is also commerce.
It only the gurdwaras in USA and Canada that have exhibited pictures of the slain militants. The very basic fact is overlooked that that this movement was crushed when the people got up against them after having been harassed and humiliated. Everything can’t be blamed on the police cats. Those who were part of the movement now confess in private as to what went wrong. Many of them are settled in USA, Canada and Germany and they should have the courage to speak up.
It was after years that Punjab witnessed mass moibilisations against the Badals after series of incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib. Punjab remained blocked for several days. The Sarbat Khalsa gathering at Chabba village on November 10was the culmination of that peaceful protest. However, the same got sabotaged when the basic issue was side-lined and the radical politics brought in. One of the organisation that was active through its men in Punjab happened to be Sikhs for Justice. That anger could have very well been channelized at the democratic level.
One fails to understand as to whose cause such people and the organisations are serving. The problem with the Sikhs settled abroad that they are frozen in time. Raising Khalistan slogan can be a form of protest. However, people in Punjab have moved forward. In case Aam Aadmi Party is getting such response in Punjab, one would like to understand as to what is the relevance of the issues that such organisations are talking about. Interestingly, it is the anti-Badal NRI constituency that is vocal in favour of AAP and that party has no Sikh agenda.