A virus does not go away and waits for lower immunity in the body it inhabits to make a return. The demand for a separate Khalistan is one such virus in Punjab’s body politic, impacting adversely the rest of India. The observance of Operation Blue Star’s anniversary at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Saturday, at which the families of killed terrorists were honoured and anti-national slogans raised by radical groups, indicates the continued existence of a dangerous communal mindset which denies the years of suffering the movement caused in the state, and the shock it inflicted on overall development. From being India’s leading state on a wide-range of parameters, it has become a laggard that is barely managing to keep up with the changing world. The greatest impact, as observed by many, has been on the youth, who have lost direction and the traditional Punjabi spirit of enterprise.
While it is the duty of the state and central governments to ensure the level of immunity does not drop for any reason, it is shocking that the Head Priest of the Akal Takht can do no better than ‘balance’ the situation by stating a Khalistan would be accepted if the offer is made. The Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee president suggests all Sikhs would want a Khalistan. This clearly reflects the unrepresentative and unaccountable nature of these posts and the community had better take remedial action at every level.
It is a well known fact that there are several agencies around the world backing these separatists. The ISI is the primary mover, providing funds and sanctuary to these psychologically ill and opportunistic elements. However, the intelligence agencies of several western countries are also involved, using them as a card to hopefully pressurise India if a situation so develops in some future scenario. The supporters of this movement gang up with any and every anti-India cause, no matter how malefic, in countries like the US, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, etc. They spin yarns for the press, and use the new media to spread all kinds of fantasies. It has actually little to do with India and much more with establishing an identity that gives them political importance in their new found countries, being otherwise too small a community to make an impact except as individual achievers. Unfortunately, this selfish purpose poses a danger to India’s law and order, as well as security. Although the attitude is to overlook their ‘occasional’ transgressions, believing their influence at home to be marginal at most, it is also a reminder that the virus exists, biding its time.