Study On The Khalistan Movement History Essay

2755 words (11 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 History Reference this


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The country primarily has faced different uprisings since its formation in the year 1947 and unification in 1950 as a republic. The formation of the Indian republic from a british colony to a sovereign socialist republic country couldn not be finished until 894 days after British left india. Finally it was unified with 25 states in the decade of 60s with the formation of Punjab, Gujarat and Maharashtra as states based on the language spoken in these states. The unification of india took place under the close look and appeal of Sardar Patel. He with the help of Nehru and Gandhi unified india and accumulated different princely states like Hyderabad and rajputanas to join the Indian republic. Although the states initially joined with the hope of development of prosperity but for the last 20 years or so a feeling on unrest is rising in the hearts of many people belonging to different regions.

We shall go through a quick recap of factors that are the roots of the unrest and uprisings against the nationalism of Indians. Through this report we shall provide information about the different cultural and ethnical backgrounds that want to identify themselves as separate states with the hope of further development of their people and prosperity within the regions through the unification of people with common goals and culture.

The khalistan movement

The fight to create a sikh dominated state began as early as the independence of india where Punjab was the state that bore the most of the hatred delivered by Pakistan due to partition of india. The slaughters and riots during the partition created a hole big enough that decades of prosperity cannot fill. The unrest among the people was mainly due to the policies of Nehru which wanted changes in the political systems of the states that decided to join. The Sikhs felt cheated by such policies. Another major setback was Sikhs were not identified as a separate religion but just as a part of Hinduism. The ever increasing power of the central government in the policies of the state caused yet another unrest among the political domination in Punjab. Yet the real struggle began during the decades of 70s and 80s when people started believing in the ephemeral homeland the Sikh. The akali dal became a major power player and came up with various demands for the welfare of Punjabi state. The demands were as a varied as a want to place all the gurudwaras under their control to the change in policies leading to further industrialisation of Punjab along with safe guarding the rights of the weaker sections of the society. The struggle of the political activists began to push the Indian government to recognise Khalistan as a separate country.

The real ideation process of the formation of khalistan as a sikh separatist state began after the green revolution and success of many punjabi farmers. The brain drain and immigration of Punjabi sikh businessmen to different parts of the world specially USA and Canada began as early as the start of the 1970s. The proponents started in Punjab but then travelled to these countries to generate the funds needed to develop a movement. Based on the sikh identity and a state of homeland, they were able to generate large sums of money. On the brink of the 1980s the khalistanis declared their identity and start of a separate state with different currency and stamps being released not only in india but in U.S. and U.K..

The use of the internet and social media to create an uproar without even having a single physical territorial dominance led to a worldwide movements where in all the Sikhs decided to join their brothers without even sensing the real meaning of the movement as a political motive and power control within few hands. The khalistan movement took a sharp turn when a few khalistanis took up weapons and a major uprooting hindus started. All the major traders and prosperous hindu families were threatened and more likely even killed. Sikh militants started creating troubles for the government by blowing up buildings and places.

So, the Indian government decided to act and talks were held between the representatives of khalistan and the government. All the meetings and talks failed, the number of militants were rising, leading to the rise in the number of incidents, a particular holiest temple of the Sikhs was used to store ammunition and hide sikh militants. Hence the biggest insurgency was ordered by the then prime minister of india. Indian army with its force overcame the khalistanis during the operation blue star. The khalistanis blamed the army for the killing of innocents people in the crossfire that happened in the temple. Finally this led to assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 and the start of the anti sikh riots in north india. Curfews were ordered in different parts of the state. Many people were killed and Sikhs rendered homeless. Politician belonging to the ruling party were indicted on the charges of fueling the mobs. After the riots the khalistan movement again rose its head and a separate state of khalistan was again declared. There was a dramatical rise of sikh militancy in Punjab.

The central government then attempted to seek a political solution to the grievances of the sikh, the agreement between Late Rajiv Gandhi and H.S. Longowal provided a basis to the return of peace to the regions but still a few militants refused to give up demand for an independent Khalistan. The movement has weakened since then and the area is in peace and prosperity. The Sikhs identified themselves as a unique identity but more so as unique Indians.

The case of telangana

The first revolt that took place in telangana was by a group of peasants against the feudal lords acquiring land and property in the region. It was led by the communist party. It took place in the formerly pricely state of Hyderabad. After the independence of india the states of Andhra and telangana were merged together after the fall of hyderabad’s Nizam. The region had a still nascent economy with no reforms or acts to increase the per capita income of the state. The issues of the projects over the rivers of Krishna and Godavri led the Telanganas to believe that they wont be able to reap the benefits as much as their Andhra counterparts even though they controlled the headwaters. The people of Andhra who had access to higher levels of education would have an unfair advantage in seeking government roles, and they would not help eradicating the poverty and illiteracy in the regions of Telangana. Although the political powers in the centre were a little sceptical of merging these 2 states but still the merger was carried out in year of 1956. This led to the criticism of the ruling party in the centre and certain repressions of the upsurges were reported through out the state of Andhra.

Years after the formation of Andhra, people of telangana asserted their dissatisfaction over the implementation of the guarantee and the agreements. The movement started as a small student movement in the osmania university in Hyderabad. Then the movement slowly spread to the other parts involving more and more individuals from the government. Finally government employees and the member of opposition joined in and the movement became a threat.

The government decided to look into the matter and correct the flaws in the inactions in the implementation of the guarantee and promise given to the people of telangana to bring the region out of misery and poverty.

With the formation of the 3 new states in the region of central india but failiure of the new formed NDA the telangana separatist movement came back to life in the year 2000. BJP with its support from telugu desam party failed to form a separate Telangana state in the country. This led to major political developments in the region and formations of new forums and political parties. The people of Telangana started feeling neglected and oppressed as none of the governments in last 50 years of glorious indepence of india were able to help seek their grievances. The decision to stay a single state was found to be futile and the division was the only option left in plain sight.

Congress in its electoral manifesto for the year 2004 declared the formation of the telangana state. It won the hearts of the people in the region and even enjoyed the support of the local telangana parties. Soon after winning the elections in the centre the telangana parties started pressing for the formation of the separate state. The telangana withdrew support from the govt after it also failed to form a separate state of telangana

In the year 2009, the union home minister stated that the process for formation for a separate state of telangana much to the rejoice of the people of telangana. The leaders call it the victory of the people. Although many people from the Andhra and coastal regions protested against such a process leading to resignations from the legislative assembly by the Andhra people. The separate state of telangana is now being constituted bringing the faith of the telangana people in the idea of india where their grievance and heard and problems in the system are rectified through a political process that leads to peace. Although the path may lead through a period of utter violence and militancy to a certain extent still the people would always choose to live peacefully under the governance of a single structure down in the centre. The idea of india lives on in the people of Telangana.

Indian north east frontier

The nationality of the north east Indian state has always been the question of significance. The seven northeastern states or the seven sisters as they are called are defined in such a way that shows change of culture rituals and customs every few 100 kilometers with about over a 100 tribal groups living in the area. These tribal fgroups want to hold on to their cultural identity as they progress educationaly and economically. Well as the case of nationality comes in the states are still in conflict with each other as well as they are in conflict with the centre.

A brief history of the place should be able to tell the reasons for the insurgency in the area. These states were ruled by princes before the british raj decided to unite them under their banner. But post independence these states have been fighting for their identity and acknowledgement from the centre with the emphasis on the fact that they are culturally diverse. With the divison of the assam state and formation of the meghalya Tripura and Mizoram states on the basis of cultural and linguistic differences a little relief came to the centre. China claimed most of arunachal Pradesh during the sino Indian war of 1963 but had to move out till the Mc Mohan line after a veto by the soviet Union. The place has been a literal mess since then and has still to cope with a lot of development issues since then .

During the civil war of Bangladesh, a lot of Bengali speaking muslim refugees travelled to the plains of assam and other states. This caused a fight for the already depleting natural resources. Indian government support of the refugees led to another unrest within the minds of the natives in these states.

Hence a number of violent political groups like ULFA emerged and that led to the first cases of violence in the region. The whole ethnographic and yellow brown race differentiation started with violence incident happening every fortnight. The key issues that these state faced were the problems of resources, education, representation in the centre(just 4%) and the problem of unemployment.

The whole “the centre is not doing anything for my culture” fight has been the main USP of the north east Indian states. They have constantly fought for their identity and demanded a separate country so that they can be represented by the people that belong to the reigon and put out the refugees that have barged into their land and started exploiting the resources of the regions and started acquiring land from the natives.

The idea that still springs up in the minds is the nationality of the people and the allegiance of the people towards the central government in ruling india. This is still due to many development works done by the central and state governments. The people also have a sense of security from the Chinese and mynmar border after the indo Burmese treaty of the cross border infiltrations.


While the idea of nationalism is very subjective and generic specially when applied or thought about a country like india, still the word india does strike a bell and a sense of pride in each of us Indians whenever we hear it

The sense of pride that people feel whenever we excel in the fields of science and technology is evident through the turnouts of the people in any event conducted.

The idea of nationalism is the idea that unites india whether or not the issues are resolved or not. The idea that says i accept that there are certain flaws in the system and i shall work my way through it. At the end of the each heated discussion all we need to do is think and rethink a peaceful way around the issue. The idea also advocates that together we shall be able to progress in a better and faster way and will be able to protect our special individuality. The number of countries ready to acquire the land given the fact that already so many attacks have happened on our mother land should give a very good reason for the Indian nationality to rise through all the differences in the people.

But yet a peaceful solution should be sought by both the central authorities and the natives. The idea of a separate state should only come to the mind after all the talks have failed. Due to certain political aspirations of a few people such ideas get blown out of proportion and the people with a small spark already in their minds start following these few good men without thinking about the consequences of the unrest on their daily lives. The brutality of the war then teaches the people about the heavy prices they have to pay for the cause. This also gives a sense of pride for the culture. The sacrifices made by the people should not go to waste but then what is the solution to the problems that people face.

The idea of a central government here comes into play. A faith in the government that is ruling in the centre is then challenged by the fury. Certain states get the step sister behaviour from the centre or the claims are so. The main cause of unrest in the areas that have been mentioned in the report is development. Development of the people, their children, their lifestyle and their state of economy is the main concerns of any state. The development if supported by the centre leads to happiness and prosperity in the state. Prime examples are the state of kerala and Haryana.

The things that hurt the people are the things that seed the idea of a separate state in the minds of the people. Like a person withdraws from the faith he has for so long, like an old preist that light up candle each night to keep that faith alive. This faith is reflected in the country in the same manner. Id the country is able to take care of its residents like its own children and help them maintain their identity in their own special way and yet give them the special identity of the countrymen. The citizenship does not necessarily mean the stamp on the paper but also a sense of identification and belonging.

All the things said and done, it all boils down to the fact that people have no qualms against the nationalism or the sense of it. They only have problems against them losing their identity, progress and resources to causes and reasons they do not want to understand. But then a sense of responsibility should be imparted through formal and informal education into their minds and efforts should be made to widen their vision about the country and their nationality. The nationality comes with the rights, a thing agreed upon, but a lot of people forget about the duties and responsibilities that come with it and how we should prioritise their duties and rights. The decision needs to be taken through a conscientious thinking. It is totally up to the citizen to put either his duty first or his duty last.

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