Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #202 – Past as a Guide

(Photo by Toni Reed on Unsplash \ Mural by artist Elena Bushan, part of yycbump Beltline Urban Murals Project)

“Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.” ― Voltaire


Yesterday, we started sending out our newsletter from a new platform. That did not go off well. So we had to change the mechanism to send out the emails. There are still some issues and deficiencies in the writing platform, as it does not send out all the components in the post, we will get there eventually. The idea is to become self-reliant and own the content that we share. So, if you have missed yesterday’s newsletter, please go to our archive (#201: The Chinese Takeover) for a detailed take on how the Chinese Communist Party is working to control the world and worse, how different governments, including the ones in Europe are capitulating!

Today we wanted to go down memory lane. Painful memories surely. But ones that need to be remembered for what is being attempted is a repeat of all that. No one can afford all that. Least of all the Sikhs and Punjabis around the world. Please read this and share it with the younger generation that is being targeted by those who want to whitewash all that while keeping the brutal and extremist objectives of that time alive.


Understanding Khalistan

Many people who are young now and do not remember those days of the 1980s and 1990s, when travel in North India was a nightmare and India’s very heart was cut piece by piece with no end in sight. The terrorism of the Khalistanis.

To understand the true nature of those who have orchestrated the so-called farmers protests powered by Punjabi identity and Khalistani pride and power, one needs to understand what this whole thing was really about. There was a time when going to even Chandigarh was like bidding your final good-byes to your family. Traveling within Punjab was a daring act.

The toll of Khalistani terrorism

Contrary to the impression of Khalistan being a benign “movement”, it was a terror madness that left more than 12000 innocents dead! Over 8100 terrorists had been killed. Many of these had been brainwashed.

This included a massacre in Lalru, Mohali district (yes, where most of the IT companies now have their offices!) on July 6th, 1987, where the Khalistani terrorists pulled out 38 Hindu passengers and shot them dead in a cold blooded murder! On May 17, 1988, 35 poor and innocent laborers were killed by Khalistanis in Kharar, a town just outside Chandigarh!

Here is a detailed list of killings that were done by the Khalistani terrorists in Punjab and outside (Source).

ZA Bhutto’s brainchild post-1971

There is an interesting story that Canadian-Pakistani journalist Tarek Fatah remembers of what Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto said in a small insignificant reporter’s meet in 1973 (Source).  Bhutto had inadvertently remarked that they are planning to carve out a separate “Bangladesh” within India but on the side of Pakistan.  In his discussion, Fatah also laments how the movement was eventually started by Pakistan along with of course the irony of how the very people and minds who killed thousands of Sikhs in the areas during the partition and driven them out of the places that are now part of Pakistan, are the ones with whom the Khalistani Sikhs have partnered with!

This was also confirmed by Jagjit Singh Chohan, self-styled president of the Khalistan government in exile (Source). Interestingly, he was warned about the impact that the Pakistanis would have on the Sikhs.

I think it was in 1972 or 1973. Perhaps the Simla Accord hadn’t been signed yet. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was rebuilding Pakistan after the 1971 war, invited me to meet him in New York. I remember meeting his delegation in a hotel room.  In between, I wanted to go to the toilet. One of his officers followed me into the toilet and said, ‘Sardarji, you are from Jalandhar area. My father also came from there. Your face reminds me of my father. So I want to caution you not to listen to these people. Eh tuhanun kharab karange (They will exploit you).’

In the same interview, Chohan also specifies how Khalistan would not be taken by fighting but by exploiting India’s fault-lines.

You can’t get Khalistan through a militant movement. The Sikhs have to wait. The way the world is going, sooner or later India will break up. When India breaks up and is reconstituted on a CIS or EC model, we will get Khalistan. Indian governments will soon realise they will have to decentralise in a radical manner. (Source)

But Pakistan had done its homework.

A small crack that created a chasm!

Pakistan, in their quest for vengeance, targeted a region and people who had some resentment, politically fanned by opportunists. In 1966, the Punjab Reorganization Act was passed. It was passed in the Parliament on September 7th and implemented with effect from November 1, 1966. (Source)

Erstwhile Punjab was broken into Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Subsequently, the waters from Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej rivers were also shared with Haryana and Rajasthan via an elaborate canal system.

The Akali Dal, which had lost in the Punjab elections in 1972, brought forth the Anandpur Sahib resolution in 1973 to bolster its own political situation. The resolution was the beginning of breaking the Punjabi community comprising of Hindus and Sikhs as one people into two separate communities. This, therefore, was one of the demands in that resolution – to take steps to recognize Sikhism as a separate religion from Hinduism.

Apart from that, the resolution also “endorsed the principle of State autonomy in keeping with the concept of federalism.” (Source) What started off as a movement to get more autonomy and rights for aggrieved Punjab, soon devolved into a full-blown violent terror movement.

What was started by the Akalis, seemed attractive for terror and extremist oriented separatists as well. The Akalis had seen their political fortunes go down and in this “revival of Sikhism”, they found their calling. They found an ally in Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Thus started their “Dharma Yudh” with Golden Temple as the base.

This Dharma Yudh was led by Akali Dal leader Prakash Singh Badal. Although the whole situation in Punjab had its differentiation into moderates and extremists and ultras, but at some point, they were all working together.

A pact was done between Longowal and Mrs Indira Gandhi’s government, which was opposed by Haryana and Rajasthan. Angry with the “betrayal”, the Akalis decided to disrupt the Asian Games in November 1982 in New Delhi.

Bhajan Lal was the Chief Minister of Haryana and a week before the Asian Games, he sealed the Haryana-Delhi border (see the parallels with the current activities?). It is said that many “protesters” were searched and stopped – ‘humiliated’ as it was called. The whole narrative around this angered many Sikhs. The result was that the extremists gained the upper hand in the whole Sikh movement.

Harchand Singh Longowal called for meeting/convention of ex-Sikh servicemen in December. Beyond all expectations, over 10,000 ex-servicemen attended! These included 5 ex-generals, 1000 officers of which 170 were over the ranks of Colonel. Five other retired Generals sent their verbal support. One prominent officer was Major General Shubeg Singh, the hero of the 1971 War against Pakistan.

After this, stopping the extremists to unleash a reign of terror in Punjab became very difficult.

Those were the darkest days in North India. So when you see someone like this guy normalizing and whitewashing the terror by the Khalistanis by making statements like “No Sikh has killed an innocent,” then he may be correct about someone who is spiritually a Sikh, but not about many who identify with the pretense of being one. For belief and religion, itself is a repudiation of the work by Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh.

These parties, Akalis, Congress and the Khalistani extremists from overseas, who were the architects of the Khalistan mess in the 1980s and 90s, are again back to their favorite past time. Engulfing the society into mindless violence for their own political gains!

market corner – 10 quick bytes

  1. Power minister R K Singh says inefficiency in billing and collection is the major reason for losses and barrier to investment in the distribution companies – more

  2. Ola to invest Rs 2,400 cr for ‘world’s largest’ e-scooter factory in Tamil Nadu – more

  3. Crude oil futures rise nearly 1% to Rs 3,468 on vaccine optimism, Brent trades above $50 a barrel – more

  4. Morgan Stanley says time now to trim positions, plan trades for 2021 – more

  5. How to get an instant PAN card through Aadhar in just a few minutes – more

  6. Online channel contributed 20% to Mercedes India sales during COVID – more

  7. NITI Aayog proposes setting up a surveillance information platform to strengthen India’s public healthcare system – more

  8. An Oyo model for farm storage: agri-tech start-ups Ergos and Arya are sowing money in the rural economy – more

  9. Details of Arundhati Gold Scheme: Assam state government offers 1-tola gold to brides belonging to families with annual earnings of less than Rs 5 lakh – more

  10. Income Tax Return filing: Revised instructions for filing ITR Forms 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7 – more

nota bene

High levels of Preparation: Indian armed forces will leave no stone unturned to safeguard the nation be it at land, air or the ocean, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat said on Monday. “We are in a standoff situation in Ladakh and based on that there is some development activity which has been ongoing in Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Every nation will continue to prepare for ensuring its security based on their strategic interest,” news agency ANI quoted Rawat as saying. Rawat also confirmed that “high levels of preparation” are underway on land, sea and air as “China attempts to change the status quo on Line of Actual Control (LAC) along the northern border.” (Source)

Record payments under MGNREGS: MGNREGS payments reach record-high levels this year as the Rural Development ministry works on top-gear to ensure employment. The union government has allocated approximately Rs.85,000 crore for employment under the scheme, out of which Rs.77,000 crores have already been spent. Over Rs.55,000 crore were paid in the form of wages while the rest of the funds went to other costs, including material and skilled wages (over Rs.19,000 crore), administration costs (over Rs.2,400 crore), and so on. As per the reports generated by the Ministry of Rural Development of the Government of India, 98.15% of payments were made within 15 days which is much better compared to the previous years. (Source)

Public statement from BARC called for: Top members of India’s largest broadcasters body News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) on Monday sought a public statement from Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) in the fake TRP case, a day after Mumbai Police arrested Republic Media Network CEO Vikas Khanchandani in the continuance of a shocking witch-hunt. Speaking to Republic Media Network’s Executive Editor Niranjan Narayanswamy, Sanjive Naraine, CEO of Prag News & VP of NBF, Anil Singh, CFO of TV5 and Sreekandan Nair, MD of Flowers TV, collectively demanded that BARC should come forward and break its silence on the matter since it is not private anymore. (Source)

Major hacking campaign: US government agencies were ordered to scour their networks for malware and disconnect potentially compromised servers after authorities learned that the Treasury and Commerce departments were hacked in a monthslong global cyber espionage campaign discovered when a prominent cybersecurity firm learned it had been breached. “This can turn into one of the most impactful espionage campaigns on record,” said cybersecurity expert Dmitri Alperovitch. The hacked cybersecurity company, FireEye, would not say who it suspected — many experts believe the operation is Russian given the careful tradecraft — and noted that foreign governments and major corporations were also compromised. (Source)

Chinese backed Hawala/Crypto-currency scam: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested cryptocurrency trader Naisar Kothari on the charges of money laundering under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002(PMLA) in a case related to online betting and hawala scam of over Rs 1,100 crore.  Three people, including one Chinese national, were arrested earlier in this case and a chargesheet has been filed against them in the PMLA Court. The accused were produced before the ED PMLA Court and the Court has granted enforcement custody of 10 days till 22 December 2020. (Source)

Ancient counterfeit money: A shortage of silver caused by the collapse of leading Bronze Age civilizations around the eastern Mediterranean about 1200 B.C. resulted in the original “dirty money” — several hundreds of years before coins had been invented. The ancient counterfeiting was revealed by archaeologist Tzilla Eshel, then a doctoral student at the University of Haifa, who studied the chemical composition of 35 buried hoards of Bronze Age silver found at archaeological sites around Israel. (Source)

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