India’s Khalistan Limbo
India has failed to prosecute the criminals of 1984 anti-Sikh violence, which highlights India’s meek commitment to fulfill its human rights obligations towards its citizens. The successive Indian governments should have undergone police reforms as well as enactment of law against communal violence, holding public officials accountable for dereliction of their duties. Ten government-appointed commissions and committees have failed to give provide Indian Sikhs with justice. “India’s failure to prosecute those most responsible for the anti-Sikh violence in 1984 has not only denied justice to Sikhs, but has made all Indians more vulnerable to communal violence,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities repeatedly blocked investigations to protect the perpetrators of atrocities against Sikhs, deepening public distrust in India’s justice system.”
In anti-Sikh violence in 1984, almost 2,733 Sikhs were killed and many women were raped. The Indian government regarded the incident a mass communal violence. In this context, Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged Indian government take steps for its Sikh community, including: establish a time-bound investigation that should lead to prosecution of the culprits; implement police reforms to avoid the involvement of police in the incidents of communal violence like that of 1984 (Delhi), 1992 (Mumbai), 2002 (Gujarat), and 2013 (Muzaffarnagar); enact laws against communal violence and adopt measures to redress grieves and human rights abuses in India. “Thirty years since the horrific massacre, communal violence still breaks out in India, raising the same concerns about accountability,” Ganguly said. “The Indian government’s failure to take even rudimentary steps to bring to justice the authors of the 1984 violence have perpetuated a climate of lawlessness that demands a renewed commitment to ending state complicity in such attacks.”
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch also criticized HR violations in India. In 2017, he had requested Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to take notice of 47 Sikh detainees, which were social campaigners, held captive in Punjab. “I have made a representation to the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop but I haven’t been able to get any response yet," said Mr. Entsch. “I have the list of detainees held in custody. I request the Indian government to release any Sikhs held without charge and ensure they are given full rights to legal and consular support.” "The issue was brought to my notice by members of local Sikh community which prompted me to respond in this manner," he said. Mr Entsch also filed a Sikh genocide recognition petition in the Australian Parliament in 2012. After five years, when he was asked that whether there is any change or not in Indian behavior, he responded, “it doesn’t appear that any government or any sides of politics actually has a firm position on this matter [Sikh Genocide Recognition].”
To achieve their basic human rights, Sikhs started a movement for their separate homeland, commonly known as Khalistan movement. After the activation of Khalistan movement in India and abroad, the Indian government claimed that “Pakistan armed, trained and to a certain extent financed Sikh militants.” Dr Shinder Purewal of Kwantlen University, Canada, in his research paper titled “The Evolution of Sikh Secessionist Movement in Western Democracies” (September 2012), argues that “the movement adopted the politics of grievance, which began in 1994 and continues till today. Khalistan leader Dr Chohan had declared in 1970s that he would even declare a parallel government in Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, now in Pakistan.” However, the Indian government kept on claiming that “Pakistan armed, trained and to a certain extent financed Sikh militants.” This blame game is not new; from the Mumbai Blasts to the Pulwama Attacks, a similar story has been rehashed. Presently, Pakistan's endeavors for emerging the Kartarpur Corridor have become an extremely solid evidence of the way that Pakistan is a harmony cherishing nation; it gives significance to the fundamental privileges of the minorities and it can assume an exceptionally indispensable job in bringing the local unfriendly networks and countries closer. This model job of Pakistan had just won a great deal of thankfulness regarding its peace endeavors in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka as well.
Some mouth-bits of the Narendra Modi government are attempting to persuade the world that Pakistan's enthusiasm to open the Kartarpur Corridor is in certainty a strategy of inducing the Sikh people group against India. They state that through this passageway Pakistan would attempt to get the Khalistan pioneers close contact and this contact will prompt the accomplishment of Khalistan, an autonomous land for the Sikh people group. Allow us to watch out for what comes next. The truth is that the Khalistan movement and India’s continuous HR abuses have made her paranoid, which is only aggravating confusion on the issue.