Jaspal Singh Sidhu's Blog
Punjab acted as 'military state' under KPS Gill

A ‘national icon’, Gill remained a highly despised person among the Sikhs in general. During and after he left his coveted office of DGP Punjab Police, Gill always remained a target of Sikh militants.

Regionalism takes a beating in AAP’s rout in Punjab polls

The just held 2017 Punjab Assembly elections have not proved a different game from what the RSS brand of nationalism has played on the demographically polarized chessboard of other northern Indian states that went to polls simultaneously.The much expected political change could not take place even as the new entrant – Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) -- made its assertive debut in Punjab, breaking the binary of traditional parties --- the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine versus the Congress — which have been contesting against each other in past several elections and ruling alternatively.

Confusion about ‘Nation-State’ is dangerous for Sikhs

     Of late, some thinkers of the Sikhs, a minority constituting less than two per cent of India’s population, are praising and advocating for a separate ‘nation-state’ as the best political solution for the emancipation of the besieged community. Such thinkers go to the extent of harrying and hounding those Sikh intellectuals who oppose the concept of ‘nation-state’, a Western construct. 

SC Verdict on National Anthem Mandates Hindutva Nationalism

Usual interpretation of the Indian Apex Court verdict on ‘Jana Gana Mana’, the National Anthem on 30 November, 2016 as curbing of individual’s freedom could hardly fathom the real intention behind the judicial overreach which is meant to serve a larger purpose. The verdict is in tune with overall political-moral ethos of the time.

Apex Court Verdict On Ravi-Beas Rivers Rips Up Old Wounds In Punjab

The 10 November (2016) verdict of Supreme Court declaring  the Punjab Act of 2004 as unconstitutional and reviving its earlier decree  for expeditious completion of Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal has ripped open the old wounds  which had brewed a decade long trouble in Punjab in 1980s entailing  a spree of blood spilling.

The Tragedy of 1984: Challenges for a Sikh Journalist

I watched with alarm as the security forces occupied Punjab in the first week of June 1984, when I also observed how some of my colleagues vied with each other in telling how the government at last has the courage to take much needed action.  I was part of Indian journalists who took news reporting seriously. However as events started moving towards the crisis point from 1983 onwards to June 1984 I could sense how my colleagues, mostly Hindus started tilting their reports in certain ways. 

Rampal, Satlok Chief challenges hegemony of Arya Samaj, an RSS ally, in Haryana

The arrest of former public servant -turned-godman, 63-year-old Rampal, from his Barwala (Hisar) ashram seems to have ended the two-week long much publicised drama enacted by the Haryana police, but it has, rather, widened the social and religious gulf among the people of  the area. The police operation took the life of five women and a child, injuring many others, including two dozen media persons covering the event. Technically, Rampal’s arrest was sought by the Punjab and Haryana high court in a case of “criminal contempt of court” following his persistent in refusal to appear before the court.

Scotland Referendum entails implications for India

The BBC has monitored the world media to know the impact of the 18 September Scotland referendum “beyond the British Isle”’. The Scotland development has emboldened separatism in Europe but cast a worrying spell on ‘nations’ in other parts of the world. Like India, other Asian ‘nations’ deliberately sought to keep mum over the referendum and allowed to pass it off as ‘non-issue’.

RSS targets Sikhs in Punjab

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), described by eminent sociologist Ashis Nandy as the fountainhead of ‘demonic and seductive Indian religious nationalism’, seems to have put Punjab on its radar. Its chief Mohan Bhagwat finished a five-day ‘training camp’ of RSS at Doraha, near Ludhiana, in the second week of September in quick succession to a similar camp at Mansa (south Punjab) organized a few months ago for Sangh Parivar activists from Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. Just before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Bhagwat had toured Punjab and camped at Malerkotla, a small pocket of Muslim population in the state. 

Sikhs Losing ‘Political Identity’ in India

Observations of last Governor General of India, Mountbatten on the future of Sikh minority in India seems to be sounding prophetic now. Mountbatten had acquired a deep understanding of the political scene of 1940s and grip over political players in Indian subcontinent. That is why, he advanced the ‘transferred the power’ from the British to dominant and loyal political outfits in Indian subcontinent —the Congress and Muslim League --- by around one year. The Empire was on the road to a fast collapse as the World War two ended in1945. And, the British wanted to leave their stamp on future policies of ‘free India’ through smooth ‘transfer of power’ to the collaborators before any rising effervesce could disturb their plans.

‘ Understanding of True history could help Sikhs know their present placing and future in India’

A former Defense Minister of Japan aptly said: ‘History is too important to be left to newspaper editors’. The media, invariably, glosses over what actually happened on the ground and help the rulers in gradual blunting of the horrible edges of colossal human tragedy and atrocities into something ‘banal’—means a trivial and uninterested matter for the common man. Should the victims be made to forget ‘how they were demonized to justify the state repression on them’?

‘Gurdwara Act’ invites Indian State’s Interference in Sikh Religion

Under the Act, a Sikh shrines management body—SGPC—was created which manages Sikh affairs. The SGPC is elected through universal adult suffrage among the Sikhs. Created and sustained by vested interests, the narrative is, often, goes hyperbolic that ‘the SGPC is mini-parliament of the Sikhs’.

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