Kids Corner

1984

It’s June, And Right On Cue,
India Is Once Again Dishing Out Fabricated Stories To Drown 1984 Anniversary Commemorations

GURPREET SINGH

 

 

 






The recent claims -  released right on cue, once again on the eve of an anniversary of the June 1984 attack on the Golden Temple by the Indian Army - by India’s propaganda machine, that Sikh ‘separatists’ are running an armed training camp in British Columbia and conniving with the Pakistani spy agency ISI in Canada to create disturbances in India are nothing more than fear-mongering by agents of the right-wing Modi government in New Delhi.

Some prominent Indian dailies - all of which are blindly pliant as mouthpieces to the Indian Government misinformation machinery - recently reported that an ‘armed training camp’ is being run in Mission, BC, by Sikh ‘extremists‘.

Quoting unnamed sources in ‘Indian intelligence‘, these Indian media outlets not only identified one Surrey-based Sikh man as the organizer of the camp, but also suggested that there is an attempt to revive terrorism and violence in Punjab.

Some of these stories went on to indicate that supporters of Khalistan, an imaginary Sikh homeland to be carved out of northern India, have joined hands with officials of Inter-Services Intelligence (a.k.a. the ISI, Pakistan's spy agency) in Canada.

ROOTS OF THIS PLANTED STORY GO BACK TO 1980s

The movement for Khalistan started in Punjab following a deadlock between the government and the Sikh leaders who were seeking protection of their religious rights and freedoms, and a fair treatment of their state, Punjab. Not only were these demands ignored, but a parallel militant movement was propped up by the Indian intelligence operatives to weaken the moderate Sikh leadership.

In 1984, the situation completely deteriorated after the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, became a nerve centre for political activists. In response to evidence of an impending assault by the government on Sikhdom’s holiest of holies, they stockpiled weapons within the sprawling complex.

The Indian army invaded the shrine, purportedly to ‘flush out the militants‘, leaving thousands of pilgrims dead and heavily damaging historical and religious buildings inside the complex. This enraged Sikhs across the world.

Reacting to this outrage, the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi, was shot dead by members of her own elite security detail, who were Sikhs. Her death was followed by a well-organized massacre of Sikhs orchestrated by leaders of the then ruling Congress party, including the new Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, and supported by BJP/RSS goondas.

These ugly political events strengthened the movement for and independent Khalistan, which was not popular until 1984. Only a fringe element within the Sikh community had advocated for a separate homeland until 1984, the year that witnessed large-scale repression of Sikhs.

The decade that followed left thousands of people dead as a purported ‘armed insurgency’ continued until the mid 1990s. After that, it lost popular support, because of staged ’atrocities’ by ’militants’ and because of mounting police atrocities.

However, support for Khalistan has continued to prevail in Canada - where freedom of expression and the press prevails, unlike India - which has no dearth of political refugees fleeing oppression in India. Also, because of the control of a few gurdwaras by some of these fringe groups, Khalistanis continue to freely and vociferously voice their concerns over human rights violations in India.

But it would be wrong to assume that the Khalistan movement is still very strong and poses any real danger to India at this time. After all, when people in Punjab are not really interested in Khalistan, what difference does it make if a handful of Khalistanis continue to carry on their activism in Canada?

A movement needs a popular appeal to survive. And that appeal is clearly missing here. One indicator is that Khalistani supporters in Punjab continue to face electoral defeats.

WITH INDIAN MEDIA ‘LEAKS’, TIMING IS EVERYTHING

So what do recent media reports of a pro-Khalistan camp in the Fraser Valley really mean under current circumstances? Going by the content, these reports only show an underlying bias and a hidden intent of the Indian state.

There is no doubt that a handful of Khalistanis are continuing with their activism. But is that sufficient to presume that Khalistanis still pose a threat to peace?

The media reports failed to establish anything substantial. No substance to the story, no facts, no details, no evidence. Rather, they have created doubts over the purpose of these stories.

All of such reports emanating from India, reproduced by the Canadian media, lack attribution. For instance, which agencies are making these claims? They have not been properly identified. Officers who are making these claims have not been named either.

Ironically, Canadian media outlets that otherwise avoid stories without attribution have also reproduced some of these reports.

The most important aspect of these reports of a ‘terrorist camp’ is the timing. These days, Hindu extremists who've been involved in terrorist activities are getting reprieves through courts and with the help of investigators. These radicals desire to convert India into a Hindu theocracy and have been involved in bombings against Muslim targets.

Ever since Indian prime minister Narendra Modi came to power with a large majority in 2014, there were indications that terror charges against Hindu extremists would gradually be revoked. Modi is the leader of the Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party, and a member of the Nazi-style extremist RSS, both of which are known for their anti-minorities stance.

Under the Modi government, there has been increasing pressure on investigators to go slowly in the handling terror cases involving Hindu extremists. Going by the simple fact that Hindus make 80 percent of the Indian population, it should not surprise anyone that a Hindu nationalist government would never want to annoy its constituents. Hence, the process of giving back-door amnesty to Hindu extremists has begun.

It's reached the point that the list of banned terror groups of India's National Investigation Agency, which has been handling these cases, does not include a single Hindu extremist organization. Only Sikh, Muslim, or Maoist groups are named along with other human rights movements associated with marginalized nationalities.

In the light of criticism for going soft on Hindu extremism, it suits the interest of Indian intelligence officials to find enemies elsewhere. As of today, when extremists from the majority community pose a much bigger challenge to the internal security of India, why divert attention to a dead movement?

LOOMING ELECTIONS IN INDIA OFFER A CLUE

The reports of a terrorist camp in the Fraser Valley also came when Punjab is heading for assembly elections early next year. Modi's BJP holds power in the state in partnership with the Akali party, a regional party that has in a recent aberration, become pliant to BJP/RSS interests. The two parties have lost considerable support and there are indications of a possible change of government.

Critics believe that by creating fear of terrorism in Punjab, intelligence agencies are trying to help the Modi’s BJP as part of a grand design. That these media reports are outrightly fake and biased can also be judged from a very simple fact: one of them unnecessarily tried to drag in the Sikh-Canadian Defence Minister of Canada, Harjit Singh Sajjan, into the narrative. It stated that Indian authorities had written to the Trudeau government, which has a Sikh Defence Minister, to look into these reports.

Where was the need to bring in the Defence Minister and mention his religion? Whatever may be the reason, the reports are flawed, lack credibility, and clearly indicate that these are planted stories based on a script written by Indian agents.

Instead of going after terrorists from the majority community, they are trying to instil fear of imagined terrorisms in the minds of the Indian public. Under a government run by supporters of Hindu nationalism, what else can be expected?

Lastly, it's a shame that certain journalists dancing to the tune of Indian agents have sold their soul and instead of candidly reporting on the threat of Hindu extremism, they have chosen to spread lies. Let the Indian people know that there are genuine secularist Indians abroad who have no interest in the sad politics of India, or in offering support to any kind of separatism half-a-world away.

Right now the real danger to India is not from Canada. It is actually from the people there in power who are terrorizing minority communities and are determined to convert a pluralist Indian society into Hindu theocracy, not to mention the hate mongers in Indian intelligence.

So do not trust what you are being told by their apologists in the media. Rather, be vigilant about the agenda of the Indian ruling classes, which are addicted to dividing people to retain power.


The author is a ‘Georgia Straight’ contributor and a founder of ‘Radical Desi‘.  

[Courtesy: The Georgia Straight. Edited for sikhchic.com]
June 1, 2016
 

Conversation about this article

1: GC Singh (USA), June 01, 2016, 10:15 AM.

For a change Gurpreet Singh has not fallen for the Indian Government's propaganda and has exposed the nefarious designs of the New Delhi/RSS gang of terrorists/criminals and their outright and libelous lies against Sikh-Canadian which, "coincidentally", just happens to be prior to the visit of Narendra Modi to USA where he will certainly face protests. However, it is not the "fringe" elements, but the overwhelming majority of Sikhs who believe in freedom of religion, equality, justice, human rights and the right to self determination without political and military occupation of their homeland. The genesis of the latest onslaught against Sikhs in the diaspora instantly began after the events of Vaisakhi on the Hill in Ottawa which was attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The very next day Indian Foreign Ministry and its intelligence agencies, smitten by the success of Sikhs and out of of sheer jealousy, conjured up a "C" grade Bollywood movie plot in which they claimed to have heard "over the phone lines" that a Sikh-Canadian woman is in contact with ISIS of Syria and is planning an attack in New Delhi. As the 32nd anniversary of the 1984 Ghallughara approaches this year, Modi and BJP/RSS have launched a very dangerous offensive against Sikhs when a couple of weeks ago Indian agencies killed two birds with one stone. They defamed the revered Sikh tradition of Langar and Chhabeel and engineered fratricide by using RSS/Goverment agent Dhumma to kill Bhai Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale, who narrowly escaped. A large number of Indian forces have been deployed in Punjab and roads to The Darbar Sahib have been blocked to create fear psychosis to scuttle the large assembly of Sikhs in Harmandar Sahib. There is every possibility that Indian agencies may stage another violent incident to defame Sikhs during the commemorations of the 1984 Holocaust. This bogus story from Indian agencies/Times Of India about a Surrey Sikh should be a clear warning and wake-up call for the western governments who should rise above their narrow trade considerations and see through the charade of the so-called democracy and secularism which India shamelessly parades.

2: Sunny Grewal (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada), June 01, 2016, 5:04 PM.

"Sikh Terrorist Camp". These are the words that I read on the small banner on the bottom of the television as I was watching the CBC in the morning. Shame on India, shame on the CBC for reporting on baseless allegations from a newspaper rather than investigated facts. There has been too much positive news regarding Sikhs. It would have been too much for India if the same community which has four members in the federal government cabinet was protesting an illegal army assault and massacre which happened 32 years ago. Better to present them as 'terrorists making extreme demands'.

3: Arjan Singh (USA), June 07, 2016, 4:02 AM.

Thanks a lot for publishing this article. It is not just Indian agencies but ignorant and mal-intentioned Indians (mostly non-Sikhs) who try to spread falsehoods about Sikhs and Sikh ideology. It is the job of all Sikhs to counter this false propaganda by publishing stories that present Sikhi as it is: a progressive, universalist ideology that promotes tolerance and respect. We need to be careful about our public image; as even a single act of carelessness can be misused or portrayed negatively by those who have a keen desire to show us in a negative light.

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India Is Once Again Dishing Out Fabricated Stories To Drown 1984 Anniversary Commemorations"









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