Indian Punjab, Sikhs and economic purge

By Prof. Shazia Cheema

The writer Shazia Cheema is serving as an Assistant Professor in University of Lahore. She did her MA in Cognitive Semiotics from Aarhus University Denmark and is currently registered as a PhD Scholar of Semiotics and Philosophy of Communication at Charles University Prague.
The writer Shazia Cheema is serving as an Assistant Professor in the University of Lahore. She did her MA in Cognitive Semiotics from Aarhus University Denmark and is currently registered as a PhD Scholar of Semiotics and Philosophy of Communication at Charles University Prague.

Indian Punjab is on halt due to roadblocks on major highway junctions, on the other hand, shopping malls and petrol pumps are forcefully closed by the public and the answer given to media by the protestors is “We are not protesting against someone rather we are protesting for our existence”.

All this escalated by three parliamentarian bills providing blanket rights to Centre to decide the fate of farmers. These bills say that the agricultural land could be leased to corporates and corporate can re-lease it, take a loan on that, or even leave it as it is without producing any crop. So basically, it is all about of giving control of the food chain to mega corporate sector and powerful businessmen.

Modi government is a corporate government

Farmers are shocked to know that bills got passed by a close session before farmers could know the content of bills and could register their reservation against this draconian act of Modi governmet. That close door cynicism triggers the survival mode, and that’s why farmers are calling that bill “farmers assassination bills.

Modi government is a corporate government, supported and even run by business tycoons was never in favor of farmers of UP, Bihar, and Punjab; Punjab which is called food basket of India is about to become a corporate zone where food will be industrialized, and corporate sector will regulate agriculture. Fascist India is targeting minorities systematically, first Muslim, then Christians and Dalits and now Sikhs, the agenda behind is evident—formation of an India for Hindus only.

Farmers of Bihar and Punjab are fighting for their existence, Punjabi Sikhs never felt at home in India and their rift from Delhi is no more a secret, at the same time center never treated them as equal citizens because Punjabi speaking belt always suffered discrimination.

Last month Kashmiri Punjabis were fighting for their mother tongue because the Punjabi language was deliberately excluded as a possible medium of instruction in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Punjabis are feeling cornered and seek salvage either in Pakistan or their own brotherhood settled in the west. Pakistan does not seem interested to help Indian Punjabis, considering this issue as a domestic problem of India. To date, Indian Punjab has become the most active faultline of India after Nagaland.

Indian impartial intellectuals express in their discussion, articles, and debates that the situation in Indian Punjab is minutes close to erupting as Punjabis are feeling helpless to protect their language, culture, ancestral lands, their basic right -their inherited property in the form of agricultural land which will be snatched from them.

This is a heart-wrenching situation that after Muslims, Christians, Dalits of India, now Sikhs are being marginalized and being treated with hate-driven discrimination.

Modi government is using parliament to eliminate Sikh supremacy in rural Punjab. Sikhs find it an honour to own agricultural land no matter how small but possession of a piece of agri-land is a symbol of pride for Punjabis. This psychological warfare is hitting hard, and Punjabis are retaliating. Khalistan could be one solution however the creation of Khalistan needs efforts in kind and cash, Indian Punjabi are looking across the border and overseas but both parties already have too much on their plater. This is a heart-wrenching situation that after Muslims, Christians, Dalits of India, now Sikhs are being marginalized and being treated with hate-driven discrimination.

Sikhs are scared, cornered thus on total fright or flight mode. These psychological phenomena leave no choice but to fight back for survival

Punjabis are feeling so threatened that they are shouting in chores, singing in rage dancing in euphoria, for their own existence for their own survival, this is a crime which must be dealt with internationally, indigenizing an entire population by forcing them to change their way of life, to unlearn their past and by isolating them from their land and religion upon which their entire makeup is situated. Sikhs are protesting for their right to live, the overwhelming number of protestors mainly youth, is a clear indication that they will not go back until they will get their basic right of self-identity back. Upcoming events will unfold how fascist India will handle the situation, with the same old tactics of oppression and shameless negation or something else.

Sikhs are scared, cornered thus on total fright or flight mode. These psychological phenomena leave no choice but to fight back for survival. How Modi Sarkar drag minorities on the verge of the explosion could be an interesting case study for international Think Tanks which are already indicating the disintegration of India in the next decade if policies of Hindutva continue.

If the United States can help fragile social groups in Libya, Iran, Egypt, Venezuela and Afghanistan in the recent past then why not Pakistan can help a group under purge in its neighbourhood?

Pakistan is a peaceful country, its foreign policy is based on the sovereignty of other countries as much as its own but at the moment but neighbouring countries should react and do something to intervene to rescue humanity.

History is witnessed that Pakistan did not help Sikhs after the 1984 Sikhs Massacre because Pakistan did not want to indulge in the internal affairs of India although India did Operation Jackpot to disintegrate Pakistan and for making Bangladesh. One of the reasons for the avoidance of Pakistan to help Sikhs was the then-going Afghan War where Pakistan was too much involved. That time Pakistan was working as a second fiddle of the United States in the region and did not want to take any action against the will of the United States and Pakistan’s foreign policy was partially driven by Washington. Now Pakistan has an independent Foreign Policy with balancing among US, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Is it not an appropriate time for Pakistan to help Sikhs who are now at the verge of facing an economic purge by Indian Hindus?

If the United States can help fragile social groups in Libya, Syria, ran, Egypt, Venezuela, and Afghanistan in the recent past then why not Pakistan can help a group under purge in its neighbourhood?

Disclaimer:

The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.