What is the Khalistan Issue?

By Harshal Vispute|Updated : August 16th, 2022

The Khalistan movement is a Sikh separatist movement that aims to establish Khalistan, a sovereign state, in the Punjab region in order to give Sikhs a homeland. From 1709 to 1849, Punjab had such a state. Leaders like Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale propagated a return to the Khalsa or a more traditional style of Sikhism while travelling throughout Punjab. 

The Khalistan movement, which was founded on Indian soil, is no longer exclusive to India and has progressively garnered popularity in other nations as a result of individual and governmental support. An Indian Army veteran asserted that Pakistani Muslims in Britain and Canada back the Khalistanis, secessionists seeking a separate nation within Indian territory.

What is Khalistan Issue?

The Sikh separatist movement known as Khalistan aspires to create a Sikh nation inside the Punjab region. The territory that currently makes up Punjab, Pakistan and Punjab, India, would make up the proposed state.

When religious militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers took control of the Golden Temple, the Khalistan conflict reached a boiling point. This led to the initiation of "Operation Blue Star" by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, which resulted in the murders of Bhindranwale and his supporters as well as significant damage to the Golden Temple. After that, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was killed by her own Sikh bodyguards.

For a number of reasons, including a stern police crackdown on separatists, factional conflict, and disillusionment among the Sikh populace, the insurgency waned and the movement failed to achieve its goal in the 1990s.

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  • A Sikh separatist movement that wants to create a Sikh nation in the Punjab region is known as the "Khalistan issue." The proposed state would consist of land that currently forms Punjab, India and Punjab, Pakistan.

  • As an unlawful association, it was outlawed in India in 2019. As part of its separatist objective, it is currently advocating for a Punjab independence referendum to create a distinct Khalistan.

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