What is the Khalistan Issue?

By Harshal Vispute|Updated : December 21st, 2022

The Khalistan issue refers to the Sikh separatist movement that wants to create a Sikh nation in the Punjab region of India. There was such a state in Punjab from 1709 to 1849. Leaders like Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale travelled across Punjab, preaching a return to the Khalsa or a more traditional style of Sikhism. The Khalistan movement, which was founded on Indian soil, is no longer exclusive to India and has progressively gained popularity in other countries as a result of individual and government support.

Khalistan Issue

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

  • An Indian Army veteran insisted that Pakistani Muslims in Britain and Canada support the Khalistanis, with the separatists demanding a separate nation within Indian territory.
  • The Khalistan conflict reached a boiling point when religious extremist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers took control of the Golden Temple.
  • This led to the launch of "Operation Blue Star" by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, which resulted in the assassination 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 variety of reasons, including tough police crackdown on separatists, factional conflict, and disillusionment among the Sikh population, the insurgency waned, and the movement failed to achieve its goal in the 1990s.

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FAQs on the Khalistan Issue

  • A Sikh separatist movement that wants to create a complete 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. The movement also found followers in other countries with a Sikh population.

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