Sant Bhindranwale’s aspiration for Sikh Homeland: A.R Darshi

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-A.R Darshi

 

Sant Bhindranwale’s aspiration for Sikh Homeland, Concept of Miri Piri and creation of the Khalsa essentially carry with it the element of sovereignty of Sikh religion and the Sikh nation. This is the essence of the Khalsa philosophy.

Guru Gobind Singh relentlessly fought far achieving this mission and ultimately paved the way for establishing the Missal rule which eventually culminated in the Sikh empire under the Khalsa army led by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and other Sikh Princely states like Kapurthala, Patiala, Faridkot, Nabha, Jind etc.

Thus the essential features of the Khalsa philosophy enjoins upon them to fight for sovereignty. So long as true spirit of the Khalsa is alive these essential features will also live alive. Keeping these essential principles of the Khalsa philosophy alive the Khalsa Panth took active and spirited part in the freedom movement started by the Indian National Congress and surpassed all communities in giving sacrifices.

It is however a tragedy that when India achieved freedom the Congress betrayed the Khalsa Panth as they were not given the rightful place in the country as was promised to them before independence. They forgot that like the Hindus and the Muslims the Sikhs, too, had, ruled north west India and that like them they too had aspired for their home land.

Why the Sikhs failed to achieve their sweet homeland? It was mainly for two reasons. One, the Sikh leaders, Master Tara Singh, Baldev Singh, and Madhusudan Singh, lacked vision and wisdom. They failed to see through the wickedness of the Hindu Congress leaders. M. K. Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru who continued feeding them on false promises.

Two, the aforementioned Congress leaders deceived and betrayed them under a well considered secret plan but the hazy minded Sikh leaders failed to get wind of their scheme although the British government repeatedly reminded them of the foul game being played against them by the Congress leaders.

To keep the stymie minded Sikh leaders completely befuddled the Congress first passed a resolution in 1929 in the annual conference held at Lahore assuring them that after India achieved freedom no Constitution would be framed by the majority community unless it was freely acceptable to the Sikhs.

But when the Constitution was actually framed and passed in 1950 the Congress government threw their promise to the wind. They showed scant respect to the Sikh representatives like Hukam Singh and Bhupinder Singh Mann, who had refused to append their signatures to the Constitution of India. Again in March 1931 M.K. Gandhi, on behalf of the Congress, assured the Sikh leaders that Congress would do nothing that might alienate sympathies of the Sikhs from the Congress, Let God be the witness to that bond that binds Gandhi and the Congress with the Sikhs.

Jawahar Lal Nehru went a step further to assure the Sikhs. On the eve of meeting of all India Congress Working Committee he reaffirmed and reassured the Sikhs saying that the brave Sikhs of the Punjab were entitled to special consideration and that he saw nothing wrong in an area set up in the North wherein the Sikhs could also experience the glow of freedom.

But when India actually achieved freedom in 1947 Jawahar Lal Nehru eschewed his words and brushed aside demand ‘of the Sikhs saying that now the circumstances have changed. In this way the wily Congress leaders befuddled and befooled the feckless Sikh leaders. It is pertinent to note that British government knew the actual intention of the Congress leaders. They knew well that the Congress leaders were playing with the sentiments of the simple minded Sikhs. They knew well that after transfer of power to the Congress the latter would back out and leave the Sikhs in the lurch. Hence the British government made an informal proposal to the Sikhs in 1932 that if they disassociated finally with the Congress movement they would be given a decisive political weightage in the Punjab, such as would lead to their emerging as a third independent entity in India.

Unfortunately Master Tara Singh, fed on the false promises of the Congress, spurned this golden offer and thus doomed the fate of the Sikhs. The British were keenly interested to safeguard the interests of the Sikhs. Therefore, once again the British Cabinet conveyed to Baldev Singh that their government was ready to make arrangements so as to enable the Sikhs to have political feet of their own on which they might walk into the current of world history. But Baldev Singh also fell under the spell of the ruthless Congress leaders and shunned the offer for a separate home land for the Sikhs.

Thus both, Master Tara Singh and Baldev Singh, plunged the Sikh community into the fathomless sea of miseries and perdition where they have been languishing since independence. It is their misfortune that their visionless leaders failed to take a lesson from the life of Mohammad Aii Jinnah who, too, had been shown much more green pastures and sunshine by the Congress leaders but he had rebuffed them with scorn.

He frankly expressed his views that he did not trust the Congress leaders. He, therefore, stubbornly stuck to his guns and ultimately created Pakistan, a home land for the Muslims. Now the traditional Akali leaders should learn a lesson from the past, study the present and plan for the future.

This was what Sant Bhindranwale had expected from the Akali leaders to do. He was of the view that it was useless to remind the government of the broken promises made to them before independence. What was the worth of verbal promises compared to the written promises made by the Central government to the United Nations Organisation and the Security Council in 1948 with regard to the disputed case of Jammu and Kashmir?

Jawahar Lal Nehru had referred the Kashmir case to the World Body and sought cease fire with Pakistan. He also agreed in 1948 to hold plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir in order to know the wishes of the Kashmiris as to whether they wanted to merge with Pakistan or India but he backed out in 1956 saying that now the circumstances had changed.

If Indian government could back out from their written commitment made to the UNO where lies the question of fulfilling verbal promises made to the Sikhs. It is an irony that instead of giving the Sikhs their rightful place the Indian government, immediately after attaining freedom, branded them as criminals and lawless people.

The Indian government issued a secret circular in 1947 to all Deputy Commissioners of Punjab giving them clear direction that: “The Sikhs as a community are a lawless people and are a menace to the law abiding Hindus of the Province. The DCs should take special measures against them.” This was the reward the Congress government gave to the brave Sikhs for the sacrifices they had made during the freedom struggle.

Paradoxically the Mughal emperors also branded the Sikhs as a lawless community and therefore they had taken repressive measures against them. And it was against these atrocities that the militant Sikh Guru had taken to arms and met that challenge bravely. It is an age old tradition of the Khalsa to fight the tyrants and not to submit themselves to tyranny. If thus the Congress government contemptuously branded them as a lawless people and oppressed them they are justified to meet arms with arms. In this regard Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi also exhorted the Sikhs to take swords if their just demands were not conceded by the government.

When Madhusudan Singh asked M.K. Gandhi what the Sikhs should do in the event of betrayal by the Congress, Gandhi firmly replied that in that case the brave Sikhs should take their swords in their hands with perfect justification and safeguard their rights by use of the arms. If Gandhi, a great leader of the Congress, justified armed struggle by the Sikhs to safeguard their interests, why Sant Bhindraranwale was blamed for his militant struggle.

The principles of Miri’ Piri and the philosophy Khalsa enjoins upon the brave Sikhs to fight for their rig’ safeguard their interests. Thus if Sant Bhindranwale followed the philosophy of Miri Piri and the Khalsa clearly endorsed by M.K, Gandhi for achievement of Anandpur Sahib Resolution what wrong he had done? He had been inspired by the promises the Congress had made to the Sikhs for their separate home land and therefore he had aspired for fulfillment of those forgotten promises. This was his only mission of life and he bravely fought for it.

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