In India Sikh Community Dubbed as Khalistanis; Muslim Community Labelled as Pakistanis to Win Elections – Be it 1984 or 2024. Indian National Congress and BJP are Alike!

Golden Temple

The corporate press in the service of ruling class parties – be it Indian National Congress or BJP – damns the Sikh and Muslim religious minority communities to be terrorists, anti-nationals and separatists. During those moments of slanderous campaign by the media, the rulers be it in 1984 or 2024 maintain a deathly silence. These minority communities are left to defend themselves. Both have faced genocidal violence. The entire election campaign by BJP during the 2024 General Elections was and is Islamophobic damning Indian Muslims. INDIA Bloc members have condemned it. The Akali Dal’s statement is significant: “If it is them today, it will be us tomorrow”. (The Wire, 22 April 2024).

Consider the recent recommendation made publicly on 3 May 2024 demanding the Union Home Ministry to probe into the AAP allegedly receiving political funding from the banned organization Sikhs for Justice based outside India. For the next 48 hours the media went into a frenzy to denigrate the entire Sikh community. The funding was allegedly received between 2014-2022.

The NIA probe was recommended on the basis of a complaint received on 1 April 2024 from the National General Secretary of the World Hindu Federation of India (WHFI). By getting a private Hindu body to complain, an attempt is being made to drive a wedge between the Hindu and Sikh communities. Tweets by former AAP worker Munish Kumar Raizada showing Kejriwal and Sikh leaders at a meeting in New York were mentioned.

The same allegation had been made in 2022; and in spite of the fact that in March 2022 itself, the Delhi High Court had dismissed a PIL seeking a high-level enquiry against AAP and Kejriwal that alleged that they have links with pro-Khalistani separatists as per a statement in media by an AAP Minister, Saurabh Bhardwaj.

Yet the LG wrote to the Home Secretary on 3 May 2024 asking for an NIA enquiry. Is the LG of Delhi above the judiciary? Is he above the Indian Constitution?

A clandestine meeting allegedly took place in 2014 at Gurdwara Richmond Hill, New York. The Sikhs for Justice was banned through a Gazette Notification No. 2387 issued by the Union Ministry of Home affairs on 22 July 2019. Let us take LG’s statements to be true. In any case the SFJ was banned only in July 2019. Why is the LG talking about the period 2014-2019 when the SFJ was a legal entity? Remember the case of Kobad Ghandy, who was allegedly a member of CPI (Maoist) which had actually been banned only on 22 June 2009; none of the material alleged to have been recovered from him pertained to any period after 22 June 2009. Kobad Ghandy was charged under UAPA. He spent 10 years in jail. He was finally acquitted. Thus, it was left to the judge to tell the government when it had banned the CPI (Maoist).

Are we to understand that a judge of the Delhi High Court would have to teach the LG that between 2014 to July 2019 the SFJ was a legal entity?

Following pertinent questions arise:

  • Since SFJ was banned by the Government of India in 2019, what was illegal about the meeting at Gurdwara Richmond Hill, New York in 2014 – five years prior to it being declared a proscribed organization?
  • Isn’t funding received by AAP from SFJ while the latter was a legal entity between 2014 to 2019 a different matter?
  • Funding received between July 2019 to March 2022, as also AAP sympathising with the cause espoused by SFJ has been raised in the Delhi High Court, which nixed the PIL. So, is any pretext good enough to damn the Sikh community? The real issue of murder of a Canadian (Sikh) citizen and of attempts to eliminate other SFJ members ostensibly at the hands of the Indian intelligence agencies are being brushed aside.

The LG’s recommendation made on 3May 2024 for a NIA probe into AAP and SFJ is being made precisely when Canadian authorities are pointing a finger at NIA over its involvement in the murder of a Canadian (Sikh) citizen.

It is in-fact the NIA and the LG whose role should be under the scanner.

P.S. Sahni is a member of PIL Watch Group.


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