Friday, June 21, 2019

Could a Sikh State have been a reality

Khalistan is a bird that was flown away. It was an ill-defined concept that could not have bone fruit in independent India but there was a time before 1946 when Khalistan or the state of Punjab could have become an independent entity. Worth examining what happened six decades back. Punjab was ruled by the union party with Akali, Muslim and Hindu members.
The situation was however not all that rosy as Muslims who were members of the Muslim League in Punjab were hell-bent on joining Pakistan and they were carrying out many attacks on Hindus and Sikhs. At that critical juncture, the Hindus and Sikhs in Punjab were under siege and a reported offer of a Sikh state by the English found no takers.
Tara Singh was in a dilemma.  He was wondering what to do.  In early 1946 Jinnah met Tara Singh and other Sikh leads and offered them to join Pakistan. He offered a blank check to the Sikhs.  But during the same period riots broke out in Karachi and many Sikhs were killed.  Tara Singh and Akalis realized that Sikhs and Muslim could not live together. In a subsequent meeting with Gandhi, he was told Sikhs would have a special status in India.  The die was cast as the Sikh leadership decided to reject Jinnah's offer and join India.  In addition, Tara Singh felt an independent Sikh state may not be viable because of a large number of Muslim's in Punjab.  
Sikhs in Punjab
  The Union party in Punjab never favored partition.   These are facts of history and there's nothing much one can do about them except to read about them and interpret what all happened in that period. An independent Sikh State if formed would have been guaranteed by the British and it would have well been an ally of the British for all time to come but now we can only look back at that error and wonder whether Master Tara Singh and the Akali leadership was correct or not to accept an independent state. There can be no clear-cut answer  because now as I am already written  the bird has flown and I do not see  an independent Punjab ever coming up  in the decades to come