By Prakash Waghmare
(Prolific Writer, Social-activist and Political Commentator)
The despicable act of aggression on the world famous ‘Laal Kilaa’ (‘Red Fort’) in Delhi on the auspicious January 26 ‘Republic Day’ is as deplorable as the attack on the U.S. ‘Capitol’ building in Washington D.C. This was an assault on India’s consciousness as a union. It was obvious that the anti-national separatist elements had taken inspiration from ‘Trump & his henchmen’ for their criminal modus operandi. The offensive incidence had nothing to do, whatsoever, with the new ‘Farm Bill’ introduced by the government nor it had the face of the farming community. It was all the part of the devious conspiracy, not only to give bad name to the Sikhs community who formed the chunk of the protesting farmers, but also, to alienate them from Indian diaspora and then realize the twisted dream of separatist ‘Khalistan’ that no one wants to be part of in reality. It is worth noting that some of the notorious media-outlets who are perennially opposed to everything that Modi-government does, stroked, aided and abated false news items with vengeance, to keep the farming-bill impasse unresolved.
Overall, although the separatist conspirators did not succeed in their objective, this day will remain in infamy in the history of India. This is bound to overshadow Sikh’s legacy as gallant, nationalistic, enterprising community whom the rest of India held in high esteem. There is no denying that what happened on Jan.26 at ‘Laal Kilaa’ seemed to be the failure of the Government to safeguard this symbol of Indian Democracy, in spite of overwhelming advance knowledge. Was the ‘intelligence bureau’ naïve enough to believe farmer leader’s false assurances of peaceful demonstration? Were security forces hands were administratively tied to take any actions against the impending danger? Nobody knows.
The Farmer’s protest was hijacked by the anti-national and the separatist element long before it even began in Delhi. From the beginning, the video-clips of how lavishly the so-called ‘poor farmers’ were being nurtured and cared for, had started making rounds on the ‘social-media’. It confirmed people’s suspicion of well-financed lobby of the enemies of the state that went beyond the borders of the country. They included not only Pakistan, ‘Khalistan-separatists’, but also, the opposition political parties and Kashmiri-separatists. All along they were bent upon denying and destroying all the good things that were happening in the country. Everyone on social-media has seen video-clips of people coming out of the mosques and immediately donning Sikh turbans to join the protesters. Here we cannot discount the role played by Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau whose cabinet picks include three Sikh Ministers with alleged ties to separatist ‘Khalistanis’. Prestigious ‘The Economist’ recently had an article that said, “PM Narendra Modi’s farm reforms could turn India into food export Power-House”. This is definitely not in the best interests of farming economy of Canada whose majority part is the Sikh community. Trudeau, to his political ends, has not only pampered the separatists Sikhs in Canada who are rich, but also, confirmed his unwarranted support to the hardliners. Reportedly, there were rallies by ‘Khalistan’ elements on Jan.26 in some of the major cities of the world, including in NYC. It is no secret that ‘Shaheen baug’ protest for CAA was, in large part, financed by ISI of Pakistan. The farmer’s protest was no different. In this case there was infusion of political agendas of the notorious ‘troika’ – separatist-Khalistan, opposition-parties & Pakistan’s ISI. Many ordinary farmers were too gullible to get sucked into the devious designs of this ‘troika’ before they realized what was happening. By that time, the protesters had lost all the credibility for the issues affecting them. ‘Troika’ needed some drastic act to resurrect themselves in the eyes of the farmers.
The conspirators expected Modi government to react with bullets but that is where they went wrong. Nothing of that sort, happened. The rest of the India charitably separated the extremist ‘troika’ from the rest Sikh community with restrained understanding. If the government and the people had reacted otherwise as it happened in 1984, it would have been very divisive. Modi-Government, smart as it is, did not take the bait. It not only let the whole anarchist coalition exposed themselves to the world, but also, to let the Sikh community introspectively soul search what their ‘identity’ should be. Lot of Sikhs have now realized that their identity as peaceful, pious and socially generous has been, once again misappropriated by the external and internal wasted interests. Since the war on terrorism, Sikhs have been the victims of the westerner’s misguided glare to look at them with suspicion. The ‘Laal Kilaa’ incidence is not going to be helpful unless, the Sikh community with all the help they can get from other communities completely discard extremist elements from within and rebuild and reacquires their noble status. Although the majority in India have been hurt, they are, nevertheless, anxious to willingly embrace them as their ‘Brethren”. As one of the Sikh philosophers once said, “Without Hinduism, Sikhism has no roots and without Sikhism Hinduism has no fruits”