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Politics of Genocide Punjab: 1984 - 1998

Politics of Genocide Punjab: 1984 - 1998

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Published by toshaak

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Published by: toshaak on Oct 21, 2011
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07/10/2013

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IT
HE
B
ACKGROUND
 
1WHY PUNJAB?
 Exit British, Enter Congress
In 1849 the Sikh empire fell to the British army; it was thelast of their conquests. Nearly a hundred years later whenthe British were about to relinquish India they werenegotiating with three parties; namely the Congress Partylargely supported by Hindus, the Muslim Leaguerepresenting the Muslims and the Akali Dal representingthe Sikhs.Before 1849, the Satluj was the boundary between thekingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and other Sikh states,such as Patiala (the largest and most influential), Nabhaand Jind, Kapurthala, Faridkot, Kulcheter, Kalsia, Buria,Malerkotla (a Muslim state under Sikh protection).Territory under Sikh rulers stretched from the Peshawar tothe Jamuna. Those below the Satluj were known as theCis-Satluj states.2
 
In these pre-independence negotiations, the Akalis, led byMaster Tara Singh, represented the Sikhs residing in theterritory which had once been Ranjit Singh’s kingdom;Yadavindra Singh, Maharaja of Patiala, spoke for the Cis-Satluj states.Because the Sikh population was thinly dispersed all over these areas, the Sikhs felt it was not possible to carve outan entirely separate Sikh state and had allied themselveswith the Congress whose policy proclaimed itscommitment to the concept of unilingual states with afederal structure and assured the Sikhs that “no futureConstitution would be acceptable to the Congress that didnot give full satisfaction to the Sikhs.”Gandhi supplemented this assurance by saying: “I ask youto accept my word and the resolution of the Congress thatit will not betray a single individual, much less acommunity ... If it does so, the Congress would not onlyseal its own doom but that of the country too. Moreover,the Sikhs are a brave people. They know how to safeguardtheir rights by the exercise of arms if it should ever cometo that.”Regrettably, it came to that.At the all-India committee meeting at Calcutta in 1946,Jawaharlal Nehru reiterated: “the brave Sikhs of thePunjab are entitled to special consideration. I see nothingwrong in an area and a set up in the north wherein theSikhs can also experience the glow of freedom.”He clarified: “The Indian Union is an independentsovereign republic, comprising autonomous units with3

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