Sympathisers of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and supporters of ‘Khalistan’ are planning to celebrate Khalistan Day today, April 30 at 3.00pm at Craigieburn Gurudwara according to a video posted by a group claiming to be followers of and going to the same gurudwara in Craigieburn.
On April 27, Melbourne Indians saw a digital billboard (see illustration above) announcing the celebrations to take place today at 3.00pm. The billboard displayed picture of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale on th eleft and Akal Takhat on the right. In the middle was the text announcing the day and celebrations.
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, was a creation of former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi to create a political advantage in the Sikh dominated state politics of Punjab. At the time, the dominant forces in Punjab politics were the Akalis and their factions – led by Prakash Singh Badal and Harchand Singh Longowal. Neither represented good fortunes for the Congress (I) (for Indira Gandhi). Then there were Nirankaris – who were just about becoming active leading to 1978 Sikh-Nirankari clashes. To claim some political territory for the Congress split the Sikh vote, Indira Gandhi introduced Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale on to the Punjab scene.
It is widely accepted that after Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale established his headquarters at the Golden Temple Amritsar, he would no longer adhere to the Congress plan or listen the Indira Gandhi diktats.
Soon, the idea of Khalistan was born and took hold in Punjab. There was a long wave of terrorism with many incidents reporting non-Sikhs being separated and executed in broad daylight. In many cases, a normal argument between to warring parties (anywhere in Punjab) would see a threat to go to Amritsar (Bhindranwale) and seek help.
According to some reports many criminals took advantage of the situation pretending to be Sikh terrorists committing crimes including killing of innocent Punjabis, robbing banks and businesses, kidnapping and raping of innocent girls including from Sikh families.
Countless innocent Punjabis (Hindus and Sikhs included) lost their lives.
All in the name of Khalistan.
People use to lock themselves in their homes before sunset and not open the door without a weapon in their hands if someone knocked at the door after dusk.
It only ended in 1984 with Operation Bluestar in which the army entered the Golden Temple complex and cleared it. Bhindranwale died in that gun fight.
To his followers or sympathizers of ‘Khalistan’, he is referred to as ‘Sant’ or saint. For the authorities and many Punjabis and Indians he represents ‘terror’ responsible for the killings of hundreds of thousands of innocent people going about their daily lives.
It was natural for hundreds of Indians living in Melbourne wrote to the company Civic Outdoors, which had put that digital Billboard up. In addition to writing to the company, people also wrote to Victoria police.
Also read: Deep Sidhu denies the Flag was Khalistani
Appealing to the CEO of Civic Outdoors they suggested that this kind of activity poses a real problem for peaceful Australia and presents a national security risk. And the company could be seen abetting it. Asking to remove the poster, they wrote an email to the Company saying:
“We want to draw your attention to your company’s digital advertising billboard with the picture of a terrorist and the words “Khalistan Day” prominently displayed on the Ring Road, Melbourne…
“In case, you were not aware, the Khalistan movement is a terrorism-fuelled movement seeking to create a separate country for its supporters which is to be supposedly named Khalistan.”
“The billboard displays an image of an individual “Jamail Singh Bhindranwale”, who is classified as a terrorist by not only the Indian government but also foreign governments and several international agencies. “Bhindranwale” symbolizes the terrorism fuelled movement of Khalistan against the Indian republic.
“Such displays show that secessionists who like to divide India and create Khalistan are strongly working in Victoria…”.
They also put to the company that the advertisement may also be in contravention of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.
The billboard has since been removed.
But the celebrations of Khalistan Day are on in earnest. Posing some problems for the committee at the Craigieburn gurudwara, those who want to proceed with the celebrations had said in the video (referred to above) that people who cannot stomach such events at the venue better stay home.
The video categorically claims that people like the Craigieburn gurudwara committee members (who had called police to the gurudwara in February 2022 the day of the video) were also responsible for the deaths of hundreds and thousands of Sikhs in Punjab.
More to come, stay tuned.