Crisis of Identity in 20th Century: The Case of the Sikhs in India

Authors

  • Isra Sarwar University of Home Economics, Lahore
  • Muhammad Shamshad University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Farooq Arshad Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.52700/pjh.v3i2.123

Keywords:

Sikh, Identity, Congress, Operation Blue Star, Khalistan

Abstract

Punjab has been in turmoil since the partition of British India and now its predicament is the outcome of blend of factors. These factors may include mixing of religion with politics, central machination, vote-bank polities and obvious economic grievances. In the post-partition period, the Sikhs demanded affirmative discrimination largely based on colonial heritage job and regional autonomy. They started using ethnic symbols like history, geography, culture and land to gain sympathies of the masses and to attain greater political autonomy and economic benefits. Unfortunately, the Congress considered their struggle for identity disturbing for the secular outlook of India and put this social issue into the conceptual framework of communal politics and aligned it with Sikh tradition. The situation was politically engineered by Congress through mixing religion with politics and it took decisive actions following the divide and rule policy and extracted electoral benefits out of it. The militant operations against fellow the Sikh citizens and manipulated actions radicalized the society which created social unrest and urged the Sikhs to demand a separate state. This article has highlighted the Sikh political struggle for the

 recognition of their separate identity and demand for Khalistan. The critically analyzed historical study is based on qualitative methods by using secondary sources.

Punjab has been in turmoil since the partition of British India and now its predicament is the outcome of blend of factors. These factors may include mixing of religion with politics, central machination, vote-bank polities and obvious economic grievances. In the post-partition period, the Sikhs demanded affirmative discrimination largely based on colonial heritage job and regional autonomy. They started using ethnic symbols like history, geography, culture and land to gain sympathies of the masses and to attain greater political autonomy and economic benefits. Unfortunately, the Congress considered their struggle for identity disturbing for the secular outlook of India and put this social issue into the conceptual framework of communal politics and aligned it with Sikh tradition. The situation was politically engineered by Congress through mixing religion with politics and it took decisive actions following the divide and rule policy and extracted electoral benefits out of it. The militant operations against fellow the Sikh citizens and manipulated actions radicalized the society which created social unrest and urged the Sikhs to demand a separate state. This article has highlighted the Sikh political struggle for the recognition of their separate identity and demand for Khalistan. The critically analyzed historical study is based on qualitative methods by using secondary sources.

Author Biographies

Isra Sarwar, University of Home Economics, Lahore

Department of History and Pakistan Studies

Muhammad Shamshad, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

Pakistan Study Center

Farooq Arshad, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan

Department of International Relations

Published

2022-12-20

How to Cite

Isra Sarwar, Muhammad Shamshad, & Farooq Arshad. (2022). Crisis of Identity in 20th Century: The Case of the Sikhs in India. PERENNIAL JOURNAL OF HISTORY, 3(2), 280-297. https://doi.org/10.52700/pjh.v3i2.123