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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Khalistani flag on Indian jail

It was a news underplayed in newspapers and electronic media just ignored it (in a sense it is good though). The accused in Beant Singh murder case, Balwant Rajwana flew the flag of Khalistan on the Budail Jail on Saturday.

On March 19, the news appeared in some newspapers. Balwant raised the pro-Khalistan and anti-India slogans just after his statement was recorded during a special court proceeding in the jail itself. It raised questions on security in jail also.

It is not the first such incident. In the last couple of years I have seen several instances like that but fortunately the media downplays them. Such anti-national acts are condemnable but we don't see any criticism from mainstream politicians or media.

Like Punjab CM attending a function where banner for Khalistan was in the background.
Interestingly, even in minor cases involving Muslims--like the community protesting (their democratic right) the same media gets overexcited and the news gets a coverage of much higher magnitude than it deserves.

The 'tag of fundamentalist' is attached. Why these double standards! We must understand that loony fringe exists in all communities and seeing their actions the entire community should not be blamed. But then the rules are different for judging some communities.

2 comments:

Rohit said...

Adnan,

IMHO, the media downplays the incidents involving Khalistanis because it is taken for granted that these people will behave in that manner only. For many years, we heard news of terrorists in Punjab gunning down innocents, or of blowing up people in Delhi with their transistor bombs. The people of India have become accostomed to it. So, hoisting the Khalistani flag would not raise any eyebrows - most people would consider it par for the course.

In the case of protests by Muslims, I agree that one factor that influences the media coverage could be sensationalism. "Islamic Extremism" is the current boogeyman for the world, just like Communism once was.

But another reason for the greater media coverage for these protests could be that the protestors are not "terrorists" - just normal people, who feel strongly enough about some issue to be vocal about it. That, IMHO, is a more unusual occurance than a known terrorist performing anti-national acts.

Regards,
Rohit

Anonymous said...

I do not understand the point of this post. If someone was to raise the Khalistan flag, why should it be covered by the media? The Hayrina High Court said it is not a crime for Sikhs to demand Khalistan, as long as it is not done with violence. Anyone in a free country is free to do as they like, as long as they do not threaten the safety of others. Americans born American flags all the time in the US, the province of Quebec in Canada openly demands an independent Quebec, why is this demand by the Sikhs considered terrorism.

Secondly, if one was to look at history, India is not a real country. It was a region conquered by the British and put together into one country. Sikhs had there own Kingdom stretching from Kabul Afghanistan, to East and West Punjab, to both sides of Kashmir, to the Indian state of Haryana. When the British asked the Sikhs if they wanted there own country, they were tricked by the Congress party with false promises. Here some nice words that have no value in India:

“…In future, the Congress shall accept no constitution which does not meet with the satisfaction of the Sikhs” (The Lahore session of the Congress Party. December 31 1929

“…the brave Sikhs of Punjab are entitled to special considerations. I see nothing wrong in an area set up in the North of India wherin, the Sikhs can also experience the glow of freedom” Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lahore Bulletin, January 9, 1930

“…I ask you to accept my word and the Resolution of the Congress that it will not betray a single individual much less a community. Let god be the witness of the bond that binds me and the Congress with you (the Sikhs). When pressed further Gandhi said that the Sikhs would be justified in drawing their swords out of the scabbards as Guru Gobind Singh had asked them to, of Congress would renege on its commitment.” Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Young India, March 19 1931.

What saddens me and makes the Indian government smile is the fact that Sikhs and Muslims have never been able to open there eyes and realize they are both in the same boat. Both our communities have and riots against them and no one has come to justice for this. Both our brothers fight the Indian government for more rights and freedoms. Yet instead of saying, Sikhs have a right to raise the Khalistan flag and Muslims have a right to protest, you take this opportunity to further our two communities.

Between you and me, 9 out of 10 Sikhs I speak to say they want to be independent from India. It does not matter if the state is called Khalistan or not, this is meaningless, but no one trusts India. The PM of Punjab himself used to promote Khalistan, but right now everyone is waiting. I will make you one promise, within the next 50 years, another movement for khalistan will begin. All over the net you will find more and more websites about Khalistan. The reason why the Indian media does not cover this too much is because they do not want to fuel the fire, but the problem is this fire needs no fuel.