Khalistan the Next Kashmir? The Followers of the Sikh Religion
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The followers of the Sikh religion have long demanded enhanced autonomy within India, with some even going as far as to call for the creation of their own sub-national state of Khalistan in their native Punjabi homeland. This part of the country strategically straddles the Pakistani border and is thus an area of zero compromise for the central Indian authorities, unless, of course, the socio-political situation deteriorated so much that New Delhi was forced into a compromise. In the event that the Khalistan Movement re-launches a sustained campaign for their interests, it’s possible that India will overreact, seeing it as a Pakistani plot and Islamabad’s response to New Delhi’s none-too-subtle support for Baloch separatism.
The Indian government is already very sensitive to any serious public display of Sikh nationalism ever since supporters of this ideology assassinated Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984, and the Indian people already have a track record of displaying a propensity for reactionary pogroms. Depending upon the course that a revived Sikh nationalist movement may take, especially one supported from abroad even if only by diplomatic-media means, there’s a chance that Khalistan could become the next Kashmir as the over reactive Indian state pours military troops into the restive border region and inadvertently sets into motion an uncontrollable domino effect that ultimately works against its own interests and sparks yet another proxy war with its neighbouring adversary Pakistan.