History Repeats Itself

Parneet Gill, Copy Editor

   Indian authorities have shut down the internet in Punjab and blocked any access for over 27 million people as the police search for Sikh separatist, Amritpal Singh. The Punjab government had initially announced a 24-hour shutdown but has now extended into over three days.  

    Police have justified the internet shutdown as a means to stop the spread of fake news and maintain peace. 

   Amritpal Singh is a popular leader within the separatist Khalistan movement, which seeks to have a separate nation for followers of the Sikh religion. 

   At least 112 people have been arrested that are said to be associated with Singh while he remains on the run. 

   For decades, Sikhs have demanded an independent nation called Khalistan to be made in the state of Punjab for the followers of Sikhi and over the years, there have been many violent clashes between the Indian government and the followers of the movement. 

   In 1984, the violence reached a peak when the Indian Army stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Sikhism’s holiest shrine, and killed thousands and reduced the building into rubble. The event roiled the Sikh community, and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who ordered the operation, was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. 

   History is repeating itself once again as the conditions are becoming dangerous in the state similar to the conditions in 1984. 

   Whether one has the same viewpoints as Amritpal Singh or not, it is important to recognize what the government is doing is wrong and Sikh rights are being taken away.