SGPC’s 1946 resolution on ‘Sikh state’: What Simranjit Singh Mann missed

On March 9, 1946, about 80 individuals of the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) basic area convened on the Teja Singh Samundri Hall in Amritsar to go a solution calling on Sikhs to attempt for a separate Sikh state.

“The present political state of affairs in the country holds out ominous portents for all nations, including the Sikhs,” learn the SGPC solution. “In view of the revolutionary changes which are occurring in the country and realising the need to protect Sikh identity, the SGPC declares that the Sikhs are a nation. This general house of the SGPC considers it imperative to have a Sikh state to preserve the main Sikh shrines, Sikh social practices, Sikh self-respect and pride, Sikh sovereignty, and the future prosperity of the Sikh people. Therefore, this house appeals to the Sikh people to endeavour to achieve the goal of a Sikh state.”

At a gathering in the similar corridor on May 11, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann, a retired IPS officer whose celebration is the one one to nonetheless contest elections in Punjab at the call for for Khalistan (a separate Sikh state), joined the opposite two rival Akali Dal teams – the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) to call for the discharge of Sikh prisoners. Mann didn’t leave out the chance to subtly remind the SGPC concerning the 1946 solution for a Sikh state and advised the organisation to again the theory of Khalistan. He even requested the collection to wink to turn their give a boost to for a separate Sikh state.

But what Mann glossed over was once that the context of the 1946 solution and his celebration’s Khalistan call for aren’t the similar.

Opposing call for for Pakistan

Before Partition, Sikhs constituted about 13 according to cent of the inhabitants of Punjab province the place Muslims have been a majority. The SAD was once born in 1920 with the target of having a look after the political pursuits of Sikhs. The SAD labored basically as a “Sikh extension” of the Congress sooner than the call for for Pakistan become part of the nationwide discourse.

At a gathering between the SAD and the Khalsa Darbar — an organisation representing other Sikh events established in 1932 in Lahore — on June 14, 1936, a 19-point manifesto was once tabled for elections. The first level was once at the combat for “Puran Sawraj (complete independence)” as there was once apprehension that the colonial govt may claim Punjab a Muslim-majority province.

Four years later, at a celebration convention in February 1940, the SAD adversarial the theory of Pakistan and repeated its call for for “Sawraj”. At the time, with family members between the SAD and the Congress breaking down over the Pakistan factor, Mahatma Gandhi wrote to Master Tara Singh, “You have nothing in common with the Congress. You believe in the rule of the sword, Congress doesn’t.”

Of the 3 resolutions handed on the SAD convention in Attari on February 10-11, 1941, one was once at the opposition to the theory of Pakistan and the second one reiterated the call for of “Puran Sawraj”. The all-parties Sikh convention on April 8, 1942, in Amritsar handed a solution announcing, “We will not allow Punjab to become Pakistan.”

At an “Akhand Hindustan” convention in Delhi on October 8, 1944, Master Tara Singh mentioned, “Sikhs are protectors of India. Punjab is ours. It is a Sikh state. Mahatma Gandhi cannot excommunicate Sikhs from India. Even if the majority of Hindus agree with Pakistan, there is no justification that it should be forced on Sikhs.”

The Sikh chief participated in any other “Akhand Hindustan” convention in Ludhiana the next month to oppose the formation of Pakistan.

Towards the 1946 solution

With the opportunity of Pakistan’s formation rising more potent, many Sikh leaders began calling for a separate Sikh state to counter the call for for Pakistan. Though the phrase “Khalistan” was once most commonly used from the Nineteen Seventies, its emergence will also be traced again to pamphlets allotted in 1942 through Dr Veer Singh who known as for a Sikh hometown.

On May 19, 1940, greater than 100 Sikh leaders accumulated in Amritsar and shaped 21-member committees of the Khalsa Raj at the strains of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Sikh empire. On June 6, 1943, the Sikh National College in Lahore launched a manifesto on “Azad Punjab” or unbiased Punjab. The identical month, the SAD handed a solution calling for “Azad Punjab”. Master Tara Singh mentioned the theory of “Azad Punjab” was once no other than the 17-point constitution offered to Mahatma Gandhi on March 20, 1931.

On July 28, 1944, Sikh MLA Mangal Singh mentioned, “Demand of Azad Punjab will come to existence after formation of Pakistan. If there is no Pakistan then there is no demand. Then Azad Punjab will be part of India. Azad Punjab is different from Pakistan and not on its lines.”

At a gathering of greater than 500 Sikh leaders on the Teja Singh Samundari Hall in 1943, a solution supporting the call for for a Sikh state was once handed. The SGPC solution 3 years later got here when it become obvious that the formation of Pakistan was once virtually inevitable.

Khalistan and sedition regulation

Unlike the 1946 SGPC solution, the Khalistan call for emerged within the Nineteen Seventies in response to the alleged discrimination in opposition to Sikhs in unbiased India.

In the 1986 Balwant Singh vs State of Punjab case, the Supreme Court acquitted two Sikhs who have been charged with sedition, announcing their slogans of “Khalistan Zindabad” and “Raj Karega Khalsa” didn’t incite violence. This judgment lets in Mann’s celebration to contest the elections at the Khalistan call for and now not draw in fees underneath the sedition regulation. But the celebration is now at the margins of Sikh politics and won simplest 3.85 lakh votes within the Assembly elections in February.

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