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date: 31 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the rallying cry for a separate Sikh state of Khalistan as a political critique of the Indian state. The violence of the extremists represented more than Sikhs alone; it also in-spired other minorities to believe that assertions of human rights could be linked to calls for a more federal Indian system. The Anandpur Sahib Resolutions of 1973 and 1978 put this senti-ment into words, and established the Sikhs not only as anti-national ‘rebels’ but also as leaders in the broader movement for decentralization of the state. The Khalistani militancy was but the first of an array of rebellions against Delhi, which continue to pop up among peripheral and disadvan-taged groups. This is the dark underside of Indian democracy and economic progress, which the world applauds even as conflict continues to be silenced by a state intent on establishing a posi-tive international reputation.

Keywords: political critique, militancy, violence, Khalistan, Anandpur Sahib Resolution, separatism, human rights, extremism, anti-national, minorities

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