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Sikh Terrorism in the Struggle for Khalistan

NCJ Number
Terrorism Volume: 14 Issue: 4 Dated: (October/December 1991) Pages: 221-231
C H Yaeger
Date Published
11 pages
The attack on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, in June 1984 centered on the fight of the Sikh separatists for an independent Punjab, renamed as Khalistan.
The events of Amritsar were the fault of both the Sikhs and the Indian government. Not only did a small minority of Sikhs cause havoc for all Sikhs, but also much of the violence was due to the incompetence of India's government and police. However, in order to understand the complexities of what occurred, it is important to know that the Sikhs cannot be simplistically perceived as extremists, making demands out of greed and committing violence for the sake of violence. Their struggle grows from a quest for ethnic identity, a desire for religious purity (i.e., the fear of being absorbed by the majority Hindus), and the desire for nationhood. They are a proud and achieving people who feel unequally yoked with the Hindus. 59 notes (Author abstract modified)