With 2024 elections in India around the corner, there is likely to be an increase in such deliberate acts to feed the election-time propaganda / fear-mongering. Let us learn from history :

1970s-80s : Congress-aligned 'agents' started media campaigns to garner NRI support for 'Khalistan' = Now : 'Sikhs For Justice' / people with dubious credentials doing the same thing :

1978-83 : Multiple acts by 'Agent provocateurs' designed to provoke a reaction from the Sikhs and responding with overwhelming force = same thing happening now with all these staged / fake 'acts of vandalism' on temples in Melbourne / BC etc., the unusual violence during a protest march in Chandigarh and those in power unleashing pre-planned massive hate campaigns around these alleged acts. (again, with no proof, just allegations)

Indian officials raking up 'Khalistan' non-issue with their US, Canada, Australia and UK counterparts : why ? Perhaps setting the grounds for a potential future action on the community in India

How should we respond ?

1. Why give others a chance to point fingers at us ? Stop these useless 'referendums' ? Question the motive of dubious people like Pannun and his shady organization. The only purpose is to use this as an excuse to malign Sikhs - 99.99% of Sikhs are anti-Khalistanis anyway. Those pursuing this non-issue should do a reality check : look at how faction-ridden every political party in Punjab is ! how poorly our community fares in prestigious professions - long list of poor performance in almost all areas (other than transportation :) )

2. We should Strongly condemn any acts of vandalism on temples / gurdwaras and hate campaigns at Sikhs : even if there is no such reciprocation (for example, there were attempted attacks on gurudwaras in Melbourne, yet no apologies or regrets)

3. Avoid confrontation / reactions to deliberate provocations : youth from Haryana are being recruited to front-end such provocations mainly designed to create a rift along state lines

I personally agree with and support the demand to "de-radicalize Sikh places of worship" - Sikhism is an egalitarian religion to serve humanity - there's no place for 'radicals' plus the whole idea of 'Khalistan' is a non-starter and only serves as political fodder to malign our community and all the good humanitarian work we do

As a community, we need to focus on ensuring better prospects for our future generation, work harder at gaining respect, focus more on upward mobility, higher education / highly skilled professions etc.

DJ Singh/Chicago

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