by Muhammad Ahmad Khan 30 April 2023
States are Frankenstein, monsters, I would argue, and I have reasons for arguing this. When nation-states were created back in 1648, people came to believe that their rights are secured now as international anarchy was replaced by national hierarchy and the government will look after their rights. But as Hobbes, Locke and Kant have stated that the system of the state is based on social contract. People have to fulfill their duties mentioned in the constitution and in return the government will look after their rights. The narrative was also affirmed by Neil Ferguson arguing society and the government-run hands-in hand with each other. Anyone crossing the limit will certainly impact the whole system. They have to run in a narrow corridor, holding each other accountable. But neither the Hobbesian social contract nor Ferguson’s Narrow Corridor ensures that the state will look after its citizens in every situation. It is the interest of the state, set by its elite that defines what is important and what is not. If killing thousands of its citizens serves its interests, state will not hesitate for once doing that. I will not delve in discussing any European or American country, rather a South Asian economic giant that has a history of violence against its citizens. I have taken India into consideration to analyze how the state has been suppressing its own citizens from Kashmir to today’s East Punjab.
There were three kinds of princely states in the British subcontinent, argues Alastair Lamb. Kashmir was the one that were independent in their policy-making by sought some guidance from British officials. In the Dogra Raj, the government was a Hindu while the majority of the people were Muslims. At the time of partition, Maharaja, Britishers and the Indians knew that if the people will be given the option of referendum, they will chose to be affiliated with Pakistan. However, the Hindu rulers had been found suppressing the Muslim population since late 19th century. They were deprived of their religious, economic and political rights. However, when nationalist campaigns against colonialism started, Muslims in Kashmir also stood up. But summing it up, the whole struggle ended in Indian occupation of Kashmir’s land. Initially, Hari Singh was convinced that he will chose to make Kashmir and independent country. However, Nehru’s struggle brought fruits and Redcliff boundary commission favored extensively in bestowing Kashmir to India. Illegal annexation of Kashmir by India resulted in further suppression of people rights. The Kashmir people which it calls its citizens are severely marginalized and are facing utter human rights violations in the hands of states’ representatives.
The same has been happening with Sikhs in East Punjab. East Punjab is the food basket of India, where Sikh farmers are prosperous. Their hard work combined with the rich fertile land of the five rivers has given them both money and confidence. Modi government’s laws against the farmers urged the Sikhs to ask for their constitutional rights. The Khalistan movement that had been brutally suppressed by Indian government is rising again. And this all is because of Indian state’s marginalization of Sikh in social, political and economic sector. Suffering from the threat, Sikhs strongly retaliated.
The Khalistan Referendum the International Sikh community decided to hold referendums in all the important international capitals. After the very first referendum in London, where the Sikhs overwhelmingly voted to leave the Indian Union, ‘Hindutva’ caved in. Like the Kashmiris, the Sikh community now realizes the past blunder of their leadership in deciding to stay in the union. India under BJP government is a Hindu Brahmin state. As I had argued earlier, the state will not hesitate in killing its own citizens in the name of national security that is actually defined by the state’s elite itself. Muslims, Sikhs, Kashmiris, and Christians are all the victims of this Frankenstein model of India state. Against the recent Sikh movement, the police have imposed Section 144 in many districts and announced to shut down the internet. Legal advisor to ‘Waris Punjab De’, Imaan Sigh Khara stated that Punjab Police arrested Amritpal Singh and they are afraid that Amritpal will be killed in a fake police encounter. Besides this, thousands Sikhs took part in the second phase of Khalistan Referendum voting at the Brisbane Convention. However, such actions are a part of sinister plan yet to unfold. But Modi is trying to Hinduize the Sikh majority Punjab. And in the end, Frankenstein ruins itself too. BJP’s nationalist ideology will only benefit Hindus, but not India. In the future, the world will see India being divided and different groups rising arms against the government due to the seeds BJP is sowing now. India will tremble, as walking in the Narrow Corridor, the society will start holding the Frankenstein accountable for what it has done.