Threats on Sikh editor
shine spotlight on
by Kathryn Blaze Carlson
It has been 25 years since the Air India bombing and the anti-Sikh riots in India, and while the quest for an independent Sikh state called Khalistan has all but fizzled there, the separatist movement maintains a small but at times loud presence here in Canada.
To be sure, the divide between pro-Khalistanis and those who believe in a united India has diminished since the 1990s, a decade marked by violent flashes including the high-profile murder of British Columbia newspaper publisher Tara Singh Hayer, a moderate Sikh who condemned violence in the Khalistan movement.
Recent events across the country, however, have highlighted the underlying -- albeit far less heated -- tensions that continue to pit separatists against non-separatists, shining a spotlight on what many thought had become largely a dead issue.
Although the motive behind Friday night's attack on the Sikh editor of the Punjabi Post in Brampton, Ont., remains unknown, the 42-year-old victim believes he was held at gunpoint because of his anti-extremist political views. He said pockets of separatist factions continue to "speak the language of violence."