cover image: The Khalistan Movement and Its Impact in Canada


The Khalistan Movement and Its Impact in Canada

28 Mar 2023

The idea of Khalistan is complex and multi-layered and rooted in India’s colonial past, specifically in the 1947 partition of India, the political and religious conflicts post-partition, and a variety of incidents in the 1980s, in particular Operation Blue Star1 and the 1984 Sikh Massacre.2 Khalistan activism, which tapered off in India by the mid-1990s, has resurfaced several times since then, pa. [...] The study covers the following questions: (a) how has the movement evolved from the 1980s and 1990s through to the present; (b) what have been the social and political drivers of this evolution; and (c) how are the Sikh diaspora communities in Canada currently engaged with, and influenced by, the Khalistan movement. [...] This fear was compounded by the inappropriate language used to characterize the threat by the Government of Canada in its 2018 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada,8 which some participants believed resulted from the pressure the Indian government placed on the Canadian government to take 7 The political issues include certain demands under the 1973 Anandpur Sahib Resolution by the Stat. [...] Several participants stated that, every now and then, the topic of Khalistan attracts the limelight because of the photos of the people responsible for the Air India bombing on display during the annual Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan.9 Sixty-five percent of the participants said that they perceive these photos as problematic. [...] The Government of Canada response to the Commission of Inquiry into the investigation of the bombing of Air India Flight 182.



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