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Modi's Government Intensifies Efforts Against Sikh Separatism Amid International Scrutiny

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Rafia Tasleem
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Modi's Government Intensifies Efforts Against Sikh Separatism Amid International Scrutiny

In a bid to counter Sikh separatism, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ramping up efforts, an action spotlighted by recent international attention. Accusations from the United States and Canada of Indian officials' involvement in assassination plots against Sikh separatist leaders in North America have brought this issue into the limelight. India, however, denies these allegations, stating that such plots are not government policy, and has initiated an investigation into the concerns raised by the U.S.

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National Strategy Amid Electoral Concerns

Despite the apparent lack of domestic support within the Sikh minority in India, the issue of Sikh separatism plays a pivotal role in Modi's Hindu nationalist government's political strategy. This is particularly significant in the context of the upcoming national elections. Indian security officials cite the need to address Sikh connections to international crime, purportedly linked to Punjab, as a key reason for their actions.

However, Sikh nationalists and critics of Modi's government accuse it of defaming and targeting Sikh leadership for political gain. The Khalistan movement, responsible for a violent insurgency in the 1980s and 1990s, is described by some Indian security officials as a "dead horse." Despite this, the officials insist on vigilance due to fundraising and agitation by separatist leaders abroad.

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Political Leverage Amid Farmer Protests

Critics suggest that Modi's government is leveraging the Khalistan issue to rally the Hindu majority. This move comes in the wake of the 2021 farmer protests led by Sikhs that politically challenged the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

International Implications and Responses

Developments in this issue have sparked international responses. The United States has declared its intent to wait for the results of the investigation announced by India concerning the allegations. The Indian government's commitment to counter Sikh separatism and its implications for international relations and domestic politics will remain under close watch.

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