Bollywood icon targeted by BC Khalistani leader

Ranjeet Singh Khalsa

Ranjeet Singh Khalsa. Handout

GURPREET SINGH
VANCOUVER DESI 

A prominent pro Khalistan leader Ranjeet Singh Khalsa has written a protest letter to Amitabh Bachchan, a Bollywood icon and the anchor of famous TV show “Kaun Banega Karorpati?” (Who will be the millionaire?), accusing him of being involved in the 1984 anti Sikh pogrom.

The leader of the Abbotsford based Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Society, Khalsa’s letter has prominently appeared in Chardikala, a weekly paper that supports Khalistan; a separate homeland for the Sikhs. Khalsa pulled no punches while blaming Amitabh Bachchan for the killings of innocent Sikhs by the goons of the ruling Congress party following the assassination of the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.

“Your hands are smeared with blood,” he writes. Amitabh Bachchan was close to Rajeev Gandhi, the son of the slain leader who succeeded her as the Indian Prime Minister. Bachchan was seen standing next to Rajeev Gandhi when Indira Gandhi’s corpse lay in the state. Her supporters were heard screaming, “We will avenge blood with blood” on the TV. Bachchan was elected Congress MP that year. Ironically, his mother was a Sikh. Many prominent Congress leaders were seen leading the mobs who targeted the Sikhs across the country, especially in the provinces ruled by the Congress party.

The Khalistan movement began in early 1980s in Punjab with an aim to carve out a theocratic Sikh state. Over 25,000 people died during the bloody insurgency for Khalistan. The movement has faded out and has lost its popularity in India due to innocent killings of the Hindus and moderate Sikhs by pro Khalistan extremists. The pro Khalistan political figures have had humiliating defeats during elections held in recent years.

The legal counsel of the victims of the 1984 violence, H.S. Phoolka says that there is no evidence to suggest that Bachchan was directly or indirectly involved, Bachchan has been repeatedly blamed for the violence by a section of the Sikh outfits and the victims’ families.

Khalsa feels that even if there is no evidence to suggest his involvement his silence on the “genocide” of the Sikhs reflects badly on his character. “Silence is also complicity. Why didn’t he speak against this injustice?” Khalsa is also critical of actors and actresses who have applauded the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi who is a Prime Ministerial candidate of the Hindu Nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party. Modi government is being criticized internationally for the 2002 anti Muslim violence in Gujarat. Significantly, Bachchan also became a brand ambassador for Gujarat Tourism under the leadership of Modi.

Khalsa claims that he loved India which is the country of his birth but the atrocities against minorities by both the mainstream political parties have alienated him and turned him into a supporter of Khalistan. He said that he wrote this letter to expose the “real face” of people like Amitabh Bachchan who continue to be revered by innocent people enamored by their “angelic celluloid image”.

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