2018 | 25 | 2 |
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Radicalisation of public sentiment in Sikh society after 1947

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In founding a new religious denomination – Sikhism – Guru Nanak in a way combine two rival religions – Hinduism and Islam. The tolerant nature of Sikhism garnered him many proponents, which contributed to the establishment of the Sikh Empire in the 19th century. The empire flourished until it was overthrown by armed forces of the British Crown. After the departure of the British colonisers in 1947, the idea of creating a sovereign Sikh state called Khalistan arose in Punjab – the cradle of Sikhism in India. Gradually, the sentiments of large portion of the Sikh population became radicalised. A terrorist organisation, formed by Sikh fundamentalist Jarnail Bhindranwale and supported by many Sikhs, began persecuting the followers of other religions and fighting for the creation of a Sikh state in Punjab. The radicalisation of public sentiments among the Sikh population led to mass pogroms, a military operation in the Sikhs’ holy place and the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the prime minister of India.
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