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NL Interview: Amritpal on violent protests, Bhindranwale and Khalistan demand in democracy

‘We don’t relate to this country and we want to express ourselves.’

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh has recently emerged as a controversial figure in the mainstream media. Be it the show of strength by his supporters at a police station in Punjab’s Ajnala, or his remarks raising the spectre of Khalistan.

In a conversation with Atul Chaurasia, Singh says he doesn’t believe in the concept of nation state, and compares his Indian citizenship to the passport granted to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi under British rule.

He also argues that the demand for Khalistan is legitimate within a democratic setup. “In a democracy, if someone stands up and says ‘I am not a Hindu’, that person will be respected. The same way, if it is said that we don’t relate to this country and we want to express ourselves, we will advocate the cause for a separate country in a peaceful manner and want freedom; to respect this feeling peacefully is part of democratic value. This has happened in many parts of the world. But if such a feeling is suppressed, it will take the form of violence.”

He says that Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale has been “demonised” in the national narrative but he is a “hero in Punjab. “A large section talks about Hindu rashtra, but why is there no law for them?”

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