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Khalistan: A Conversation on Trauma, Racism and Sovereignty


Khalistan: A Conversation on Trauma, Racism and Sovereignty


On October 6, 2020, the Poetic Justice Foundation facilitated a pivotal dialogue, engaging in a transparent and insightful discussion on the multifaceted Khalistan movement, both within local contexts and across the global Sikh Diaspora. This dialogue served as an essential counterpoint to a report by the MacDonald Laurier Institute, which was critiqued for its racist and anti-Sikh perspectives.

Our conversation courageously tackled some of the most pressing questions facing the Sikh community and its allies, particularly around the contentious issue of Khalistan. We explored the deep divisions and the strong support within the community, asking:

What are the reasons behind the significant opposition to Khalistan among Sikhs and their allies?

What makes the topic of Khalistan so divisive within the community?

Why, despite criticisms, does the concept of Khalistan continue to garner support?

We delved into the complexities surrounding the notion of Khalistan, considering its geopolitical implications, questions about its economic sustainability, fears of establishing a puritanical regime, and concerns over repeating historical patterns of caste-based oppression.

Furthermore, our discussion aimed to unpack the current status of the Khalistan movement and the nature of its demands, addressing why Khalistan is often viewed as a notion more appealing to the diaspora than to those residing in India. Through this event, we sought to provide a comprehensive critique and foster a deeper understanding of this highly debated topic.


Dr. Jaspreet Kaur Bal, Child and Youth Care Professor and Practioner, World Sikh Organization Board

Moninder Singh, BC Gurdwara Council

Moderated by:

Mo Dhaliwal, Co-founder Poetic Justice Foundation