• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The Punjab crisis, a two-decade long armed insurgency that emerged as a violent ethnonationalist movement in the 1980s and gradually transformed into a secessionist struggle, resulted in an estimated casualty of no less than 25,000 people in Punjab. This ethnonationalist movement, on the one hand ended the perceived notion of looking at Punjab as the model of political stability of independent India, and on the other raised several politico-social questions which had a great effect on Indian politics for decades to come.

The Sikh Separatist Insurgency in Punjab-India provides an authoritative political history of the Sikh separatist insurgency in Punjab by focusing on the “patterns of political leadership”, a previously unexplored variable. It describes in detail the events which led to the emergence of the “Punjab Crisis”, the various means through which the movement was sustained, and the changing nature of political leadership and courses of military action which necessitated its decline in the mid-1990s.

Providing a microhistorical analysis of the Punjab crisis, the book argues that the trajectories of ethnonationalist movements are largely based on the interaction between self-interested political elites, who not only react to the structural choices they face, but whose purposeful actions and decisions ultimately affect the course of ethnic group-state relations. It consolidates this theoretical preposition through a comparative analysis of four contemporary global ethnonationalist movementsthose that occurred in Chechnya, Northern Ireland, Kashmir, and Assam.

This book will be a good reference source for students and academics studying political science, history, South Asia and the Sikhs and also for public policy practitioners in multi-ethnic societies.

“Patterns of Political Leadership” and Ethnonationalist Insurgency
“Patterns of political leadership” and ethnonationalist insurgency
Introduction

The northwestern Indian state of Punjab was a model of political stability and economic development for India during the late-1960s and early-1970s. The state had been free of communal violence and large-scale political instability since the traumatic events and population transfers associated with the Partition of colonial India into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan after Independence in 1947. The Indian state had also successfully accommodated a non-violent political mobilization by Punjab's Sikh minority during the late-1950s and early-1960s by creating a truncated Punjabi-speaking state consistent with the principle of linguistic reorganization applied throughout India during this period. Punjab's enterprising and generally prosperous Sikh community seemed well-integrated into the “national mainstream,” providing a ...

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