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Are you Indian? No, I’m Punjabi

Written by Jaspreet Sandhu

This year in February, Indian authorities began a siege of Punjab. This involved the shutting down of internet and phone networks across the state (affecting 27 million people) following the arrest of the well-known Sikh activist Amritpal Singh. Social media accounts have been heavily regulated and more than 100 other Sikh leaders have been detained. The blackout of internet and arrests of innocent citizens are a complete violation of the liberties that citizens should enjoy in the ‘world’s biggest democracy’. 

Yet this is the reality for the Sikh community in India. Being a Sikh myself, I feel no sense of belonging, there is no home for my religion and no place where my community can feel secure. How are we meant to progress as a society if the Indian government constantly suppress those who speak out? 

This is the reality of dissent in India. You are silenced. 

How can I claim and be proud of a country who disrespects my religion and my people to the highest extent possible? That’s why when people ask me if I’m Indian, my answer is no, I’m Punjabi.

Artwork designed by Inkquisitive

Blackout of Punjab