The Caravan

Cultivating Deception

In the 1920s, as the Punjab countryside was aflame in what was till then the largest mobilisation against the British Raj, the government of India noted in its files:

The Sikh peasant has been committed to a policy of “self-determination” imposed by men who are not his natural leaders, and has been induced by some mysterious process of mass psychology to enter a sphere of activity hitherto [interdicted] by all traditions of loyalty and self-interest.

If we substitute the term “Khalistan” for “self-determination,” and the word “misled” for “imposed” we have precisely the same framework that the government and the mainstream media is using today regarding the ongoing farmer protests against three recently enacted farm laws: of Sikh peasants being led astray by Khalistani elements.

The British, writing for their own files, had at least to pretend to provide some explanation for how such a large body of men could be so imposed

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