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The Punjab Conflict - Essay Example

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This paper is a comparative case study of the events that occurred in the Punjab conflict of the 1980’s, and the case of the Punjab conflict in the 1990’s. The anchoring case conflict in this case study is the Punjab violence of the 1980’s, while the comparison case is the Punjab violence of the 1990’s…
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The Punjab Conflict
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The Punjab Conflict

Download file to see previous pages... These have a history of resisting central control, and with historical ties to the territories, they occupy (Chenoweth and Lawrence 222). The problems experienced in Punjab mainly root from aspects that are associated with religion in the area. These attempted to separate the Shikhs from other ethnic communities in the area, for political gain. In the 20th Century, conflicts erupted when various new ideologies were developed among the Sikhs. These therefore, had required that the central government meets their demands, which were both religious and political. When the central government failed to meet their demands, tension built up in the 1980’s among Sikhs in Punjab and those in New Delhi. The Shikhs had sought a greater autonomy; for fear that, they were being assimilated into the greater cultural Indian and Hindu (Chenoweth and Lawrence 226). This led to massive violence, with detention of some Shikh leaders, as well as hundreds of the Sikhs. More than 3,000 civilians were killed, including troops, priests, and pilgrims. Sacred buildings were destroyed and political assassinations increased. The killing of Indira Gandhi by the Shikhs led to massive killings in New Delhi, claiming more than 2,000 lives. However, in 1985, a peace agreement was reached between the Indian government and the Shikhs. There followed a dismissal of the state government, and Punjab was put under president’s rule, which lasted up to 1992, when Beant Singh won the elections (Chenoweth and Lawrence 230). The Punjab violence of the 1990’s began when approximately 80 people were killed in two incidences of train bombings in 1991. In addition, the assassination of Beant Singh, the senior...
This paper stresses that in the 1990’s during the new governance, the level of participation in conventional politics increased remarkably. The voter turnout for the municipal elections in September 1992 increased by 50 percent. In addition, voter turnout also was also high for gram panchayats in January 1993, and exceeded 70 percent. Generally, violence in Punjab declined during the years that followed.
This report makes a conclusion that the government plays a critical role in different types of violence in a country. The involvement of the government in a conflict might result in either positive or negative consequences. The outcome of government intervention can only be positive, if it aims at ensuring fairness and equality of the involved parties. If fairness and justice is denied to either party, it is probable that the violence will escalate. In the case of Punjab conflict, there are two instances, where the government intervened differently. In the 1980’s conflict, violence was high because the central government denied the Sikhs their political rights. The government then resorted to an inappropriate way of solving the issue by killing the Sikhs, with some of their leaders. This led to increased violence. However, in the 1990’s when a new government took office, people were allowed to vote, unlike the 1980’s. In addition, the political participation of people was increased in various ways. Although elements of unfairness toward the Sikhs were still present, this could not compare to the 1980’s. Therefore, this quite fair involvement by the central government in the 1990’s led the level of violence to decrease in Punjab. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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