Sant Singh Chatwal, a prominent Indian-American businessman in New York, has expressed that an overwhelming majority of Sikhs, more than 99 percent, have deep affection for India, with only a very small fraction supporting Khalistan. He emphasized that those who advocate for Khalistan have never visited Punjab, indicating a significant miscommunication surrounding the issue.
In his conversation with a media agency, Chatwal stated, “There’s hardly anybody who’s supporting Khalistan…There’s some sort of big miscommunication going on…We all Sikhs, everybody, more than 99 percent, we love India. India is our country…Nobody’s interested in Khalistan.”
He further clarified, “I am very clear that there are very, very less people over here (supporting Khalistan). I don’t know who’s funding them, they have never been to Punjab. I am proud to be a Sikh. I am in this country for more than 50 years.”
Chatwal also commended the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed pride in the contributions he has made to the Sikh community. He remarked, “India under the leadership of PM Modi has done a great job. He opened the Kartarpur Corridor for Sikhs. He has done a lot for the Sikhs.”
Even with PM Modi in office, Chatwal asserted, “We are very proud of what he has done for Sikhs. I am openly saying, there is hardly anybody who’s supporting Khalistan.”
He emphasized that over 99 percent of the Sikh community passionately loves India and considers it their homeland, underscoring that those discussing Khalistan have no firsthand experience of Punjab.
“I am afraid to say the people who are talking about Khalistan, have never been to Punjab. I don’t know what they are thinking about it, they are very less. Whether they are in Canada, or in America, there is no one to support them,” Chatwal remarked.
Regarding the India-Canada diplomatic dispute concerning the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Chatwal characterized it as a political tension and attributed it to a significant misunderstanding.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s explosive statement accusing the Indian government of involvement in Nijjar’s killing was met with India’s strong rejection, being labeled as “absurd” and “motivated.” However, Canada has yet to provide public evidence supporting their claims.
In response to these tensions, India suspended its visa services in Canada and issued a travel advisory urging its citizens and travelers to Canada to exercise caution due to growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and violence in the country.
Chatwal underscored the significant presence of Sikhs in prominent positions in India, including ministers and envoys. He highlighted, “Sikhs are in very prominent positions in India. We have a Sikh as one of the ministers, Hardeep Singh Puri. Sikh ambassador Sandhu sahab (Indian envoy Taranjit Singh Sandhu) is in Washington, DC.”
He continued, “We, as a Sikh community in North America, are enjoying such a good facility. We love India, we visit India. In India, Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, and Giani Zail Singh was the President for five years. We have the Army chief, Air Force chief, Navy chief…in very prominent positions.”
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