The Transformation Of Ethno-Nationalist Movements Into Secessionist Movements: A Case Study Of The Khalistan Movement

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Dr. Uzma Siraj , Dr. Asghar Ali Dashti , Dr. Mamnoon Ahmad


This article reviews the literature on the evolution of ethno-nationalist movements and the factors that contribute to the transformation of such movements into secessionist or separatist movements by analyzing the Indian Punjab Crisis of 1980 or more popularly known as the Khalistan Movement. The Khalistan Movement is the classical example of the armed ethnic conflict which saw a continuous evolution over a century and ups and downs relative to the transformation of the domestic political and economic landscape which can be categorized as a transitional phenomenon peculiar to the evolutionary nation-building process in young democracies like it was the case of India in the 1980s. The article critically reviews and analyzes the ground realities related to the issue and academia’s views on the rise and finally death of the cause of the Khalistan Movement and hence identifies and overviews the distinct variables that can be used as the reference point to draw out a conclusive study. This text will further go on to question some of the basic questions related to the Khalistan Movement regarding the interrelation of politico-economic factors behind the movement. The theoretical framework being used is the Political Economy of Ethno-Nationalist Movements and their subtle transformation into Secessionist Movements.

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