Voting In The Farcical Khalistan “Referendum”

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on November 15, 2023

The National Telegraph has spoken to an individual who voted in the Surrey, BC, Khalistan referendum which has given us an inside look at the voting procedures, atmosphere, and voter security at the traveling Khalistan referendum. 

The individual wishes to remain anonymous so they are not subject to targeted harassment. 

From the discussion we had with this Sikh Canadian, it was clear that what is being dubbed as the “Khalistan Referendum” (a vote calling for an independent Sikh state in Punjab) is less of an actual practice in democracy and rather just an opportunity for Khalistanis in the West to make a show of force.

So far the referendum organizers have not released turnout numbers for any city voting that has taken place, which seems deliberate. 

The individual The National Telegraph spoke to said in regards to turnout, “Hmm I would say 5 to 7 thousand people may have shown up based on the size of the line throughout the day.” (This was from the first round of voting)

He noted that the Sikh population in Surrey, British Columbia, is 154,000 individuals making turnout fairly low for a widely promoted event that supposedly has a strong interest from Sikh Canadians. Other voting days are available, but the fact the first big day brings in a small minority of Sikhs in Surrey is telling of the popularity of the Khalistan movement, seeing as there has been much pressure on the community to turn out.

The organizing group Sikhs For Justice claimed that 100,000 turned out in the first round of voting which is preposterous seeing as the vote happened at a single Gurdwara and no photo or video demonstrates a crowd anywhere close to 6 figures. If supposedly 100,000 people did turn out in Surrey back in September why would there be a need for extra rounds of voting?

On why he attended the referendum the individual TNT spoke to stated:

I went there to meet an individual that I know. Though I am not a Khalistani personally,  I still treat everyone the same. I voted against Khalistan but I do feel that I was the only one who did. I had conversations with people where their response was like “Obviously I voted yes” or “Yes, of course”. However one of the guys said he’s keener on speaking for Sikh rights than just separation. If you are against Khalistan I don’t think you would have shown up. I only did it to say hi to someone!

In describing the environment surrounding the referendum voting stations the individual described an exceedingly partisan atmosphere. He stated: 

There were a lot of Khalistani flags and there was a lot of repetitive audio plated from speakers chanting “what do we want? Khalistan!” There were pictures displayed of the 1984 Sikh genocide.  And pictures portraying Modi as an enemy and pictures of Hardeep Nijjar.

When this individual went to vote in the referendum he was perplexed by the lack of security or measures to ensure voter integrity in the process. He told TNT that: 

You have to show your ID, they don’t check you off a list like normal elections here in Canada. I had a volunteer look over my voting barrier. I made a mistake where I put down an X instead of checking and I asked him if it was okay. He said not to worry but did reconfirm with me that I voted ‘no’. In terms of exploitation, it was an echo chamber.

Here’s what I noticed….. When you vote for any level of government election, they highlight or cross off your name so you can only vote once in every cyclical election. At this referendum, you show your ID but they don’t cross off your name but put a mark on your fingernail using a marker. This means you can come back on a different referendum voting day and vote again and nobody would ever notice. 

From others we spoke to, apparently, you could even hear you could register under blatantly fake names. There is also something to be said about this “referendum” being only for Sikhs to vote in which is anti-democratic simply from the perspective that the province of Punjab the Khalistanis want to turn into a separate Sikh state is made up of 42% non-Sikhs. They ignore minority groups in the region since the Khalistanis are blatantly Sikh supremacists.

Another strange aspect of the referendum that again indicated that this was more of a pure practice in promoting Khalistani ideology was the solicitation of donations for hosting organizations.

The individual we spoke to told us:

Also, when I left they asked for donations. Now, I have nothing against alms just to feed the volunteers or whatever! But after you just voted? I felt a bit uncomfortable. I did donate $5 just to do a little but felt a lot of discomfort on my end!

This organization hosting these referendum votes is Sikhs For Justice, an explicitly pro-Khalistani organization whose founder and leader is Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who has a history of making threats at Hindus living in Canada and warning people not to fly on Air India flights in a thinly veiled reference to the Khalistani Air India bombing of 1984. 

It all amounts to a process and voting environment meant to organize Khalistan-sympathetic individuals. The referendum vote results are meaningless and no international body should respect what Sikhs For Justice claims their results represent. It is a farce and should be treated as such.

It is well known the referendum has the goal of trying to push the UN to pressure India for a Khalistan referendum in Punjab, something that risks the societal cohesion of India for a violent separatist movement that died out in popularity in India decades ago. 

Pannun, Sikhs For Justice, and the World Sikh Organization are interested in reigniting the movement from their headquarters in the US and Canada.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

2 responses to “Voting In The Farcical Khalistan “Referendum””

  1. Vik says:

    Thanks for sharing this important story and inside look at how things are actually run. The rise in Khalistani extremism and intimidation is alarming. It’s mind boggling to me that main stream media still refers to this group simple as a separatist movement. No facts about late Mr Nijjar like him being identified by Interpol, involved in fraudulently obtaining Canadian citizenship or having had military trainings in Pakistan make the news in mainstream media like Globe and Mail, CBC or CTV…this is not what Canada is about!

  2. kevin says:

    This childish article looks like written by poor educated Hindu after few shots of cow piss. Hindus are curse to world.