Impact of Clubhouse in the rise of Amritpal Singh
Posted at 24-March-2023 / Written by Rohit Bhatt
Foundation of Waris Punjab De
Deep Sidhu established Waris Punjab De with the goal of connecting with people and spreading his agenda of Khalistan. Amritpal Singh and others joined him in his mission soon after it. Following Deep Sidhu's death in February 2022, Amritpal Singh was raised as the new leader of Waris Punjab De. He moved back to India in September 2022 and has since been actively following the ideology and tactics of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
Amritpal Singh is using social media and the internet to propagate his ideas much faster than Bhindranwale did in the late 1980s. Amritpal Singh has been connecting with Sikh youth through social media platforms such as Facebook, Clubhouse, Twitter spaces, and Instagram. Peepoye came across four Clubhouse replays that shed light on Deep Sidhu and Amritpal Singh's discussions with their followers under the Waris Punjab De banner. One discussion occurred on November 19, 2021, with Deep Sidhu as the speaker and Amritpal Singh as the moderator. The other three replays were of the discussions that took place after Deep Sidhu's death.
In the conversations we reviewed, both Deep Sidhu and Amritpal Singh emphasized the importance of preserving their identity and religion above all else, with issues like MSP, migration, and the so-called imposition of Hindi in the state being secondary concerns. After the Agriculture Laws were repealed, Sidhu stated that his group did not prioritize crops and farmer issues but rather community issues, particularly given that Sikhs were leading the farmer protests. Sidhu felt that a plan primarily focused on community issues was essential, referencing demands made by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and others. However, the demand for Khalistan became taboo after the January 26 incident at the Red Fort, leading to the isolation of Sidhu and his associates. During the discussions, both Sidhu and Amritpal expressed disappointment that the leadership of the protests failed to fully capitalize on opportunities to achieve their goals, with Sidhu feeling that his group was unfairly sidelined and subjected to propaganda. He also criticized the Left for its ideological differences with the Sikh community and expressed disregard towards Bhagat Singh, whom he felt could not achieve the aims of Sikhism.
Roadmap to grow Waris Punjab De
Sidhu suggested that Punjab requires a political party that is focused on religion, rather than the existing parties that prioritize central politics. He observed that farmers entering politics will not gain momentum as they tend to follow the directives of their national leaders.
Meanwhile, Deep Sidhu and Amritpal Singh discussed plans to expand Waris Punjab De by creating an ecosystem or local cells exclusive to the state. They intend to enlist experts in various fields, such as legal, entertainment, and education, to increase their presence in every section of society. Amritpal urged people to form small groups in their cities, towns, and villages and send a list of interested individuals to their team for recognition. These smaller groups will eventually be responsible for managing events independently, without intervention from the main leadership.
Regarding the ideological division between those seeking Khalistan, Amritpal acknowledged the difficulty in changing the mindset of established groups but emphasized the need to focus on developing their structure and inviting youth to join. He also talked about creating Hindu cells of Waris Punjab De and bringing Punjabi Hindus who support the demand for Khalistan under its umbrella.
Take On Khalistan
Amritpal Singh hinted at a plan to achieve Khalistan during a QA session but refrained from revealing any details. He emphasized the need for secrecy in achieving independence and expressed disappointment towards the organisers of farmer protests for banning those who tried to raise their voices for Khalistan. He also discussed the limitations of state leaders and the need for reviving 'Panthak Politics' through the Akali Dal.
Amritpal Singh expressed concern about the impact of capitalism and the new world order on the Sikh community and opposed the industrialisation of Punjab. He also talked about the conspiracy of settling migrants in Punjab to change the state's demography and suggested settling them without giving them aadhaar, ration card, and voter card.
He urged Sikh women to get involved in the movement and demand reservation in education and jobs. He also expressed support for those demanding Khalistan, including deemed terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannu's Sikhs For Justice, cautioning followers to support them with care.