“Western governments have not done enough…”: Colin Bloom on rising Khalistan extremism

Expressing his concerns over the recent rise in the incidents of Khalistan extremism, Colin Bloom, former advisor to the UK government said that the situation has escalated because the ‘Western governments’ have “not done enough” to tackle the sinister and aggressive behaviour of extremists.
Bloom stressed that both the British and Canadian governments should take more proactive measures to address this issue. He warned that the situation could spiral “out of control” if the issue is not addressed.
Bloom is the author of ‘The Bloom Review, Does Government do God?’. He was also appointed by former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson as an Independent Faith Engagement advisor in order to make suggestions on how the government should interact with religious organisations in England.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Colin Bloom said, “What I think we’re seeing at the moment is a rise of pro-Khalistan extremism…Now, look, just for the record, I am 100 per cent in favour of free speech and people being free to think and believe and support pretty much anything that they want, so long as they don’t harm and intimidate and harass other people.”
“But what we saw with the Indian High Commissioner was very much an overreach of free speech…This was, in fact, limiting the free speech of the people who run the Gurdwara in Glasgow and of the High Commissioner himself,” he added.
Earlier in the day, a planned interaction of the Indian High Commissioner to Britain, Vikram Doraiswami at the Glasgow Gurdwara was disrupted by some “extremist elements”. Scotland Police has responded to the incident and said an investigation is happening in the case.
However, Bloom also highlighted that the majority of the Sikh population in the UK does not share extremist ideologies and is feeling let down by these radical elements within their community.
“And I think what we’re seeing is this increase in activity partly because Western governments have not done enough to address and tackle this rising extremist and sinister and aggressive behaviour,” Bloom said.
He added, “I’m very concerned that the vast majority of British Sikhs, many of whom wrote to me and I interviewed as part of my evidence gathering for the report, are being let down by these very small number within their own community and by British government and I guess would be the same in Canada, the Canadian government who are not doing enough to protect them from these fringe elements that exist within their community”.
Regarding the rising extremism in Canada, Bloom emphasized that the UK, US, Canada, and other Western governments should collectively address the issue. He called for an improvement in the British government’s efforts to protect British Sikhs who want no involvement with such extremist elements.
In another incident on Saturday, a Sikh restaurant owner, who earlier received threats from Khalistani elements for being vocal against them, alleged that his car was shot at and vandalised by the extremists in West London.
“I think the British government do need to improve their game. I think they’ve done a lot in the last few years, but I think they need to do a lot more to protect the vast majority of British Sikhs who want nothing to do with this nonsense…I guess that the Canadian government and the American government and other Western governments also need to do more to make sure that this small minority is not ruining the lives of others,” he said.
The British author also cautioned, stating that if the issue is not addressed, it will get “out of control” harming more people. He also advised that the authorities need to take closer look at online materials being put out.
“And I think that is where we’ve got to be really very careful because if this issue with these extremists within the Sikh community, if it’s not addressed, if it’s not dealt with, then it will get out of control and more people will be intimidated, more people will be harmed…There’s no doubt in my mind that there are extremists within all faith communities, but there are extremists within the Sikh community that they need to be dealt with,” Bloom further said.
Notably, the report by Colin Bloom for the UK government warned that some pro-Khalistan Sikh groups aim to artificially inflate their influence by lobbying political bodies under the guise of human rights activism, presenting a false appearance of legitimacy. 
It noted that the subversive, sectarian, and discriminatory activities of these groups do not reflect the true nature of the majority of British Sikh communities. (ANI)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *