Sajjan’s ‘Khalistan sympathiser’ row: Decoding Canada-based World Sikh Organisation
Canadabased World Sikh organisation (WSO), a body of Sikhs formed in July 1984 post Operation Bluestar, came into limelight when Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh termed Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan a Khalistani sympathiser and his father Kundan Singh Sajjan a member of WSO. Here are five things that you should know about WSO:
1. It was formed in July 1984 post Operation Bluestar, and is currently led by Canada born Mukhbir Singh (33). The organisation claims to fight for the human rights of Sikhs as its major area of work and providing aid to Punjab.
2. USA-based farmer Didar Singh Bains who played a key role in setting up of WSO raised demand for Khalistan. He led a huge congregation of Sikhs in Madison Square ,New York , to form WSO.
3. In 2014-15 WSO helped Justin Trudeau’s (now Canadian prime minister) Liberal Party campaign before the federal polls. However, a section of liberals belonging to the Sikh-Punjabi diaspora labelled WSO an extremist organisation.
4. The WSO successfully fought cases of Sikhs for wearing articles of faith in government and public organisations in Canada. The cases contested in a Canadian court led permission for Sikhs to wearing the turban in the Royal Canadian Mounted police.
5. The WSO has wings in different countries and in India, but the Canadian wing is most active. Most of the members in the WSO are second and third generation Sikhs.