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Bhindranwale T-Shirts, Made In China, Sold In Punjab


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http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bhindranwale-tshirts-made-in-china-sold-in-punjab/586646/1

Bhindranwale may seem a long way from Beijing, but trust the great Chinese assembly line to go the distance. The face of the Sikh militancy movement is enjoying a surge in popularity in Punjab, and he is doing so riding on Made in China products — ranging from T-shirts to calendars, bumper stickers to coffee mugs and key chains, some carrying his pictures with the message “I will have to make a comeback”.

Youths in villages and towns of the state can be seen sporting bright yellow T-shirts, emblazoned with huge photos of Bhindranwale carrying an AK-47 rifle. And the paraphernalia is being openly sold in prominent markets in Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar, Ludhiana and even Delhi.

The numbers are surprising. Sukhdev Singh, a shopkeeper in Amritsar, claims to have sold 1.8 lakh calendars with Bhindranwale’s photos, each priced at Rs 20. He claims that the rush is unabated, something which has prompted the Chinese to enter the market.

“More memorablia has been introduced in the market as watches, key chains and car stickers. The Chinese-made T-shirts are selling at Rs 170 each as compared to the Indian-made ones, which are priced at Rs 350 each. Similarly Chinese key chains and watches with Bhindranwale’s photo on the dial are available at one-fifth the price of same products of Indian make. Stickers are available in seven different colours. Our estimates suggest that over 3.5 lakh car stickers have been sold so far,” says Tejinder Pal Singh, a shopkeeper based in Jalandhar.

At the recent Holla Mohalla festival too, stalls stocked the paraphernalia in huge numbers, and these disappeared off the shelves.

Guarded in his response, Punjab DGP P S Gill says: “We are aware of this and are keeping a close watch.”

Historian G S Dhillon attributes the fascination with the man blamed for the advent of terrorism in Punjab to the “lack of genuine heroes in Punjab today”. He says the state has no charismatic and mass Sikh leader and youngsters who haven’t seen the dark days of the 1980s are allured by a character whose reputation has been enhanced by myths and fake legends.

The unequivocal endorsement of Bhindranwale by the Sikh clergy may have also contributed to his popularity. Avtar Singh Makkar, president of the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), says: “For us he was a martyr. We have also installed his portrait in the Golden Temple museum.”

Kanwar Pal Singh, Secretary, Political Affairs, of the Dal Khalsa, adds: “We buy these calendars and other memorablilia and distribute them free of cost to our members. Last year, which marked 25 years of the Operation Blue Star, we commemorated Bhindranwale’s martyrdom.”

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Ahh ... the benefits of free enterprise and globalisation, eh?!

Having said that I'm pretty sure that the goods have been commisioned by some indian or western based Sikh businessman. He probs went to China simply due to the cheaper production costs and higher quality produce compared to INdia.

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Images of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji are the new Diamond studded Khanda medallions! Its only a matter of time before we see clowns like Jazzy B wearing them in his woman demeaning hip hop bhangra videos!

Don't be fooled into thinking that this is some sort of indicator of Khalsa resurgence.

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Images of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji are the new Diamond studded Khanda medallions! Its only a matter of time before we see clowns like Jazzy B wearing them in his woman demeaning hip hop bhangra videos!

Don't be fooled into thinking that this is some sort of indicator of Khalsa resurgence.

It would be nice to believe that Sant Bhindranwale's ideals are initiating a change in the young people. But it's sad to think that the opposite could actually happen too. What a cringe-worthy thought @ the Jazzy B thing.

As for the Khanda, it's so sad that it has degenerated into a symbol for 'Jatt-ness'. I even had a South Indian friend ask me if the Khanda is the 'Jatt sign'!

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