Sikh terrorist shouldn't be anyone's hero By Jonathan Kay, The Province March 29, 2012 Indian politicians stayed Wednesday the execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, an unrepentant Sikh terrorist who masterminded the killing of Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh - and 17 others - in 1995. The suicide bomber who per-formed the deed was identified as Dilawar Singh, but Rajoana admits that he was the backup bomber. Rajoana has made no real effort to defend himself in court, admits his crimes and seems content to die as a martyr for the cause of his Sikh terrorist group Babbar Khalsa. His execution, which politicians fear would create massive disturbances in the Punjab, would be India's first since 2004. Many Sikhs, including some here in Canada, have turned Rajoana into a hero figure - despite the facts that his target, Beant Singh, was himself a Sikh. Since Beant Singh was a Sikh moderate who took a leading role in suppressing radical Sikh insurgents, he's considered a blood traitor by radicals. Sadly, this isn't an isolated case. As the Vancouver Sun's Kim Bolan has reported, a militant minority of Sikhs have marred B.C. parades by displaying images of Air India mastermind (and Babbar Khalsa founder) Talwinder Singh Parmar; as well as Satwant Singh Bhaker, Indira Gandhi's assassin; and the killers of Indian Gen. Arunkumar Shridhar Vaidya. In many cases, naive Canadian politicians, unable to read the Punjabi descriptions, have stood idly by clapping their hands as images of these "martyrs" rolled past. In the case of Rajoana, the facts are more complicated, because many activists say that they merely oppose his execution - on the grounds that the death penalty is inhumane. This week, Jasbir Sandhu, NDP MP from Surrey North, reportedly got an ovation from parliamentary peers when he implored Stephen Harper to protest India's actions - citing opposition to the death penalty in general terms. Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh, arguing the same point, appeared to suggest that Ontario's trade relationship with India might be used as leverage. Former Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal also has taken up the cause, addressing a rally on March 25. More disturbing than this are the grassroots Canadian Sikh groups that appear to be openly identifying with Rajoana's cause. A poster for a March 29 Toronto-area rally, for instance, is headlined "I am Rajoa-na." Sikh sources tell me that the organizers who bused Sikhs from Toronto, Hamilton, Brampton and Windsor, Ont., and Montreal to a major rally Wednesday in Ottawa today are promoting similar propaganda in Punjabi. (One of the Toronto-area rally organizers, whose name appears on a separate Punjabi flyer promoting the event, is a Sikh Youth leader who reportedly is close to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.) A poster declaring "I am Merah" or "I am Yigal Amir" would rightly be seen as scandalous. Even Tamil extremists would have had a hard time getting away with "I am Prab-hakaran." So why do Sikh extremists often get a free pass in this country - even after Air India awakened us to the problem? Is it the banal fact that Eurocentric reporters and politicians simply have trouble telling one Singh from the next? Or do we regard the internal politics of the Indian state as too opaque for scrutiny? It is true that the Indian government and military apparatus, of which Beant Singh was part, made some terrible mistakes in the battle against Sikh extremists in the 1980s - including mass killings that continue to scar the nation's conscience. The world shouldn't forget the innocent Sikh victims of government brutality who perished during that period. But such remembrances do not change the fact that terrorism is terrorism. The campaign against violent creeds should be a universal one - not just confined to the fight against militant Islam. For it is all part of the same pathology. In the case of Sikh and Muslim terrorism, they even are headquartered in the same place: The leader of the Bab-bar Khalsa terrorist group (which is banned in Canada) is now at large in Pakistan, where he reportedly receives protection from that country's intelligence service, the ISI - just like many Taliban leaders and even, possibly, until last year, Osama bin Laden himself. Even for those Rajoana activists who say they merely oppose the death penalty, the Sikh killer makes a strange figure of sympathy. Rajoana himself had no problem killing large numbers of innocent people in pursuit of his own warped version of justice. He deserves to die as much as any Jew-killing Jihadi or spree killer. If we are to search for "martyrs" in this case, let us find them among the innocent bystanders who died on Aug. 31, 1995, at the hands of terrorists. Jonathan Kay is managing editor for comment at the National Post, and a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Â© Copyright (c) The Province Read more: Sikh terrorist shouldn't be anyone's hero this article is about canadian sikhs but the views the author holds is correct. would not like to compare religions, but this kind of creating martyrs out of terrorists are common in many parts of the world including middle east.