Deep Dive into the Bloom Review: Aggressive Khalistan Elements in the UK

by Antariksh Singh

The Bloom Review, an independent report commissioned by former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson that came out last week, reveals aggressive Khalistan extremism in the UK by pro-Khalistan elements.

Colin Bloom Speaks to India Today

A recent investigative report by the United Kingdom has exposed the dangers posed by Khalistani groups in the country, revealing that these extremists attract disproportionate attention and provoke divisive sentiments within the Sikh community. Titled “Does Government Do God” the report was written by Colin Bloom, the UK Government’s faith advisor, and took three years to publish. It is being hailed as the most comprehensive review of the government’s relationship with religion in a generation.

The 165-page report mentions “Khalistan” 33 times and states that pro-Khalistan extremist groups have grown under the nose of UK authorities. It reveals that Khalistani sentiments are being “inadvertently legitimized through government and parliamentary engagements” by successive governments in London.

Bloom’s report quotes witnesses who testified that these groups are trying to brainwash the youth and cause divisions and hate in India. It also states that the government should now “clearly define and investigate extremist activity and identify where this exists within the Sikh community, take steps to develop a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of subversive and sectarian Sikh extremist activity.”

According to Bloom, the Khalistani lobby inflates its influence and legitimizes dubious positions by using the “Sikh” label to lobby political bodies. The report also highlights how Canada is facing a similar threat from Khalistani elements, as detailed in a 2020 report by the public policy think tank the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

The report highlights the historic roots and continued efforts of ‘thugs and political hustlers’ attempting to disrupt and jeopardise both Canadian and Indian political orders. The report’s foreword also highlights how the ‘2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada’ allegedly came under fire from Sikh activists who objected to the use of language, accusing it of criticising certain Sikh groups. Following this pressure, the public report was modified to exclude specific terms associated with the establishment of an independent Sikh state (such as Khalistan),” the report by Bloom reads.

The report suggests that proscribed Sikh groups may be receiving help from parliamentary entities and urges the government to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the tactics employed by Sikh activists. It also calls for a more balanced approach that takes into account the nuances within various communities.

“Government must allow for the proper level of engagement with British Sikh communities, but it must also impede the advance of subversive groups which attempt to fracture majority Sikh communities and negatively affect the stability of our society. It is important that the government neither overlooks nor fails to be discerning when it comes to concerns regarding extremist ties when selecting the individuals and groups responsible for representing British Sikhs at official and political levels.” the report states.

Bloom’s findings indicate that Khalistani elements, described as a “small, extremely vocal and aggressive minority of British Sikhs,” have been known to support and incite violence and intimidation in their ambition to establish an independent state called Khalistan. The report calls for urgent action to address the issue of harmful extremism, as democratic order, social cohesion, and peaceful coexistence are at risk if left unaddressed.

The Bloom Review report was appreciated and praised by leaders of various faiths.

Antariksh Singh

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