July 5, 2010 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar (July 5, 2010): Perturbed over the recent comments of Indian Prime Minister that “Sikh extremism in Canada, which has no support in India, is not good for Canada”, the Dal Khalsa wrote a letter to Dr Manmohan Singh asking him to desist from making comments which cast aspersions on the Sikhs.
FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER:
Dr Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
WAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA || WAHEGURU JI KI FATEH ||
This communication is meant to express our concern and anguish over the unsavory situation arisen after you raised the issue of rise of “Sikh extremism” in Canada with your counterpart Stephen Harper at least in two of your three bilateral meetings.
Ever since you rose to the country’s top post there has been a whispering that the traditional grouse the Sikhs nursed against the Congress has evaporated. Most of the emotional Sikhs described your selection as PM the most significant development during the recent years and put high expectations in you.
Dal Khalsa is acutely aware of your limitations and we would have also not forgotten that when the Indian army attacked Darbar Sahib, the President of India happened to be Giani Zail Singh, a member of the Sikh community. We would not like to indulge in the blame game.
At the same time, I am sure that after 6 years that the Sikhs who had high hopes from you must be having second thoughts. Not a single substantive issue of the Sikhs has been resolved for which Punjab witnessed bloodshed for two decades. Not a single demand has been met. In 1984 Akal Takht was brought to rubble, thousands of Sikhs were killed by frenzied mobs sponsored by heavy weight Congressmen in Delhi and unlawful arrests, custodial deaths, biased trials and capital punishment have been showered upon Sikhs without reprieve.
Our organization always believed that your appointment as PM was solely based on your intellect, clean image and loyalty towards the Gandhi Parivar. However, I remembered that many in Sikh circles felt that with “Dr Singh as PM, the image of Sikhs will get major boast”.
Contrary to Sikh expectations, your remarks “Sikh extremism in Canada, which has no support in India, is not good for Canada” has portrayed the Sikhs as “enemies of peace” in the eyes of world.
The fact of the matter is that ever since the Sikhs of Canada has staged a spirited protest against minister in your cabinet Kamal Nath- one of the accused indicted by various Commissions in the 1984 anti-Sikh massacre on their soil, the Indian state is finding difficult to digest its embarrassment. Subsequently, the tabling of the motion by Canadian MP’s in the Parliament asking their government to declare the massacre of Sikhs in 1984 as ‘genocide’ has also jolted the Indian establishment. Clearly, your statement in Canada expressing ‘apology’ for the carnage was addressed to the international community rather than the aggrieved Sikhs.
During the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Toronto, you urged the Sikh community to put the events of 1984 behind them and move on.
According to noted writer Khushwant Singh, “politicians belonging to the ruling Congress party met on that night (31st Oct, 84) to decide how to teach the Sikhs a lesson that they never forget”. And we haven’t forgotten nor will we forget. In an unprecedented show of solidarity, on November 3, the whole of the state of Punjab shut its shutters at the call of Dal Khalsa and other Sikh groups in commemoration of 25 years of the anti-Sikh genocidal attacks that took place in Nov. 1984. After 25 years of carnage the Sikhs have realized that political power gives impunity, that the pursuit of justice is an illusion when the (Indian) state is complicit in the violence.
For the last few years, it had been presumed within India and among the people concerned abroad that the Sikh issues which rocked the country with tremors being felt all over the globe, has become part of the history despite the fact that the organizations like ours have been pursuing the agenda of Sikh Sovereignty unabatedly.
We would like to emphasis the point that fighting for one’s rights including right to self determination is not extremism. The Sikhs fought for the political objective set by the moderate Akali Dal in the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. It is a different matter that those leaders who set this agenda have betrayed it. We expect you to desist from making comments which cast aspersions on the Sikhs as a Nation (Quam) of which you also happen to be a member. This is the minimum we can expect from you as the Prime Minister who happens to be a Sikh.
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