March 22, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar (March 22, 2011): Perturbed over the maltreatment meted out to various Sikhs on different occasions at US and Milan airport in Italy, the Dal Khalsa has asked the SGPC president not to sit idly by simply passing the buck to Indian Prime Minister as expecting any good for the welfare of the community from the latter means “hoping against hope”.
Party Spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said it was highly regrettable that Sikhs were being targeted with complete disregard to their religious beliefs.
In a letter to SGPC chief Jathedar Avtar Singh, he said the religious identity of the Sikhs and the respect of Turban were being challenged by various countries, under the pretext of World Security.
On SGPC’s assertions that they had written several letters to the Prime Minister urging him to take up forcefully with the concerned nations where such shameful incidents have occurred in the past, Kanwarpal Singh said passing the buck to the Prime Minister each time won’t help in resolving crisis.
“Though Dr Manmohan Singh is a Sikh, but he represents 1 Billion and 20 crore people of Hindu-India”. “It would be preposterous to expect anything good for the welfare of the Sikhs from the Prime Minister Office”.
Referring to the budget session scheduled for March 24, he said large sum of funds were required to do lobbying in foreign countries. “I think it was time for the SGPC to open Sikh Missions in abroad and reserve about 10 per cent of its budget of 2011-2012 for creating awareness among the people who matters in their respective governments in abroad, particularly in US, Europe where most of the incidents have occurred. Apart from the funds earmarked for propagation of Sikhism, another 10 per cent of the budget should be allocated to tackle identity crisis in foreign lands, stated the communiqué.
The SGPC should hire a team of professionals who have knowledge of international diplomacy and skills to convince people who matters in policy decisions. With the help and active involvement of Sikh groups based in abroad, the SGPC should reach out to respective governments, opposition parties and NGO’s if it was serious to resolve the crisis, the letter suggests.
He said that Dal Khalsa has shot off a protest letter to the Italian government through its New Delhi based Ambassador Mr Giacomo Sanfelice di Monteforte, in which it has been highlighted clearly that such insult to Sikh Pride is unjustified and intolerable under any circumstances. Urging the Ambassador to ensure that in future Sikh sentiments were “not hurt”, he said one of our (Sikh) biggest sources of pride and confidence is Turban.
Removing a turban of a Sikh for frisking is an extremely painful experience, not only to the person with whom it happens but to every other Sikh who comes to know about it, reads the letter.
“While we were conscious of the security concerns of Italy, we earnestly believe that in this day and age there’s hi-tech advanced equipment to check if there is anything hidden inside the turban”.
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