February 1, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London: On the 3rd anniversary of the launch of the 10-point Sikh Manifesto at Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Southall, the United Kingdom based Sikh Federation maintained that “setting up of the Sikh Network and the development of the Sikh Manifesto can be seen as a masterly political stroke.”
“All British political parties appreciate the strength of the Sikh Manifesto concept backed by the professionals of the Sikh Network and grassroots support and clout of the Sikh Federation (UK)”, the UK based Sikh group said in a statement issued yesterday.
“Despite constant lobbying by the Indian authorities many politicians in government and the opposition now privately accept this combination is head and shoulders above any other Sikh organisation operating in British political circles,” reads the statement issued by Sikh Federation UK.
“Preet Kaur Gill and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, the two Sikh MPs elected in June 2017 are directly linked to the Sikh Network and back the Sikh Manifesto.”
Additionally, the Sikh Federation (UK) is of the believe that it is influencing the leadership of the Labour Party in getting them elected and persuading the party to include key issues relevant to Sikhs in the Labour Party’s manifesto has not been lost on the Indian authorities who are worried with the direction of travel.
“First came progress on securing huge cross-party support on the separate Sikh ethnic tick box in the Census 2021 that has made this a real possibility when the Census White Paper is published later this year.”
Furthermore, they said that yesterday (Tuesday) there was an unprecedented show of cross-party support at the campaign launch in Parliament for a monument in central London to highlight Sikh Sacrifices in the World Wars promoting the distinct Sikh identity.
“These developments attracting support from a very wide ranging cross-section of the Sikh community will be sending alarm bells ringing not only at the Indian High Commission in London but also with the Indian authorities in Delhi,” Sikh Federation (UK) further maintained in its statement.
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “Plans are afoot for several other major developments on other more critical issues in the Sikh Manifesto in the next 6 months.”
“A Labour government sympathetic and supportive on the full range of issues in the 10-point Sikh Manifesto in the very near future is becoming a real possibility with the Conservative government split and in serious trouble over Brexit.”
“Currently Panthic-minded Sikhs in the Diaspora, especially those in the UK and Canada, are making huge political in roads and causing the Indian state a major headache.”
“The Indian authorities have more or less tried everything to stifle Sikh political progress in the Diaspora, but need to realise we are going from strength to strength and they will be forced to address the long-standing grievances of the Sikh Quam.”