November 26, 2014 | By Parmjeet Singh
London: 30 years ago the Indian authorities were not content with their Genocide of the Sikhs in June and November 1984. There is written proof the Indian authorities also set about to malign Amritdhari Sikhs in India and abroad and do all they could to silence Sikh voices of protest in countries like the UK, Canada and Germany.
We will probably never know the extent of the pressure and the underhand tactics the Indian authorities continue to deploy. However, one thing that is clear is that they may have been successful to silence or buy off some in the Diaspora who were all too eager to give up the fight for truth, justice and freedom, but in overall terms the Indian authorities have spectacularly failed 30 years later Sikh voices of protest in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia etc. are far more sophisticated and several generations of Sikhs, young, middle-aged and elders, stand united to take on the false propaganda of the Indian authorities. Sikhs increasingly recognise the benefits of lobbying and working with non-Sikhs, non-governmental organisations, politicians and foreign governments to continue the crusade for truth, justice and freedom.
This is best illustrated in the UK where it has been widely recognised and acknowledged the Sikh Federation (UK) is leading the way in terms of lobbying and where the annual June Remembrance event has reached new heights in terms of turnout, mainstream media coverage and creative ways of raising awareness.
In November 1984 the Indian authorities unashamedly pressured the British government to stop Sikhs protesting in central London while thousands of innocent Sikhs were being burnt alive across India. However, 30 years later the Sikh Federation (UK) is showing by organising three events in less than two weeks that the campaign for truth, justice and freedom is very much alive and breaking new ground.
The first and largest event is an International remembrance event on Sunday 30 November in Wolves Civic Hall where over 2,000 are expected to attend. The second is a Remembrance event in the UK Parliament on Tuesday 2 December followed by an event in the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday 11 December. The latter is expected to attract around 400 Sikhs from across Europe. The events are being supported by Amnesty International and many politicians and non-Sikhs are expected to attend to hear an impressive line up of speakers from across the globe.
Bhai Amrik Singh the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: ‘We will only get the truth, justice and freedom if we raise our voices for the 30,000 innocent Sikhs who died and the 300,000 left homeless in November 1984 who were systematically targeted in 18 different States in India.’
‘Ten government-appointed commissions and committees have investigated the deadly attacks against tens of thousands of Sikhs in 1984. Independent civil society inquiries found complicity by both police and leaders of the Congress Party’ said Amrik Singh.
‘Yet, three decades later, only 30 people, mostly low-ranking Congress Party supporters, have been convicted for the attacks that resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries’ he added.
‘No police officer has been convicted, and there have been no prosecutions for rape, highlighting a comprehensive failure of the Indian judicial system.’
‘The failure to deliver justice in the last 30 years has serious implications for the future of India as it strengthens the Sikh demand to exercise their right to self-determination and calls for the establishment of an independent Sikh homeland.’
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