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Gurbaksh Singh’s struggle – Silence of govts., Human rights bodies and India’s civil society a major cause of worry

December 19, 2013 | By

Amb Sahib, Mohali (December 19, 2013): Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, a Sikh from a village in Kurkshetra Haryana, is on continuous hunger strike for last 36 days. There is a growing concern among expanding support circles about his deteriorating health condition. Many have expressed their worries about the unconcerned attitude adopted by Punjab government, Chandigarh administration and the Government of India on this issue.

People are angry that Indian media is not lending requisite space to the issue. But the silence of Human Rights bodies, that are active at India level, is even more pinching in this regard because the issue has a strong human rights and legal connection.

The Indian civil society also seem to have turned deaf, dumb and blind in this issue. However some sections of minority communities in Punjab have shown sensitivity about the issue.

Bhai Gurbaksh Singh’s determination and the sensitivity of the issue has put a strong impact on diaspora Sikhs. Sikhs in Australia, Germany, France, United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom, besides many other countries, have stages protests outside Indian high commissions. Many are holding parallel hunger-strikes to show the support to the cause.

Yesterday, (Dec. 18) BBC Asian Network took notice of the issue and their Radio host Nihal held a discussion on it. Nihal took BBC correspondent Rajiv Tandon on air to get an update on this issue. In this program the host also tried to find the reasons that why Indian media was not giving due coverage to this issue.

It is notable that a number of prominent Punjabi artists, film actors, singers and lyricists – including, among others, Raj Kakra, Gurdas Mann, Jazzy B, Gippy Grewal, Satinder Sirtaj, Babbu Mann, Gurpreet Ghughi, Pammi Bai, Jassi Jasraj, K.S. Makhan and Bhagwant Mann have extended their support to Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa as well as the cause of Sikh political prisoners.

The activity of recent days shows that the people in Punjab have taken up the cause and they have holding protests, demonstrations and marches to oppose further detention of Sikh political prisoners who were being kept in jail beyond the terms of their sentences.

As per recent report the Punjab government showed some interest in this issue and a meeting took place on December 18 between Punjab Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and three representatives from the Bandi Singhs Riahi Morcha.

As the days are passing the support is growing strong for the cause but the slow progress at the government level is a major cause of worry because Bhai Gurbaksh Singh’s health condition is at a serious stage now, though he remains in high spirits.

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