March 18, 2015 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London, UK: The Indian authorities, Sikhs in the UK and abroad who prop up the Indian state and Sikhs who to date have lacked the forethought to contribute and back the Sikh Manifesto just do not know how to respond to the huge impact it is having.
The Sikh Manifesto is resulting in UK politicians from all political parties not only singing the praises of the Sikhs, but also making specific commitments linked to the demands in the Sikh Manifesto.
The latest contribution regarding the proposal that the British Army will raise a Sikh regiment has come from Shankar Roychowdhury, the former Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, and former member of the Indian Parliament as they believe UK Ministers are serious about this proposal. He has written:
‘The aim of the British government in announcing the proposal of creating a Sikh Regiment in the British Army at this juncture could be two-fold.’
’Firstly, the British Army is trying to make up for the manpower shortage it has been facing by mobilising recruits from a distinctive British ethnic minority with a historic tradition of soldiering for the British Empire.’
‘Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the British government wants to use the new regiment to tap into the political potential of British Sikh votebank ahead of the next British general elections, imminent in 2015.’
The former Indian Army Chief has further stated: ‘India has some concerns about the Sikh Regiment of the British Army.’
‘If the British Sikh Regiment is created, it will be incumbent for the British government to remain alert to the possibilities of Khalistani sympathisers attempting to contact its ranks. The potential for mischief does exist here, and the Indian and British governments will have to devise methods to neutralise it.’
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: ‘It is inappropriate for the former Indian Army Chief to raise such concerns. The British Sikh Regiment has nothing to do with India as he himself has admitted the regiment would be made up of ‘British Sikhs’ – all British citizens and permanent residents in the UK. What he has said is totally unacceptable.’
‘What he has said about possible links between the rank and file of the British Sikh Regiment and Sikhs who may be demanding an independent Sikh homeland amounts to nothing more than scaremongering. He needs to appreciate in Britain and other countries around the world it is not illegal to demand and call for independence and a separate homeland or self determination i.e. Scotland, as long as this is done through a peaceful and democratic framework.’
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