May 3, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh/Jalandhar: About two dozen people from various walks of life have issued a joint statement rejecting vilifying propaganda against Sikh sangat that is recently brought back to Punjab by the government.
The joint statement endorsed by Sikh activists, academicians, opinionists and professional also raises serious concerns over targeting by various sections of media. They have also condemned statement of Punjab health minister in which he had blamed Sikh sangat from Hazur Sahib saying that ‘they (Sangat) had washed away efforts of the state government.
FULL TEXT OF THE STATEMENT, FOLLOWED BY LIST OF ENDORSEES, READS AS FOLLOWS:
3 May 2020
The entire humanity is going through unprecedented trauma. We can endure, survive and overcome the challenges that this pandemic has imposed on us only by remaining united and helping each other. Sikh community true to their dictum of Sarbat Da Bhalaa has been at the forefront in serving the needy in hours of distress by offering food through community kitchens langar and other daily essentials including grocery, dairy and even masks etc., irrespective of caste, creed or color of the needy at the same time. Sikh religious institutions have come forward and offered infrastructure for quarantine as well as residential purposes for doctors and nurses.
During these trying times when human values of empathy and aiding fellow humans should have come to the forefront, unfortunately we have witnessed a spate of utterly reprehensible reporting by a large section of the media augmented with irresponsible statements and acts by government departments and men holding responsible positions, targeting minorities and making them look harmful to society. The fear and insecurity generated by the pandemic is being channeled into the “othering” of the minority community.
The latest coverage by media of Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded (Maharashtra) pilgrims and the statements issued by Punjab’s health minister in regards to this is one more in series of vilification campaign which started with targeting of NRI Baldev Singh, who was accused as super spreader and Punjab police went to an extent of releasing a song especially targeting a poor soul who is no more with us .
Today a similar vilification campaign is being targeted at pilgrims returning from Takht Sri Hazur Sahib. We condemn this targeted vilification coverage and statements both by the media and the state’s health minister. This abhorrent and malicious coverage must be stopped from immediate effect to avoid consequential detriment to the prospects of social harmony in Punjab. It is the time when energy and resources of society and institutions be channeled to ensure relief measures and health services sans discrimination on basis of caste, color, religion or race etc.
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Related Topics: Congress Government in Punjab 2017-2022, Corona influenza, COVID-19, Embedded Journalism, Indian Media, Indian Politics, Indian State, Joint Statement, Narendra Modi Led BJP Government in India (2019-2024), Punjab Politics, Takht Hazoor Sahib, Takht Hazur Sahib