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Press Conference by Panth Sewaks After NIA Raids Khalsa Aid and Sikh Diaspora Leaders’ Houses

August 4, 2023 | By


Amritsar (3 August): Members of the Panth Sevak Collective today addressed a press conference stating that India’s investigative agency, the NIA, has raided the homes of leaders of Sikh organizations abroad, most prominently Khalsa Aid, in an attempt to target the reputation and ultimately, undermine the collective capacities of Sikhs. During the farmers’ struggle, Skhs collectively demonstrated their potential and capacity by manifesting the principles of gurmat. These raids are intended to repress that collective consciousness and are the next phase of repression that was launched against Sikh naujawan in the month of March.

Speaking to journalists, Bhai Daljit Singh, Bhai Narain Singh, Bhai Bhupinder Singh Bhalwan, Bhai Satnam Singh Khandewala, Bhai Hardeep Singh Mehraj, Bhai Rajinder Singh Mughalwal and Bhai Satnam Singh Jhanjian said that the Indian state has intensified the process of repression against Sikhs. Sikhs are a major challenge for the Indian state due to our principles and ideals, history, the geographical location of Punjab and our historic claim to sovereignty. In March, the Indian state started this repressive process through the arrests of Sikh naujawan, alongside a widespread psyop (psychological operation) in order to isolate and directly target Sikhs across the subcontinent.

Members of the collective said that by constantly targeting the leadership of Sikh institutions, the Indian state is attempting to ensure that there is a vacuum of organization and leadership amongst Sikhs. This recent attack is not on any one institution, organization or selected personalities, but against the collective character and capacity of Sikhs. Sikh organizations around the world must unite in response.

They also pointed out that the recent shahadat of leaders of the kharku sangarsh (armed struggle), including Bhai Parmjit Singh Panjwar and Bhai Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada, alongside the suspicious death of young Bhai Avtar Singh Khanda in the UK, demonstrate that the Indian state has begun a process of eliminating those Sikhs in support of independence. A tactic which may soon be deployed in Punjab as well. In Punjab, the state wants to bring the internal fragmentation and lack of trust amongst Sikhs to a fever pitch so that agencies can then target azadi-pakhi (pro-independence) Sikh leaders in Punjab without issue. All genuine parties engaged in this struggle need to turn their attention to this possibility.

At this time, the Indian state is targeting every organization and personality that has contributed to generating soft capital and the collective capacity of Sikhs worldwide. It is a matter of great concern that some Sikhs are simultaneously doing the work of the Indian state, unwittingly or otherwise, by spreading lies and false narratives against Sikh institutions, personalities, or participants in the armed Sikh struggle. Internal divisions and a lack of trust do not serve Sikh interests in any way. Sikhs around the world must take guidance from gurmat and Panthic tradition in order to spearhead consensus-building initiatives in order to effectively confront this wave of repression.

Commenting on the situation in India, members of the Panth Sewak collective noted that the bipparvadi Indian state is rapidly moving towards implementing its goal of a Hindu rashtra, which has resulted in constant attacks and the erosion of diversity, the imposition of uniformity, and the centralization of power at every level. Religious, cultural and linguistic identities, members of scheduled castes, Adivasis (Indigenous communities) and others engaged in resistance are all being targeted by the Indian state. By orchestrating widespread social and religious polarization, those committed to diverse religious, social and ideological identities are being discredited and vilified while the most active elements amongst all of them are either being killed or incarcerated. As a result, the Indian state is gradually moving closer and closer to either assimilating and absorbing communities in their entirety or eliminating them altogether. Members of the collective stated that democracy and the rule of law exist only in name in India, and that while the state is operating like a fascist dictatorship, the law is simply another tool of oppression.

They concluded by emphasizing that the common narratives and explanations of this repression simplistically being tied to electoral politics is misguided–all of these phenomena are the consequences of deliberate, policy decisions being made by the bipparvadi Indian state. The gravity of this situation is rapidly increasing, to the point that India may soon become an open arena of genocide across the subcontinent.

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