September 1, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New York, USA (August 31, 2011): Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) approached United Nations by submitting Memorandum to Honorable Heiner Bielefeldt, UN “Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief” demanding UN’s immediate intervention to impress upon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government to amend article 25 of the Indian Constitution to restore the independent status of Sikhism.
In the latest move, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Government has refused to pass an Act for registration of Sikh marriages while Muslims, Parsis, Christians and Jews of India already have separate acts for registration of their marriages. P.M. Manmohan Singh’s Government’s refusal to pass law for separate registration of Sikh marriages is yet another instant of discrimination based on religion towards Sikhs.
According to attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun legal advisor, Sikhs For Justice, ever since the promulgation of Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, Sikhs have opposed it and have demanded restoration of their religion’s separate status. However, the demand and struggle of Sikhs to have Sikhism recognized as a separate religion has resulted in extreme repression by Indian Government. Till today Indian Government does not recognize separate status of Sikh religion and continue to usurp religious, political and economic rights of Sikhs added attorney Pannun.
The memorandum submitted to UN states that that Article 25 of the Indian Constitution violates Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all of which protect and promote all peoples right to have separate religious identity.
SFJ launched the Campaign “Proud to be Sikh” at international level to collect signatures, garner support and spread awareness among the world community about the discrimination meted to Sikhs by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government.
According to Youth Coordinator, SFJ, Jatinder Singh Grewal, under the campaign “Proud to be Sikhs”, SFJ will approach United Nation member countries during the upcoming General Assembly Session in New York to highlight the discrimination faced by Sikhs in India on account of religion. Under “Proud to be Sikhs” conferences and conventions will be held across the world to collect “one million signatures” added Grewal.
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