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Sikhs are a sovereign people: Sikh body to Indian PM

January 28, 2011 | By

Amritsar (January 28, 2011): Dal Khalsa has sought honouring of all commitments –oral and written by the Indian leadership to Sikh Nation before and on the eve of India’s independence in 1947.

The Dal Khalsa stated this in a letter written to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on the occasion of India’s republic day. A 10 member delegation led by Party president H S Dhami today met Deputy Commissioner Mr Kahan Singh Pannu and handed over a copy of the letter for forwarding the same to the Prime Minister.

Accompanied by Kanwar Pal Singh, Dr Manjinder Singh and other executive committee members, Mr Dhami demonstrated his group’s resolve to address Sikh issues through dialogue.

Expressing their opinion diametrically opposite to what is considered country’s mainstream, they said those who are not wedded to the concept of Indian-hood, the Republic Day celebrations are like someone stabbing in the back – they come as a reminder that the Indian state was still very selfish, self-centered and hypocritical unwilling to peacefully resolve their genuine problems.

We write to reiterate that “we are not part of (Indian) mainstream”: historically, religiously and politically Sikhs are a sui generis (sovereign) people. Notwithstanding the present status of the Sikhs in India today, the very fact that India is unwilling to talk to look at the ‘Sikh question’ as a ‘Nationality question’ enforces our belief and commitment to the right for self-determination of Sikhs, reads the memo.

Going further, it says “peaceful India” talks only to those who use violence as means to achieve their objectives. Representatives of organizations or regional groups who want India to engage in talks to evolve a wholesome and pluralistic resolution of the discord between India and other nationalities including Kashmir’s, Sikhs have always faced a negative response.

Urging the Prime Minister to show political will, the communiqué of the radical Sikh group stated, “it’s time for you and the government to invite various ethnic nations and religious minorities within the sub-continent to talks to undo the injustice done through the Constitution, various laws and regulations and the use of police, paramilitary and army”.

Taking a jibe at the government’s lip service to engage groups seeking right to self determination, the memo reads: India fears, but doesn’t bother for international refrain. Almost always, India speaks a ‘politically correct’ language. It invites insurgents to eschew violence; however, those sections and parties that do so always get a deaf ear.

Reasserting that the Sikhs are a separate Nation, they demanded a separate civil code for the Sikh community. The party leadership urged the Sikh Personal Law should be made on the pattern of the Muslim Personal Law.

“The registration of marriages, adoption, succession, formation of a family business (as is possible for a Hindu undivided family) – for all these we have to adopt a set of procedures incompatible with our belief system. This anomaly should be corrected without any delay,” they said. “Like in Pakistan, the Sikhs in India, too, need a comprehensive legislation for registration of marriages under the Anand Marriage Act,” they said.

They reiterated their commitment to fulfilling the rightful and legitimate aspirations of the Sikh people in a peaceful and democratic way.

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