August 3, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh/ Punjab (August 03, 2013): The Sikh farmers’ of Gujrat’s Kutch area are facing threat of displacement. A report by India’s National Commission for Minorities (NCM) said the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government had prima facie discriminated against the state’s 500-member Sikh community in Kutch by ordering them to sell their land and return to Punjab because they were not Gujaratis, citing the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948. This report has been submitted by Ajiab Singh, member of India’s National Commission for Minorities.
Ajaib Singh reportedly said that during his field visit the Sikhs told him that the Sikh community had migrated to Kutch after being invited by former prime minister late Lal Bahadur Shastri, who felt these swathes of white marshy land should be inhabited as a buffer against invasion from the sea.
Shiromani Aakali Dal (Badal) who used to be critical to the Congress party for being anti-Sikh is silent on the issue of Sikhs in Kutch. It is notable that SAD Badal introduces itself as a ‘natural allay’ of Bhartiya Janta Party. SAD Badal is also supporting Narindra Modi and he had recently addressed a rally in Punjab that was attended by Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal. On the other hand the Congress Party that has a long history of adopting discriminatory policies against the Sikhs, is criticizing of Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal Badal over it’s support to Narindra Modi.
Punjab Congress spokesperson Sukhpal Singh Khaira recently condemned Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for soft peddling the burning issue of forcible eviction of 1000 Sikh families from Kutch, Gujarat by Narendra Modi led BJP government.
He said that the Congress will not let Modi enter Punjab if justice is denied to Sikh farmers in Gujarat.
It is notable that Narindra Modi is being presented as prime ministerial candidate by the Hindutva forces, and the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), many opine that the report of NCM could be used by Modi’s opponent to gain political mileage.
But it must be remembered that ‘political mileage’ is not the only angle to look at this issue; as there are serious apprehensions that the fate of Sikhs of Kutch area is hanging in the middle. It is notable that in 2006 the Sikhs inhabiting Uttaranchal’s Escorts Farm area had faced displacement, when their houses were bulldozed at the orders of Uttaranchal government. Those Sikhs had previously been displaced by partition of 1947.
The recent report by India’s NCM is an indication that the Sikhs in Kutch area may also be subjected to face similar fate like Sikhs for Uttaranchal’s Escorts Farm; therefore the issue requires proper attention of entire the Sikh nation.
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