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Trudeau’s Visit & Sikh Elite’s response: A Deceptive Narrative to mislead Sikhs [OP-ED]

March 6, 2018 | By

The Sikh Forum, a group comprising mainly the elite sections of the Sikhs, responded to Indian government and media’s approach against the Sikhs, manifested during the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Indian subcontinent and the Punjab last month. The Sikh Forum wrote a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (copy of this letter was shared on Sikh Siyasat News few days back). DSGMC and SAD (Delhi) leader Manjeet Singh GK, too held a press conference to express his concerns over the targeting of the Sikhs by media and Indian state agencies. The views expressed Manjeet Singh GK and the Sikh Forum manifests Sikh elite’s approach. The Sikh Youth Wing, Bangalore has analysed and responded the this approach. Sikh Youth Wing’s views are being shared as follows. Sikh Siyasat News would welcome any further discussion on this issue: Editor.

Trudeau’s Visit & Sikh Elite’s response : A Deceptive Narrative to mislead Sikhs

by: Sikh Youth Wing, Bangalore

In the wake of Indian State’s much talked about snub to Canadian Prime Minister due to a presumed rise in “Sikh Separatism” in Canada, the Sikh Elite has responded publicly recently via two platforms. While Manjeet Singh GK (of SAD, Delhi) has called on a Press Conference to register protest, Sikh Forum has written a letter to the Indian Prime Minister.

[File Photo used for representational purpose only]

‘Sikh Forum’ is one of the many intellectual forums/associations which were formed in the aftermath of the 1984 Sikh Genocide to manage the Sikh anger against the Indian State. The members of this organization come mostly from the elite section of Sikhs who have served the Indian Govt. at prominent positions and hold standing among the urban-middle-class Sikhs. Since its formation the Forum has indulged in opinion making against the Sikh struggle and has fulfilled the political interests of the Indian State. In the aftermath of June 1984 the Forum members in a series of articles and books held Sikhs responsible, mainly Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, for the attack on Sri Harmandar Sahib and in a way justified Indian Army’s invasion.

The recent letter by the forum written to PM Modi is again a deceptive attempt by the Forum to mislead the Sikh masses and dilute the Sikh narrative. This is exactly the same point which was put forward by Manjeet Singh GK (SAD) in a recent press conference. On the face value it seems that the Forum and Manjeet Singh GK are registering a protest against the Indian Govt.’s for mishandling of the Trudeau trip and maligning the Sikhs, but in reality it is a strong reaffirmation of the Sikh elite’s acceptance of the Sikh subjugation by the Hindu-Indian-State. The Sikh Forum and Manjeet Singh GK (SAD has put New Delhi’s Sikh Elite instead of Punjab leadership to react on this!) are in fact on an Opinion constructing Mission among the Sikh masses (via the Urban-Sikh-middle-class) to re-direct the dissatisfaction & anger which is prevalent among the post 1984 generation of Sikhs who have become skeptical of the so-called Indian Democracy.

The narrative put forward by the Forum and SAD on one hand reminds Sikhs of the horrors of 1984 genocide and immediately after, very strongly conveys its “ultra-sacred” commitment to the Indian territorial integrity and sovereignty. The Forum and SAD are clearly working on the guidelines of their new Brahminical Hindu rulers when they repeatedly and very emphatically state their commitment to the defense, integrity and sovereignty of the Indian State. The message from the Forum and Manjeet Singh GK is not of Protest but of Compliance to the Hindu narrative and Submission to the Indian state. At the same time, they do the same century old whining about the Sikh sacrifices & contribution to the so-termed Indian freedom struggle.

The conduct of the Sikh-Elite has become comparable to that of the Vichy in the Nazi-occupied France where the political elite among the French people became proxies of the Nazis in return for power, benefits, positions & recognition. The Vichy Sikhs claim to represent Sikh interests but in reality they manage and manipulate the Sikh masses’ opinion in the interest of the Indian rulers. They are the opinion management apparatuses and an extended arm of the oppressive Indian regime to mislead Sikhs by raising a mock voice of protest in the wake of discrimination & suppression but in reality facilitating the perpetuation of the subjugation.

The Sikh Forum and SAD shamelessly claim that Sikhs have denounced the idea of a sovereign Sikh State, completely forgetting the fact that thousands of Sikh men, women & children have laid down their lives for this goal and also forgetting that they are not the sole stakeholders in the messed-up Sikh politics to speak on behalf of all the Sikhs. Irrespective of our personal opinions about sovereign state, there is no denying the fact that: –

  • Sikh Panth by virtue of its basic ideals has been bestowed Patshahi (sovereignty) and Niarapan (distinctness) by the Gurus; with or without a dominion is a secondary debate).
  • The Khalsa Panth has been denied of its inherent & invioable right to administer itself in Punjab. The Indian State’s policy towards Sikhs is of subjugation and assimilation which is contrary to the fundamental Sikh ideals.
  • The idea of a sovereign Sikh state is still a substantial movement within and outside India and is part of normal discussions among Sikhs.

Darbar Sahib and Akal Takht Sahib [File Photo]

If there is no taker of this idea in Punjab and only interests very few in Sikh Diaspora, then why is the Indian-State so worried about it; why not ignore these “some Sikhs”? The recent passing of the Sikh Genocide resolution in the Ontario assembly and other local assemblies in Canada & US, the recognition of Sikhs as a different Asian ethinicity in the UK survey, the ban on Indian diplomats to speak from Gurudwara Stages in many countries is a clear signal for the Indian State. The huge gathering of Sikhs at the Sarbat Khalsa and the mass agitation against the Beadbi incidents which clearly explains the volatility & restlessness among the Sikhs in Punjab. Sant Bhindrawale has become the sole symbol of Sikh struggle & Sikhs are desperately seeking true leaders who can lead them in their struggle against the Imperialist Brahmanical Hindu subjugation.

A view of gathering at Chabba village during “Sarbat Khalsa 2015” samagam on November 10, 2015

Any narrative given by the Vichy Sikhs which is devoid of these apparent facts is equivalent to back-stabbing and collaboration with the enemies of the Panth who only seek dilution and then destruction of the Gurmat way of life. The Vichy Sikhs usually argue that the idea of sovereign Sikh State is territorial and thus is contrary to the world view of Gurmat; If that is so, then: –

  • How do their commitment to “Indian territorial integrity” and a territorial document (Indian constitution) becomes so sacred and in accordance with Gurmat?
  • How is describing the Great Gurus and Great Sikhs as protectors of some territorial entity called India/Bharat Mata in accordance with Gurmat?
  • Why are they so hell-bent on portraying Sikhism & Sikhs as the divine contractors for safeguarding the territorial Integrity of a, not very old, piece of land called India?
  • Isn’t Gurmat higher and nobler than these territorial & material ideologies?
  • Why is it that Gurmat is always used as a counter-argument against a not yet physically established Sovereign Sikh State but not against an unjust territorial manifestation called India?

It would not be inappropriate to clarify here that Sikh Elites who are in company with the perpetrators of this inhuman chaos do not represent & speak for the Sikhs. Only those who are living a life of Gurmat and spilling their blood & sweat for the Panth are acceptable to Sikhs. The Sikhs still seek those leaders who shall lead them; leaders like Sant Bhindrawale who, in spite of all the false and hostile propaganda of the Indian State and the Vichy Sikhs, is still very much alive in the hearts of the Sikh youth.

The hostile Indian attitude towards a Sikh friendly Justin Trudeau and his Sikh ministers has further alienated many more Sikhs in India who feel proud of the political & economic successes which their Sikh brethren have achieved overseas through sheer hard work. The Indian-State (driven by Imperialist & Supremacist Brahminical Hindu mindset) is clearly worried about the growing dissatisfaction & alienation among the Sikhs and sees it as a threat & counter to its historic policy of Sikh assimilation into the Hindu identity (masked in the garb of Indian nationalism & secularism).

Unlike India, Canada is a free country where a section of its citizens can freely voice their opinions on self-determination and separation without any threats of reprisals. Again, unlike India, Canada is a signatory to the UN resolution on self-determination and has provided this right to its citizens. People of Quebec have exercised this right twice, to choose to separate from Canada, once in 1980 and then in 1995. UK recently granted this right to Scotts. Living in that environment it is quite natural for the Sikhs to speak about similar rights for the Sikhs in Punjab, their brethren, and campaign for it considering that many of them have escaped the Genocide committed by the Indian state and also when Sikhs had already fought a bloody struggle for 10 years to break the shackles of slavery.

It is very evident that there is a simmering tension in Punjab on this issue and other injustices committed by the Indian State for eg. 1984 Genocide; returning of Sikh artifacts looted in 1984, loot of Punjab’s river waters, suppression of Gurmukhi & Punjabi, mass killings of Sikhs during insurgency, occupation of Chandigarh, illegal imprisonment of Sikhs, fostering of anti-Sikh deras & supply of drugs by Indian agencies, denial of Sikh religious demands, article 25(b), denial of Sikh Personal Law, suffocation of agriculture & economy of Punjab to name a few.

For the enlightenment of our Sikh Elite, following is the excerpt from the famous writing of Sirdar Kapur Singh “The Golden Temple: Its Theo-political Status”:

“The Sikh doctrine of Double Sovereignty promulgated in the beginning of the 17th century, has curiously modern ring and flavour as from 19th century onwards, a growing school of writers in Europe have tended to think on the lines in which it is grounded. The main substance of this doctrine is that any sovereign state which includes Sikh population and groups as citizens must never make the paranoia pretensions of almighty absolutism entailing the concept of total power, entitled to rule over the bodies and minds of men, in utter exclusiveness. Any state which lays such claims qua the Sikhs, shall automatically forfeit its moral right to demand allegiance of the Sikhs and there is thus an internal antagonism between such a state and the collective community of the Sikhs, represented by the Khalsa, and in this deadly duel the State shall never emerge out as finally victorious, for self-destruction is the fruit of the seed of non-limitation, and the status and the prerogatives and the Khalsa are imprescriptible.

The 19th century German writer, Schulse supports the basic premise of this doctrine by asserting that the view that the State is absolutely supreme and incapable of doing wrong is misconceived and dangerous (Deutsches Staatsrecht Vol l Sec. 16). The whole Sikh history is relentless jehãd against this dangerous misconception, and the Sikhs have always insisted that any State fit and entitled to demand their allegiance must ab initio recognise and concede its own self-limited character, arising out of the principles of morality, the teachings of Religion, the principles of abstract justice, the principles of the Sikhs’ metalegal constitution which lays down that,

  • they must he approached and dealt with at State level as a collective group and entity, and
  • they must be governed impersonally, that is, through the rule of law and not by arbitrary will, and this self-limitation must further be circumscribed by the immemorial customs, long-established traditions and the facts of the history of the Sikhs.

This Sikh doctrine is, in essence, the same which today finds explicit expression in the modern concept of the pluralistic State, which recognises that the State, in practice, is the government, and the government is no more than a group in control of the governmental machinery, and that the aims and objects of this group, may any time clash with those of other groups, not in power. The government may be the temporary principal of all such groups, but it is only primus inter pares, the elder amongst equals; it is not the sole repository of power or focal of loyalty. This is, indeed, the sole essence of the Sikh doctrine of Double Sovereignty, which finds powerful support in the writings of Professor Harold J. Laski, Mr. G.D.H. Cole, and the French jurist, Duguit, and also Dr. J. N. Figgis.”

“From this it follows:

(1) The Sikhs, wherever they happen to be in any appreciable numbers, have a right to be dealt with as a civic group, and an attempt to atomise this group for exercise of political power over them, constitutes an infringement of this right. The postulate behind this raw of Sikh social constitution is that on the socio-political level, the significant unit is the group rather than the individual, for, it is the group which lays down norms of conduct for the individual,

(2) Political subjugation or slavery is incompatible with the basic constitution of Sikh society,

(3) It is the implied right of the Sikhs to assemble freely, as such, to consider and deliberate upon any matters, that they may deem as vital to their interests, irrespective of whether these matters are of this world or of the other, and

(4) The Golden Temple, and by analogy, the other Sikh places of worship, have a theo-political status which is not a matter of concession by a political state, but is a right, sui generis.”

“In a democratic society, such as that of India of today, the Sikhs need not encounter any contradictions between their own collective convictions and the requirements of the state to which they owe allegiance. If, therefore, there are frictions, the fault must be found somewhere in the sphere of implementation of true democratic processes and the persons who implement them.”

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