It is really unfortunate that Sikh Commonwealth’s request for consultant status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was turned down by a United Nations panel simply because of the intensive lobbying by India. Soviet delegate A. Vorobien accused the Sikh Commonwealth of “flagrantly disregarding the provisions of the U.N. Charter” without citing a single instance to substantiate his fictional charge. No effort was made by the panel members to verify the charge and the office bearers of the Commonwealth were not given the opportunity to present their view point or to rebut the charge.
Sikh Commonwealth was founded in Kenya in 1975 and has its headquarters in Britain. Ever since its inception, it has been pursuing social and cultural aims as also providing banking and investment services to the community. Atno stage and inno manner, it indulged in political activity let alone “separatist” activism. The panel members, however, did not deem it worthwhile to go into the mertis of the application. Obviously they were:swayed solely by the Indian objections and ungrudingly swallowed whatever garbage of lies was fed’to them. They did not realize that Indians consider all such Sikh religious or cultural organizations “separatists” as do not speak their language. In India, peaceful protest against State terrorism and constitutional campaign for equal rights with the majority community are synonymous with practicing separatism.
Soviet Union’s ardent articulation of Indian objection is understandable. Sri Lanka and Pakistan’s silence is also understandable. Sri Lanka fears that consultant status to Sikh Commonwealth may be used as a precedent by the Tamils to demand a similar status for themselves. Pakistan fears the big bully of the subcontinent and is still in the process of recovering from the aggressive deployment of Indian army all along its borders. Cuba, Cyprus and Bulgaria, never have any option but to blindly obey the Soviet Union. France’s current flirtation with India to secure profitable trade concessions perhaps made it close its eyes to the grossly unjust decision.
But the endorsement of Soviet accusation against the Sikh Commonwealth by the United States is most surprising. Nearly 700. organizations world over already enjoy the consultative status and granting of the same status to the Sikh Commonwealth would have neither diminished the “glory” of United Nation’s Economic and Social Council nor catapulted Sikhs into somekind of an extraordinarily exclusive or elitist fraternity. It would merely have given the Sikhs an oportunity for greater interaction with other social and cultural organizations which would have proved mutually beneficial. Sikh religion being the most modern of all the divinely revealed religions has much to offer to the modern man in this spiritually barren world of materialistic obsessions. It is a religion in which the spiritual and the temporal fuse into each other in perfect harmony, in which the vexing fears and doubts are rendered irrelevant, in which each human being, irrespective of color, class, or creed is a brother aglow with divine spark.
The denial of consultant status to an organization that claims to represent the best of Sikh traditions and values will go down in the United’Nations records as another spineless surrender to pernicious politics. Given the Indian government’s congenital intolerance of Sikh religion and its tradebased clout in the corridors of the U.N., no Sikh organization will be allowed to qualify to enter the portals of the world body unless it is packed with Indian stooges and puppets.
It is a situation that seems to contradict the ideals enshrined in the U.N. charter. Rather it makes U.N. look like a center of sordid intrigues where truth is sacrificed at the altar of appearances, untruths and trade benefits. Willno country make an honest attempt to change this dismal scenario? Will it not be in the interest of the United Nations to pause for a moment and consider as to why India is hated by its each and every neighbour, why all the minorities in India feel oppressed and! bullied? If only the panel members had reflected over this revealing reality, the fate of Sikh Commonwealth’s application, perhaps, would have been different.
Article extracted from this publication >> March 13, 1987