It was interesting to note that yours was the only publication amongst several U.S. based Indian Papers to have actually published the text of the bill recently introduced by Rep. Wally Herger. Newspapers like India Abroad & News India are branding it as a “proKalistan” bill. But then why not publish the text and let the people decide for themselves. Any Objective reader of the bill will conclude that it is really a pro human rights bill that happens to address the situation in Punjab.

On the other hand, the immediate rear resting of nearly half the released Jodhpur Sikh detainees does not reflect well on the sincerity of Rajiv Gandhi and the Indian government in dealing with the Sikhs. Also, the exclusion of some districts of Punjab (as yet unspecified) from the relaxation of travel restrictions and forthcoming village elections smells of foul play. I wonder if it is yet another clever move to divide Punjab, and thereby the Sikhs. With the national elections just around the corner and the Congress (I) party in tough shape, one has to also wonder if this is just another desperate move which is not much more than a smoke screen to fool the people in India and those outside like the U.S. Congress.

It is clear that this move by the Indian government is a result of the introduction of the bill. We must congratulate Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh on his relentless effort in getting the bill introduced in spite of the massive lobbying by the Indian embassy. We must support him financially as well as morale wise, to the fullest extent possible. The least we can do is ensure that our respective congressmen vote for the bill. If the bill is successfully enacted, it will represent our first true victory in our fight against the oppression of the Indian government.

  1. Singh

Boston, Mass.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 24, 1989