There appears to be a contradiction in your editorial comments on “Campaign against Social Evils in Punjab” in the May 1, 1987 issue of World Sikh News. In the beginning of the Editorial you appear to endorse “direct action” and “using force” to get liquor and tobacco shops closed, while in the end you do not want this campaign stretched to meat shops, barber shops, etc. I am disappointed that you are not willing to condemn the violence and hooliganism practiced by those fanatics who want everyone to conform to their own sense of right and wrong.
I think the biggest evil in the world are those fanatics who set themselves as moralists and who want to impose a reign of terror on those who do not conform to the fanatic’s view of the righteous path.
They have a right to preach about the “evils” of smoking, drinking, trimming of hair or fingernails, wearing makeup, certain kind of clothing, or pornographic folk songs. But your advocacy of “direct action” to eradicate social evils is in violation of the democratic principles and the due process. That seems like an attempt to outdo Ayatollah Khomeini.
The urge to impose one’s views on others, especially by threats and violence is a form of domination. Although this is happening still in various forms and in various places, humans have to become less violent and more democratic if they want to last through this nuclear age.
With control of the news media by the Indian government, with ordinary people being afraid to speak for fear of reprisals, it is hard to get at the truth. So when murders are committed in Punjab, it is hard to determine whether it is the Indian secret police and its agents, the politically motivated freedom fighters or some people with personal vendeta, who are responsible for the killings. But when events like burning of shops with full knowledge of every one take place, I expect strong condemnation from responsible people and preventive action from law enforcement authorities.
Gurnam S. Brard Piedmont, Ca.
Article extracted from this publication >> May 15, 1987