I read the “Sikhs — Liberal or Tolerant?” article by Sardarni S.K. (I presume Satnam Kaur) Khalsa in the August 26, 1988 issue of World Sikh News with great interest. In fact, I read this piece twice, made copies, and distributed the same to many other Sikhs. We thank the principled Khalsa for writing and the WSN staff for it.
There are quite a few of these “liberal,” “modern”, “open minded,” “secular”, or “Hinduised” Sikhs among us. These people had been making fun of the “orthodox” (meaning proper, correct or conventional) Sikhs as “tunnel versioned,” “backward,” “closed minded,” etc. fora long time. After the brief hiatus of June 84 to about June 86, they have come back swinging at their brethren again! Completely brainwashed by the continuing disinformation campaign of the Indian government; they “parrot like repeat” that the Hindus are their brothers, that Moslems are their enemies, that the Sikh freedom fighters are kill innocent people in India, that the Sikh “militants” are responsible for the repeated sacrilege of many
Sikh Shrines including the Golden Temple and that the Khalistan demand is till unreasonable and unachievable!
These spineless Sikhs, with or without hair, show their muscles in attacking their own religion, people, traditions, and organizations to try to win favors with their self-imposed Hindu masters. They consistently contribute less than they draw from the Sikh “Panth.”
I would like my Sikh brenthern to watch out for such imposters who, in the disguise of Sikhs, are operating to undermine our religious institutions and are using devious means to control and sabotage Sikh interests.
Hardam Singh Azad Chairman, Sikh Association of America
On August 15, 1988 Hindu India celebrated 41st anniversary of its Independence from the British, but these 41 years are marred by Indian Governments broken promises to the brave Sikhs, insecure and unsafe life for its Moslem minority; a life of suffocation for the Christians and a life of perpetual involuntary servitude for the Dalits. Only one other thing deserves a mention along with the above, monumental corruption at all levels of Government and all branches of Government. If we have to objectively analyses the causes of this grave malady, the obvious culprit was Mrs, Indira
Gandhi. Over the years, many prominent public figures have spoken on this subject and taken positions in public and made daring efforts to expose the wrong doings of Mrs. Gandhi at various levels of administration.
Recently I was reading “Memory’s Gay Chariot” an autobiography of Punjab High Court Chief Justice Gopal Das Khosla. In this book, Mr. Justice Khosla states:
“Mrs. Gandhi had always believed that the security, the integrity and the material progress of India could be achieved only by her and her party remaining in power. So she must retain her position and her office by all available means. She was firmly convinced that anything that imperiled her status as the supreme leader and administrator of the country would be a national disaster, politically, economically and socially. It was this conviction that prompted her to declare the emergency. Her militant action backfired, because the Indian people having tasted the Joys and gains of independence and freedom could not tolerate the imposition of dictatorship which emerged from the emergency.”
The joy sand gains stated by the eminent Jurist unfortunately were to the benefit of the members of the majority community because as stated above the condition and situation of the sister communities in post-independence India worsened. The brave Sikhs who played a laudable role during the freedom movement had to again come forward during the emergency not only to bring Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s corrupt regime down but also to eventually rid India of this most corrupt and arrogant politician in the time to come.
I thought I would share the views of Justice Khosla with the readers of World Sikh News.
AMARSJIT SINGH BUTTAR VERMONT—CT
Cry for them, your people!
The story of the “Dirty War” of the ‘70’s in Argentina is today being told by a team of anthropologists. They unearth skeleton after skeleton, skull after skull, most found with close range bullet holes. They find groupings with chopped off hands. They sift through mass gravesites.
History speaks from those grisly graves, and the story of state sponsored terrorism unfolds. Thousands of suspected dissidents “disappeared” in the 1970’s in Argentina. A government panel has identified 8,961 victims, but human rights groups say that 20,000 people vanished. The Argentina forensic anthropology team, now in its fourth year of work, is trying to document what really happened to those “vanished ones.”
According to their findings, most were executed at close range, contrary to the government’s version that they were killed in encounters with police.
This ugly story is all too familiar in another part of the world, Punjab, India. Although the government takes great pains to wipe out all evidence of its brutality against its people, the day will come when it will have to confront history. Where have all the thousands of persons missing after “Operation Blue Star” disappeared to? Where have all the young men gone? Have they all fled to Pakistan as the government claims, or have they become a statistic to be discovered by inevitable time? When will we hear the story of the hundreds of men and boys killed in the so called encounters with security forces, who were actually summarily executed for being suspected dissidents?
We can only hope that these deaths will be documented and remembered in a country where it is difficult to confront history. Cry for them, India, for your own people whom you have betrayed!
Satnam Kaur Khalsa
One has not to be a genius to understand that the Punjab crisis is essentially a political problem and can be solved as such, and that if tackled in any other way, will only complicate the matter and defer the settlement. Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi, on purpose, made it a religious problem and tried vainly to tackle it, by means of military might at her disposal, hoping to quell it immediately, as a “Law & Order” issue. She stealthily craved to prove her supremacy over the public which was steadily fading, by dominating over the toughest of the Punjab lot, known for their pride of untold tales of sacrifices and bravery, not to mention’ of their industriousness and loyalty. She had underestimated the damage she had caused to her hitherto loyal supporters and eventually to herself.
A simple issue was thus manipulated to be made into a formidable complex problem and sought to be tackled through infamous Operation Blue Star, followed by preplanned Sikh massacre in the capital and all over the country, consequent to the assassination of Mrs. Gandhi in 1984. This was too rude a shock for the entire Sikh community, regardless of his political affiliation, Let alone physical loss of thousands upon thousands ‘of lives and property, the loss of self-respect and injured personal and religious sentiments were too great to be swallowed. This episode ignited the spirit of vengeance’ and hence the “Khalistan demand Vengeance may, by no means, be a virtue; but this human weakness is a trait which Sikhs can make no bones about it. It is probably inherited as a consequence of their history of long and relentless struggle with Muslim rulers and Hindu fanatics for right eousness. Nobody knows better than the Sikhs that violence can never solve any problem. But, ironically, the Government has yet to learn the fact in a hard way, for they are still trying to solve the problem through Police and Military Rule, as ‘engineered under the stewardship of Governor SS Ray and his advisor JF Riberio. Killing on both sides goes on and on, unabated. For one Gen. Labh Singh killed by the police, is replaced by two overnight. Police victories in Punjab are often pyrrhic.
Indian government does not feel comfortable with the idea of ‘Khalistan’. If it is ever so simple then it is no retribution at all. A vengeance to be meaningful has to be more agonizing than the initial attack. Nothing short of Khalistan can this day avenge the painful humiliation suffered by the Sikhs in Punjab through years of injustice and treachery? The hatred and spiteful vengeance amongst Sikh youths, the so called militants, is so intense that any Sikh nurturing moderate and reconciliatory views, even innocently; or one who would talk of less than ‘Khalistan’ is marked down as Government agent, without question. Giani Sohan Singh, the Head Priest Golden Temple, S. Mal Singh Ghuman and Bhai Bhan Singh, the General Sect and OF vice Secretary respectively, are the recent victims of the prevailing skepticism. Whether they were planted in their position by the Govt or by manipulation of the SGPC, their fault was that they harboured ‘moderate’ views and appreciated the anxiety and frustration of the Government over the
TO ALL SIKH BRETHREN:
Welfare and with all that is happening with Sikhs, it is time to organize, to improve our image,
Self-dignity. We should:
- Work to shatter the myth India has created that Sikhs are terrorist’s .Be an Ambassador.
Study Sikhism and Sikh history. Create an understanding among ourselves,
And citizens of the country we live in,
2. Make our homes, communities and States of Punjab a safe place to be.
- Ensure Sikh children receive the best education and achieve high scholastic merits. Mothers teach your children our religion.
- Protect our economic base. Add quality to everything you do. Make each minute useful and profitable. Always have a program.
- Be participative in the world; say yes to the universe. Take total control of your life, acknowledge people, and be polite always.
- Find something to get excited about. Happiness comes through achievement. Wear a smile. 7. Celebrate the following holidays in addition to national holidays:
- April 13th:
Our New Year and Birth of the Khalsa, “SINGH”. Ensure our Gurdwaras provide Sikh baptism (AMRIT) on that day.
- June 6th:
Martyrdom Day. Honor our dead victims of the massacre at Golden Temple, Delhi and India in 1984, and martyrdom of Guru Arjan by wearing black ties, turbans, arm bands, chunee. Buy cold soft drinks for strangers and explain why you are doing it.
- August 28th:
Sikh Independence Day. This is the date Sikhs denounced the Indian constitution and approved their own Magna Carta, the Sikh charter of demands. Hold picnics, outings, fly flags besides the National flag. d. November (Nanak’s Birth, check the Gurdwara):
Guru Nanak’s birthday. This is our Christmas. Celebrate like West celebrates Christmas. Adorn our homes with blue or golden strings of light. Exchange and give gifts. Affirm, your gifts are coming from abundance not scarcity. Give praises and best wishes to the ones you dislike.
- Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bhahadar (Date, check with Gurdwara):
Guru Tegh Bahudar gave His life to save Kashmiri Hindus from Moguls. Observe dignity of Faiths. Pledge no one shall be persecuted for one’s religious belief. Practice forgivenss. Celebrate as Jews celebrate Passover.
- Call on your community leaders to build community centers in addition to Gurdwaras. Make a place for intercommunity meetings, fashion shows, concerts, political rallies and private Parties, tec.
9, Call on our artists. Inspire them to write freedom/patriotic songs, paint pictures, write novels and translate our books to English.
- Call on intellectuals to guide our people in science, business and systematic economic
Development. Help Sikhs.
- Call mini conventions. Gather scholars to debate resolutions of our problem, i.e. trouble with Indians; role of Sikhs abroad; and how to maintain our standing and welfare in changing times. Sikhs are known as great warriors. The role of a warrior is just not survival but Victory. He must communicate well and be ready to solve problems. He must pool all his resources and be a community leader, a true Sardar. It is not what can be done but what ought to be done.
Coming Together Is A Beginning Keeping Together Is Progress; Working Together Is Success.
SIKHS WORKING TOGETHER EITHER WILL FIND THE WAY OR MAKE ONE. COME TOGETHER
SIKH WELFARE FOUNDATION OF NORTH AMERICA