Recent outburst of few Indian friends, criticizing Governor Tom Kean of New Jersey over the statement he made during the declaration of holocaust week in the state of New Jersey, in April 1985, is totally unfounded, highly unjustified and thus inexcusable. They criticized the governor over the accuracy and truthfulness of the statement about the Sikh’s sufferings he made during his speech.
The mere fact is that the TRUTH is always bitter and when someone tries to speak the truth the other side retaliates vigorously to undermine and underestimate it, but it is the TRUTH that always triumphs. And it requires a person of great courage and strong character to speak the truth and Governor Kean just tried to do that.
If what Governor Kean had said is not correct about the human right sufferings of minorities in general and Sikhs in particular in India, then why the Indian Government is still refusing permission to the western press and various international bodies such as Red Cross, International Amnesty and other Human Rights organization to go to Punjab and find out what is happening to Sikhs. The information what U.S. State Department has, as suggested by our friends is supplied by the Indian Government only and is thus one sided. I like to stress that the HUMAN SUFFERINGS is not an internal issue any more of any nation, and therefore sufferings of the Sikhs is not an internal issue for the India is signatory to such charters and organizations that work for the basic human rights throughout the world. The entire Sikh community will gladly accept the findings of such international bodies, only if the Government of India allows these international bodies to investigate Sikh complaints and grievances.
It was Governor Kean’s father who was among the first ones to speak out in the Congress about the sufferings of Jews and made the Americans aware of the plight of minority Jews in Europe. He had the courage and vision to speak the truth and now his son, the Governor Tom Kean of New Jersey has the vision and farsightedness to mention the sufferings of Sikhs at the hands of Indian Government.
It is highly unfortunate that in the land of Mahatma Gandhi who based his life and entire career on TRUTH and is called the father of the nation, in that land of Gandhi no one is willing to protect and speak for the truth, rather his nation wants to suppress and conceal the truth from the world. Indian Government may succeed in it but this success will be short lived since the final victory always belongs to the TRUTH.
Any one believing in the TRUTH, the basic human dignity should applaud and be proud of Tom Kean for speaking and standing up to such a noble crusade.
Ram R. P. Singh
Article extracted from this publication >> July 12, 1985