I, on behalf of Sikhs of the San Joaquin Valley, would like to express our viewpoints on this Punjab Accord.
First, I would like to say this expression is not in any way against Hindu or any other community, because our Holy Book has Scriptures of many Hindu and Muslim Saints. Moreover, our religion does not teach injustice against any community. So, my expressions are against this present Government, who happen to be Hindu dominated under present circumstances.
Punjab and India’s violence is bound to continue even after this present peace accord because this has been rejected by Sikh Student Federation of India, where the majority of young Sikhs expressed their viewpoints. Any agreement between the Indian government and Sikhs must seek cooperation between Sikh Students Federation and the United Akali Dal. This community would like to propose their viewpoints which are being expressed and being conveyed to the Prime Minister of India:
- Promises given to the Sikhs prior to India’s independence should be honored. Prior to any independence, in Congress Committee the following resolution was unanimously passed “The brave Sikhs of Punjab are entitled to special consideration. I see nothing wrong in an area and set up in the north where the Sikhs can experience the glow of freedom. If the Sikhs desire to function as such a unit, I would like them to have a semiautonomous unit within India, so that they may have a sense of freedom.”’ Congress records were published in the National Book. Keeping these promises in mind, there should be an amendment in the Constitution where Sikhs are considered as a minority, separate from Hindus. I do not see any harm done to Hindus if Sikhs are considered as a separate community.
- Punjab should be declared as an autonomous unit within the Indian Territory, where defense, army and the rest of the government is in the hands of Sikhs. Air Force and Navy and President, should be common with the rest of India. There should be free travel, without any binding transportation and other import exports. This way, all the majority of Sikhs, particularly the fundamentalists, consider safe and still protected from so-called mobs of violence as were seen in November, 1984.
- As the government of India could not protect the Sikh minorities in the November, 1984, riots, we were unable to raise a voice against those highly positioned leaders because of repercussions.
- In all those states and union territory where Sikhs were taken off the railway trains, buses, their homes and their shops were burned alive, killed by steel rods, and ladies were raped, we strongly advise that all those leaders who were responsible to run those departments should be dismissed immediately from their responsibilities, and should be tried in the court for Life imprisonment so that in future all these Chief Ministers, Inspector Generals of the Police, Secretary of States or Directors of the Departments should control their Departments and control the mobs to protect any community who is being crushed by the majority. This will ensure the safety of the minorities. As in this country, if Department Heads are unable to show proper functioning of their Department, they are being replaced by new Department Heads: so, it becomes the duty of Railway Ministers to protect their passengers: the Chiefs of the police are responsible for violence, riots and rapes, so I strongly suggest that Rajiv Ghandi should take stern actions against those Departmental Heads.
- If we people see such justice done to Sikhs, then I do not see any point for demanding an autonomous or separate country from India. What we Sikhs need is a pure justice. It should be given immediately, without any hesitations, and without any inquiries. All the world knows this happened, in front of world media, police and even the military.
Lastly, I would like, on behalf of the local Sikh Community, to thank those Indians who were honest in expressing their honest opinion in different books, such as Former Chief Justice Sikri, Professor Kothari, Editorial Board of Manushi, and Subramanian Swami. Finally, I would like to thank your newspaper, who is letting us express our viewpoints on this Punjab Accord.
I pray to God, that justice should prevail all over India.
Article extracted from this publication >> August 23, 1985