The Honorable Mayor Edward I. Koch

City Hall

New York, New York 10007

The Honorable Mayor Koch:

We had the privilege of attending the memorial service in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Saturday, October 5th, to commemorate the death of many innocent people in South Africa. Your address in the memorial service was most eloquent and touching.

You rightly paid tribute to the son of Bishop Tutu for his courage to rush to the aid of innocent victims of police brutality, despite the danger to his own life. You nightly admonished those who have not expressed their outrage, despite the fact that in this country we have nothing to fear from the South African police.

Your Honor, please permit us to bring to your kind attention that not a word of sympathy, much less outrage, was expressed from the City Hall, when thousands of innocent Sikhs, men, women, and children were brutally murdered in June and November of 1984. Thousands still continue to suffer in jails.

We were gratified by the expression of sympathy and concern by some eminent Americans like The Honorable Governor Thomas Kean of New Jersey, The Honorable Congressman Robert, and The Honorable Congressman Don Burton. The Honorable Congressman Joseph Adobo among them. The Honorable Governor Mario M. Cuomo was kind enough to send a message of goodwill through his special assistant, who had attended the World Sikh Convention at Madison Square Garden last year.

 You made an earnest “appeal to the conscience of President Reagan.” We would like to borrow your words and make a similar appeal to the leading world personalities, like you, to express their concern against state terrorism in India and elsewhere. It might not change the things for the Sikhs in India, but it would put the ruling regime of India at notice that the leaders of humanity are watching the situation and are not being misled by a billion dollar media blitz of misinformation and distortion.

Please permit us to add that many eminent Indians intellectuals, journalists, jurists, academia, leading political figures, leaders of women’s groups and human rights advocates among them expressed their outrage at the genocide of the Sikhs, at the risk of losing their lives, families, properties, jobs, etc. It was indeed disappointing that many in the “free world” who have nothing to fear from the official brutality, assumed an evasive silence at the genocide of the Sikhs.

Your Honor, you are too popular, famous and a great world leader to be intimidated by a few hundred votes of the Hindu extremists in New York City. Most Indians, seen at the India Day parade, who came from the tri-state area, are neither the citizens of the United States nor residents of the City of New York. It is probably this deceptive perception of the politics of arithmetic of the City of New York that many elected officials have shied away from expressing their concern at the tragic situation in the Punjab and India.

You rightly compared the situation in South Africa today with Hitler’s Germany in 1930’s. We wonder, why this world assumed an evasive silence at Nazi Germany’s genocide of the Jewish people? Was it because the Jewish people were outnumbered by the politics of arithmetic in 1930’s like the Sikhs of the 1980’s? Has this world changed since them? Have we learned any lessons? Does the conscience of humanity need the blood of 6 million innocent people, over and over again, to awaken and recognize the brutal reality concealed under the billion dollar media blitz?

We shall welcome an opportunity to meet with you and seek you indulgence in this matter of common human concern.


With respectful regards.

Yours Sincerely,

Prof. Gurcharan Singh & Naunihal Singh, M.D.

New York Delegate to WSO National Council

Article extracted from this publication >>  November 1, 1985