As a foreign-born Sikh and having lived all my life away from India I am not closely acquainted with those in politics in India. However I am very much concerned with matters of Sikh religion and Sikh people in Punjab and elsewhere. I would like to read about those Sikhs who aspire to lead, not only their life sketches but also the views that they hold and the efforts they have so far made. As a vast and far flung community Sikhs will have different views and solutions to offer for a given problem. I wish to see all points expressed in your paper which will do the greatest possible service to us all.
Naturally we have those who can be said to be enemies of the Sikhs. I would like to read similar sketches on life, work and philosophy of the people who have taken it upon themselves to oppress the Sikh people. For instance to start a story on Bansi Lal and Bhajan Lal of Haryana is very much desired. It would also help if history of Haryana, Punjab and neighboring states is examined.
The question on Punjabi/Hindi issue should also be addressed with a focus on examining as to why Hindu Punjabis chose to declare Hindi their mother tongue. Did the Hindus feel threatened by a smaller unified Sikh community? Was it that Sikhs were looked upon as oppressors? Were Sikhs perceived as outsiders? Did Hindus in power sell off Punjab waters to starve Sikhs out?
Perhaps each question should be thoroughly examined by a person competent in that particular field.
The progene of Kauravs that now rules from Hastina Pur (Delhi) also deserves a thorough examination.
Finally a suggestion about Children’s Corner. It will be better if the drawings are printed at least twice the size and sequence numbered Keeping each episode to about half of what appears now will have more readers interest.
Wahe Guru Ji Khalsa
Sri Wahe Guru Ji K Fateh
Harjit Singh Rakhre
Congratulations for the long awaited venture. All our humble services are at the disposal of the community.
Some suggestions are appended below for consideration.
- There should be a direct link in India for day to day information/news and that source should be competent and as reliable as possible.
- Likings of the readers in order of preference are as follows:
(a) Sikh affairs related news from India.
(b) Articles, write ups giving guidance to the community for action regarding withholding of inflow of dollar into India, giving methods etc., relations with nonSikh Indian communities and members of Indian Missions.
(c) A clearly defined procedure to be followed holding uniformly by the Sikhs in these countries for future demonstrations and protests. There has to be a rigidly uniform procedure to demonstrate our unity in these activities. A uniform pattern is a MUST. Letters of protests (contents) must be recommended by the WSO.
(d) Material concerning other minorities of India to carry them with us.
(e) Cheap material, information, news etc., should be avoided. This is detrimental to the credibility of the paper.
(f) Articles on health and nutrition.
(g) Standard and authentic letters on Sikh history and culture or Gurbani.
(h) Any circular type of information to be transmitted to the Sikhs from the World Sikh Organization.
(Ajit Singh Sahota)
233 Viewmount Drive
Ontario, Canada, K2E5T5
It is regrettable that Jathedar (Head Priest) Kirpal Singh was wounded by unknown assailants. One wonders if he would rush to exonerate his assailants in the same manner as he exonerated Pandit Zail Singh, the President of India,
Who had ordered his troops to blast our Guru’s house with guns and tanks and even had Guru’s body fired upon and thousands of Sikhs massacred.
In Head Priest’s case his assailants had only harmed him.
Our Association has learned with great pleasure that World Sikh News An English Weekly Paper is regularly published and we have gone through its Feb. 1, 1985 Issue. We send our sincere appreciation for this noble task for the Sikh Panth and strongly recommend to all Sikhs to subscribe to this Newspaper for the best interest of Sikh Nation and for the struggle in establishing our own Sikh Sovereign State.
Further we will assist you in establishing News Agency in our regions at Wentworth and Niagra Falls Etc. Please do inform if so desired.
(Lachman Singh Aujla)
Punjabi Sahit Sabha
The unresolved conflict in Punjab and elsewhere in India between the Sikhs and the Government of India before June 5/6 was in relation to certain basic, legitimate, and reasonable political, economic, and religious demands. First, the government successfully implanted its own protégé in the Akali ranks so that the whole gambit of Sikh activities would lead to a general ‘disarray’ and ‘confusion.’ Once having achieved their underhanded political objectives, Mrs. Gandhi and her representatives kept insisting that the Punjab demands, which have always been characteristically and erroneously projected as Sikh demands, can be considered only if the Sikhs could come up with a single voice. The government knew full well that it was not going to happen because it had its full part in creating the cleavage amongst the ranks of the Sikhs in the first place.
The attack on Golden Temple was a blatant violation of the basic democratic and religious rights of the Sikhs, guaranteed to them under the Indian constitution, theoretically at least. Government’s argument to defend its unpardonable act has been that ‘certain extremists’ who were a danger to the civil life had to be ‘flushed out.’ It has been over 64 months since the massacre at the Golden Temple and scores of other Gurdwaras in Punjab. The Government keeps claiming that it is the largest democracy but is not showing any signs of democratic life and principles. The army, 3 to 4 hundred thousand strong in number, still engulfs the civilian life of the citizenry of Punjab, a small state of 16 million people. Martial Law is still in force, civil liberties and basic human rights of speech and expression, religious worship and free movement in their homeland are still nonexistent for the Sikhs. They are being suffocated to extinction. The people are dreadfully terrified of possible reprisals at the hands of ruthless army and police forces that have done everything in the name of ‘combating extremism’ and have got away even with murder. Even the modes of communications, letters and telephones, are being interceded. Under these circumstances, the economic and political life of Punjab is at the virtual standstill, disrupting the blood life of once a prosperous state. This is another punishment to the majority community of Sikhs in Punjab. For 61, months, simple humanitarian gestures of preparing a list of the dead and the missing, under the Int’l Laws of Human Rights, has not been shown by the government to their families and loved ones. Nor have any such lists been given to any Sikh organization. Any attempt on the part/in this direction has been construed (or misconstrued) by government’s sources as ‘anti national’, or even ‘extremist.’ Instead of showing any gesture of possible appeasement to the brutally hurt Sikhs to their deep sentiments of desecration of their holy shrines and ruthless killing of thousands of Sikh patriots, the government unleashed relentless reprisals in the urban and rural areas where youngsters of age groups 15 to 28 were continuously apprehended at some pretext and detained without charge, denied trials for weeks and even months and let them rot in subhuman jails with absolutely no decent civil facilities. Some of them were forcibly injected with special medication which could, possibly, weaken or even destroy the lower parts of their bodies or make them sterile. Such treatment is inhuman and barbaric in the ‘largest democracy.’ There should have been an independent judicial inquiry into these savage acts, a long time ago. But we all know, nothing has been done in this direction.
Instead, the killing of Mrs. Gandhi by two of her body guards was blamed on the entire Sikh community. All Sikh organizations, in India and abroad, have denied categorically any involvement in this episode. It has been stated time and again that Sikhs do not approve of anyone’s killing or killing anyone. Sikhs have never perpetrated nor condoned any
Inhuman act. The action of the two body guards was, perhaps, a personal revenge against the atrocities committed by the police and the army in their home towns to their kin. What followed Mrs. Gandhi’s death is a horror story in which thousands, some estimates put it at 55,000, of Sikhs all over India, particularly in Delhi, the capital city of the ‘largest democracy’, where the government looked away while the killers and mobsters indulged in a general carnage of burning alive, destroying properties and businesses of the Sikhs running into the millions of dollars. Even the government’s own earlier conservative estimates of the number killed and values of the properties/businesses have been substantially revised upwards.
History has proven the Sikhs to be a vital part of the Indian community, contributing substantially more than their proportional representation in India’s struggle for independence and its post-independence economic development. It is suggested to the government that a top priority should be given to achieve a mutually acceptable solution to the protracted Punjab crisis and to restore the severely shattered trust in the government’s intentions by the populace in general and the Sikhs in particular. As the first step, the govt. should create a conciliatory atmosphere by releasing all Sikh political prisoners immediately and without condition, thus making a dialogue possible. The govt. should restore civil liberties in Punjab and get is army out immediately.
Two independent none praised by the high infant mortality rate because they had thought the poison gas would not harm fetuses.
However, the newspaper said doctors had not yet established a direct link between the gas and the infant deaths and low birth weights.
The Times said the findings indicated either that the gas itself was responsible or that the fetuses were affected by the extensive quantity of drugs and medication used by pregnant women to treat the effects of the gas.
Sikh organizations based in New Delhi, the Peoples Union for Democratic Action and Peoples Union for Civil Liberties, have provided detailed accounts of the recent massacre of Sikhs in Delhi and throughout the ‘Hindi Belt.’ Wanton killings by way of clubbing to death, burning alive and other similar inhuman acts as well as the widespread destruction of properties and businesses, has been well documented by these two organizations. More disturbing is the fact, as brought out by these organizations that this barbarity was planned, organized, orchestrated, and perpetrated by the individuals and groups abetted by the government. In the light of this valid and convincing documentation, the government of India ought to publically address the following questions and issues:
- What actions have been taken against those officials, politicians, and other individuals responsible for these heinous crimes enumerated in these and countless other yet untold accounts in Delhi and other cities in India?
- What steps have been taken to prevent a recurrence of these barbaric events and to provide adequate protection to the innocent, law abiding, industrious and vivacious Sikh minority in Punjab and elsewhere?
- What steps have been taken to provide foster homes/parents for those orphaned in this carnage?
- What steps have been taken to stop harassment of Amritdhari Sikhs by putting them behind bars indiscriminately? And.
- What steps have been taken to provide relief and rehabilitation and restitution to the Sikh families whose earning heads of households have been killed or who have been orphaned at _ the hands of Hindu barbaric mobs, and to those whose homes and/or businesses have been burnt down. Why is the government throwing barrier up to prevent Sikhs and others outside India from sending aid to those in distress?
Ujagar Singh Bawa, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics,
Bloomsburg University, PA, USA