Accomplishments of W.S.O.
This is in reference to letter from S. Amarjit Singh Buttar in World Sikh News of January 16, 1987. Let me say at the beginning that the personal efforts of the present W:S.O. U.S.A. President M.S. Grewal, the efforts of the group who put out a remarkable calendar and some other dedicated individuals are really praise worthy and they deserve all the credit. So anything I say below is in no way criticism of any individual. I am talking of the W.S.O. as an Organization and its achievements in relation to the needs of the critical time through which Sikh nation is passing.
No doubt steps like a calendar here, a letter there and speech somewhere else have been taken by some dedicated persons, but the cold fact is that so far we have miserably failed to achieve anything solid. What to speak of other nations, even countries like U.S.A. (the supposed champions of human rights) say that they have “not seen any evidence of human right violation of Sikhs”. Countries like Canada and England instead of granting refugee status, have signed special extradition treaties to hand over innocent Sikhs to Indian government. Even the courts in U.S.A. and other countries have started rendering judgments on political grounds rather than justice and law. All the foreign media is reporting the news from Punjab, completely distorted according to the wishes of government of India.
In my view, the one and only way to rectify this sorry state of affairs and achieve some solid results is to sit down and chalk out a concrete plan of action and then continuously implement, evaluate and modify it to suit the changing events.
This plan has to cover at least three major non secret fronts.
- How to change public Opinion in our favor.
- How to revitalize and maintain the enthusiasm of the Sikhs.
- How to raise and maintain a
continuous supply of needed funds I do not claim to possess answers to all these and other questions and for that reason I will suggest that a widely based conference of all the Sikh intelligentsia be called, in which only people with some solid proposals be allowed to speak. Then concrete, written program of action be chalked out which should seek out participation of Sikhs at all levels.
However, in my humble view our strongest emphasis should be to highlight the human right violations rather than political aims and ambitions. In this regard, I purpose the following steps: 1. Start chain hunger strikes in front of Indian consulates in Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Francisco.
These hunger strikes should not end till the government of India all the “guilty” persons responsible for the mass murders in Delhi and elsewhere.
The hunger strikes should have big blown up pictures of the Delhi atrocities and mottos like “first Punish the guilty then talk of unity”, or other suitable catchy phrases.
The exact number of hunger strikers at each place and their periods of hunger strike should be decided after first determining the number of volunteers. However, for this or any other action to succeed, the leaders of W.S.O. will have to volunteer their names first. Once they do this, I can assure many more volunteers from Sikh ranks. Such an action is bound to attract the media coverage and raise the morale of Sikh brethren in Punjab.
Other suggestion in this regard will be to open free langers, free medical and legal clinics under the auspicious of W.S.O. not on occasional basis, but rather on a regular basis.
The third suggestion is to prepare, broadcast and distribute videos representing the plights of Sikhs not only to Senators, but to high court Judges, University professors, media and other influential people.
Lastly, I will suggest we should carve out a special group to promptly reply to all the press reports defaming Sikhs and in certain extreme cases, examine the possibility for legal action.
In the end, will say that no doubt it is the duty of all the Sikhs to get involved in this holy cause and not just a few Sikh leaders, but it is for the leaders to chalk out and devise concrete action plans involving all Sikhs and then lead them to the achievement of our goal.
Daljit Singh Topeka, Ks.
Article extracted from this publication >> February 6, 1987