Dear Editor:

It is unfortunate that in his reply Mr. Uppal chose to attack me personally rather than focus on the central theme of my letter. To imply that the media and the press in India are free is, at best, misleading. It is well-known that the media in India is government owned and the press largely complaint, through control of newsprint quota and official advertisements. Ironically, another letter titled “Picking on the Press” published alongside Mr. Uppal’s pointed to the harassment and humiliation of journalists in India. While the arrest of Rajshekar Shetty, editor of the DALIT VOICE, for printing an article on the Punjab situation was noted, it should be pointed out that Sukhdev Singh, a Sikh editor of DIGNITY in Chandigarh, was in jail for almost two years for merely reprinting the same article.

As for Mr. Uppal’s comments about Sikh Organizations in the West and its leaders, I’d like to make just a few comments. Firstly, organizations like the W.S.O. were formed only as a result of the Indian Army’s brutal attack on the Golden Temple, the Sikhs’ holiest shrine, in June, 1984. Secondly, the leaders of most of them are elected and not “self-styled” as alleged by him. Lastly we have noted a remarkable number of pro Indian Government statements being made by relatives living in India outside Punjab, or have relatives with plum government jobs in India or who themselves have positions in the Indian government or the Congress Party. I hope that Mr. Uppal’s writing wasn’t colored by any of these factors and that he is someone who is speaking his free mind.

Unlike in India, all of us living in this great country have the right and ability to speak freely. Let us do justice to this opportunity by discussing issues in an objective and constructive manner rather than resorting to mudslinging.


Dr. M.S. Grewal

Hanover, Mass.

Article extracted from this publication >>  February 20, 1987