YUBA GITY: CA: Speakers at the Panthic Convention held here ‘on the eve of the Coronation Anniversary of the Guru Granth Sahib, emphasized that support to the freedom fighters in Punjab should be central to all plans and programs of the Sikhs everywhere if they are sincere in putting an end to the genocidal attack launched against Sikhism by the Brahmin Rulers of India.

Didar Singh Bains exhorted the speakers to suggest ways and means for countering the Indian government’s onslaught on the Sikh identity as well as for achieving freedom.

Gurcharan Singh Dhillon talked about Guru Gobind Singh’s purpose in creating the Khalsa Panth It was to work for the creation of an independent nation. He said that there was nothing illegal in extending financial help to the Sikhs affected by the movement. He called upon the Sikhs not to forget their martyrs because a nation that ignores its martyrs seldom survives. He also asked everybody to get familiar with Gill and Sandhu’s extradition case. “We have a duty towards them and those who do not perform their duty cannot be called complete men,” he said.

Dr. Harbans Singh Sraon talked about triple genocide let loose against the Sikhs by the Indian rulers? There is a systematic attack on the very foundation of our religion. Essentials of our faith are being wantonly eroded, our youth is being systematically liquidated and there is an economic genocide against us,” he said. The recent floods in Punjab were not a natural calamity but a manmade act aimed at destroying the economic base of the Sikh peasantry. Our politics is truth and our strength flows from truth. Since truth hits at the exploitative character of the ruling Brahminism, the government of India is determined to wipe out Sikhism, he added. But it ‘will not succeed in its evil design and he called upon the Sikhs to educate the world through videos because in this age videos can be more effective than bombs.

Alla Singh however, felt that “we are suffering because of our own complacency.” Moral degradation is the worst curse that can afflict nation. Brahmins are morally bankrupt and Sikhs cannot accept their domination, he declared.

Gurdeep Singh Sohal regretted that Sikhs were dissipating their strength and resources in criticizing and condemning one another. Personality clashes have seriously hurt our movement. We must strive to overcome these narrow differences. He appealed to the Amritdhari Sikhs not to consider Amritdhari’s as less patriotic than them. Amrit is a means to establish a bond with the Guru. It is a pledge with the Guru to lead a selfless life in the service of humanity and God. It does not make an individual Brahm Giani overnight, he said. To become BrahmiGiani ‘one has to work hard.

Dr. Sulakhan Singh Dhillon said that democracy is a government by consent. For Sikhs there is no democracy in India because they do not want to be governed by Hindus, but he warned that so long Sikhs do not develop political consciousness, they won’t succeed We are prisoners of our differences and it is a big stumbling block in achieving our objective. Politics is a dangerous game. We should try to understand it rather than pulling each other down, he said,

Jagjit Singh Boparai said government can control a movement but is afraid of individual action. He exhorted the Sikhs to protest against death sentences of Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh.

Gurnam Singh Pamma said everybody talks of unity but we are more divided now than four years ago. He introduced Bhai Tejinder Singh, Member Khalistan Council from Toronto and briefly recounted his contributions to the movement.

Bhai Tejinder Singh laid stress on keeping arms. None has been able to subjugate Pathans because they may go bare foot and without food but they never go without arms. In this world, it is the weapons that determine supremacy. If Sikhs today have any influence it is because some Sikhs have taken to the arms, he said, He called upon the Sikhs to develop the courage to point out the weakness of our own companions, He criticized Bhai Jasbir Singh for playing the Indian government’s game, He felt that Sikhs have not done much to rehabilitate the movement after the Operation Black Thunder set back. We have no option but to strengthen the hands of the freedom fighters and we should try to compensate the loss suffered by them, he said.

Didar Singh Bains inter vend to comment that Gurdwara managements that were not supporting the freedom fighters should be exposed. He also declared that WSO was committed to the freedom fighters and it would continue to extend every possible support to them. Let this message be conveyed to them, he added.

Dr. Karamjit Singh Rai said every Sikh has to become a Saint solider. We must come under our flag. We can regain our freedom no it through lectures but through action only, he added.

Prof. Manjeet Singh Sidhu said his suit is freedom but instead of freedom he is given exhaustive and exhausting sermons that lead the movement nowhere. For achieving our objective we need two kinds of action military action and political action. He said on military action, he subscribes to what Bhai Tejinder has said with one suggestion that our military action has to be tempered with the teachings of our Gurus. We have to act as true Saint Soldiers. Without observing the moral code prescribed by our Gurus, we cannot claim to be fighting for a just cause, He said it was important to strengthen the hands of the freedom fighters but it was also important to develop a two way traffic to keep the movement on the right track. He also said Sikhs should not worry much at being wrongly described as “terrorist” because all freedom fighters are at first branded as “terrorist.” The great Americans that signed the “Declaration of Independence,” were proclaimed “terrorists” by the British rulers and each one of them was shot dead as such. Did it change the complexion of their martyrdom? Did their sacrifice go waste? He asked. He reminded them that an unsuccessful uprising is called a mutiny whereas a successful uprising is called a revolution. Let us, therefore, make our revolution a success. He said no country is going to come to our aid simply because our cause is just. We can get the support if we tell them what they will gain from the success of our mission. We must sell the idea that appears profitable to them. Only then they will come to our aid, he declared.

Dr. Manohar Singh Grewal said Brahminism could finish Buddhism because Buddhists gave up arms. That’s why Guru Gobind Singh laid stress on the importance of arms and created saint soldiers.

Sewa Singh Lalli said every inch of Punjab soil was soaked ‘with the blood of Sikh martyrs and therefore, it cannot be allowed to be subjugated by others. We have to liberate it and get the strength from the message contained in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Lachman Singh Aujila recalled Sant Attar Singh’s words who had predicted that California Sikhs would help to change the destiny of the Sikhs.

Dr. Gurinder Singh Grewal regretted that some Sikhs keep a stamp in their hip pocket and the moment somebody tums his back to them, they brand him as traitor. Such an attitude is very harmful for our movement. If there is any complaint against anyone, let it be discussed openly, he said. It is sheer cowardice and pure selfishness to baselessly undermine the integrity of an individual or an organization by spreading concocted stories, he added.

Amarjit Singh said we are no sword-arm of Hindus. Khalsa Panth has its distinct identity. Let us protect the Panth. Because if there is no panth, there will be no Granth.

Jagtar Singh Sidhu said those who are mobilizing the U.S. Congressman are also serving the Panthic cause. We must respect all organizations that are committed to the cause, he said.

Amarjit Singh Buttar talked about the polarization in Punjab where in schools Hindu students had started sitting separately from the Sikh students. He read out some extracts highlighting the psychological divide which made it difficult for the Hindus to trust persons like Zail Singh who betrayed his own community to win the confidence of Hindus. He failed. What chance is there for an ordinary Sikh to be accepted by Hindus, he asked.

Harjap Singh Sangha said ‘our objective is clear and we should give top priority to the movement in Punjab and make every possible contribution to strengthen the hands of the freedom fighters.

Niranjan Singh from New York declared that no mission can be achieved without taking practical steps.

Balbir Singh Ragi informed that San Francisco Mayor had issued a proclamation declaring November 6 as the Guru Granth Sahib Day. He said it is all right to have differences of opinion but it should not lead to divisions. We should not be swayed by those who tell us that India is a big power and we cannot match its might. Remember that a tiny England was able to establish a mighty empire. We are on our way and we will definitely reach our goal. What we need is determination, he said. He, however, warned that the posterity will not forgive us if we stumbled at this critical moment in history. Our leaders in 1947 were duped by the Congress because they were unaware of its evil intentions. We have no such excuse, we are fully aware of their designs and we have learnt it the hard way.

Article extracted from this publication >> November 11, 1988