We have reviewed the text of the agreement that is reached between the Prime Minister of India and Mr: Harchand Singh Longowal and would like to issue the following statement:
We feel that the heart and soul of the Sikh demands is completely ignored and the entire agreement is reached with the malintention of dividing the Sikh Nation. In order to avoid opposition, Mr. Harchand Singh Longowal not only avoided taking into confidence other progressive Sikh organizations who have been actively involved! In this Panthic movement, but also ignored to take the advice of his own close associates Jathedar,; Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President of S.G.P.¢. And Sardar Parkash Singh Badal, former chief Minister of Punjab. We are convinced that Mr. Longowal has joined hands with ‘the Government of India! For his own selfish motives and personal gains.
The bad intentions of the Indian Government are embedded in the following items on the accord:
- Chandigarh is being given to Punjab in lieu of certain Hindi speaking areas that are going to be taken away from Punjab. In our opinion Chandigarh should be given to Punjab because it rightfully belongs to them and linking it with certain villages that are proposed to be given to Haryana is not justified. lf the Hindi speaking Haryana needs some more areas to expand its territories, the center may consider giving them out of its border states of Uttar Pardesh and Rajasthan both of which are Hindi speaking.
- While the Accord talks about withdrawing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the Special Courts are allowed to stay in existence to try (A) Waging War & (B) Hijacking cases, thus guaranteeing the persecution of all the Amritdhari Sikhs by labeling them extremists or terrorists and punishing them.
- lf the Government is really sincere in settling the issues and make agreement with the Sikhs, they should reinstate the services of the army personnel whose emotions overpowered them and forced them to join their coreligionists in the Sikh movement. Rehabilitating them by providing gainful employment is not enough.
- According to the agreement, three different commissions will be appointed to determine the Hindi speaking areas for transfer to Haryana, make territorial adjustments in the Haryana and Punjab boundaries and to study the Center State relations part of Anandpur resolution. Then there will be another Tribunal which will decide the share of water from the Ravi Beas system. All these commissions will be appointed by the Government and their decisions are bound to be influenced by the government officials. Our past experience shows that the decisions of such commissions almost always confirm the will of the Government. Therefore we consider it to be an eye wash and delay tactics played by the Government of India.
Is this what the Sikh wanted after getting scores of their holy shrines desecrated and destroyed, after sacrificing thousands of the members of their younger generation, after throwing thousands of their Sikh brethren behind bars and after suffering the worst kind of humiliation the history of mankind? No sir, it is too little too late.
It is for these reasons we reject the accord and advise the Sikh Nations to keep up its peaceful and legitimate struggle for existence.
For Kuldeep Singh
And Dr. Hardam Singh Azad
Sikh Association of American
Article extracted from this publication >> August 16, 1985