Chandigarh — Lt. Gen. JagjitSingh Aurora convener of the newly formed Sikh Forum, said that the forum was set up to project the right image of the Sikhs in the country and abroad. Gen. Aurora was here on Friday after the two-day meet of prominent Sikhs at Patiala, where the Sikh Form was launched.

The new body will include the National Sikh Forum launched earlier in Delhi. Mr. Amrinder Singh, former MP, is the other convener of the forum.

When asked about the position of the forum visavis other political parties, particularly the Akali Dal Gen. Aurora said that since their’s was a nonpolitical organization, they had nothing to do with any political party. The Forum will mainly look into the socioeconomic aspect of the Sikh’s life, something the political parties never bothered about. They proposed to present the case of the Sikhs without getting into party politics will work as a pressure group like the Jews in the United States, he said.

He said the Forum will also organize Sikhs outside Punjab, who fill now were not organized at all and in the process had suffered greatly.’ To praise political parties at this juncture will mean getting involved in fights against one another.”’ He said, adding that the Akali Dal still had roots of the grass roots level and the Forum had no plans to work at cross purposes with it.

When reminded that the formation of committees to look into many aspects on which the Akali Dal had reiterated its stand will mean that the Forum was working at cross purpose with it, he stated that as yet only the committees had been formed and the Forum will give its opinion only after the committees had submitted their reports before February 24. “The choice before us was either to express our views straight away or to examine the issues in question and we opted for the latter,”’ he said. ‘‘What is finally given out should be in the interest of the community and we should not play into the government’s hands,” he added.

A total of seven committees were constituted on Thursday at Patiala and these will look into the happenings during “Operation Bluestar,” the Anandpur Sahib resolution, rehabilitation of riot victims, river waters issue, territorial disputes, and cases of those under detention and Army deserters, besides looking into the organizational aspect of the new forum.

Lt. Gen. Aurora explained that though the foruri will be a representative of the Sikh community, it will also work for amity between the Sikhs and the Hindus.

Article extracted from this publication >>  February 22, 1985