His Excellency Javier Perez de Cuellar Secretary General of the United Nations United Nations, New York 10017
Re: The Genocide of the Sikhs in India Your Excellency:
The situation in the Punjab is becoming more alarming. The bleeding Sikh nation is in agony. Once again, Indian parliamentary forces are holding innocent people in the Golden Temple as hostages. As per news reports, “they can’t drink water or even go to toilet without being shot at’’. (The New York Times, May 13, 1988). By what law everybody in the Golden Temple Complex is being presumed guilty and shot at on sight?
For too long, the Indian government has been engineering incidents to justify a new wave of oppression. Since Punjab is closed to the foreign press (except for the guided official tours), the world does not know the truth about Punjab. As recorded in a human rights report:
“an undeclared, unilateral ruthless war against hundreds of innocent defenseless men and women in faraway tiny villages of Punjab from where their voice do not reach the rest of India” (Oppression in Punjab,__ Page 9).
All attempts by the International Committee for Red Cross and Amnesty International to go to Punjab have been rebuffed. Similar requests by U.S. Congressmen and Members of the British Parliament for visiting Punjab on a fact finding mission were not granted.
Recent reports indicate that the Government has hired hardcore criminals known as “Red Brigade” to kill the Sikhs. Besides, every Sikh who is killed in “fake encounters” is declared a “separatist” or “extremist” and the paramilitary forces are acting as prosecutors, jurors and judges, without any accountability.
The Sikhs’ struggle for retrieving their distinct national status, lost during the partition fiasco of 1947, is almost four decades old. They have been struggling for the kind of environment where the Sikh heritage could pick up the “bits of a shattered rainbow’, to borrow Tennessee Williams’s words. In this quest for justice they are being subjected to tyranny and oppression.
While the civilized nations are feeling the shame of Nazi holocaust they are slowly but painfully becoming aware of the genocide of the Sikhs, right in their own homeland. In this time of grief the Sikhs are being sustained by their deep faith in the ultimate triumph of justice and truth.
More than four decades ago the U.N. Charter enshrined “the faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of human person, in equal rights of men and women and nations large and small.” To reinforce that faith, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) recognized, inter alia, that “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”’. This historic Declaration, also known as Magna Carta of Human Rights, laid down the foundations for a global vision and a global culture of peace and harmony where rights of all members of the human family would be respected.
Your Excellency, as Secretary General of the world organization, you represent the conscience of humanity and the U.N. still inspires hope for freedom and justice against tyranny and oppression. Thousands of the innocent Sikh orphans, widows and older parents whose loved ones have been lynched. For them the freedom of religion and the freedom of expression have been reduced to the “right to cry in the wilderness”. Their voices, though inaudible amidst the media blitz of misinformation and deception, are appealing to the world community and the U.N. to urge the ruling regime of India to stop this genocide of the Sikhs. For the sake of justice and truth, an international tribunal of eminent jurists should be established to inquire into this barbarian crime against the Sikh nation. In the meantime, the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide should be invoked. India should be asked to lift the occupation of the Sikh homeland. Human imperative demands that Punjab should be placed under the international trusteeship system to be administered by a genuinely neutral country like Switzerland. When the normal conditions are restored the people of Punjab should be given the opportunity to determine their own destiny through an independent and impartial referendum. This would save the lives of innocent people in bleeding Punjab.
With best wishes and regards.
Manohar Singh Grewal, Ph.D.
President, W.S.O. (USA)
Article extracted from this publication >> June 3, 1988