The Government of Canada is planning to deport 2,800 Sikhs, seeking refugee status in Canada, to India.

We are gathered here to protest this action. Sending back these people is condemning them to jail, interrogation, torture and even death. The Government of India is hostile towards Sikhs in general. Any Sikh travelling abroad is suspect. Any Sikh who has applied for a refugee status will be charged with crimes against the State, upon his or her return to India. How can you send innocent people back to certain discrimination and harassment.

It is well known fact that two of Gandhi’s cabinet ministers, are the same persons who reportedly took part in the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi (in Nov 1984). There are others who by omission or actual commission aided in the Sikh massacres in 80 cities of India. These are the same people who will stand in judgment of the deported Sikhs. Sending back these people is tantamount to leading the sacrificial lamb to the altar.

Lifting of the moratorium to deport refugees to India has upset and destabilized the Canadian citizens of Sikh faith more than the malicious deeds of the third Agency ot India presently operating in Canada, The latter’s action can be dismissed as malicious mischief and propaganda. But what is the Government of Canada thinking of?

On the one hand, immigration authorities are thinking of letting 130,000 immigrants into Canada. And on the other hand, they are deporting Sikhs who are already here. Could this be an element of racism? Or, is the Government worried about trade with India? If so, what is the price of human dignity and human life? Is there concern for unemployment? Is there concern that these refugees could be burden on the taxpayer? The Sikh refugees will do no less. Moreover, each one of them can be sponsored by the citizens of Canada, if need be. Canada by tradition has always welcomed the world’s saddest refugees. Canada is accepting Tamil refugees from Shri Lanka whose case is no different than the case of Sikhs in India.

The situation of religious strife and persecution in India is a proven fact. Nothing has changed. Give these Sikh refugees a chance. Give these people a home. Let these people stay. Let them live.

Article extracted from this publication >>  December 13, 1985