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Betrayal of the Sikhs

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Boota, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Boota

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    SPNer Supporter

    Dec 8, 2006
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    I apologise in advance if this post offends anyone, this is not my intention. The intention is to simply set out why I believe Sikhs feel the Indian government has unjustly treated them since partition. There has been a lot of discussion on here about what, if anything, the Sikhs were promised and how 'western Sikhs' are demons who are intent on distorting the facts purely to destabilise India.

    This line of thought simply has no basis.

    Of course the Sikhs in the west can be more vocal, we live in democratic countries and are permitted to speak our minds. The anti-Sikh lobby on here would want us to be silent, they are aware the Sikhs in India can be silenced at the drop of a hat. If the Sikhs outside India remain quiet also about the broken promises, then there is silence all around. The goal would have been achieved. That is not going to happen.

    I would repeat that the criticism in this post is directly at the government only, not against any religion or race.

    In March 1946, The Sikh Representative of the Panthic Akali Dal adopted a resolution to seek an independent state along the lines that Jinnah was negotiating for the Muslims. This is something the Sikhs had been promised was on the agenda for a long time. It was not a bolt out of the blue.

    Indian Hindu leaders at the time (Nehru, Gandhi, Patel) promised the Sikhs the same glow of freedom and didn't see any harm if a region in Northern India was awarded to them if they joined India at the time of partition. I should stress this was not neccessarily and independent state. Just a modicum of autonomy so that we may also experience and engage in our own democratic processes as is enshrined in our own teachings. Was this too much to ask?

    Evidently not as all the ongoing negotiations made it clear this would be afforded to us, culminating in the promises of Mr Nehru and the right honourable Mr Gandhi himself. Such promises never materialised and thus began the betrayal.

    This in itself was a grievous betrayal but let us put this to one side for the moment. The injustice towards the Sikh people did not end there. I make it clear that I am no longer talking about a degree of autonomy but about being afforded basic human rights.

    For years the Sikhs waged peaceful protests to make Punjabi a Punjabi language state, just like all other 17 Indian states were based on linguistic identities. In this process, the government further took away Punjabi land and carved the state of Haryana out of it and gave other areas to Himachael Pardesh and some to Rajasthan on the pretext that Punjabi language is not being spoken in these areas.

    The Sikhs then were hopeful that they would be treated with dignity. But what actually followed was discrimination against the Sikhs in every sphere of activity other than armed forces where they were used as cannon fodder in India's several wars against Pakistan, China, and other foreign assignments. The percentage of Sikhs in the armed forces was disproportionably high, staggering infact. (This is perhaps a subject and a discussion for another time).

    New Delhi plundered the resources (food, water and electricity) of the State of Punjab for it's own use. A self sufficient state was finding it's resources being usurped for the benfit of propping up other states. It never encouraged any heavy industry in the state or nor allowed any infrastructure to be improved at the government’s expense, while the rest of the country marched ahead. Why?

    When the Sikhs sought justice through democratic means, a brutal reign of terror was let loose on them thorough administrative and legislative means. Hindi was forced on Punjabis and during the census the Punjabi Hindus were required to declare that their official mother tongue to be Hindi and not Punjabi in the state of Punjab. Efforts continued by many right wing Hindu organisations such RSS to declare Sikhs to be part of Hindus.

    From 1984 for several years, the Punjab police had been killing any Sikh that was supporting the Sikh cause. Rape was used as a tool to terrorise the population; killings, extortion and arrest without trial has been the order of the day. ‘Shadow' Sikh faiths were set up to destabilise and undermine the Sikh faith. (Narankaris, Darshan Das) Any movement by Sikhs to try and salvage basic human rights were crushed. I do not even want to go into the anti-sikh riots at this juncture, that is well documented with appropriate evidence.

    The 1984 pogrom against the Sikhs began with the slaying of thousands of young Sikhs in fake encounters that was justified under the pretext for checking the menace of alleged terrorism. It's indeed a black mark on India's secular image that few uttered a word against this continued violation of human rights of the Sikhs. The Indian government in Delhi in 1987 for two months detained my own uncle. He was tortured for three weeks. His nails were plucked from his hands and feet with pliers. Why? Because he was a Sikh. He was just a religious man returning to India for pilgrimage.

    To all who criticise and condemn the Sikhs please try and understand how we feel and why we feel like this. All we ask for is an equal shout. Don’t take my word for it, please refer to the following;

    "...the brave Sikhs of Punjab are entitled to special considerations. I see nothing wrong in an area set up in the North of India wherein, the Sikhs can also experience the glow of freedom."
    -Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lahore Bulletin, January 9, 1930

    Redistribution of provincial boundaries was essential and inevitable. I stand for semi-autonomous units as well. If the Sikhs desire to function as such a unit, I should like them to have semi-autonomous unit within the province so that they may have a sense of freedom.
    Jawahar Lal Nehru
    (A National Book Club Publication, pp. 147)

    "Kya main taqat dushman (the enemy -the Sikhs) ke haath main de dun (How can I entrust power into the hands
    of the enemies)." -Jawahar Lal Nehru (1961)

    "I ask you to accept my word and the Resolution of the Congress that it will not betray a single individual much
    less a community. Let God be the witness of the bond that binds the Congress and me with you (the Sikhs). When
    pressed further Gandhi said that Sikhs would be justified in drawing their swords out of the scabbards as Guru
    Gobind Singh had asked them to, if Congress would renege on its commitment." -Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
    (Young India, March 19, 1931)

    "You have seen the Hindus as co-slaves and you will know when they will be your masters and you (the Sikhs),
    their slaves"
    -Janab Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Quid-e-Azam, The Father of Pakistan

    "It (Hinduism) is like the boa constrictor of the Indian forests. When a petty enemy appears to worry it, it winds
    round its opponent, crushes it in its folds, and finally causes it to disappear in its capacious interior....Hinduism
    has embraced Sikhism in its folds; the still comparatively young religion is making a vigorous struggle for life, but
    its ultimate destruction is, it is apprehended, inevitable without State support."
    -Max Arthur Macauliff (1903)

    Hinduism has always been hostile to Sikhism whose Gurus powerfully and successfully attacked the principle of caste, which is the foundation on which the whole fabric of Brahminism has been reared. The activities of Hindus have, therefore, been constantly directed to undermining of Sikhism both by preventing the children of Sikh father from taking Pahul and reducing professed Sikhs from their allegience to their faith. Hinduism has strangled Budhism, once a formidable rival to it and it has already made serious inroads into the domain of Sikhism.
    -D. Petrie, Assistant Director, Criminal Intelligence, Government of British India (Intelligence Report of 11th August,

    "...in future, the Congress shall accept no constitution which does not meet with the satisfaction of the Sikhs"
    -The Lahore session of the Congress Party. December 31, 1929

    "Mrs Gandhi has admitted that she was opposed to demands for Punjabi home province, for fear of losing Hindu votes. She was prepared to block the creation of a Punjabi-speaking province, in 1966 or ever"
    -Indira Gandhi (My India)

    "...Master Tara Singh saw me on his return from Delhi, and seemed really concerned at the approaching
    departure of the British. He demanded Khalistan, with transfer of population, or a new state from Jumna to
    Chenab, in which the Sikhs would not be oppressed"
    -Sir E. Jenkins (Governor of the Punjab), 15th April, 1946

    "Sikhs are the finest soldiers in the world because they have the best combination of mental and physical
    endurance" -General Atiqu-ur-Rehman, Pakistan Army

    "Indira Gandhi rewarded the Pandey brothers with Congress (I) tickets for U. P. legislative assembly elections, when they high jacked an Indian Airlines¹ plane to secure her (Gandhi) release from jail in 1970s."
    -S. Jalandhari, 1983

    "I don¹t give a damn if the Golden Temple and whole of Amritsar are destroyed, I want Bhindranwale dead"
    -Indira Gandhi communicating with Gen.Vaidya during "Operation Blue Star"

    "We have broken the back of the Sikhs and we will get them elsewhere."
    -M. M. K. Wali, Indian Foreign Secretay, June 7, 1984 (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio 740, As It

    "Let us teach these {censored word, do not repeat.}s (the Sikhs) a lesson."
    -Rajiv Gandhi, October 31, 1984

    "... a threat to the villagers that all males would be killed and their women taken to army camps to breed a new
    race if there was any militant activity in their village."
    -Brig. R. P. Sinha, Indian Army, March 8, 1991

    "You do not know the might of our armed forces. We will eliminate 10,000 Sikh youths and the world will know
    nothing about it."
    -Chander Shekhar, former Prime Minister of India (CK, 21st October, 1991)

    "to preserve the unity of India, if we have to eridicate 2-kror (20-million) Sikhs, we will do so"
    -Balram Jakhar, a former Indian Cabinet Minister and colleague of the former Indian Prime Minister, P. V.

    "Kill the language, kill the culture and kill the literature, ultimately one succeeds in destroying a community"
    -Pritam Singh Gill, M. A., 1975, Principal, Doaba College, Jalandhar

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