Dal Khalsa tells Sikhs to oppose moves by RSS

Posted to Sikh News Discussion by Harjinder Singh <HarjinderSingh@comcast.net>

Amritsar: In an attempt to demarcate the religious boundaries between Sikhs and Hindus, the Dal Khalsa has called upon the Sikhs to shun Brahmanical rituals and oppose the RSS attempts to brand Sikhs as Hindus “in a befitting manner”.

The recent statement of RSS chief has heightened the tension between Sikhs and the RSS. The RSS attempt to suggest a different way of looking at the question of Sikh identity has aroused virulent opposition.

To counter the claim that Sikhism is the sword arm of Hinduism, the hardliners led by the Dal Khalsa held a seminar on Sunday at its party head office. The speaker’s warned that utterances and actions of the RSS will radicalize the atmosphere even more.

Commenting on the RSS agenda for the “Hindu rashtra”, Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh categorically stated that though the RSS was free to create “Hindu rashtra”, but one thing was clear that Punjab would not be its part. In response to RSS’s cultural attack, he said the sectarian lines between Indian and non-Indians must be drawn. We are clear that Sikhs are on the other side.

He criticised the Akali leadership for striking an alliance with Hindutva forces. He said that it was the Sikh leadership that allowed the RSS and the BJP to have a field day in Punjab. He said that the tenth Guru sacrificed his sons for the sake of the panth but today’s leaders were sacrificing panthic interests for the future of their sons.

He said that “the Congress harmed Sikhs physically by getting hundreds of them killed, but the BJP was hitting at the roots and foundations of the Sikh religion”. He lambasted the RSS for interfering in the internal affairs of Sikhs.

The Dal Khalsa leader said that it was the Hindutva brand of politics practised by a “lunatic Brahaminical minority” which compelled them to take extreme steps.

The speakers were of the view that the success of the BJP in Indian polls had emboldened the RSS to rekindle the Hindutva agenda in other parts of the India.

Prof Jagmohan Singh, a human rights activist, delivered speech on the role of youth in shaping the present and future of the community.

The gathering passed a resolution stating that Sikhs are a separate religion. Sikhs have distinct identity.

Sikhs are not Hindus. Punjab rightfully belongs to Sikhs”.

In a scathing attack on the Union government, he said the state is in a denial mood to recognize and resolve the Punjab problem.

Gurdwaras – West Midlands Gurdware, 25 March 2010, Bilston, Birmingham, UK

Is this from where the Gurdwara started ?

Guru Nanak Gurdwara
Arthur Street
Bilston, West Midlands WV14 0DG

The Tribune – River interlinking won’t help : Medha Patkar

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31. Medha Patkar, social-activist-turned politician, has claimed the interlinking of rivers was no solution to the water crisis being faced by several states. She said she was also not in favour of the Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal, a disputed project involving Punjab and Haryana.

Patkar was here today to meet the local activists of various NGOs under a programme, “National Alliance of People’s Movements”.

She said the linking of rivers was “no mean project as it would severely affect human lives, the ecology and environment”. “It will prove very costly. The politicians have been misleading the public on the linkage of rivers,” she said.

About Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), she said the party leadership needed to work on various issues concerning the masses. “In the Lok Sabha elections, the Punjab people chose the party as an alternative to traditional outfits like the Congress and the Akali Dal. The AAP leaders need to keep up that momentum,” she said.

On drugs, Patkar said it was a major issue afflicting Punjab. “But Punjab is not the only state facing the menace. The situation is even worse in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha. We will start a nationwide movement against drugs on October 2,” she said.


The Hindu – Balraj Puri : a crusader for democracy

We’ve lost a voice whose understanding of the Kashmir issue was unparalleled

Rekha Chowdhary

Monday, 1 September 2014. Balraj Puri was an institution in himself. In his decades-long career he donned various hats — that of an intellectual, a journalist, a social and political activist, a human rights crusader and a keen political analyst.

He started his journey as a young student at a time when Jammu & Kashmir was undergoing political transformation and an anti-feudal movement was on. Representing the progressive voices of the Jammu region, he continued to be associated with progressive politics throughout his life.

He was a one-man army who could deftly handle a tense or communally sensitive situation; shoot off a letter to a State or national leader, bringing to their attention a matter of utter importance; or organise a dharna or peace march whenever the situation demanded.

Balraj Puri’s strength, however, lay in his extremely sound political analysis of the complex issues confronting the State. With rare insight into the various intricacies and layers of politics in the State, his writings, spanning over seven decades, are one of the best documentations of Kashmiri politics.

In a politically divided Jammu & Kashmir, he was one among the very few who spoke for the whole State. While he empathised with Kashmiris in their struggle for democracy and justice, he also stood for the cause of other regions and their political empowerment.

His understanding of the Kashmir issue — especially the democratic debacle, the crisis of civil liberties and the implications of the Centre’s intrusive politics — was unparalleled.

However, while advocating the restoration of democratic and federal spirit in Kashmir, he emphatically advocated the cause of regional autonomy of Jammu and Ladakh. The logic of autonomy as guaranteed under Article 370, he argued, could not stop at the level of the State and needed to be further carried to the level of regions, districts and panchayats.

His contribution to the understanding of the conflict lies in his emphasis on the pluralities, the diversity and the political divergence within the State. Jammu, in his opinion, was a clue to Kashmir tangle and till political sensitivities of the region are not incorporated into the larger question of Kashmir, the conflict may not be resolved.

With his passing, Jammu has lost the champion of its regional identity, Kashmir has lost a crusader for democracy and human rights, the State as a whole has lost a peace activist, and the nation has lost a liberal and progressive voice.

Rekha Chowdhary is ICSSR National Fellow at the Department of Political Science, University of Jammu


Southall Station, Grand Union Canal, Cranford Park

Southall Station – Southbound buses
105, 195, 482, H32 King Street – Western Road
120 King Street – Norwood Green
E5 – Featherstone Road – Havelock Road

Grand Union Canal – Dancing Girl

Grand Union Canal – Dancing Girl

Cranford ParkSt Dunstan’s Church
Church of England

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Tribune – Army moots tunnels to facilitate all-weather road link to Ladakh

Ajay Banerjee, Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31. In what promises to change the lives of people of Ladakh and add to India’s military preparedness, the Army has proposed construction of two tunnels to facilitate all-weather road connectivity to the cold desert.

Army teams have completed a survey of alternative routes to Ladakh and have recommended two fresh alignments.

The move comes as the two existing roads, one from Srinagar and other from Manali, have many strategically sensitive spots and remain closed for seven months of the year, between October and April, due to heavy snowfall in the higher passes.

The first option is to use the existing 80 km trekking route between Karzok in southern Ladakh and Kaza in Lahaul Spiti, Himachal Pradesh and convert it into a full-fledged road.

The existing track leading to north of Karzok towards Leh is an all-weather road. The road that runs south of Kaza is also all-weather and passes through Pooh-Rampur-Shimla-Chandigarh. The 18,300-foot-high Parang La (pass) is obstructing the road connectivity between Karzok and Kaza.

To overcome the hindrance, the Army has suggested to construct a tunnel under the pass to open a 24×7 route. Secondly, the Army has proposed to connect Padum in Zanskar, Ladakh, with the existing road (70 km away from it) in Himachal Pradesh, separated by high mountains.

The Army has suggested that the existing jeep track from Padum to the base of the 16,700-foot-high Shingo-La on the Zanskar side be metalled and a tunnel be made under the pass that will open near Chikka village in Lahaul Spiti.

Not far from this spot is the existing road meandering down from Keylong to Chamba towards Pathankot.

The proposed move, if it materialises, will be a boon for the remote Zanskar region besides providing an alternative shorter route to Kargil, which is already connected with Padum.

The new routes have lesser snow and roads are at lower altitudes. In Ladakh, which used to have prolonged winters, Army equipment and men can only be moved onboard the daily flights of IL-76 from Chandigarh and in case of a war-like scenario, the air effort will be the only option.

One of the existing routes is Jammu-Srinagar-Sonamarg-Dras-Kargil-Leh, dotted by the Zojila pass and the ‘Z-Morh’, receives heavy snowfall. Both the passes require tunnelling. The other route, Manali-Keylong-Leh, is dotted with one of the highest motorable passes which are open only for four months or so, that too with engineering efforts.


BBC News – Pakistan army backs democracy after Islamabad clashes

Islamabad, 31 August 2014. Pakistan’s army commanders expressed concern and said they support democracy after clashes between police and protesters in Islamabad left three people dead and hundreds hurt.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of PM Nawaz Sharif.

Demonstrators loyal to opposition politician Imran Khan and cleric Tahirul Qadri have been taking part in a sit-in for two weeks.

They accuse Mr Sharif of corruption and electoral fraud – charges he denies.

‘Serious concern’

The army commanders’ meeting was brought forward after violence overnight.

Army chief General Raheel Sharif chaired the meeting at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, close to Islamabad.

General Sharif had stepped in on Friday to mediate, after Imran Khan ended talks with the government.

In a statement, the army said the commanders viewed the ongoing political crisis with “serious concern”.

“Further use of force will only aggravate the problem.”

The protesters broke security barriers to move closer to Mr Sharif’s residence late on Saturday, sparking clashes with the police which continued overnight and into Sunday.

Police used tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of protesters armed with batons, gas masks and slingshots.

Islamabad police chief Khalid Khattak told the BBC that close to 100 protesters had been arrested, some armed with “axes, hammers and cutters”.

An official at the Polyclinic hospital in Islamabad told reporters that the wounds of those injured were caused by tear-gas shells, stones and batons.

One protester died of a heart attack in a ditch near the clashes, said Dr Wasim Khawaja, spokesman for the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Islamabad.

A BBC correspondent who visited the same hospital reports that many of the injured are policemen.

Speaking to BBC World TV, Mr Qadri condemned the police’s actions as an “unimaginable attack by the state upon the people”, and denied that protesters were armed.

Imran Khan said on Sunday: “I am prepared to die here. I have learnt that the government plans a major crackdown against us tonight. I am here till my last breath.”

The protesters began their sit-in after a huge march from Lahore to Islamabad, vowing to camp out in the capital until the government stood down.

Last year’s elections marked Pakistan’s first civilian transfer of power.


Sikh24.com – Nations Without States Group Urges Diverse Communities to Vote Yes in Scottish Referendum

Jagdeesh Singh

London, UK. 30 August 2014. The pressure group Nations Without States (NWS) is urging diverse communities of Scotland to vote yes in the forthcoming Scottish Referendum.

NWS is a collective umbrella of multiple campaign groups representing global national freedom movements such as Tamil, Sikh, Kurdish, Borneo, Matabele, South Azerbaijan, Kashmir and Baloch.

Its activists are encouraging their respective diverse communities e.g. Sikh, Tamil, Kashmiri and Kurdish in Scotland, to vote YES on 18th September 2014.

Campaigners plan to text, email and phone 10,000 contacts over the coming weeks in Scotland to support independence for Scotland, and use ethnic community media to profile and debate the Referendum.

“This is a great opportunity for the people and communities of Scotland to take a positive, decisive stand for Scotland,” say Nation Without States campaigners.

“Independent statehood is a sign of a people maturing to a position of self-responsibility, self-control and self-confidence. This is a natural and equal right.”

Scottish independent statehood represents a natural devolution and separation of power, from an overly concentrated central power structure in London.

“Big imperious states and centralised power remain an enduring, global menace to justice, human rights, democracy – from Roman times to the present big states like India and China.” Say campaigners.

Real, authentic national peoples of the world have been long deprived of their fundamental right to control and determine their own affairs, and function and develop as equals on the world stage – instead of the current monopoly by artificial nations.

Why should some have independent statehood and others not?

The referendum represents a powerful message to the governments of the world, which continue to deny the paramount international right of self determination and suppress and repress communities like the Tamil, Kashmiri, Sikh (Panjaabi), Palestinian, Matabele, Kurdish and Borneo.

Scotland is a wonderful example of people being allowed freely, democratically and peacefully, to exercise their collective will and freely and openly debate, discuss and dialogue about their political status.

Tamil, Kashmiri, Sikh, Palestinian, Matabele, Kurdish, Borneo and multiple other nations remain deprived of the same free and open referendum. For example, a 1948 resolution calling for a referendum on Kashmir has continuously been blocked and denied by India for the last 60 years plus.

“This is a blatant breach of the most fundamental principle of the UN Charter – self-determination and democracy.”

Nation Without States believe it will provide a powerful inspiration to freedom movements in Catalan, Basque, Sikh (Panjaabi), Kashmir, Tibet, Kashmir, Borneo, South Azerbaijan and multiple other regions of the world.

Campaigners from these groups are expressing a collective hope that the current and new, independent Scottish government will become a strong voice for these global national causes.

Jagdeesh Singh, Nations Without States can be reached at


Gurdwaras – West Midlands Gurdware, 25 March 2010, Bilston, Birmingham, UK

Guru Nanak Gurdwara
Arthur Street
Bilston, West Midlands WV14 0DG

The Tribune – Pakistan standoff turns violent; protester killed

Afzal Khan in Islamabad & PTI

Thousands of anti-government protesters armed with sticks broke through security cordons and marched towards the residence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, forcing the police to open fire. Sources said a woman was killed in the firing and many others were injured.

Unconfirmed reports said 7 people were killed, and that a section of the protesters broke through the parliament gate.

The police used tear gas and lathicharged the protesters, who used cutters to penetrate barbed wire barricades.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and cleric Tahir ul-Qadri’s supporters have laid a seige to key buildings such as the National Assembly and the Supreme Court since August 14 demanding Sharif’s resignation over poll rigging and the death of 14 Qadri supporters in police firing early this year.

“I will lead the march to the PM House. All my supporters should follow me,” Khan said.

Sharif under siege, Pakistan in turmoil yet again

- The police fired tear gas at thousands of protesters as they marched towards the PM’s house in Islamabad breaking through security cordons

- A woman was killed as the police later opened fire and lathicharged the protesters. Several persons were also injured

- Before the protesters set off on their march, the Interior Ministry announced that soldiers would be deployed to stop the protesters



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