BBC Asian Network and radicalization of next generations

Dr Gurnam Singh

In reaction to an article written by Gurmukh Singh

Gurmukh Singh is right, we all need to be weary of unscrupulous and sloppy journalism that seeks to play on stereotypes and to sensationalise; this is what improves ratings and sells newspapers and perhaps we get the journalism we deserve as a consequence of your own desires for titillation.

And yes, the sensationalism and disproportionate reporting of the Leamington incident certainly has dome much damage to our image and polarised the debate and community.

That said, it would also be a a grave error to bury our heads in the sand in assuming that Sikhs, because of the wonderful example set by our Gurus and their teachings, are immune from bigoted attitudes.

Though there is a principled and theological defence of the argument that the Anand Karaj ceremony should be restricted to Sikhs, if this rule is applied inconsistently, then suspicions do arise about the true motives of those who oppose inter-faith marriages.

It is for this reason that I have decided to adopt the view that we should restrict Anand Karaj to Amridharis alone and develop a different ceremony for all the others. Clearly, such a change will need to be done in a graduated way with some pilot schemes and rigorous evaluation.

I have no doubt that amongst Sikhs, there is section that privately does hold racist views, that takes pride in their ‘caste/race identity’, that denies the existence of cultural and racial mixity and who totally disagrees with any kind of inter-racial relationships; there are equivalents in all communities.

For these people, the Anand Karaj is an excuse; they are generally hostile towards cultural mixing, even though we all know that all cultures develop through a process of syncretisation or synthesis of beliefs and cultures.

Like all bigots, they need to be isolated, challenged and educated. So, to suggest such persons or problems do not exist in our community is to renege on the mission of the gurus, which was to fight all forms of discrimination and injustice.

As for the Leamington protests, thankfully, I don’t think most of young people involved in the protests necessarily hold such strong beliefs, but, I do feel they are impressionaable and are perhaps being manipulated or deliberately misguided by shadowy figures with their own ulterior motives.

I would also apply the same argument to those at the helm of Leamington Gurdwaras. As the Panjabi saying goes, “they are using somebody elses shoulder to fire their weapon”.

One can only suspect what the motives may be, some may be simple bigotry and hatred, or perhaps personal experiences or may I also speculatively (I have no concrete proof!) suggest that the RSS through proxies may be working both sides. What better way to defeat the Sikhs than to get them to destroy each other and certainly destroy their good name!

In conclusion, to run a story on a minor incident in a minor town in the UK on the front pages of major newspapers or on the main TV news at a time when bombs are raining in on Syrian towns, and major political upheavals across the UK and world take place, is grossly unfair and irresponsible.

However, it is a reality that today, in a media driven age, such indecencies will not go unnoticed and therefore this incident must be a wake-up call for Sikhs.

We must not allow our gurdwaras to become battle grounds, we must improve our PR by investing in media training and in this regard we could learn a lot of lessons from the Jewish community, and we must root our a cancer in our community who believes it is OK to hold racist views.

I am not talking about ordinary people, or the young protesters, but those in power and influence.

Dr Gurnam Singh

Gurnam Singh <hsx035@coventry.ac.uk>

Sikh24.com – Genocidal Indian PM Preserves Culture of State-Sponsored Atrocities

Pieter Friedrich

Op/Ed – 19 September 2016. Indian Prime Minister Modi is a god to his followers, but some see a monster in him. One of those is journalist Pieter Friedrich, who believes Modi is a genocidal politician who preserves a culture of state-sponsored atrocities in India.

The accused, the implicated political figures in this massacre, in this genocide in Gujarat — the primary accused is Narendra Modi. He is now prime minister of India.

Modi’s first executive office was as Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001. He soon earned notoriety by orchestrating a genocide that will haunt his political career forever.

It will not go away. It will not be an issue that is allowed to rest until he answers for it.

In 2002, thousands of Gujarati Muslims and Christians were massacred in a three-day pogrom.

Armed with voter rolls that identified Muslims residences and businesses, for about three days mobs of Hindus took to the streets, massacred Muslims as well as Christians, burned mosques, burned churches.

Victims were hacked to pieces, dismembered, beaten to death, burned alive, and gang-raped. Eyewitnesses to the attacks testified that the mobs chanted: “The police are with us. Long live Narendra Modi.”

Narendra Modi has been implicated in staging this genocide in Gujarat, India by the U.S. State Department, by Human Rights Watch, by members of his own administration, by police officers who served under him.

Over and over again, Narendra Modi has been directly implicated as orchestrating — as architecting — this genocide which was the first major incident of his political career.

We’ve also seen over the past 30 years some really egregious — some really egregious atrocities committed by the Indian government. Some full-scale massacres. Genocides, many people term them.

The first one was in 1984 in Amritsar, where the Sikh Golden Temple was invaded. This invasion was a full-scale military invasion. It lasted for about three days. It occurred at the busiest day of the largest Sikh festival of the year when there were thousands of pilgrims that were in the temple. And many of them were massacred.

Another massacre that followed up several months later — this one occurred in 1984 in Delhi. This one was also targeted against Sikhs. Again, it occurred over a period of about three days. Witnesses say that the mobs that took to the streets for these three days were armed with voter rolls that identified Sikh residences and businesses.

They targeted Sikhs based off of anybody that was wearing a turban. And they just went amok, and ran rampage through the city, and slaughtered — and when I say slaughtered, they burned alive, they gang-raped, they dismembered.

They committed many atrocities against Sikhs, killing several thousand, at least 3,000 which are acknowledged by the U.S. State Department.

Another massacre that came just a few years later was both in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and in Mumbai in Maharashtra. This time it was Muslims who were massacred. Again, it was with implication of leading political figures, including a man from the BJP named L.K. Advani. About 2,000 people, according to the State Department, were murdered.

The last pogrom I want to talk about happened against Christians. This happened in 2008 in Kandhamal, Odisha. This one actually lasted longer. It lasted several weeks. Churches were burned as mobs took to the streets, went through villages, hunted down Christians. People were burned alive.

So all throughout India, since 1983, we’ve got a consistent track record from both political parties of these genocides and pogroms being sponsored against religious minorities of all categories — Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs.

We see at times these massacres over a period of a few days or a few weeks of thousands of people. Well, over periods of decades, thousands of other people from these same religious minority communities — Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs — have been more secretly and quietly slaughtered.

Sikhs were, over a period of about 10 years from 1984-1995, secretly disappeared by Indian police and cremated illegally to hide the evidence of the murders.

This man, Jaswant Singh Khalra, discovered it, reported on it, and then, as a result of taking his findings and reporting them to the Canadian Parliament, when he returned home to Punjab, he was picked up and he was murdered by Indian police in 1995.

This is not unique to the Punjab. This has also happened in Kashmir as well as other areas. In fact, the murder of Jaswant Singh Khalra, a human rights activist who was murdered for his human rights activism, is also not unique.

This man was a human rights lawyer — Jalil Andrabi — and he reported a very similar pattern to what was going on in Punjab, which had been reported by Jaswant Singh Khalra, where again, over a period of about 10 years, the Indian government and security forces were going in, abducting people, picking them up in the middle of the night, taking away tens of thousands of people, creating mass graves, murdering people in custody.

And, as a result of his activism — in fact, he reported his findings to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland — he was murdered in 1996 by the Indian Army.

Meanwhile, the Indian State refuses to sign the United Nations Convention Against Torture. The use of torture is employed as a daily tool in every Indian police department in the country.

Torture is basically legal in India. It’s widely practiced by police and military.

And on the extreme forms of torture which are common practice in police stations, you see people being stripped, humiliated, electric shocks, burned with cigarette butts, sexually abused, and so forth.

We see that there is basically no liberty in India. Violent Hindu extremism is on the rise and it’s met with total impunity and with complicity by the government.

While the perpetrators of injustice rule the land of India, the common Indian has no recourse in India’s injustice system. India has the largest backlog of court cases in the world.

As many as 30 million cases are pending. A report estimated that it would take 450 years to clear the backlog of Indian court cases. Countless innocent people languish in Indian jails for decades, waiting for trial, and yet they never get any justice.

State-sponsored massacres of minorities are staged with total impunity by both major political parties. And human rights defenders — people who document and report on these things — are murdered in retaliation for it by the very people that they are reporting on. By the Indian government.

Yet India continues to thrust Gandhi, the so-called Mahatma, upon the rest of the world. They say he is the face of peace, yet they pay to install his statues everywhere.

This member of parliament in India, back in 2010, managed to get a formal response from the Indian government — the Ministry of External Affairs — which admitted that they have a sustained, a deliberate campaign of installing Gandhi statues around the world.

Now why would they want to do that? Why would they want to install Gandhi statues all around the world except for purposes of using Gandhi’s life-story as portrayed in propaganda films like the “Gandhi” film to whitewash the record of India internationally?

The reality is that India is actually home to more poor people than anywhere else in the world. It’s home to one out of three poor people in the world. Sixty-seven percent of the population gets subsidized food grain from the government; 670 million Indians also live on about fifty cents a day.

An Indian’s life expectancy is one of the lowest in the world. It ranks 139th out of 194 countries. The most slaves in the world are to be found in India today, according to the Global Slavery Report.

Over 14 million Indians, especially those who are viewed or treated as low-caste, are chained through forced labor, debt bondage, human trafficking, forced sexual exploitation, and forced marriages.

Gandhi was a Hindu religious preacher who said: “Caste is necessary for Christians and Muslims as it has been necessary for Hinduism and has been its saving grace.”

It’s been coming out that Gandhi was also a sexual predator who, late into his 70’s, forced his 18-year-old grandniece Manu and 17-year-old grandniece Abha to sleep naked with him on a nightly basis to “test” his commitment to celibacy.

In one of the world’s premier examples of twisted logic, Gandhi asked: “If I don’t let Manu sleep with me, though I regard it as essential that she should, wouldn’t that be a sign of weakness in me?” Today, Gandhi would be tossed in prison if caught doing such a thing.

People have been rising up against this and exposing the reality that Gandhi was actually a racist.

Gandhi was an advocate of racial segregation of blacks in pre-apartheid South Africa.

So the real Gandhi is not anything like who he was portrayed as in the “Gandhi” film. So, once again, it’s propagandhi. But if Gandhi is not who he said he was — is not who he’s said to be — then, we have to ask, is India what it is said to be?

So tonight I am calling on you to listen to your conscience, to listen to the facts instead of Modi’s PR machine, to listen to the blood of the many thousands of innocent Indians that is crying out from the ground for justice.

Op/Ed: Genocidal Indian PM Preserves Culture of State-Sponsored Atrocities

Wondelgem – Multicultureel Festival – Wondelgem to Gent

Wondelgem, Multicultureel Festival
Sint-Sebastiaanstraat 8
26 June 2016

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Family league

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Ice-cream, lovely taste and costly ice-cream

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Sangat in colourful suits

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Sangat in colourful suits

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Balkar Singh keeping an eye on things

Wondelgem to Gent
De Lijn Tram 1
26 June 2016

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Tramstop Botestraat – De Lijn tram 1 to Evergem

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Bahá’i International Community – Focus on what unites us

Warsaw, 29 September 2016, (BWNS). In the face of growing racism and xenophobia, now is the time to focus on what unites us. This was one of the key points made by the Baha’i International Community (BIC) at a recent forum of European leaders in Warsaw, Poland, taking place from 19 to 30 September.

For the second year in a row, the BIC participated in the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a platform for 57 States to meet with a number of other OSCE agencies and civil society actors committed to human rights and democracy.

Addressing the participants in a session on tolerance and non-discrimination, the BIC Brussels Representative said, “One of the most pressing questions…is how people of diverse backgrounds are to live together… and how to counter discrimination, racism, and xenophobia.

“A lot of thinking and work goes into devising different strategies to counter specific forms of prejudice,” she continued. “Of equal importance is the need to gain a much deeper understanding of what unites us.”

The BIC also commented that our readiness to articulate what constitutes our common humanity is what ultimately underlies our commitment to the elimination of prejudice.

In its comments, the BIC encouraged the OSCE to explore “how educational processes can help nurture in this generation and generations to come a rich, robust and expansive sense of common identity and develop amongst European populations a strong loyalty with and responsibility towards all of humanity, rather than only towards those sharing similar social, cultural, national, or physical characteristics”.

In the session on “Fundamental freedoms, including freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief”, the BIC contribution focused on coalition-building. In particular, it highlighted the growing tendency between a variety of social actors, whether religious or not, to speak up for each other and to build coalitions in order to promote freedom of religion and belief.

Echoing this sentiment, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Prof. Heiner Bielefeldt, praised the movement toward partnership and collaboration between various groups, noting in particular partnerships between “minority” and “majority” groups.

“One sign of hope that was also alluded to in various speeches,” he commented, “is the collaboration that we have experienced and that we see now developing between different organizations.”

To read the article online, view photographs and access links:
http://news.bahai.org/story/ 1122

Copyright 2016 by the Baha’i World News Service. Stories and photographs produced by the Baha’i World News Service may be freely reprinted, re-emailed, re-posted to the World Wide Web and otherwise reproduced by any individual or organization as long as they are attributed to the Baha’i World News Service. For more information, go here.

Bahá’í International Community – Brussels
brussels@bic.org
+32-2-644 6463
http://www.bic.org/brussels

Dawn – Army rubbishes Indian ‘surgical strikes’ claim as two Pakistani soldiers killed at LoC

Syed Sammer Abbas

Islamabad, 29 September 2016. At least two Pakistan Army soldiers were killed as Indian troops fired across the Line of Control in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Thursday. The Pakistani military confirmed the deaths of its soldiers yet dismissed the Indian claim of ‘surgical strikes.’

“There had been cross border fire initiated and conducted by India which is [an] existential phenomenon,” said an ISPR statement released shortly after the Indian Director General of Military Operations held a press conference making claims about surgical strikes.

India strikes, Pakistan responds

An exchange of fire between Pakistani and Indian LoC troops began at 2:30am and continued till 8:00am in the Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel and Lipa sectors in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, an ISPR statement said. “Pakistani troops befittingly responded to Indian unprovoked firing on the LoC.”

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that nine soldiers were injured during the incident, and added that small firearms were used to respond in a ‘befitting manner’.

Shortly after the exchange of fire, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Defence held a joint press conference in New Delhi in which Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt General Ranbir Singh alleged that surgical strikes were conducted by the Indian army on “terror launch pads along the LoC”. The strikes will not continue, he said.

The Indian DGMO claimed that “some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launchpads along the Line of Control”.

“The Indian army conducted surgical strikes last night at these launchpads. Significant casualties have been caused to these terrorists and those who are trying to support them… The operations aimed at neutralising the terrorists have since ceased.”

Sources quoted by Indian media alleged that Indian para commandos went 2-3 kilometres into AJK in Mi-17 choppers and destroyed six ‘terror camps’, killing at least 38 suspected terrorists along with Pak Army troops.

Singh said the decision to launch the strikes had been taken after the military determined the launchpads had been set up with “an aim to carry out infiltration and terrorist strikes in Jammu and Kashmir and various other metros in our country.”

The Pakistan military swiftly rubbished notions of a surgical strike.

“The notion of surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by Indian to create false effects,” a military statement said.

“This quest by the Indian establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross-border fire as a surgical strike is fabrication of the truth. Pakistan has made it clear that if there is a surgical strike on Pakistani soil, the same will be strongly responded.”

The Pakistan Air Force said Pakistan’s airspace would be safeguarded at any cost. “The Pakistan Air Force is always alert and ready to issue a befitting response to foreign aggression,” a spokesperson said.

Indian authorities ordered the evacuation of villages in Punjab near the Pakistan border on Thursday amid fears of retaliation from Islamabad following India’s claim of surgical strikes against “terror launchpads” across the LoC, Hindustan Times reported.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1286881/army-rubbishes-indian-surgical-strikes-claim-as-two-pakistani-soldiers-killed-at-loc

The Hindustan Times – AAP ousts nine leaders for ‘anti-party’ activities in Punjab

HT Correspondent

Chandigarh, 28 September 2016. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday ousted nine senior party leaders, including some senior functionaries, who it said are involved in anti-party activities.

Most of those removed have been actively supporting Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who was sacked as party’s Punjab convener last month.

Among those removed include AAP’s national council member Paviter Singh and his wife Lakhwinder Kaur, member of the state women wing.

Paviter had accused party’s Punjab in-charge Sanjay Singh and national organisation building head Durgesh Pathak of demanding Rs 50 lakh for a ticket for his wife. Both Pathak and Sanjay had denied the charge.

Last week, Paviter alleged that he along with some other AAP members had gathered Rs 1 lakh party donation which was deposited in the personal account of state co-in-charge and Delhi MLA Jarnail Singh in January last year. Jarnail Singh did not give him a receipt for it, he said.

Jarnail had said there was “nothing wrong” in gathering donations for an election as long as he was accounting for it before the election commission.

The other leaders, who have been removed from the party, are state media team member Colonel (retd) Jasjit Singh Gill, circle in-charge Jagtar Singh, Harpal Singh of NRI cell, Amandeep Singh Bains, Baljit Singh Chahal, Colonel (retd) Dalwinder Singh Grewal and Amandeep Singh Boparai.

Most of these were actively assisting Chhotepur in the creation of his new party.

A party press release said these people “had maintained distance from the AAP in the recent past due to their anti-party activities. The AAP hereby clarifies that the party has nothing to do with these leaders anymore”.

Paviter to lodge police complaints

Reacting to the move, Paviter Singh said the AAP had “finally removed all doubts that it has completely deviated from the principles for which it was created”.

“The party has been taken over its Delhi leaders Durgesh Pathak, Sanjay Singh and Jarnail Singh,” he said. He would lodge police complaints on the basis of his earlier allegations, Paviter said.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/aap-ousts-nine-leaders-for-anti-party-activities-in-punjab/story-cn0SbHhWaiaNUQPFUUXZ3O.html

The Tribune – Two Indians charged with visa fraud in US

Apne munde !
Man in Blue

Washington, 28 September 2016. Two Indians in the US state of New Jersey have been charged with visa fraud for recruiting foreign nationals at a “pay to stay” college, where they maintained their clients’ student visa status with full-time work authorisations without having to attend classes.

Harpreet Sachdeva, 26, and Sanjeev Sukhija, 35, currently on a foreign worker visas and living in New Jersey have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud.

On April 5, 2016, 22 brokers, recruiters, and employers, including Sachdeva and Sukhija, were charged with enrolling foreign nationals in the University of Northern New Jersey (UNNJ), the justice department said in a statement on Tuesday.

Sachdeva and Sukhija were employed at Right OPT, a purported international student recruiting and consulting company located in Somerset, New Jersey.

UNNJ represented itself as a school that, among other things, was authorised to issue a document known as a “Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student Status – for Academic and Language Students,” commonly referred to as a Form I-20.

This document, which certifies that a foreign national has been accepted to a school and would be a full-time student, typically enables legitimate foreign students to obtain an F-1 student visa.

With the visa, they can enter or remain in the United States while they make normal progress toward the completion of a full course of study at a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) accredited institution.

According to court papers, Sachdeva and Sukhija told Right OPT’s foreign recruits that for a fee, they could enroll at UNNJ without having to attend any classes and that their enrollment would enable them to fraudulently maintain their non-immigrant status.

With full knowledge that the recruits were not bona fide students and would not attend any course, earn credits, or make academic progress toward any legitimate degree at UNNJ, Sachdeva and Sukhija caused Forms I-20 to be issued to the foreign nationals.

The duo also caused the foreign nationals to be reported in government databases as legitimate foreign students.

In order to deceive immigration officials, Sachdeva, Right OPT’s foreign clients, and others obtained and created fraudulent student documents, including attendance records and transcripts, federal prosecutors said.

After enabling them to maintain their student visa status, Sachdeva and Sukhija also conspired to secure fraudulent work authorisations for some of their foreign clients.

In their guilty plea, they admitted that their intention was to profit from the scheme by outsourcing these foreign individuals through Right OPT as information technology consultants with various businesses in the United States for commissions. (PTI)

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/two-indians-charged-with-visa-fraud-in-us/301983.html

Wondelgem – Multicultureel Festival – Basisschool de Regenboog

Wondelgem, Multicultureel Festival
Sint-Sebastiaanstraat 8
26 June 2016

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Last picture of the piper, his skindoo and dirk

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Mehakpreet Singh, Balkar Singh, the magician and the historical dancers

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More Sikhs in the mix !

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Afghanis were also present

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Chess players sat in a quite area

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Prizes to be won

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Observations and advice to voters on elections in Punjab in 2017

Eighth report from the Sikh Federation (UK) National Sikh Convention

London – 24 September 2016

Punjab assembly elections in 2017 present a dilemma for those like the Sikh Federation (UK) who believe and campaign for the establishment of an independent Sikh homeland. None of the mainstream political parties fighting the Punjab elections next year are at the moment prepared or permitted to question the concept of India’s ‘national integrity’.

This despite a common appreciation at the lack of recognition and discrimination against the Sikh minority since independence in 1947, widespread human rights violations for the last 40 years with no justice for the atrocities, including an attempted Genocide and now the threat of assimilation into the Hindu faith.

In a properly functioning democracy these would normally be excellent grounds to argue Sikhs must be allowed to exercise their right to external self determination and establish an independent Sikh homeland.

However, the mainstream political parties in Punjab are all under pressure to address Sikh issues to secure votes and the elections are generating a lot of interest in Sikhs overseas. Complete silence is not therefore an option for an organisation like the Sikh Federation (UK) that people look to for direction on political matters.

Politicians in Punjab also recognise Sikhs abroad are more informed about the current problems in Punjab than many local people.

Sikhs in the UK, Canada, USA and other countries overseas exist in their millions and are considered as key influencers in the Punjab elections. There are villages and towns in Punjab, especially in the Doaba region, where almost every family has a few members living abroad. Sikhs abroad want better protection of their religious interests and many have family, businesses and other interests in Punjab.

Sikhs from the West will also travel in large numbers to Punjab during the winter vacations in December-January. This year it will coincide with state elections expected in January 2017. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alone hopes that around 50,000 volunteers from across the world will come to Punjab before the elections to boost the AAP campaign.

The jam-packed National Sikh Convention did not really allow the overall message of the Sikh Federation (UK) regarding the elections in Punjab to properly come across.

The only real choice at present for those who vote in the Punjab elections is as one commentator put it to “vote for the least worst mainstream political party” as there is no chance of successfully electing those committed to the ideology of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale that Sikh independence is the ultimate solution to all the problems faced by Sikhs.

While Sikhs in Punjab need to support individuals standing in the elections who are competent and committed to achieve Sikh sovereignty there is no doubt that many Sikhs having experienced the current ruling coalition of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and BJP alliance and previously the Congress want change and are considering the AAP as a better option.

Opinion polls conducted in August suggest AAP will take anything from 60-75% of the 117 members of the Punjab Legislative Assembly. Whilst opinion polls may be wrong and are subject to change before the elections, AAP are clear favourites, although they will be damaged by the recent infighting and controversies.

From the Sikh Federation (UK) perspective the one thing that is absolutely clear is Sikhs and the voters of Punjab should reject the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal)-BJP alliance and the Congress. Between them they were responsible for the assault on Sri Darbar Sahib in June 1984 and promoting human rights abuses and giving impunity to those responsible.

There is plenty of evidence that the Akali leadership in 1984 feared Sant Jarnail Singh Ji and desperately wanted to get back some power. Their alliance partner the BJP also has much to answer for, with L K Advani admitting in his book, ‘My Country My Life’ the BJP support for Operation Blue Star and the fact it had passed a resolution in 1984 wanting the attack sooner.

There is not a shadow of doubt the Akali leadership was responsible for inviting the assault on Sri Darbar Sahib in June 1984.

In 2014 it emerged Badal held a secret meeting with the then Union Home Minister P V Narsimha Rao, the Cabinet Secretary, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the Union Home Secretary in a guest house in New Delhi on 28 March 1984, wherein he sought military action on Sri Darbar Sahib to remove Sant Jarnail Singh Ji.

This alone makes Badal unfit to remain Chief Minister of Punjab.

Having been invited by the Akali leadership, the Congress government of Indira Gandhi was responsible for carrying out the military attack on Sri Darbar Sahib in June 1984 and used it to try and teach the Sikhs a lesson. It was the Congress centre who chose how and when to carry out the attack.

They timed the attack to coincide with the Martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, when thousands of pilgrims would have been trapped inside and chose to use the military, tanks and artillery to destroy the Akal Takht Sahib.

Congress took the opportunity that the Akali’s gave them to seal off Punjab and go from village to village arresting, torturing and killings Sikh men between 15-30 years of age, to slaughter a whole generation of Sikhs so they would never recover.

The Congress then led the Sikh Genocide of November 1984, although the BJP have also been implicated. What the Congress did in 1984 alone is unforgivable and we are confident the people of Punjab will remember this.

The record of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal)-BJP alliance and the Congress is equally as bad when it comes to support for the widespread abuse of human rights and giving impunity to police officers involved in extrajudicial killings.

Bhai Gurjeet Singh, the Press Secretary of the Sikh Federation (UK), told those at the Convention that a year ago revelations came in the biography of K P S Gill ‘The Paramount Cop’ about the close relationship between this mass murderer and infamous Punjab police DGP and Parkash Singh Badal. The book made clear Badal’s anti-Sikh role as the two would meet regularly in Sector 9 Chandigarh and conspire to hunt and kill a generation of young Sikhs.

As the elections approach in Punjab there is considerable patting on the back from Akali supporters how after 21 years Badal and the BJP have temporarily released Professor Devinderpal Singh Bhullar. However, it was an insult to the rule of law, when Badal again came to power in 2012 and promoted the infamous Sumedth Saini, who has been in and out of controversies, to become the DGP in Punjab.

This was despite his record of being accused of serious human rights violations including abduction, illegal detention and torture and is currently under trial for murder.

In July 2008 Sumedh Saini was indicted for his involvement in the torture of Balwant Singh Multani and Balwant Singh Bhullar, father of Professor Devinderpal Singh Bhullar. According to the 2008 FIR, both Balwant Singh Bhullar and Bhai Balwant Singh Multani were tortured during their detention. Balwant Singh Bhullar was tortured so badly he lost his mental balance.

In December 1991 Balwant Singh Multani and Balwant Singh Bhullar were picked up and interrogated on the whereabouts of Professor Devinderpal Singh Bhullar. They were tortured in the presence of and on the orders of Saini, the then SSP. On 2 February 1992, Balwant Singh Bhullar was arrested again and tortured.

He was unable to walk properly and eat anything. On the seventh day, he was segregated and taken away and believed to have been disappeared. Subsequently Saini claimed that Balwant Singh Bhullar had died a natural death and that Professor Devinderpal Singh Bhullar had tried to assassinate him.

The Congress record on human rights abuses is similarly poor. Following the excesses in the mid-1980s, Presidents rule was imposed in June 1987 until February 1992 after which Congress politician Beant Singh became Chief Minister in Punjab.

His tenure as the chief minister became synonymous with widespread human rights violations. Many reports estimate over 25,000 people were abducted and killed under impressions of fake encounters to please the Narsimha Rao-led Congress government in Delhi.

After two terms the Badal-BJP alliance is on its way out unless something dramatic happens in the next few months. They are held responsible for grabbing land and real estate and stashing away money in foreign bank accounts, while the people of Punjab face unemployment, the farmer crises, a failing economy and the drugs menace – supply of drugs and widespread addiction – that is destroying future generations.

Corruption allegations associated with sifarish (patronage, influence peddling and nepotism) and the use of goons in day-to-day matters is also highly prevalent. These factors together strike at the heart of Sikhi in Punjab and if not brought to an end threaten to wipe out the Sikh way of life promoted by the Sikh Gurus.

Sikhs that are supporting the Badals or have formed alliances with them should take a good look at themselves. The Badals may soon be out of power and could be finished with an uncertain future for their supporters.

Although Badal and his son who gained total control of Sikh religious power in 2003 following the death of Gurcharan Singh Tohra, hand picking presidents of the SGPC and the Jathedars of the Akal Takht, will try and hold on in the SGPC elections that should follow.

However, the handling of the controversial pardon of Gurmit Ram Rahim, subsequent withdrawal of the pardon following intense pressure and the lack of action following the beadbi of Guru Granth Sahib Ji in Bargadi and other places are indefensible and will result in much opposition in the SGPC elections.

Voters in Punjab need to use their vote wisely and vote for change. They need to vote for those who will give some form of justice for human rights abuses by prosecuting police officers and permanently release all Sikh political prisoners.

The newly elected Punjab administration needs to establish the truth of what happen to the Sikhs prior to and following the Sikh Genocide in 1984. Those elected also need to safeguard and promote Sikhi and make sure their actions are beneficial for the people of Punjab and the land of our Gurus.

Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

Posted by: sikh federation <sikhfederationuk@yahoo.co.uk>

The Hindu – USA Security Advisor calls Doval, condemns Uri terror attack

Varghese K George

Washington, 29 September 2016. Ms. Rice strongly condemned the September 18 cross-border attack on the Indian Army Brigade headquarters.

The U.S. expects Pakistan to take effective steps to “delegitimise and combat” terrorist organisations and individuals, its National Security Advisor (NSA) Susan E Rice told her Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on Wednesday.

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif had described Hizbul commander Burhan Wani as a “young leader murdered by the Indian security forces” in Jammu and Kashmir in his address to the UN General Assembly last week. India had taken strong exception to the statement, pointing out that it legitimised terrorism.

“Highlighting the danger that cross-border terrorism poses to the region, Ambassador Rice reiterated our expectation that Pakistan take effective action to combat and delegitimize United Nations-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, and their affiliates,” said a statement by National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price.

Ms Rice strongly condemned the September 18 cross-border attack on the Indian Army Brigade headquarters in Uri and offered condolences to the victims and their families, said Mr. Price. The NSAs discussed the shared commitment of both countries to deepen collaboration on counterterrorism matters “including on UN terrorist designations.”

Meanwhile, the co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus, Republican John Cornyn and Democrat Mark Warner promised to work within Congress to “pressure Pakistan to end any association with terrorist groups targeting India, put a stop to their cross-border incursions and take active and immediate steps to reign in homegrown terrorists.”

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Senators said they were “greatly concerned about the initial indications that the perpetrators of this attack (in Uri) were Pakistani and that the attack emanated from Pakistan.”

“If true, this attack would be just the latest in a series of deadly attacks in India conducted by Pakistan-based terrorist groups. We call on Pakistan to cooperate fully and transparently in this investigations and prosecute any individuals within its territory that participated in this horrendous attack,” the Senators wrote to Mr. Modi.

The Senators said Pakistan’s “possible involvement” in this attack underscored their broader concern about Pakistan’s “use of terrorism as a pillar of its foreign policies toward Afghanistan and India.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/us-security-advisor-calls-doval-condemns-uri-terror-attack/article9161332.ece