542. The Man in Blue – The Sikh Manifesto

The Sikh Manifesto that was launched on Saturday 31 January 2015 in the Havelock Road Singh Sabha in Southall, is a logical follow-up on the 2001 Sikh Agenda.

The main difference between the Agenda and the Manifesto is that the latter is specifically written with the 2015 elections in mind. And it is aimed both at the politicians and at Sikh voters and their friends.

Our message to the politicians is that those that commit support on all or on a good number of the issues raised, can count on our support. The message to the Sikh sangat is, mind less which party the candidates belong too, look for commitment to the Manifesto.

Many people of religious or ethnic minorities almost automatically vote Labour and that is understandable, because historically that was the party that was more interested in human rights and equality issues.

But there have also been individual Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs who were champions of the minority interest, and in recent years both the Greens and Scottish Nationalists have been very supportive.

There also were, and still are, Labour MPs who want the minority vote without being a true representative of the Sikhs or other minority groups. Some of these MPs are of South Asian background. Mostly the Sikh community has been best served by ‘white’ MPs.

As far as the 2015 vote is concerned we are looking for politicians of any background who are committed to at least part of the Sikh Manifesto. Just coming to the Gurdwara and talk about the wonderful contribution of the Sikhs to the UK is not good enough.

We would like to see more Sikhs in the House of Commons, and preferably at least some who look like Sikhs and whose behaviour is in tune with the Guru’s teachings. But for all sitting MPs defending their seat and for all new hopefuls to be MPs the same goes: help us to implement the Sikh Manifesto.

Like with the 2001 eight point Sikh Agenda we do not ‘demand’ politicians to sign up to all ten points of the Manifesto. But if there are more candidates who promise support, we should look at their past record and at the number of issues they subscribe to.

There are Sikhs who are mostly interested in issues belonging to living in the UK, there are others who identify more with the South Asian issues of self-determination and rights of minorities.

Both are welcome, we are interested in their views, in challenges faced by them or their family in South Asia or in Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia or other parts of the world.

If you are interested in receiving a copy of the Sikh Manifesto, please send an email to
harjindersinghkhalsa@yahoo.co.uk

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