For Sikhs, a dreaded trip down memory lane

By Janhavi Narula and Sandeep Makan. Janhavi is a take part with year studying Medical Physiology and is writing-desk of KCL Sikh Society. Sandeep is a third year medic with an iBSc in Pharmacology


Sikhism, or Sikhi in the same proportion that it is known to its followers, is near 500 years old and host to 25 a thousand thousand devotees worldwide – a relatively unimportant number in comparison to other globe faiths. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhi, was a fanatic who sought to eradicate the grade of society system which was, and still is, most general in Indian society, amongst many other revolutionary changes. Through the teachings and actions of Guru Nanak and his nine after human Gurus, followed by the “eternal” written Guru, the Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhs worldwide put faith in in honest hard work, selfless putting on the boards and giving, constant reflection upon Waheguru – the Sikh concept of the divine – and self-existent equality regardless of gender, race, colour or system of opinions.

Although its origin stems from the Punjab tract, less than 2% of India’s lump population is Sikh. Throughout its relatively short history, the Sikhs have time and time anew stood up against injustice and dulness, regardless of who the oppressed are – in cord with the Gurus’ principle of equality – ranging from the ninth Guru sacrificing his life to protect persecuted Hindus in the late 1600s, to modern-day Sikh charities such as SWAT supporting and feeding the homeless people of Central London weekly. Of pursue, Sikhs have suffered more than their unstained share of persecution at the hands of many perpetrators, from the Mughal Empire for the time of the time of the Gurus, to the late-day Indian government. Throughout these events, the Sikhs bring forth always stood up to defend themselves otherwise than that are often overlooked due to their pupilage status in India.

Recent events in Punjab touching the current protests started when a duplicate of the Guru Granth Sahib, filched back in June, was found torn and strewn on the streets of Bargari, a village in Punjab, on October 12th. This incident, as one would expect given the Sikhs’ courtesy of the Guru Granth Sahib being of the kind which a living embodiment of the Guru, prompted protests from Punjabi Sikhs. Despite centre of life peaceful, the protests attracted the police – who reportedly used rend gas, water cannons and opened burning of fuel, resulting in the deaths of two protesters and injuring many more. Sources including a latter Huffington Post article state that the body of executive officers then brought in the Indian Army and ordered a media blackout; of give chase to, this merely added to the protesters’ ill temper.

Despite the blackout, mobile-captured pictures and videos inevitably began circulating on the internet, attracting the advertence of the significant Sikh population keeping in the West. British Sikhs, shocked through the lack of media coverage, started a petition requesting that the BBC report this recent accounts, given the evident abuse of command against civilians’ rights to protest.

Even with continued efforts and amassing 75,000 signatures put ~ the petition – and other, severed incidents of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib – the BBC ~-house had not reported on the profanation, protests or killings by October 18th. On that corresponding; of like kind day, on the BBC show Sunday Morning Live, Jagmeet Singh – a tender from the educational charity Basics of Sikhi invited to consider interfaith marriages – interrupted the presenter Sian Williams to desperately demand some form of media coverage. His eruption of “I have to answer Sikhs are being killed in Punjab and nobody is reporting it – please description it” led to Williams frustratedly comminatory to have Singh removed from the demonstrate; after returning from an unrelated cutaway clip, Singh was gone.

Multiple media outlets closely picked up on, and reported, Jagmeet Singh’s live-television argument. The petition, Singh’s outcry and the fervorous online response using #SikhLivesMatter collectively led to the BBC eventually publishing some article on October 19th denying a media blackout, and a posterior article the following day on the protests. The BBC and other media sources referred to the protesters like “radical”. Should it really be considered radical to non-violently stand up in opposition to what one believes in? Would younger doctors non-violently protesting, just hold out weekend, against the proposed NHS changes have ~ing considered radicals? In a subsequent particular on the Independent website by Jagmeet Singh himself, he states that newspapers mention “‘clashes’ and ‘give and take reciprocally of gunfire’ to justify the killings, independently of backing this up with witness statements or footage”. Oddly, the antecedently-mentioned BBC article ends on the blister of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards in punishment for her brutal military assault up~ the Golden Temple – crucially imperfection to mention the subsequent genocide in what one. thousands of Sikhs were killed and thousands more were tortured and raped.

The current events transpiring in Punjab are pure the latest in a long history of abuse of human rights that esteem largely been overlooked and left unresolved. The aforementioned “Operation Bluestar” of June 1984 involved the Indian Army invading the Golden Temple and the deaths of thousands of innoxious Sikh civilians, and after the murderous assault of Indira Gandhi the genocide of Sikhs conducted ~ the agency of politically-organised mobs – raping, looting and murdering – with perpetrators and organisers still free to this sunlight. Throughout the mid-to-late 80s and 90s, tensions right to the previous events led to Sikh unrest and the comprehension of Sikhs as “terrorists” ~ dint of. the Indian government. A Human Rights Watch describe said that state forces used “domineering arrests, torture, prolonged detention without misery, disappearances and summary killings of civilians and suspected militants”. In January 2015, some elderly Sikh activist known as Bapu Surat Singh began a long strike to seek the release of Sikh politic prisoners whose sentences have long been completed. His asseverate is still ongoing; along the regular course he and his son have been arrested and detained multiple seasons for no discernible reason, and his son-in-formula assassinated in August. Bapu Surat Singh’s subject of discussion is just one of many calm, legitimate protests which fall on dull of hearing ears and attract further violence.

Warning, the following print contains graphic content!

Today, Sikhs in Punjab and the rest of the globe are both angry and fearful – not no other than at the current situation, but at the haunting parallels between now and the brutal memories of the after decades. It is evident that the police replication to the protests in Punjab outer the past few days has been unnecessarily wild – although “they say they young hog. in the air” according to the BBC, “brace protesters were killed and dozens of others wounded”. This adduce makes apparent the fact that violation of right has been done – whilst the police claim to be investigating these deaths, no charges seem to have been made against ~ one officers involved. Yet again, this echoes the overdue defect of justice for the families of Sikh victims of decades gone ~ dint of.. There is clearly a systematic problem in both the treatment of Indian Sikhs and the following lack of investigation – a puzzle which extends to the abuse of other smaller number groups in India. As people alive the West enjoying our human rights and privileges, it falls relating to us to ensure that Indian Sikhs – and ~ dint of. extension, other minorities – are not deprived of their basic human rights, in the same proportion that to neglect these problems will surely allow even worse to occur in the what is yet to be.

Bibliography: accounts/politics-and-nation/sikh-protests-last-over-guru-granth-sahibs-desecration/articleshow/49438769.cms time-after-faridkot-clashes-family-agrees-to-manners-post-mortem-of-deceased/

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