– A project initiated by World Sikh Council – America Region
Vaheguru ji ka Khalsa, Vaheguru ji ki Fateh!
It has been 30 years since the 1984 Sikh Genocide in India but the wounds are still fresh and the anguish and pain persists. During this 30th anniversary year of the 1984 Sikh Genocide, World Sikh Council – America Region (WSC-AR) is working to complement local Gurdwara events scheduled in this regard. WSC-AR plans to provide educational and outreach resources, such as presentations, posters, pictures, etc. as needed to make local Gurdwara events more effective. WSC-AR will continue to provide regular updates as this project progresses.
The effectiveness of this project depends on the participation of the Sangat in getting the word out. This project needs your feedback and participation. Please visit WSC-AR web site or contact WSC-AR representatives. Please consider joining WSC-AR as we work with you in commemorating the 1984 Sikh Genocide.
“ The army went into Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple Complex) not to eliminate a political figure or a political movement but to suppress the culture of a people, to attack their heart, to strike a blow at their spirit and self-confidence.” (Joyce Pettigrew, The Sikhs of Punjab, London: Zed Publishers, 1995)
WSC-AR plans to develop a brief (10-15 minute) factual presentation on the 1984 Sikh Genocide. It will be available to Gurdwara Sangat on the 30th anniversary of the Indian Army attack of June 84.
In addition, WSC-AR is also preparing other media content that will include documentation of atrocities, interviews regarding the June Army attack, the disappearances and fake encounters that followed, the Sikh carnage in Delhi and other Indian cities in November 84 and the continued denial of the justice to the Sikh community in India. This media is expected to be made available online as well as in DVD format in English for viewing by Sikh as well as non-Sikh audiences. The hope is to share these resources with our national, state, and local elected officials, interfaith coalitions, the public in general.
WSC-AR is seeking Sangat input on what the Sikh community should do to prevent such incidents in the future.
- What can the Sikh community learn from past and how can it be better prepared in the future?
- What can the Sikh community do now to heal?
- How can there be peace without justice?How can WSC-AR be of assistance?
“Almost as many Sikhs died in a few days in India in 1984 than all the deaths and disappearances in Chile during the 17-year military rule of Gen. Augusto Pinochet between 1973 and 1990…… India, is refusing to confront its bloody recent history, stands in glaring contrast to these nations.” (Barbara Crossette, The New York Times Bureau Chief in Delhi from 1988 to 1991, in article “India’s Sikhs: Waiting for Justice”, World Policy Journal, Summer 2004)
“The pattern in each village appears to be the same. The Army moves in during the early evening, cordons a village, and announces over loudspeakers that everyone must come out. All males between the ages of 15 and 35 are trussed and blindfolded, then taken away…Thousands have disappeared in the Punjab since the Army Operation began. The government has provided no lists of names; families don’t know if sons and husbands are arrested underground or dead.”(Mary Anne Weaver, The Christian Science Monitor, October 15, 1984)
“…over a thousand pilgrims including children and old people quite unconnected with the separatists, were locked into a courtyard and attacked with grenades and machine guns. Those left alive were then prevented from leaving the building, many wounded were left to bleed to death…some 3,000 dead, including many who were only unconscious, were piled high in trucks and removed.” (Amrit Wilson, New Statesman, November 16, 1984)
“…over 100,000 (Sikh) volunteers have been arrested. This high number of arrests is undoubtedly, a national record and so has been the peaceful nature in which the Satyagrahas (protests) of this magnitude have been handled by the Sikhs, with extreme tolerance.” (S.M. Sathananthan, et. a1., Hindu-Sikh Conflict in Punjab: Cause and Cure, London: Transatlantic India Times, 1983, p. 15)
“When the agitation began…it was led by reasonable men seeking a reasonable settlement of reasonable demands. And at least three times there were prospects of agreement…but each time Prime Minister Indira Gandhi sabotaged the agreements.” (Kuldip Nayar, India Abroad Weekly, New York, June 22, 1984)
“Proclaiming the primacy of national union even over a religious shrine, Mrs. Gandhi ordered a bloody assault last June, and loosed the demons that apparently claimed her life.” (The New York Times, November 1, 1984)
With input from Gurdwara Sangat, WSC-AR will arrange for a final event to effectively deliver the Sikh messages like:
a) Independent UN inquiry into the 84 Sikh Genocide, and
b) Release of innocent Sikhs held illegally in Indian prisons for years without any trials.
This may also need candle light vigils in various cities, delivering the message to various government officials, media agencies, and public demonstration at the UN.
Please feel free to contact WSC-AR if you would like to be part of this project.
The World Sikh Council – America Region (WSC-AR) is the umbrella organization representative of Sikhs in the United States. It is an elected body of Sikh Gurdwaras and institutions. Currently 57 Gurdwaras and other Sikh institutions across the nation are members
of WSC-AR. The major governing purpose of the organization is to represent the collective view of Sikhs in the United States. WSC-AR works to promote Sikh interests at the national and international level focusing on issues of advocacy, education, and well-being of humankind.
World Sikh Council – America Region (WSC-AR)
Phone: 888-340-1702, Fax: 888-398-1875
P.O. Box 3635, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA