"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.
Super User

Super User

Gurpreet Singh

Cofounder and Director of Radical Desi


John Horgan, who has created a legacy of politics of inclusion in a polarized world, will receive the annual Hands Against Racism award in Surrey next month.

Established by Metro Vancouver-based Spice Radio 1200 AM, the award is given every year to people who have stood up against hate.  

As a Premier of British Columbia, Horgan not only brought back the BC Human Rights Commission that was dismantled by the previous Liberal government, but implemented the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He also appointed for the first time a Parliamentary Secretary for anti-racism initiatives, and introduced race-based data legislation to combat systemic racism.  

Horgan stepped down from the Premier’s office last year due to health issues, in spite of his continued popularity across the province.

Spice Radio CEO Shushma Datt announced on Thursday that the award will be presented on Sunday March 19 at Surrey Arts Centre, close to the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.   

Datt started a campaign against racism on the birth anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr in 2015, encouraging participants to dip their hands in colour and leave a palm print on a white sheet alongside a message against bigotry. The idea was to celebrate Holi, an Indian festival of colours and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination together.

Horgan had previously visited Spice Radio in 2019 to participate in the campaign. He scribbled down, “Human Rights! Respect! Inclusion!!” alongside his handprint, which is currently framed and greets everyone in their office.

Datt strongly believes that Horgan deserved it for taking into embrace everyone, and for speaking out for all the minorities, be they the Muslims, Jews or people of  Asian heritage who faced a backlash in the wake of COVID 19.   

Horgan joins the list of trailblazers and strong voices for change who have been honoured by Spice Radio in the past.

The very first recipient of the Hands Against Racism award in 2016 was Baltej Singh Dhillon. The first turbaned Sikh RCMP officer faced a racist backlash from both within and outside the force.

The second annual award went to Sunera Thobani, a Muslim academic who faced hostility for questioning U.S. foreign policies following the 9/11 terror attacks. This was done to challenge growing Islamophobia under Donald Trump.

The following year, in 2018, Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith and antiracism educator Alan Dutton were honoured for standing up for minorities and amplifying the stories of white allies in an ongoing struggle against intolerance. Dutton has been receiving serious threats from white supremacists.

In 2019, Indigenous activist, Cecilia Point, and South Asian activist Niki Sharma, now Attorney General, were presented with awards for breaking sexist and racist barriers.

Point has been in the forefront of annual marches in memory of missing and murdered indigenous women, while Sharma has spoken out on behalf of racialized people who encounter a blatantly racist electoral system while running for office in the City of Vancouver.

In 2020, police officer-turned activist Kal Dosanjh and social justice activist, Harsha Walia, were honoured. Dosanjh is heading Kidsplay Foundation, which educates youths to avoid racism and gang life; Walia is a die-hard grassroots level activist who has written two books and coauthored a third.

In 2021, Tammy Hu and Kamika Williams received the awards.

Hu spearheaded a fight against offensive news headlines that described COVID-19 as a "China virus".

Since the novel coronavirus broke out in China, hate crimes against people of Asian heritage have sharply increased in Metro Vancouver.

By honouring Hu, Spice Radio wanted to send a strong message to those involved in anti-Asian racism.

Williams, then-chair of the Anti-Racism Coalition of Vancouver, was honoured for her efforts behind Black Shirt Day campaign, a day to honour Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 2022, the Indigenous designer Jennifer Sherif was one of the two recipients of the annual Hands Against Racism awards.    

Sherif was given an award for making special pins in memory of the victims of Indian residential schools. With the recent findings of the unmarked graves of Indigenous children at these former sites, this issue has come into the limelight internationally.   

Sherif’s pins represent the orange shirt, an idea of Phyllis Webstad, who went to an Indian residential school as a child. Following the discoveries of unmarked graves, people in Canada began sporting orange shirts in large numbers to show their solidarity with First Nations.  

The second recipient was Annie Ohana, a renowned antiracism educator and social justice activist.

Ohana has been a part of many grassroots movements and is a strong defender of human rights. She has been a tireless ally of Indigenous communities, immigrants, refugees, and other marginalized groups.   




Radical Desi organized the free screening of a BBC film which has created a sensation in India on Sunday, January 29 in Surrey, BC.

The two episodes of India: The Modi Question, remain out of bounds in the world’s so called largest democracy.

Not only has the right wing Hindu nationalist BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi restricted its screening in India, dozens have been detained for making an attempt to show it in public space.

The documentary takes a critical look at the functioning of Modi, under whose rule attacks on religious minorities, especially Muslims, have grown ever since he was elected as the leader of India in 2014.

The Indian establishment got riled up following the relay of the first episode by BBC, exposing Modi’s complicity in the 2002 Muslim massacre in Gujarat. At the time, Modi was the Chief Minister of the coastal state, where thousands of Muslims were murdered after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire, leaving more than 50 passengers dead. Modi had blamed the incident on Muslims and allegedly instigated violence against the minority community.

The Indian government declared the documentary "propaganda", and its officials tried to muzzle the voices of those who promoted it on social media. Among them is the Surrey-based editor of weekly Chardikala Gurpreet, Singh Sahota, who shared his first-hand experience of being served a notice by Twitter at the behest of the Indian government.

Radical Desi, an online magazine that covers alternative politics, held the event to show solidarity with Sahota and others who are facing intimidation in India.

The screening was organized on the birthday of the slain Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was reportedly murdered by the Hindu supremacists for opposing the BJP in 2017. Lankesh had translated a book on the Gujarat violence authored by famous reporter Rana Ayyub in Kannada.

Progressive Punjabi poet Amrit Diwana read a poem dedicated to Lankesh at the beginning of the program, which started with a moment of silence in memory of the six worshippers who were killed in a hate crime in Quebec on January 29, 2017.

Radical Desi Director Gurpreet Singh pointed out that while Canadian politicians, particularly of Indian heritage, pay tributes to the victims of the Quebec violence; they have remained silent on the actions of an “Islamophobic government” in New Delhi.

The screening was followed by speeches and a question and answer session. Those who spoke on the occasion included anti-racism activist Imtiaz Popat, a Muslim of Gujarati heritage, as well as anti-racism educator Annie Ohana, human rights activist Sunil Kumar, and freelance writer Kanwal Gill.  


To Rahul Gandhi, the Congress Party MP  


Dear Rahul,  

Welcome to Punjab. It is good to see you leading Bharat Jodo Yatra during these difficult times. This initiative was much needed ever since Narendra Modi came to power in 2014. It would have been better had all the non-BJP parties come together to start it. However, it goes to your credit for making the beginning.   

It is encouraging to notice that the people are giving a warm welcome to the march wherever it goes. It is a clear message to those in power in New Delhi. The current rulers, who had no historical role in the freedom movement, are today bent upon demonizing anyone questioning their sectarian politics as “anti-national” or the part of a so-called “Tukde Tukde Gang” (band of people determined to break the country). Bharat Jodo is a good answer to those who are actually dividing the nation in the name of Hindu supremacy.  

That said, you need to do some introspection over the present state of affairs. Modi and his party did not emerge out of nowhere. Your self-styled secularist party, which ruled India for most years since it gained freedom in 1947, has contributed to a situation that helped the BJP’s ascendance to power with a brute majority.  

You recently said that under Modi two kinds of India exist: one for the super-rich and the other for the poor and marginalized, besides the working people. That statement itself is flawed.  

You must first acknowledge that this was the case even under the Congress government that first introduced neoliberal economic policies, widening the gap between the rich and the poor.  

In fact, you could have said something else which you never dared to. Under Modi, India is divided between Hindu majoritarianism and the minorities. Since you are an intelligent man, it is hard to understand why you did not articulate like that. The only possible explanation is that you lack courage to challenge the Hindu majority which has been completely polarized by Modi.  

Honestly, I am not surprised, considering how the leaders of your own party came to the defence of Modi, when he was described as the butcher of Gujarat by a Pakistani leader, and rightfully so. What I couldn’t fathom though, was why Congress is being so kind to him, when your own mother once called him a merchant of death for his complicity in the 2002 Muslim massacre?  Is it okay to call a spade a spade within the country, and not to accept the truth being told by a neighbour? Why such hypocrisy?  

That brings me to my next point. The Gujarat pogroms were a copy of the 1984 Sikh Genocide engineered by none other than your father. It was funny that you tried to evoke his legacy when your march began. What sense does this make? On one hand, you are trying to mobilize people against Modi and his hate politics, while on the other you try to glorify your father who was a problematic figure. It was he who introduced the culture of impunity, giving Modi a chance to do the same to win elections by persecuting another minority community. 

As we head to 2024, the entire country faces what the two percent Sikhs faced in 1984. The toxic environment created in the last 40 years was the result of the actions of your dad and grandmother, who ordered the invasion of the Golden Temple Complex.  

Despite all this, the Sikhs in Punjab have been generous enough to acknowledge the appointments by Congress of a Sikh Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and that of Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister of the state. The latter’s appointment was considered more significant, as he had resigned from the Congress in protest against the ugly events of 1984. But beyond that, what? No honest soul-searching by the Congress as an institution was ever attempted. The senior leaders who were involved in the genocide continued to be shielded by your party shamelessly. No sincere apology was made, except a very weak one by Manmohan Singh. The accountability of your father was never fixed.  

You should be thankful to the Sikhs who took you into their embrace when your Yatra entered Punjab. The same community gallantly kissed the gallows during the freedom movement, chose to live with India after the 1947 partition, defended India's borders and served food grain to the entire country, even laid down their lives more than the Hindus during the Khalistani militancy while opposing the demand for a separate homeland. In recent times, they challenged the growth of Hindu nationalism in Punjab and never accepted Modi, and yet your eyes are shut.  

Maybe someone needs to tell you that the Sikhs follow the Guru Granth Sahib, a very unique holy book that includes the hymns of the saints of different faith groups from all over India. Your idea of United India might have enamoured many people, but the Sikhs understand better than anyone else what true unity and secularism means, because that’s what the Guru Granth Sahib preaches.  

It’s a shame that the Congress goons burnt down Sikh gurdwaras and did not even spare their scriptures during 1984. It is time for you to step forward and make a genuine apology on behalf of your father, instead of making a false hero out of him, abandon his buddies involved in the carnage, acknowledge the sins of the party, and ask for the immediate and unconditional release of the Sikh political prisoners whose lives were turned upside down because of what happened in 1984. After all, it was state violence that turned them into separatists, so why should they continue to suffer for taking up arms in the absence of justice? 

Sikhs are forgiving people if you only ask for forgiveness with a clean heart instead of taking their support for granted.   

It’s time to show some statesmanship.  

Take care and good luck with the rest of your march for a pluralist India.  

Gurpreet Singh  



Gurpreet Singh  

As he approaches the age of 40 (he turns 38 on January 6), the global fan following of the prominent Punjabi singer-turned-actor Diljit Dosanjh continues to grow.  

Dosanjh, who comes from the minority Sikh community in India, gives hope to many like him, not only back home, but also in countries like Canada.   

For practising Sikhs, keeping long hair and tying turban is integral to their identity. Dosanjh therefore is no exception. However, facial hair and turbans can become a challenge if one is struggling to find a place in the Indian cinema and entertainment industry in a Eurocentric environment. But the 39-year-old native of the village Dosanjh Kalan, Punjab has already broken that glass ceiling with his talent.  

After having started his career as a singer, he gradually stepped into the field of acting in Punjabi cinema that eventually opened doors for him in Bollywood, where caricaturing of the Sikh characters has been too common.   

Indian films have constantly promoted stereotypes about the Sikhs. A number of Sikh men who began acting in the Hindi movies years ago, had to cut their hair to fit in and become part of the mainstream. This enabled big names like Dharmendra to be popular, but they couldn’t think of being accepted in their traditional attire.  

Perhaps with the changing times, Dosanjh was able to make it to Bollywood without giving up his identity. Not only was he able to perform with renowned stars such as Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anushka Sharma, Kiara Advani and Akshay Kumar, he received a lot of love and admiration from them.  

In Canada too, he made history in 2022 when he became the first Indian artist to perform at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, according to CBC. It was a sold-out show in a country which has a history of anti-Sikh racism, affecting mainly turbaned men, apart from those with shorn hair and dark skin.  

It is not surprising to see Fruiticana, a famous Punjabi grocery chain in Metro Vancouver, to rope in Dosanjh as its model.   

Interestingly, his original name was Daljit, which means a conqueror. He later converted it to something that means a winner of hearts. In fact, he proved himself to be suited for both, when he took a tremendous risk by his support of protesting Indian farmers, who camped outside New Delhi for almost a year to oppose unjust farm laws imposed by a right-wing Hindu nationalist BJP government. 

In order to suppress any voice of dissent, the protestors who came from Punjab in big numbers were branded as Sikh separatists. Dosanjh too was dubbed that way by BJP supporters, including some fellow actors. 

In a highly polarized environment which has impacted Bollywood, it can be emotionally draining for anyone like him to stand up for his people.  

It also goes to his credit for doing justice to the broader issue of human rights by acting in films, like Punjab 1984 and Jogi. The two movies look into the inconvenient issue of 1984, when innocent Sikhs were targeted by the Indian state in the name of a war on terror against separatists, or for the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. Incidentally 1984, which left a permanent scar on the Sikh psyche, is also the year of his birth.  

Dosanjh too has his flaws and limitations like everybody else, but making a legacy at such young age is remarkable. 

Happy Birth Diljit Dosanjh. Stay blessed.


Mr. Narendra Modi  

The Prime Minister of India  

Dear Sir,  

Please accept my condolences for the passing away of your mother.  I myself lost my father in 2017 and often feel sad about his death five years later. So I can relate with your pain.  

These must be difficult times for you, and I hope you recover soon. It was nice to see how the opposition leaders of India, including those from the Congress party, have offered their sympathies. Rahul Gandhi of the Congress, whom you and your supporters frequently mock, poured out his heart to pay tributes to the departed soul on Twitter.  Several prominent secularists and liberals I follow on social media have also done the same. Normally, they are very vocal against your right wing and sectarian politics. 

It appears that the opposition in India is too kind. For that you should be thankful.  

However, I am not a diplomat or a politician. I am a simple hearted person and would like to take this moment to say what needs to be said.  

In the light of how your political rivals have risen above ideological differences to share their condolences, it’s my desire to see you and your brutal government becoming compassionate. Remember how your government did not let disabled Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba out of jail when his mother was on her death bed. The wheelchair-bound Saibaba, who is suffering with multiple ailments, continues to be incarcerated under inhuman conditions for merely questioning the power and standing up for the poor and marginalised. Instead, your  government was happy to give freedom to those who had gang-raped a Muslim woman, Bilkis Bano, in 2002 right under your command when you were the Chief Minister of Gujarat, while no empathy was ever shown for a harmless scholar.  

You are lucky enough to have such meek opposition that also came to your rescue when a leader from Pakistan rightfully dubbed you as “butcher of Gujarat”. This is despite the fact that the Congress leader back then, Sonia Gandhi, had also described you as a “merchant of death”. Apparently when a neighbour points finger at you, all the Indian leaders get united in the name of so-called national interest. This is nothing but hypocrisy.  

Before you get angry or outraged by what I said, let me remind you what you recently tweeted about Guru Gobind Singh ji, the tenth master of the Sikhs, on his birth anniversary. You stated, “His unparalleled courage will continue to motivate people for years to come”. Indeed. I write all this to you after being motivated by his historical letter to the tyrant Aurangzeb.  

If you have doubts, try to read Zaffarnama, which has become even more relevant today under your repressive regime, where the rights of the minorities and political dissidents are being suppressed. You will also know that Guru Gobind Singh ji had empathized that it is just to draw a sword to resist barbarity when all other means of resolution end. By your actions, you are inciting people to take to arms. Zaffarnama applies to you, as much as it applied to Aurangzeb.   

Take care and be kind.  


Gurpreet Singh  

Independent journalist  


Gurpreet Singh  

One of the worst developments of 2022 was the electoral victory of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Gujarat state of India.  

The December 8 assembly polls gave a clear verdict in favour of the BJP, which won 156 out of 182 seats, forming government for seventh term in a row.  

Like it or not, the mandate was in support of bigotry and hate by a highly polarized society of Gujarat. If the results are any indication, the fight against Hindu supremacy isn’t over yet, and needs to be continued until the upcoming general election all across India in 2024.  

A BJP defeat in Gujarat would have sent a strong message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and set a tone for the national election. The outcome has disappointed secularists.  

Modi himself led the state as Chief Minister before being elected as Prime Minister in 2014. 

The infamous 2002 Muslim Genocide occurred under his watch. Thousands of innocent Muslims were targeted in mob violence orchestrated by the BJP leader across Gujarat. Because of that, Modi was denied a US visa until he became the national leader. 

The pogroms were started to avenge the deaths of more than 50 passengers of a train carrying Hindu pilgrims. The train caught fire under mysterious circumstances, and Modi had instantly blamed it on Muslims and Pakistan.  

He then got re-elected with a brute majority. The BJP was never defeated after that, as Modi was able to muster enough support from the Hindu Right to ensure his ascendance to the highest office.  

Even during the recent election, the BJP lost no opportunity to invoke the ghosts of 2002, taking advantage to stoke anti-Muslim prejudices and fear. 

Before the election, the rapists of a Muslim woman, Bilkis Bano, were released from jail and given a heroic welcome. 

Bano had lost several members of her family in the violence and was gang raped. Her testimony had brought the culprits to book and they were convicted for life, yet they were given amnesty by the government. 

Teesta Setalvad, an activist who has been campaigning for justice to Gujarat Muslims, was arrested and thrown behind bars under trumped up charges. 

As if this was not enough, Home Minister Amit Shah told voters that the BJP has established permanent peace by teaching a lesson to those involved (read Muslims) in the 2002 violence. 

The voters who chose the BJP despite all this clearly made a statement on what kind of society they want.        

In the meantime, the corporate world was enamoured by the so-called Gujarat model of development, which was more hype than reality. Since the opposition Congress party which was in power previously had lost its charm and credibility on a number of issues, Modi became a poster boy for the Hindu majority and the elite, paving the way for him to be the future leader of the country.   

However, the broader issue is that Modi is an RSS man while his party is its political arm.  

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) began its journey in 1925 to establish  a Hindu theocracy. It remained a fringe force in the beginning, but gradually turned into a "deep state" with complete control over the power structures and the intelligentsia. They have changed the thinking of the masses or poisoned young minds through daily gatherings in different parts of India. Clever enough to get the desired results through social engineering, the threat of RSS cannot be brushed aside. Their proteges like Modi are not like any other career politicians. They are determined to redefine India.  

As we head for 2025, the RSS will be thrilled to see India becoming an official Hindu state a century later under Modi.  

Gujarat model in reality was an image of  the RSS vision for Hindu India, which has almost been achieved. Attacks on religious minorities, especially Muslims and Christians, have increased throughout India under Modi, a situation replicating the one that existed in Gujarat.  

Let there be no illusion - Gujarat alone isn’t polarized. The whole of India is on  the Gujarat way, and we need to take this seriously. The year 2023 needs to be dedicated to more struggles for an RSS-free India for the sake of diversity and pluralism, so that Modi is ousted from power in 2024. For that, all secularist groups and minorities need to get united under one banner. That should be our New Year’s resolution.  


Saturday, December 10 saw activists come together in Surrey to release a calendar featuring a towering leader of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.  

Desmond Tutu passed away on the eve of 2022, at the age of 90, leaving behind a rich legacy of struggles for social justice. Close to his first death anniversary, Radical Desi, an online magazine in partnership with People’s Voice, Spice Radio, Mehak Punjab Di TV and Channel Punjabi decided to dedicate its calendar for 2023 to him.  

The event was held at the art gallery of Surrey-based painter Jarnail Singh, who made the portrait of Tutu for the calendar that bears important dates related to the history of resistance against racism and colonialism, especially in North America.  

Apart from Singh, others who participated in the unveiling ceremony were BC Education Minister and former Parliamentary Secretary for anti-racism initiatives Rachna Singh, anti-racism educator Annie Ohana, the cofounder of Coalition Against Bigotry Imtiaz Popat and renowned Sikh activist Barjinder Singh.  

Those who spoke on the occasion included prominent Punjabi poet Amrit Diwana, leftist scholars, Dr. Raghbir Singh Sirjana and Harsharan Singh Punia, and community activist Sahib Singh Thind. Dr. Gurvinder Singh Dhaliwal from Channel Punjabi, Kamaljit Singh Thind of Mehak Punjab Di TV and Radical Desi cofounder Gurpreet Singh also addressed the gathering.  

The speakers were unanimous in their views to continue to raise voices against injustice anywhere in the world. 


Gurpreet Singh  

On November 26, the world’s so called largest democracy celebrated its Constitution Day. Not only were special events held by the Indian government back home, several programs were organized in the Diaspora, including one in BC.  

The Day was initiated by the current right wing Hindu Prime Minister Narendra Modi, under whom attacks on religious minorities, including Dalits and political dissidents, have grown since 2014. All this goes against the spirit of the constitution that guarantees religious freedom to everyone, as well as social equality and democratic rights.  

This year’s events coincided with the release of Anand Teltumbde, a renowned columnist and published author, who had been held in custody for more than two years under trumped up charges.  

Teltumbde was arrested in 2020, on accusations of inciting violence and being part of conspirators against the government, but his only crime was that he stood for the poor and marginalised and questioned the power through his writings.  

Teltumbde happens to be the grandson-in-law of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, an undisputed Dalit icon and the architect of the Indian constitution. He was not even granted bereavement leave when his brother, a Maoist insurgent, was gunned down by the police in November, 2021.    

Ironically, he was arrested on the birthday of Ambedkar, who Modi claims to revere, and got bail on the day when Modi and his apologists, including self-styled Ambedkarites in Canada, were celebrating Constitution Day. His release came only after the Bombay High Court gave him the bail, while the Modi administration unsuccessfully tried to keep him behind bars. For all the time, he rotted in jail with his trial not being started.     

From the time of his arrest until his release, Modi may have bowed his head before Ambedkar’s statues or garlanded them a number of times. But such tokenistic gestures by someone who is wedded to an ideology of turning India into an intolerant Hindu theocracy, will not hide the reality that he is unwilling to listen to any criticism or treat minorities or the oppressed with respect.


Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI) has welcomed the ongoing march started by the opposition Congress party in India. 

Bharat Jodo Yatra, aimed at uniting the country that is going through difficult times under a right wing Hindu nationalist BJP government, is gaining traction. 

The cofounder of IAPI, formed in response to growing attacks on religious minorities and political dissidents ever since the BJP government came to power with a brute majority in 2014, feels that the Bharat Jodo Yatra, led by Rahul Gandhi, gives hope for an inclusive India and deserves support from those who care for diversity and tolerance. 

However, Gurpreet Singh is also critical of the Congress for its opportunism and “soft Hindutva“  and involvement in the 1984 Sikh Genocide. He clarified, “Our support should not be viewed as a blank cheque for Congress. The party needs to be made accountable for its misdeeds if we really want progress. But Rahul cannot be blamed for the mistakes of his parents or grandparents. He should be given a chance to prove himself.” 

Singh maintained that the Bharat Jodo Yatra is giving sleepless nights to those in power, and is proving to be a challenge to those who are actually trying to divide Indian society in the name of religion and by polarizing Hindu majority. 


Sajjan-The Thug

November 16, 2022

Gurpreet Singh 

Some recent political developments in India remind me of a legend associated with the founder of Sikhism.  

Guru Nanak, whose birth anniversary was celebrated on November 8, is credited for traveling widely, reforming the misguided and encouraging them to follow the path of truth and justice. One of those who came under his influence was Sajjan, the thug, who ran an inn, where to deceive people he provided space for worship to both Hindus and Muslims. He often looted his guests and even killed them mercilessly. Such acts were in complete contradiction of his name which means noble.  

Nanak’s birthday celebrations this year coincided with the 38th anniversary of the Sikh Genocide. Thousands of Sikhs were slaughtered across India by mobs led by the then-ruling Congress party, which claims to be secular, much like Sajjan who offered place of worship for two different religious groups. This was in the aftermath of the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984. 

In the national capital of New Delhi alone, close to 3,000 Sikhs were murdered by the political goons with police connivance. Coincidentally, among those involved was a former Member of Parliament who bore the same name as Sajjan, the thug.  

Sajjan Kumar is the only senior-most politician to be convicted for life in the case, while a few others remain unpunished. Indira's son, the late Rajiv Gandhi, who succeeded her as the next Prime Minister, died without being indicted. Congress, which portrays itself as a progressive and liberal alternative to the currently ruling right wing Hindu nationalist BJP, under which attacks have grown on religious minorities, especially Muslims, has recently started its Bharat Jodo Yatra (Unite India March). Though it is aimed at challenging the BJP's divisive agenda of transforming India into a Hindu theocracy, it seems that the party hasn't learn anything from the past.  

Rajiv's son, Rahul, who is leading the march, tried to sell the image of his father as an advocate of communal harmony, a blatant lie that cannot cover up his complicity in the Sikh massacre. If Rahul really cares for a tolerant India, he could have made the first Indian Prime Minister - his great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru - as the icon of the march. Unlike Rajiv, Nehru was secular to the core and believed in scientific temperament. He was a complete different personality than the present Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is far more regressive and superstitious. That he was also involved in the 2002 anti-Muslim pogroms of Gujarat is well documented.  Innocent Muslims were targeted all over Gujarat, after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire leaving more than 50 passengers dead. Modi who was the Chief Minister of Gujarat back then, blamed the incident on Islamic extremists and reportedly incited the Hindu mobs to go after the Muslim community. 

As if this was not enough, the Congress included Jagdish Tytler, who was prominently involved in the 1984 bloodshed, in a party panel for the upcoming municipal elections in New Delhi. Rubbing salt on the Sikh wounds, Rahul made time to visit a Sikh temple during his march on Guru Nanak's birth celebrations, while all this was happening under his watch. 

The Congress needs to come clean on this issue rather than making mockery of diversity. That said, the Sikh leaders associated with the BJP are no less than Sajjan, the thug. How can they align themselves with a party that is persecuting other minorities, like Muslims and Christians, when Nanak taught the Sikhs to stand up for everyone? Even otherwise the BJP is no friend of the Sikhs. Their supporters were also involved in the Sikh massacre. The Congress did all that to woo the Hindu majority, and was able to win the subsequent general election with more than 400 seats in the parliament. The entire BJP vote shifted to the Congress, implying that the anti-Sikh tide worked. By merely raising a hue and cry over Tytler's appointment and remaining silent to the crimes of the BJP, they are not doing any service to their community. Be like Nanak, denounce Modi and his cohorts in a strong voice and leave the BJP, otherwise history will never forgive you.