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

BC government’s reluctance to recognize Sikh Genocide and its background has not gone unnoticed Featured

 

Gurpreet Singh  

The Wednesday, November 3 proclamation made by the provincial government in Victoria to acknowledge the annual blood drive launched by the Sikh Nation has missed a point. 

While it has been widely welcomed by the Sikh community, the ruling NDP and those behind the drive will be at pains to explain what prevented them from recognizing the cause that prompted the drive, which has saved more than 160,000 lives since 1999. 

According to the proclamation, the BC government has declared November as “Sikh Nation Blood Donation Month.” 

However, the proclamation is completely silent about the history of the drive that was started in commemoration of the Sikh Genocide.  

In the first week of November, 1984, thousands of Sikhs were murdered all across India by state sponsored mobs. 

The massacre was engineered by leaders of the ruling Congress party, following the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. Years have passed, but Sikhs continue to wait for justice and closure. One senior Congress leader, Sajjan Kumar, was convicted and given a life sentence 34 years later, but senior politicians and officials who were complicit in the crime remain unpunished. 

Sikh Nation began its annual “Campaign Against Genocide” blood drive in 1999, to raise awareness about the carnage. The signs displayed by the group annually around this time of the year clearly mention that. Since then, Sikhs come out in large numbers to donate blood in the month of November, both in BC and other parts of North America. 

During the massacre, the political goons chanted the infamous slogan of “We will avenge blood with blood” to scare Sikhs, but here the Sikhs chose to give blood to save human lives, in an attempt to conquer hatred with love.  

Notably, their efforts have been slammed by the Indian officials several times. It is pertinent to mention that any reference to the 1984 Sikh massacre as Genocide has irked the Indian state. Pro-India lobby groups continue to oppose Sikh Genocide motions being brought in the Canadian parliament and legislative assemblies. 

So much so, the New Democratic leader Jagmeet Singh was denied visa by the Indian government for supporting a similar motion in the Ontario legislature.    

It is pertinent to mention that the BC government remained silent about this aspect of the drive even in April last year, while thanking the Sikh Nation for heeding its call for more donations to overcome the shortage of blood during the pandemic.  

It raises too many questions, and the only possible explanation is that the BC government does not want to make powerful people in New Delhi and their agents in Canada unhappy. If the BC NDP government really cares for human rights and social justice, it should stand up against repression anywhere in the world; and if it truly believes that the Sikh community is an important part of our social fabric, it must call a spade a spade and send a strong message to the Indian establishment, rather than getting into such meek balancing acts.  

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Last modified on Thursday, 04 November 2021 18:52
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