Brussels (Belgium): In an attempt to make their voices heard internationally, the Sikh and Kashmiri Diaspora approached the European Council urging it to engage the Indian leadership and question their role, attitude and covert methodologies with which they crush aspirations of ethnic minorities and nationalities in the country.
Registering their protest during the visit of the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi in Brussels on 30th March, the four Sikh bodies of Europe joined hands with Kashmiri pro-freedom group’s to submit memorandum to members of European Parliament to express their communities concerns and plight in Punjab and J&K respectively.
Members of Kashmiris and Sikh communities staged their protest outside the European Parliament in Brussels while the Indian PM was participating in India-EU summit to discuss trade and other related issues. Both the communities presented their memo’s separately.
Dal Khalsa representative Jagmohan Singh Mand who handed over the memo to European Council president Martin Schulz on behalf of Sikh groups told him that prejudice, discrimination and hatred against Sikhs and Muslims was not new in India, earlier it stayed hidden under previous regimes. Today, it was out in the open. We are going through dangerous times, said he.
The memo signed by representatives of Dal Khalsa, Sikh Federation (Germany), SAD (Amritsar) and BKI (Talwinder group) stated that the worst fears of ultra-nationalism and jingoism in India as loudly propagated by RSS- BJP have come true.
From Christians to Muslims to Sikhs, from JNU to Hyderabad university students to union leaders, from Professors to activists, everyone was at the receiving end. In this heavily loaded climate of fear, the minorities and Dalits are being told, loud and clear, “If you do not subscribe to ‘our’ definition of “Nationalism” as coined by the Hindutva fanatics led by RSS, then you are anti-national”.
Rejecting this notion of being ‘Indian’ as propagated by the RSS-BJP; they said the Sikhs have their own sovereign identity and glorious past. They urged the EU members to keep the aspirations of ethnic minorities and struggling people in mind while engaging with leaders like Narendra Modi. They cautioned the international community that human rights should not be sacrificed at the altar of commercial interests.
The memo had details of massive human rights violations including torture, enforced disappearances’, extrajudicial killings that Punjab faced in the last three decades.
The crackdown on Sikhs and killings of two Sikhs in Behbal Kalan police firing after the sacrilege incidents of holy Guru Granth Sahib was also mentioned in the memo.
The memo explained how bypassing riparian principles and violating its own Constitution, the Indian state has deprived the Punjab of its only natural resource- river waters. “Punjab is the state who’s more than 55 percent of the river waters are being diverted to non-riparian states like Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana either under duress or chicanery of the Indian leadership”, reads the memo.
While expressing their solidarity with the government of Belgium in their hour of grief, they offered heartfelt condolences and prayers to the families of the innocent people who lost their lives in the senseless attack during Brussels bombing.