LONDON, UK— Sikhs in the UK are once again preparing to mark the anniversary of the June 1984 Indian army invasion of their holiest place of worship. Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple located in Amritsar, was invaded in an unprecedented Indian army action against a civilian population that resulted in massive casualties and wide spread human rights violations.
Every year for the past 27 years UK Sikhs have gathered in Hyde Park London for a protest march that ends with a rally in Trafalgar Square. This year is no exception with the rally taking place on the 10th of June. The rally makes vocal the Sikh demands for justice and has been seen as a show of solidarity and remembrance.
As times have changed and the Sikh diaspora have become more educated and media savvy, their methods of protest have also evolved. Young Sikhs have come together to found a charitable NGO and Think Tank called the National Sikh Youth Federation (NSYF).
Representatives of NSYF informed Sikh Siyasat that this organisation, whose motto is; To Educate, Inspire and Unite, has become the platform for an innovative media campaign to highlight the events of June 1984. Utilising both social and physical media NSYF are attempting to create mass awareness. From the 1st to the 10th of June NSYF will be uploading one picture everyday at 0700 GMT via their twitter account @theNSYF centred around the hashtag #10DaysofTerror.
NSYF will be telling the story of June 1984 by recreating the major events of each day with a historic newsfeed, culminating in the release of a video to tie the campaign together.
THE NSYF have worked with artists and accompolished designers to create a unique information pack, containing a recreated military style ‘classified’ dossier, amongst other literature, all thoroughly researched and referenced to provide accurate and reliable information of the events of 1984. This pack will be available at the 10th June rally.
It is both interesting and refreshing to see young Sikhs actively involved in creating and setting media trends, that will allow them to reach a wider and younger audience.