My last article explained why we should get involved. In this article I’d like to explain how we can get involved. These are just my views on what we should be doing.
First thing I’d like to say is, template emails are no use. A personal message from yourself to an MP or the Foreign Office holds more weight than a mass production of the same letter. Many learned people have written books and articles on this issue and they all come to the conclusion that a mass production of the same letter holds very little weight. Personal messages hold more weight. We each need to pick up the pen and write down our thoughts and feelings. Particularly as this issue is very emotional, each of us has a different story of what we were doing in 1984 and when we heard the news. This is what we should be sharing.
Secondly, from my experience, petitions don’t work. It is very easy for someone to click and add their name to a petition but what action beyond the petition is that individual willing to do? Usually nothing. Petitions only work if they are backed up with personal letters, meetings, awareness actions and other campaign ideas.
The best advice I can give you: become a member of a party. Many of you will know that I am a member of the Conservative Party but more importantly I am an active member. By being an active member I am able to attend conferences, events, network and speak with the right people at the right time.
Personally, I feel that the Conservative Party and Sikhi have a lot in common—the ideals of working hard, aspiring to be better, achieving our goals, helping those in need, small government, low taxes, and freedom.
But regardless, we each should do our own research, find the party that best represents our views, join up and become an active member. And, as a few people have already said, yes politics is dirty but who said we had to drop down to that level and play. We have the truth on our side, and more importantly we have Maharaj who will emphasise and put our point across for us.
I know many individuals have said that due to our Sikhi way of life, people don’t have time but on this occasion we need to make time. Lets not sit on the sideline and see this issue come and go as it has every year.
So what to do (in no particular order):
- Become an active member of a political party – attend local meetings, conferences and other party political events.
- Write a personalised letter to your MP
- Ask to meet your MP at their surgery (usually weekly appointments)
- Invite your MP to the Gurdwara and have a productive sangat meeting
- Find out who your House of Lord representative is and raise the same questions in that house
- Unite under Sikh Council UK (SCUK) and support their work
- Encourage SCUK to create a group of politically-savvy individuals who can take this issue forward to the Government
- Lets get away from putting the same people and faces on the TV channels and in front of politicians. Lets put people forward on merit and allow those who can make a difference take lead and contribute ideas
- Allow bibia (females) to voice their opinion. Get rid of the ‘all men’ talk shows. Women approach issues differently and have a lot to contribute – allow them to.
- Build a proactive relationship with politicians not a reactive one