AMRITSAR SAHIB, Punjab—Addressing a press conference at Amritsar on August 8, the President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), S. Simranjit Singh Mann, appealed to the Punjab masses to observe August 15 (Indian Independence Day) as Black Day.
S. Simranjit Singh Mann said that the Sikhs were being treated as slaves within the Indian sub-continent. He also appealed to the government employees to observe August 15 as Black Day by wearing black shoes, black turbans and with black handkerchiefs. He said that the masses of Punjab should manifest the black color by every possible way.
Strongly condemning the ongoing atrocities on the Kashmir masses, S. Simranjit Singh Mann said that the Indian government was performing genocide of the Kashmiri people by committing inhuman torture.
Similarly, the Dal Khalsa also announced to organize a demonstration at Ludhiana to mark India’s 70th independence anniversary. In an email correspondence shared with Sikh24, Kanwarpal Singh (Dal Khalsa spokesperson) said that the Akhand Kirtani Jatha and several other prominent Sikh organizations would participate in the protest.
Asserting that there was no reason for Sikhs to celebrate August 15, the organization gave the call to employees, school managements and students for boycotting the state sponsored programmes to celebrate the Independence day.
Dal Khalsa president Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema said by observing August 15 as black day, the aim was to keep the desire for freedom alive.
In a significant development, Dal Khalsa appealed to Hindu brethren of Punjab to ‘bridge the divide’ and join hands with Sikhs not only to safeguard the interests and resources of the state but also to achieve Punjab’s Sovereignty in the same manner as Sikhs helped Hindus in their fight for the independence of India from British colonial rule.
Flanked by ex-president Harcharnjit Singh Dhami and spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh, Advocate Cheema denounced the Indian state for not acknowledging the Sikh right to self determination in accordance with international treaties and covenants that all democratic Nations are expected to adhere to and oblige.
Referring to atrocities heaped on Dalits in Gujarat and elsewhere, they expressed their pain and concern over the maltreatment and high-handedness meted out to Dalits by Hindutva forces supported by state establishment. Dal Khalsa pledged sustained Sikh support for Kashmiri people in their struggle for right to self determination in line with deepening partnership between the two pro-struggling ethnic minorities.
It is notable that the petition initiated by Sikhs for Justice to the US White House also crossed over 100,000 signatures. The petition asks the White House to address the right of Sikhs to self-determination in Punjab. In the petition, the US based Sikh advocacy group has appealed to President Barrack Obama to honour the right of Sikhs for self-determination.
The petition states, “1947 did not bring independence for Sikhs in India where followers of Sikhism, the world’s 5th largest religion are labeled as Hindus; Sikh Golden Temple was destroyed by Indian Army; Sikhs were subjected to genocide in Nov 84 and thousands were extra-judicially killed by security forces for demanding right to self determination.”