FRESNO, CA, USA—Despite several attempts to thwart the 1984 Sikh genocide resolution, the Fresno City Council will vote on this proposal at 5:30 PM at the Fresno City Council Hall today, September 1, 2016. The Fresno City Council Hall is located at 2600 Fresno Street, Fresno, CA.
The resolution was earlier scheduled to be announced on January 14, however, the Fresno City Council took back the proposal after it was compelled by the Indian Consul General from San Francisco. The proposal was consequently taken back by Fresno city council member Clint Olivier on June 23. Fresno Bee correspondent Andrew Castillo reported that the Indian consul of San Francisco met with Fresno city council members and convinced them that the proposal recognizing Sikh massacres as a genocide was “inaccurate and one-sided”.
Since then, two local Indians, namely Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor and Rama Kant Dawar have faced fury of the local Sikhs. Their attempts to withdraw the petition has led the Sikh Council of Central California to ban them from speaking at Central California Gurdwara stages.
“Olivier first proposed the resolution in January. He said he put it on hold to do more research after Sudarshan Kapoor, a retired Fresno State social work professor and longtime peace activist, met with Olivier’s council colleagues to express his reservations. Kapoor accompanied the consul, Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok, to his meetings Wednesday. Kapoor said what happened in 1984 wasn’t like the Armenian genocide or the Holocaust and said the city shouldn’t get involved,” Andrea Castillo reported in the Fresno Bee on June 22, 2016.
Several other cities across California have passed similar resolutions. City of Kerman, San Joaquin and Bakersfield have recognized the 1984 carnage as a genocide of the Sikhs. Where in Fresno, the Jakara Movement led the initiative to hold talks with Council members, Sikhs For Justice human rights organization has been at the forefront of this initiative in other cities.
In a press release earlier today, Simranjit Singh from Jakara stated, “Despite many attempts to stop and destroy our attempts of passing a resolution that recognizes the events in 1984 as a genocide, we have finally brought it to a vote for the Fresno City Council. Certain individuals even went to the great length of ensuring the intervention of the Indian Government in our local Fresno affair. They tried to paint us Punjabis and Sikhs as violent individuals and told many lies to try and cloud the minds of the Council members. They wanted to show us as a divided community here in Fresno. Let’s make sure they don’t succeed.”
Buses will leave Gurdwara Singh Sabha and Gurdwara Gur Nanak Prakash at 5 PM.