UNION CITY, California, USA—Three separate cities in California approved a resolution to recognize 1984 anti-Sikh massacres in India as a genocide this week. Namely, Union City passed the resolution on November 22, while Lathrop and Selma did so on November 21 and 22 respectively. Large number of Sikhs gathered in town halls of the three cities to show their support for the resolution.
In Lathrop, Jaswant Singh told Sikh24, “This means a lot of us. Lathrop has a growing Sikh population and we have seen Sikhs move here from the Bay and the Central Valley. It makes sense for our City Officials to understand our pains and pass this resolution as the 1984 genocides affected all Sikhs.”
Satnam Singh said, “Thank You Lathrop City Council for your Support. All voted in favor. Thank you all local Sikh Community members, Stockton Gurdwara Committee and Sikhs for Justice.”
In Union City last night, local Sikh leaders spoke about the genocide. Kashmir Singh Shahi, a well-respected local Sikh from the Union City spoke about the Widow Colony in New Delhi which houses Sikh widows who were victimized during November 1984. “Thanks to Union City, California, honorable Mayor Carol Dutra Vernachi, Vice mayor Emily Duncan, Councilman Jim Navarro, Councilwoman Pat Gacoscus, Councilman Lorrin Ellis, City manager Tony Acosta and all other staff for this resolution,” he said.
“Tonight at City Council, we formally recognized the November 1984 Anti-Sikh Violence in India as genocide. Thousands of Sikhs lost their lives and thousands more were displaced after what was believed to be a well organized massacre. For three days, extreme acts of violence against Sikh men and women ensued and Sikh-owned homes, businesses and Gurdwaras were burned down. The Indian Government and the international community have not properly recognized this dark event in our history as a crime against humanity. Thanks to our Sikh community for attending and showing support,” the City stated in a statement.
Bhai Raam Singh, member of the Fremont Gurdwara Sahib Supreme Council appreciated the council members for recognizing the Sikh Genocide. The proclamation was accepted by Gary Singh, a Union City council member and Fremont Gurdwara Sahib committee members.
Raj Singh, who was involved in passing of the resolution in Fresno, Fowler and Selma, also spoke at the Union City City Hall about the importance for the Union City to pass the resolution. He addressed that several cities across California have passed similar resolutions. “Once we have support from cities across the country, we can push to seek recognition at a state and country wide level,” he said.
In California, similar resolutions have already been passed at Kerman, San Joaquin, Madera, Fresno, Selma, Stockton, Lathrop, Sanger, Fowler and Bakersfield.