LUDHIANA, Punjab—On January 16, 2017, Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa completed two years of a hunger protest for the release of Sikh political prisoners. Since he initiated the struggle in 2015, almost a dozen Sikhs have been released from prison. Bapu Surat Singh has endured severe physical pain and mental anguish, including the loss of his son-in-law in Chicago. However, at the same time, he has continued to earn respect by the Sikh sangat worldwide.
Bapu Surat Singh is currently kept confined at the DMC Hero Heart Hospital in Ludhiana where he is being force fed. The following message by him is being shared with Sikh24 readers –
Two years ago, this old aged man – away from the luxuries of family life, initiated a hunger protest for the release of Sikh warriors incarcerated in Indian jails. The past two years were full of both depressing and exalting experiences.
I witnessed how cruel and devious the State can be. Based on my personal experiences, I learned that through contemptible ways, the State possesses the might to crush struggles by common men. Even when my body did not have strength, doctors and police continued to mount immense torture on me. All of this was witnessed by me alone in isolated custody.
[Despite trying their best], the Badal Government was not able to break my resolve. This is when they injected drugs and forced me to eat. I later found out that a video was recorded by the Government to malign the struggle and to break the growing support by Sangat. During this struggle, some so-called Panthik leaders also attempted to sabotage the struggle under Badal’s orders. I, however, remained firm in my resolve and committed to my pledge. In time, these disguised Panthik leaders will be exposed due to their own insincerity.
Some people question how I have managed to survive for so long. To these people, I can only say that the Badal Government was able to prolong my death by putting me under very tight supervision. I have no desire to live, but I do wish to put this mortal body to use for the Panthik struggle.
I am convinced that the Badals will be taught a lesson by the people. I have full faith that this time the Government will change. I will continue to stand firmly in my resolve. Individuals may choose not to stand by me, however, I ask everyone to keep in mind the cases of Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s sacrilege and to never vote for the Badal Government. It is important that you remain aware of anti-Panthik efforts and find new methods to continue Panthik struggles. I pray that the upcoming times are not unpleasant for Sikhs. May Waheguru keep the Panth in rising spirits.
Surat Singh Khalsa