[Op/Ed] SGPC Monthly Magazine: Why only Sikhs implicated under UAPA, not those who openly advocate Hindu Rashtra?

—Once again, the editorial of Gurmat Parkash, the monthly magazine of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), has raised a voice against the excesses on the Sikhs in India in its August edition.

Written by its editor Satwinder Singh Phoolpur, the editorial highlights the sacrifices made by the Sikhs for the decolonization of India. “Thanks to the martyrdom of scores of Sikhs, India could attain independence from British rule. However, malicious designs are being hatched to convert it into ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (Hindu nation),” the editorial reads.

It further reads, “In the multi-religion country, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) should be slapped on those who demand Hindu Rashtra. If such Act is slapped on Sikh youths with an intention of harassing and torturing them, why not on seekers of Hindu Rashtra, who are real terrorists? If the demands of other people are illegal, why not demand of Hindu Rashtra?”

Of late, the Indian security agencies including Punjab Police have arrested many Sikh youths who belong to financially poor families, under the UAPA. The agencies claimed that these youths indulged in “anti-national” activities and were trying to revive “terrorism” in Punjab. However, the Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP) president and Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira exposed the truth of these claims which turned out to be false.

“Instead of rewarding the Sikhs for making sacrifices for the country, the successive governments have been harassing and disrespecting the Sikhs,” states the editorial raising questions on booking innocent Sikh youths under the draconian laws in Punjab.

This magazine is monthly published by the Dharam Parchar Committee of the SGPC for the last many decades with an aim to spread Sikhi through research-based articles and other pieces of writing on Sikh culture, principles, history, and tenets.

Gurmat Parkash by the Dharam Prachar Committee

It is worth mentioning here that the editorial of the previous edition (July 2020) of the magazine courageously raised voice against the atrocities on the Sikhs in India. It raised the issue of confiscation of farmland of scores of Sikh farmers living in Uttar Pardesh by Yogi Adityanath-led state government.

“Increase in the suppression of Sikhs in the country will lead to an intensification of demand for independent territory among them,” it reads.

Strongly lodging protest against the UP government’s move, that editorial reads, “Seizing land of the Sikhs by the government is not an action that has been taken all of a sudden. This is the policy of the government to eliminate the Sikhs….This environment of alienation has given rise to the demand for independent territory for Sikhs. As suppression on Sikhs increases, the demand for independent territory will get more intensified.”

“Today they have seized farmland and tomorrow they take over outlets, factories, and other Sikh establishments, if we keep mum,” it further reads.

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