29 December 2007

A New Year's Message from Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh, President, Council of Khalistan

As usual, I don't agree with everything he says here, but I do with most of it, and I think this is a message we all can learn and draw inspiration from.


December 28, 2007

Let 2008 Bring Freedom to the Sikh Nation
May Guru Bless the Khalsa Panth in 2008
With Freedom, Happiness, Unity, and Prosperity
Dedicate New Year to Liberating Khalistan

Dear Khalsa Ji:


The New Year will arrive within a few days. Please let me take this
opportunity to wish a Happy New Year to you and your family and the
Khalsa Panth. May 2008 be your best year ever. I wish you health,
joy, and prosperity.

The flame of freedom continues to burn brightly in the heart of the
Sikh Nation. No force can suppress it. Guru Gobind Singh blessed the
Khalsa Panth, saying 'In grieb Sikhin ko deon Patshahi.' ('I bless the
Sikh nation with sovereignty.') The Sikh Nation must dedicate this
year to working hard to achieve that goal. Self-determination is the
right of all peoples and nations and self-determination is the essence
of democracy.

It has been said that 'without vision the people perish,' but with
vision the people flourish. Without sovereignty, religions perish.
With sovereignty, they flourish. Compare the situation of the Jewish
people in Europe before World War II to their situation now. There is
no reason Sikhs cannot achieve a similar change of fortune.

It is time for the Sikh nation to flourish. Sikhs have suffered too
much already under the yoke of Indian persecution since independence,
especially over the past 25 years. We have seen the attack on the
Golden Temple, over 250,000 Sikhs murdered and over 52,000 held as
political prisoners, the murder of the Akal Takht Jathedar, more than
50,000 Sikh youth tortured, murdered, then declared unidentified and
secretly cremated, their bodies never returned to their families.
Their families continue to suffer. We must help their widows and
orphans. Let us find the vision to throw off this repression. With
that vision, the Sikh Nation will flourish; without it, we will perish
and India's effort to eliminate Sikhism will succeed.

The Indian government has stepped up its efforts to destroy the Sikh
religion and deny Sikhs an environment to flourish. India will not
even allow passage from Gurdaspur to Kartarpur, a distance of just a
couple of miles. The Pakistani government has shown its willingness
to make this connection, but India is unwilling to cooperate in making
this opportunity available for Sikhs to make this passage so they can
go to Kartarpur Sahib, where Guru Nanak made his transition into his
heavenly abode. This road would be good for the people on both sides
of the border. It would help build good relations between India and
Pakistan, particularly between Pakistan and the Sikhs of Punjab.

Pakistan has recognized the Sikh Marriage Act of 1909, but India
refuses to do so. It still issues certificates of marriage under the
Hindu Marriage Act. What a shame! This is another sign that Sikhs
are slaves in India. It is another piece of India's ongoing effort to
destroy the Sikh religion and absorb it into Hinduism. We must
defend the Sikh Marriage Act and demand its adoption so that Sikhism
can be recognized as the independent, distinct religion that it is.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was performing baptisms that are reserved for
the Panj Piaras. He impersonated Guru Gobind Singh and did so in
newspaper advertisements! Yet the Indian government took no action
against him for this serious offense against the Sikh Nation. He
could not have done what he was doing unless he was backed by the
Indian government. Chief Minister Badal, during his election
campaign, even went to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh during the election
campaign and bowed before him. This is a major insult to the Sikh
Nation and the Sikh religion. How can this be tolerated in a state
that is 67 percent Sikh? And how can such an attack on the Sikh
religion be tolerated by the Akali Dal? What has it gotten for its
electoral alliance with the BJP except more humiliation? This shows
that the Akalis are in bed with the oppressors and do not care about
the Sikh Nation or the people of Punjab.

The Indian government has kept Punjabi-speaking areas out of Punjab
while supporting an influx of Hindus into Punjab. As you know, Sikhs
are prohibited from buying land in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and
Uttaranchal Pradesh. Yet there are no restrictions on land ownership
in Punjab by non-Sikhs. People from anywhere can buy land in Punjab,
including people from Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. India is trying
to subvert Khalistan's independence by overrunning Punjab with
non-Sikhs while keeping Sikhs from escaping the brutal repression in
Punjab. We must prevail upon the political leadership in Punjab to
get these Sikh lands back from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. They
rightfully belong to Punjab.

We must stop the diversion of Punjab's water to Rajasthan and Haryana
without compensation. That is a natural resource of Punjab. Sikh
leaders in Punjab must take a strong stand on this issue. The Indian
government squeezes Sikh farmers by all available means. They sell
fertilizer and seeds at very high cost but when it comes time to sell
produce, the government sets the price very low. This leads to
hundreds of farmers committing suicide because of their impossibly
high indebtedness to the Indian government.

On several occasions during the last two years, Sikhs were arrested
for making speeches in support of Khalistan and raising the Khalistani
flag. The Indian regime is clearly worried about the rising tide in
support of Sikh sovereignty. Let us dedicate our energy this year to
achieving the establishment of Khalistan. Any organization that
sincerely supports Khalistan deserves the support of the Sikh Nation.
When Khalistan is free, Sikhs can resolve all issues in a way that
benefits the Khalsa Panth. However, the Sikh Nation needs leadership
that is honest, sincere, consistent, and dedicated to the cause of
Sikh freedom if we are to continue to move the cause of freedom for
Khalistan forward in 2008 as we did in 2007.

Remember the words of former Jathedar of the Akal Takht Professor
Darshan Singh: 'If a Sikh is not a Khalistani, he is not a Sikh.'
Khalistan is the only way that Sikhs will be able to live in freedom,
peace, prosperity, and dignity. It is time to start a Shantmai Morcha
to liberate Khalistan from Indian occupation. We must achieve our
freedom by peaceful, democratic, nonviolent means. Let that be the
mission of 2008.

Sikhs will never get any justice from Delhi. Ever since independence,
India has mistreated the Sikh Nation, starting with Patel's memo
labelling Sikhs 'a criminal tribe.' What a shame for Home Minister
Patel and the Indian government to issue this memorandum when the Sikh
Nation gave over 80 percent of the sacrifices to free India. How can
Sikhs continue to live in such a country? There is no place for Sikhs
in supposedly secular, supposedly democratic India.

Let us work to make certain that 2008 is the Sikh Nation's most
blessed year by making sure it is the year that we shake ourselves
loose from the yoke of Indian oppression and liberate our homeland,
Khalistan, so that all Sikhs may live lives of prosperity, freedom,
and dignity. Now it is up to us. Do not waste this opportunity.

May Guru bless the Khalsa Panth.


Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh
Council of Khalistan

Some see things as they are and ask, Why?
I dream things that never were and ask, Why not?
Bobby Kennedy

28 December 2007

A Break From Heaviness - A Pro-Sikh Blog Post

What with the hate attack on Sukhvir Singh Ji and all the negative to-do in the press about Laibar Singh Ji - Has anyone sent him a cheerful blanket or comforter yet? - I feel it's time for something cheerful. No, really. I came across this blog post earlier today and just had to share it with you. It seems there is a young Canadian man born in 1980 who likes us. Likes us enough to say nice things about us, like, for example, we have been wrongly accused of blowing up that airplane. He thinks Canadian intelligence (CSIS) was behind it. I, personally think it was the Indian government. I might be wrong, though. What government would wantonly kill its own people? *rolls eyes*

He calls himself Granny Wolf and I decided he was OK, when I realised his profile picture includes a hyacinth macaw, a truly magnificent bird. And he has a most interesting take on Sikhi.

Please read and enjoy, for a change! And you might even go and leave GW a comment. I think almost all bloggers love comments. (Hint, hint).

Sikhism is a tradition that I've always been fascinated with. The driving force behind the ideology is that Hinduism and Islam are essentially the same thing. In short, that the One and the Many are two expressions of the same divine substance. Ironically, the Sikhs have been portrayed as violent terrorists by most media sources, largely because they are a persecuted minority in both India and Pakistan. Tensions between the Muslims and Hindus and the Sikhs long predates Muslim/ Hindu conflicts in the history of Greater India ( i.e. pre-partition South Asia).

At the time of partition, Sikhs had a great deal of land and wealth in the Punjab province, and with that, they gained a great deal of resentment. The ethnic cleansing that occurred after the partition, the actions of the Indian military to intentionally flood the Punjab on numerous occasions, causing starvation and disease, and the wanton mob-violence against Sikhs which followed the 1984 assassination of Indirah Ghandi (sic) are all examples of a pattern of ethnic violence which has been perpetuated for decades, and has largely passed without comment from the rest of the world. In the '80s, the Sikh separatist movement become very politically influential, making it a threat to the Indian government...

The plight of the Sikhs in India and Pakistan is one of the passed-over tragedies of the modern era. When the INC began to break up Greater India into two nations, one Hindu and one Muslim, there was briefly a plan for a nation called Khalistan, which would be an exclusively Sikh homeland. This plan was scrapped, as the Sikhs simply were not politically powerful enough to secure their nation, but the idea resurged in the '70s and '80s. This movement was quickly stuck with the terrorist label, and violent government oppression effectively crushed it. Sikhs in North America were providing a great deal of support until the bombing of Air India Flight 182, which completed the symbolic link that the media, at the behest of the Indian government, was trying to create between Sikh nationalism and terrorism.

Inquiries into this incident still take place to this day, and it is clear that CSIS (Canadian intelligence) was heavily involved. Based on the amount of documentation that they destroyed (156 of 210 wiretaps), the assassination of the only witness who would testify that the agency had full knowledge of the bombing before it happened (Tara Hayer, confined to a wheelchair after being paralysed by an assassins bullet in 1988 and finally killed in 1998), and the ridiculously drawn out inquiry which, after almost TWENTY YEARS of taxpayer-funded investigation, failed to produce a meaningful sentence of relevant data, I frankly believe that CSIS either planned the whole thing, or intentionally allowed it to happen. According to Hayer, the agent that he talked to claimed that the bomb was supposed to go off in an empty plane in Heathrow airport. Because the flight was delayed by three and a half hours, it blew up over that Atlantic, killing 329 people. Needless to say, this devastated international support for the Sikh separatist movement, removing the threat to Canada's Indian allies.

attack on the Golden Temple had a radicalizing effect on Sikhs world-wide, much as Britain's attack on the Ottoman Sultan caused Indian Muslims to revolt against British rule during World War One. Not only did it strike up a strong political current for Sikh nationalism, but it caused many Sikhs who had departed from orthodoxy to return to the customs of their religion, which they saw being threatened on an essential level. Operation Blue Star claimed to be an effort to capture "terrorists" who had "taken control of" the temple. The tyrant, as we well know, always calls the rebel a terrorist. The argument that Sikh nationalist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale qualified as a terrorist leader was tenuous at best, (especially in light of the fact that the Indian military also attacked twenty five other holy sites, massacring Sikhs who had come to celebrate their religious festival) but no one could argue with Flight 182. Although ostensibly not part of the original plan, the deaths of a few hundred innocent civilians was certainly a strategic bonus for India and its allies.

Ultimately, nationalism is a sign of sickness and weakness. Sikh separatism, Palestinian Nationalism, Italian and German Fascism, Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka, and so on, would be unnecessary if the classes of people in question had some kind of organic role in their larger societies. As it is, the Sikhs in Greater India, the Palestinians in their own homeland, the Italian working class, the German middle-class, and the Hindus of Sri Lanka have all found themselves beyond the pale of their own cultures. Demographically significant enough to have their own communities and agendas, but politically impotent. This is what creates the need to separate and divide the civilizations of man.

If only there were a goal we could be inspired to share...

27 December 2007

A Little Added On - Ding, Dong! Benazir Bhutto Is Dead

I have for the last couple of weeks been reading news stories about Mrs. Benazir's betrayal of the Sikhs.

This is from the Economic Times , 22 December 2007:

Ms Bhutto wondered how India could have forgotten the assistance she provided to curb the militancy in Punjab.
"India was in a complete mess at that time. Does anyone remember that it was I who kept my promise to PM Gandhi when we met and he appealed to me for help in tackling the Sikhs..." she said.

From the Gurmat Learning Zone (GLZ), B. S. Graya of the Punjab monitor says (Note: this article is in Punjabi):

For strategic reasons Sikhs were helped by Zia ul
Haqq, Nawaz Sharief, Musharraf but Benazir Bhutto in
1988 used the Sikh card as a bargain chip. But with
the grace of God she gained little from that bargain
though Sikhs were defamed all over world as

Long back we had printed a story in our magazine how
Bhutto stabbed on the back of Sikh.


We are happy that she admits today and our stand is
vindicated. We hope Bhutto would learn a lesson from


Elaborating on the first item, this is from Khalista, The New Global Reality:

"India was in a complete mess at that time. Does anyone remember that it was I who kept my promise to Prime Minister Gandhi when we met and he appealed to me for help in tackling the Sikhs. Has India forgotten December, 1988 ? Have they forgotten the results of that meeting and how I helped curb the Sikh militancy ?, she asked.

Bhutto did not elaborate on the precise help she provided to the Indian government to curb militancy in Punjab. There was speculation that she may have handed over a dossier containing covert identities of Pakistani agents masterminding insurgency in Punjab.

Expressing anguish at Narayanan`s comments, she said "does India really believe I am not a friend? I thought India always regarded me as a factor for peace, as a factor for India-Pakistan stability"

Bhutto said she had visited India three times in the recent past and always felt she was considered a great friend.

The former premier said whe was extremely hurt by India`s suspicion about her. "Why does India believe that I will break my word, implying I cannot be trusted ? I believe we share so much -- a belief in democratic values, in democracy and human rights. I am very disappointed that India does not think so".

I have a half-written post that I need not finish. I am not sad that she is dead; I am glad the Sikhs didn't have to do it. We have enough problems right now.

Snipers and car bombings killing innocent people is not the Sikh way. I have no doubt that Pervez Musharaf's people were behind it. Time may prove me wrong - it often does - but for now, that is my opinion.

So how should we react. Perhaps just with quiet smiles in public. Perhaps with satisfaction in our own homes, satisfaction that we have one fewer enemy to deal with.

This has a kind of pain to me. I am a woman. I want women heads of state to be good, just, fair, and, OK, even nurturing leaders. It seems that this is not the case in the subcontinent. I am certainly no expert on Indian politics; even trying to keep straight what is going on with the SGPC is most difficult for me. I am a Canadian currently residing in the United States. I know something of Canadian politics and of American politics. That is about how much I can keep up with.

This letter was sent today to many of the Yahoo Sikh groups. I do not totally agree with everything it says, but with about 98% I leave it to you to decide where my disagreement lies (13 words).

Benazir Bhutto,
an enemy of the Sikh Nation!

Khalsa Ji,

Wahe Guru ji ka Khalsa

Wahe Guru ji Ke Fateh

It was not only Benazir Bhutto but also Rajiv Gandhi, Malyali radical Hindus like M.K.Narayanan, present national security advisor of India and RS'S member and former Intelligence Bureau Chief Maloy Krishna Dhar, who were responssible for getting thousands of innocent Sikhs killed in cold blood during the Indian Government's anti-Sikh campaign of eigthies and nineties and on top of that labelling them as terrorists. Bhutto, who has not only betrayed the Sikh Nation but has also betrayed her own country Pakistan, ecently by joining in a conspiracy by Pakistan's enemies, first to destabalize and then break it up. Sikhs have done no harm to Bhutto but why did she committ such treachery agaist Sikhs? Bhutto, must remember that she will have to answer and pay for such treachery one day as did the Nazis and Nazi collaborators. Sikh Nation applaud President Parvez Musharraf for his bravery and statesmanship and for saving his country from such malicious assault. Sikhs appreciate and are greatful to all the members of Pakistan's Government who have acknowledged and help incorporating the Anand Marriage Act in the constitution of Pakistan, a recognition of Sikhs as a separate religion and Sikh marriage as a separate and unique entity. Sikh Nation also stand resolute and firm for the territorial integrity of Pakistan, independence of Palestine, National security of Israel as a state, and reclamation of lost Sikh sovereignty and freedom of Sikh homeland of Punjab, Khalistan through peaceful, democratic and political means.

Visit Khalistan.Net for more details
Khalistan Zindabad,

Dr.P.S. Ajrawat
President, ADSCFK

A little added on...

Bhutto makes weird claim about Sikh insurgency

Written by J Singh

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Delhi: Former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto has claimed that it was because of her initiatives that militancy could end in Punjab in an assertion that Indian media translated as a "firstever confession by a Pakistani leader of Islamabad’s support to the Khalistani secessionists."

Retaliating against India's national security advisor M K Narayanan’s charge that Bhutto, as premier of Pakistan, had failed to make good the promises she made, the PPP leader claimed that she had kept her word. Benazir said that she had fulfilled her assurance to Rajiv Gandhi to cut off Islamabad’s support to Khalistanis.

The former Prime Minister, who was replying to questions by a news weekly, said the fact was that it was Rajiv Gandhi who failed to deliver on his promise to pull out troops from Siachen in exchange for Islamabad’s choking off the support to Khalistani secessionists. NSA Narayanan had recently said that Bhutto could never be trusted as she had not kept her promises given to Rajiv Gandhi. Bhutto said Narayanan could not have known what transpired in 1988 because it was a one-to-one meeting. “If anyone kept the word, it was I, not Rajiv. He (Rajiv) went back to India and then called me on his way to the Commonwealth to say that he could not keep his promise to withdraw from Siachen,” Bhutto alleged. She said: “There was not a fly on the wall. How can anyone say I have not kept my promises when the biggest result of that meeting was the end of the Sikh insurgency.”

And then:
Just to remind myself, the end of another article.

(I must explain the author is quoting some antiSemitic remarks from other blogs. That, however, is not the part of his post I'm interested in here. I just quote the very end of his article:)

Blaming The Jews Department
via The Moderate Voice by Joe Gandelman on 26/12/07

(3) The weblog is an INCREDIBLE info/communication tool. Anyone can be his/her own editor, publisher and reporter and by clicking “PUBLISH” share their thoughts with the world. It has incredible potential. Shouldn’t everyone who has a weblog try to realize at least some of that potential?

(4) The old adage is true. If you want to write something when angry, wait a bit. Words matter. And even if a blog post has been deleted, those words linger out there and can never really be erased.

I just need this reminder once in a while.

25 December 2007

A Christmas Wish For Mr. Laibar Singh (From An Anglo-Canadian)

MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. SINGH! Doesn't it feel good to be living among people with such good will and compassion? *rolls eyes*

from The Chilliwack Times

Home for holidays for Singh

The Times

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

At this time of the year, we're all supposed to be infused with the Christmas spirit--good cheer to all mankind and all that.

But the case of Laibar Singh is creating the opposite effect as the fuss over his deportation continues to rankle many.

Here are the facts: Laibar Singh entered Canada in 2003 on a forged passport.

He applied, unsuccessfully, for refugee status. Before being deported, Singh suffered an aneurysm that left him paralyzed.

Since then, federal immigration officials have been trying to deport him and his supporters in the Sikh community have been shuffling him around from gurdwara to gurdwara.

An attempt to deport him last Monday failed, as supporters blocked his van at Vancouver International Airport.

Now Singh is in Surrey, his supporters sniping about the amount of effort required to provide care, immigration officials still wanting him out and the public, at large, wondering why Canada never seems to deport anyone.

Put simply, Singh should be sent home.

He entered the country illegally, there was no grounds found for refugee status and Canadians have no obligation to support him.

An application for him to stay based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds was rejected.

But let's remember, we're sending him back to a democracy, a fellow member of the Commonwealth and he will be cared for in one of the country's top hospitals.

It's time we stopped being so patronizing toward other nations.

Singh is an Indian citizen and they are quite capable of looking after him.

The real question, as always, is why it takes immigration officials so long to deport people.

Not to be callous, but if immigration officials had done their job, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

It might not be in the spirit of the season, but Laibar Singh needs to go home for the holidays.

© Chilliwack Times 2007

Copyright © 2007 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.

24 December 2007

US Sikh Groups Rally For 1984 Justice

Now for absolute certain sure this blog will again be tagged as a spam blog. Three posts in one day! But this just came in and I want to get it up while my brain is in the blogging mode. And it has such a lovely picture of Mr. Tytler, who it seems is dying his hair these days!

1984 riots: Sikh groups in US rally for justice

Anirudh Bhattacharyya

STANDING FOR JUSTICE: Sikh groups in India and the US also want Tytler to hand to the CBI, the Doordarshan CDs.

New York: After CNN-IBN broadcast testimonies of key witnesses of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, Sikh groups across the world are pushing for justice.

Sikhs For Justice, a movement set up by 15 Sikh organizations in the United States, met recently at the Baba Makhan Shah Gurudwara in New York. Their objective is to ensure that those allegedly involved in killings during the 1984 anti-Sikhs riots are punished.

“We have two witnesses who will be present when the opportunity arises,” says Sukhwant Singh, Sikhs for Justice.

Sikhs For Justice is doing the groundwork to enable witnesses to testify against Congress leaders like Jagdish Tytler, Kamal Nath and Sajjan Kumar. But the resolution passed on Sunday goes further than dropping names. They demand a Judicial enquiry into the 84 riots, headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, that will look at the carnage not just in Delhi but also 9 other states. They also asked that the Akal Takht Jathedar and the SGPC appeal for witnesses to testify, offering them full protection.

“On behalf of Sikhs for Justice, in the coming two weeks, appeals will be made before the Supreme Court to take suo moto cognizance (of the cases). If the Supreme Court does not hear our pleas, then we will appeal to Sikhs at an international level, that they unite and go before the United Nations under the auspices of the Genocide Treaty, so Sikhs get justice,” says Balbir Kaur, Sikhs for Justice.

Sikh groups in India and the US also want Tytler to hand to the CBI, the Doordarshan CDs that he says show him near Indira Gandhi's body on 1st November 1984.

23 years since the riots, Sikh groups in America feel energized to form a front and start naming Indian politicians they believe were involved in the violence and to seek direct legal action in India. However, in Delhi, Sikh groups gathered at Majnu Ka Tilla gurudwara assuring support to Surinder Singh, whose chilling eyewitness account was broadcast on CNN IBN.

“It is not only Jasbir Singh or Surinder Singh who are a witness against Jagdish Tytler. There are many such people who are ready to give their account in the court,” says Karnail Singh, President, All India Sikh Student Federation.

Another Witness Against Jagdish Tytler Steps Forward

Another Witness Against Jagdish Tytler Steps Forward - there are also videos available at this link

New Delhi: On October 31, 1984, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi was shot dead by two of her Sikh security guards. Within hours, India witnessed its worst-ever communal riots.

Nearly 3,000 Sikh men, women and children were killed across the country.

The worst-hit was the national Capital where 2,733 Sikhs were killed. . (That is a truly bizarre and exact figure. I wonder if it includes my two little girls?)

Twenty-three years, 10 investigative commissions, 13 convictions and an apology from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh haven't done much to heal the wounds.

Nearly a fortnight ago, CNN-IBN tracked down Jasbir Singh, one of the key witnesses in the case, Jasbir Singh, to United States of America. This, after CBI said it couldn't trace him and therefore couldn't consider him a witness in the case.

Witnesses turning hostile was one of the biggest problems the prosecution faced in the case and the investigative agencies had to shut cases registered against various accused like senior Congress leader and former minister Jagdish Tytler.

But a CNN-IBN Special Investigation reveals the testimony of a never-before-known key eyewitness in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. The investigation has on tape, for the first time, the eyewitness account of Surinder Singh who claims he saw three men being burnt to death in the presence of Tytler.

Surinder Singh was reportedly the priest at the Pulbangash Gurdwara in north Delhi when the riots broke out. Given below is his testimony.

CNN-IBN: Te Tytler ne laayi aag onu? (Was Tytler the instigator?)

Surinder Singh: Jedi maheem di zimmedaari si o ose di si. Ek waari te main keh chukeyan o taan mere kolon likhwa ke le chuke hain asb kuch. Theek hai na. O jedi masjid hai na saamne, o masjid wale paase siga te lalkaare maar reha si oddaron lokaan nu ki.

Translation: (He was leading the charge. I have said it, I have given written statements. He was standing near the Masjid and egging on the mob, "Kill them! They have killed our mother.)

CNN-IBN: Tussi apni akkaan naal vekhya si? (Did you see this with your own eyes ?)

Surinder Singh: Mian apni akkhaan naal vekhyea teeno katal mere saamne hi hoye si. Badal Singh swere keertan karke 8 baje chala gaya. Te Azad market ch onu lokaan ne gher leya. a 1 tareek di gall hai, 1 st Nov di, Azad market ch public odey magar pai gai. O pajj ke amarsingh singh texla TV wale ne, road te hi onaa di dukaan si,onaa de ghar chhup gaya. Te o onu lab lub ke chale gaye te o mileya na, Ghantek baad ona nun fer pata lag gaya te fer o gharch hi wadd gaye. Te chat si odda ghar doosri manjil te. Oney apni kirpan kaddi hoyegi kise nu maaran layi par onu o kirpan kaddan hi nahi ditti,te duje bande ne pichheyon fadd leya te odi kirpan naal hi odaa tidd ( stomach) faad ditta. Utton assi dekh rahe haan sab kuchh. Assi te chuthi chat te haan te o te dooji chat te hai, te jadon taan odaa tidd faadta, tidd faadan naal banda marda nahi hai ik dam,marr da jaadon saans katti jaaye.

Translation: (With my own eyes I saw three murders. Badal Singh left after keertan at 8 am. The mob surrounded him at Azad market, I'm talking about November 1. He ran into the house of one Amarjeet Singh, and hid there. For an hour the mob could not find him. He came out an hour later. They spotted him. He ran to the terrace of the house. He brought out his kripan to defend himself. Someone grabbed it and stabbed him in the stomach with the kripan. We saw it all from our roof. After the stabbing Badal didn't die immediately.)

Surinder Singh: Te onnu thhalle suteya fer onane. Te thhalle sutt ke o redi hundi hai na koode wali,ode te onnu ladd ke leyaye hai, Gurudware de saamne,assi utton dekh rahe haan sab kuch, te naal hi nachde tapde log aa rahe hai, poore bhangre paunde,jiddaan vyaah shaadiyan da mahaul Honda hai na is tarah hi. Te saamne leya ke gurudware de, te onnu gurudware de saamne leya ke odde gale ch tire paaye hai, tire pehlaan hi otthe aa chukke sann. O jeda Badal singh si na onu jadon leyaye o tadap reha si banda ronda hai na jiddaan. Onaane odey Galey ch tire paaye, te odey uttey thoda jeya mitti ta tel chidkeya te onun aag laa deti, jeenda sadeya oh!

Translation: (They threw his body down from the second floor. Then they loaded it onto a garbage barrow. We were watching from the top. There they started dancing as if it was a wedding. They then brought him in front of the Gurudwara. There they put a tire around his neck, they had tires with them. Badal Singh was screaming and crying in pain but they put the tire around him, sprinkled kerosene and lit the fire. The man was burnt alive .)

Surinder Singh: Otton pehlan swere jadon attack hoya si, swere attack hoya 8 baje subah, ye mere naal inspector Thakur Singh si, o oddon Delhi committee de wich service karda si te sarkaar wallon retire ho chukeya si, police de vichchon. Te o raat da aaya hoya si Gurudware 31 tareek nu raat nu, 31 tareek nu hi lokaan na caran saad ditiyan si.. 8 -9 baje main katha kar reha haan te jedey sun rahe si unaadiyan caaran.. O police wala sadde otthe rehnda hi si kyunki odde behen -bhai jedey upar rehnde sann, swere jaddon onane sadde te hamla kitta te o mainu kehen lageya Gyani ji tussi bahar na jao mainu lokaan naal vartan da pata hai, main police vich rehaan te tussi pichhe rehna. Te o agge ho gaye main odey pichhe ho gaya. Uttey khalo ke kehen lageya eethe school khuleya hai Guru Teg Bahadur de naam te, bachchiyan da school hai 12 tak. Kehen lageya ki ethey 1,400 ladkiyan vichchon 1,200 ladki hindu hai, te 200 musalaman ladki hai. Te 60 teacheraan vichchon 50 teacheraan hindu ne te 10 teacheraan sikh dharma diyan ne. O samjha reha si lokaan nu par otthe samajhna kaun chanda si?

Translation: (In the morning, before the attack, at 8 am, Inspector Thakur Singh was with me. He was in our Gurudwara committee since her had retired from the police. He had come to the Gurudwara on the 31st. That night the mobs were already burning cars. In the morning when the attacks started, he (Thakur Singh) said Gyaniji don't go out. I've been in the police, stay behind me. He tried talking to the mob, told them there was a school nearby with Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims in it. But nobody was ready to listen to him.)

Surinder Singh: Police wale ne keha. SHO nahi si, SHO te thane ch band si, SHO sardar si Amarjeet singh, onu band kitta hoya si kyunki assi baad wich gaye hai na te saanu taan pata lageya. Othhe jidey aam police wale hunde ne o si.

Translation: (The policemen said the SHO was not with them. They said they had locked him up at the thana. Because the local SHO was a Sikh named Amarjeet Singh. He (Tytler) was there with the police.)

Surinder Singh also described the killing of another man that morning. A man who worked at a local television store, a revelation being made for the first time.

Surinder Singh: Badal jaddon geya na Amarjeet de ghar te Amarjeet da naukar mil geya te o vi sardar si te onu vi unaane maar ditta. Te odi laash vi Gurudware de stamen leja ke saadi. Teen matlab katal hue, Badal singh raagi da,police inspector Thankur Singh da te Amarjeet jo hai texla TV wala unaade naukar da.

Translation: (After Badal Singh hid in the TV shopowner Amarjeet's house. The mob found Amarjeet's servant. They killed him as well. The burnt him in front of the Gurudwara as well. So there were three killings, Badal Singh, Police Inspector Thakur Singh and Amarjeet's servant.)

Just days after the riots, Singh claims Tytler came to meet him at the Gurudwara.

Surinder Singh: On November 10, Jagdish Tytler came to the Gurudwara and asked me to sign on two sheets of paper, which I refused to sign.

Singh claimed that in his first deposition before the Nanavati Commission he had openly declared that if he faced pressure and death threats from Congress, he would turn hostile.

Surinder Singh: Nanavati naal meri gal baat hoyi te Nanavati ne mainu bulaya. Main saareyan saamne keha ki ye ye bande si par main onaanu keha main twaanu vi keh raha hun ki aaj sarkar dooji hai te main bayaan de ditta, kal nu sarkaar badal gayi main fer mukar jaana kyunki main marna nahi hai, seedhi jayi gal hai. Ye maine kaha Nanavati ko, sarakar ab fir badal gayi fir unka raaj hai.

Translation: (Judge Nanavati questioned me why didn't you speak up before, why have you spoken out after so many years. I told him that earlier it was the rule of the Congress Party how could've I said anything against them?)

CNN-IBN: Did they threaten you?

Surinder Singh: It did not happen once, it has happened so many times. Had I not done that things would've got over then itself because I am his sole witness, Jasbir Singh is nobody. He's come out of I don't know where. All this happened in front of me.

'I have CDs to prove I was not present at riot site'

New Delhi: Minutes after CNN-IBN telecast the statements of Surinder Singh, a Sikh priest who claims to have witnessed Congress leader Jagdish Tytler inciting a mob during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Tytler rubbished the statements.

In an exclusive chat with CNN-IBN Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Tytler said he had proof to negate Surinder Singh's statements.

Tytler claimed he was in possession of Doordarshan CDs that reportedly showed him near Indira Gandhi's dead body through the hours riots took place.

On a CNN-IBN special show conducted by Suhasini Haidar, Tytler also faced questions from H S Phoolka, the counsel for the '84 riot victims. The Congress leader said the timing of the appearance of the two witnesses reeks of a conspiracy against him.

Rajdeep Sardesai: You saw the statement Surinder Singh made on camera. I repeat what he said, "Tytler was instigating the mob saying 'Don't leave them, they have killed our mother.' What's your response?

Jagdish Tytler: He has also given an affidavit in Nanavati Commission saying he saw me at 9 o clock in morning. If you see the records when the session court trial took place, everybody said everything went wrong till 2 pm at that place.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Are you saying that what Surinder Singh has told us on camera is a lie? That he is changing his mind and that there's no question of you being there at the time uttering those words?

Jagdish Tytler: I just want to say that I have never been to that place and I have got the seven CDs of Doordarshan where I am with Indira Gandhi's body from 7 am to 3 pm. Everyone saw me.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Surinder Singh submitted his first eyewitness testimony before Nanavati Commission on January 12, 2002. At the end when commission finished it's hearing, it said there was credible evidence against Jagdish Tytler that needed to be investigated. So obviously Surinder Singh was being taken seriously. You are saying he is a liar?

Jagdish Tytler: I am not saying that. I am saying I have a proof that I was not there. I can give you the films just now. They are official DD films.

Rajdeep Sardesai: You claim you were there with Indira Gandhi's body?

Jagdish Tytler: I don't claim. I was there from 7 am.

Rajdeep Sardesai: But the bottomline is why should Surinder Singh say something like this?

Jagdish Tytler: After 21 years, this fellow comes and says all this. I don't understand this. There's someone behind this.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Who is behind it? Are you saying there are rivals within your party doing this? Are you saying these witnesses are only surfacing after you were given a clean chit by CBI last week?

Jagdish Tytler: I only want to know why this man did not go the sessions court trial in 1994. He did not go to any commission, he did not got to CBI when he was questioned.

Rajdeep Sardesai: He says he was frightened.

Jagdish Tytler: Frightened of whom?

Rajdeep Sardesai: Frightened of threats and pressures he was under. He says his life was under threat and he did not get the backing of the Delhi Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee. Therefore he turned a hostile witness.

Jagdish Tytler: It's all nonsense. He's talking rubbish. Can he name one or more Sikhs from the Gurudwara who can corroborate his statements? There must be other people too.

Rajdeep Sardesai: So you are saying that the granthi, who is on a hidden camera, is not speaking the truth. At no stage did you make that statement.

Jagdish Tytler: I was not there.

Rajdeep Sardesai: And despite that the Nanavati Commission said there was credible evidence? So you say the Commission is also lying?

Jagdish Tytler: Nanavati Commission only commented on his statement.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Surinder Singh says he turned hostile due to pressures. He claims he was abducted thrice, that police was hand-in-glove with powerful people.

Jagdish Tytler: I have a tape that shows I am not there. So the whole thing becomes a lie.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Why did you not submit the tape to CBI?

Jagdish Tytler: I did submit to CBI and the man himself has gone and said he did not see me. He got papers in his hand, legally.

Rajdeep Sardesai: So are you saying there was no question of pressure or threats?

Jagdish Tytler: The question does not arise. Inquiry must be done and I think there's a conspiracy. After 21 years the man comes and makes a statement like, 'Doosri sarkar aayegi main fir badal jaaoonga (I will change again when Government changes)' What kind of a witness is he?

Phoolka reacted to Tytler's claims. "He was given dates to testify but he did not produce the tapes. Had he produced the tapes in front of Nanavati Commission, it would have considered it. If he is right, that would have been the end of it. He chose not to produce it."

Tytler responded by saying the clippings were part of a Doordarshan show recorded in 1984 and that he couldn't have produced it immediately.

Phoolka, however, maintained Tytler could have asked the court to summon DD on the tapes. "But Mr Tytler did not do this. I think there is something wrong there," he said.

Rajdeep Sardesai: But why did Surinder Singh change his statement in affidavit, denying he had seen Tytler. Now he has come on CNN-IBN making these dramatic statements. How do you explain the changing testimony of a key witness?

Phoolka: Surinder Singh has explained it himself. There's nothing for me to say. Let me tell you. Surinder Singh was a witness but police never produced him in the court. The sequence is very clear. I want to thank CNN-IBN for exposing it. It's great.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Mr Tytler respond to this. Mr Phoolka says the Delhi Police did not react because they were working under your instruction. Ironically today, we have a Sikh Prime Minister from the same regime.

Jagdish Tytler: My point is that in that Gurudwara, Surinder Singh was not the only person. There were hundreds of others, too. Can he bring another couple of witnesses to say I was there?

Phoolka: Not everybody would have seen it. They were all running to save their lives.

Jagdish Tytler: Let me tell you there is no mosque near the Gurudwara. There's one 100 metre away from it. I was never on the street.

Rajdeep Sardesai: So you are denying what Justice Nanavati says, that there's credible evidence against you?

Jagdish Tytler: Completely. I was not there. I am telling you again and again. I cannot be at two places at the same time.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Why did you not produce the tapes earlier?

Jagdish Tytler: I am telling you I gave them to CBI. Probably he went to CBI and told the agency in the affidavit that he hadn't seen me.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Why would Justice Nanavati say there was credible evidence against him?

Jagdish Tytler: That was because of Surinder Singh's affidavit.

Suhasini Haidar: Mr Tytler, 3,000 people were killed in Delhi in those riots. Very few of them came out to speak. Is that not a testimony enough of the fear?

Jagdish Tytler: Let it be Surinder Singh's words against my tapes proving I was present somewhere else. Let the court decide what the truth is.

Ved Marwah who headed the first enquiry into the riots joined in the debate.

Suhasini Haidar: Does anything that Surinder Singh says surprise you?

Ved Marwah: It's very unfortunate that the proceedings have gone on for 23 years and if the witnesses are now changing their testimony, it's because the whole thing has dragged on for so many years. When I was called to Delhi Police – after the riots were over – I was given three months. But before I could complete it, I was asked to stop. Naturally, I couldn't proceed with it despite doing a lot of work. Commenting on Surinder Singh's or Tytler's statement is something that the investigative agencies must do.

Suhasini Haidar: But investigative agencies have failed and witnesses have retracted. Even Surinder Singh says he saw six policemen with the mob. How is the ordinary person expected to face up to such power?

Ved Marwah: That's true. If people can be burnt alive on Delhi roads, it doesn't speak too well of Delhi Police. That's what I was going to do if I was allowed to proceed with my inquiry. I had collected all records that did not put the police in very good light.

Suhasini Haidar: Mr Phoolka, is there any evidence you have that can nail Mr Tytler?

Phoolka: Full opportunity was given to Tytler. But he did not produce the CDs. So it proves he wasn't there (at Indira Gandhi's funeral). If he was, he would have placed it on record before Nanavati Commission.

Jagdish Tytler: I want to ask Mr Phoolka one question: there were 200 affidavits filed over that incident. Do any of them mention my name? Why me?

Suhasini Haidar: It's interesting you should say that. Surinder's testimony comes in the same week as Jasbir Singh's.

Jagdish Tytler: That's not his testimony. Jasbir's is a different case.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Are you suggesting, Mr Tytler, that it's all a conspiracy?

Jagdish Tytler: It's all a conspiracy.

Rajdeep Sardesai: By a section of Congress leadership?

Jagdish Tytler: I would not say that.

Rajdeep Sardesai: By your political rivals?

Jagdish Tytler: Anyone.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Is it people who wouldn't want you to come back to power?

Jagdish Tytler: That's for police to find out. CBI must find out.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Are you ready for a situation that Surinder Singh goes to CBI with the statement he has made to CNN-IBN?

Jagdish Tytler: Oh yes. He should also prove his case by bringing in more people.

Suhasini Haidar: Surinder Singh and Jasbir Singh are not the only people who accuse you. The CDs you speak of were not produced before CBI and they may not be there at all now.

Jagdish Tytler: It's part of government record.

Suhasini Haidar: Do you have those CDs with you?

Jagdish Tytler: I have a copy I got officially. DD still has the record.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Will you submit the CDs?

Jagdish Tytler: If they ask me, 100 per cent I will.

Rajdeep Sardesai: Two days from now are Gujarat elections, Narendra Modi has been accused of many things. In a sense, does Congress have blood on its hands for 1984?

Jagdish Tytler: Not at all. It's for CBI and court to decide.

Rajdeep Sardesai: You don't see any parallels between 1984 and 2002?

Jagdish Tytler: Not at all. I don't want to comment on this. All I want to say is I was not there and it's all a made-up story. Police must investigate this.

Suhasini Haidar: Can we have a look at the CDs?

Jagdish Tytler: Of course, I will give it to Rajdeep Sardesai just now. I will give it to CBI. Get a lie-detector test done on me and on that man too.

Suhasini Haidar: Mr Phoolka, what happens next?

Phoolka: If he has the CDs and if he can prove he was at the cremation during those hours, that's the end of it. But if he was so sure, he should have submitted it before Nanavati Panel.

Jagdish Tytler: Mr Phoolka, will you listen to me? You are a lawyer. Surinder Singh says he saw me at 9 am. But at the sessions court trial, the man whose brother died said the mob came in at 2 pm.

Phoolka: These contradictions are for the court to see.

Suhasini: Gentlemen, hopefully this will come up in court, hopefully it will go through a commission of inquiry that will come through with some concrete answers. Mr Marwah, before we end, what you are seeing here, what you have seen here is the testimony of one man, one man who could not speak in front of commission of inquiry and one Congress leader who was implicated in the riots. But we know that many senior politicians were also implicated in the riots, we know at least 3,000 people were killed. Is this what it has finally has come down to, that 23 years later the entire police force cannot find anyone at the top more guilty?

Ved Marwah: I think it is very tragic that no conclusion has been made about who is guilty and who's not in 23 years. But the sad fact is that I was the inquiry officer and I was given three months to complete and that didn't happen. And for the last 23 years some Delhi police officers have been filing one civil suit after another against me for doing that inquiry. So you see our criminal justice system is in a very bad shape and if things go on as they are people will lose confidence.

Some see things as they are and ask, Why?
I dream things that never were and ask, Why not?
Bobby Kennedy

Book Review

I have not read this book. If any reader of this blog has, I would love for you to review it here. If so, please contact me at simayanan@gmail.com. Mai

Weekday Lounge Exclusive - Wall Street Journal

Betrayed By The State

This is the second book to have come out this year on the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. The first, When a Tree Shook Delhi by Manoj Mitta and H.S. Phoolka, was backed by investigative rigour and the authors questioned the role of the then union government under Narasimha Rao in the carnage. In Betrayed by the State, Jyoti K. Grewal, professor of social and behaviourial sciences, Zayed University, Dubai, focuses more on the human suffering and fortitude that was displayed by Delhi's Sikh community in the riots' aftermath. Grewal also examines why lessons from this crime against humanity is relevant today, when sectarian politics is on the rise the world over.

Betrayed by the State:

By Jyoti Grewal,

223 pages,


Here is one review from Eastern Book Corporation. This book may be ordered online here.

Main Features »
I apologize not only to the Sikh community but to the whole Indian nation because what took place in 1984 is the negation of the concept of nationhood enshrined in our Constitution . . . we as a united nation can ensure that such a ghastly event is never repeated in India’s future.’ —Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaking in the Indian Parliament, August 2005 (I'm sorry, but every time I hear or read about the Sikh Prime Minister apologising for the 'anti-Sikh riots,' I have my laugh for the day.)

On 31 October 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was brutally assassinated by two of her bodyguards. They were Sikhs. Twenty-four hours later the capital of India was up in flames. Sikh men, women and children were hunted; men and boys were ruthlessly massacred; their workplaces burnt, houses razed to the ground and gurudwaras plundered. The carnage continued for three days and at the close of the third day the death toll was close to 4000.

Twenty-three years and nine commissions later, the victims of ’84 still await justice for their dead, for the State to do more than just apologize for what is one of the most heinous massacres in Indian history.
Weaving together ethnicity, religion, class, nationalism, religious fundamentalism and political expediencies, the author explores how a numerically small ethno-religious group of people, who are disproportionately visible in everyday Indian life, became the focus of communal ire. She also illustrates the strength and courage with which the ‘Chaurasiye’ have moved forward, rebuilding their lives against all odds.

A poignant examination of events that took place more than two decades ago, Betrayed by the State is relevant now, more than ever, in the atmosphere of heightened sectarian politics that prevails in India today.

23 December 2007

Update - Sukhvir Singh

Sunday, December 23, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Cabdriver Sukhvir Singh was beaten by a drunken passenger on Nov. 24. The area's close-knit Sikh community was quick to help Singh after the attack and Singh says he is grateful for the supporters who helped him.

Sikhs bring comfort to injured cabdriver

By Karen Johnson
Times Southeast Bureau

It didn't take long for word to spread through the Sikh community when cabdriver Sukhvir Singh was beaten by a drunken passenger who called him an "Iraqi terrorist" and threatened to kill him.

In the days after the Nov. 24 attack, the area's tight-knit Sikh community worked quickly to help Singh, a Kent resident who moved here from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with his family in 1999.

A national advocacy group, the Sikh Coalition found him an attorney within days. Friends and community members asked if they could help Singh with money. A SeaTac-based Indian radio station shared his story live on the air. Around 400 people attended a candlelight vigil in Singh's honor.

Those closest to the Sikh community say they're not surprised by the swift response to Singh's attack.

Growing population

Since the late 1980s, the Sikh population in Southeast King County has grown fast, said Harinder "Paul" Bains, president of the Gurudwara Singh Sabha of Washington in Renton, the state's largest Sikh temple.

In the 1980s, many Sikhs fled to the U.S. to escape political instability in India.

These days, Sikhs continue to move to the area because of the community established here and to be near local gurudwaras.

Bains estimates the Sikh population in the state to be at around 25,000 to 30,000 and many of those who live in the state call Renton and Kent home.

"People want to be close to the gurudwara," Bains said. "In Sikh culture, this is our religious and social focal point."

The week after Singh was attacked, about 2,000 people attended a Sunday service at the gurudwara when a spokesman from the Sikh Coalition told the story of Singh's attack.

Singh says he is deeply religious and visits the gurudwara several times a week.

Grateful for support

Singh says he is grateful for the supporters who have comforted him in the days since he was attacked, but he is eager to return to work.

His doctors have advised him to stay home for much of December. Now he is worried about money.

The King County Prosecutor's Office has charged Luis Vázquez, the 20-year-old construction worker from Kent who police say attacked Singh, with third-degree assault and one count of malicious harassment, the state's hate-crime law.

Karen Johnson: 253-234-8605 or karenjohnson@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

21 December 2007

News Conference By Supporters of Laibar Singh Ji

This is all I have found so far...No doubt more will follow later. This is from Radio CKNW's website.

Laibar Singh supporters divided on what to do next.
Dec, 21 2007 - 1:20 PM

SURREY/CKNW(AM980) - Supporters of paralyzed refugee Laibar Singh are divided on whether they will physically prevent authorities from deporting him.
Singh is staying at the guru Nanak temple...officials there say they have not declared sanctuary and won't prevent the execution of a deportation order.

But organizers with the group "no one is illegal" won't say what their plans are...the same group helped organize a blockade at y-v-r to prevent Singh’s deportation on December 10th.

Supporters also appear to be divided on the issue of financial support for Singh.

Harsha walia with the group "no one is illegal" wouldn't reveal how much money has been pledged for Singh until she was asked several times.

"There’s been several thousands of dollars. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been pledged for Mr. Laibar Singh. Hundreds of thousands, I mean I know maninder gill has gone on-air and pledged almost 50-thousand or 500-thousand dollars, half a million, so 500-thousand dollars."

But karnail Singh dhillon with the guru Nanak temple says the surrey temple hasn't received that money.

"We have no funds available from anybody. Only from the gurdwara funds we support him. So if he is too sick and goes to the hospital, we can't afford it."

Supporters say they are trying to set up a trust fund.

The Christian Radical: The Vancouver Catholic Worker goes on record in support of Laibar Singh

The Christian Radical: The Vancouver Catholic Worker goes on record in support of Laibar Singh

Here is another group supporting Laibar Singh Ji.

Also I just read on the CKNW News Web site:

His supporters, who continue to claim he's too ill to travel, are holding a 10:30am news conference Friday at the downtown YWCA, 733 Beatty St.

That's tomorrow morninmg, actually about nine hours from now. I suppose I'll report on it when I see the stories tomorrow.

20 December 2007

'America Has Al Qaeda. Canada Has Sikhs'

I read this on IHRO (International Human Rights Organisation) last night. I read it again today on the No On Is Illegal website. It should be posted. Please take a look. This is painful stuff for me. I'd rather not post it. I would rather that Canada was the country I always thought it was.

But for every racist bastard, I believe there are ten good, solid, humane Canadians. I hope I'm right.

Updates and Growing Support for Laibar Singh

Contrary to numerous media reports that attempt to smear or misrepresent this issue since the action at the Vancouver International Airport that prevented Mr. Singh's deportation, Mr. Laibar Singh continues to have support from diverse faith-based and non faith-based South Asian community groups. Mr. Laibar Singh was not moved three times in the past week, he was only moved once- from New Westminster to Surrey- in accordance with a decision made collectively by all those involved and taking into account factors including location, accessibility, and ease for his medical team. This move to Surrey in no way represents a diminishing support for Laibar Singh.

Media outlets (TV, print, radio) have been running various front page stories on the situation of Laibar Singh and the South Asian community. Pete McMartin, senior columnist of the Vancouver Sun, for example has written that he has made a $5 bet with his editor about the outcome of the case. Other commentators have attempted to distract from the issue at hand- ie Laibar Singh and his struggle for human rights, justice, and dignity- by running front-page stories on some of his supporters.

Racism in mainstream media outlets and online discussion forums have utilized commentaries and images of angry and frothing brown men to invoke a fear of violence and terror particularly in the post 911 climate (some comments on online forums include " America has Al Qaeda. Canada has Sikhs"; "They weren't Canadians, only White people are Canadians"; and "What bothers me is that the millitary was not brought in.") South Asian community members mostly closely working with Laibar have received personal hate-based emails and phone calls. Several South Asian youth have reported an escalation of racially-motivated comments in their schools, all of which has a devastating impact on the South Asian community and immigrant/racialized communities as awhole who are constantly reminded of their subordinate position especially during moments of resistance and defiance to the Canadian state.

Active support and solidarity for Laibar Singh is not simply a matter of his case; it is about taking a clear anti-racist stance in light of the current climate and supporting a struggle that South Asian community radio stations have declared is a 'second awakening of the Komagatamaru.'

And support for Laibar Singh's bid to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds has grown, including beyond the South Asian community (See Statements Below). Groups like the BC Chapter of Council of Canadians, the Canadian Postal Workers Union, and the Student Christian Movement of Canada join the already wide variety of human rights organizations, disability advocates and community groups such as the Canadian Labour Congress, BC Coalition of People with Disabilities, B.C Hospital Employees Union, the Multifaith Action Committee, Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society and many others who have expressed their support for Laibar Singh.

Much of the public perception around Mr. Singh has unfortunately been fuelled by inaccurate facts, including the notion that Mr. Singh entered Canada "illegally". An overwhelming majority of refugee claimants arrive with false documentation and Section 178 of the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides refugee claimants the ability to make a statutory declaration that attests to their identity.

Lawyer Michael A. Leitold of Roach, Schwartz & Associates and a member of the Law Union of Ontario Steering Committee states "Laibar arrived legally in Canada, and declared his false documents, which is a normal part of the refugee process enshrined in Canadian and International law. Writing as a member of the Law Union of Ontario, I would like to state that I support Laibar's right to stay in Canada where he can receive the care he needs to live in dignity."

This is affirmed by Janet Cleveland, Canada Research Chair in International Migration Law, "The fact that Mr. Singh used false documents to enter Canada and to claim refugee status cannot be held against him, as is stated expressly in the Geneva Convention and other instruments of international and Canadian Law. I would like to reiterate that I support Laibar Singh's right to stay in Canada where he can receive the care he needs to live in dignity."

On October 9, 2007, a group of health care professionals- including 13 independent doctors- issued a letter to Immigration Minster Diane Finley stating, "As health professionals, we are outraged at the fact that the Canadian government would consider deporting a paraplegic man, whose health condition is extremely fragile… For the sake of his safety, health and well being, we fully support him and demand that [the Minister] grant him permanent residency status on the basis of humanitarian and compassionate grounds immediately."

As written by the B.C Hospital Employees Union "As health care workers on the frontline we fight to preserve a public healthcare system whereby people receive medical treatment based on their health needs. We do not judge people based on their income, social status or behaviour… Clearly Mr. Singh is in need of medical attention… Therefore we ask that as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration you allow Mr. Laibar Singh to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds and ensure that his medical needs are met."

Mr. Singh's recent humanitarian and compassionate claim was refused primarily on the grounds that he 'does not have significant ties to Canada'. This is clearly a false assessment and one that appears to be motivated by the politics of the Conservative party rather than any real consideration of the facts, which includes over 40,000 petition signatures.

It is also important to note that Mr. Singh's case is not unprecedented. In October 2006, a Polish family on tourist visas in Winnipeg suffered from a car accident that left the father paralyzed. Initially they were refused; however their deportation order was subsequently overturned. Ministerial discretion in humanitarian and compassionate claims can and has been exercised in the past to stop deportations; in fact it exists for that very purpose.

We believe it is unfortunate that some are declaring that he must leave because he does not "belong" any longer, despite the fact that his newly found family and community are here. Certainly his physical state of paralysis and the widespread community support he has received are all crucial factors and realities for Mr. Singh. He, like anyone else, should be entitled to live a healthy and dignified life.

We must challenge the idea that some are more worthy than others to decide their right to mobility and their assertion of self determination; instead we should accept these as universal values of humanity. The struggle against deportation and to support Laibar is not for him alone nor is it simply one case, rather it symbolizes the struggles for all immigrant and refugees who daily struggle to live with dignity. His situation reveals how hard and long racialized migrants must fight to assert their right to self-determination that the Canadian government consistently denies and instead perpetuates pain, anxiety, and violence through detentions and deportations against which we must continue to actively organize ourselves.

Sample of Statements Demonstrating Growing Support for Laibar Singh

"Solidarity Across Borders, a Montreal-based network engaged in the struggle for justice and dignity of immigrants and refugees, wishes to express our support for Laibar Singh and his struggle to remain in Canada on a permanent basis on humanitarian and compassionate grounds."
- Solidarity Across Borders, Montreal

"I am writing on behalf of the Council of Canadians, BC/Yukon organizing office to express my support for Laibar Singh and his struggle to remain in Canada on a permanent basis on humanitarian and compassionate grounds."
- Carleen Pickard on behalf of the Council of Canadians BC/Yukon Chapter.

"This is clearly a time where it is important to go by the spirit of the law, not the letter. The people who went to the airport were expressing their commitment to a moral value that sometimes can be overlooked in the Canadian immigration system – the value and dignity of all human life."
- Denise Nadeau on behalf of the Interfaith Community Consultative Committee of the SFU Interfaith Summer Institute.

"We ask you to re-evaluate the situation of Mr. Laibar Singh, to lift the deportation order being carried out against him and to accord him permanent residency for humanitarian reasons, as your discretionary powers permit you to."
- League of rights and liberties of Quebec (Ligue des droits et libertés du Québec)

"We do not take seriously those media reports that depict Mr. Singh's supporters as disruptive and "anti-Canadian." On the contrary, the community has simply responded to the fact that forty thousand petition signatures and months of campaigning have fallen on deaf ears. Far from being 'disobedient', people were present at the airport rally to express their sense of justice and human compassion."
- Nathan Crompton, Students for a Democratic Society UBC.

"As a historian of Asia-Canada relations, I am acutely aware of the long history of racism that has marked Canadian government actions towards people of Asian descent. The backlash that has arisen in consequence of this issue demonstrates to all who care to look that there remains much to be done to eradicate racism in Canada."
- John Price, Professor of History at University of Victoria.

"We claim the right of citizens of Canada to demonstrate to the government that we welcome Laibar Singh as a fellow Canadian and do not wish to see his life endangered by being taken from the medical attention which is vital to him and returned to a country where his life and safety are directly threatened. What other means exist for Singh's supporters to stand up to such unjust decisions?"
- Vancouver Catholic Worker.

"I was deeply heartened by the demonstration that occurred on December 10 in support of Mr. Singh at the Vancouver International Airport. I believe people have a responsibility to stand up collectively in the face of injustice, and I take inspiration from the broad cross-section of Vancouver community members who acted on this responsibility. I fully support Mr. Singh's right to stay in Canada where he can
receive the care he needs to live in dignity."
- Dr. Gary Kinsman, Professor, Sociology Department, Laurentian University.

"It is with hope and admiration that I observed the efforts of intervention on behalf of Laibar Singh. The powerful action teaches us the lesson that we cannot count on the authorities to protect the rights of human beings. I welcome Mister Singh and hope that he remains here with us a long time."
- Dave Bleakney, National Union Representative, Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

"I am appalled the any Government Official who has the responsibility to make decisions on a persons life, would refuse to do what is in their power to do in making a just, humanitarian and compassionate decision. Each of us has the responsibility to do whatever we can do to make sure every person is given respect and get whatever care they need, especially in a crisis."
- Sister Elizabeth Kelliher, Fransican Sister of the Atonement.

"I am writing this letter as a Chinese Canadian citizen and as a labour activist with the Canadian Union of Public Employees - Local 1004, to express my support for Laibar Singh in his struggles to remain in Canada on a permanent basis on humanitarian and compassionate grounds."
- Frank Lee, Secretary-Treasurer of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1004.

"As a poor peoples' organization, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty believes in the power of people to organize themselves, and to take action to against regressive government policies that work to shatter the lives and dreams of people struggling with dignity to survive."

"The Student Christian Movement of Canada (SCM) would like to state its support of Laibar Singh in his efforts to remain in Canada. We stand in solidarity with and admiration of the courageous and non-violent actions of Mr. Singh's supporters in ensuring that Mr. Singh was not unjustly deported on December 10th."
- Student Christian Movement Canada

"Thank-you for fighting this difficult struggle, with dignity and respect, against Canada's racist and punitive refugee and immigration policy."
- Mary-Jo Nadeau, Assistant Professor Trent University

"I am writing to offer my unqualified support and appreciation for your resistance to racist and utterly hypocritical Canadian immigration policies. The racism being unleashed upon you, on Sikhs and on non-White people in general is not only typical, it is meant to keep non-Whites in our very much subordinated place within Canadian society."
- Nandita Sharma, Ph.D.

Some see things as they are and ask, Why?
I dream things that never were and ask, Why not?
Bobby Kennedy


To avoid confusion, the gentleman wearing the black turban in the picture labeled 'Tytler Guilty' is Jasbir Singh., as is the above picture.
The other picture is of Jagdish Tytler.

I have heard that it is being said the Jasbir Singh Ji does not want to testify. Please read this story from The Times Of India. Does he sound even a little bit relunctant?

Reprinted from
The Times of India -Breaking news, views. reviews, cricket from
across India

Jasbir happy with order but cautious
19 Dec 2007, 0036 hrs

SMS NEWS to 58888 for latest updates

NEW DELHI: Jasbir Singh, the man responsible for the court ordering a
re-investigation in the anti-Sikh riots case against Jagdish Tytler, told TOI
from California on Tuesday that he was happy with the order. He, however,
cautioned that justice was still a long way away.

"Twenty-six members of
my extended family were murdered. It was only because of the support of the
families of the victims that the case has come to this stage - otherwise it
would have closed," he said.

"This is the first step," he said.
"Thousands of Sikhs were murdered in a most brutal way and nothing was done to
stop them. But the order has given a new lease of life to the fight," he said.
Jasbir claims he was forced to leave the country after receiving death threats.
He, therefore, felt he would not be safe if he came to India to depose. "I don't
want to come to India to depose in the case. I want to remain in the United
States to give my deposition. My life is under constant threat in India. Had I
stayed there, I would have been dead by now," he said.

Jasbir's father,
Sattu Singh, was elated over the order. "Now we can hope for justice to be done.
I want my son to come here and look the culprits in their face and depose," he
said. Jasbir's mother however sounded a bit concerned with the proposition. "I
am scared that something might happen to him if my son comes here. It would be
far better for him to stay in America and depose," she said. Jasbir's wife
Prakash Kaur though happy with the court order was of the opinion that she would
wait till the culprits are finally punished. "The court's order has given me
some relief. But I would wait till the end and see the offenders punished," she

Jasbir's mother-in-law, Gurdeep Kaur, was vociferous. "I want the
culprits to hang. We have endured the pain for many years and now I see hope,"
she said.

Oh, yeah, I totally agree with Bhenji Gurdeep Kaur. We have waited impatiently for TWENTY-THREE YEARS. TWENTY-THREE YEARS! That's a long, long time.

Eight members of our family were killed in our one house. There were others of our extended family killed elsewhere. Twenty-six members of his family were killed. Stalin, I think it was, said, 'One or two is murder. Hundreds or thousands are statistics.' This has been the attitude of the Indian authorities for nearly a quarter century. We are tired of waiting. For the first time in years, we see a glimmer of hope.

Nothing, of course, will bring our loved ones back. Nor should they be brought back. They are now our honoured shaheeds. In time, we will write stories and poems, and sing songs about them. They are and will, over time, become ever more recognised as part of our great history.

In the meantime, though, we need justice. We are not demanding that Mr. Tytler and Mr. Kumar be set alight and slowly burn to death while we watch, laughing. We are not demanding that their children be hacked apart in front of their mothers. We are not demanding that their wives, having witnessed the torture deaths of their husbands and children, be gang raped and then be left to fend for themselves. We are not even asking that their homes be looted and burned, nor that their sources of livelihood be destroyed. We are not asking 'an eye for an eye.' And we are not asking for vengeance. We are asking for justice. WE ARE DEMANDING JUSTICE.

This article, also from the TOI, wonders why Bhai Jasbir Singh went to the media rather than to the CBI. Oh my goodness, let me think for a moment. *rolls eyes* Might it just possibly be that he would like to live long enough to testify? Has that occurred to anyone at the TOI? In the media he is Jasbir Singh, Witness and Survivor. In India, he is a troublesome Sardar. He would prefer not to join the ranks of thousands of statistics, at least not before he has the chance to see justice served.

It is not clear how he will testify. It does seem clear to me, that we, the Sikh Community, need to keep a spotlight focused on our brother Jasbir Ji, in order to protect his life. As I stated above, to the Congress Party, he is just a bother that they would rather not contend with.

The Congress Party, of course, stands behind Mr. Tytler. To do otherwise would be to admit the culpability of their party in this whole horrible affair. That would be truthful, honest and courageous; Truthfulness, honesty and courage seem not to be traits of that party.

The TOI is further reporting that our witness also testified to the Nanavati Commission. What has taken so long? (See the preceding paragraph)

If you have not yet seen the TOI video, you may go here and watch.

Other Links: