Teasing Times
57 Years, No rights only deaths and detentions

Friday January 25th, 2008
After unfurling the Sikh Flag symbolizing Sikh sovereignty in defiance to Tricolor in Amritsar 3 years back, the organization this year adopted another way to register its dissent against "onslaughts of the state by misusing the provisions of the constitution".

The members of the organization staged a silent sit-in at Amritsar's busiest bridge on the eve of India's 57th Republic day holding placards and banners depicting constitutional discriminations against the Sikh people. The message was loud and clear: we don't accept this constitution under whose shadow thousands of Sikhs have been murdered and fundamental rights denied. The participants unambiguously made it clear that nothing short of the right of self-determination, including the right to secede, as accepted by Jawaharlal Nehru would be acceptable to the Sikh nation.

To show that 'Sikhs are being treated as slaves', the huge cut-out of party president Satnam Singh in chains was displayed. The 4 page document released on the occasion stated that the Indian constitution was a constitution of convenience whose implementation was invariably according to the whims and fancies of the political parties dominating the life of the people of this country. The provisions of the constitution have been used, misused and not used to suit the expedient needs of the Indian state from time to time.

The statement further said that India has taunted the Sikhs a great deal in every sphere of life, affecting their life, ideals and goals. The young brigade of the organization distributed the literature to all passer-byes aiming to create awareness amongst the masses on the issue.

While talking with media persons, the organizers of the protest said that the Indian constitution proclaims the right to life but via the 59th amendment, this right was suspended for the residents of Punjab, till the amendment was repealed. He said that the constitution in its present format was not complete and it needs to be written afresh from cover to cover fulfilling the aspirations of all ethnic peoples and nationalities.

Enlisting discriminations against the Sikhs, H.S. Dhami, the former president of the party said that Explanation II of Article 25(2)(b) clubs them as members of another community and that Sikhs have no personal laws---the birth, marriage, adoption, death of a Sikh is in accordance with the law of another religion.

Punjab has been deprived of its land and water rights, in violation of constitutional provisions. The provisions of the Punjab Re-organization Act, 1966, in so far as water rights of Punjab are concerned, are a flagrant violation of the Indian constitution.

Mocking at the soft corner of the Punjab government towards Haryana as exemplified in the Mohali Airport deal, Dal Khalsa demanded exemplary monetary compensation and relinquishment of thousands of acres of land as penalty in lieu of the land and waters of Punjab used by Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Holding the Indian legislature, executive and the judiciary and the constitution squarely responsible for the messy situation of the Sikhs, Dal Khalsa gave a clarion call to the Sikhs to join them in their struggle for self-respect and dignity of the Sikh people.

Extensively alluding to the historic "I have a dream' speech of civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, Dal Khalsa called upon Sikhs to stop wallowing in the valley of despair and continue to dream for their goals with new ideas, new plans and new friendships.

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