“Engineered by the psuedo Sikh leadership, The American Sikh Congressional Caucus is subservient to the Pro-Modi Caucus of India”
– Bhajan Singh Bhinder,
Sikh Activist, California, USA
From (R): Dr. Pritpal Singh, Key Advisor to Dr. Sohan Singh Khalistan Panthic Committee, Coordinator American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and founder of Sikh Caucus with Congressman John Garamandi, Congresswoman Judy Chu Celebrating the Sikh Caucus.
In 2013 Congresswoman Chu told Press Trust of India that the American Sikh Caucus
would focus solely on “domestic issues” and “will not use this platform for ‘foreign issues’ including the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.” The Times of India, 2013
Khalistani, Dr Pritpal Singh has declared Sikh rights as foreign issues and Sikh genocide as riots while jointly announcing the Pro India Sikh Caucus. .
An Open Letter to Mr Baldev Singh, coordinator Kisan Ekta Morcha regarding the reality of the
American Sikh Congressional Caucus
Dear Mr, Baldev Singh Jee,
(Representative for the Member Coordination committee Sanyugat Kissan Morcha)
The Sikh Information Centre writes to you, regarding your organization’s recent letter thanking US Congressmen John Garamendi, Jim Costa, Sheila Jackson and T J Cox for taking up the matter of the farmer’s morcha with the Indian government, on behalf of the American Sikh Diaspora and the American Sikh Congressional Caucus (ASCC).
It is pertinent to inform you that your letter is incorrect when it claims that Garamendi wrote on behalf of the entire American Sikh Caucus. On the contrary, a senior founder member of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, Ami Bera has come out against your agitation by favoring the very Modi policies and ordinances that are the subject of your morcha.
As supporters of the morcha, we feel it is important for you to differentiate between those who are demanding actual support from US law makers and those who are feigning support for the morcha. One such example is Congressman Ami Bera, a member of the Caucus on India and Frank Pallone, the Co-Chair of the Caucus on India. Frank Pallone is a staunch supporter of the BJP and was awarded the Bharat Ratna. Bera and Pallone are also key sitting members in the Sikh Caucus and will never oppose Modi. The diaspora’s pseudo Sikh leadership has intentionally embedded many such congress members into the Sikh Caucus. It’s a great shame that this was done deliberately by creators of American Sikh Congressional Caucus to undermine the future of Sikhs.
1.Congressman John Garamendi’s December 4th, 2020 Letter to Ambassador T.S. Sandhu
Congressman Garamendi is the co-chair of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus. It is important to note that the letter he wrote to Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu was not on behalf of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus which boasts a membership of over 50 congressmen. It was distributed on Garamendi’s own personal United States Congress letterhead and signed only by himself and Jim Costa along with the unsigned name of Sheila Jackson Lee. Garamendi did not circulate this letter to the entire Sikh caucus body of over 50 members. Circulating the letter amongst the Sikh Caucus members would have forced both Bera and Frank to document their positions on the farmers issue which is very near and dear to Sikhs in America. To think that this letter represents the will of the caucus is misguided. This letter is an attempt to fool Garamendi’s Sikh constituents without doing anything of substance to help the cause of India’s farmers. The pseudo-Sikh diaspora leadership of Dr Pritpal Singh coordinator of The American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, one of the initiators of the Sikh Caucus, has widely propagated the letter as a victory for Sikh Caucus. Furthermore, Congressman Garamendi in his letter has taken a soft and apologetic approach in dealing with this dangerous and volatile situation in India involving Punjab and Sikh farmers. In his letter Garamendi has further self-criticize the USA democratic values to appease the ambassador of India.
2. American Sikh Congressional Caucus history
The American Sikh Congressional Caucus was formed in 2013 under the guise of providing the Sikh community a direct voice to US Congress and beyond. Sikhs in America have been lobbying the US Congress since the attack on Akal Takht in 1984. The lobbying effort led by Sikh leader Dr Gurmit Singh Aulakh has brought to the world’s attention India’s crimes against Sikhs and other minorities. Dr Gurmit Singh Aulakh’s efforts served as a deterrent to India from 1984 to early 2000s. Sikhs expected and trusted that any lobbying through US Congress will be carried on without deviation from past precedents. Ironically, such was not the case. Dr Pritpal Singh, American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Coordinator created the Sikh Caucus and deviated by agreeing to the following restrictions:
- The Sikh Caucus will not criticize India nor bring matters pertaining to any human rights issues of India into the American Sikh Congressional Caucus body by restricting it to “domestic issues.” and labelling Sikh rights as “foreign issues”.
- The American Sikh Congressional Caucus body will not be used to raise the November 1984 Delhi genocide pogrom issue and has termed it as “the 1984 anti-Sikh riots”.
These dangerous restrictions and curtailments announced by the Congress members of the Sikh caucus were not challenged by Dr Pritpal Singh or his cronies and were thus adopted by the Sikh Caucus body and are frequently invoked.
Additionally, close to 50% of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus members are also members of the India Caucus. The India Caucus is a resolute supporter of Prime Minister Modi’s economic, social, and political policies.
Right from it’s inception, the Sikh Caucus in the style of the Dogras was designed to be ineffective in supporting Sikh issues involving India. Any belief that this caucus could or would provide support to the cause of the farmers in India is misguided. With so many members engineered by design to play both sides of the fence can the caucus be relied upon to represent the will of the Sikh community or support any movement that goes against the Prime Minister Modi and his government? Dr Pritpal Singh, a key initiator and architect of the Sikh caucus, simultaneously is a business interest donor to members of the India caucus. Co-mingling Sikh interest in such a manner is not prudent and this makes the Sikh Caucus subservient to the pro-Modi India caucus. The leadership of Dr Pritpal Singh has deceptively used the side rooms and hearing rooms of the US Congress to sparingly discuss human rights issues in India so that Sikh masses may remain fooled. Unless the restrictions placed on the Sikh Caucus to protect India, under the pretext of “Domestic issues only” clause, the “foreign issues” clause and “the 1984 anti-Sikh riots” clause are eliminated, these dog and pony shows are nothing but smoke and mirrors to fool Sikhs into submission. It is baffling that a front promoter of Khalistani youth and a key insider of the panthak Khalistan committee of Dr Sohan Singh, Pritpal will create an institution that is heavily infiltrated by pro-Modi India caucus members.
੨੦੧੪ ਵਿਚ ਡੋਗਰਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਇਤਿਹਾਸ ਮੁੜ ਸੁਰਜੀਤ ਹੋਇਆ ਜਦੋਂ ਹਰਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਸੰਧੂ ਨੇ ਡਾ: ਿਪ੍ਰਤਪਾਲ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਾਲ ਮਿਲ ਕੇ ਅਤੇ ਹਲਕੇ ਦੇ ਸਿਖਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਭੰਬਲਭੂਸਾ ਪਾ ਕੇ 728 ਵੋਟਾਂ ਰਾਹੀ ਮੋਦੀ ਦੇ ਪੁਤਰ ਅੇਮੀ ਬੈਰਾ ਨੂੰ ਜਿਤਾਇਆ
3. The Most Senior Member of the American Sikh Caucus, Ami Bera, does not support the Morcha
Congressman Ami Bera is a senior founding member of the Sikh Caucus, the co-chair of the India Caucus and the chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia. These leadership positions allow him to influence American foreign policy affecting Sikhs. Bera, a Gujrati is also a long-term supporter of Prime Minister Modi and favours Modi’s new farm legislation. Therefore, it would be unwise to trust the Sikh caucus and it’s senior founder member, Ami Bera to protect the interests of India’s farmer unions.
In a letter to Mr. Jaswinder Sangha, a prominent Sikh in Bera’s district, Bera sees the laws as beneficial to the farmers. Even though over 10,000 constituents in his district have rallied in solidarity with the farmers, Bera still has not taken the issue to the next level.
SIC plans to protest the senior founder member of the American Sikh caucus leader Ami Bera for his lack of support for the Morcha but we are concerned that your letter endorsing the entire Sikh caucus may cause confusion among the Sikh community in the US. Being vague about the Sikh caucus, which includes Bera and Bharat Ratna award winner Frank Pallone, both who will not do anything to upset Modi, will not further your cause. In 2014, Bera almost lost his re-election to a second term when Panthic Sikhs from the district opposed Bera because Bera refused to call the November 1984 Delhi pogrom, a genocide. To the misfortunes of the Sikhs, Dr Pritpal Singh and his cronies came to aid of Bera to rescue the sinking god-son of Modi. Due to Dr Pritpal’s interventions, Ami Bera won by a razor thin line of 728 votes. Dr Pritpal and his cronies campaigned for Bera, weeks leading up to the elections, confusing local Sikhs whose votes numbered over 6,000. Congressman Bera is now the chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia. Bera is using his position against the Sikh farmers now and will be a problem for Sikhs globally in the future.
Harpreet Singh Sandhu (wearing a saffron turban) a true Dogra, allegedly an employee of Dr Pritpal Singh campaigns for Ami Bera resulting in Bera’s 728 votes victory.
SIC protested at Garamendi’s office with concerns and demand for Political Support for the Morcha
SIC was disappointed by Congressman Garamendi’s letter for the following reasons:
- The letter did not involve or make mention of the US Department of State, the Secretary of State or the President of the United States, nor did it ask for their support.
- Garamendi did not involve his party leadership nor did he write an open letter to his colleagues in the Sikh Caucus thus preventing members of congress who may be against the Modi bill to sign it and offer their support.
- The wide propagation of Garamendi’s letter targeted at global Sikhs and associating it with the American Sikh Congressional caucus which may be designed to provided cover for the closeted pro-Modi India caucus members that are embedded in the American Sikh Congressional Caucus.
- Garamendi’s letter came late and only after the many months of protests in India spilled over into the United States affecting its highways.”
SIC protesting against Congressman Garamendi on 16th of December, 2020
On 16th December, 2020 SIC Protested to pressure Garamendi to take matter to the President of the USA
To voice our opposition to this lack of support for the farmers, on 16 December, members of the SIC staged a protest in front of the office of Congressman Garamendi where we delivered a letter with the following demands for immediate action:
- Immediately bring the farmers protests matter to the attention of President Donald Trump, President- Elect Joe Biden, The US State Department, the U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Ambassador to India.
- Write a strong letter on behalf of the over 40 members of the Sikh Caucus that warns the Indian State of possible consequences such as a downgraded US/India relationship status, aid reduction and opposition to the Indian state’s desire for a seat at the security council.
- Summon the Indian Ambassador to the U.S. and address the following concerns and resolutions for the safety of the farmers’ protest:
- Cease the violent treatment towards the protesting farmers. This will include an immediate end to the use of tear gas, water cannons, batons and other forms of intimidation.
- Ensure the immediate safety of protesting farmers as well as their children and spouses from any attack by the armed forces.
- Provide food, water, shelter, warmth, and toilet facilities.
- Follow the current World Health Organization COVID-19 regulations and provide protesters with the necessities to COVID-19 conscious protest. This is the responsibility of the Modi government since they invoked the crisis during the COVID-19 global pandemic vulnerability.
- Accede to the farmers’ demands.
AGPC Coordinator Dr Pritpal Singh leads protest against SIC and Kissan Morcha interest
Our protest was covered by the local news station causing embarrassment to Congressman Garamendi and pressuring him to take the matter to the President’s office. However, six days later on 22nd December, Dr Pritpal Singh appeared in front of Congressman Garamendi’s office to support Garamendi’s weak letter while failing to mention the demands made by SIC for a more concrete action. During this appearance your letter of thanks which had made mention of “on behalf of the American Sikh Caucus” was read out loud to Congressman Garamendi’s Chief of Staff. By failing to call for additional measures as suggested by SIC and by Dr. Pritpal Singh pushing your letter, has sent a message that the farmers are satisfied and thankful for the Congressman’s letter. When you wrote the letter, we are certain you did not intend it to be used to restrain Garamendi from taking more drastic action to aid the farmers.
We hope our letter gives you a realistic picture of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus and the psuedo Sikh leadership of Dr Pritpal Singh and company.
Please share this information with the morcha leadership and all supporters.
Wishing you the very most success.
Sikh Information Centre, California USA
The following are attached for your convenience:
- December 04 – Garamendi’s apologetic and weak letter to ambassador Sandhu.
- December 16 – SIC letter to Garamendi with counter demands
- December 16 – A news article titled “Impact of Indian farmers' protest reverberates back to Northern California” that mentions the SIC protest at Garamendi’s office in Davis, CA
- December 17 – Ami Bera’s letter to Jaswinder Sangha that favors Modi ordinances.
- December 22 – News report of Dr Pritpal’s endorsement of Garamendi’s letter, his protest SIC for demanding stronger action for farmers. Your letter that was read on 12/22.
Congressman Ami Bera’s letter to Jaswinder Sangha advocating PM Modi’s ordinances.