US Congress Must Pass H.R. 417 to Censure Modi

A UN Human Rights Day statement from Sikh Information Centre Founding Director Bhajan Singh Bhinder. After speaking to approximately 200 protesters at Tuesday’s “Rally for H.R. 417” outside the San Francisco Consulate, Bhinder gave the following statement.

Bhinder pleads:

“To help H.R. 417, please visit the website — www.OFMI.org. Please read the resolution. Contact your congressman immediately. Contact members of the House Judiciary Committee (click to view and contact members). Contact the Foreign Affairs Committee (click to view and contact members). Tell them to bring this bill to a success.”

Click the image below to watch Bhinder’s statement on YouTube:

Excerpt of Bhinder’s Statement:
“The most emphasis Gurbaksh Singh wanted to draw of the world’s human populace was to the fact that there are many prisoners in India. Many. Not only Sikhs. There are Christians, Muslims, even low-caste Hindus, and many, many Moolnivasis. So Gurbaksh Singh wanted to bring the plight of those who have not been heard, those who have been mistreated, to the Western Free World, to other free worlds, to other free societies, to prick the conscience of his fellow Indians about the plight of their fellow Indians.”

“There is always a ray of hope. Humanity survives on hope. If there is no ounce of humanity, there is no ounce of hope, then there will be total despair and chaos, which the vast majority of the world gets caught in…. House Resolution 417 is one of the most strategic, most important, landmark resolutions. It simply wants to remind U.S. and India that, in their quest for a better relationship, they should not ignore the plight of the minorities of India.

“They specifically mention the destruction of the Babri Masjid mosque, the killings and rapes and tortures of the Muslims, the killings of the Christians, and many other minorities (such as Sikhs) who have been oppressed by the Indian State. H. R. 417 wants India and U.S. relationship to have as its cornerstone the just treatment of minorities and religious minorities of India.”

It specifically calls for the Indian State to initiate teachings, lessons, a dialogue, and institutionalized respect for minorities of India. It applauds the United States’ effort in blacklisting Modi, who is the Butcher of Gujarat for killing so many Muslims, initiating violence against minorities — Muslims, initially, and recently the Sikhs…. This is all election-time politics. That’s what the 417 addresses, that the election-time politics must be exposed…. 417 is a must.”

“The other way we can promote and have a very peaceful society in the free world is to take the lead of the United States Congress’ House Resolution 417. The House is a powerful institution in the world. It’s got might…. Those with power are coming to help those without power.”

Rajmohan Gandhi Perpetuates Propaganda in Grandfather’s Footsteps

Bhajan Singh Bhinder, Founding Director of Sikh Information Centre, issued the following statement about Punjab: A History from Aurangzeb to Mountbatten (2013), a new book by Rajmohan Gandhi: 

In his purported history of the Punjab, Mohandas Gandhi’s grandson, Rajmohan Gandhi, has invented history in much the same way as his grandfather used to imaginatively retell facts. In the book, Rajmohan libels an Indian cultural treasure, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, by describing him as a mansabdar (a mercenary, essentially) for Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah during his occupation of India, a fabricated detail which has never before been included in any biographical sketch of the guru.

 

At a time when an iron-fisted conqueror ruled India from Delhi, Guru Gobind Singh empowered the common man to be a sovereign individual. When he founded the order of “Khalsa,” meaning “Pure” or “Sovereign,” he launched a life philosophy which intends each man as a king who alone rules himself and who rules himself alone.

 

When he founded the Khalsa in 1699, Guru Gobind initiated the first five people who voluntarily offered their lives in service of truth. He christened them each a “Singh” so they would share the same name of nobility to erase social divisions. After this baptism, Guru Gobind bowed before the five and asked them to initiate him also as a Singh.

 

Then Guru Gobind Singh taught a doctrine of universal human equality in the eyes of one true God. Man, he taught, is subservient to God, and to God alone belongs the victory — “Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji Ki Fateh” (Khalsa belongs to God; victory belongs to God). He condemned rituals as hollow; instead, he taught a life of self-sacrifice and respect for other human creatures as the best way to worship God. He particularly emphasized honorable treatment of women as of equal value to men, remarking:

 

From now on, you have become casteless. No ritual, either Hindu or Muslim, will you perform nor will you believe in superstition of any kind, but only in one God who is the master and protector of all, the only creator and destroyer. In your new order, the lowest will rank with the highest and each will be to the other a brother. No pilgrimages for you any more, nor austerities but the pure life of the household, which you should be ready to sacrifice at the call of Dharma. Women shall be equal of men in every way. No veil for them anymore, nor the burning alive of a widow on the pyre of her spouse. He who kills his daughter, the Khalsa shall not deal with him.

 

After he founded the Khalsa in 1699, he faced down the heaviest of odds to preserve the spark of liberty in South Asia by resisting the oppression of invading Muslim hordes. For years, he defended against the control of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb before finally making peace with his son, Bahadur Shah, who then betrayed the peace agreement by sending assassins against Guru Gobind Singh. Perverting history by interpreting the Guru’s dissent against oppression as hiring his sword to a tyrant is outlandish and insults a man who gave his life to liberate others.

 

Rajmohan Gandhi’s baseless assertions are best understood in context of the ancient historical conflict between the two dominant ideologies of India — of the Moolnivasi, or indigenous people, and of the Aryans, who invaded India from the northwest.

 

Aryanism crafted the caste system and its foundational texts like Manusmriti (The Laws of Manu) to institutionalize the rule of a few over the many. This self-perpetuating system of social tyranny is kept in place by the ignorant cooperation with their subjugation of the approximately 85% of India’s population who constitute Moolnivasi, many of whom have never been educated about the evils of the caste system or of their right not to cooperate with it. Gandhism’s chief contribution to this system has been to further manipulate people into seeing evil as good.

 

Gandhi hid himself in broad daylight by painting his public image as messianic. Meanwhile, the devilish truth behind the smoke and mirrors was Gandhi’s life, from his early days as an attorney in South Africa to his death in his 70s, involved promoting racial segregation and social division, enthusiastic participating in aggressive colonial warfare, sexually molesting his teenage relatives, and playing political games that resulted in India’s partition and the deaths of millions.

 

As a scholar and even a biographer of his grandfather, Rajmohan has failed to bring these facts to light, which is hardly surprising considering the Gandhi family’s denigration of Guru Gobind Singh, as well as of Sikh traditions, is an old habit. In 1925, Mohandas called the guru a “misguided patriot.” [1] On another occasion, he declared: “So far as the Sikh kitchen is concerned, it is a menace.” [2]

 

It is decades past time the Gandhi family ended its tired tirade against the Moolnivasi people of India and their emancipatory heroes. India remains a land of oppression in need of defenders. For instance, we now see Narendra Modi, CM of Gandhi’s home-state of Gujarat and orchestrator of the 2002 Gujarat Genocide in which thousands of Muslims were massacred, poised to become Prime Minister.

 

While the world still sees Mohandas Gandhi as a virtual deity, he is worshipped in India, his picture is on the wall of every government office in India and even in the U.S. President’s office, and his philosophy is being taught even to primary school children, the sad reality is the fruits of his legacy are visible in an India where architects of genocide presently reign.

 

Although Gandhi boasted about spending his life “experimenting with truth” instead of simply searching for it, at least one statement of his was true: “An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.” Indeed, no matter how frequently or for how long the Gandhi family propagates errors, their lies will never become the truth. The truth is that the Gandhi family has served as chief apologists for the Indian State since before its founding in 1947.

 

Propagandists like Gandhi, often cloaked as religious icons, are invaluable to tyrannies, as explained by political theorist Murray Rothbard:

 

Throughout history, as we shall see further below, despots and ruling elites of States have had far more need of the services of intellectuals than have peaceful citizens in a free society. For States have always needed opinion-moulding intellectuals to con the public into believing that its rule is wise, good, and inevitable; into believing that the “emperor has clothes. Until the modern world, such intellectuals were inevitably churchmen (or witch doctors), the guardians of religion. It was a cozy alliance, this age-old partnership between Church and State; the Church informed its deluded charges that the king ruled by divine command and therefore must be obeyed; in return, the king funneled numerous tax revenues into the coffers of the Church. [3]

 

Instead of speaking out to demand justice for the innocent and prevent oppressors from terrorizing the land, Rajmohan Gandhi is publishing a book with false facts which injure the sterling reputation of one of India’s greatest defenders, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.  Like his grandfather before him, Rajmohan appears to be demonizing a pioneer of liberty to cloak his own support for the social division of caste. Rather than addressing real and pressing social issues which daily result in discrimination and even death, the Gandhi family has spent the past century spreading an ambiguous philosophy which openly enshrines the caste system as a supposed social good.

 

This was obvious in 1933, when Mohandas Gandhi declared: “The caste system, in my opinion, has a scientific basis. Reason does not revolt against it. It has disadvantages. Caste creates a social and moral restraint — I can find no reason for their abolition. To abolish caste is to demolish Hinduism. There is nothing to fight against the Varnasharma. I don’t believe the caste system to be an odious and vicious dogma.” [4]

 

This was preceded in 1920 by Gandhi’s attempt to turn logic on its head in arguing that caste (a system which is by its very definition founded on inequality because it breaks society into four increasingly-degraded categories) does not create inequality. He stated: “I am certainly against any attempt at destroying the fundamental divisions. The caste system is not based on inequality.” [5]

 

Logically, of course, as well as morally, social division is irreconcilable with social equality. As a contrast in philosophies, Guru Gobind Singh Ji declared centuries before Gandhi: “All human beings are the reflection of one and the same Lord. Recognise ye the whole human race as one.” The absence of this attitude in Gandhism, as illustrated both in Gandhi’s philosophizing and his personal relations, is leading to its intense critical analysis.

 

George Orwell said: “He who controls the present, controls the past.” Reclaiming the truth of history and preserving it for perpetuity is the most important task an intellectual may undertake. Theirs is a greater responsibility, though, for they are tasked with telling truth.

 

Anything less than the truth is a lie, and lies are useful only for propaganda. Experimenting with the truth produces the results we see in India today, which is why the Hollywood Gandhi remains so useful to the Indian State as propaganda.

 

The truth is that the Indian State spots the globe with Gandhi statues as a deliberate propaganda strategy. On November 10, 2010, Indian MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy placed a formal question to India’s Ministry of External Affairs: “Does the Indian state assist in placing statues of Gandhi around the world?” Their response: “Yes.”The state bureaucracy in charge of this is the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, which placed 65 state-funded statues and busts of Gandhi around the world between 2001 and 2010.

 

As Rajmohan Gandhi continues to spread the myth of his grandfather while fabricating lies about Guru Gobind Singh Ji, intellectuals like women’s rights activist Nannette Ricaforte are awakening to the truth of Gandhi’s history and recognizing just how many people were harmed by his legacy. In October 2013, Ricaforte wrote:

 

Spiritual leaders like Gandhi procure a mass following whose reverence for him blinded them to the truth. He was a sexual predator while he espoused non-violence in fighting for the independence of India. Yet his ideology was enough for the majority of his supporters to disregard his immoral acts.

 

In my work as an abolitionist, fighting for the rights of sexually exploited victims, I can’t minimize the facts I’ve learned about Gandhi. It’s unsettling, to say the least.

 

I’ve met young victims of human trafficking, child labor, and the sex trade, stripped of their dignity by men in positions of power. Their degradation meant nothing, marginalized because the community revered the perpetrators. There are no words to express the depth of rage and helplessness I’ve felt when confronted with these reactions. [6]

 

South Asian women’s rights activist Rita Banerji, founder of the 50 Million Missing Campaign to expose female foeticide and infanticide, drew similar conclusions in another October 2013 article about Gandhi’s “dark side,” where she wrote:

 

Compared to our reactions and responses today, the people in Gandhi’s time seemed to be far more progressive! They not only recognized that he was abusing his position and power in a way that was unethical and depraved, but they outright condemned it, confronted it, and eventually forced him to stop!

 

On 16th March, 1947, Nirmal Kumar Bose, one of Gandhi’s closest associates wrote a letter to Kishorlal G. Mashruwala, another of Gandhi’s close colleagues, saying, “When I first learnt about Gandhi’s experiment in which a girl took off her clothes and lay under the same cover with him and he tried to find out if any sexual feeling was evoked in him or his companion, I felt genuinely surprised. Personally, I would not tempt myself like that and more than that, my respect for [women] would prevent me from treating her as an instrument in my experiment…” [7]

 

Rajmohan Gandhi, who has made his career on the coattails of his grandfather’s fame, seems blinded to the truth. His 2007 biography, Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire, is nothing but a stale, melodramatic retread of the typical Gandhi myth — Mohandas as a messianic figure who not only led the country to independence but the people to enlightenment. Objective modern biographers are telling a completely different story, as I mentioned earlier: Gandhi was racist, sexist, and casteist.

 

Unlike what history has shown us in the Sikh tradition, where individuals are liberated and mass emancipation is taught as the key to social progress, Gandhism preaches evil cloaked as good — war as peace, hate as love, segregation as unity, subjugation as equality, and tyranny as liberty. Guru Gobind Singh sacrificed his family, his wealth, and eventually his life to free India, and Rajmohan Gandhi’s decision to build on the false legacy of his grandfather by besmirching one who sacrificed himself for others is truly disgraceful.

 

Real heroes of human unity like Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, who began studies at Columba University in the United States of America in 1913, worked to erase caste barriers through the simple act of encouraging people from separate castes to eat together, drink together, marry one another, and in spirit to recognize the same universal human equality and casteless society taught by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

 

It has been said the victors write the history books. Brahmins, the ruling elite of India, never stopped being the victors because the system of social division established by caste has placed them at the top of the ivory tower for eons. Brahmanism has no interest in transmitting true history detailing the heroics of Guru Gobind Singh Ji or those, like Dr. Ambedkar, who worked peacefully for real social uplift.

 

No doubt Dr. Ambedkar receives no hearing from the ruling elite because he took the risk of warning the world that Gandhism was just a cynical political ploy for control:

 

I am sure many have felt that if there was any class which deserved to be given special political rights in order to protect itself against the tyranny of the majority under the Swaraj constitution it was the depressed classes. Here is a class which is undoubtedly not in a position to sustain itself in the struggle for existence. The religion to which they are tied, instead of providing for them an honourable place, brands them as lepers, not fit for ordinary intercourse. Economically, it is a class entirely dependent upon the high-caste Hindus for earning its daily bread with no independent way of living open to it….

 

There have been many Mahatmas in India whose sole object was to remove Untouchability and to elevate and absorb the depressed classes, but everyone has failed in their mission. Mahatmas have come, Mahatmas have gone but the Untouchables have remained as Untouchables. [8]

 

As for Gandhi’s use of untouchability as a political issue, Dr. Ambedkar stated in 1955:

 

All this talk about Untouchability was just for the purpose of making the Untouchables drawn into the Congress. That was one thing. Secondly, he wanted to make sure that Untouchables would not oppose his movement of Swaraj. I don’t think beyond that he had any real motive of uplift. He wasn’t like Garrison in the United States, who fought for the Negroes. [9]

 

We must be cautious. Whatever history we have is being systematically chipped away, stripped away, and twisted into lies accepted as truth. Rajmohan Gandhi is but the latest member of his family to play a part in this assault on truth. India’s history, therefore, proves the tragic tale of the sufferings of many minorities at the hands of powerful proponents of falsehood.

 

Rajmohan’s work continues to spread lies. If he is to find redemption, we insist he begin by penning a letter of apology to the world regarding his grandfather’s behavior towards women, blacks, Sikhs, Dalits, and the many others he victimized and subjugated. Rajmohan ought to surrender himself in servitude to the downtrodden of India to atone for the damages caused by his family to the people of South Asia.

 

Finally, we appeal to universities and booksellers to ignore Rajmohan Gandhi’s book, Punjab, especially as long as he refuses to speak the truth about his family deliberately hidden dark secrets. The world no longer has any excuse to remain gullible about Gandhi’s past in the face of so much information exposing his exploitation of the vulnerable. The myth is Gandhi as savior but the truth is Gandhi as predator and so, it seems, Gandhism must be rejected completely.
NOTES:

1 Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG). Vol. 31, p. 142.

2 CWMG. Vol. 28, p. 11.

3 Rothbard, Murray. For A New Liberty. Ludwig Von Mises Institute (2006). pp. 12-13.

4 Harijan, 1933.

5 CWMG. Volume 22, p. 67.

6 Ricaforte, Nannette. “Shattered Heroes: Gandhi’s Dark Side?” GoodMenProject.com. October 18, 2013.

7 Banerji, Rita. “Gandhi Used His Position To Sexually Exploit Young Women: The Way WE React To This Matters Even Today.” Youth Ki Awaaz. October 15, 2013.

8 Statement by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on Gandhi’s “Fast Unto Death” at the London Round Table Conference to oppose separate electorates for Untouchables, September 19, 1932.

9 Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, an interview on BBC Radio, Dec. 31, 1955.

Our Request to President Chugh to Listen to Truth

— A reevaluation of Gandhi & the Sikhs —

Dear President Navneet Singh Chugh Ji,

It comes as a great hurt to the Sikh Sangat of Greater Los Angeles to discover that Navneet Singh Chugh, President of Sikh Temple of Orange County, Santa Ana, California, has donated his property and money to the Art in Public Places Program in Cerritos, California, USA to place a statue of the Hindu religious icon Mohandas Gandhi.

Gandhi’s opinion concerning the Sikhs was obvious. About langar he said, “It is a menace,” he called Guru Gobind Singh “a misguided patriot,” and he insisted on multiple occasions that the Sikhs are Hindus. These remarks are only the tip of the iceberg which separates Gandhi from the Sikhs. His philosophy was incompatible with the Sikh worldview and Gandhi cannot be reconciled with the Sikhs. Mr. Chugh further injures the sentiments of the Sikhs by reiterating the Indian state’s concept that Gandhi, being called a “Mahatma,” is equivalent to God.

Sikhs have traditionally believed defending the rights and liberties of other people is the best way to protect their own rights and liberties. Gandhi preached a different principle. He believed taking away the rights and liberties of other people was the best way to advance caste division. The manner in which he lived severely harmed marginalized people around the world. The impact of his work is seen today in mass death and widespread oppression.

Sikhs were only one of many peoples to suffer from Gandhi’s double-dealings. Perhaps his biggest victims were the Dalits, whose leader Dr. B. R. Ambedkar said, “If a man with God’s name on his tongue and sword under his armpit deserved the appellation of a Mahatma, then Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a Mahatma.” [1] Gandhi has been used by the Indian state to hoodwink the world. On one hand, the state perpetrates genocide against every minority — Sikhs in 1984, Muslims in 2002, Christians in 2008. On the other hand, the state smiles and talks of peace and equality.

Gandhi is professed by many as the founding father of the Indian state. If this is true, then the son he fathered is responsible for an abominable absence of liberty and prosperity. His life, for an authentic student, clearly demonstrates he preached a gospel not of peace, but of division, hatred, and war. As leader of the Congress Party, he spread casteism. The same Congress-controlled Delhi government slaughtered Sikhs in the streets in 1984 and rules India today.

There is no question that the Indian state spots the globe with Gandhi statues as an active form of propaganda. On November 10, 2010, Indian MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy placed a formal question to India’s Ministry of External Affairs: “Does the Indian state assist in placing statues of Gandhi around the world?” Their response: “Yes.”

The state bureaucracy in charge of this is the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Between 2001 and 2010, the ICCR placed 65 state-funded statues and busts of Gandhi in countries all around the earth. Meanwhile, killers of Sikhs like Minister for Urban Development Kamal Nath and Punjab Police DGP Sumedh Saini gain promotion, killers of Muslims like Gujarati CM Narendra Modi gain reelection, and killers of Christians like Odisha MLA Manoj Pradhan receive suspended sentences. India’s system seems constructed so state officials who participate in ethnic cleansing thrive.

Recent media coverage has brought to the attention of the Sikh Sangat that local Sikhs are requesting the City of Cerritos to remove the Gandhi statue. The local Sangat has detailed five primary reasons why all good people should oppose a Gandhi statue. These reasons are:

 

1) Gandhi sexually abused his grandnieces in a manner which would have led to his arrest and imprisonment if done in Cerritos, CA today;

2) Gandhi psychologically abused his deathly sick wife, denying her access to medicine, which directly resulted in her death;

3) Gandhi is rejected by India’s most marginalized communities as the one responsible for increasing their social and political oppression;

4) Gandhi spread sympathy for Adolf Hitler at the height of the Nazi leader’s bloodiest massacres and suggested Jews should cooperate with Hitler’s Holocaust;

5) Gandhi promoted racial supremacy and racial segregation while living and working in South Africa shortly before Apartheid.

 

Through these actions, Gandhi violated every basic truth held by Sikhs — purity is valuable, women are to be treasured, the weak should be lifted up, oppressors should be rebuked rather than befriended, and all people are equal in the sight of God. For the Sikh people, these five reasons can be summed up in a single reason: Gandhi mocked truth and promoted the caste system of spiritual slavery.

Sikhi was founded to overthrow caste. The Sikh practice of langar is foundational to Sikh teachings. By breaking bread together, people break down barriers. Discrimination is destroyed by association. Yet Gandhi viewed langar with total disdain, saying: “So far as the Sikh kitchen is concerned, it is a menace whether the Sikhs may be regarded as Hindus or non-Hindus.” [2] In fact, he was obsessed with making Sikhs identify as Hindus. In April 1947, he said: “The Sikhs are almost Hindus. I have seen the Granth Sahib. In many parts it is Hinduism to the letter.” [3]

Gandhi believed the truth was that caste is life and taught that caste division is the very substance of Hinduism. In 1933, he plainly stated: “To abolish caste is to demolish Hinduism.” [4] He wanted the whole world to embrace caste practice. In 1932, he said: “Caste is necessary for Christians and Muslims as it has been necessary for Hinduism, and has been its saving grace.” [5]

Gandhi thought Hinduism should be pushed on to all of humanity by redefining them as Hindus. In December 1947, he declared:

 

“One cannot separate Hindus and Sikhs…. The two religions are fundamentally one. Even Guru Nanak never said that he was not a Hindu nor did any other Guru. If we read the Granth Sahib we shall find that it is full of the teachings of the Vedas and Upanishads…. The same is true of the teachings of Guru Govind Singh. What he taught is also to be found in the Hindu scriptures. There is nothing wholly new. He has only emphasized certain things. I claim that they originate from the Vedas. It cannot be said that Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism are separate religions. All these four faiths and their offshoots are one. Hinduism is an ocean into which all the rivers run. It can absorb Islam and Christianity and all the other religions and only then can it become an ocean. Otherwise it remains merely a stream along which large ships cannot ply.” [6]

 

These claims cannot possibly be true because the teachings of the Sikh Gurus, like those of Muhammad and Jesus Christ, clearly contradict the division of humanity into separate castes. Gandhi said no Sikh Guru ever denied being a Hindu. This is a blatant lie. Guru Nanak Dev Ji directly separated Sikhs, saying: “There is no Hindu, no Muslim.” Guru Arjan Dev Ji proclaimed Sikhs are separate, saying: I have broken with the Hindu and the Muslim. I won’t go on Hajj to Mecca, nor do I worship at the Hindu places. I shall serve Him alone and no other…. We are neither Hindus nor Muslims.”

We are utterly confused by Mr. Chugh’s decision to sponsor a statue of a person who denied the existence of the Sikh faith and instead insisted Sikhs should embrace the abhorrent system of social tyranny which the Sikh faith was founded to end.

From Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, every teacher of the disciples has taught equality of humanity. All have rejected caste. Gandhi said abolishing caste abolishes Hinduism, but Guru Nanak taught: “Recognize the Lord’s Light (Spirit) within all, and do not consider social class or status; there are no classes or Castes in the world hereafter.” [7] In 1925, Gandhi said, “Had I lived as [Guru Gobind Singh’s] contemporary, I would have called [him] a misguided patriot.” [8] Yet Guru Gobind taught: “All human beings are the reflection of one and the same Lord. Recognise ye the whole human race as one.” [9]

As President of Sikh Temple of Orange County, Santa Ana, California, Mr. Chugh was elected with the expectation he would represent the interests and beliefs of the Sikh people. He swore to uphold the principle of langar. How can he protect the integrity of this practice of human equality while simultaneously promoting Gandhi, who preached social inequality?

How can he protect the principle that the human race is one while simultaneously promoting Gandhi, who preached caste division of humanity?

How can he represent the Sikh people while simultaneously promoting Gandhi, who preached the Sikh people don’t exist?

We must remember Guru Nanak’s teaching: “Lowest of Low Born, Nanak seeks their company. The friendship of great is in vain For where the weak are cared for, there Thy mercy rains.” [10] The weak, the oppressed, the low born are those whom Sikhs are instructed to befriend. Whether in South Africa against black Africans, in India against the Dalits, or during Partition against the Sikhs and Muslims, Gandhi devoted himself to undermining the rights, liberties, and lives of oppressed people.

In this sensitive historical era, when Sikhs in the United States are in a position of fragility due to confusion about the meaning of our turbans while Sikhs in India are in a life-or-death struggle with an oppressive state, advancing Mohandas Gandhi as a hero to Americans is probably the most damaging strategy for the improvement of the Sikh status. How does it help us to assimilate into the USA to promote a man who loved Hitler, hated blacks, and abused his wife and female relatives? It embarrassing for Sikhs to erect an idol of a Hindu deity like Gandhi. In a post-9/11 world, this will only handicap our desire to integrate.

Because Gandhi’s efforts were so offensive to the Sikh nation and all other minorities of Indian origin, because he propagated casteism, because he denied freedom and rejected purity, we are convinced that a statue of Gandhi is intolerable to the Khalsa, a violation of the Sikh Panth, and has no place amidst the Sikh Sangat. Consequently, we prayerfully ask Navneet Chugh to remove the Gandhi statue he has placed outside his office building in Cerritos, California, USA.

 

Signed:

 

Bhajan Singh Bhinder

September 13, 2013

 

 

1 Gandhi and Gandhism by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

2 Collected Works of Mohandas Gandhi, Vol. 28, 11.

3 Collected Works of Mohandas Gandhi, Vol. 94, 225.

4 Harijan, 1933.

5 Gandhi’s 1932 speech at Trivandrum, cited in “The Bleeding Wound: Being a most up-to-date collection of Gandhiji’s speeches, writings and statements on untouchability by Ramnath Suman.

6 Collected Works of Mohandas Gandhi, Vol. 97, 465.

7 Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 349.

8 Collected Works of Mohandas Gandhi, Vol. 31, p. 142.

9 Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 51.

10 Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 15.

Riverside Students Hear “Genocide in India Has Not Stopped” While Gathering to Honor Murdered Activist

Jaswant Singh Khalra’s work to expose genocide commemorated on 18th anniversary of his disappearance

 

RIVERSIDE, September 9, 2013 – Over the weekend, students and families gathered at Gurdwara Sahib Riverside to hear Navkiran Kaur Khalra commemorate her father’s legacy alongside three more speakers at “Remembrance of the Disappeared” seminar. An emerging theme was genocide against minorities by the Indian state continues and the way to honor murdered human rights activist Jaswant Singh is to speak the truth louder.

 

The program began Saturday evening. About 75 percent of the audience were youth who listened intently as Navkiran Kaur detailed her father’s work. They were horrified as she told how Jaswant Singh Khalra was disappeared and killed by Indian police in September 1995 after he exposed India’s secret genocide of Sikh youth in Punjab. She challenged young women in particular to speak out by documenting and reporting human rights abuses.

 

Jaskaran Kaur, co-founder of Ensaaf, began with a short video of the group’s work in Punjab to fully document the Sikh genocide by going village-to-village to create an accurate count of the dead and disappeared. She emphasized to the generations of the future that proper education is key to effecting change in international forums and media.

 

Pieter Singh transfixed the young Sikhs present in a talk about two martyrs — Jalil Andrabi of Kashmir and Jaswant Singh Khalra of Punjab. He pled with his audience to understand that Khalra and Andrabi both died for reporting the truth, saying: “Genocide in India has not stopped — the architects of genocide have been promoted to the highest halls of state, where they remain, and disappearances continue.” The best way to honor the legacies of Andrabi and Khalra is, he concluded, to: “Do what they did. Speak the truth.”

 

After three speakers, the students broke into separate groups to rotate through three separate classrooms for an interactive workshop about human rights and how Sikh youth should be involved. Students were especially encouraged to remember Khalra’s words: “The Khalsa was inaugurated to protect human rights — the human rights of the world.”

 

M. R. Paul of Organization for Minorities of India wrapped up the evening by stressing the importance of minorities uniting to face their common oppressor — the Indian state.

 

On Sunday, Devinder Singh of Ujjal Didar Singh Memorial Foundation commenced proceedings with an eloquent presentation of a poem dedicated to Khalra’s sacrifice. The Sangat then watched, with rapt attention, a recording of Khalra’s last public speech, in which he said: “And that special gift, which the Guru possesses, is the gift of martyrdom.”

 

Next, Navkiran Kaur spoke about her father’s legacy and the history of the Khalra family, from her great-grandfather Harnam Singh’s involvement in the Ghadar Movement all the way to her father Jaswant Singh’s last speech, given in Canada in an attempt to interest an international audience in the genocide happening in Punjab. She spoke powerfully about his subsequent kidnapping and murder by police in Punjab.

 

M. R. Paul spoke next, explaining the importance of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji to the whole sub-continent of India. He detailed incidents throughout Sikh history where Sikhs stood up against oppression of themselves and others, emphasizing that Sikhi is founded on bringing freedom to the “lowest of low born.” He reminded the Sangat that Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, champion of the lowest of India, desired to become a Sikh and built Guru Nanak Khalsa College (Mumai) to instill Sikh principles in young people.

 

Jeewan Kaur, a fiery orator of just seven years, gave a rousing recital of “Kavita,” a poem about the importance of Kesh and Dastaar. The Sangat responded with jakaras of bole so nihaal. After that, Jaskaran Kaur showed a short video about Ensaaf’s work in Punjab to document the victims of genocide. She then spoke about how the work is presently going full swing.

 

Finally, Pieter Singh spoke briefly about what Sikhs in the USA can do to take action to stop human rights abuses. He stressed the importance of visiting congressional offices to tell them the truth about oppression in India, which he said includes not just Punjab, but also Kashmir, Odisha, Gujarat, Manipur, and other regions where state terrorism flourishes. He said Sikhs should tell their representative in Congress two things: “First, genocide is happening in India. Second, because of it, the USA should end foreign aid to India.”

 

The Riverside Sikh Sangat and Gurdwara Sahib Riverside Committee all participated enthusiastically, giving generously of their time and resources. Bhajan Singh Bhinder of SIC smoothly coordinated the event. Jatinder Singh and the Riverside Khalsa Academy were instrumental to making the seminar a success. Sponsoring groups included Ensaaf, Jakara Movement, Sikh Information Centre, and Organization for Minorities of India, who all expressed gratitude to Gurdwara Sahib Riverside for its hospitality.

 

About SIC: Sikh Information Centre is a think tank founded in 1988 to educate humanity about the rights of the individual so as to pursue liberty, peace, and prosperity.

 

Media Inquiries:

Pieter Singh, SIC Executive Director

1-916-245-0337 | pieter@sikhinformationcentre.org

 

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Video of Navkiran Kaur Khalra “How to Honor My Father’s Legacy”

“They knew everything…. Jaswant Singh Khalra and the team (like, he had other people who were working with him as human rights activists), so they were like, this is huge! The age range for killing of Sikhs in the cremation grounds — the dead bodies that were found — it was 15 years old to 35 years old.

 

“So they were random people who went to work, who went to school, who went to colleges, never came back! Nobody knows, like, where their kids went. Their parents were still trying to find out where their kids were, but they were actually killed and they were never returned.”

 

— Navkiran Kaur Khalra, September 7, 2013, Riverside, CA

Seminar Honors Disappeared Peace Advocate Whom Daughter Recalls Worked to “End Oppression”

“Genocide has not stopped,” say organizers of weekend seminar in Southern California

RIVERSIDE, September 7, 2013 – South Asians will gather in the Los Angeles area over this weekend at a seminar to converse with the daughter of disappeared peace advocate Jaswant Singh Khalra about the best way to honor her father’s legacy.

Every year since 2009, Navkiran Kaur Khalra has spoken at “Remembrance of the Disappeared,” a seminar to oppose state-sponsored disappearances. The annual event was created to commemorate her father, Jaswant Singh Khalra, who was disappeared by Indian police 18 years ago to silence his human rights work. Hosted by Gurdwara Sahib Riverside, this year’s seminar occurs September 7 and 8.

Speaking of her father, Ms. Khalra says, “His legacy continues not just in Punjab, but in all corners of the world where people are standing firm to end oppression and tyranny. At the end, I would request everyone to keep the lamp of justice lit so the future generations can breathe justice and peace.” Seminar organizers say they want to honor Mr. Khalra’s legacy by “challenging the darkness,” a reference to a story he told in his last public appeal for someone to stop the Indian state’s genocide against Sikhs.

In the early 1990s, Mr. Khalra had heard reports the government was fighting a separatist movement, but he was politically uninvolved. His interest was in raising his family in peace and he enjoyed his quiet job as a bank director in Amritsar, Punjab. But he could not help noticing the mass disappearances over ten years of young Sikhs. He began to wonder where all these Sikhs had disappeared. Friends wondered too and asked him to s secretary of a human rights group, he was able to research to find out.

 

Mr. Khalra discovered that thousands of Sikhs had been secretly cremated by Indian police from 1984 to 1994. Firewood-use records spilled the beans. Combing the records, Mr. Khalra learned at least 25,000 were disappeared, tortured, and then killed in police custody before being cremated. He began telling the world about this horrible discovery.

His refusal to keep quiet soon led to his own disappearance. The morning of September 6, 1995, he was washing his car when police sped up, seized him, and drove away. He was never seen by his family again. Indian officials initially refused to acknowledge Khalra was in their custody, but an official later leaked that Khalra had been brutally tortured in custody before being shot dead and left in a canal. After that, India’s government admitted to his arrest.

“The courage of men like Khalra, who resisted evil, is in short supply today,” said Pieter Singh, executive director of Sikh Information Centre, a group sponsoring the seminar. “Genocide has not stopped, the architects of genocide have been promoted to the highest halls of state, where they remain, and disappearances continue. The Indian state has bred a culture that rewards those whose hands drip with innocent blood. We must follow Khalra’s golden teachings and learn to be light to challenge the darkness.”

Saturday seeks to involve young people through a “Dialogue on Challenging the Darkness: Spreading Youth Awareness of Genocide.” The event is from 6pm to 8pm. Sunday is planned as a reflective time and begins at 10:30am with Bhog, Ardas, and Diwan. Saturday’s speakers include Navkiran Kaur Khalra, daughter of the disappeared, M. R. Paul of Organization for Minorities of India, Jaskaran Kaur of Ensaaf, and Pieter Singh of Sikh Information Centre.

Navkiran says she finds inspiration to continue her father’s legacy in the words of her grandfather, who said about Jaswant Singh Khalra: “I know that if there is to be any hope for Punjab and all of South Asia, there has to be a resurgence of that spirit for freedom and the courage of conviction embodied by my late son.”

About SIC: Sikh Information Centre is a think tank founded in 1988 to educate humanity about the rights of the individual so as to pursue liberty, peace, and prosperity.

 

Free Bhullar

“Bhullar stands not only for the Sikhs. He is here as a poster boy of the oppression of the Indian state, the oppression against all minorities of India, the killings of Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs.”
— Bhajan Singh Bhinder

Statement on Bhindranwale Memorial Controversy:

“Recognize Bhindranwale as Symbol of Oppressed South Asian Minorities”

Sikh Information Centre issues the following policy statement in response to demands for removal of the reverend Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s name from the Amritsar Massacre memorial at the Golden Temple in the Indian state of Punjab:
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s name is inscribed on a brand-new memorial of the victims of Operation Bluestar. The memorial at the Golden Temple has angered the political establishment, who stirred up controversy by demanding censorship of Bhindranwale’s name. At the strong-arming of political party Shiromani Akali Dal, the temple committee recently bowed to political pressure by removing a photo of Bhindranwale displayed in another area of the temple.
The Sikh Information Centre calls on the Sikh people, the democratic citizens of India, and every defender of international human rights to oppose this act of censorship. The censorship of the contributions of Bhindranwale is as grievous a crime as would censorship of the civil rights heroes who were killed at Tiananmen Square.
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was murdered in 1984 in an unprovoked attack by the Indian Army on peaceful citizens. In 21st century India, tyrants are made chief ministers. Leading citizens are arrested for protesting tyranny. Murderers are exonerated by the courts. Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, and Sikhs are slaughtered by the untold thousands. Killers are rewarded. Bhindranwale remains an enduring symbol of hope for millions of South Asian minorities who are presently being actively oppressed by the Indian State.
Bhindranwale’s leadership in the South Asian Civil Rights Movement began in the mid-1970s during the constitutionally permitted establishment of a dictatorship by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. From 1975 to 1977, PM Gandhi suspended elections and launched a war against her political opponents. False imprisonment, framed charges, torture, and extralegal killing became standard operating procedures for Indian security forces throughout the entire subcontinent during the Emergency. Police acted without any restraint of any kind. Forced sterilizations were performed on thousands of people from low-castes and other minority groups determined by the ruling power to be “undesirable stock.”
The only sustained and peaceful voice of resistance came from the Sikh people. By 1977, 140,000 protesters against the Emergency had been imprisoned without charges or trial; of these, 60,000 were Sikhs, though they constitute barely two percent of India’s population. The headquarters of this protest movement was the Golden Temple in the holy city of Amritsar in Punjab.
One of the leading voices of protest was Kartar Singh, the senior preacher of Sikh seminar Damdami Taksal. Kartar Singh, who mentored Bhindranwale as his successor, is particularly remembered for publicly rebuking PM Gandhi’s “throne of Delhi” during her appearance at the 300th anniversary of the assassination of Guru Tegh Bahadur by the dictatorial Mughal regime. Upon his death, Kartar Singh’s mantle was assumed by Bhindranwale.
After lifting the Emergency and a brief absence from office, PM Gandhi resumed active oppression of her political opponents in 1980. This time her greatest opposition was from the Sikh people in Punjab. Bhindranwale was now the most vocal voice. He traveled the countryside, preaching a faith of individual responsibility, hard work, equal rights, and a peaceful lifestyle. Simultaneously, he organized democratic action to protest tyrannical treatment by the central government. An example of this treatment is the Gandhi regime’s 1980 dismissal of Punjab’s democratically elected state government and imposition of direct dictatorial rule from New Delhi using a constitutional measure called President’s Rule.
In April 1982, the oppression of dissent by minorities escalated when the Gandhi regime employed infiltration and subterfuge to provoke communal conflict and destabilize Punjab. Clandestine agents of the Gandhi regime (as later divulged by an agent involved) planted severed cow heads at two Hindu temples in Amritsar, sparking the first Hindu-Sikh riots in recorded history. A note left at the staged crime claimed Sikh responsibility — an inexplicable claim, considering Sikhs, especially devout religious Sikhs such as Bhindranwale, are vegetarians who have historically opposed cow slaughter. The issue is highly sensitive in India, where cows are often legally protected and widely worshipped by the Hindu population.
Indian State oppression spread like wildfire in Summer 1982. In just under three months, 30,000 peaceful Sikh protesters were indefinitely detained. The movement was led by a joint coalition of Sikh preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and the Sikh political party Shiromani Akali Dal.
Operation Bluestar was carried out in 1984 to silence Bhindranwale, whom PM Gandhi seems to have believed had gained too powerful of an influence in Punjab. The military siege was launched at the height of the 378th anniversary of the assassination of Guru Arjan Dev (also by the Mughal regime), a summer festival during which hundreds of thousands visit the Golden Temple. The Indian Army surrounded the temple complex with 15,000 troops armed with heavy artillery, tanks, and helicopters. Bhindranwale, who was at the temple, was accompanied by a congregation of only a few hundred. Without provocation, the army fired the first shot on June 3. Simultaneous assaults on smaller Sikh temples throughout India also occurred. When hostilities ceased on June 6, an estimated 10,000 Sikhs had been killed and 30,000 made homeless. Among the dead was Bhindranwale.
Finally, in October 1984, PM Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards for violating the Golden Temple with bloodshed. Subsequently, a three-day genocide of Sikhs was orchestrated in New Delhi by Congress Party Parliament Members, distributed weapons, awarded cash bounties, and directed mobs to indiscriminately murder Sikhs and burn temples. Independent estimates of the dead range from 15,000 to 30,000. It was this action which inspired an 11-year insurgency and motivated mass Punjabi migration to the United States and other western nations.
The insurgency died out in 1995 after Indian police murdered human rights activism Jaswant Singh Khalra, whose work exposing the secret genocide of 25,000 unarmed Sikhs had just gained international prominence. Khalra was abducted from his family home in September 1995, imprisoned and tortured for two months, then killed and dumped in a canal by police.
Oppression extended far beyond the borders of the State of Punjab. Most major regions in India were affected by some similar form of social unrest provoked by tyrannical treatment from the Indian State. Among these was Kashmir, were in March 1996 another peaceful human rights activist named Jalil Andrabi was murdered by Indian Police and dumped in the Jhelum River. He had just exposed the genocide of Muslims in Kashmir, reporting:
“More than 40,000 people have been killed, which include all — old, men and children, women, sick and infirm. The youth of Kashmir have been mowed down. They are tortured in torture cells and… thousands of youth have been killed in police custody. These atrocities being committed on the people of Kashmir are not mere aberrations. These are part of deliberate and systematic state policy… aimed to silence the people of Kashmir into subjugation.”
Nothing has changed. South Asian minorities from every region of the subcontinent remain targets of intentional persecution by Indian State security forces. The Indian State remains the greatest threat to the liberty, peace, and prosperity of the individual South Asian.
“The most significant human rights problems were police and security force abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, and rape; widespread corruption at all levels of government, leading to denial of justice; and separatist, insurgent, and societal violence.
“Other human rights problems included disappearances, poor prison conditions that were frequently life-threatening, arbitrary arrest and detention, and lengthy pretrial detention. The judiciary was overburdened, and court backlogs led to lengthy delays or the denial of justice. Authorities continued to infringe on citizens’ privacy rights. The law in some states restricted religious conversion, and there were reports of arrests, but no reports of convictions under these laws. There were some limits on freedom of movement….
“Widespread impunity at all levels of government remained a serious problem. Investigations into individual cases and legal punishment for perpetrators occurred, but in many cases a lack of accountability due to weak law enforcement, a lack of trained police, and the overburdened and underresourced court system created an atmosphere of impunity.”
In 2013, the Indian State employs two primary forms of oppression:
First, is the legislative means of draconian laws restricting natural human liberties such as the freedoms of speech, religion, the press, assembly, privacy, and the rights to a speedy trial and habeas corpus. The Constitution of India is constructed is such a manner that it appalling permits most of this legislative means to be conducted entirely within India’s law.
Second, is the fiat means of brutal assaults on peaceful demonstrations, arbitrary arrest of impartial citizens, warrantless imprisonment of voices of dissent, banning of books,  universal application of torture to detainees from every walk of life, rape of both male and female detainees, assassination of human rights activists, infiltration of peaceful and democratic political movements, and outright war. Operation Bluestar, conducted by the Indian Army from June 3-6, 1984, is the most startling example of how the Indian State employs the fiat means of war to unabashedly oppress South Asian minorities.
Oppression is further encouraged by financial and other incentives for state agents and elected officials who most enthusiastically employ tyrannical measures. For instance, Congress Party MPs who led November 1984 genocide, such as Kamal Nath, Sajjan Kumar, and Jagdish Tytler, never faced charges, were all promoted to Cabinet positions, and now enjoy broad influence over national policy. After receiving over 41,000 cash bounties from the Indian State for killing Sikhs, high-ranking police officers like Sumedh Saini and Mohammad Izhar Alam were rewarded. Alam was nominated for political office in Punjab in 2011. Sumedh Saini was appointed Director of Indian police in Punjab in 2012.
An identical pattern occurs in instances of oppression of other minorities. Kashmir has already been discussed. In 2000 in the State of Gujarat, Chief Minister Narendra Modi orchestrated a genocide of Muslims. Nearly 2,000 Muslims were massacred by Hindu mobs who were assisted by police under direct orders from Modi. He was reelected with a landslide later that year and still rules Gujarat.
Bhindranwale was one of the few courageous enough to stand up against the social institutionalization of tyranny that has crippled India for centuries. He symbolizes all those who have perished under the successive dictatorships of the Mughals, British, and the Indian State. His example inspires the millions who languish under the devastating effects of the state-backed caste system to hope for deliverance. Bhindranwale represents a movement that has no borders. He stands for enslaved and oppressed peoples.
The Sikh Information Centre commends the life and legacy of the reverend Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, asserts the sovereignty of the Akal Takht and the Golden Temple, which are collectively called the Harmandir Sahib complex, and demands international recognition of the Harmandir Sahib complex as possessing sovereignty in kind to the Vatican. Thus, SIC opposes the imposition of the will of any state or other political body on this religious institution.

Furthermore, SIC calls for equal and universal restoration of liberty to all Indian citizens, the uninterrupted preservation of their natural human rights, and justice for the victims and perpetrators of state-sponsored genocidal actions.