A nation that proudly proclaims its history of civil disobedience and the right to fast in protest, has dishonoured itself.
One man has single handedly demonstrated the hypocrisy of the Indian state. While praising Mohandas Gandhi with each imprinted rupee, it has arrested, detained and charged a Sikh man, peacefully fasting for the rights of others. Quite ironic, given India’s selective celebration of Ana Hazare!
Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa with nothing to his name, other than the strength of his will and his undying conviction initiated a hunger strike that remains unbroken since November 14, 2013.
His demands are simple but important, and they include:
- The release of all political prisoners still languishing in Indian jails.
- The immediate release of 6 Singhs who have already completed their sentence, yet remain imprisoned.
His demands are democratic, legal and logical. His protest is peaceful.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
In a nation where logic and democratic institutions such as the judicial system are more fiction than fact, the Indian response has been the following:
- Media neglect and spin – to avoid coverage and if absolutely necessary to associate this peaceful fast to radicalism
- Non-cooperation and support for Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa from the SGPC and Akal Takhat leaders
- Police harassment of Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa’s family by the Haryana Police
- Indian Police dressed in civilian clothing raiding Gurudwara Amb Sahib Mohali, where Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Ji Khalsa’s fast was underway. He was subsequently, kidnapped and arrested.
But, that is not all.
The police have since charged Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Ji Khalsa under section 306 for trying to commit suicide.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
In the absence of the SGPC and Akal Takht who have failed in their leadership, it is our duty to stand up in support of this growing movement.
Since the arrest, 5 additional sevadars have take up the hunger strike at Gurudwara Amb Sahib and the movement grows even stronger than before.
Below, the Sikh Activist Network will coordinate the delivery of your letters of solidarity to Gurbaksh Singh (or his family, in his absence) and the 5 Sevadaars that have joined the fast.
Remember, even in the face of state violence and the neglect of our so-called leaders, we are the Panth and the Panth is soveriegn. The power to bring change is in our hands and our hands alone.