Why I Am Not An Indian

  By Beant Singh, April 19, 2003

"The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long that nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was... The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting." -Milan Kundera

Those Who Win The War Write The History

Let's position our discerning eyes and pierce through the veil of illusion that has been designed to render us purblind. Plato's Republic might instruct that lack of opportunity inhibits insight into reality for those enslaved with chains in the pitch darkness of a cave. We, however, subsist in a free world and have no excuse for reputing falsehood disseminated by the Indian state. If we purport to be men and women of integrity, it behoves us to discover and propagate the buried truth - even at the expense of our trivial lives.

Fifty years can effectuate consequential rewards for revisionists of history if they have appropriate state patronage. The myth engendered by the historians of India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, for instance, informs us that an ancient nation-state, India, was vivisected to enable independence of Pakistan. In reality, many sovereign nations and monarchies were glued together to create what became the Republic of India as recently as 1947.

Abraham Eraly's perspective on the fragile nature of India makes compelling reading.

"The Republic of India is... today only a union of nations, not a nation-state. Nor has India ever been a nation-state in its long history, because we have never had the basic elements -- common history, religion, language, culture and ethnicity -- essential to forge national unity. In fact, India has no stronger basis for national unity than Europe has -- it has less basis, really, because of its greater diversity ... It is today politically fashionable to speak of a certain community and its culture as truly Indian, but the fact is that there are no pure native Indians, or any pure native Indian culture... All Indians today are descendants of migrants or invaders...

So what defines an Indian today? Certainly not any ethnic, linguistic, cultural or historical distinctiveness... Later there came into existence, for short periods, a couple of pan-Indian empires, like those of the Mauryas and the Mughals, but these were established by conquest, and not by any national integrative process. Even the political unity that India enjoys today is the result of conquest, the British one..." [1]

During his presidential address to the Muslim League on December 29, 1930, Mohammad Iqbal elaborated on the abnormal makeup of the Indian subcontinent that is today being governed as a uniform entity. He suggested that the Hindu majority is not willing to accept that "the units of India is a continent of human groups belonging to different races, speaking different languages and professing different religions. Even the Hindus do not form a homogeneous group. The principle of European democracy cannot be applied to India without recognizing the fact of communal groups." [2]

This is the core problem that has always played as a critical factor in the turbulent, revolutionary undercurrents that have swept northeast tribal areas, Punjab, Kashmir and many other parts of the subcontinent. According to Cynthia Mahmood, "India, as a young and weak state torn up by centrifugal forces of linguistic, ethnic, and religious diversity, asserts its boundaries boldly (if extrajudicially) by eradicating those who step outside the line." [3]

The Web Of Brahmanism

In 1947, coinciding Pundit Nehru's tryst with destiny, hundreds of millions of people were subjugated and their fortunes were permanently fastened to the aspirations of a self-serving minority - Brahmins - overnight. This minority seeks to create a uniform, stratified caste-based culture, spearheaded with exorbitant fidelity by its Hindutva ideologues. Not necessarily a Sikh voice but a respected historian in the Indian eyes, Kushwant Singh, elucidates what this has meant for Brahmins and for those inhabiting this "world's largest democracy" over time.

"During the British rule, the largest proportion of government jobs (40%) was held by Kayasthas. Today, their figure has dropped to 7%. Next came Muslims who were given privileges by the British. They had 35% of jobs in 1935. In free India their representation has dropped to 3.5%. Christians, likewise favoured by the English, had 15%; their figure has dropped to 1%. Scheduled castes, tribes and backward classes, who had hardly any government jobs, have achieved a representation of 9%. But the most striking contrast is in the employment of Brahmins.

Under the British, they had 3% --fractionally less than the proportion of their 3.5% of the population. Today they hold as much as 70% of government jobs...In the senior echelons of the civil service from the rank of deputy secretaries upwards, out of 500 there are 310 Brahmins, i.e., 63%; of the 26 state chief secretaries, 19 are Brahmins; of the 27 Governors and Lt. Governors 13 are Brahmins; of the 16 Supreme Court judges, 9 are Brahmins; of the 330 judges of High Courts, 166 are Brahmins; of the 140 ambassadors, 58 are Brahmins; of 98 vice-chancellors 50 are Brahmins; of the 438 district magistrates, 250 are Brahmins; of the total of 3,300 IAS officers [the elite Indian Administration Service], 2,376 are Brahmins. They do equally well in electoral posts. Of the 530 Lok Sabha members, 190 are Brahmins. Of 244 in the Rajya Sabha 89 are Brahmins.

These statistics clearly prove that this 3.5% of Brahmin community of India holds between 36% to 63% of all the plum jobs available in the country." [4]

In addition, Patwant Singh's recent work reports that the Brahmin dominance is steadily on the rise. [5] This hegemony comes at the expense of all non-Hindus. What leads objective human beings to label India a democracy is a bewildering question.

Calculated Assault Against Non-Hindu Minorities

It seems almost comical that after five decades of consistent oppression suffered by scores of individuals and groups, including Dalits, Kashmiris, Christians, Nagas, Tamils, Oriyas and Sikhs - to identify a few - there appears to be an inordinate degree of allegiance to this recent political construct called India. For the Sikhs this loyalty and patriotism have come at a great expense to their own glorious past. The phenomenon of brainwashing has been busy at work.

That young Sikhs in India today know little or nothing about their own history, in contrast to the exaggerated past of their Hindu brethren is common knowledge.

I have interacted with many Sikhs in India and have found them to disavow knowledge of the critical time periods in which the Sikh Gurus, Banda Singh (Bahadur), Jassa Singh (Ahluwalia), Hari Singh (Nalwa), Giani Ditt Singh and Bhai Kahn Singh (Nabha) carried out their nation building works of great significance. Their school textbooks doctored by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) do not even acknowledge, for instance, that Kashmir was a Sikh territory until the British annexed the Khalsa Commonwealth in 1849, or that Little Tibet was annexed by Sarkar-i-Khalsa, The Honorable Khalsa, as the name appears in the Treaty of 1842 with emperor of China and the Dalai Lama as the joint counter-party to the Sikhs. [6] Their recently revised CBSE textbooks, which have been translated in dozens of languages, slander the Tenth Nanak, calling him an employee in the court of Bahadur Shah, as reported by Abstracts of Sikh Studies. How insecure and malicious the ruling upper-caste has become that they must find every way to diminish the accomplishments of the Sikh nation!

Sanskrit - an almost extinct scriptural language of the Brahmins -- has been announced to be a mandatory part of school curriculum by the Indian prime minister, while most urban Sikh school-goers have difficulty speaking their mother tongue, Punjabi. According to my communication with a Punjabi freelance writer who used to edit a journal at Harvard and lived in Patiala for some time, the newspapers of Punjab are fast abandoning Punjabi words in lieu of Hindi vocabulary. It is not surprising since in the 1961 Indian census many upper-caste Punjabi Hindus, who occupy positions of influence in the media, lied and reported their mother tongue to be Hindi.

The state-controlled media in India has trampled upon the Sikh moral fibre. These days Sikhs pay to be humiliated. There is hardly an Indian movie or a television show that features the Sikhs and then does not proceed to mock them. Examples that come to mind are television shows such as Badal and Line Lagao. Even Sikh children are made objects of cheap jokes as in the movies Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Khoobsoorat.

An eyewitness reported that there was a round of applause in Indian theatres after the scenes that humiliated Sikh children. [7] This will amount to be insignificant after I discuss the physical torture of young Sikh "terrorists" by the Indian state. Why is it that in that Sikhs object to movies such as Dysfunctional Family, which are benign when compared with the Sikh portrayal in Indian movies, and not to the consistent propaganda against Sikhs emanating from Bollywood?

When a Sikh male is projected as a protagonist in an Indian film, he is almost always shown to oppose Pakistani Muslims. This feeling of bigotry is nurtured and directed against another monotheistic people, 100 million of whom share the same Punjabi culture as Sikhs. The Sikhs have more in common with Pakistani Punjabis than with any "Indian" because they share the same language, cuisine and attire. [8]

What has been the Sikh response to Indian films? A recent movie, Gadar, produced to create a rift between Sikhs and Muslims - as reported by various periodicals - was oversold in most theatres in Punjab, the Sikh Homeland. The movie denigrated the Sikh religion by showing the film actors purporting to be Sikhs but partaking in Hindu practices that are antithetical to Sikhism, making the Sikh identity seem insignificant. Just the fact that Sikhs residing in India, and abroad, continue to pay to witness their identity ridiculed, disgraced and belittled shows that they have been permanently enslaved like the "House Negro" of Malcolm X.

I personally have boycotted all Hindi movies since 1997. My conscience does not allow me to support Bollywood's movies or music. Why pay to get humiliated? When the British oppressed Americans, the Americans boycotted British tea. Similarly, the SGPC boycotted British sugar at the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar during the Gurdwara Reform Movement. Today's Sikhs have no self-respect. They continue to support an industry that is responsible for their defamation. If you go to a store whose employees humiliate you on each visit, would you still purchase goods from that store?

Official Hate Speech: Declaration Of All Sikhs As Criminals

The Sikh struggle in India began with an official circular of the Indian state on October 10, 1947, barely two months after the creation of this new nation, instructing that "special measures" be taken against the Sikhs who, as a community, were a "lawless people and were thus a menace to the law-abiding Hindus in the province." [9] It was quite a reward for a religious community that made scarifies disproportionate to its size in the struggle to overthrow British imperialism from the subcontinent. [10]

Kapur Singh, an Indian Civil Service (today's Indian Administrative Service) official protested vehemently to the ingratitude of the Brahmin leaders ruling India. The result was his unceremonious dismissal from a prestigious post. Decades of fighting in the Indian courts were of no use for Kapur Singh, even though he was guilty of no offence.

Policy Implementation Through Ethnic Cleansing

The last two decades have taught us that the concentration camps of Hitler were far more benevolent than the milieu in which the Sikh spirit has been crushed. There are many villages in rural Punjab where all young men ages sixteen to thirty were systematically executed by the Indian police and paramilitary forces. Their only offence was that they were Sikhs. The Indian Army Bulletin, Baatcheet, Serial Number 153, June 1984, illustrates this point beyond any reasonable doubt.

Some of our innocent countrymen were administered oath in the name of religion to support extremists and actively participated in the act of terrorism. These people wear a miniature kirpan round their neck and are called "Amritdharis" . . . Any knowledge of the "Amritdharis" who are dangerous people and pledged to commit murder, arson and acts of terrorism should be immediately brought to the notice of the authorities. These people may appear harmless from outside but they are basically committed to terrorism. In the interest of us all, their identity and whereabouts must always be disclosed.

Compare the above with a Nazi poster that read, "Our most dangerous opponent is the Jew, and all who belong to him."

There was even a more insidious public relations campaign by the Indian state to brand Sikhs as terrorists. The Indian consulates in all major cities around the globe, with Sikh concentrations, spearheaded an extensive propaganda operation to alter the established Sikh image of responsible citizens to that of reprehensible terrorists. The Indian intelligence also carried out many covert operations. For instance, an independent investigation strongly suggests that it blew-up an Air India plane with over 300 passengers to tarnish the Sikh image beyond repair. While the media conveniently blamed the Sikhs, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) was able to identity the real culprit.

The influence of the Indian government seemed to crop up practically everywhere CSIS agents investigated the Sikhs separatists either as national security threats or as suspects in the Air-India and Narita bombings. [11]

. . . two senior CSIS officials in B.C. [British Columbia] described at a CSIS meeting their version of criminal flow of Sikh violence in Canada. At the very top they placed the GOI (the government of India), and in brackets beside it, the Secret Services Bureau, CBI-RAW, Third Agency. Below GOI were the names of Indian agents of influence and agents provocateurs . . . So convinced has CSIS become of the GOI connection [in the Air India bombing] that, at one Air-India task force meeting, a CSIS agent had seriously suggested that "if you really want to clear the incidents quickly, take vans down to the Indian High Commission and the consulate in Toronto and Vancouver, load up everybody and take them down for questioning. We know it and they know it that they are involved." [12]

There, however, is a distinct difference between German and Indian propaganda. Germany restricted its propaganda to its own citizens, whereas India spent massive amounts of capital to taint the Sikh image worldwide. No group of people would appreciate being labelled vicious terrorists, as the Indian state has maintained in its communications when describing committed Sikhs.

Operation Blue Star: Myth and Reality

The attack on a cherished symbol of the Sikhs, the Golden Temple, in June 1984 is considered the most egregious error of the Indian government. The inhumane act severed the Sikh relationship with India permanently.

The Golden Temple serves as the nerve centre of the Sikhs. The Indian Army mounted its attack on a major Sikh holiday with the maximum visitors in attendance. The purpose was to destroy a major source of Sikh inspiration, to massacre thousands of innocent Sikhs and to torch the Sikh Reference Library, which contained irreplaceable Sikh history, artefacts and original texts, including those handwritten by the Gurus. Furthermore, the Indian Army looted the Sikh treasury and museum, Toshakhana.

Thirty-seven other Sikh Gurdwaras were attacked on the same day. Did they all contain terrorists that needed to be blasted out of their hiding places? The Indian state has been unable to provide a satisfactory answer.

Cynthia Mahmood sheds light on the counterfeit allegations of the Indian state.

"When it [the state of India] attacked the Golden Temple complex at Amritsar in 1984, containing the holist shrine of the Sikhs, the ostensible aim was to rid the sacred buildings of the militants who had taken up shelter inside. But the level force used in the attack was utterly incommensurate with this limited and eminently attainable aim. Seventy thousand troops, in conjunction with the use of tanks and chemical gas, killed not only the few dozen militants who didn't manage to escape the battleground but also hundreds (possibly thousands) of innocent pilgrims, the day of the attack being a Sikh holy day. The Akal Takht, the seat of temporal authority for the Sikhs, was reduced to rubble and the Sikh Reference Library, an irreplaceable collection of books, manuscripts, and artefacts bearing on all aspects of Sikh history, burned to ground. Thirty-seven other shrines were attacked across Punjab on the same day. The only possible reason for this appalling level of state force against its own citizens must be that the attempt was not merely to "flush out," as they say, a handful of militants, but to destroy the fulcrum of a possible mass resistance against the state." [13]

Joyce Pettigrew explains what became and continues as a regular occurrence in Punjab.

"Illegal detention, disappearances, false encounter (a fictitious armed engagement as a cover up for police killing a detainee) became daily events. Such disappearances and illegal detention continue to occur." [14]

"Extralegal groups operating on behalf of the [Indian] state engaged in the abduction of the following categories of person: political activists; persons suspected of having association with them; lawyers who defend families whose human rights have been violated; journalists who write about such violations; and human rights workers who record their complaints. However, the largest body of those held comes from a wide range of persons uninvolved with political activity. Once abducted, they are detained in unofficial interrogation centres which include schools, houses, forest bungalows owned by the Public Works Department (PWD), and a variety of official police buildings belonging to the Central Investigative Agency (CIA) of the Punjab police, the Central Reserve Police Force, and the Border Security Force (BSF). Informants and more recently some written reports have suggested, additionally, that Hindu temples provide facilities for cremation of political prisoners." [15]

Torture And Genocide Of Sikh Children

The fascist nature of the Indian state is revealed through the atrocities it committed on innocent Sikh children. An independent civil liberties organization headed by Justice V.M. Tarkunde reported the situation in the villages of Punjab.

The story of the [Sikh] children is the story of our shame. So gross and insensitive the political parties have become that not one of the 11 members of Parliament representing 10 political parties visiting Amritsar on August 1, 1984 felt like taking any action, when they were informed that 25 children between 4 and 12 had been detained in the Ludhiana jail under section 107/262 having been rounded up from the Golden Temple in the early July. It was Smt. Kamla Devi Chattopadhyaya -- old and very sick -- who moved in the matter and discovered the shocking fact that some of the detained children were blind and there were in the jail several women and old men; obviously they had been found too dangerous by the Army to be allowed to remain outside. She moved the Supreme Court with a writ petition and taking serious note of the state of affairs obtaining in Punjab the Supreme Court ordered the authorities to release "all children kept under detention in various jails and children's homes in the State of Punjab" immediately. The orders however were not carried out -- minors continued to remain in jails and being questioned the jail Superintendent, Patiala, admitted that there were many children still inside his jail also. The story of ghastly torture of young boys as well as of other arrested people has been revealed fully by Justice P.S. Cheema, Vigilance Judge, Sessions Division, Patiala, during his visit to Ladha Kothi (Sangrur Distt.) jail. This can be seen in the Annexure No. 1. Since violations of the rule of law is now the rule and the Armed Forces (Punjab and Chandigarh) Special Powers Act has made the Army supreme. Major Das picked up six children who were taking their examination in the Jaffarwal Village School in September. They were taken to the Military Camp at Tibri and tortured there. He came back to the village again and raided houses of 5 other boys -- 3 of them were arrested and tortured for 7 days. There was no FIR, no charge sheet, the only proof that the army had taken them and tortured them was the signs of the torture themselves; young Charan Singh who was a fine runner with ambition to represent his school in Punjab's Running Competition has become lame, he said, "I told them break my arm but don't twist my leg, they did not listen." [16]

Many uninformed Sikhs, who have been indoctrinated by the Indian media and its propaganda machinery, are today living in a state of denial. They call what has happened subsequent to 1984 as an unfortunate work of the Congress party.

If the successive governments had a different policy towards the Sikhs, why is it that thousands of Sikhs continue to languish in squalid Indian prisons without knowing the crimes they have supposedly committed? [17] Ironically, the law under which they were incarcerated without evidence, TADA, has long been repealed. [18]

Why have criminals such as Sajjan Kumar, H.K.L. Bhagat, Narsimha Rao, K.P. Gill and Jilio Ribero not been prosecuted in spite of mountains of affidavits showing their role in genocide of Sikhs? Why does the Indian regime continue to bar human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch if it has nothing to hide?

Those who claim that human rights abuses against the Sikhs have ceased in the past few years are invited to examine an Amnesty International report published in 2000. It clearly shows that the Indian state continues to pursue its policy of state terror against the Sikhs.

In mid-1998, 35-year-old Kesar Singh, Block President of the Punjab Human Rights Organization (PHRO) and associated with the Committee for Coordination on Disappearances in Punjab (CCDP) had several false criminal cases filed against him. On 5 June 1998 a case was registered against him under section 406 and 506 of the IPC [criminal breach of trust and criminal intimidation]. He was threatened by a police inspector that if he did not stop working for the PHRO he would have further false cases filed against him. He was released on bail after six days.

However, he was picked up again by the same police inspector on 28 July 1998 from his home in Kalewal village along with another man. The two were reportedly tortured by two police officials in the presence of the Superintendent of Police. They were reportedly stripped and dragged by their hair and their legs were stretched far apart. The next day, 29 July, they were taken to another police station and brought before more police officers who again asked him to desist from carrying out human rights activities.

Kesar Singh, in a statement said: "when I replied that nothing is wrong in it he directed the policemen present over there to set me right. That when I again said that they should shoot me dead, the DIG (Deputy Inspector General of Police) said that they have not changed the policy and now they will eliminate the human rights activists by rafting them in jails."

Kesar Singh was subjected to several periods of police remand during which time he was repeatedly threatened to cease his human rights work and not to depose in court against police officials in several cases of human rights violations. While he was detained, his house was searched and money, personal possessions, documents and his motorcycle taken away. A further case was filed against him under sections of the Arms Act and the Explosives Act. He was finally remanded to judicial custody on 1 September 1998 and sent to Nabha Security Jail. [19]

Amnesty International's most recent report in February 2003, shows that torture is endemic in Punjab and human rights violations continue to take place without check.

Governments or political parties cannot come to power in India unless they express and demonstrate anti-Sikh, anti-Christian and anti-Muslim sentiment, in concert with their allegiance to Hindutva ideology. The fascist BJP leadership, which has boldly encouraged and engaged in tearing down Muslims places of worship, [20] burning of Christian priests and raping of Christian nuns in broad daylight, has continued its state-sponsored terrorism against the Sikhs as well.

According to Cynthia Mahmood, "The fact that some BJP leaders - who receive substantial electoral majorities - have explicitly equated being a Hindu with being an Indian, and hence not being a Hindu as being a traitor, is an ominous one." [21]

The long-term design is to make the non-Hindu religions die out gradually by imposing permanent incentives for "national integration," as witnessed by the slow plummeting of Christian demography in Egypt or Syria, from over 90% in the 7th century via some 50% in the 12th century to about 10% today. To think that Sikhs committed to their religious ideals are safe today betrays truth and knowledge of current affairs in Punjab.

Sikhs with even an iota of honour cannot help but consider India as their most significant enemy. No reasonable Jew during the Holocaust could possibly call himself or herself a German. William Heyen's My Holocaust Songs poetically describes this intense feeling of disgust and disassociation towards a nation that committed genocide against its own citizens.

Dead Jew goldpiece in German eye,
Dead Jew shovel in German shed,
Dead Jew book in German hand,
Dead Jew hat on German head,
Dead Jew violin in German ear,
Dead Jew linen on German skin,
Dead Jew blood in German vein...

Germany's orchestration of the Holocaust was a singular factor why Jews stopped being German. Malcolm X reminds us in his autobiography the dangers of assimilation and "integration" with the enemy. He also makes a case for identifying the enemy before it is too late.

He [Jew] had made greater contributions to Germany than Germans themselves had. Jews had over half of Germany's Nobel Prizes. Every culture in Germany was led by the Jew; he published the greatest newspapers. Jews were the greatest artists, the greatest poets, composers, stage directors. But those Jews made a fatal mistake - assimilating . . . Their own Jewish religion, their own rich Jewish ethnic and cultural roots, they anesthetized, and cut off . . . until they began thinking of themselves as "Germans." And the next thing they knew, there was Hitler, rising to power from the beer halls - with his emotional "Aryan master" theory. And right at hand for a scapegoat was the self-weakened, self-deluded "German" Jew. [22]

Jews have used nizkor, a Hebrew word that means "We will remember," to permanently etch this event in their collective memory. They have embarked upon innumerable initiatives such as The Nizkor Project "to refute or otherwise reply to those falsehoods, half-truths, and misinformation, with the aim of ensuring that they and their proponents remain firmly in the margin."

The Sikhs can learn from Jews who held Germany accountable for its actions and refuse to forget what has happened to their people. They have not sought mere apologies from the German state; they have dragged the Germans responsible for the genocide to international tribunals, and have had them hanged. Let's be clear that India and the Sikh nation are at war. The goal of the Indian regime is to eliminate the Sikh identity. It is silly to seek apologies from someone who does not repent and instead is committed to killing you. If some Sikh apologists think that reconciliation with an enemy is possible, I remind them of Thomas Paine's famous words in Common Sense.

Men of passive tempers look somewhat lightly over the offences of Britain, and, still hoping for the best, are apt to call out, "COME, COME, WE SHALL BE FRIENDS AGAIN, FOR ALL THIS." But examine the passions and feelings of mankind, bring the doctrine of reconciliation to the touchstone of nature, and then tell me, whether you can hereafter love, honour, and faithfully serve the power that hath carried fire and sword into your land? If yon cannot do all these, then are you only deceiving yourselves, and by your delay bringing ruin upon posterity. Your future connection with Britain, whom you can neither love nor honour will be forced and unnatural, and being formed only on the plan of present convenience, will in a little time fall into a relapse more wretched than the first. But if you say, you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, Hath your house been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face! Are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor! If you have not, then are you not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and still can shake hands with the murderers, then are you unworthy the name of husband, father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward, and the spirit of a sycophant.

Dear reader, I know that it is terribly hard to form consensus around a solution to a complex problem - so I do not propose a panacea here and leave such an exercise for another day. We, however, must unite as dignified human beings and identify the enemy who is not just a cold-blooded murderer but is also guilty of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Let's agree that India and fascism are two sides of the same coin. Those with even a shred of dignity would have trouble being labelled an Indian.

The apology-seeking, self-hating Sikh who still suffers from pangs of unrequited love with India is akin to the "House Negro" of Malcolm X, who has for long been at odds with the "Field Negro." The Black activist explains that the former lived with his master's home in the attic or the basement and got to eat the master's leftovers after meals. When the master felt cold, the house Negro exclaimed, "Masta! We cold." When the master was hot, the House Negro cried, "Masta! We hot." The House Negro was in love with his oppressor in spite of hundreds of years of tyranny directed against his race.

The "Field Negro," on the other hand, was forced to labour in the fields. He was often subjected to his master's nefarious whipping without any good reason. He was acutely aware of his slavery. He would often go to the "House Negro" and suggest, "Nigga, we are slaves; we have gotta run away!" The House Negro, like some Sikhs today, could not commiserate with such a feeling of stark alienation towards his master.

The Sikh nation will never forget India's egregious acts of custodial rape and torture, extra-judicial killings, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Thomas Paine and Malcolm X are turning in their graves, shrugging their shoulders, clamouring for the day when we will unite to etch - with the indelible blood of our martyrs - the name of our common enemy into our collective memory.

Our fight is against the Indian state. Because the Sikhs firmly oppose the apartheid that the horrific caste system promotes through stratification of society, those Hindus at the apex of the caste pyramid are certain to be disturbed.

Buried under layers of argument, analysis and sophistry of the elitist, right-wing Hindus ruling India, the real issue is that the Indian state continues to treat Sikhs as useless, second-class citizens, subjecting them to grave humiliation in all spheres of society, implementing cataclysmic policies specific to Punjab to effect their collective nosedive and genocide by instituting draconian laws that encourage ethnic cleansing in the name of "national security."

Anyone with even a slight penchant for truth could apprehend why Sikhs cannot be Indians. All one needs, in fact, is common sense. The writing is on the wall, chiselled by the firm hands of our enemy.

"To preserve the unity of India, if we have to eradicate 2-kror [20 million] Sikhs, we will do so." - Balram Jakhar, former Indian Cabinet Minister [23] and Speaker of the Indian Parliament.

When the very existence of the Sikh people is at stake, the sacred words enshrined in Gurbani are there to show us the way. They cannot be overlooked for the sake of our coming generations.

fareedaa baar paraa-i-ai baisnaa saaN-ee mujhai na deh. jay too ayvai rakhsee jee-o sareerahu layhi.

Fareed begs, O Protector, do not make me sit at another's door. If this is the way you are going to keep me, then go ahead and take the life out of my body. ||42||

- Sri Guru Granth Sahib, 1380


1. Abraham Eraly, "Just A Legal Indian," Outlook, August 20, 2001. ("In the beginning there was no India," is how Eraly begins his latest book Gem in the Lotus, Viking.)

2. Mohammad Iqbal, "A Homeland for Muslims," Speeches and Statements of Iqbal, Lahore, 1944, p. 11-12

3. Jeffrey A. Sluka, ed., "Dynamics of Terror in Punjab and Kashmir," Death Squad: The Anthropology of State Terror, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000, p. 82

4. As quoted by Gerald James Larson, India's Agony Over Religion (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995), p. 210-11.

5. Patwant Singh, The Sikhs, Doubleday, New York, 2001, p. 12

6. "Sikhs and Sikhism" in Selected Works of Sirdar Kapur Singh: Some Insights into Sikhism, edited by Madanjit Kaur & Piar Singh, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

7. "Indian Film Art: A Vehicle to Humiliate Sikhs," by Sarabjot Kaur in Abstracts of Sikh Studies

8. Waris Shah, the great Punjabi poet who authored Heer, describes the unity of Punjab when he separates this land of five rivers from Hindustan. "surma neina dee dhar vich phab riha, charhiya Hind te kattak Punjab da jee," meaning that the mascara in the eyes of Heer made one feel as if the armies of Punjab had attacked Hindustan.

9. Kapur Singh, Sachi Sakhi, Navyug Publishers, Delhi, 1979, p. 209-210

10. Out of 2,175 Indian martyrs for freedom, 1,557, or 75%, were Sikhs. Out of 2,646 Indians sent to the Andamans for life imprisonment 2,147, or 80%, were Sikhs. Out of 127 Indians who were hanged 92, or 80%, were Sikhs. Out of 20,000 who joined the Indian National Army, under Subhase Bose, 12,000, or 60%, were Sikhs. And the Sikhs comprise only 2% of India's total population!…Clearly the Sikhs…do not require a certificate of patriotism from the rest of India. (Rajinder Puri, The Recovery of India, 1992, p. 99)

11. Kashmeri and McAndrew, Soft Target, James Lorimer & Company, 1989, p. 91

12. Kashmeri and McAndrew, Soft Target, James Lorimer & Company, 1989, p. 85

13. Jeffrey A. Sluka, Ed., "Dynamics of Terror in Punjab and Kashmir," Death Squad: The Anthropology of State Terror, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000, p. 77

14. Jeffrey A. Sluka, ed., Joyce Pettigrew, Death Squad: The Anthropology of State Terror, "Parents and Their Children in Situations of Terror," (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), p. 205

15. Death Squad: The Anthropology of State Terror, "Parents and Their Children in Situations of Terror," p. 207

16. Oppression in Punjab -- Report to the Nation, by Citizens for Democracy, August 12, 1985

17. According to Movement Against State Repression, "in the year 1993-94, there were about 95,000 Sikhs held as prisoners, detained under TADA and other laws." The Hindu, "Information on Sikh detenus sought," Chandigarh, March 31, 2001.

18. A new law, POTO, has recently been introduced and is far more sinister than TADA. According to a statement by Sikh Core Group, Chandigarh, "Its clauses relating to culpability of those possessing information and providing assistance to loosely defined terrorist acts are dangerous tools in the hands of not so scrupulous law enforcement agencies. It curtails the fundamental rights of freedom of _expression and is an attack of freedom of press."

19. "Persecuted For Challenging Injustice: Human Rights Defenders in India," Amnesty International, 2000

20. For instance, it is commonly known that L.K Advani, the Home Minister of India, led the destruction of the historical Muslim shrine known as the Babari Masjid. A Hindu temple was built in its place. A decade has passed and the Indian judiciary has done nothing.

21. Jeffrey A. Sluka, Ed., "Dynamics of Terror in Punjab and Kashmir," Death Squad: The Anthropology of State Terror, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000, p. 85

22. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Ballantine Books, 1973, p. 319

23. Awatar Singh Sekhon and Harjinder Singh Dilgeer, Khalistan: The Struggle To Regain Lost Sovereignty, The Sikh Educational Trust, Box 60246, University of Alberta Postal Outlet, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2S5, Canada

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