New York: The online petition to US President urging to raise the issues of “labeling Sikhs as Hindus under Article 25(b)” and “Sikh Genocide in November 1984” with Prime Minster Narendra Modi has gathered over 1.10 lakh signatures and thus qualifies for a response by the Obama administration as the White House Portal states that to elicit a response, an online petition is required to obtain 100,000 signatures in 30 days.
The petition was supported even by Akal Takht Jathedar who urged Sikhs to sign it after which it gathered momentum through online and offline mediums.
US President Barrack Obama will be the first US President to attend India’s Republic Day function as Chief Guest on January 26, 2015.
It may be mentioned here that the issue of amendment in Article 25 (B) for separate identity of Sikhs is an old demand of Shiromani Akali Dal and was one of the main points of Akali agitation when Dharam Yudh Morcha (agitation) was launched by Akali Dal in eighties which then culminated in Operation Blue Star. Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal had then led the first group to tear and burn a copy of the Article in Delhi on February 27 but later SAD almost forgot the demand. However now SAD President and Punjab Dy CM Sukhbir Badal has also supported the demand for amendment.
The petition was initiated on December 1 by US based rights group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). Ironically though SFJ had been cornering Badals and filed a rights violation case in a US court against Punjab CM when he was visiting US in 2012 but on this issue it appeared to be driving the agenda of the Sikh clergy and SAD also could not oppose it.
Meanwhile SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said that since the “Sikh issue” petition had met the threshold of 100,000 signatures, now they would approach the White House to issue a response before January 26 visit to India”.