More than 1,000 Sikhs attended 1984 Genocide Remembrance Parade in Melbourne marking 30 years since more than 30,000 people were killed in a massacre in India.
The event, in memory of those who had lost their lives, was held at Federation Square, Melbourne today. The event was organised by the Supreme Sikh Council of Australia and the Sikh Community of Australia on the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Sikh genocide, which killed about 30,000 Sikhs across 18 states of India.
It was screened to thousands of Sikhs from across Australia who had gathered at the Federation Square for the service.
Sikhs along with other community representatives from all around Australia started peaceful march from the State Library of Victoria at 10am, reaching Fed Square at 10.30am where the community leaders made speeches and joined hands against genocides.
It was first such Sikh Event in Australia where a number of sitting Member of Parliaments, International Sikh organizations from across the world participated and delivered their speeches.
Australian Federal MP Warren Entsch, who had tabled the Sikh Genocide Petition in Australian Parliament for the first time, also expressed his solidarity with the Sikh Community and stated that he will always stand with them for justice against 1984 Sikh Genocide.
Besides MP Entsch, Green Senator Ms Janet Rice and Labor MP Robert Mitchel also expressed their support for this cause.
Mr Jagmeet Singh, Member of Provincial Parliament, Ontario, Canada said: “Sikhs needs to continue their fight and raise their voice for Human Rights without worrying about the consequence of loss of victory”. He further added that, “It has been described as a riot but we don’t see it as a riot. A riot has two sides but our belief is that Sikhs were sought out via electoral rolls, gurdwaras and businesses and killed“. He also told the audience how for the first time, an MPP of Canada was denied visa to India because of speaking for Human Rights over the stage.
Salil Shetty from Amnesty International also delivered his message over the screen speaking of his experience at that time in 1984 because he was present there.
Mr Jatinder Singh, Canada Representative of Sikhs For Justice, a US based Human Rights organization also participated in the march, and highlightened the issue of continued human rights’ violations in India, as well as the history behind 1984 Sikh Genocide.
Dr Amarjit Singh of Khalistan Affairs also presented his message via the video screen.
Dr Harinder Singh Sikhri from USA delivered a keynote speech stating the importance of Gurbani to gain internal strength so as to become real Sikh warriors and fight against injustice.
Here are some pictures from the Sikh Genocide March 2014 held from State Library of Victoria to Federation Square.