Endorsing the move by Ontario Sikhs for a ban on Indian officials and diplomats entering Gurdwaras in official capacity, the management committees of 96 Sikh Gurdwaras across the United States of America (USA) has decided to ban the entry of Indian diplomats and officials representing Indian Govt or interests.
They have also been prohibited from participation in the annual parades coinciding with the birth of the Khalsa, according to a press release.
The decision was made through a unanimously adopted resolution of the committees, which cited the 1984 Indian Army attack on the Golden Temple (the holiest place of worship for the Sikhs), and the massacre that followed it, as reasons for the move.
The press release also said that the labeling of Sikhs as Hindus, under Article 25 of the constitution in the Hindu-majority country, is also an affront to their community.
The resolution was spearhead and moved by the Sikh Coordination Committee of East Coast (SCCEC) and American Gurdwara Prabhandik Committee (AGPC), the two largest umbrella organizations of Sikhs in the US.
“This historic decision (of banning the entry of Indian diplomats) will also expose members and organizations in our midst who have been supporting the Indian regime for the last three decades,” Himmat Singh, a representative of the committees, said in his statement.
“Under the cover of community outreach, the Indian diplomats are creating an atmosphere of intimidation among the Sikhs who have taken refuge US, Canada, England and European nations from the constant persecution they suffer in India,” Avtar Singh Pannu, member of the AGPC, remarked while talking to the media.
“After the US, we will campaign to ban the entry of Indian diplomats across European nations as well. Activities of the Indian diplomats have created disharmony and discontent among the peaceful Sikh community,” Pannu added.
Sikh Federation for UK proposes worldwide ban for same
A draft declaration banning entry of Indian officials, to be signed by the Gurdwara committees, has been circulated in gurdwaras in the UK and some countries of mainland Europe for a discussion on the ban. “Eight regional gurdwara councils across the UK and organisations like the Sikh Council (UK) are also to be approached to encourage gurdwaras, who are members, to become signatories to the declaration,” a statement said.
The RSS, an affiliate of the ruling BJP’s ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has reacted strongly to the bar imposed by Gurdwara management committee on officials representing India, its diplomats and other from entering the premises of these places of worship.