Shiromani Akali Dal General Secretary Professor Prem Singh Chandumajra, today asked overseas Sikh organizations like ‘Sikhs for Justice’ to “ponder what their contribution has been in spreading awareness of Sikh identity when Americans and other foreigners continued to confuse Sikhs with the likes of Osama bin Laden and other terrorists.”Prof Chandumajra was reacting to a report released by New York-based “Sikh Coalition” and “Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund”. The report said that there had been a 200 per cent increase in incidents of racial abuse against oversea Sikhs. Washington Post, which carried the report, also talked about rampant increase in cases of insults, hurling abuses, making obscene gestures and even of molestation of Sikhs, especially of girls, wearing traditional Sikh attire and sporting the external symbols of Khalsa identity like turban, kirpan etc. A majority of these cases occurred as local elements did not have enough awareness about the true nature and symbols of Sikh identity, the report said. “This should be a cause for shame for those who regularly abuse established Sikh organizations like the SGPC and elected and popular Sikh leaders in Punjab, accusing us of not doing enough to spread the message of Sikhism. What are you doing in countries which you have turned into your base for launching your hate missiles?” asked Professor Chandumajra.
“What kind of Sikh awareness have you been busy spreading? How much have you been able to educate the people around you about the identity of Sikhs and what our religion stands for? Why do the Americans and other foreigners still mistake turban, our sacred symbol, as a piece of Muslim attire? What has been the role played by overseas Sikh organizations and so-called preachers who claim that they have taken the message of the Guru to every nook and corner of the world and popularized the external symbols of Sikh religion in the countries of their adoption?” These are only some of the questions that arise when one sees Sikhs being targeted as a result of mistaken identity in several countries, especially the USA and Canada,” said Mr. Chandumajra in a statement released from the party head office here this evening. Questioning the credentials of the organizations, Mr. Chandumajra said that the series of attacks on Sikhs in the United States have reflected the total failure of ‘so called “Sikhs for Justice” and exposed and tall but hollow claims that it had been working for the cause of Sikhs and spreading awareness regarding identity of Sikhs in USA for a long time.Criticising the leaders of Sikhs for Justice for not educating Americans about the separate identity of Sikhs, the SAD General Secretary said that now such organizations should shut their misleading campaigns against the Shiromani Akali Dal, fighting for the
cause of Sikhs for a century as their nefarious design to pide the community has exposed.
Chandumajra said that the series of assaults on Sikhs reflected the utter failure of these organizations, which were surviving erely to garner the attention of Sikhs on the basis of false propaganda. He said that Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee had taken strong and effective steps to spread awareness about the identity of Sikhs and the both organization had come to existence after a long battle fought by Shiromani Akali Dal for the rights of Sikhs. S. Chandumajra said that SAD was sensitive to the problems being faced by the Sikhs overseas took up their issue at appropriate forums, including the government of India and diplomatic channels and back channels, to protect the rights of the Sikhs all over the world.” For reasons of diplomatic protocol, not everything we do can be brought under public domain. That would make it difficult for our friends in foreign embassies and high commissions to help our people abroad. “