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The Council of Sikh Gurdawaras in Birmingham UK letter to Jathedar

Respected and Honorable Singh Sahib Giani Gurbachan Singh

Jathedar Sri Akal Takhat Sahib
& Samooh Jathedar Singh Sahiban

Re: Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana

Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji ki Fateh

We urge the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib to vigorously intervene and take immediate steps to prevent the killing by the Indian state of Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana on 31st March 2012 or any other date or at any location, be that in Patiala, Chandigarh or any other setting. We humbly press Sri Akal Takhat Sahib Jathedar and other Singh Sahiban that they take direct action to secure Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoanas release from prison.

  1. As Bhai Rajoana has stated that he will not appeal to the Indian anti-Sikh and anti-minority apparatus, it would be totally immoral for him to be forced by virtue of a command of the Singh Sahiban to do so. We respectfully implore upon you that this cannot and must not be the recommendation of your esteemed meeting on 23 March 2012. Moreover Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana has made his sacrifice for society and the Khalsa Panth by bringing to justice an evil and draconian murderer sanctioned by the state to kill thousands of Sikh young people, and to rape and pillage the Sikh populace. Preventing genocide cannot be considered a criminal offence. Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana and his companions should be considered hero by society and the state. Just as Bhai Udham Singh brought justice for the victims of Jalianwala Bagh, Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana was an accomplice in stopping a Punjab-wide Jalianwala Bagh massacre from continuing mid-flow.

  2. Instead of passing a hukam for this exemplary GurSikh to go against his conscience and stated actions, we petition the Singh Sahiban to use the authority vested in them in the position which Satguru Nanak Sahib has blessed them with in an impartial and befitting manner. We respectfully appeal that the Singh Sahiban must recognise that they are serving the throne of The Immortal, and any decisions made must be made without fear or threat. Just as Akali Phoola Singh had established the credence of the seats of authority that you are temporary custodians of, we implore upon you to take such actions that will re-establish the sovereignty of the Khalsa Panth and Sri Akal Takhat Sahib.

  3. We petition the Singh Sahiban to give the hukam to the head of the recently re-elected ruling and presumed Sikh political party in Punjab, to mount a legal challenge to the pronounced execution of Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana. What is the purpose of a Sikh party in power if that power is not used to serve the interests of the community they serve and represent. Else a Muslim League or Christian Convention could equally represent Sikhs just as BJP have already been allowed to do so. An appeal by the Chief Minister of Punjab can be surmounted on humanitarian grounds through the courts and to the President of India, to ensure peace and security in the state and nationally; as well as to highlight illegal discriminatory application of the death sentence against minorities in India, particularly, in proportion to the indigenous majority community. The Chief Minister should be asked to provide monthly progress reports to Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib until Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana secures freedom from his detention. The suggested approach to mount an appeal is the most consistent approach, to withstand the respect which the Panth has for Bhai Balwant Sing Rajoana and forcing them to go against their morality of appealing to anyone other than Akaal Purakh. No doubt the Indian state apparatus, as it is loaded against the minority Sikh community, would only seek to humiliate Bhai Sahib ji and as has already been seen in so many Sikh political cases, without the intervention of the Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and the other Takhat Sahiban, the state is unlikely to heed to its begotten practice of absolving itself of all crimes against the Sikh minority community.

  4. The supremacy of the Takhats cannot be undermined either by an appeal form their esteemed rank, which has been, is and will always remain higher than any court that any state can contrive.

  5. To put a stop to the languishing of Sikh prisoners after their sentences are over and to ensure they get a fair trial, we urge the Singh Sahiban to direct the SGPC to re-establish a Human Rights Wing akin to that headed by the illegally executed Jaswant Singh Khalra. This should be independent of SGPC. The commission must be led by credible Human Rights Lawyers and groups who are independently already active in the field; their remit should be to identify all Sikh political prisoners languishing in prisons across India for Sikhi and panthic related matters; provide them with legal representation, to give welfare assistance to them and their families; to ensure that they receive legal representation.

  6. From our glorious history, and the principles laid forth by our revolutionary Gurus, our ethos teaches us that corporal punishment is not an act befitting humane society. The two occasions when sovereign Sikh Raj was established corporal punishment was annulled. World-over this evil practice is seen as both barbaric and out of step with modern thinking. Of course Sikhi teachings were and always will be revolutionary and we have to await the world to catch up on so many things. Just as Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji educated society about their folly of their practices, Singh Sahiban Ji you must take the mantle of banishing this and other evil practices which regimes use to oppress democracy and true freedom. Sikhs were prominent in fighting empires and colonisation of lands. We must prevent the colonisation of our practices through acceptance and adoption of practices which go against Sikh principles. Guru Maharaj has created Sikhs as sovereigns – we must learn to live in this way and free our thoughts and practices to change the world around us. Not for our practices and thoughts to become assimilated by accepting the status quo. As such the Takhat’s must crusade against the Indian state to change laws which unfairly discriminate and suppress minorities as unequal citizens.

Jathedar Sahib Ji and Singh Sahiban, we seek your leadership to lead the panth and the Indian-subcontinent to abolish this evil practice. Just as how the Khalsa Panth was led during Jaeto da Morcha, the Pataila Jail must be besieged and the authorities must not be allowed to either execute Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana nor transfer him to any other penitentiary out of Punjab. Equally no other prisoner must be allowed to be sent to the gallows.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki fateh

On behalf of The Council of Sikh Gurdawaras in Birmingham UK
Public Relation officer
Councillor Gurdial Singh Atwal

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