Every November 1, Sikhs remember those killed during state sponsored pogroms in 1984 at 6 pm.
This Wednesday, the Sikh Nation that started an annual blood drive in 1999 to commemorate the victims of Sikh Genocide in India has given a call to the community to keep the Palestinians in their prayers as well.
Thousands of Palestinians, including women and children. have died in the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza. The Israeli government claims that this was in response to an earlier strike by Palestine militants that led to the killings of Israeli citizens.
These events coincide with the 39th anniversary of the Sikh massacre that followed the assassination of then-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984. In New Delhi alone, more than 3,000 Sikhs were slaughtered by the organized mobs.
Sikh Nation has saved close to 200,000 human lives through its yearly blood drive in Canada. It was partly launched to raise global awareness about the barbarity of the Indian government. apart from conquering hatred with love.
Barjinder Singh, who is a volunteer with the community-based initiative, sees similarities between what is happening with the people in Gaza and what happened to the Sikhs almost four decades ago. “It’s all about scapegoating a group of people and demonizing them.”
After all, the Israeli state is trying to justify its actions by blaming Hamas for the conflict in the region. The Indian government back then also described its well orchestrated violence against Sikhs as a “natural reaction” of the public to the murder of the country’s Prime Minister. In both cases, an entire community was targeted for the actions of a few to polarize the Indians and Israelis in the name of nationalism.
Singh believes that the Sikhs should stand up for everyone in accordance with the teachings of the Sikh faith, which is based on the principles of equality and social justice. He has urged everyone to hold a moment of silence for both the Palestinians and their own compatriots on Wednesday night.
Gurpreet Singh is a journalist