I have been a UNITED SIKHS volunteer for 12 years and counting. I am writing to you on behalf of all UNITED SIKHS relentless volunteers, many of who are members of the Sikh Nation - a nation without borders.
Sikhs are settled across the globe from Assam to Zanzibar and they collectively constitute the Sikh Nation. Like all other nations, the Sikh Nation has its rights and responsibilities to uphold its Constitution and to protect, inter alia, its heritage and civil and human rights. So who then takes care of a Sikh Nation’s collective rights and responsibilities?
Today we are making a CALL TO ACTION to you because the Sikh Nation needs your help for three pressing campaigns that affect Sikhs globally. We need you to volunteer and to donate so we may serve the Sikh Nation. The three campaigns that require your actions are:
Campaign for the Release of Long Serving Sikh Prisoners
Long serving Sikh prisoners can only be released on the orders of a court or with the intervention of the Indian Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister.
You are requested to write to the Indian Prime Minister TODAY by registering an account and writing to him at http://pmindia.gov.in/en/interact-with-honble-pm/.
A template of the letter to the Indian Prime Minister can be found here.
The Sikh Reference Library at Darbar Sahib Amritsar (also known as the Golden Temple) was burnt after its invaluable contents were removed by the Indian Army.
In June 2014, UNITED SIKHS discovered, during the making of a documentary series ‘Unheard Voices’, that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered in 2004 for the return of the contents of the Sikh Reference Library that had been taken by the Indian Army during the attack on Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar (also known as the Golden Temple). This Library housed some of the oldest saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (the eternal Sikh Guru, one of which was handwritten and dated 1604) and antiquarian books that constitute the invaluable heritage of Sikh. Ten years later, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the largest representative body of Sikhs in India, which was ordered by the Court to take possession of the contents of the library, has failed to do so. Will you help us secure its return? You may watch our documentary, ‘Smoking Gun Recovered’, on what happened in June 1984 to the Sikh Reference Library at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6AFP1NiFU
If you are a lawyer and wish to be involved in the advocacy, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also requested to donate towards advocacy costs for the return of the contents of the Library.
Book cover of the reprint of JD Cunningham’s 164 yr old book, which is readily available in libraries and bookshops
In 1999, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the revelation of the Khalsa, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) published a Hindi translation of a book titled ‘History of the Sikhs’. In 2007, one Baldev Singh Sirsa took legal action against the SGPC after it was brought to his attention that the said translated book had derogatory comments and references on most Sikh Gurus that depicted them as cowards and of low moral character. In June 2014, Baldev Singh sought assistance from UNITED SIKHS regarding this book. On reviewing the case papers we found that SGPC had recalled the book and had admitted that only 5 books were returned following the recall. SGPC had also admitted in its court pleadings that the book was a translation of a book titled ‘History of the Sikhs’ by renowned English writer, Joseph Davey Cunningham. Cunningham’s book was first published in 1849 and is widely available in most good libraries and book shops and hitherto regarded as an authoritative book on Sikh History. The UNITED SIKHS legal team is studying the legal options for Sikhs to ensure that the harm done by the book is ended. You may watch a Canadian TV interview in Panjabi between the UNITED SIKHS team and Baldev Singh from 43.50 mins at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQdYldxXY1U
If you are a lawyer or Sikh historian and wish to be involved in the advocacy, please email us at email@example.com. You are also requested to donate to our legal campaign so that we may rectify the gross misrepresentations in Cunningham’s book.
UNITED SIKHS, whose mission is to protect and provide for the rights and needs of minorities, needs funds to carry on our work. Kindly donate for us to continue our action at www.unitedsikhs.org/donate.
International Legal Director