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Monday Jun 07 2021

Sikhs in London march to mark anniversary of 1984 Sikh genocide

Picture by author.

LONDON: Thousands of Sikhs marched in London city to remember the victims of the attack on Sri Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, in Amritsar by the Indian authorities in 1984.

Every year thousands of Sikhs gather in London to mark the anniversary of the ‘1984 Sikh genocide’ but last year was an exception due to the Covid-19 SOPs. This year’s march was organised by the Federation of Sikh Organisations (FSO), in which Sikhs from across the UK travelled to London to take part in the march to walk through the Central London before reaching the Trafalgar Square, where the marchers paid tributes to the martyrs of 1984 Sikh massacre. 

The march started from Wellington Arch, led by the Panj Pyare, the five beloved with their swords drawn, passed through the iconic route of the Constitution Hill and The Mall to Trafalgar Square.

Addressing the march, the Sikh leaders said the events of 1984 took place 37 years after India gained independence in 1947, but the horror memories of those events would live forever in the minds of millions of Sikhs around the world, who feel deeply aggrieved at the Indian atrocities during the genocide carried out by the Indian Army. 

They said this year, they marked the 37th anniversary of the 1984 Sikh genocide but it also threw light on the treatment with Sikhs over the past 74 years, including the last 12 months in terms of the prominent Sikh role during the farmer protests, continued detention of Jagtar Singh Johal and the attempted extradition of Sikhs from Britain to India.

Bhai Amrik Singh, the chair of the Sikh Federation (UK), said, “Despite of India’s propaganda in the last 12 months, Sikhs through their actions and their way of life – ‘Seva’, working for the betterment of all and ability to stand up for their rights, have won the hearts and minds of the people across the globe. 

There is also growing recognition by the governments of the Hindutva threat, unashamedly promoted by Indian PM Narendra Modi and his government’s discriminatory laws and practices that are causing major instability in the country. 

“The challenge to the Sikh Diaspora and those politically active are to translate the positive global reputation and respect to get support from the governments around the globe for Sikh independence that would be seen by all as a desired and positive outcome," he said.

Originally published in The News