Oct 30th 2019
Norwich ,The City in Connecticut,USA which has always acknowledged the pain of Sikh nation and among one of cities in America which has declared 1984 violence by Indian Govt. as 1984 Sikh Genocide had to make a sad decision in regards to 1984 Sikh Genocide Memorial.
The State of Connecticut is the first state in America which recognized Nov 1st as “Sikh Genocide Remembrance Day” and proclaimed month of June as “Sikh Memorial Month”, but due to intervention of Indian Government, the local library made a decision to remove the Sikh Genocide Memorial where it was placed.
On the occasion of the 35th commemoration of the June 1984 Sikh Massacre (Attack on Sikh Vatican -Darbar Sahib,Amritsar,Punjab), the City Monument Committee helped Sikhs to put a Sikh Memorial plaque in Nationally Recognized local Library (Otis Library).
Portrait of Sikh Martyr & Civil right movement head “Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale” was also allowed by Library and Sikh Flag was already present in library for more than 2 years.
Due to the intense political pressure from The Indian Consulate in New York (while Prime Minister of India Narinder Modi was on tour of America), the memorial plaque,Portrait of Sikh Martyr and Sikh Flag was removed by the library.
This news has hurt Sikh sentiments all over the Globe and news has been shared in many countries by thousands of media outlets globally including NewYork Times,Boston Globe,Washington Post,Channel 8 etc.
Swaranjit Singh Khalsa Who is Representative of Sikh Community of Connecticut and also serving in Commission of City Plan of Norwich said “I humbly request everyone that they must act wisely to this news.
There is no question that this action by the Indian Govt. should be condemned and this should be seen as Interference of Indian Govt. in Diaspora Sikhs religious and political affairs.
Also It is important for Sikhs to keep up with their narrative and work in positive direction with educational campaign to recognize Sikh Genocide world wide to make India accountable for human rights violations.
The City of Norwich and State of Connecticut have always been sympathetic towards the Sikh Community. State has also recognized the Sikh community even after the attack on the Wisconsin Sikh Gurudwara and understood how important it is to make sure education opportunities are available for Fellow Americans to learn about Sikhs and their history.”
Mayor of Norwich Peter Nystrom Also told Mr. Khalsa that “Indian Consulate have No standing in our City” and He looks forward to work with Community on various issues.
Mayor Nystrom even came with his wife to attend Last year Commemoration In State Capitol of Connecticut and has recognized Sikh Community at Multiple Occasions.
Otis Library Is still one of the Library in America that hold maximum numbers of books related to Sikh Struggle of Sikh Homeland and Is willing to work with Sikh Community.
Despite of the fact that removal of Sikh genocide memorial and especially removal of Sikh flag is seen by sikhs worldwide as threat on their identity because Sikh flag represent 30 million Sikhs worldwide and is placed in every Sikh Gurudwara, the local Sikh leadership in Connecticut is committed to work with elected officials to make sure Sikhs feel safe living in Connecticut.
Manmohan Singh Bharara One of the Founder Member of Sikh Community of Connecticut said “We are strong and active community and we must move forward with education about Sikh history.“
Connecticut Sikh leadership is even planning one candle light vigil to commemorate 35th year of Sikh genocide on Nov 9th outside Norwich City Hall and will also be working on Sikh Heritage and Genocide Museum Project so history and Sikh narrative can be available to fellow Americans.
Swaranjit Singh Khalsa said “All Sikh Organizations should inform Federal leaders world wide about this interference of Indian Govt. In Diaspora Sikh Affairs and must request them to recognize Sikh Genocide at National level so Educational Institutions like libraries and universities don’t get threatened by Indian Diplomats and feel comfortable sharing Sikh History.“
Links of all the major media Outlets that Shared Sikh Narrative:
“1984 Sikh Genocide Memorial” removed in Connecticut after India protests | INDIA New England News