Dall Khalsa calls for boycott of Indian Republic Day celebrations as mark of protest

Dall Khalsa calls for boycott of Indian Republic Day celebrations as mark of protest

ISLAMABAD - The Dal Khalsa, an Amritsar-based Sikh organization, has called for boycott of Indian Republic Day (January 26) celebrations as a mark of protest against the negative stance of the Indian state towards the Sikh community’s aspirations and rights including the right to self-determination.

Dal Khalsa announced its plans to hold public marches in three cities of Punjab including Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and Zira on January 26 to give impetus to their campaign for the right to self-determination. It reiterated its strong resolve to invoke the international community, the UN forums and associate with other nationalities across South Asia to seek and ensure enforceability of the UN recognized right.

Addressing a press conference in Ferozepur city of India’s Punjab state on Tuesday, said there was no other peaceful route to resolve the issues of Punjab and Kashmir, whose people aspire for freedom from India.

“The attempt to take over the management of Gurdwara Hazoor Sahib by the BJP government of Maharashtra is the latest live example of state meddling in the religious affairs of the Sikhs. It is for these reasons that we seek relief from the domination of India,” he said.

To a question, he said plebiscite and referendum have same connotations and both flow out of the right to self-determination. He said India has backed away from honouring its commitment made to the Sikh community at the time of the partition of the Indian sub-continent.

Asking the people of Punjab to stay away from the republic day celebrations, he said that there were no reasons to commemorate the day as New Delhi was not only denying but crushing the rights and aspirations of the Sikh community. Sadly, the UN is mute on the issue, he said, and lamented that in Modi’s India space for dissent had shrunk and freedom of expression was allowed selectively.

Another party leader, Paramjit Singh Tanda said the India claims to be a big democratic country in the world and celebrates 26 January as its Republic Day but its democratic claims are being badly exposed as it continuous to rob Punjab of its river waters, adding that New Delhi denies democratic rights and distinct identity to Sikhs, imposes Hindu laws on Sikhs and suppresses their legitimate struggle with military and police batons and bullets.