Sikh Federations and SGPC Writes to British High Commissioner Priti Patel
Priti Patel, UK’s home secretary, has been accused of garbling Sikhs after referring to Sikh separatist militancy as a “common security threat” between the UK and the US in a speech last November. Notably, the speech came into limelight when it was recently made public via social media.
On 19 November,2020, Patel spoke to the Heritage Basis, a think tank that advocates Conservative public policies and principles in Washington DC about “the international image and the many risks” that the UK and US face as allies, all of which endanger their common freedom and prosperity.
“Sikh separatist extremism has also caused significant difficulties recently,”
she said simultaneously as mentioning Islamist extremist, Daesh, and extreme right-wing terror groups. The minister said that while they strongly support freedom of expression, it must always be done within the bounds of the law. Moreover, they have upgraded their disruptive capability to better combat those who seek to radicalise yet operate, often on purpose, outside of legal bounds. She further told the audience that she had outlawed the Islamist terrorist organisation Hamas in its entirety, including its political wing.
Meanwhile, Dabinderjit Singh, the Sikh Federation’s (UK) chief adviser, told sources that he has been raising this issue with several ministers since November, urging them to clarify her response and explain what she said. He revealed that no one has ever been able to give any clarification yet. “This isn’t just a speech; it’s a speech on the UK government’s website. It may have been true if Sikhs had carried out a bombing in the United Kingdom”. The chief went on to say that they are stunned by the words made by the house secretary. He added that she gave the speech on Gurpurab when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not send greetings to the Sikh community, and when asked about it later, one of Johnson’s special advisers sent him a Vaisakhi, Diwali, and Bandi Chhor Divas video. He noted that several international leaders have all wished the Sikh group on this day.
Priti Patel is “actively engaged in a smear marketing operation to characterize Sikhs as ‘extremists,'” according to entrepreneur Taranjit Singh. She’s been using her position to attempt to deport innocent Sikhs to India to be tortured! he added.
The Sikh Press Association posted a video of her remarks on Twitter, with the caption: “Such baseless statements additional create actual stress when thought-about with Patel’s makes an attempt to permit the UK Govt to revoke the citizenship of Sikhs and lots of different communities within the UK.
That is partly why there may be a lot of Sikh assistance to cease the #NationalityAndBordersBil,” referring to an invoice going via Parliament, which has a clause in it that supplies the UK authorities the right to strip British residents of their citizenship without warning.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has written to British high commissioner Alex Ellis regarding the painstaking remarks by the United Kingdom home secretary Priti Patel against Sikhs, seeking an apology from her. In a release issued here on Saturday, SGPC president advocate Harjinder Singh Dhami said that they had objected to Patel's statement on “Sikh separatist extremism”. “The statement by Priti Patel is tarnishing the image of the Sikh community. The Sikhs in the UK have a long history of integrating and contributing positively to the UK. Sikhs all over the world have achieved high positions in different countries due to their hard work but the propaganda being spread by the leaders like Priti Patel is motivated to tarnish the image of the Sikh community,” said Dhami, adding Patel should apologise and withdraw her unsubstantiated statement. The issue was brought to the notice of the SGPC by Sikh organizations in the UK.
If anything, it is a matter of great shame that people like Priti patel are in power who , without any fear, go on to deliberately tarnish the image of a certain community and no action is taken against her.