Bhubaneswar: City-based lawyer and activist Sukhvinder Kaur has demanded the Narendra Modi government to “unequivocally” declare Sikh as a separate religion.
Kaur who has posted an open letter to the PM through her Facebook account, said that younger generation of Sikhs like her feel betrayed with “constant irritants of interpretations of Indian Constitution where Sikhism is shown as a sect of Hinduism”.
Kaur deplored the views of Union Minister and BJP MP from Balasore Pratap Sarangi, who had allegedly said that there is no Sikh religion and that the Sikhs are only Hindus by another name. “Such illogical and irresponsible statements hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs worldwide,” she said.
It is about time the nation accepts that Sikhism, even though it has “Indic roots”, is a distinctly separate religion with its own tenets and beliefs. Organisations like the RSS and VHP must stop projecting Sikhism as a part of Sanatan Dharma, she said.
Drawing her attention to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Kaur sought an apology from the Central government over the barbaric episode. She also called upon the Centre to acknowledge it as a “planned genocide” instead of a riot.
Give Sikhs the space to air their genuine grievances. Appoint truth and reconciliation commissions to study their grievances and find workable solutions, she said.
The lawyer also sought the PM’s intervention to save the ancient Mangu Mutt and the Punjabi Mutt at Puri amid fears that they could be demolished for creation of the security zone around the Jagannath Temple. “Stop it if you can. This will assuage the hurt feelings of the Sikhs”.