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Paying the Price
Puneet Singh

July 30, 2002: California, USA
Re: State Department Tells School Children Sikhs are Terrorists, Jasvinder Singh, Virginia, USA

It is high time that the Sikh population and leadership came to terms with the long-term implications of complying with Sikh terrorism during the 1980s and 1990s by virtue of its deafening silence (barring rare exceptions).

This is an excellent example of precisely why it is critical for all Sikhs (including those in the diaspora) to demand and exercise SGPC voting rights
and representation.

The SGPC's well-documented acquiescence in the face of Sikh terrorism has contributed to a significant blemish on the Sikh community worldwide.

As your article indicates, Sikhs are paying the price to this day.

References to Sikh terrorists no more imply that all Sikhs are terrorists than the almost daily references to Palestinian terrorists imply that all Palestinians
are terrorists.

The Anandpur Sahib Resolution, a platform openly supported by Jarnail Singh, was clearly aimed at significant Sikh autonomy from India - not that there is anything wrong with desiring autonomy – and is only barely distinguishable from separatism.

The comparison with Quebec's separatists is really a stretch. Quebec's separatists employed entirely democratic tools. They did not carry arms, hold places of worship hostage, or engage in violence.

While the "State terrorism" charge against India is valid, unfortunately both sides (the government of India and the Sikhs) are guilty on that count.

Finally, individuals, such as McVeigh, can hardly be assumed to represent entire communities. A certain threshold (albeit a subjective measure) of community involvement is required before an entire community can be implicated.

Puneet Singh
Founder, The Sikh Times

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