Some very important, bold and direct resolutions were passed in a recently concluded National Panthic meeting of various Gurdwaras and Sikh Institutions held by the American Sikh Council (ASC).
Seriously concerned by the recent desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab and other injustices against the Sikh population in Punjab, ASC, an umbrella organization with representatives of over 70 Gurdwaras and Sikh institutions in the US, had called for this national Panthic meeting. The meeting was held on November 13-15, 2015 at the Sikh Religious Society of Chicago Gurdwara Sahib, Palatine, IL. Many other Gurdwaras and Sikh organizations which are not currently member of the ASC had also shown keen interest and actively participated in the meeting.
The core objective of the meet was to develop a consensus opinion of all US Sikhs through their Gurdwara/Sikh Institutions representatives. On November 13th, all the representatives were given equal time to present and share their input and viewpoints. On November 14th, the team got together to brainstorm on the input collected earlier and develop a consensus for the resolutions that can be meaningful and have some teeth to deal with the present situation.
Below are the thirteen resolutions that were unanimously approved to be collectively adopted by all the Sikhs in the US.
- Sikhs shall strive to cooperate to have one united representative voice.
- Sikhs must strive to have both genders represented in equal numbers in the decision making process.
- In view of the Sikh Nation being spread globally, the Sarbat Khalsa decision making process shall have a bottom up structure. (Gurdwaras send their representatives to the national level organizations to represent their consensus views. In turn, the national level organizations send their representative(s) to the Global level organization where finally Panthic level decisions are made).
- Considering Sikhs are spread across the world, the Sarbat Khalsa can be held anywhere.
- The Sikhs resolve to demand on this day November 14, 2015 that the Article 25 B of the Indian Constitution be amended and the Sikh Faith be recognized as an independent distinct religion with its own personal laws based on the Sikh Faith.
- Sikhs resolve and demand all Indian States and the Central Government must cease and desist from interfering in Sikh Religious affairs.
- We resolve to recommend to individuals, Institutions and Gurdwaras that all representatives of identified anti-Sikh political parties from India be stopped from hosting and using Gurdwara forums in the US and not be provided any financial support. This should include identified anti-Sikh SGPC appointed functionaries.
- We resolve to boycott and stop all direct/indirect financial support to Parkash Badal’s political party and all Badal associated/owned businesses like PTC-TV, etc.
- We resolve to highlight the massive Human Rights violations perpetrated on hundreds of thousands of Sikhs who have been murdered by the Indian regime in Punjab and elsewhere across India to the UNHRC, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the US State Department in order to bring some semblance of justice to those who are left behind.
- We resolve to adopt the ‘Nanakshahi Calendar’ made by Pal Singh Purewal based on the 2003 resolution accepted by the Akal Takhat before the three dates got reverted back to Bikrami dates.
- We resolve to demand the release and freedom of peaceful Sikh protestors and Jathedars who were unjustly detained recently, and any others, who were previously incarcerated similarly.
- We resolve to support and take concrete steps to help Bapu Surat Singh’s effort to have the prisoners of conscience be released.
- We resolve to use all peaceful means, including legal, to stop the inroads and infiltration of all Non-Sikh outside forces like the Rashtriya Sewak Sangh (RSS) into Sikh institutions and Sikh affairs everywhere.
Among the recommendations from the participants for the American Sikh Council was to act on the approved resolution #1 “Strive to cooperate to have one united representative voice“, and make all creditable and sincere efforts to develop a consensus voice of the Sikhs in US and make this a reality.
The ASC Chair accepted the assignment and stated that ASC would schedule series of conference calls on Sunday November 22 and 29 and invite the representatives from all the Gurdwaras in US including the organizers of the various regional Panthic meetings to accomplish the assignment. The goal will also compliment the Council’s effort to provide the input before the deadline date of the November 30, 2015 for the, “(Resolution) Mata # 5, pursuit for an international Sikh Parliament” as requested by Sarbat Khalsa so that a plan can be adopted by Vaisakhi 2016.
A more detailed report about the meeting will be available here.