Call for Khalistan misguided, says British Sikh body chief

“A handful of unelected Sikhs claim to speak for the wider diaspora and demand a kingdom for themselves which the Sikh gurus never did,” he says in the letter.

punjab Updated: Mar 10, 2018 19:41 IST
Asian News International
Asian News International
Asian News International
Khalistan,Sikhs,Punjab
Raminder Singh Ranger

A UK-based Indian-origin businessman has criticised what he called a handful of misguided and unelected Sikhs for claiming to speak on behalf of the wider diaspora in making a demand for Khalistan.

In a letter forwarded to the editor of the London-based The Asian Voice, Raminder Singh Ranger, 70, founder of Sun Mark, an international marketing and distribution company, and chairman of the British Sikh Association, said he is sad to see the demand for Khalistan rearing its ugly head once again in the West “where some Sikhs can make statements about Khalistan without realising the consequences or feeling the effects of their actions on the Sikh community in Punjab and the rest of the world”.

“A handful of unelected Sikhs claim to speak for the wider diaspora and demand a kingdom for themselves which the Sikh gurus never did,” he says in the letter.

He said these self-proclaimed leaders, acting as greater visionaries than the Sikh gurus, were damaging the interests and respect of Sikhs across the world. “They project us (Sikhs) as anti-India separatists when most of us are not that at all and are proud to be Indians and Sikhs like the Hindus, Muslims and Christians of India are. Sikhs have always been, and still are, in the forefront of India’s defence and integrity,” Ranger, a recipient of the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) gong, said.

“Sikh Gurus were visionaries who led exemplary lives so that the world would respect them along with their followers. Sadly, some of their followers are bringing disrespect not only to themselves, but to the entire community,” he added.

Ranger said that it is lamentable that only 2% of Indian armed forces personnel are Sikhs, whereas prior to Operation Bluestar in Amritsar in June 1984, they formed approximately 20% of the three services.

“Our roots are in India where our gurus were born .....To separate us from our roots will deny facts about our origin. We should be proud to say we have so much in common with Hindus, whilst also having our own distinctions, and should continue to live together in a united India,” he said.

First Published: Mar 10, 2018 19:37 IST