First thing I’d like to say is, template emails are no use. A personal message from yourself to an MP or the Foreign Office holds more weight than a mass production of the same letter. Many learner-ed people have written books and articles on this issue and they all come to the conclusion that a mass production of the same letter hold very little weight. Personal messages hold more weight. We each need to pick up the pen and write down our thoughts and feelings. Particularly as this issue is very emotional, each of us has a different story of what we were doing in 1984 and we heard the news. This is what we should be sharing.
Secondly, from my experience petitions don’t work. It is very easy for someone to click and add their name to a petition but what action beyond the petition is that individual willing to do – usually nothing. Petitions only work if they are backed up with personal letters, meetings, awareness actions and other campaign ideas.
The best advice I can give you: become a member of a party. Many of you will know that I am a member of the Conservative Party but more importantly I am an active member. By being an active member I am able to attend conferences, events, network and speak with the right people at the right time. Personally, I feel that the Conservative Party and Sikhi have a lot in common – the ideals of working hard, aspiring to be better, achieving our goals, helping those in need, small government, low taxes, and freedom. But regardless, we each should do our own research, find the party that best represents our views, join up and become an active member. And, as a few people have already said, yes politics is dirty but who said we had to drop down to that level and play. We have the truth on our side, and more importantly we have Maharaj who will emphasise and put our point across for us. I know many individuals have said that due to our Sikhi way of life, people don’t have time but on this occasion we need to make time. Lets not sit on the sideline and see this issue come and go as it has every year.
So what to do (in no particular order):
Become an active member of a political party – attend local meetings, conferences and other party political events.
Write a personalised letter to your MP
Ask to meet your MP at their surgery (usually weekly appointments)
Invite your MP to the Gurdwara and have a productive sangat meeting
Find out who your House of Lord representative is and raise the same questions in that house
Unite under Sikh Council UK (SCUK) and support their work
Encourage SCUK to create a group of politically-savvy individuals who can take this issue forward to the Government
Lets get away from putting the same people and faces on the TV channels and in front of politicians. Lets put people forward on merit and allow those who can make a difference take lead and contribute ideas
Allow bibia (females) to voice their opinion. Get rid of the ‘all men’ talk shows. Women approach issues differently and have a lot to contribute – allow them to.
Build a proactive relationship with politicians not a reactive one
Bhul Chuk Maf (forgive me for anything I’ve said something wrong).
Here is part of the Sikh Channels Sikh cafe event where we discussed whether we should get involved in politics.
To add a little bit of context, this was recorded one day before the Conservative Party Conference in September 2013.
As part of my Your Britain Your Say initiative, I am encouraging people who don’t normally vote or always vote the way their families do to research which party actually represents their views and vote for the party.
Secondly, if we don’t get involved in politics how do we have our voices heard?
Because I believe in the fundamental values of small government, lower taxes, and freedom. I believe that if someone works hard they should be able to reap the rewards. I believe that working should always pay more than being on benefits. But I also believe that whose who can’t work should be helped.
The Sikh Council will tell you, it was the Conservative Party who were very keen on getting the first political engagement event off the ground. The Conservative party do not take our vote for granted, they engage with the community, they listen and take action.
The revelations of the documents from 1984 do not tell us what plan or advise the SAS officer gave. Nor does it tell us whether this plan was put into place. I am not justifying what the Government of 1984 may or may not have done. I just want to point out the fact that we should not add one and one and get five. We need to wait for the report of the inquiry and see that they tells us. There are many unconfirmed sources that say the SAS officer did go into Harmander Sahib and reported that the Indian Army should not enter as there would be mass civilian casualties.
Prime Minister David Cameron has on many occasions come out and spoken positively about the Sikh community. David Cameron, is the first ever sitting Prime Minister, the first ever leader of a party that has mentioned Bandi Choor in the Divali message. He is the first sitting PM for visit Harmander Sahib and has spoken about this on many occasions.