As we all know, election year is upon us and we have a choice to make – do we continue to vote the way our previous Generations have or do we use our brains, intellect and inquisitive minds to dig deeper and see which party is actually working for us.
Whenever I get into a debate or discussion on ‘who Sikhs should vote for’ I always give the same answer – look at actions of the last 4.5 years under a Conservative Government and compare it to the last 13 years of Labour and tell me who has done more for the Sikh.
Actions speak louder than words
By no means is a party or leader perfect, but you have to understand the difference between action and leading the way to enable change and just talking about change.
The Conservative party in Government (remember they are a coalition) have made a significant change to legislation which helps protect our identity. The Conservative Party lead the way to ensure our dastar (turban) were no longer searched without due cause in the UK since April 2014. The hard hat regulations have been updated so that Sikhs do not have to wear hard hats on construction sites and working environments except in the most hazardous situations.
Over 360 schools have been community and parent set-up schools with many of them being Sikh ethos free schools. This is an amazing opportunity to share and spread the Sikh values of Compassion, Humility, Truth and Charity to the wider community but also to show others that these are British values too. Schools such as Khalsa Secondary Academy in Buckinghamshire, the Anand Primary School in Wolverhampton and Falcons Primary in Leicester have an amazing opportunity to enrich the academic standards of all children in the area.
Prime Minister David Cameron became the first British PM to visit Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), Amritsar. The first British PM! Now I know this is a emotional subject to all of us particularly looking back in our history to 1984. We are fortunate enough to live in a democracy where issues and documents are now hidden or destroyed; where the state cannot discriminate minority groups and where everyone has the right to basic human rights. (We all know this is not true of other countries in this world).
Thanks to this Prime Minister when the 1984 documents were released after the 30 year rule, he instructed an independent individual, the most senior Civil Servant in the country, to carry out an urgent investigation into what happened. The report was a very interesting read but without going into detail it stated that a single British military adviser travelled to India and made clear that a military operation should only be put into effect as a last resort. Now the reality of what happened in 1984, if we look at the history books and what has been proven and recorded, it was very different to the SAS officers advice. There are still some questions worth raising on this topic and some answers worth getting.
Prime Minister David Cameron also became the first serving PM to pay his respects at Jallianwala Bagh 1919 massacre site. The PM said that this was ‘a deeply shameful event in British history. We must never forget what happened here.’
There is so much more that the Conservative Party has achieved whilst in Government and I’m sure given half the chance, they will continue delivering for Britain and for the Sikhs in Britain.