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Without right to self-determination, elections are meaningless : Dal Khalsa

May 03, 2019 04:35 PM

AMRITSAR: Asserting that the Indian democratic system was not conducive to attaining a sovereign Punjab through the current electoral processes, the Dal Khalsa resolved to stay away from the upcoming elections to be held on May 19 in Punjab.

Presenting its viewpoint on parliamentary general elections 2019 in India, the Dal Khalsa president Harpal Singh Cheema released party’s no-election policy document declaring elections can’t be substitute to right to self-determination.

While addressing the press conference, Cheema said solution of Punjab problem lies in referendum under UN and not elections under Indian dispensation. Dal Khalsa leader categorically affirmed that they are neither against democracy nor democratic system. The organization envisages an arrangement like Quebec in Canada and Scotland in the United Kingdom, wherein it is possible to make right to self-determination an election agenda, subsequently leading to the right to secede.

The hardliner Sikh group endorsed the unmitigated stand of the Hurriyat Conference boycotting elections in Jammu and Kashmir and that of the NSCN (IM) in Nagaland and maintains affinity and rapport with the struggling Kashmiris and Nagas.  

Without the right to self-determination, elections are meaningless, said party head. He said Sikh aspirations were too dear to be sacrificed at the altar of such a game of elections where money, liquor, drugs and even caste and class are key factors, said he.

Terming the Indian elections as colonial in nature, feudal in character and ultra-nationalistic in approach, party leader said the choice it offers was between the devil and the deep sea. We have no expectations from the upcoming Parliamentary elections as all mainstream parties are chips of the same block. All political parties be it Congress, AAP, BJP/SAD combine have an identical agenda when it comes to crushing Sikh aspirations.

 Dal Khalsa document saluted the martyrdom of thousands who laid down their lives in the struggle for Khalistan and pledged not to betray their sacrifices.

Striking a discordant note, the party spokesman Kanwar Pal questioned the enforced allegiance to the Constitution of India during elections.  The compulsory oath of allegiance to the Indian constitution and to the unity and integrity of the country at the time of filing nomination papers is a shameful Indian methodology to thrust patriotism on the candidate, said Kanwar Pal.

He said from 1947 onwards, Sikhs, especially through the Shiromani Akali Dal, have formed governments, sent Sikh representatives to the Indian parliament. Despite this, the situation for Sikhs has not changed at all.  The Punjab problem is still a problem.

The leaders asked the electorate to ponder what has the Sikh community gained through participation in the Indian electoral system?

For Sikhs of Punjab that would support parties and candidates, Dal Khalsa gave a message: Those Sikhs supporting the BJP-SAD and Congress should shame themselves and recall the litany of injustices, complicity of these parties in sacrilege incidents, patronizing anti-Sikh deras and cults and giving shelter to guilty and tainted cops before picking up the gauntlet for such parties.

The issue confronting the Sikh Nation is not good or bad governance brought about by replacing one category of rulers or faces with others, but is a matter of the future of a people, who aspire to become the masters of their own destiny.

Dal Khalsa leaders said, notwithstanding their decision, they wish good luck and success to Simranjit Singh Mann & Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra – as both had emerged symbols of dissent and resistance to Indian domination, and also to socialist leader Dr Dharamvir Gandhi, who has been sincerely and relentlessly fighting for contentious issues pertaining to rights of Punjab and its people. 

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