Srinagar | WTNS | Sep 26: All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) has decided to carry out a mass contact programme across the Kashmir valley while from next week its members would visit each and every village of Kashmir valley for mass contact with the Sikh community.
The APSCC in a statement issued to Wilayat Times, said that friends neither the successive governments of Jammu & Kashmir nor the people at the centre have resolved the issues of the Sikh community despite the fact that the community is a minority community. Over the last many decades we have been meeting the people at helm with legitimate demands of the Sikh community.
“Chief Ministers of the erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state and governors were contacted with the hope that there would be light at the end which was not to be. Every time our issues were given a cold shoulder with the people at the helm being so arrogant and they were not ready to listen to our genuine demands leave alone finding a solution to the problems being confronted by the community members,” it said.
“As the elections are round the corner we at APSCC have decided to change the strategy and we will no longer support candidate of any party whatsoever. Since the mass contact programme would be carried out across the length and breadth of the state we will find out probable candidates with the first preference being the local body elections that can be announced at any point of time. Instead of beating around the bush we will come up with candidates among the community. This will ensure that the power lies with the community itself and it would not be used as a vote bank furthermore,” it added.
However, in this whole scenario we will seek the support of the majority community as we have shared happiness and sorrow with the members of the majority community during turmoil and crises. We have been with them through thick and thin and we will seek their support for the candidate where we feel that our candidate has a fair chance of winning. I am sure the people will support us and as such the strong bond of Kashmiriyat will be there forever.
Sikhs suffered huge economical losses after leaving villages and having to settle down in city, district headquarters and towns for safety in turmoil. Although, Sikhs were entitled to the packages, the other community which has been declared as a minority exploited the situation and got successive packages. It is extremely unfortunate that packages meant for minorities that did not migrate were manipulated and these were changed for the benefit of the favourite minority.
The Delimitation Commission that was set up to ensure that justice is meted out to the various groups and communities lost its relevance after the LG administration of Jammu & Kashmir recommended reservation of two seats for a particular community. The same has not been liked by anybody in Kashmir. Members of the Delimitation Commission after meeting us assured that our genuine demand of reservation in Jammu & Kashmir assembly would be looked into with all the seriousness but the same turned out be a hoax at the end of the day.
Year after year over the past couple of decades we have been virtually pleading for the extension of National Commission for Minorities to Jammu & Kashmir but here too we have been ditched. This is despite the fact that following the abrogation of Article 370 many central laws have been introduced in Jammu & Kashmir but the National Minority Act has not been implemented for the reasons best known to the people at helm.
The re-introduction of Punjabi language in the schools, colleges and universities has not been taken up seriously by the concerned department. Adding insult to the injury the posts of teachers and lecturers have been converted and abolished. There are many schools both government as private where hundreds of Sikhs are studying but still then they are being denied to study Punjabi even though as an optional subject.
The central government and union territory administration is serious towards establishment and reshaping of Waqf Board, Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board, Amarnath Yatra but no seriousness is being shown in the implementation of Gurdwara Endowment Act. Despite the intervention of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha the election of Jammu & Kashmir Gurdwara Parbandhak Board could not be conducted.
For last so many years the APSCC had been supporting different political parties from time to time with the hope that the Sikh minority will get its due share and its demands would be fulfilled. However, this never happened and the APSCC has now decided to boycott the political parties and their leaders. Instead we will come up with young and energetic people from within the community so that some difference is made with respect to the fortunes of the community members.
Besides APSCC Chairman, Jagmohan Singh Raina others including Principal Niranjan Singh, Ex President GPC Pulwama, Sant Singh, Indumeet Singh, Devinder Singh, and Gurudwara comittee members from Kashmir valley including Navtej Singh, Engg. Jetinder Singh, Jasbir Singh, Sukhbirb Singh, Harpal Singh, Nishant Singh.