American Turban

Lord Indarjit Singh declines invitation to NY Sikh International Film Festival

Lord Indarjit Singh (source: BBC)

Lord Indarjit Singh (source: BBC)

Reports today indicate that Lord Indarjit Singh, the first turbaned Sikh to serve in the British House of Lords, has declined the invitation to attend the opening event of the 2012 Sikh International Film Festival in New York — the Heritage Awards Gala (in which he was to be awarded)  — in objection to the attendance of representatives of the Government of India.

As posted on the website SikhChic, Lord Indarjit Singh writes  to the organizer of the film festival:

Ever since 1984, I have campaigned tirelessly for those responsible for this genocide against Sikhs to be brought to justice through articles in the Sikh Messenger , the Journal of Amnesty International, articles in the Times, the Guardian and other  British, French, American and Arabic journals and in radio and TV broadcasts. My effort and those of many others for the Indian government to respect civilised norms and bring those responsible to justice have simply fallen on deaf ears.

In the circumstances, I hope you will understand why on the anniversary of this massacre, I cannot join you with your guests from the Indian government.  My apologies for any inconvenience.

This is a very bold and brave statement made by Lord Indarjit Singh. Three days ago, I wrote about the incomprehensible actions of the 2012 Sikh International Film Festival in New York to invite and honor representatives of the Government of India during the very same week that Sikhs around the world will be commemorating the 28th anniversary of the state-sanctioned massacre of Sikhs in New Delhi and around India in November 1984, for which no significant measure of justice has ever been delivered.

It is encouraging to see that prominent Sikhs are taking a similar stand of conviction.

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4 comments

  1. Pingback: Sikh International Film Festival postpones opening gala due to “community concern” « American Turban

  2. Kudos to Lord Indarjit SIngh — if more Sikhs were willing to walk the talk then the perpetrators of 1984 would have been brought to justice long ago. Let’s hope that the organizers of the Sikh International Film Festival make use of this opportunity to sensitize themselves to the issues surrounding 1984.

  3. K. Shergill

    Proud of Indarjit Singh for taking a stand on this. However, concerned that discrimination and atrocities committed by the British Crown against Sikhs seems to have been forgiven by his acceptance of the title
    of Lord.

  4. Pingback: Lord Indarjit Singh defends NY Sikh Film Festival organizers « American Turban

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