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Republic day for india: Black day for Sikhs

LONDON: January the 26th marks the anniversary on which the Indian constitution was enacted. We must ask ourselves; have we ever seen this constitution? Do we know what is written in there?

The constitution was formed after the independence of India from the British raj. To this day India claims to be, and is recognised as the world’s largest democracy.

How the constitution undermines the Sikh nation
As many of the sacrifices made for the struggle for independence were made by the Sikhs, M.K.Ghandi had promised the Sikhs that “No Constitution would be acceptable to the Congress which did not satisfy the Sikhs”. This led the Sikhs at the time to believe that Ghandi was a man working in the interest of the Sikhs. Looking back at this event it is clear that the Sikhs were side-lined, as not a single Sikh accepted and signed the constitution.

There were some major issues in 1950 which the Sikhs did not agree with. Article 25 was one of them. Article 25 was written in regards to the right to freedom of religion. Ironically in this article it is mentioned that Sikh people are to be considered as Hindus. As a result of this clause Sikh marriages would later be solemnised under the Hindu Marriage Act (1955). This was a complete U-turn on Ghandi’s part and an act which undermined the Sikh people and psyche. The nation of people who had fought so courageously and made so many sacrifices for the freedom of the nation from the clutches of the British raj was now considered something they were not. To this day this article still stands and has not been amended.

The brave Sikhs were less than 2% of the population at the time of the British raj. The figures published regarding the numbers of those sent to the Andaman Islands and those hung for struggling to gain independence from the British, show that the Sikhs fought disproportionately compared to their population. They gave the most sacrifice during the struggle for independence and it seems they still do not have it. The Sikhs are still recognised as Hindus in the constitution and Sikh marriages are currently registered under the Hindu marriage act. Is this what Bhagat Singh or Udham Singh sacrificed their lives for? Is this what the brave Sikhs who due to persecution, had to survive in jungles, sacrificed their families and lives for?…. to be recognised as something they are not?

January 26th marks a dark day in the history of the Sikh nation. It marks the day that the sacrifices of those courageous Sikhs were discarded, the day on which all Sikhs were labelled as Hindus in the land they once so prosperously thrived on.

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