AS part of the awareness of the 1984 Sikh Genocide, that takes place each year at Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, New Westminster, this year marks the 30th year of these tragic events, and is a reminder of the injustices that the victims and their families are still living through 30 years later.
Once again the gurdwara is reaching out to the wider community through a massive media campaign, which educates and informs the community of these tragic events. For one week, a large billboard on the south side of Queensborough Bridge will be displayed, informing the community of the atrocities of the 1984 Sikh Genocide.
When asked, about the significance of this campaign, Gurdwara Director Jagjit Singh stated, “Thirty years of justice denied is in itself a heinous crime that has caused unnecessary suffering and pain to the victims, families and the entire community. The Sikh Genocide of 1984 has denied the very basic human rights, liberties and freedoms, all core Canadian values that we take for granted here today.”
According to a statement by the gurdwara: “This billboard advertisement falls in the Nagar Kirtan week, where thousands of Sikhs from British Columbia and around the West Coast of Canada and the United States come to New Westminster for the annual Sikh Parade. The Nagar Kirtan event is held to commemorate the martyrdom of the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, who was tortured and became the first Sikh martyr, for not giving up his beliefs.
“Even though those events took place in 1606, one would hope that injustices that took place in the world’s largest democracy, only 30 years ago, that were well documented by international journalists and agencies, would have been dealt with in a timely manner, especially with those responsible being so clearly identified by witnesses.
“ … There are still elements in our community that deny these events ever took place in 1984, and that Sikhs are making this up. With so much information available through interviews, photographs and videos on the Internet today, this campaign aims to get people talking about the Sikh Genocide and for them to research and learn the truth of the extent and severity of these acts against Sikhs for themselves, so that they never occur again anywhere in the world, and to bring those responsible to justice.”