Sikh group lauds USCIRF for recognising violation against them

Obama's visit to India in Jan 2015, SFJ had petitioned Barack Obama with 100,000 asking him to raise the issue with the government.

By: Press Trust of India | Washington | Updated: May 1, 2015 11:01 am
sikh Obama’s visit to India in Jan 2015, SFJ had petitioned Barack Obama with 100,000 asking him to raise the issue with the government. (Picture for representational purposes only)

A Sikh rights group has commended a US Congress-established panel for recognising “violations against Sikhs” in its annual report on religious freedom.

“Sikhs are often harassed and pressured to reject religious practices and beliefs that are distinct to Sikhism, such as dress, unshorn hair, and the carrying of religious items, including the kirpan,” the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its report for 2015.

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“India’s Sikh community has long pursued a change to Article 25 of India’s constitution which states, Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jain or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions shall be construed accordingly,” the report said.

“The lack of recognition of Sikhism as a distinct religion denies Sikhs’ access to social services or employment and educational preferences that are available to other religious minority communities and to scheduled caste Hindus,” it added.

Calling panel’s report a “landmark” for recognising the labeling of “Sikhs” as “Hindus” in Indian Constitution, attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to Sikh For

Justice (SFJ) said “recognition of Sikh with separate identity issue by US will shore up the support for Sikh community’s demand for right to self-determination”.

“Now we will approach the world community seeking their support for referendum in the state of Punjab,” Pannun added.

Ahead of US President’s visit to India in January 2015, SFJ had petitioned Barack Obama with 100,000 asking him to raise the issue with the government.

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  1. Reform Uscirf
    Apr 1, 2016 at 12:28 pm
    Check facebook page of Sikh For Justice (SFJ). It's mission 2020 is 'Khalistan' and 'Punjab Plesbicite'.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Most of the statements in USCIRF report are absolutely wrong.lt;br/gt;Example:-lt;br/gt;1) USCIRF: “The lack of recognition of Sikhism as a distinct religion denies Sikhs’ access to social services or employment and educational preferences that are available to other religious minority communities and to scheduled caste Hindus,” lt;br/gt;Fact: SC sikhs always had same benefit as SC Hindu. Since 1993, Sikhs have all minority benefits which muslims have. Only Hindus are deprived of those exclusive benefits.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;2) USCIRF: “Sikhs are often hared and pressured to reject religious practices and beliefs that are distinct to Sikhism, such as dress, unshorn hair, and the carrying of religious items, including the kirpan,”lt;br/gt;Fact: Sikhs are not harred in India for wearing a turban but in USA turban does make them a hate crime target.
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    1. S
      singh
      May 2, 2015 at 4:46 am
      Sikkim wasn't your gmother's land. sikkim was separate country and become part of india thru referendum in 1975. Google it... u dumb...monkey worshipers
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      1. G
        g
        May 2, 2015 at 8:31 pm
        Didnt sikhs denied kashmiri pandits minority status in J&K...with what face now they r asking for same..shame
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        1. G
          g
          May 2, 2015 at 8:30 pm
          R u from china...cuz tibet was also not ur land and it still isnt ur land..
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          1. Krishna Prasad Reddy
            May 1, 2015 at 11:24 am
            Referendum , ??? India is not your g mothers farmland to take away your share....
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