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Letter to The Honorable Bill Clinton

Letter to The Honorable Bill Clinton

The Honorable Bill Clinton
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

July 28, 2000

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the 21 million strong Sikh Nation and over 500,000 Sikhs in the United States, I  urge you to press the issues of human rights and self-determination in South Asia when Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee visits you in September.

India is a country which, despite its claim to be democratic, is killing Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, and other minorities.   It commits atrocities against the minority peoples and nations within its artificial borders on a regular basis.

India has murdered over 250,000 Sikhs since 1984, according to The Politics of Genocide by Inderjit Singh Jaijee.  It has also killed over 200,000 Christians in Nagaland since 1947, over 70,000 Muslims in Kashmir since 1988, and tens of thousands of Dalits, Assamese, Manipuris, Tamils, and others.  Amnesty International reports that India is holding thousands of political prisoners.

Mr. President, as you mentioned in your speech in Atlanta at a fundraiser for Representative Cynthia McKinney, 35 innocent Sikhs were murdered in Chithi Singhpora during your visit to India in March because someone wanted to make a point.  You knew that it was the Indian government.  Now two extensive investigations, one by the Ludhiana-based International Human Rights Organization and one by the Movement Against State Repression and the Punjab Human Rights Organization, proved that the Indian government massacred 35 Sikhs in the village of Chithi Singhpora.  A recent report by Amnesty International confirmed these findings.  India killed five Kashmiri Muslims claiming that they were responsible for the massacre, but now India has admitted that the Kashmiris they killed are innocent.  The time has come for them to admit that the government carried out the Chithi Singhpora massacre.

Since Christmas 1998 there has been a wave of violence against Christians.  Priests and missionaries have been beaten, tortured, and murdered.  Nuns have been raped.  Churches have been burned and bombed. Christian schools and prayer halls have been attacked.

Last week, two more churches were bombed in the Indian state of Karnataka.  These attacks came just a moth after a Catholic church was bombed in Bangalore. Late last month, a Hindu woman poured boiling oil on a group of militant Hindu nationalists who were attacking her tenant, a Catholic priest.  Four Christian missionaries were beaten last month, one so severely that he may lose his arms and legs.  These missionaries were beaten for distributing Christian religious literature and Bibles. The RSS, a Fascist organization that is the parent organization of the ruling BJP, has published a booklet on how to implicate Christians in false criminal cases.  On Easter, a group of nuns on their way to Easter services were run down by Hindu fundamentalists riding motor scooters. In March, a Sikh family saved some nuns whose convent was attacked by Hindu fundamentalists.

A women's prayer meeting was bombed by militant Hindu fundamentalists. In April, fundamentalist Hindus attacked a Christian group and burned biblical literature.  Last fall, Hindu fundamentalists aligned with the ruling BJP abducted a nun named Sister Ruby and forced her to drink their urine. Hindus chanting "Victory to Hannuman," a Hindu god, burned missionary Graham Staines to death along with his 8-year-old and 10-year-old sons, while they slept in their jeep.  The violence has been carried out by the RSS and other allies and supporters of the BJP government in India and no one ever seems to be punished for these acts.

Now Bal Thackeray, founder of Shiv Sena, a coalition partner of the ruling BJP, threatens to engulf India in violence if he is held to account for his part in thousands of murders in 1992.  Is this what happens in a democracy?  America should declare India a terrorist state and stop its aid to India until these atrocities against the minorities end.

We all want good relations with all countries, including India. However, India is a hostile country which tried last year to construct a security alliance with Serbia, Cuba, Iraq, Libya, China, and Russia "to stop the U.S."  India introduced nuclear weapons into the subcontinent. It boasts that its missiles could reach anywhere in the world.  India has stationed over 700,000 troops in Kashmir and more than half a million troops in Punjab, Khalistan.

The Sikh Nation of Khalistan declared its independence from India on October 7, 1987.After the partition of India in 1948 Kashmir was granted special status and India promised the United Nations that it would hold a plebiscite on Kashmir's status.  This promise was not kept.  The plebiscite has not been held to this day.  Kashmiris and other minority nations living under Indian occupation seek their God-given right to determine their own affairs.  The United States should support a free and fair plebiscite on the future of Khalistan, of Kashmir, of predominantly Christian Nagalim, and the other nations.  That is how democratic nations settle these issues and it is how important world powers do it.

If India wants to be thought of as a democracy and as a major power, it must permit a free and fair plebiscite.  America is the bastion of freedom for the world.  It is time, Mr. President, to press for self-determination and human rights for all people in South Asia.


Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh
Council of Khalistan

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