California Sikhs Commemorates the 32nd Anniversary of Attack on Sikhism's Holiest Shrine

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Sikh community of California will march June 5th to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of attack on the Golden Temple – the most sacred Sikh shrine in Amritsar, by the Indian government in 1984.

Sikhs decided to part with India in 1947 when the British offered India independence. But after the attack of 1984, Sikhs again started fighting for their homeland.

For the last two years, thousands of Sikhs have paraded on Market Street in San Francisco ending at Civic Centre to commemorate the anniversary of the attack on the Golden Temple, organized by Sikh Temple Fremont and other surrounding Sikh Gurdwaras.

In June 1984, more than 150,000 Indian army troops, equipped with helicopter gunships and tanks, were sent to the northern Indian state of Punjab where the Indian army unleashed an attack on its own citizens unprecedented in post-independence India. Highlighting the religious and economic demands of minority communities, the annual parade serves as a stance on the protection of underrepresented Sikh populations.

“The army went into Durbar Sahib (the Golden Temple complex) not to eliminate a political figure or a political movement, but to suppress a culture of a people, to attack their heart, to strike a blow at their spirit and self-confidence,” says Joyce Pettigrew, Scholar in Anthropology and event coordinator.

The Sikh Parade begins at 2nd and Market Street at 12 p.m. June 5th and ends at Civic Centre Plaza at about 1:30 p.m. Following the parade, speeches and video presentations at Civic Center Plaza will feature community invited speakers from around the world including the UK, Canada and India. Most speakers will discuss the logistics of an independent Sikh state, namely Khalistan.

“Historically, Sikhs had one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world throughout the 19th century under Maharajah Ranjit Singh,” says Pettigrew. “When the British occupied it in 1849 after his death, Sikhs decided to part with India in 1947 when the British offered India independence. But after the attack of 1984, Sikhs again started fighting for their homeland.”

Event Details:
Date: June 05, 2016
Time: 12 PM
Starting Location: 2nd & Market Street, San Francisco
Ending Location: Civic Centre Plaza, San Francisco
Attached: Photos & Videos of last Year Parade

Media Contact
Jasjeet Singh
Event Coordinator
(510)875-3279
Email: jasjeetsingh.usa(at)gmail(dot)com

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