1984 Genocide Coalition, a UK based Sikh group, has called for solidarity among diasporic Sikhs and Tamils for anti-genocide rallies on 18 May and 9 June in a release on Thursday. Stating that such protests “are an opportunity for these heroic struggling nations to unite their power of protest and unite their campaign resources”, the release further said that “the enduring, courageous struggles of Tamil and Sikh peoples against brutal states like Sri Lanka and India; epitomise the struggle of small nations around the world.” The activists from the Coalition and Nations Without States further urged small nations across the world to unite in a common movement for global justice and freedom.
“The struggles of the Tamils, Sikhs, Baluch, Tuareg, Tibetan, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Sikkim, West Papuan, Karen, Catalan, Basque, Kurd: represent a sample of the huge and diverse, global spread of liberation movements across the world for true democractic self-determination, people recognition, empowered and self-government,” the statement said.
Criticizing big states for their violent repression of nations, the statement further said “Nations were not born to be suppressed and subjugated and locked and subordinated to big states. They were born gradually, organically and naturally out of historic struggles; to share, contribute and input as equals into regional and global affairs. Our struggles are for a truly democratic world, which is composed of a plurality of true, natural nations.”
The name of the ‘1984 Genocide Coalition’ is derived from the memory of Operation Blue Star and anti-Sikh pogroms that happened in the year 1984.
Operation Blue Star was an Indian military operation against pro-Khalistan Sikh rebels from 3-8 June 1984, which involved the storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Golden Temple is considered to be the holiest Sikh shrine.
The military operation is criticized by several Sikh and independent human rights sources to have involved hundreds of civilian casualties, besides physical destruction to the Golden Temple.
Likewise, the 1984 mass pogroms against the Sikhs organized by Congress party led mobs in several parts of North India followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi in October that year.
It is estimated that over 11,000 Sikhs perished in the massacres, with over 3000 being killed in the Indian capital New Delhi alone.
Several Congress leaders who were known to have been active participants in the pogroms are still in high positions in the party.