Sikhs march in London in memory of 1984 Amritsar attackHot Topics London, United Kingdom - 05 June 2011
Our contributor pete_riches writes:
"Over 15,000 Sikhs travelled from their Gudwaras (Temples) the length and breadth of the United Kingdom today to march and rally in memory of the brutal massacre on the 6th of June 1994 of over 7,000 Sikh worshippers by the Indian Army, ordered by ex-Prime Minister Indira Ghandi, as they celebrated a Sikh holy day at the Golden Temple complex, the most holy of all the Sikh temples. Simultaneously another 124 Sikh temples were attacked, leaving tens of thousands of Sikhs dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.
Some months later Indira Ghandi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards as Sikh tradition demands, and this unleashed further murderous attacks on this ancient, once-respected and feared Warrior Caste.
Congregating in Hyde Park, the Sikhs listened to speeches and took part in prayers before the procession set off, led all the way by five Sikh high priests, barefooted and holding aloft their curved swords. Accolytes sprinkled holy water in their path to purify the ground in front of the priests the entire route of the march, which moved down Park Lane, Green Park, Piccadilly, ending in Trafalgar Square where there were many inspirational speeches by members of the Sikh community, calling for accountability with the Indian government for the massacre, and also calling for their right to self-determination in their own state, Khalistan.
Sikhs are not Hindus, and as such they have been discriminated against by the dominant ruling Hindu parties for over 50 years, treated, they say, as second class citizens in their own country and facing frequent attacks for daring to ask for Self-Rule."
International sources maintain that the Golden Temple had been occupied by heavily armed Sikh militants for months before the attack, and claim a much lower death toll. Learn more about the attack from the BBC.