In what is thought to be the first event of its type, the American Sikh Political Action Committee held an educational seminar regarding the 1984 genocide of Sikhs perpetrated by the Indian government. Attending the seminar was a diverse group of elected officials, religious leaders and community representatives. Among the attendees on 7/16/2014 were Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, Assemblymember Roger Dickinson, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, District Attorney-elect Anne-Marie Schubert and congressional candidate Doug Ose. There were also many other elected officials, including city councilmembers, county supervisors and school board members.
Winty Singh, a civil rights advocate, started the program with a basic introduction to Sikhism. He was followed by Jakara Movement representative, Omar Singh Khunkhun, who discussed political events leading up to the assassination of Indira Gandhi in October 1984. Ensaaf staff member Bachittar Singh, gave detailed information to the attendees regarding the November 1984 genocide.
Former Congressman Doug Ose, and current congressional candidate, told the attendees, “It was clear that what the (Indian) government did was wrong and the fact that nobody was held accountable is inexcusable.”
Assemblymember Mariko Yamada added, “The first step towards reconciliation is acknowledging the facts.” She also thanked the PAC for organizing the “important & informative seminar”.
Lisa Kaplan, Past-President of the Jewish Federation and a Natomas School Board Member, said “I understand when you talk about genocide. We (the Jewish community) have to continue to educate to make sure we never forget, just like the 1984 pogroms, you must educate so that we don’t forget.”
Basim Elkarra, of the Council of American Islamic Relations, stated “Our communities will work together to make sure that people remember 1984 (Sikh Genocide in Delhi) and remember 2002 (Muslim Genocide in Gujarat) to hold the Indian government accountable.”
Marielle Tsukamoto, the president of the Japanese American Citizens League, explained, “As human beings, on this earth, we have a responsibility beyond our borders and our lifetimes.” She encouraged all attendees to educate others about the 1984 genocide.
“Prior to the seminar, the majority of attendees had very little understanding of the events leading up to and during the 1984 genocide. They all now have the true facts of the horrific events, including objective information regarding the participation of government, law enforcement and political officials,” noted Amar Shergill, Sikh PAC Board Member.
The seminar was hosted by, Amrik Singh, owner of the Holiday Inn Express. Global Punjab TV attended and will be broadcasting highlights to its worldwide viewership. For event photos, see our facebook post. Provided below is a partial list of attendees:
|Roger Dickinson||Assemblymember, Candidate for Senate|
|Dave Jones||Insurance Commissioner|
|Anne Marie Schubert||District Attorney-elect|
|Bobbie Singh-Allen||Elk Grove School Board Member|
|Doug Ose||Congressional Candidate, Former Congressman|
|Kevin McCarty||Sacramento Councilmember, Candidate for Assembly|
|Allen Warren||Sacramento City Councilmember|
|Phil Serna||Sacramento County Supervisor|
|Oscar Villegas||Yolo County Supervisor|
|Susan McKee||District Director, Senator Darrell Steinberg|
|Steve Miller||Citrus Heights Council Member|
|Lisa Kaplan||Natomas School Board Member, Jewish Federation|
|Doug Haaland||Candidate For Assembly|
|Jag Bains||Candidate for Natomas School Board|
|Monica M. Miller||FBI Special Agent in Charge|
|Basim Elkarra||Council on American Islamic Relations|
|Fawzia Keval||Council on American Islamic Relations|
|Wazhma Mojaddidi||Council on American Islamic Relations|
|Andy Noguchi||Japanese American Citizens League|
|Marielle Tsukamoto||Japanese American Citizens League|
|Jane Okubo||Japanese American Citizens League|
|Jon Fish||Sacramento Interfaith Council|
|Carol Velarde||Jewish Community Relations Council|
|Diana Rude||Jewish Community Relations Council|
|Ryan Pessah||Jewish Community Relations Council|
|Linda Ng||Organization of Chinese Americans|
|Tom Bhe||Asian & Pacific Islanders American Public Affairs Assoc.|
|Honey Lum||Chinese American Council of Sacramento|
|Alex Eng||Chinese American Council of Sacramento|
|Joyce Eng||Chinese American Council of Sacramento|
|Norm DeYoung||Filipino American Community|