Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today said Punjab and Punjabis would continue to mark the proclamation of Emergency this day in 1975 as a black day and fight against the repeated atrocities inflicted on the Sikh community by the Congress party and the Gandhi family.
Speaking at a function held by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) in Delhi, the SAD President said former PM Indira Gandhi trampled democracy by usurping all powers leaving the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) no choice but to rise up in protest against this injustice. “Emergency was proclaimed across the country, but it was the SAD which first decided to launch a massive mass movement against this anti-democratic step. Sardar Parkash Singh Badal led the protests which started on July 9, 1975 and personally led the first jatha of party workers to court arrest”.
Mr Badal said the SAD contribution in opposing the dictatorial step could be seen from the fact that out of 90,000 persons arrested during Emergency in the country as many as 60,000 were from Punjab. “SAD fought emergency and will continue to fight the injustice meted out to the Sikh community be it the attack on Sri Darbar Sahib with tanks and mortars or the mass killing of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984”. He said the SAD had earlier fought to bring about freedom and had contributed its bit to nation building post partition. “We are committed to our ideals and will rededicate ourselves to them during the completion of 100 years celebrations of the party next year”, he added.
The SAD President said if Punjab had suffered after independence it was due to the discrimination meted out to its people by the Nehru-Gandhi family. He said Punjab was the only State which did not have a capital of its own. “Even Punjabi speaking areas were taken away from the State. The State is suffering due to unfair grant of its river waters to other States”.
Speaking on the occasion, DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa said the SAD fought for the democratic rights of countrymen during Emergency. “We are committed to safeguard the rich democratic traditions of our country”. He also paid rich tributes to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur on his martyrdom day today.
Others present on the occasion included Dr Daljit Singh Cheema and Mr Harmeet Singh Kalka besides other leaders.