Why is the Sikh Council UK thanking the worst Parliamentary candidate and referring to his ‘great work’ for the Sikh community?
When we came across the letter below from the Secretary General of the Sikh Council UK in support of Paul Uppal we thought it must be false and a fabrication. The fact the letter is being shared on social media by Paul Uppal himself suggests it may be genuine, but smacks of desperation on his part and scandal on the part of the Sikh Council UK.
We asked ourselves how could the Sikh Council UK justify such a letter given the ten serious issues we have raised as to why Paul Uppal was the worst Parliamentary candidate. Why was the Sikh Council UK not seen to be providing any letters to any other Sikh or non-Sikh politicians that have assisted on Sikh issues. Many would be correct in arguing Rob Marris who is challenging Paul Uppal has done much more than most other politicians on the full range of Sikh issues and for his efforts was awarded Backbencher of the Year by fellow MPs in 2008. How do those in the Sikh Council UK involved with politicians make decisions, such as issuing such a controversial letter? It demonstrates the Sikh Council UK is politically naive and extremely short-sighted.
The only logical conclusion we can come up with is Paul Uppal, as the only Sikh MP, worried about his electoral prospects and direct challenge by local Sikhs asked the Sikh Council UK on the eleventh hour for a letter of support as he had worked closely with some in the Sikh Council UK to open doors on certain issues i.e. hard hats legislation. However, it also points to something far more sinister and worrying that Sikhs in the UK need to urgently address. There have been rumours for some time that the Sikh Council UK has ‘sold out’ to the Conservative-led coalition of the one hand and the Indian authorities and others on the other in return for a certain amount of ‘recognition’ and funding.
A number of specific accusations have been made against the Sikh Council UK:
a) Why did the Secretary General of the Sikh Council UK stick out his neck and support the controversial ‘”go home or face arrest’ van advertisements that was not supported by any other Sikh or non-Sikh community leader. The Home Office policy was widely criticised and had to be immediately reversed. A few months later Theresa May, the Home Secretary, turned up to a Sikh Council UK event and announced on the day funding of £60,000 to return vulnerable Sikhs to Punjab.
b) Why did the Sikh Council UK make exactly the same demand of ‘full disclosure’ as Paul Uppal following a discussion the same day as revelations emerged of UK Government involvement in the June 1984 Amritsar massacre. Why did the Cabinet Secretary not meet with Sikh community representatives to discuss the scope of his internal enquiry until 29 January and the Secretary General had returned to the UK after a trip abroad (the final report was presented in Parliament a few working days after the meeting on 4 February). Why was the Sikh Council UK slow in shifting its position from ‘full disclosure’ and only after others publicly took over the campaign for ‘Truth and Justice’ and demand an independent public inquiry? Why did the Conservative-led coalition insist the Sikh Council UK try and co-ordinate/control subsequent meetings with government on this issue. Why has the Sikh Council UK not done anything on UK Government involvement in the June 1984 Amritsar massacre for the last 12 months? Why did the Sikh Council UK not join the boycott of the Vaisakhi reception at 10 Downing Street in April last year called by Lord Singh? Was a deal done with the Sikh Council UK on 1984 in return for a concession on wearing hard hats?
c) Was the Secretary General of the Sikh Council UK awarded an MBE in January this year for certain ‘favours’ around the ‘go home’ vans and damage limitation around the UK Government involvement in the June 1984 Amritsar massacre. Why has the Conservative-led coalition recently funded Sikh Council UK ‘road shows’ around the country to try and increase its membership and profile and give the impression of consultation.
d) Why is the Sikh Council UK reluctant to speak out on self determination for the Sikhs, slow in condemning or taking the lead on human rights violations by India, often hold meetings with the Indian High Commission in London and consulate in Birmingham as well as unnecessarily involving Indian High Commissions in Paris and Rome on Sikh identity issues in France and Italy. Why is the Sikh Council UK never critical of the SGPC and the DGSMC, but supporting the former in establishing an overseas structure.