London Mayoral Candidate Sadiq Khan MP annoyed members of the Sikh community after releasing a video to woo the Sikh vote by merely pledging a Vaisakhi event in another venue.
Some members of the Sikh community felt insulted that the needs of the community are felt to be “satisfied” with a simple gesture of an annual event in Trafalgar Square instead of City Hall. The pledges were released by Sadiq Khan despite the hugely popular Sikh Manifesto outlying 10 important points for Politicians to consider when representing and liaising with the British Sikh community.
The current Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s office worked in close consultation with the Sikh community this year to produce a memorable and special Vaisakhi celebration to mark the Sikh contribution in London. The event was moved to City Hall after it was decided that Shabad Kirtan, Sikh art and Sikh short films should be showcased instead of famous Bhangra singers and DJs who had been taking over the celebrations over the last few years.
Mr Khan, the Mayoral candidate, announced an additional 2 pledges including a pledge to build a monument in London to mark the Sikh contribution to both world wars. The Sikh World War monument is also a key part of the Sikh Manifesto and the Sikh Network and Sikh Federation UK have been exploring ways of taking this project forward.
Earlier today, the Sikh Press Association released a PR asking all politicians to delve into Sikh issues with wider consultation to reflect what is important for Sikhs in Britain by stating that “offering Trafalgar Square as a venue is not an important issue in the Sikh community”.
Sikh blogger Naujwani.com sent a tweet to Sadiq Khan saying “Try these pledges as a London Mayor to Sikhs: affordable housing, spaces for young people and coop projects”
Artist Kiranjeet Kaur whose artwork was displayed at City Hall tweeted to Sadiq Khan “Vaisakhi at City Hall showcased artwork from Sikh artists for the first time in London”
Sikh Federation UK, a political pressure group for Sikhs tweeted “unsure from who & how u determined the 3 priorities for London Sikhs? U clearly misunderstood importance of others”. Sikh Federation UK also requested an opportunity to discuss the Sikh Manifesto with Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan.
Ealier this month, the Federation of Sikh Organisations thanked the current London Deputy Mayor for Policing, Stephen Greenhalgh for his support in organising the 1984 Remembrance Rally from Hyde Park to Waterloo Place. We understand that Stephen Greenhalgh will also be standing as a Mayoral Candidate in 2016 and adorned a Sikh turban at this year’s Vaisakhi celebrations at City Hall.
Sikh Press Associations Response: