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Ron Banerjee of The Canadian Hindu Advocacy group is conveniently riding the wave of anti-Sikh hysteria being perpetuated by current ideological and political views of the Bloc Quebecios. In his letter to Ms. Beaudoin of the Bloc, Ron Banerjee has supported recent moves to place restrictions on Kirpans and the Niqab.
Mr. Banerjee, you state“Kirpans can be used as deadly weapons and there have been documented cases of Canadian Sikhs injuring others using kirpans.” You further mention that the Sikh turban has “been used in certain cases of violence, robberies, and concealment by terrorists.”You however fail to cite any examples or even establish a convincing connection between these articles of faith and violence during the past 130 years that Sikhs have been in Canada. In your letter you mention that “there is no place in Canada for destructive cultural traditions being imported from overseas...” What are your thoughts on the Hindu caste system? The Hindu caste system functions to legitimize the oppression and terrorization of people who are considered to be of the lower castes at the hands of the higher caste Hindu Brahmins. Is this not a destructive tradition?
Your anti-Sikh stance on the Kirpan issue is indeed very disturbing. Mr. Banerjee there is sufficient documented evidence of shoes and belts being used in violent attacks. Are you leading any movement to have shoes and belts restricted from public places as well? If not, what is the motive behind restricting the Kirpan? What special interests are you intending to serve? Have you stopped and thought of the unintended consequences of support for denying the Sikhs and Muslims their fundamental right of freedom of religion as enshrined in the charter of rights? Have you ever wondered what the impact of your stance will be on other minority groups and their rights?
It seems as though you have a selective memory or a severe case of historical amnesia when it comes to recognizing the sacrifices made by kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs for the protection of human rights. Mr. Banerjee it was the kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs that sacrificed their lives in the hundreds of thousands during the two world wars for the cause of human rights and democracy. Their exemplary bravery and valor are not lost on anyone. It was the Kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs that advocated for the rights of all South-Asians living in Canada from the moment they arrived. Very early in the 20 century it was the kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs that lead a movement to prevent the wholesale deportation from Canada of South-Asians including Hindus and Muslims to the British Honduras in 1908. In that same year it was the kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs of Canada who launched a struggle against the Continuous passage law. It was turban and kirpan wearing Sikhs that comprised delegations sent to London, Ottawa and India to fight against this racist law. The efforts of these Sikhs ultimately resulted in the Canadian government granting the right to all South-Asian men including Hindus and Muslims to bring their wives to Canada in 1919. Mr. Banerjee, it was the kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs who lead a continuous and sustained 40 year struggle from 1907 - 1947 which ultimately culminated in them securing voting rights and true citizenship for all South-Asians including Hindus and Muslims. Mr. Banerjee, it is because of the sacrifices of kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs that people like you enjoy the privileges and rights that come along with Canadian citizenship. It is very sad that you are supporting politicians who want to take away the fundamental right of freedom of religion from the Sikhs. How ungrateful!
For your information: Kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs are educating the future of our nation as teachers; Kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs are taking care of the health of Canadians as medical professionals; Kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs are upholding the law of the nation as lawyers; Kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs are transforming and improving cities and towns across Canada through their hard work and labour; Kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs are representing the aspirations of Canadians from coast to coast as elected representatives in the House of Commons; Kirpan and turban wearing Sikhs have taken a pledge to protect the interests of our Nation and its citizens as respected officers in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Armed forces.
Mr. Banerjee, let there be no doubt, the Sikhs are an integral and important part of Canadian society. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will always protect our right to practice our religion freely and without fear! The flourishing and vibrant Canadian Sikh communities are an extraordinary example of the success of Canadian Multiculturalism which serves as a model for the rest of the world. Canadians will not let the likes of bigots like you to destroy this image to further your own destructive agendas.
Mr. Banerjee, by spewing venom against the articles of faith of the Sikhs and Muslims you have proved yourself to be severely lacking in the values of respect and acceptance. It seems as if you have no faith in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms nor the Canadian multicultural policy - both of which are famous throughout the world and make Canada the best place on earth!