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Dalits, Muslims join Sikhs to mark Bluestar anniv

Perhaps for the first time in Punjab, Sikh, Dalit and Muslim groups have come together to observe anniversary of Operati...

 

Phagwara: Perhaps for the first time in Punjab, Sikh, Dalit and Muslim groups have come together to observe anniversary of Operation Blue Star. On the eve of the anniversary on Tuesday, the three communities held small functions in two Dalit temples, one Gurudwara and two mosques where Sikhs also served Iftari to Muslims to break their fast. One of the banners on the occasion said that ‘martyrdom day’ was being dedicated to unity among minorities and to environment.
The first event was held at Shirmomani Shri Guru Ravidass Mandir, Chak Hakim, the biggest shrine of Ravidassia-Adi-dharmi community of Dalits in and around Phagwara, where the managing committee also honoured Sikh representatives. Apart from Blue Star, the clash between right wing Hindu groups and Dalit activists on April 13 also figured in the speeches. The speakers not only criticized the Army action on June 6, 1984, but also eulogized militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
“Unlike previous anniversaries of Blue Star, the town is peaceful this time and there is no tension. The only reason is that the mischievous elements who created trouble have been jailed,” said Lok Insaaf Party leader Jarnail Nangal while referring to right wing Hindu leaders who were arrested following clash with Dalit activists.
Another Dalit leader, Yash Barna, who is a member of the managing committee of the Ravidass temple, also spoke on similar lines and held that minorities and Dalits would have to come together to face the trend of casteist and communal forces. Sikhs For Equality director Sukhdev Singh said mob violence was being promoted on different pretexts. The Sikh activists also handed over plant saplings at all the shrines. The organisations which came together on the occasion included Sikhs For Equality, Shiromani Shri Guru Ravidass Mandir Managing Committee, Vienna Kaand Sangharash Committee, managing committees of two mosques and Valmiki Action Committee....

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