SACRAMENTO - Over 10,000 Sikhs gathered in California’s state capital, Sacramento, on Saturday, 19 December 2020, over the Indian government’s decision to introduce new agricultural laws that threaten the livelihood of farmers, leaving them at mercy of big corporations. Thousands of cars – flying yellow-coloured flags with the slogan “KHALISTAN” were seen hanging out of sunroofs and standing through open windows.
The largest mass resistance against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agricultural bills is being felt in California, a state with the largest Punjabi community in the world.
In a tweet by California Sikh Youth Alliance (CYSA), stated that, “California showed up in overwhelming numbers today! Naujwaans [youth] rising up all over the state!”
The demonstration was made up by many students from Sikh student association of Sacramento State University, carrying placards with slogans such as “INQUILAB ZINDABAD” [Long live the revolution], “SUPPORT FARMERS” and “NO FARMERS NO FOOD”.
“Since the independence of India, in 1947, has given the suppression and state level sponsored oppression against other minorities, including the crimes of all Indian Political Parties. This Farmers issue isn’t the only issue there are multiple Violations of Human Rights, Genocide, Ecocide and Water Rebellion laws in India. The only solution is Sovereignty, which we Sikhs recognise as Khalistan,” said Balkash Singh, Sacramento State Khalistan Coordinator and Sikh Activist.
Earlier this month, tens of thousands of California residents protested outside the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, in support of the farmers, or “Kisaan” as they are known in Punjabi.
“Police beating up our elders who are peacefully protesting their rights, is a repeat of the same trauma that they went through in the 80s, seeing their rights being met with state violence,” said Singh.
Singh said this wasn’t the first time the Indian government enforced violence on its own citizens, and he doesn’t believe it will be the last.