Open Letter to Prime Minister

Open letter to the Prime Minister from Gurdwaras, Sikh and non-Sikh organisations and individuals

The letter will be sent to Boris Johnson on 9 February 2022. MPs will also be sent a copy of the letter and details of constituents requiring a response as to what they are doing as regards Priti Patel’s offensive comments.

Click here to add your name to this letter

Video of Priti Patels comments


The open letter

Dear Prime Minister,

Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurpurb message, Priti Patel’s offensive and appalling comments and actions against the Sikh community and the release of Jagtar Singh Johal.

On 19 November 2021 leaders across the globe, including Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau, Scott Morrison, Imran Khan, Narendra Modi etc. put out letters and messages on the Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. For the first time for many years a letter or video was not issued by you from 10 Downing Street.

Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition and other UK politicians also put out videos and written messages. It has become a major talking point in the British Sikh community that our PM, 10 Downing Street, Communities Secretary and Faith Minister all failed to acknowledge the Gurpurb.

The matter was raised with Jonathan Hellewell your religious adviser at 10 Downing Street and he made a poor defence by sharing links to Youtube and Twitter with regards to Vaisakhi and Diwali/Bandi Chhor Divas although he was specifically asked about the Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

It is a bit like you acknowledging Easter and Thanksgiving but forgetting Christmas.  Other world leaders and the Labour leader appreciate the significance and importance of recognising Gurpurb to the British Sikh community.

We are often told about the diversity in the Cabinet with Rishi Sunak, Priti Patel and Sajid Javid who will all be familiar with the Gurpurb. The Conservatives have no Sikh MPs while Labour has two, but you have four Sikh peers, while Labour has none so Parliamentarians in your party should have ensured this oversight did not take place.

Please provide a written assurance to the British Sikh community that the same mistake will not be repeated and a message will be shared with the Sikh community in the future on the Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

It has recently come to light that Priti Patel gave a speech to the Heritage Foundation in the US coinciding with Gurpurb. In the speech she spoke about banning Hamas and proscribing four extreme right-wing groups but then went on to state: “Sikh separatist extremism has also caused considerable tensions in recent years.” The following is a link to Priti Patel’s speech to the Heritage Foundation on the UK Government web site.

This reference to Sikhs is deeply offensive and has alarmed the law abiding British Sikh community. This is not how every other UK MP describes British Sikhs who are a role model community making a massive positive contribution, especially during the pandemic. This speech came within months of a failed and fundamentally flawed extradition sanctioned by Priti Patel of three innocent British born Sikhs to India who would have faced torture and possibly the death penalty. The speech was days after India’s infamous National Security Adviser had meetings in London pushing for action to silence British Sikhs.

We are appalled with the Home Secretary’s warped view of the British Sikh community and deeply disturbed she is conflicted in her role as Home Secretary given her known connections and appreciation of the right wing BJP Indian government. The Home Secretary and those who wrote her speech must immediately apologise and she should resign or be sacked for her offensive comments and actions towards the Sikh community or point out the specific incidents in recent years that led her to refer to Sikhs alongside Hamas and banned right wing groups.

On 9 February Jagtar Singh Johal a British born Sikh who went to India to get married but was abducted and tortured by Indian police is spending his 5th consecutive Birthday in jail although no evidence has been presented in court.

Legal experts have concluded he is being held in arbitrary detention and the UK Government is duty bound by its own policies to secure his release and return to the UK to be with his family. The Home Secretary proved her total animosity towards the Sikh community when she unashamedly had the audacity to repeatedly try and deport Jagtar Singh Johal’s wife to India. Priti Patel however failed in her pursuit but showed another serious misjudgement and bias against the Sikh community. Please confirm what is preventing you confirming Jagtar is being arbitrarily detained and securing his release and return to the UK?

This letter is being copied to leaders of the other main political parties. We look forward to your response to the points raised.

Signed

  1. 1984 Sikh Museum
  2. Aberdeen Gurdwara
  3. Akaal Publishers
  4. Akal Bunga Sahib London
  5. Akal Seva
  6. AK Media
  7. Amrit Sanchaar Jatha Bhindran
  8. Anti Grooming Task Force
  9. Awaze Quam Media
  10. Baba Namdev Community Center, Plaistow
  11. Baba Wadbhag Singh Trust, Greenford Gurdwara
  12. Basics of Sikhi
  13. BCU Sikh Society
  14. Bhai Nura Mahi Seva Society, Birmingham
  15. British Organisation of Sikh Students
  16. British Sikh Federation
  17. Broadway Church, Walsall
  18. Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha) London
  19. Chardikala Youth Jatha UK
  20. Chests Asian Women’s Group, Wolverhampton
  21. Channel Punjab UK
  22. Council of Sikh Gurdwaras, Birmingham
  23. Darlington Sikh Temple, Darlington
  24. Dashmesh Darbar Gurdwara, Manor Park, London
  25. Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Sewa Mission Trust UK
  26. Dharam Yudh Jatha Damdami Taksal
  27. DigitalSangat
  28. Elderly Asian Mens Group, Coventry
  29. Federation of Sikh Organisations
  30. FreeJaggiNow
  31. Gujarat Welfare Society, Bradford
  32. Guidebook Kaur
  33. Gurdwara Baba Budha Ji, Nottingham
  34. Gurdwara Baba Buddha Sahib Ji, Dulwich
  35. Gurdwara Baba Sang, Smethwick
  36. Gurdwara Baba Zorawar Singh Ji Baba Fateh Singh Ji, Milton Keynes
  37. Gurdwara Guru Har Rai Sahib, West Bromwich
  38. Gurdwara Guru Hargobind, Coventry
  39. Gurdwara Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, Tividale
  40. Gurdwara Guru Panth Parkash, Leiceste
  41. Gurdwara Shaheed Baba Deep Singh, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  42. Gurdwara Shri Guru Dashmesh Sahib, Leicester
  43. Gurdwara Sikh Sangat, Bow
  44. Gurdwara Sikh Sangat, London East, Leyton
  45. Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Bradford
  46. Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Glasgow
  47. Gurdwara Singh Sabha London East, Barking
  48. Gurdwara Sri Akal Bunga Sahib, Smethwick
  49. Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Foleshill, Coventry
  50. Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  51. Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Watford
  52. Baba Deep Singh Ji Shaheed Gurdwara Birmingham
  53. Babbar Akali Lehar
  54. GAD Khalsa Sports
  55. Guru Amar Das Gurdwara, Leicester
  56. Guru Arjan Dev Gurudwara, Derby
  57. Guru Arjan Niwas Gurdwara, Exeter
  58. Guru Gobind Sikh Temple, Sunderland
  59. Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara, Bedford
  60. Guru Har Krishan Sahib Gurdwara, Oadby
  61. Guru Ka Niwas, Wolverhampton
  62. Guru Kalgidhar Gurdwara, Doncaster
  63. Guru Nanak Darbar, Cardiff
  64. Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, Gravesend, Kent
  65. Guru Nanak Darbar, Erith, Kent
  66. Guru Nanak Darbar, Southall
  67. Guru Nanak Dev Ji Gurdwara, Hull
  68. Guru Nanak Gurdwara Bhat Singh Sabha, Preston
  69. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Edinburgh
  70. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Ipswich
  71. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Leicester
  72. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Rugby
  73. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Scunthorpe
  74. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Smethwick
  75. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Telford
  76. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Thornaby
  77. Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sahib, Walsall
  78. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Wednesfield
  79. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, West Bromwich
  80. Gurdwara Nanaksar, Pleck, Walsall
  81. Guru Nanak Satsang Gurdwara Nottingham
  82. Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha (Karmsar), Ilford
  83. Guru Nanak Satsang Sikh Gurdwara, Wolverhampton
  84. Gurdwara Nanak Gurdwara, Willenhall
  85. Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, Wolverhampton
  86. Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, Wolverhampton
  87. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Bedford
  88. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Bradford
  89. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Bilston
  90. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Luton
  91. Guru Nanak Gurdwara. South Birmingham
  92. Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Swansea
  93. Guru Nanak Sikh Temple Glasgow
  94. Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara Huddersfield
  95. Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara, Leicester
  96. Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara, Wolverhampton
  97. Gurudwara Guru Nanak Prakash, Coventry
  98. Gurdwara Guru Ravidass Sabha, Rochester
  99. Gurudwara Sri Guru HarKrishan Sahib Ji, Middlesbrough
  100. Harmony Funerals
  101. Harrow Sikhs
  102. History of Sikhs Org
  103. Ik Nishana
  104. International Panthic Dal
  105. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia Akhara
  106. Just Sikhi, Wolverhampton
  107. Kartarpur Sahib Yatra Committee
  108. Kaurageous
  109. Kaurs Legal
  110. Kent Sikh Organisations
  111. Kesri Lehar, Scotland
  112. Khalis House Publishing
  113. Khalsa Bikers
  114. Khalsa Darbar, Southampton
  115. Khalsa Fostering
  116. Khalsa Foundation
  117. Khalsa Human Rights
  118. Khalsa International Welfare Society UK
  119. Khalsa Mero Roop Hai Khas Gurdwara, South Shields
  120. Khalsa Sat Sang Jatha, Southampton
  121. KTV
  122. Lions MMA
  123. Manchester Sikh Foundation
  124. Media Diversified, Founder - Samantha Asumadu
  125. Medway Stand Up To Racism
  126. Medway Towns Gurdwara Sabha
  127. Midlands Langar Seva Society (MLSS)
  128. Mind Talk
  129. Nanaksar Thath Isher Darbar, Wolverhampton
  130. National Sikh Sports Council
  131. National Sikh Youth Federation
  132. Naujawani
  133. NF84 Football League
  134. Panjab Radio, CEO - Surjit Singh Ghuman
  135. Panthak Sewa Santhia, Leeds
  136. Peace and Protection, Wolverhampton
  137. Preston Sikhs
  138. Princess2Warrier
  139. Punjab 2000 
  140. Punjabi Community Centre, Swindon
  141. RAIDS UK
  142. Ramgarhia Board Gurdwara, Leeds
  143. Ramgarhia Board Northampton (Gurdwara Sahib)
  144. Ramgarhia Sabha, Nottingham
  145. Ramgarhia Sabha, Reading
  146. Ramgarhia Sabha, Wolverhampton
  147. Ramgarhia Sikh Gurdwara, Slough
  148. Ramgarhia Sikh Society, Bedford
  149. Respect Your Guru
  150. Sahara Sisterhood
  151. Satkar Committee UK
  152. Saving Punjab
  153. Shaheed Bhagat Singh Welfare Society, Leicester
  154. SHARE Charity
  155. Shere Punjab
  156. Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar
  157. Shiromani Akali Dal UK
  158. Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Gurdwara, Sheffield
  159. Shri Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Swindon
  160. Shri Guru Nanak Prakash Singh Sabha, Eastville, Bristol
  161. Shri Guru Ravidass Temple, Leicester
  162. Sikh 2 Inspire
  163. Sikh Activists UK
  164. Sikh Alliance Yorkshire (SAY)
  165. Sikh Assembly
  166. Sikh Awareness Society
  167. Sikh Community Forum Birmingham
  168. Sikh Community & Youth Service UK, Birmingham
  169. Sikh Council UK
  170. Sikh Dentist Association
  171. Sikh Doctors Association
  172. Sikh Education Service
  173. Sikh Empowerment Voluntary Association (SEVA)
  174. Sikh Federation (UK)
  175. Sikh Foundation
  176. Sikh Games
  177. Sikh Gurdwara South London, Southfields
  178. Sikh Human Rights
  179. Sikh Lawyers Association
  180. Sikh Missionary Society UK
  181. Sikh Motorcycle Club UK
  182. Sikh Press Association
  183. Sikh Relief
  184. Sikh Sangat Gurdwara, Chatham
  185. Sikh Sanjog, Scotland
  186. Sikh Union Coventry
  187. Sikh Welfare Society, Ilford
  188. Sikh Women’s Alliance
  189. Sikh Women’s Federation
  190. Sikh Your Mind
  191. Sikh Youth Community Service (Nottingham)
  192. Sikh Youth Group Walsall
  193. Sikh Youth UK
  194. Sikhs in England
  195. Sikhs in Scotland
  196. Sikhs of Wales
  197. Singh Army Podcast
  198. Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Birmingham
  199. Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham
  200. Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Peterborough
  201. Singh Sabha London East, Seven Kings
  202. Singh Sabha Slough FC
  203. Siri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Bristol
  204. Siri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Hitchin
  205. Siri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Nottingham
  206. Slough Sikhs
  207. Southall Sikhs
  208. Southall Street Patrol
  209. South London Sikh Youth
  210. Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Derby
  211. Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Slough
  212. Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Northampton
  213. Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Reading
  214. Stoma World Kenya
  215. The Norfolk African Community Association
  216. The Sikh Academy, Bradford
  217. The Sikh Arts & Culture Centre, Hillingdom
  218. The Sikh Network
  219. The Singh Partnership Ltd
  220. The Sikh Temple, Leeds
  221. The Word Of Sikhi
  222. Tribute 1984 
  223. UK Sikh Updates
  224. United Khalsa Dal
  225. United Sikhs
  226. United Sikhs of Berkshire
  227. Unsaid Digital
  228. Vidhiarthi Damdami Taksal UK
  229. Voices for Freedom
  230. Young Sikhs UK

Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations are listed in alphabetical order and signed by over 10,000 individuals.

The letter will be sent to Boris Johnson on 9 February 2022. MPs will also be sent a copy of the letter and details of constituents requiring a response as to what they are doing as regards Priti Patel’s offensive comments.

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