Sikhs increase political pressure on Prime Minister
Theresa May pushed for apology in Parliament for 1919 British Amritsar massacre
The 15th Sikh Federation (UK) National Sikh Convention at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Sedgley Street, Wolverhampton attracted in excess of 10,000 Sikhs from across the UK and Europe.
The main event on Sunday 17th September heared from both new Sikh MPs elected to Westminster in June - Preet Kaur Gill MP, the first Sikh woman MP and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP, the first turban wearing Sikh. Other local MPs attending include Pat McFadden and Eleanor Smith.
The Convention has become similar to a party political conference with the Sikh Federation (UK) often described as the first and only Sikh political party that was set up in September 2003.
In essence, the Sikh Convention kicks off the autumn political party conference season that this year is expected to be tense given the pressure on Theresa May following a disastrous general election and difficult Brexit negotiations.
The Sikh Convention will not only put the spotlight on what the Sikh Federation (UK) has achieved in the last 12 months, but also the areas of focus for the next 12 months. There are expected to be some major announcements of wider political interest both nationally and internationally.
Achievements will touch upon the successful election of two Sikhs MPs and progress in the last year on an independent public inquiry into UK involvement in the 1984 Sikh Genocide.
A major announcement soon to be made is expected regarding the latter throwing down the political gauntlet to Theresa May to come clean on the Thatcher era or face an embarrassing defeat in Parliament with the help of a number of Conservative MPs.
The event broadcasted live on television across the globe and gave more information on developing a two-year strategy to safeguard the Sikh identity across Europe. There are hopes this happens before the UK exits the European Union and the exciting initiative of developing a World Sikh Parliament.
Earlier this month around 140 MPs signed an open letter demanding the inclusion of a separate Sikh ethnic tick box in the Census 2021. Those gathered will hear about next steps and plans of how the building blocks are being put in place to allow 100 or more MPs from different political parties to be quickly mobilised to make progress on a number of significant issues of concern to the Sikh community.
Another announcement by the Sikh Federation (UK) at the Sikh Convention piled on the misery for the British PM relating to plans by the global Sikh community for the 25th Commonwealth Heads of State meeting in the UK next April.
The meeting is held every two years and in a different member state. The 25th meeting is being hosted by the UK and has the added focus because of Brexit.
The Sikh Federation (UK) has drawn up plans to force the British PM to make a full apology in Parliament before the 100th anniversary of the British massacre of Sikhs at Jallianwala Bagh on 13th April 1919.
In addition, Sikhs will be lobbying a number of heads of state in the Commonwealth before April 2018 to build a coalition of countries to target the Indian Prime Minister on the 1984 Sikh Genocide and the need for a UN-led inquiry. The legitimate demand for the right to self determination for Sikhs and re-establishment of the Sikh homeland will also be raised.