ISLAMABAD - In a shocker to India amid the rise of discrimination in the self-proclaimed biggest democracy in the world, the Senate of New Jersey on Tuesday adopted a resolution recognising the fact of ‘1984 Sikh Genocide.’ 

The resolution was introduced in New Jersey Senate by Senator Stephen M Sweeney on January 6, 2022. It was adopted by voice vote on January 10, 2022. The resolution condemns November 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India as “genocide”. 

It is notable that similar resolutions have been passed in California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania states in the United States. 

The state assembly of Delhi in India has also adopted a motion recognising the fact of 1984 Sikh Genocide. Provincial parliament of Ontario has also adopted a motion recognising the fact that the 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India was ‘genocide.’ 

The resolution reads: “A Senate Resolution condemning the November 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India as genocide. Whereas, The Sikh community, which originated in Punjab, India, and began immigrating into the United States over 100 years ago, has played an important role in developing the United States and New Jersey; and Whereas, Sikhism is the world’s fifth-largest religion with nearly 30 million adherents, including roughly 1,000,000 in the United States; and Whereas, The Sikh genocide began on November 1, 1984, after the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the capital territory of Delhi and the states of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Maharashtra. 

It adds: “The Sikh genocide lasted three days and over 30,000 Sikhs were brutally murdered as they were hunted in their homes, where they were hacked and burned alive; and whereas, On April 16, 2015, the California State Assembly unanimously passed Assembly Concurrent Resolution 34, which recognised the systematic and organised killings of Sikhs by the Indian government in Delhi and remembered those who lost their lives during the 1984 Sikh genocide; and whereas, On October 17, 2018, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania unanimously passed House Resolution HR-1160 declaring the November 1984 anti-Sikh violence as genocide; and whereas, eyewitnesses, journalists, and human rights activists have compiled evidence showing that government and law enforcement officials organised, participated in, and failed to intervene to prevent the killings through direct and indirect means.” 

It  said: “As recently as 2011, mass graves have been discovered in the villages of Hondh Chillar and Pataudi in Haryana, and many more will continue to be discovered in the future with Indian government officials and police flouting impunity; and Whereas, The “Widow Colony,” the Tilak Vihar neighbourhood in New Delhi, still houses thousands of Sikh women, who were forced to bear mass rape and witness the hacking, burning, and murder of their husbands, fathers, and sons, and who are still calling for justice against the perpetrators; and whereas, many of the survivors of the Sikh genocide eventually immigrated to the United States and established large Sikh communities in places such as Fresno, Yuba City, Stockton, Fremont, Glenrock, Pine Hill, Carteret, New York City, and Philadelphia, among other places; and whereas, the Sikh community in the United States and New Jersey has recovered from the material damages of the genocide as they continue to keep the memory of those who were killed alive and will never forget the Sikh genocide.” 

Recognising the state-sponsored violence that targeted Sikhs across India in 1984 is an important and historic step towards justice, accountability, and reconciliation, which should be an example to other governments; “now, therefore The New Jersey Senate condemns the November 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India as genocide,” the resolution said. 

The Senate also lauded the services of Sikhs in their “important role in developing the United States and New Jersey.”