June 6, 1984 is a date that is held close to Sikh people around the world.
It was on this the day that the Government of India initiated a genocidal campaign against the Sikh minority beginning with a military invasion of the Golden Temple -- the Sikh community’s most loved place of meditation -- and 41 other Gurdwaras on what should have been a day of prayer and meditation.
The Government of India dictated a media blackout on the assault, and imposed a statewide curfew preventing assistance from civil and human rights agencies.
The Indian Military killed thousands of innocent people in just one day.
This genocide continued for the next twenty years. Across Punjab, Sikh youth disappeared, torture was rampant, and Sikhs endured relentless state-sanctioned terrorism.
My heart breaks to think about that day as the start of decades of extreme loss for the Sikh community. But the fact that the Sikh community remains so vibrant and optimistic in the face of so much loss is something worth celebrating; this resilience is an act of resistance.
There is light, even in dark times. So on this 33rd anniversary of that unthinkable day, I want to honour the survivours who carry the trauma of that day, as well as the generations who have chosen to carry on in the face of this attempt to extinguish the Sikh community.
Finally I want to extend my solidarity and love to all survivour communities and make a heartfelt promise to you that I will always listen, learn and defend your journey toward healing and reconciliation.