American Sikh Council stand with the SSA-UCB to stop any funds from a foreign government for an endowment for Sikh Studies at UC, Berkeley, CA
Americans, particularly academics and lawmakers, are very concerned about the proliferation of over a 100 Confucius Institutes in Universities across the United States. These ‘chairs’ are fully funded by the government of China. Academics in over a hundred universities and colleges have voiced serious concern especially when universities like Stanford have reported Chinese officials asking that freedom of ‘Tibet’ and human right violations not be discussed.
According to reporting by the ‘Chronicle for Higher Education’ on February 28, 2018; in 2017 National Association of Scholars said 103 ‘Confucius Institutes’ were operating on American campuses, with the Chinese government typically contributing $150,000 for start-up costs and $100,000 annually thereafter. The association’s president wrote about its findings on Monday in a Chronicle essay that referred to “China’s pernicious presence on American campuses.”
There is no doubt about how the Chinese government is trying to influence the minds of university students in the US and slowly the rest of society, in order to blunt the sharp and insidious edges of communism and the flagrant human right violations against the Tibetan Buddhists and Muslim Uighurs in particular.
Christopher A. Wray, director of the FBI, while talking about a hearing on foreign threats held by the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 13, 2018 shared his concerns about the ‘Confucius Institutes’, which he described as “one of many tools that they (Chinese) take advantage of.” This type of subtle brainwashing of a target audience is done by the Chinese and other governments across the globe.
India is no different, because they have browbeaten multiple ethno-religious minorities into submission. Case and point is the ‘Sustained Sikh Genocide 1984 – 1998’ where the Indian regime has killed over a million Sikhs in Punjab and across India, yet refuses to allow any outside agency to do an independent inquiry into this long pogrom. The voices of freedom have been ringing from Sikhs in Punjab, Muslims from Kashmir, and several states in the North Eastern region of India where many are Christians. India needs to keep the official narrative ‘of the largest democracy in the world albeit peaceful’ going in order to expand their economic might and flex their military muscle in South Asia.
Unfortunately, the core is rotten and the RSS/BJP upper caste coterie controls all minorities and three major independent faiths by lumping them legally under the purview of so-called ‘Hinduism’.
Sikh Americans like many minorities in the diaspora have an uphill battle to keep their heritage alive and healthy for future generation to survive and be proud of their faith traditions. Sikh Americans have trusted various entities, from academic institutions to lawmakers, for important issues relating to personal identity, articles of faith, civil rights, etc. Unfortunately, Sikh Americans have been naïve and politically immature to truly understand that there is politics within academia and tremendous leeway to define the narrative on any research.
Over the past 30 years well-meaning Sikh Americans have put up their hard earned monies and set up Sikh Studies Chairs at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Hofstra University, Long Island NY; University of California, Irvine, CA; University of California, Santa, Barbara, CA; and most recently Claremont Lincoln University, Los Angeles, CA, to name a few.
Unfortunately, the incumbents recruited for these chairs have serious issues.
· First, the entire current cadre of Sikh academics has earned their respective doctorates under the guidance of western scholars who have been outright inimical to historically held Sikh beliefs.
· Second, most have been Sikhs and yet very few have had the qualifications required as per the norms of the Chair.
· Third, none have had any ongoing direct interaction with the collective, except in some small and intermittent way.
· Fourth, most of their writings have been from sloppy to outright sacrilegious and in direct conflict to Sikh thought. A perfect example: Pashauara Singh, who used a fake manuscript to base his entire doctoral thesis had to publicly apologize at the Akal Takaht, yet went on to publish it into a book with a plum academic position.
· Fifth, pretty much all the chairs require ongoing funding for doctoral students who want to do further research and the funds in these areas are hard to come by and the one place everyone reaches out to is the ‘American Institute for Indian Studies’, the long arm of the Indian government. This one institution overwhelmingly funds most research in the US, on any of the faith traditions originating from South Asia.
· Sixth, if a foreign entity such as the Indian government is funding research especially on a sensitive subject such as religion, then there is no question that they expect something in return
. Especially considering the fact that to date the Indian constitution [Article 25 b] relegates the independent and distinct Sikh Faith to simply a sect of Hinduism, therefore all research is expected to be in the same vein.
· Seventh, the Indian regime has and is trying its utmost to destroy and erase all vestiges of the Sikh Faith and is undermining all that Sikhs hold dear to their hearts.
· Eight, today nearly all the major Sikh religious institutions have been infiltrated and corrupted by proxies of the Indian regime.
· Nine, there are several Caucasian (Christian) academics, with some filling Sikh Chairs in Canada, but nearly all have done immense damage to the Sikh heritage and some of them are US citizens.
· Finally, if academics in the arena of Sikh Studies are ethically challenged then asking for funds from the Indian government is akin to asking a crocodile for food, because it will eat you sooner than later.
A country like India which uses various types of pressure tactics to make sure that all minorities in India accept Hinduism as the parent religion over and above their own and only then can an Indian be patriotic – in other words ‘everyone’ but especially the oppressed majority, namely; Shudras, Other Backward Castes, Dalits, Tribals, etc., who are not Hindus, yet legally lumped into Hinduism through the devious ‘Poona Act’ of September 24, 1932 by the wily M.K.Gandhi.
If the University of California at Berkeley requests and accepts Nine Million dollars in funds from India for the Sikh Studies Chair in the department of South Asian Studies, then based on past experience of over three decades the incumbents holding the chairs will be completely beholden to the hands that feed them.
Sikh Americans have had enough of these shenanigans and refuse to tolerate any more intrusions into their faith traditions by foreign entities using the ‘chairs’ to erode our religious and historical ethos.
The American Sikh Council (ASC) fully supports the petition put out on February 20, 2019 by the Sikh Student Association of the University of California at Berkeley (SSA-USB) and applauds the timely stand taken by vigilant Sikh American citizens to put a stop to this.
The American Sikh Council is the umbrella organization representative of Sikhs in the United States. It is an elected body of Sikh Gurdwaras and institutions. Currently 74 Gurdwaras and other Sikh institutions across the nation are members of ASC. The major governing purpose of the organization is to represent the collective view of Sikhs in the United States. ASC works to promote Sikh interests at the national and international level focusing on issues of advocacy, education, and well-being of humankind.
American Sikh Council supports complete boycott of Indian government officials at all gurdwaras (Asia Samachar, 24 Nov 2017)
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