An open letter to Advocate HS Phoolka by Dal Khalsa [Kuldip Nayar's autobiography issue]
Published: July 23, 2012
Dear Brother H S Phoolka,
Sat Sri Akal ji.
I read your statement in newspapers in which you had asked your Sikh brethren to stop portraying Kuldip Nayar as enemy of the Sikhs, keeping in view his past services towards the Sikhs, especially during 1984 tragic events. We believe in your words that Nayar took strong note of army attack and Nov killings and voiced his concern in favour of the community.
After singing praises in his favour, in a very casual manner you had admitted that Nayar’s autobiography contains derogatory contents against Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale and Bhai Amrik Singh. Your suggestion is that since an apology has come from Nayar, the Sikhs must end their campaign against him.
As you had come out in open, defending Nayar without realizing the pain and anger of the community and the damage Nayar’s writings has done to the Sikh cause, it forced me to write to you.
It is astonishing to note your silence on his recent derogatory article criticizing June 1984 martyrs memorial and the Sikh institutions. Nayar has crossed all limits by recommending the scrapping of the SGPC. Whatever good he has done to Sikhs by raising his voice against the injustices done to them, doesn’t provide Nayar with an license to offend the Sikhs and mock at their value systems and traditions.
Nayar is known to put the Sikh community in the dock and then mock at them. Kuldip Nayar’s chapter on Punjab problem is full of vilified propaganda against Sikh personalities.
As far as his apology is concerned it hasn’t come direct from horse’s mouth. The manner is which it has been tendered is not proper.
His argument that ‘he will remove objectionable contents in the next edition’ is a vague commitment. Who knows when and under what circumstances the next edition will come out. Moreover, it is the prerogative of the publisher to print the next edition and not the author. Publisher will only print the next edition if there will be a demand and not otherwise.
May I ask why the author has not volunteered to clear all false accusations from the remaining stock of the current edition lying with the publisher.
My humble request is you must advice your fellow friend Nayar to write his apology himself on his letter pad, under his own signature, without ifs and buts and send it to the Akal Takht, which is central place for all Sikhs. Apology must be addressed to the Sikh Nation. Kindly don’t misread that we are asking him to appear at the Akal Takht in person. There is no such demand. Absolutely no.
If your friend has genuinely realized that he has rubbed the Sikhs in the wrong way, then let him show magnanimity and face the community. He should neither hide himself behind persons like you, who command respect in Sikhs nor you people should give him shelter.
For how long, Sikhs would get trapped in gimmicks of Indian authors and writers who use every occasion to criticize “hardliners” and praise “liberal” Sikhs. Don’t you see a design behind it?
One thing is for sure, Nayar needs community’s reprimand. After all, for how long, Sikhs would tolerate insult to their martyrs? Enough is enough. The irony of the situation is that the reputed Sikhs like you have come in the defence of the person, who has offended the Sikhs, who is culprit if not the enemy. Your defence in Nayar’s favour is certainly not in good taste.
Kanwar Pal Singh