UK Sikhs demand war memorial for martyred community members

SIKHS in the UK have demanded a war memorial to be dedicated to the martyred community members who fought for the British during the First and Second World wars, a senior community member has said.

Statistical data has been used effectively to lobby the government and other public authorities to ensure that space can be found in central London for the memorial, Jasvir Singh, who chaired the British Sikh Report 2019, said.

“A vast majority of Sikhs want to have a war memorial in central London dedicated to Sikhs who died in the First and Second World Wars,” he said.

“There have been memorials that have been made across the country as well and dedicated to those who died in the two wars,” he said.

Singh was in Singapore to attend the International Conference on Cohesive Societies from June 19-21.

Singh leads the ‘Grand Trunk Project’ which brings Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh communities of British-Asian heritage, along with smaller communities from the Subcontinent, together in dialogue and understanding.

In his work on Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims as a minority in the UK, Singh hopes “that people are able to see the similarities, respect and celebrate the differences.”

Expressing his views on the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, he referred to the British Sikh Report 2019 and said 85 per cent of British Sikhs believe that events like this should be taught in schools in the UK.

According to the survey in the report, 79 per cent of respondents believes that the British government should apologise for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

“This view was shared across the age groups with those aged 19 and under and those aged 65 or more, (who) most likely to want an apology,” Singh said.

The survey included nearly 2,500 respondents spread across the UK.