"Speak Out Against Detention Centres", Exhorts Former Canadian Minister With CJI SA Bobde On Dais
“Hitler did not start sending Jews to gas chambers directly. He started first by breaking windowpanes of shops owned by Jews and later, by inflicting atrocities on them”, says Former Federal Minister of Canada Ujjal Dosanjh
NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 3—Pointing out that the Jews were not directly sent to Auschwitz concentrations or detention camps by Adolf Hitler but they were first subjected to atrocities and lynching as it is happening in India today with regard to Muslims, rationalists and others, former Federal Minister of Canada Ujjal Dosanjh has exhorted that the people must stand up and speak out against the detention centres in Assam.
He made his comments in presence of Chief Justice of India S A Bobde at an international conference in Chandigarh on Saturday, organised by Punjab and Haryana Bar Council to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikh religion.
Stating that “incidents of lynching and killings of rationalists, scholars, Dalits, Muslims and even cops, who tried to protect the minorities” have taken place in the last few years in India, he said that “Hitler did not start sending Jews to gas chambers directly. He started first by breaking windowpanes of shops owned by Jews and later, by inflicting atrocities on them”.
“If you create emphasis on one particular religion, they become other and we become us. You make people believe that they are lesser than us. That is how fascism begins and people must raise their voice against it,” he said.
Narrating the stories of Auschwitz concentration camps and the “silence” about the detention centres in Assam, Dosanjh said that “You think Nanak would be silent in face of all that…Nanak would have spoken out…Nanak would have been on frontlines. He was a preacher, debater, challenger, he was irreverent”.
Dosanjh, according to The Indian Express, began his speech quoting German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller’s confession speech and spoke about crimes committed by Hitler against Jews, Romas and Gypsies. Quoting the pastor, he said, “He said first they came for communists; and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the socialists; and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for trade unionists; and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews; and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me…”
Continuing his speech about the Holocaust, Dosanjh said that he has visited the Auschwitz camp, where over a million Jews were killed in gas chambers. “They were in detention camps. If you have detention camps today, be there in China, be there in Assam, be there in Trump’s United States of America… imprisoning children who are trying to run from poverty and injustice to freedom… He (Guru Nanak) would have said raaje see mukadham kute (The Kings have become lions, and their subordinates are no better than dogs)… Nanak would ask me are you speaking up?... did you just read… did you just make a speech or did you fight on the frontlines and find change…?”, Dosanjh said.
Stating that Nanak’s teachings were relevant in today’s world, Dosanjh said that “Nanak would have never said that Punjab is for Punjabis and Assam is for Assamese…Nanak would have never stood silent in face of all that is happening in this world”.
He ended his speech by exhorting people to stand up against all wrong. “We must stand up for freedom, liberty, justice and equality… Isn’t that what Nanak is all about. If you want to pay true homage to nanak, then let Guru Nanak speak”.
About the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), former Canadian minister told The Tribune said India was not a signatory to the Geneva Convention, “but it clearly states that if someone is a refugee, you don’t discriminate against him or her on the basis of race, caste, creed, religion or nationality. You accept them on the basis of whether they are persecuted or not”.