National Khalsa Day Parade 306, A Great Success, Press Release
Khalsa Day Parade 306
A Big Success
Washington DC (April 16, 2005- Thousands of Sikhs from the Washington, DC metropolitan area and the mid-Atlantic states gathered at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, April 16, 2005 to commemorate the 306th Birthday of the Khalsa (Vaisakhi).
A Khalsa Diwan was held on the open grounds near the Lincoln Memorial where thousands participated in the religious services and paid their tribute to holy Sikh scriptures. Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Scriptures) was displayed under a white canopy beautifully decorated with a six-foot Khanda, Nishan Sahib( Sikh Flag) and American Flags. Dhadi Jatha of Nabhe Walian Bibian ( Traditional Sikh Singing Group) from California recited the traditional Vaars (Hymns) to energize the Sikh crowds and rekindle the self-confidence and pride as instilled by Guru Gobind Singh more than 300 years ago.
The Sikh youth participated in the freedom march to celebrate the recent exoneration of two Sikhs – S. Ripduman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh – who were falsely accused by the Indian Government of masterminding the plot to blow up an Air India plane. Free Langar was served to all the participants as well as the onlookers who were also given pamphlets about the incident as documented in the book Soft Target by Brian McAndrew and Zuhair Kashmeri, two eminent Canadian journalists.
Dr. Paramjit Singh Ajrawat, the founder, Chief Organizer and Coordinator of the National Khalsa Day Parade and President of Anti Defamation Sikh Council for Freedom of Khalistan welcomed and congratulted the Sikh Sangat ( Sikh Congregation) on this great day in the Sikh calendar. He cautioned the Sikh Nation regarding the covert and overt attacks on the Sikhs’ identity, religion and unity by Machiavellian forces, such as radical Hindu groups and the Indian Government it self.. He emphasized that Sikhs must unite and reclaim their lost sovereignty and liberate their homeland of Punjab, Khalistan, by peaceful, democratic and political means. “Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh bestowed sovereignty on Sikhs and we must follow Guru’s command for an honorable and dignified existence,” said Dr. Paramjit Singh Ajrawat. “Freedom, Justice and Liberty are the birth right of all human beings,” he said. The Sikh Sangat echoed their sentiment for freedom of their ancestral homeland by shouting slogans like “Khalistan Zindabad”.
After the Ardaas the Sikh Procession, Khalsa Parade proceeded towards Capitol Hill via Constitution Avenue and Jefferson Street on the National Mall, led by the glorious Scottish Bag Pipe Band, Panj Pyaras and Darbar Sahib’s float bearing the image of Guru Granth Sahib. Miri Piri Gatka Dal of Houstn, Texas, put on a spectacular display of the Sikh Martial Arts, Gatka.
This parade provided an opportunity to the American people to have a full view of the physical, cultural and spiritual experience of the Sikh identity. A large number of onlookers took photographs of this beautiful and spectacular display of the Sikh Nation. The Darbar Sahib and other floats displayed signs reading “Khalistan, The Sikh Nation on the Move” and “Sikhs pray for the Welfare of All Mankind” and the like.
The parade concluded at Third Street at the foot of the Nation’s Capitol where the Sikh Sangat was addressed by representatives of various Gurudwaras including S. Bhupinder Singh Boparai of Sikh Cultural Society of New york, Master Mohinder Singh and S. Manjit Singh, President of Baba Makhan Shah Foundation of New York, Dr. Rajwant Singh and Bibi Amrit Kaur of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation of Maryland, S. Sewa Singh of Singh Sabha Gurudwara, Virginia and Dr. Raminder Singh Dhadli, representative of Rochester Hills Gurudwara from Troy, Michigan, Paramjit Singh Sekhon of California among others. Participants carried banners demanding “India Free Khalistan!” “ India Stop the Illegal Transfer of Population into Punjab, Khalistan!” and “India Stop the Flow of Illegal Drugs into Punjab, Khalistan!” among others.. The entire Sikh Sangat felt happy and rejuvenated on this bright and glorious day and promised to come back next year in even larger numbers. In conclusion, Vaisakhi of 2005 in Washington, DC, have opened a new chapter in history of the Sikh Nation which will lead to the path of self determination and freedom of Khalistan.
Photos of National Khalsa Day Parade Aril 16, 2005 Washington, DC
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