“It is really painful to see my father like this, but I feel proud as he is fighting for a good cause.” says Sarvinder Kaur, daughter of Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa.
A 82 year old man in Ludhiana, Bapu Surat Singh is a Sikh activist who is on hunger strike since January 16th, 2015. He wants the government to release the Sikh prisoners who are still in jail despite of completing their respective sentences.
He is seeking release of 82 Sikh detainees languishing in various jails of the country despite the completion of their sentence. Sarvinder Kaur confirmed that her father is on fast again.
“How can he end fast unless his demands are met? He has not eaten anything since last night and told me that he will continue to do so till all 82 prisoners are not freed by the state government,” she said
.Khalsa was taken to his village Hassanpur. Sarvinder Kaur said she took her father to a doctor in the evening for a medical check-up.Khalsa was reportedly discharged from the hospital a few hours after Sarvinder Kaur met President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi yesterday.
She said the police released her father but there was no intimation when her brother Ravinder Pal Singh would be released.Ravinderpal, who hails from Chicago, was arrested by the police along with Surinder Singh of Jas Radio America on February 26 from the Civil Hospital after the duo allegedly objected to the police action of using a food pipe to break Surat Singh’s fast.
The police said Ravinder Pal Singh had not applied for bail. Ravinder’s relatives, however, claimed that he was arrested for no crime. “Why should he apply for a bail. Did Ravinderpal break any law? Did he protest against the government? He was merely looking after his father at the Civil Hospital. When he did not commit any offence, why should he seek a remedy from the police,” said Kanwaldeep Singh brother-in-law of Ravinderpal who is settled in the US.
And despite of numerous hurdles, this old man is still continuing with his fast from last 116 days and is determined to continue until the Sikh prisoners are released by the government.
Fasting has been an age old, non- violent way of fighting against injustice. Be it Mahatma Gandhi, who used it as a weapon against British Government, or social activist Anna Hazare, who led the famous anti-corruption movement in support of Jan Lokpal Bill.
Fasting for political/social cause has always created turmoil in the government and successfully leaves them perplexed. And probably that is why the government tries to crush such movements through various tactics, like it happened in the case of Irom Sharmila who is on fast since 2nd November, 2000 for her demand of revoking AFSPA from Manipur.
A similar thing is happening in the case of Bapu Surat Singh ever since he started with his fast.