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Sunday, June 23, 2024

“Is it a crime to be a Hindu?”: Vice-principal sacked from Akal Academy school in UP over social media comment against ‘Indira thok di’ video

Vijaypal Singh, vice-principal of a private school in Shahjahanpur, UP was sacked from his job and is receiving threatening phone calls over a social media comment he made in response to a viral video which emerged from the recent Punjab farmer protests.

In that video, an elderly Sikh man was heard sayingIndira thok di..Modi ki chhati mein” (we had killed Indira…we will (riddle) Modi’s chest), referring to the assassination of PM Indira Gandhi in 1984 and threatening that current PM Modi will meet the same fate. Incidentally, this is not the only video threatening to kill the PM which has emerged from these protests – exhibit A, exhibit B are just two more examples.

Hurt by this video, Vijaypal Singh posted a sarcastic Facebook comment warning against such assassination threats. However, this riled up extremist elements, including some local Sikhs, so much that they immediately started harassing Vijaypal Singh, who lives in Puranpur in neighbouring Pilibhit district, and making death threats over phone.

In an interview to UP Tak news channel, a clearly shaken Vijaypal Singh says he was picked up by some men and taken to the Akal Academy school in Kajri Niranjanpur where he has worked for 18 years. There he was forced to apologise, the apology video made viral and also posted from his personal account using his phone. But not satisfied with this, he was held hostage for 3-4 hours and hounded. The school management forced him to resign before he was released.

Shri Vijaypal Singh speaking to UP Tak (Aaj Tak) channel

“I am terrified and scared to even leave my house now. I served their for 18 years with full integrity, considered that (Sikh) community as my own but I was forced to resign. Even during the lockdown when people were not getting salary, I kept working. I have always considered their (Sikh) Dharma as my own and have respected it. But today I am being treated like this and am scared for my life.  If something untoward happens with me, who will take care of my family – my teenage daughter and old mother? We are unable to eat, are getting calls till late in the night…how can I live like this? Is it a crime to be a Hindu? I appeal to the administration to protect me and my family. It is not a crime to be a Hindu, to apply tilak in this country. They allege that I follow the RSS agenda. What RSS agenda – do I run a shakha there? Is RSS a terrorist organisation? I served with full dedication for 18 years, but am being targeted now because I have belief in my own religion,” says Singh breaking down in tears.

“What crime did I commit..someone is openly saying ‘Indira thok di, Modi ko thok denge’ and spreading anarchy, but I am being painted as the villain. Is it a crime to be Hindu? Some BJP supporters too were there when I was held hostage for 3-4 hours. They could have suspended me, but where should I go now? I will commit suicide,” he adds, clearly disturbed.

Pilibhit police said investigation is being done based on Vijaypal’s complaint and required steps will be taken.

In his Facebook comment in Hindi, Vijaypal Singh had stated, “He says ‘we killed Indira’ but does not say what happened later? Then he talks about (killing) Modi, but doesn’t say what will happen later?”

One of Indira’s assassins was shot dead after her shooting, while another was arrested and hanged 5 years later along with a co-conspirator. The assassination also made the entire country acknowledge the reality of the ISI-backed Khalistani terrorist movement which had been bubbling under the surface in Punjab since the late 1970s, and in which hundreds of Hindus, Nirankaris and Sikhs opposed to the terrorists had been murdered even before Operation Blue Star and Indira’s assassination in 1984. Following Indira’s assassination, the country’s security establishment cracked down on Khalistani terror and defeated it over the next decade.

In the immediate aftermath of the assassination, Congress leaders and workers instigated a series of anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and other cities – these tragic riots in which around 3000 lives were lost were justified by Rajiv Gandhi’s statement ‘when a big tree falls, the earth shakes.’ Organisations like RSS worked to save Sikh lives and Sikh gurudwaras during that pogrom, but today that same RSS is reviled and targeted by Khalistani extremists bred on a steady diet of anti-Hindu bigotry and stoked by ISI-linked organisations among the Sikh diaspora. Such attitudes have been disturbingly mainstreamed by a certain section of Punjabi singers and artists like Diljit Dosanjh, Sidhu Moosewala etc.

We hope the UP government takes full cognisance of this issue at the highest level, and directs police to provide full protection to Shri Vijaypal Singh and financial support till he finds new employment. Those who harassed, threatened and held him hostage should be prosecuted. Hindu society and schools should come forward to employ this experienced educator.

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