Lahore, Friday, March 25, 1921

The Duty of the Sikhs.

WHILE we are clear in our mind as to the duty of the Government, we are also clear about the corresponding duty of the Sikh community generally and of the Sikh leaders in particular. They must recognise that the only alternative to the proposed law is the due application and enforcement of the existing law itself, and since the existing law is insufficient for their purpose, it is their duty to co-operate with the Government in enacting a law which, while meeting their own purpose, shall be consonant with equity and shall have due regard for the just interests of other communities. If they fail to do this, they will put themselves as much in the wrong as the Government will put itself if it either remains inactive or fails to strengthen their hands by taking the preliminary step we have suggested, and they will have only themselves to thank if the Government will have no choice left but to enforce the existing law. Secondly, pending the enactment of the new law, they must make an effort to suspend the activities associated with the Gurdwara movement and all attempts to force possession should cease. As regards the second of these points, something in the nature of a tentative assurance has been given already. “I am convinced,” says Sardar Jogendra Singh in his article, “that there would be no difficulty in obtaining an assurance that there would be no further attempts to force possession, particularly if the Sikh community is satisfied that steps are being taken to place the administration of Gurdwaras on a suitable basis.” He said, “I was assured that if the men under arrest are released, the leading Sikhs are prepared to give an assurance that the Sikh Jathas will not force decision in any other Gurdwaras, and if some men trespass this assurance, the Sikh Jathedars will see that such action is immediately rectified.”

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