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Hate Crime-Turban-Torture:
Burning Issues and Comments

Balbir Singh Sooch-Sikh Vichar Manch
Sikhs and Soft Power 

Did the ‘Rule of Law’ permit the Guantanamo Bay facility of torture and the Hate Crime on any grounds of humanity? 

Answer has to be ‘NO’. If the United States is a violator then the law abiding citizens to think as to where be the Rule of Law in the world. 

I was always of the view and poor in knowledge that in the developed nations, the torture is not the way to investigate as was available at Guantanamo Bay facility in the United States. Thanks to the President Barack Obama’s administration for closing the Guantanamo Bay facility of investigation by torture. 

To my mind, by way of cross-examination of the accused regarding their all movements, background, ideology etc then cross checking their statements to find out omissions and commissions and again repeating the process, to bring the truth on surface is not difficult. Though the process is very time consuming and lengthy and can not be a success without impartial action and expertise knowledge.  

But, certainly truth could be brought out on surface without any bodily torture as I myself experienced as a lawyer and felt by cross-examination the witnesses within a short time in the open court. Recently, when I faced mental pain and agony due to untimely and unexpected tragedy in my own family i.e. act of God, then I started recollecting as to how I may have tortured by way of cross-examination to a many persons who complained me without any grudge considering that was my professional duty in order to bring truth on surface for justice to my client.  

But, I may be wrong to say that the complaint of physical torture or keeping in isolation cruelly to the accused never can be or remain without grudge and reaction and the after effect of that grudge and reaction of the physical torture might be named as individual’s terrorism or non-state actors terrorism which is resulting into disturbing the peace of the entire world. 

Similarly, the hate crime of any nature committed or being committed anywhere in the world, must also be taken and considered as a murder of humanity and should be dealt very seriously. 

The act of physical torture and the hate crime on the part of State or individual or non-state actors may be in the case of Sikhs or anybody else never would be helpful   to attract others to the cause but only through attraction as pleaded here.  And for the purpose, the common Sikhs of country side also do always perform the service of ‘Free Community Kitchen’ without any discrimination on days of importance religiously in Punjab (India). 

It is again positive sign as reported that the Mr. Barack Obama’s administration, including newly minted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has rebranded or reframed the foreign policy strategy, generally naming it “smart power “.

Balbir Singh Sooch-Sikh Vichar Manch

January 31, 2009 

From: Alan
Sikh Vichar Manch
Feb 1, 2009 11:38 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: Councilmember Avella and UNITED SIKHS Call for Police to Apprehend Third Attacker in Crime Against Sikh

Hello Sikh Vichar Manch.

Please note that I am not condoning torture. From what I know about this, which is not much, they investigated what techniques were legal and which were not. After investigation and discussions with various people, including lawyers, they came to a conclusion that some techniques were legal and those were the techniques they used.

We don't know exactly what they did, except that they used "waterboarding" and made people stand for long periods of time and kept them awake with right lights and loud music and humiliated them by taking their clothes.

As far as we know, they didn't beat them up, use thumbscrews, stretch then on a rack break bones, cut off limbs or tongues or do any violent acts such at beating, punching, kicking or physically attacking them with dogs, although there were pictures of dogs near some of the detainees.

The reason they asked to investigate these things was that they initially just tried interrogation and other things that yielded little or no results and were worried that they were missing a lot of things. They obviously wanted as much information as possible.

After the investigation, it was decided that some techniques were allowed and those are the things they did. So once they had agreed on those things, they kept doing them.

Many people seem to have the idea that they were doing really terrible things and thinking up more terrible things. I don't think that is the case. We may never know whether using these severe tactics got them any useful information.

As a lawyer, you know that lawyers and police interrogate people to get information.
Where is the line drawn? What is legal and what is not?  What techniques are easily brushed off by one person that cause another to break down and suffer mentally and physically?

How is it decided that one technique is OK, but another is not?  If you were charged with protecting your friends and family and there was a group of people trying to kill them and you had custody of a group of people you thought were involved in the plots to kill them, would you just lock those people in a cell and feed them or would you try to get information about what they were planning and who was supporting them?

What would you do to try to get that information before your friends and family were attacked and possibly killed? I think they went too far, but how far is OK and how far is not?

Two more things; After this was discovered and they stopped those severe techniques, those people in Guantanamo are still there, still locked up but they are fed well, are allowed out to exercise and to pray and a lot of other things, so that bad situation has not been happening for some time.  (I know someone who has been there to see what it is like now)

Finally, some of those who were accused, gave no information and were released have gone back to their own countries and rejoined the same terror groups they were with before. It isn't that the harsh conditions made them become radical, they already were. It is also possible - although we don't know, that some were innocent, after all. Some may have joined terror groups.

This is a very complex issue.


Turban searches humiliating, local Sikhs say

Balbir Singh Sooch-Sikh Vichar Manch on
Turbans and The Home Depot
Balbir Singh Sooch-Sikh Vichar Manch says:
Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 12:38 am

Subject- Turban searches humiliating and the alleged discrimination against Sikhs for wearing a turban at work- The searches of turbans of Sikhs systematically and the discrimination against Sikhs for wearing a turban at work to humiliate them are totally an inhuman treatment in the modern scientific world and deserve (searches in the manner) to be condemned at all levels.

The law abiding citizens can’t resort to such maltreats against Sikhs and the countries who wish to follow the Rule of Law are also suitably addressing the grievances of Sikhs noticed and that is the ray of hope for Sikhs staying abroad.

In case, the searches are must from the security point of view, then these should be carried out scientifically without humiliating and insulting Sikhs in the manner the attitude adopted and reported.

I can comment only by keeping the security concerns in mind. I earned a distinction of being a soldier of exemplary character and exceptional in trade proficiency as a sergeant while serving for more than 15 years in Indian Air Force and now a practising lawyer since 1984 at Ludhiana.

I do not think the most of the Indian politicians came to their present level and posts earned ever such distinction from people of India. They are badly involved in scandals and corruption and regarded as criminals.

They (Indian Politicians) neither care about any body’s turban nor they believe in the theory of humiliation and insult as they themselves are used to such treatments frequently within and outside India.

Who is to believe and blame! To your protectors (politicians) or the system of India (administration etc)! Decide yourself and act accordingly but safely.

God may bless you.

Turban an important part of dress of Sikhs religiously

The ray of hope for Sikhs staying abroad
USMLE Changes Turban Search Policy


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