We at City Sikhs have been horrified by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We stand united with the people of Ukraine and urge the British Government to support the Ukrainian people in whatever way possible, including making provision for Ukrainian refugees to make their way to the UK.
Britain has a long history as a haven for those fleeing persecution and repression in Europe, and we have provided refuge and asylum to people affected by crises for centuries. During the Second World War, London was also home to several governments in exile when European nations lost their sovereignty. We ask the British Government to act in the spirit of that long history and give sanctuary to those who need it today.
We are also deeply concerned by reports of British and South Asian citizens who have not yet been able to leave Ukraine, with several Sikhs within those numbers. We hope that action can be taken to protect and support foreign citizens currently in Ukraine so that they can be repatriated to their own countries expeditiously.
President Putin’s actions will have repercussions for quite some time, perhaps even decades to come. History will remember him for exactly what he is, a cruel despot with no respect for sovereign nationhood who has the blood of innocents on his hands.
As Guru Nanak Dev Ji noted when the Mughal emperor Babar invaded India in a similar manner around 500 years ago, “Modesty and righteousness have vanished, and falsehood struts around like a leader, O Lalo”.