Award winning community group Sikh Youth UK, known for their work in supporting survivors of street grooming gangs, speak out, having previously been accused of having a right-wing leaning.
Sikh Youth UK yesterday proclaimed ‘We don’t stand with the right, we don’t stand with the left. What we do do, is stand with the Panth (Sikh community).‘
In a video statement released on their social media, available to watch here, two senior SYUK volunteers spoke out, following feedback on their weekly TV show on the Sikh Channel, which this week saw a grooming gang victim give an exclusive interview.
The Sikh ethos community group, who work on dealing with taboo issues such as addiction and abuse within the British-Punjabi community, made their feelings clear in regards to accusations about their political leanings.
‘The left-wing have never allowed any serious and mature debate on the issue.’
Gurpreet Singh of SYUK said of right-wing support, ‘When it comes to the right-wing, they throw fuel on the issue to fan the flames. They are looking to stir up community tensions. They have no genuine interest in the betterment of the Sikh community. To them the Sikh community is just a pawn in their greater battle against other communities.’
He went on to add, ‘When it comes to the left-wing, especially the left-wing media, any serious debates about the street grooming issue, they have always dismissed it. Anybody who brings up cultural tendencies in regards to street grooming, they are demonised, for example, the likes of Sarah Champion. They have never allowed any serious and mature debate on the issue. That’s because they again don’t have any real concern about the Sikh community, they are concerned about selling newspapers to the masses. It is only the panth that cares about what is happening to Sikh girls.’
‘Please can we focus on who is actually suffering here.’
Deepa Singh also stated, ‘We don’t stand with the right, we don’t stand with the left. What we do do, is stand with the Panth, stand with the Guru, and stand with our sisters who are preyed upon and targeted in the UK.
So we are not happy with the right-wing or left-wing exploiting this. Please can we focus on who is actually suffering here.’
‘We hope that any media coverage on the group will now focus on their work’
Jasveer Singh, Sikh Press Association Senior Press Officer, said the statement was needed to counter media portrayals of the community group.
‘Sikh Youth UK declaring their apolitical position when it comes to dealing with street grooming gangs is important, as hopefully this will now draw a line under accusations about their work.
‘We hope that any media coverage on the group will now focus on their work supporting Sikh girls that have been targeted by street grooming gangs, rather than using a few historic sporadic incidents to portray the group in a negative light.’