Note – Sikh PA categorically refute language around the 1984 Sikh genocide which calls the massacres “riots”. Although this language has become common place as a reflection of the Indian media narrative, it does not accurately portray the horrific scale of the slaughters which took place across India. More information can be found here.
As the world’s attention fell on Harmanpreet Kaur last week during her epic 171-run performance in the Women’s World Cup semi-final, the India team bats-woman used her shirt to remember victims of the 1984 Sikh genocide.
Wearing the number 84 shirt, it was after her amazing performance against Australia on July 20 when the reason for the choice of number went viral, with many applauding the female sport star’s constant recognition for the victims of one of India’s most horrific periods in recent history.
In an interview in 2016, Harmanpreet was quoted saying “I am very emotional when it comes to my roots. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots were very unfortunate. I did not lose any relative during the riots but innocent people were the victims. Whatever I have achieved so far is dedicated to my community and to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims.”
Harmanpreet’s mother Sukhjeet Kaur said of her daughter to Indian media, “When she picked up her jersey, she chose the jersey number 84. For Punjabis, 84 brings back the memories of the 1984 riots. But she took it positively and now we also see it as a good sign for her. She dedicates all her victories to the victims of the riots.
“Girls must be empowered and shouldn’t be killed in womb. The way my daughter made the country proud, other girls should also be encouraged.”
Harmanpreet Kaur has also worn the number in domestic competition.
The Sikh Press Association encourage all of our community athletes on all levels who feel a connection to the faith and the community to use their platforms to highlight Sikh issues/teachings. For support in any such endeavours, please get in touch via Media@SikhPA.com.