What is the price one must pay for being a Sikh, and supporting the farm reforms passed by Prime Minister Modi’s government in September last year, seeking to liberalise the country’s agriculture sector and throwing open the path for farmers to earn much more than they have in the decades gone by? A shocking incident from New Zealand might reveal that the price entails giving up on one’s life. A Sikh radio host, Harnek Singh was attacked on December 23 last year by unknown assailants, who no less than aimed at killing the man.
Speaking to NZ Herald, Singh recounted how he was brutally attacked on the fateful night by armed assailants. The most, Harnek said, he remembers of the night was that he was honking the horn to his Toyota Hilux as his windows were broken. Subsequently, the armed group stabbed Harnek Singh all over, and his head and torso were subjected to innumerable stab wounds. Singh’s head alone was put back together with 150 stitches. His right ear was almost chopped off. Across the Sikh radio host’s chest are a number of stitches, which indicate just how madly he was attacked by the assailants who no less than aimed to kill him.
Incidentally, Harnek Singh has been a supporter of the latest farm reforms passed in India, against which farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh are protesting. Moreover, he has also been speaking out against the protestors who have hijacked jugular roads around the national capital. Prior to the fatal attack in December, which was a second for Singh in 2020, the man is said to have called out the protestors for their politically-motivated demonstrations, and also urged them to return to their home states.
Those who know Harnek Singh insist that that the attack was religiously motivated. “Mainly on this radio program, a lot of religious issues have been discussed. So, let’s just say a lot of traditional myths that people believe in, and we on the radio try to explain to people to look at it in a practical way other than the mythical point of view that most people have,” said Balwinder Singh, a co-worker of Harnek Singh at Radio Virsa.
It would not be an overstatement by far to emphatically suggest that the fatal attack on Harnek Singh was simply carried out because he chose to voice his opinions on the radio show hosted by him. Obviously, some fanatics seem to have taken grave offence to such dissenting views, which is why they took to brutally attacking the man over a month ago.