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Combatting Silencing of Sikh Voices through Policy and Research

A project of SALDEF
Jaspreet-Headshot-300x375.jpg Jaspreet Kaur
Washington, Washington D.C., US
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At SALDEF, we know fighting oppression doesn't start and end online. That's why we are also committed to taking the fight on the ground – from leveraging our relationships with the government and technology leaders to advance specific policy recommendations to collecting incidents of social media censorship to create a database and understand the scope of the issue.

As the nation’s oldest advocacy organization seeking to protect Sikhs and the Sikh identity from prejudice and hate, we are also committed to fighting for the civil rights of Sikhs in the digital world. 

When #Sikh was banned worldwide, SALDEF conducted extensive research exploring the persistent censorship of Sikhs worldwide by social media platforms. Citing specific case studies, SALDEF released reports that offer a set of policy recommendations for mitigating censorship of our community.

With your support, we can continue publishing more research reports and presenting our findings to national media outlets and reputable partner organizations to ensure this issue is addressed at a national level in the U.S.

Will you join us in combating the silencing of Sikh voices? Please donate now!

Read our censorship reports here

  • 05/02/2024

    Combatting Silencing of Sikh Voices

    SALDEF continues to work hard to platform the diasporic censorship landscape report, including through preparing panel presentations with our report collaborators like the Indian-American Muslim Council and Hindus for Human Rights, as at the Indian American Impact Summit. As our lobbying in Congress continues to create momentum and acquire bipartisan cosponsors for the Transnational Repression Policy Act (TRPA), our and our partners' research continues to be a critical vector for lawmakers to understand the ways the BJP regime forces American tech platforms into being complicit in silencing our communities globally.

  • 02/01/2024

    Combatting Silencing of Sikh Voices through Policy

    We have completed our diasporic tech-based censorship landscape report. This first-of-its-kind collaboration between advocates representing an array of communities marginalized and censored by the Indian state's disinformation apparatus and influence over social media includes case studies by Hindus for Human Rights, the Indian-American Muslim Council, and Equality Labs. We explore strategic and coordinated disinformation campaigns conducted against leaders defending human rights like Sunita Viswanath of Hindus for Human Rights and Thenmozhi Soundarajan of Equality Labs. We discuss the manipulation of social media platforms' policies to silence and mis-characterize Sikh and Muslim advocates globally, as documented by SALDEF and IAMC. With this groundbreaking work in hand, we will work with our collaborators to build a coalition of advocates for our and other communities marginalized by social media platforms' negligence and unwillingness to defend American values under duress from autocratic states. In the first half of 2024, we will work to capitalize on the current bipartisan momentum to rein in Big Tech to elevate this particular issue in the consciousness of legislators both in Washington, D.C. and in key state capitals around the country.

  • 11/03/2023

    Combatting Silencing of Sikh Voices through Policy

    The silencing of Sikh voices online continued when the Canadian government accused the Indian government of assassinating Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Our work in shining a light on the censorship of the Sikh diaspora also continued, as we led groundbreaking work on the first diasporic social media censorship report. With case studies contributed by SALDEF, Indian-American Muslim Council, and Hindus for Human Rights, this report traces the weaponization of social media, the broader internet, and other emerging technologies against our communities' voices and indeed often against our own staff members. The diasporic censorship landscape report will be the flagship of an advocacy campaign in 2024 and beyond. The campaign will include all the contributors and additional community partners to collaboratively elevate our recommendations for social media platforms to Congressional committees; as well as create space for other communities to share their stories of tech-based censorship when they discuss their own experiences during the unraveling of India's secular and democratic foundations. Future diasporic censorship landscape reports will feature case studies from Kashmiri-American and Dalit-American advocates, and SALDEF will continue to hold space for the voices of other communities in the Indian diaspora. We continue to activate our technology policy networks to lend their support to our coalitional work in research and advocacy, amplify our efforts to protect Sikh Americans' and South Asian Americans' voices at the highest levels, and ensure that the emerging consensus on digital civil rights includes protections against the silencing of voices like ours. 

  • 08/08/2023

    Combatting Silencing of Sikh Voices through Policy

    We have released our second censorship report examining how Sikhs worldwide are suppressed when they attempt to exercise their right to free online speech, particularly when discussing actions and behaviors of the Indian state. Through the lens of the Amritpal Singh manhunt in 2023, we have shown once more how easily social media has been captured by the Indian state. We have advanced recommendations for platforms to do a better job protecting Sikhs and all ethnic or religious minorities in the Indian diaspora to key stakeholders at tech firms as well as Congress. Work on our diasporic landscape report is well underway with confirmed participation by advocates for the Indian American Muslim community, the Kashmiri American community, the Dalit American community, and the secular Hindu American community. We anticipate scheduling multiple Congressional briefings this fall to bring this diaspora-wide work directly to Congressional staffers and members of Congress.

  • 05/10/2023

    Combatting Silencing of Sikh Voices through Policy

    SALDEF has released the Farmers' Protest censorship report, examining the complicity of social media platforms in censoring dialogue in the Sikh diaspora about issues in the Punjab. This report is the basis of our advocacy to Congressional offices and the US State Department to elevate the issues the Sikh American community faces online. We are completing a followup report on censorship of the community during the Amritpal Singh manhunt, particularly the chilling effect the Indian government's policies are having on the Sikh American community's willingness to exercise free speech online. Additionally, we have gathered a coalition of South Asian American advocacy organizations to collaborate on a landscape report outlining how social media platforms have censored many minority Indian religious communities beyond Sikhs. We are leveraging our connections on Capitol Hill to hold briefings on the trend of the Indian state eradicating democratic rights for diasporic minorities, as well as advocating directly to federal agencies.



  • 02/06/2023

    Combatting Silencing of Sikh Voices through Policy

    We are completing a preliminary report outlining the censorship that we are seeing in the North American Sikh diaspora. This report highlights censorship case studies and the response from social media companies.  Additionally, we are building a coalition of South Asian American advocacy organizations to collaborate on a more comprehensive report outlining how social media platforms have censored minority religious communities, specifically from South Asia. We will leverage our connections on Capitol Hill to hold briefings on the phenomenon and increase awareness throughout DC. Ultimately we hope to conduct Congressional hearings, where heads of content and moderation at platforms must finally be transparent about the decisions their companies made to be complicit in the erasure of our community’s voice, historical facts, political opinions, and perspectives.

Name Donation Date
Baljit Singh $11.00 June 2024
A. S. $250.00 December 2023
Administrator Dasvandh Network $500.00 December 2023
J. K. $10.00 November 2023
Match Fund $400.00 November 2023
Gurinder Singh $400.00 November 2023
Match Fund $50.00 November 2023
Chitratan Singh Sethi $50.00 November 2023
Match Fund $400.00 November 2023
Sharanpreet Singh $400.00 November 2023
Harpreet Singh $500.00 October 2023
Paramjit Grewal $250.00 September 2023
Balmeet Singh $250.00 August 2023
Gurpreet Kaur & Satinder Malhi $1,000.00 July 2023
Deep Singh $220.00 May 2023
Anonymous $10.00 January 2023
Anonymous $10.00 January 2023
M. S. $11.25 January 2023
Karam Singh $250.00 January 2023
Navneet Kaur Anand Singh $50.00 December 2022
ujagger dhillon $101.00 December 2022
Match Fund $100.00 December 2022
Anonymous $100.00 December 2022
Match Fund $500.00 November 2022
Rupi Chatha $500.00 November 2022
Karen Singh $400.00 November 2022
Match Fund $400.00 November 2022
Match Fund $400.00 November 2022
Jodh Alag $400.00 November 2022

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