Thursday, April 30, 2009

Taliban seize houses, shops of Sikhs in Orakzai

Taliban seize houses, shops of Sikhs in Orakzai

HANGU: Taliban on Wednesday forcibly occupied three houses and 10 trade centres belonging to Sikhs in Orakzai Agency for not paying jizia, a tax levied on non-Muslims living under Islamic law. A few days ago, the local Taliban had asked Sikh families living in the agency to pay jizia amounting to Rs 50 million, which was later reduced to Rs 15 million after negotiations. They had set a deadline to pay the amount. Taliban occupied Sikhs houses and business centres in Samma Feroz Khel, Qasim Khel and Chirat areas after the deadline expired. Sources said the Taliban also burnt three trade centres belonging to the Sikh community. Around 15 Sikh families have left their ancestral villages and have taken refuge in Minni Khel area of the agency. staff report.

with thanks : source :


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

PM no sikh says SGPC chief Makkar - Please mail your valued comments.

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'Non-Sikh' PM comment has Punjab politics fired up

'Non-Sikh' PM comment has Punjab politics fired up

Chandigarh, April 28: What the Congress could not do in Punjab - making Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's credentials as the first Sikh PM an issue - the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) and the ruling Akali Dal have done.

Remarks by SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar at political rallies for the Akali Dal and alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that "Manmohan Singh is not a Sikh as he has done nothing for the community" have given a new direction to politics in the run-up to the two-phase poll on May 7 and 13 for Punjab's 13 Lok Sabha seats.

It has given the Congress a stick to beat the Akalis with and has put the Akali Dal on the defensive.

Makkar, who is best known in Punjab's political and religious circles as a mouthpiece of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal-dominated Akali Dal, heads the SGPC - the mini-parliament of Sikh religious affairs that manages Sikh shrines in the state.

As Makkar's remarks turned out to be immensely controversial, the SGPC president changed his stance from "PM is not a Sikh" to "PM is not a true (or good) Sikh".

Ironically, Makkar sat next to the prime minister when Manmohan Singh visited Amritsar's 'Harmandar Sahib' (popularly known as Golden Temple), the holiest of Sikh shrines, just a month ago for a thanksgiving prayer after a successful heart surgery.

Makkar remained seated next to the same "non-Sikh" for a good 30 minutes while the prime minister, with his eyes closed, listened to hymns and prayers inside the sanctum sanctorum.

"What sewa (service) has he done for Sikhi (Sikhism)? We don't want a Sikh PM like this. The list of Manmohan Singh's failures is long. From past experience, we would not like to have any Sikh on the top post as prime minister or president. Even Giani Zail Singh (India's first Sikh president) failed when it came to Sikh issues," Makkar reportedly said.

The outburst from Makkar came during rallies where he said that the prime minister failed to fulfil any of the 20 points raised by the SGPC.

The SGPC chief's remarks against Manmohan Singh's religious beliefs have not only given the Congress a handle to beat the Akalis with but have left the Akali Dal on the defensive.

Chief Minister Badal and Akali Dal President Sukhbir Badal have refrained from supporting Makkar.

A calculated Badal senior said: "We don't want a Congress prime minister. It is a non-issue whether the PM is a Sikh or not. Our fight is political and not directed against any person. He (Manmohan Singh) is an honourable person. I have great regard for him."

Badal senior had got continuous prayers organised at the Golden Temple for the speedy recovery of the prime minister when he underwent heart surgery in New Delhi in January.

Sikh leader and SGPC member Manjit Singh Calcutta termed Makkar's remarks "politically immature".

Congress legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira called the outburst a "smear campaign". "He (Makkar) does not have a mind of his own and blindly follows the Akalis. Manmohan Singh's leadership is internationally acclaimed, even by President Barrack Obama," former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said.


with thanks :


Apply Gujarat riot case principle to Sikh riots case: PIL in SC

Apply Gujarat riot case principle to Sikh riots case: PIL in SC
29 Apr 2009, 0138 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: A day after Supreme Court directed a Special Investigation Team probe into the alleged role of chief minister Narendra Modi in the 2002
post-Godhra communal carnage, a PIL sought to draw a parallel between the Gujarat riots and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots seeking parallel treatment by the judiciary.

The petition filed by advocate M S Butalia said the Supreme Court has handled the Gujarat riot cases with singular motive to bring to book the alleged perpetrators of the mayhem and requested it to take up the hundreds of anti-Sikh riots cases pending in various courts for 25 years without there being any justice to the victims and their families.

The PIL, filed through advocate Harshvir Pratap Singh, was also categoric that pendency of the anti-Sikh riot cases for 25 years made a mockery of the criminal justice system that should equally protect the victims and the right of the accused for a speedy trial.

If the accused are guilty, they should be punished or else they be let off, the PIL said while seeking an independent probe into the anti-Sikh riot cases on the line similar to one being conducted by SIT under ex-CBI director R K Raghavan into the Gujarat riot cases.

Referring to the infamous Best Bakery case and the judgment in it, the PIL petitioner said the SC had laid down several guidelines regarding the trial, which was transferred to Mumbai, to be conducted in a free and fair manner.

Butalia in his petition pleaded that after a free and fair investigation into the anti-Sikh riot cases, the trial should be conducted by public prosecutors appointed in consultation with the families of the victims.

The Supreme Court had on Monday ordered a SIT probe into the alleged role of chief minister Narendra Modi, his cabinet colleagues, BJP MLAs, VHP leaders including Praveen Togadia, and top police officials and bureaucrats on the basis of a complaint filed by Jakia Nasim Ahesan Jaffri, widow of ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jaffri who was killed by a rampaging mob at Gulbarg Society in 2002.

with thanks : source :


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Silent vote that may tilt Punjab

Manish Tiwari, Hindustan Time
Bathinda, April 28, 2009

Dera Sacha Sauda extended its support to the Congress in the 2007 Assembly election. The Congress’ showing improved and it won 18 seats with the Dera’s help. The group has again come to haunt the ruling Akali Dal.

True that the Dera has run into trouble since that time. The Dera chief, Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is caught in a controversy and is facing a CBI probe. But, still it still remains a major factor that could influence the poll outcome in the state.

The Dera, a centre for spiritual learning based in Sirsa, has a strong following among the farmers and dalits in the Malwa region of Punjab and parts of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttaranchal.

In 2007, the Akalis lost a majority of seats in the Malwa region, considered as its traditional stronghold. The shocker was due to Dera followers voting en-masse for the Congress. The Akalis haven’t forgotten or forgiven the Dera even as the region prepares for the May 7 ballot.

The Akalis are also a worried lot. Even SAD president and Punjab’s deputy CM Sukhbir Badal (47), who was perceived to be spearheading a campaign against the Dera, likes to avoid questions on the issue. “Please don’t ask me this question…it’s between the Dera and SGPC,” he says.

Akali's worries spring from their running animosity with the Dera, which has been at the receiving end of Sikh bodies after the sect chief allegedly imitated Guru Gobind Singh two years ago. After the controversy, the Dera followers — mostly dalits — were frequently attacked by Sikh groups, and subjected to humiliation and police action.

In Punjab, the followers have been keeping a grudge against the SAD-BJP government, especially Sukhbir Badal who is seen as spearheading a campaign against them.

But the “enraged” followers are unlikely to vote for the ruling party unless the Dera chief himself asks them to do so.

Politicians who are aware of the Dera influence have already started making a beeline at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. Among those who recently paid a visit to the Dera included former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Haryana minister Randeep Surjewala and CM Om Prakash Chautala’s son Abhay Chautala, besides some Lok Sabha candidates such as Congress nominee for Bathinda Raninder Singh, Sangrur Congress pick Vijay Inder Singla.

with thanks : source :


Monday, April 27, 2009

Visually challenged Rashpal Kaur's Gatka Performance in Dance India Dance show

with thanks : source : &


Shoebite: PM feels the pinch at Gujarat rally

Shoebite: PM feels the pinch at Gujarat rally
27 Apr 2009, 0020 hrs IST, Leena Mishra, TNN

AHMEDABAD/SURAT: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday became the latest target of the now-popular political missile — the cross-trainer — flung this time by a 21-year-old computer engineering student, to mark Gujarat's first "shoe-bite" that came as the PM addressed a rally at the Sanskar Kendra grounds.

The shoe-thrower, identified by cops as Hitesh Chauhan, had failed his fourth semester in computer engineering from an institute in Gandhinagar and reportedly told the police that he had thrown the shoe for five minutes of fame. Cops said Chauhan was notorious on the campus for leading protests, joining inter-college clashes and has been booked once for cheating in an exam.

Later in the evening, BJP leader L K Advani, who's had footwear flung at him in Madhya Pradesh, was targeted again. An attempt by a bearded man to chuck his sandal at the NDA's prime ministerial candidate was thwarted by others who had come to hear him at a rally in Ahmedabad's Vyaswadi neighbourhood. No details were available about the would-be assailant who was whisked away by the police.

The shoe thrown at the PM landed some 30 feet from the high podium, causing a flutter in the crowd. Although he had no press credentials, Chauhan was sitting among the front rows of the media enclosure.

The shoe has steadily gained popularity as a political weapon since George W Bush ducked a pair at his last press conference as president in Baghdad. The contagion erupted in India with a Sikh reporter chucking his running shoe at home minister P Chidambaram to vent his ire over CBI giving a clean chit to Congress politician Jagdish Tytler, a suspect in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Others who have had footwear flying at them in recent weeks include BJP leader L K Advani and Congress MP Navin Jindal.

Singh, who was on this first visit to Gujarat to campaign this elections, was nonplussed and continued with his address. Police nabbed the boy and took him away to the Ellisbridge police station.

Chauhan apparently belongs to the BJP's youth wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad. The ABVP, however was quick to disown him and sent a rejoinder clarifying that he had nothing to do with them.

Although the Special Protection Group personnel accompanying the PM requested that the boy be set free, he was questioned to determine the real motive for the attack. He later told police that he was not happy with the schemes of the central government which had prompted the attack, but the police did not find that convincing.

In his speech, Singh launched a fresh assault on Advani. "By putting up huge advertisements with photographs, a leader did not become decisive and strong." He was affirming his stand against Advani's remark that Singh was a weak PM.

At Surat, Singh slammed Gujarat government's relief package for the diamond industry announced in March as an eyewash. "When Gujarat government can't help the diamond industry it has no right to talk about industrialisation," he said.

"BJP can only give you divisive politics. They promote communalism and insult Mahatma Gandhi and Gujarat. During the NDA rule, whatever happened in Gujarat in 2002 because of a few persons was against our culture and tradition," he said.

with thanks : Source :


At Amritsar, devotee takes Granth Sahib seat, detained

At Amritsar, devotee takes Granth Sahib seat, detained
27 Apr 2009, 0437 hrs IST, Yudhvir Rana, TNN

AMRITSAR: A regular visitor to the Golden Temple, who had been coming to the shrine for the last five years and offering sewa, surprised the
religious gathering there early Sunday when he jumped the brass barricades and took the holy Guru Granth Sahib seat.

"It happened at the sanctum sanctorum around 3am, just when the daily traditional rituals had been completed," an eyewitness told TOI. As startled devotees tried to pull him away, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) task force pounced on him. The young man, wearing a turban, tried holding on to the barricades, but was dragged away.

The police, who detained the youth, have identified him as Rajiv Kumar (21), of Amritsar's Golbagh area. They later took him to a hospital for treatment to the injuries he had sustained on his head and other body parts. An unemployed youth, he is the son of a BSNL employee originally from Himachal Pradesh.

Jasbir Singh, a devotee, said, "He kept telling the task force men that he had a dream in which Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh Guru, asked him to take the Granth Sahib seat. Such an incident is unheard of in the 16th century Sikh holy shrine. The security should be stepped up."

"It's an unfortunate incident," SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said. "The man appears to be mentally challenged. We'll tighten the security to prevent a repeat of this incident." He said SGPC will hold an inquiry into the incident and take action in case of any laxity on the part of the SGPC staff. Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, who is abroad, too, said an inquiry would be held.

with thanks : source :


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Army tells Sikh officers to change appearance

Army tells Sikh officers to change appearance

By Tony Lombardo - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Apr 25, 2009 8:31:13 EDT

Torn between their Sikh faith and their military duty, two soldiers are fighting Army policy that requires them to shave their beards, cut their hair and remove their turbans.

“I don’t think it’s fair for anybody to ask me to choose between my religion and my country,” Capt. Kamaljeet Kalsi said. “Shaving my beard and taking off my turban — these are part of my body. It’s part of my being.”

Kalsi, a doctor trained in emergency medicine, and 2nd Lt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan, a dentist, were first recruited for the Army’s Health Professions Scholarship Program. Kalsi said the recruiters with the Army Medical Corps gave assurances that wearing a beard and turban — mandatory articles of the Sikh faith — would not be a problem. And during several years of graduate school and medical training, Kalsi and Rattan both said their beards and turbans drew no concerns.

Now facing active duty in July, Kalsi and Rattan said their superiors are no longer accepting of their religious accommodations. As a result, the soldiers, through a civil rights group called the Sikh Coalition, recently filed formal complaints with the Army Inspector General’s Office and the Defense Department.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Nathan Banks, in a prepared statement, said that while the Army places a “high value” on religious freedoms, special exceptions to regulation are not guaranteed.

“There are times when the Army cannot accommodate for religious reasons, such as when those religious observations would interfere with the wear of proper military headgear or protective clothing or equipment,” Banks said.

Kalsi, a 32-year-old New Jersey native, said he represents the fourth generation of military service in his family. He hopes his 3-month-old son, Kabir, will represent the fifth.

“This is a struggle for acceptance for our community,” Kalsi said. “The greatest nation in the world, the United States, is so diverse. We’re at the forefront of freedom throughout the world, and yet we have an army that doesn’t accurately reflect the diversity of its people.”

with thanks : source :


Friday, April 24, 2009

Launch of the British Sikh Police Association

Thu, Apr 23, 2009 11:02:16
Launch of the British Sikh Police Association

A national body for Sikh Police Officers and Police Staff is to be launched to meet the needs of Sikhs in the police service.

There have been a number of enquiries in the last decade about community policing and racism in the police service. There have been many other issues related to Sikhs and the police service. After the attacks in New York in 2001, Sikh communities around the world became the target of race hate campaign by the ignorant and the bigots.

There are many local and national issues which require tackling by the Sikh community. The Sikh community can and is doing as much as possible but they require a partner from within.

Since March 2008 a series of meetings have been held around the country. Police Officers and Police staff from Thames Valley Police, Metropolitan Police service, Leicestershire Constabulary, West Midlands Police and Kent Constabulary have participated in a series of discussions on the way to progress.

It was apparent to all that a national body of Police Officer and Police Staff was needed. The level of support and enthusiasm for such a venture encouraged the participants. Discussions progressed well and support increased. Other Sikh officer from forces with very small number of Sikh personnel also came into the fold.

Further work and discussions led to a constitution being adopted and the decision to launch the association nationally was taken.

Thames Valley Police management was approached and with their support and encouragement a date and venue was set.

The launch of the BRITISH SIKH POLICE ASSOCIATION (BSPA) will at Thames Valley Police HQ in Kidlington, OXFORD on 29th April 2009.

Everyone is welcome to the launch.

The aims and objectives of the BSPA are;

To establish a national forum for Sikh members of the British police services

To assist the British police services in developing strategies to recruit, retain and progress Sikh members of the service hence increasing Sikh representation in the police service at all levels

To provide a religious, cultural and social forum for members of the BSPA through celebration of dates and festivals on the Sikh calendar.

To promote an understanding of the Sikh Faith and the Sikh values of democracy, equality and justice within the police services

To provide support and advice to Sikh members of the police service.

To promote social cohesion and integration.

Contact: Kashmira Singh Mann 07811 433 026
Gian Singh Chahal 07980 705 539
Maninder Kaur Desoura 07931 308 832
Jaswant Singh Uppal 07896 291 055
Balwinder Singh 07980 683 422
Kooldip Singh Johal 07971 092 001

with thanks :

PM no Sikh, says SGPC chief Makkar

PM no Sikh, says SGPC chief Makkar
23 Apr 2009, 0432 hrs IST, Khushwant Singh

HOSHIARPUR: Whipping up a huge row on Manmohan Singh’s Sikh credentials and in an attempt to counter the Congress party’s propaganda on projecting
the prime minister as representative of the community, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee on Wednesday said the PM is not a Sikh, triggering angry protests from Congress leaders.

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar, who said “Manomohan Singh is not a Sikh’’ and kept up the tirade as he addressed an election rally at Hoshiarpur’s Roshan ground in support of BJP candidate Som Prakash, added, “Any Sikh connected with the Congress can never be a true Sikh. Giani Zail Singh, Buta Singh, Darbara Singh and now Amarinder Singh are all examples in front of you.’’

The SGPC said the PM had rejected a list of 20 demands on Punjab and Sikhs some time back. “Even if one demand had been met by the PM, I would have still called him a Sikh who has done something for the community,” Makkar said to a gathering of BJP-Akali supporters.

The Congress immediately lashed back saying Manmohan Singh did not need any certificate either from the SGPC chief or the Akalis. Party spokesman Sukhpal Khaira said, “Sikhs supporting the Congress, and who are in large numbers, do not need a certificate from Makkar. In fact, it is most outrageous coming from such a highly placed person and he needs to apologize to the PM and the countrymen, including Sikhs, who take pride in Manmohan Singh leading the country.’’

The remark challenging PM’s religious belief by the SGPC president seems to be part of a well planned strategy to thwart votes coming from here to the Congress because of the PM.

with thanks :

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wo Tera Noor Tha

Wo Tera Noor Tha

Wo tera Noor tha,
ki jisne,
Hind bacha diya ;

Wo tera Garoor tha,
ki jisne,
Singh saja diya

Wo teri Aan thi,
har ik juban par,

Wo teri Shaan thi,
ki sabne,
apna sir jhuka diya

Wo tera Noor tha,
ki jisne,
Hind bacha diya
By :
Mr Vohra

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dera: No question of unconditional apology

Dera: No question of unconditional apology

Sirsa, April 20
The Dera Sacha Sauda today made it clear that an unconditional apology to the Akal Takht without negotiations was not possible and the controversy arising out of the alleged impersonation of Guru Gobind Singh by their Guru - Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh - could be resolved only through dialogue with all sikh bodies.

“Any apology without negotiations is not practical,” dera spokesman Dr Aditya Insaan said, adding: “Earlier also the rug has been pulled from under out feet and because of this we want all concerned parties to sit together to resolve the issue amicably. It cannot be that some accept the outcome of our talks and some do not.”

Dr Insaan said Gurmeet Ram Raheem had made repeated offers in recent months stating he was ready for talks with the Akal Takht. He said these could not fructify because of the demands that the Guru presented himself alone before the august body. “Let the government take responsibility for his (dera head's) security,” Dr Insaan said.

Sources in the dera say it is facing a crisis of loss of faith because earlier attempts to resolve the controversy have failed. They claimed while earlier there was an objection as to why the dera was not seeking an apology from the sikh community, the third round of talks failed despite a draft clearly seeking an apology from the sikh ‘panth’ also.

They said it was in this light that the guru had urged that the media mediate in any future talks so that there is complete transparency and ensure they were not derailed by some “unseen force”.

Dera sources said they were interested in holding talks. They claimed that the third round of talks had failed because the government was wary of giving credit for resolution of the controversy to Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee head Paramjit Singh Sarna despite the fact that the “draft apology” had been completely accepted by members of the Sant Samaj and others who attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, the dera also released the transcript of answers given by Gurmeet Ram Raheem during the ‘majlis’ yesterday. According to the transcript, the Guru is quoted as saying: “We have been the first movers, never the second. Our responsible persons are always ready. Please mediate and get the talks started.”

with thanks : & Mr. Jangveer Singh, Tribune News Service


British school in Sikh student row to foot 200,000 pounds

British school in Sikh student row to foot 200,000 pounds
London (PTI): A British school has been asked to pay a 200,000-pound legal bill, including damages to a Sikh student, in a racial discrimination case over banning her from wearing a religious bangle.

The High Court has ordered the Aberdare Girls' School in Wales to pay the student banned from wearing the Sikh Kara damages believed to be at least five figures, leading British newspaper the 'Sunday Express' reported.

The 200,000 pounds legal bill also includes an invoice from human rights group Liberty, who actually brought the case on behalf of 15-year-old Sarika Watkins-Singh.

In fact, the story dates back to early last year when Ms.Singh was excluded from school for her refusal to stop wearing the bangle, which she claimed was fundamental to her religious belief.

Though the school denied any racial discrimination, Ms. Singh spent nine weeks being taught in isolation as the bangle was against its uniform policy. She won the case last June, in which her exclusion was ruled to be "unlawful".

Critics have slammed the massive cost of the case as "a waste of taxpayers' money" and claimed pupils will "suffer" as a result.

"This case means a headache for the taxpayer who will ultimately be forced to stump up. This just emphasises the need for schools to be given full control of their rules and regimes without risk of politically correct enforcement," TaxPayers' Alliance spokesman Mark Wallace said.

with thanks :


Army joins in Sikh celebrations

Army joins in Sikh celebrations
Thousands of people have been taking part in a celebration in Derby marking one of the most important dates in the Sikh calendar.

Vaisakhi (Baisakhi) marks Sikh New Year and the founding of the Sikh community, known as the Khalsa.

The army joined hundreds of Sikhs in a procession through Derby on Sunday.

This year members of the Sikh community wanted to mark the historic tie between Sikhs and the army. Lt Col David Hollas said these go back a long way.

'Old friendships'

He said: "The Sikh community has a very strong military tradition.

"And it's that sort of shared history that I'm trying to re-engineer - to actually say to British Sikhs: 'We're your army and let's continue the journey together'".

Councillor Ranjit Banwait, of Derby City Council, helped secure the army's attendance after a request by representatives of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Princes Street, Derby.

He added: "Sikhs fought bravely, not only in places like North Africa and Italy in the Second War World War with the British Eighth Army, but also in the terrible conditions of the trenches of the First World War in France, serving alongside their British comrades.

"Having the army at the parade will help celebrate old friendships and forge new ones."

Figures show there are currently about 500,000 Sikhs in Britain.

with thanks :


Friday, April 17, 2009

Sikhs guarding Chinese cemetery since 1930’s

Sikhs guarding Chinese cemetery since 1930’s

China: For nearly 70 years, two statues of Sikh guards have stood faithfully over Qing Dynasty magistrate Chew Gek Leng’s grave. The brightly coloured pair are a familiar sight to visitors to Bukit Brown Cemetery, off Sime Road.

Foreigners take pictures of them. Punters seek 4-D numbers from them. Except for a new paint job every two years, the pair have lasted their long vigil mostly unscathed.

Until now.

On 28 Mar, when Mr Chew’s oldest grandson, Mr James Chew, 68, a retired bank officer, went with his sister to visit the grave during the Qing Ming Festival, he found to his horror that the noses of both statues were broken.

The sentry on the left, which has the Chinese words for ‘house guard’ painted on it, also had the top of its rifle broken. (The other guard is labelled ‘patrol’).

It is a popular grave, and there are no shortage of gawkers, which Mr Chew does not mind. But he said: ‘Take pictures, but please don’t take away a piece of the grave’.

It is not known if the damage was the work of vandals.

The 1.5m-tall, splendidly uniformed duo with bushy black beards and bright red turbans are an arresting sight amid the grey headstones and green foliage of the graveyard. These statues even come with a guard dog each, which lies by the butt of each rifle.

Mr Chew called the statues ‘a landmark’ among visitors, and he wasn’t exaggerating.

Though rainclouds cut short the time The New Paper spent at the tomb on Good Friday with Mr Chew, at least two family groups stood and looked at the statues during the one-hour period.

One woman, who declined to be named, said: ‘We recognise these two statues. We see them, then we know how to go (to the grave we are visiting).

‘Everyone knows the guards.’

The grave is now looked after by the third generation of a family of grave caretakers.

People come to pay respects

One of them is Madam Queenie Quek, 49. Her grandmother first looked after the grave, then her mother, and now her.

Her face lit up when she saw Mr Chew, and she quickly came down with a Chinese paintbrush to ask him to draw pupils on the Sikh statues’ eyes, which had been painted white.

Mr Chew joked as he painted: ‘Otherwise, they’re blind.’

Madam Quek said that during Qing Ming Festival and the Hungry Ghost Festival, officials from various temples around Singapore will come to pay their respects, offering tea and burning incense.

‘Maybe it’s because he’s a magistrate, and they found out that he was a major official?’ said Madam Quek.

Her sister-in-law, Madam Oh Kim Gek, 53, has been looking after the grave for 30 years.

As for the damage, she suspects that it was a lorry that caused it since they stood by the road.

But who was Mr Chew Gek Leng, who died in 1940, and why does he, a Chinese immigrant, have statues of Indian soldiers at his grave?

Mr James Chew said his grandfather fled to Singapore from China after the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911.

He brought his two wives, his servants and his slaves, to escape death at the hands of warlords.

He had been given Sikh guards in China, whom he did not bring along. .

As he came from five generations of physicians, he started practising medicine when he arrived, at a large house near Jalan Eunos.

The grave that he was entombed in was a major undertaking. The statues were made in China and the granite was also shipped over from his home country.

Before he died, he also had a large coffin stored in the house.

Mr Chew Gek Leng’s Sikh statues first made news in 1993, during the impending exhumation of graves in Bukit Brown Cemetery.

Although Mr James Chew is a practising Christian who worships at Wesley Methodist Church, he believes that it is his duty to maintain the grave of his grandfather.

But he is old. Who will take over when he is gone?

He sighs. He has two daughters, but one of them is married in Sydney, Australia. He is considering paying a temple to take over his work.

He said: ‘I’ll let the next generation decide what to do.’

with thanks :

Your comments awaited on two contradicting news reports about Sikhs in Pakistan

Please read the two news reports about sikhs, as below, and give us your most valued comments, on these self contadicting news reports :
Minorities in Pakistan playing key role in nation building; PM Pakistan

Sikhs pay Rs 20 million in 'tax' to Taliban in Pak's Aurakzai

Thanks & Regards

Minorities in Pakistan playing key role in nation building; PM Pakistan

Minorities in Pakistan playing key role in nation building; PM
ISLAMABAD, Apr 14 (APP): Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Tuesday said minorities in Pakistan were playing a vital role in nation building and reiterated his government’s resolve to provide them better facilities. Addressing a delegation of Sikh yatrees, currently in Pakistan to celebrate Besakhi, the Prime Minister said the government was proceeding on the path to implement the Charter of Democracy that seeks representation for the minorities in the Upper House.
The Prime Minister said two members from the minorities were already part of the Senate and the government was benefitting from their advise on national matters and issues related to the minorities.

The Prime Minister said the government was providing multiple entry visas to the members of non‑Indian Sikh community and said he wished to facilitate more Sikhs from India to visit Pakistan. However he regretted that the relations with India have soured following the Mumbai attacks.

He said he believed in inter‑faith harmony and to bring people from all faiths together for the betterment of the country and the nation.

Gilani said his government was endeavoring to provide best possible facilities to the Sikh yatrees and understands their religious needs and obligations. In this regard he cited the setting up of the Prabandhak Committee to deal with the problems of the Sikh community.

The members of the Sikh delegation lauded the role of the government in facilitating them. They particularly regretted the negative propaganda being unleashed against Pakistan and of threats of terrorism in the international media.

They noted that this propaganda was aimed at tarnishing the image of Pakistan and prayed for safety, security and solidarity of the country. They were also appreciative of the warm hospitatlity shown by the people of Pakistan and said they did not see any threats or fear as was being propagated.

The delegation members pointed at the facilities provided at the railway station, transportation to Nankana sahib and excellent boarding and lodging.

They were also appreciative of the good upkeep of the various gurdawars in the country. They urged the Prime Minister for multiple entry five to ten year visas for the community.

Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti invited the Prime Minister for the ground breaking ceremony of the Nankana university to be established on 250 acres.

with thanks :

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sikhs pay Rs 20 million in 'tax' to Taliban in Pak's Aurakzai

Islamabad, Apr 16 (PTI) Members of Pakistan's minority Sikh community living in the restive Aurakzai tribal region have paid Rs 20 million as "tax" to the Taliban after militants forcibly occupied some of their homes and kidnapped a Sikh leader.
The Taliban had demanded Rs 50 million as 'jizia' a tax levied on non-Muslims living under Islamic rule but the militants finally settled for Rs 20 million.

After the amount was paid yesterday, the militants vacated the homes they had taken over and released Sikh leader Saiwang Singh, officials in the tribal region near the northwestern city of Peshawar were quoted as saying by the Daily Times newspaper.

The officials said the Taliban had announced that the Sikhs were now free to live anywhere in Aurzakzai Agency. The militants also announced they would protect the community, saying that no one would harm them after they had paid jizia.

Sikhs who had left the area would now return to their homes and resume their business, the officials said.

The militants had occupied at least 10 homes of Sikhs in Qasimkhel village on Tuesday. About 35 Sikh families have been living in Qasimkhel for many years.

The Taliban demand for jizia was resolved at a jirga or council held yesterday through the efforts of local tribal elders. The militants had said the Sikhs should pay jizia in accordance with Shariah or Islamic law. PTI

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No Donations please

SikhsIndia requests to all of the visitors on our sikh web portal as well our sikh blog that, please do not send any donations to us. We do not accept any donations. If you wish, you can advertise on our Sikh web portal which is getting appx. 80,000 hits per month now. An advertisement in the Sikh directory or matrimonial section can be equally beneficial to you also.



Camp Miri Piri Pre-Reg. 2 Weeks Away!

Camp Miri Piri Pre-Reg. 2 Weeks Away!
By : Gurumustuk Singh

Time is flying by and the summer is in sight! Camp Miri Piri pre-registration date is only two weeks away! Don’t let this awesome event/retreat pass you by. If you have been thinking about coming, stop thinking and just make it happen! Give yourself this time to feed your soul and recharge yourself. You deserve it!

Register for the camp online at:

People from United Kingdom, USA, India and Canada have already registered for Camp Miri Piri. Come join us!

* Registration price goes up from $199 to $250 after May 1st. We need to make arrangements for all the participants so it is important to know how many people will attend. For this reason we need people to register as early as possible.

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Sikh families leave Orakzai after Taliban demand jizia

Sikh families leave Orakzai after Taliban demand jizia

By Abdul Saboor Khan

HANGU: Sikh families living in Orakzai Agency have left the agency after the Taliban demanded Rs 50 million as jizia (tax) from them, official sources and locals said on Tuesday.

Residents of Ferozekhel area in Lower Orakzai Agency told Daily Times on Tuesday that around 10 Sikh families left the agency after the demand by the Taliban, who said they were a minority and liable to pay the tax for living in the area in accordance with sharia.

Locals said the Taliban had notified the Sikh families about the ‘tax’ around a week ago. They said of the 15 Sikh families in Ferozekhel, 10 had shifted while the remaining were preparing to do so.

The locals said the families were impoverished and had left the area to avoid any Taliban action.

with thanks :

NY hospital cuts Sikh's beard, pays $20,000 in damages

NY hospital cuts Sikh's beard, pays $20,000 in damages
15 Apr 2009, 0515 hrs IST, PTI

NEW YORK: A New York hospital's staff negligently shaved an elderly Sikh patient's beard, eyebrows and moustache a month before his death, resulting in a lawsuit from his family which received $20,000 in compensation.

The Westchester County Healthcare paid the amount in an out-of-the-court settlement with the family of Pyara Singh Sahansra, who was suffering from Azheimer's disease, the US-based community organization United Sikhs said in a statement on Monday.

Sahansra's family had previously spoken with the hospital staff about Sikhs' religious practice of keeping long hair and had also placed signs on the patient's bed to remind them when he was in the long term care of the medical facility in 2007.

The hospital removed the signs stating that they were not allowed, but assured the family that Sahansra's hair would not be cut.

A new nurse, who was unaware of the situation, cut Sahansra's beard, eyebrows and moustache, "violating his deeply held religious principles," the statement said. The patient died over a month after the incident that occurred in June 2007.

In the final settlement with the patient's family, the hospital paid $20,000 in compensation, which also included a provision for training of the facility's employees on Sikh patients' care.

Pyara Singh Sahansra's son Upinderjit said, "My father was a devout Sikh and we all experienced a shock when his kesh were cut by the nurse."

with thanks :

Armed men occupy Sikhs' homes in Pak's Aurakzai region

Islamabad , Apr 15 Armed militants have occupied four homes of members of the minority Sikh community in Pakistan&aposs restive Aurakzai tribal region near the northwestern city of Peshawar, a media report said today.

About 200 armed militants arrived at Qasimkhel village in Aurakzai Agency yesterday and demanded Rs 40 million from the Sikhs, said Galyan Singh, an elder of the minority community.

"We failed to pay the amount and they forced the 38-member Sikh community to vacate houses," Singh told The News daily.

The families that were evicted from their homes have taken refuge in Manikhel area, Singh said.

Local residents of Qasimkhel condemned the incident and said injustice had been done to the Sikhs.

with thanks : Source: PTI
with thanks :

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sikh Community's Contribution Is Significant, Says Najib

Sikh Community's Contribution Is Significant, Says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Sikh community's contribution to the history and development of the country is very important and significant, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib said that although the Sikh community was relatively small, in the region of 100,000 people, they had served the country well.

He said they had served as members of the security forces such as in the police and armed forces, in professional fields as doctors and lawyers, and also entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens.

"So I wish to thank the Sikh community for all that they have done (for the country). You have indeed contributed much to the development of Malaysia and I hope you will be with us in future as we develop Malaysia," he said at the Sikh community's Vaisakhi (New Year) celebrations at the Guru Nanak Darbar Tatt Khalsa Diwan Selangor at Jalan Raja Alang here today.

Thanking the Sikh community for the warm welcome, he said he was happy to be able to share the joyous occasion with them. "I have decided to visit you today because I want to show and indicate very clearly that this government stands for all communities...all races and all religions. I want to underscore that I am the leader and I am the Prime Minister for all communities. My presence here is also to recognise the contribution of the Sikh community in the development of Malaysia," he said to applause from the 2,000-odd crowd.

Najib said he introduced the "One Malaysia" concept as he believed that if all Malaysians stood and worked together and be one family and one team, "we can indeed make Malaysia a stronger and more prosperous nation, based on the principles of trust and mutual respect among all communities in Malaysia".

"That is the essence of what One Malaysia is all about," he said.

Najib said Malaysians must break down the barriers between them and must not look at each other on the prism of skin or colour.

"We must help one another. Whether a person comes from whatever community...if the person deserves help, then that person should and must be helped by all of us.

"If we have this attitude, Malaysia will be a much stronger and united nation as we move forward, facing the challenges of the 21st century," he said.

Najib said he only informed the hosts yesterday evening about his visit because he did not want all the pomp.

"Because I don't want all the pomp...I don't want bunga manggar. I just want to be one of you in a natural way to see you taking part in your daily activities, so that I can better understand your aspirations and the hopes of the Sikh community and of course all the other communities in Malaysia.

"That is the approach I have intended for this government and for this Cabinet and I hope you will be together with us in the journey of making Malaysia a more prosperous and successful nation," he said.

Najib said he enjoyed the breakfast of Sikh traditional food such as prata, pakoda and barfi (sweets) which he had with Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and the Federal Territories Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and the local community.

Meanwhile, the acting president of the Tatt Khalsa, Rejinder Singh, said the Sikh community was honoured to have the prime minister at their Vaisakhi celebrations.

He said Najib told them to see him or Dr Koh directly if the community have any problems or matters which needed the attention of the government.

"We appreciate this because although we are only a small minority the prime minister has shown concern for us," he said.

Najib is the third prime minister to visit the Tatt Khalsa, after Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-haj and Tun Hussein Onn.

with thanks : Source :

Vaisakhi, Vishu, Puthandu - celebrating the harvest : PM Malaysia

by PM Malaysia.
Vaisakhi, Vishu, Puthandu - Celebrating the harvest
Monday, 13 April 2009

Today reminds me once again of the tremendous value of our diversity. The Sikh community worldwide celebrates the holy festival of Vaisakhi (or Bhaisakhi) today with prayers, singing and dancing, and it is no different in Malaysia. In the day commemorating the founding of this religion, I would like to wish the Sikh community in Malaysia a wonderful and prosperous Vaisakhi and hope that the well-being of Malaysia and its people are in your prayers.

UPDATE: I would be remiss not to acknowledge the various forms of this harvest and new year celebration observed by diverse ethnic groups within the Indian community. As I understand, this auspicious time of year is feted by different names, but the goal remains the same: to pray for a bountiful year and continued prosperity. At the same time, spiritual practices must be coupled with concerted efforts and actions to ensure valuable returns.

Therefore, whether you observe it as Vaisakhi, Vishu, Puthandu or Varusha Pirappu, Rongali Bihu, or Naba Barsha, I wish everyone a wonderful celebration and a rewarding year ahead.

Have a joyous festival!

with Thanks :

Happy Baisakhi

Sikhs India wishes to all of you a very happy BAISAKHI.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Congress drops Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar

NEW DELHI: In the face of mounting controversy over their alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, a worried Congress on Thursday

withdrew its controversial leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar from the electoral fray. ( Watch Video)

"Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar have expressed their sentiments that they do not wish to embarrass the party by contesting Lok Sabha elections when some political parties and individuals have tried to vitiate the atmosphere. They have opted out of Lok Sabha elections.

"The party has accepted their feelings and decided that they will not be Lok Sabha candidates of the Indian National Congress," party General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters shortly after Tytler announced his decision to opt out of the race, PTI reported.

Their replacements will be decided soon, said sources.

The Congress decision comes amid a raging controversy over fielding the two leaders, whose names figured as accused in the 1984 riots, accentuated by the incident of throwing of shoe by a Sikh journalist at home minister P Chidambaram at AICC press conference on Tuesday.

The journalist said he was protesting against the clean chit given by CBI to Tytler in the riots case, an issue on which the agency today told a local court here that it had no jurisdiction to go into. The case has been deferred till April 28.

65-year-old Tytler, who had won thrice from the capital, was announced as party's candidate from the newly-created North-East Delhi seat.

with thanks :

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Matrimonial profiles

Add your matrimonial profile on a sikh web portal with appx. 80,000 hits per month. You can add the profile absolutely free, though a paid option is also there.Please log on to

Akal Air - experience the difference

The website of Akal Air says :

Akal Air customers will always be treated with respect, due care and consideration and be offered a pleasant flight experience by all Akal Air staff from Check-in, boarding, in-flight through to baggage claim.

We plan to fly to multiple destinations at convenient times to the main airports. Whether customers are airborne or on the ground, Akal Air is focused on ensuring a full service experience.

Akal Air fully intends to provide our customers with safe, value driven, point-to-point air services. We aim to offer a consistent and reliable product and fares appealing to leisure and business markets on a range of International routes.

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Akal Air News : Signs that 2009 will be a much better year than 2008.

Signs that 2009 will be a much better year than 2008.
Despite all the doom and gloom surrounding the credit crunch, airline failures and growing unemployment, some analysts are predicting that 2009 will be a much better year than 2008.

The reasons for these unexpected predictions are based on simple trends:

Oil prices are declining and this trend looks set to continue, reducing the single greatest burden on an airline’s balance sheets. The dollar is also declining, meaning that aviation costs (lease rates, fuel etc.) that are usually expressed in dollars are also declining.

Aircraft are becoming available in the lease market and these are on more reasonable terms, allowing airlines to acquire new aircraft at acceptable prices to service new and growing routes. Charter airlines are being steadily chased out of the short haul market by the low cost carriers, into medium haul routes not explored before. This segmentation of the market will help to stabilise charter operators in the face of fierce competition.

Although distressing, recent airline failures have meant that seat capacity has been significantly reduced, whilst demand has been maintained, meaning that more passengers will be chasing fewer seats.

The message is simple: if an airline can survive the winter of 2008, then it can expect a bumper year in 2009.

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Hearing on Mr Jagdish Tytler postponed

Hearing on Mr Jagdish Tytler has been postponed and now it will be held on 28th April, 2009. He has been given a clean chit by CBI in the 1984 anti sikh riot case and a final hearing was due to be held today i.e. 9th April at Karkardooma court in East Delhi.

Congress may dump Tytler to secure Sikh votes

Congress may dump Tytler to secure Sikh votes
9 Apr 2009, 1024 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH: The fate of Congress leader Jagdish Tytler's nomination from Delhi North-East is hanging by a slender thread. With the "shoe throwing" protest by journalist Jarnail Singh triggering sharp reaction among Sikhs, Congress leadership is seriously considering to dump Tytler to secure its prospects in Punjab.

The resentment triggered by Jarnail's action swept Punjab as dozens of Sikh groups held up trains at several places in the state on Wednesday, fuelling the Tytler issue anew.

The protests, which came as a surprise to the Akali government in Punjab, sensitised the Congress leadership to the risk of persevering with Tytler, a former Union minister who is one of the prominent accused in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

Congress is hopeful of improving its tally from Punjab, but fears that spotlight on Tytler may neutralise the advantage. Akalis have swiftly latched on to the controversy to remind Sikhs of the charge of official sponsorship of anti-Sikh violence in the aftermath of the assassination of former PM Indira Gandhi.

Tytler's case comes up on Thursday before Rakesh Pandit, additional chief metropolitan magistrate of New Delhi who is to take a view on the CBI report which has disputed the veracity of the testimony of one Jasbir Singh who claimed to be a witness to Tytler's involvement in the rioting against Sikhs.

Congress sources, however, said Tytler may not be in the clear even if the court accepts the report of the investigating agency. "It is a matter of perception," said a party functionary familiar with leadership's thinking.

While Tytler was defiant and sought to rubbish reports about a re-think on his ticket, the leadership sounded out the party unit in Punjab on potential repercussions for party's chances in the state. "PPCC has already discussed and apprised party president Sonia Gandhi about the implications of Tytler issue on poll prospects in the state," Punjab Congress chief Mahinder Singh Kaypee told reporters.

Kaypee was not forthcoming on detials. But he did point to reports about party leadership's decision to review the decision to field Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, another prominent Congressman accused in the riots and party's candidate for South Delhi, when pressed by journalists in Chandigarh.

The protests in Punjab involved various Sikh outfits.Rail traffic remained disrupted for over four hours with activists of Damdami Taksal and other Sikh organizations led by Sant Samaj stopping trains and squatting on the tracks between 11am to 3pm. Several trains were stopped at various stations before the start of the dharna.

At the Dakoha railway crossing in Jalandhar, the protest was led by Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhuma and SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar.

Long-distance trains, including the Flying Express from Amritsar to Darbhanga, were cancelled and others like Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi and Dadar-Amritsar Express delayed. However, many trains that left the Amritsar area before the demonstrators blocked the tracks chugged along on schedule. Reports from most places said cops made no attempt to disperse the protesters.

In Haryana too, Sikh community leaders held a symbolic dharna at the railway station in Kurukshetra.

with thanks :

Sikh grievance legitimate, says Chidambaram

with thanks : CNN-IBN

New Delhi: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday admitted that the Sikh community had "legitimate grievances" on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in which just a few people have been convicted.

In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN's Rajdeep Sardesai and Meetu Jain just a day after a Sikh journalist, Jarnail Singh, threw a shoe at him during a press conference in New Delhi, Chidambaram repeated what he told Jarnail on Tuesday that pronouncing guilt is for the courts to decide.

Chidambaram also said he has forgiven the Sikh journalist who works with Dainik Jagran.

"I don't think Jarnail intended to hurt me, only to provoke me," said Chidambaram.

"The Sikhs have a legitimate grievance that not enough people have been punished. But some people have been punished," he said.

He also tried to assure the Sikhs saying that the government was not trying to whitewash anything and the law would take its own course.

"Law has to take its course. Those who have been charge-sheeted… some will be punished, some may be acquitted because of technical reasons but to the best of my knowledge, no one in the government is trying to whitewash anything," said the Home Minister.

"I am not a judge. I am not a court. It is improper for me to pronounce anyone guilty or innocent," Chidambaram said.

The Home Minister said he was "100 per cent sure" there was no question of revamping his security in view of the shoe-throwing incident. "One PSO (police station officer) is one too many," he said.

He also declined to comment if the Congress would continue with Jagdish Tytler as its candidate for the Delhi North-East Lok Sabha seat.

"I cannot answer this question," he said.

He also added that he had forgotten the shoe-throwing incident.

"It was an emotional outburst by one journalist and he has quite rightly regretted it. As far as I am concerned, it is over," Chidambaram said about Singh.

Jarnail threw a shoe at Chidambaram at the Congress headquarters expressing his anger over the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) giving a clean chit to Tytler for the riots.

with thanks to :

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shoe thrown at home minister P Chidambram by a sikh veteran journalist.

7.4.2009 / 1.30 PM

A sikh journalist hurled his shoe on Home minister P Chidambram during a press conference at New delhi. Jarnail singh the vetern journalist from Dainik Jagran asked the Minister about clean chit given to Mr. Jagdish Tytler.

Param jit singh sarna, president DSGMC has condemned the act of the sikh journalist in strong words.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cong says Tytler case won’t hurt

HT Correspondent
New Delhi, April 04, 2009

A day after Jagdish Tytler, Congress candidate from Northeast Delhi Parliamentary seat got the clean chit from the CBI, leaders in the city unit of the Congress said they did not see this impacting the Lok Sabha elections adversely.

While some quarters said the Sikh were not a big enough vote bank in Delhi to swing the poll results, others said the protests against the CBI deposition were politically motivated.

“An autonomous body has given Tytler a clean chit. There have been no cases against him in court; only the Nanavati Commission had taken up the issue. We know the protests are politically manipulated. The BJP is our political opposition and everybody knows that they are instigating these protests,” said Jai Prakash Aggarwal, Delhi Congress chief.

Aggarwal felt the common Sikh voters did not harbour any ill will towards the party. Some leaders within the party, however, felt that the timing of the clean chit would create problems in Parliamentary seats that have pockets with Sikh majority or are BJP strongholds.

Delhi BJP leaders are already planning to make it a poll issue. “The very fact that Congress announced Jagdish Tytler’s candidature from North-East Delhi just a few weeks before the CBI verdict goes on to show that the Congress is hand-in-glove with the investigating agency. The verdict has hurt the sentiment of Sikh across the country. And we will condemn it in our campaign,” said OP Kohli, Delhi state BJP president.

VK Malhotra, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly said, “We just can’t keep silent on this issue. The timing of the CBI verdict is very questionable. It raises a number of question about CBI’s credibility.”

The Shiromani Akali Dal has also come out in the open condemning the Congress and the CBI verdict. “Rahul Gandhi, during his last trip to Punjab, had categorically said the Congress would not give tickets to the accused of 1984 riots. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also said on the floor of the House that people responsible for anti-sikh carnage would definitely be punished,” said Manjit Singh, Delhi president, SAD.

Protest by Sikhs

Protesting against the CBI giving a clean chit to the former Union minister Jagdish Tytler in a 1984 anti-sikh riot case, six members of the Shiromani Gurugwara Prabandhak Committee tried to immolate themselves on Friday. The police detained all of them before they could immolate themselves.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) staged a chakka jam near Jail Road in west Delhi.

with thanks to :

A mouthful of venom

By Khushwant Singh ji,
Hindustan Times
April 03, 2009

There is something weird about Varun Gandhi’s fulminations against Muslims and Sikhs; it defies common sense. He used the abusive term saley for Muslims and according to The Indian Express report, used the racial slur bara bajey (noon time) for his Sikh opponent.
It was the language of the gutter for which he should not be forgiven. I refrained from commenting on the subject as at one time I had quite a lot to do with his mother Maneka Gandhi, her mother Amtesh — both Sikhs, like all their other relations. We had a bitter parting of ways and I thought it would not be fair on my part to say anything about Varun’s bad-mouthing other communities. I was sorely disappointed as on one occasion, when his mother invited me to the launch of his collection of poems, I forced myself to go. I read his poems, liked them and gave them a favourable write-up. I thought if this young man is into poetry, he will be above dirty politics. I was wrong.
When and why did anti-Muslim venom enter his mind? During his grandmother Indira Gandhi’s time, a permanent fixture in the home was a Muslim, Mohammed Yunus. Both his parents addressed him as “Chacha Yunus”. They were married in his house on Tughlak Road by Navin Chawla, now election commissioner. I never heard Sanjay or any other member of the Gandhi family use derogatory words for Muslims. The word bara bajey for a Sikh is even harder to understand. Didn’t he realise that it would not go down well with the Badals and their Akali colleagues who are allies of his own BJP? His utterance must have deeply embarrassed his leader LK Advani (who is an Amil believing in Sikhism), Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley. In short, Varun Gandhi has, as the saying goes, cooked his own goose. Has he gone off his rocker? He would be well-advised to undergo psychiatric treatment and confine himself to writing poetry.

with thanks :

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Contribute Sikh news, pics, vids to the sikh blog

Sat Sri Akal,

We hereby request to all of our visitors to contribute News , pics, vids related to Sikhs from all over the world.

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Anarkali Kaur makes Sikhs proud

Anarkali Kaur makes Sikhs proud
Jagmohan Singh
The beleaguered Sikh community in Afghanistan could not have had a better role model. At 25, Anarkali Kaur Honaryar is a doctor, an activist, a Radio presenter and a member of the independent Afghan Human Rights Committee and the official Constitution Committee. With the dupatta decently covering her head, she presents an image which makes every Sikh proud of her.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Radio Free Afghanistan (RFA)’s has declared her as the Person of the Year and Sikhs worldwide are quite happy to learn that.
The Sikh society is male dominated and the society in Afghanistan is terribly male-oriented. With the shadow of the Taliban looming large, the grit and determination of Anarkali Kaur can easily be compared with the legendary courage of Sundri of Bhai Vir Singh.
Since the last decade or so, a sizeable chunk of the community has fled Afghanistan to reside in India, Europe and the United Kingdom. A large number of them have been granted asylum and the Southall Bazar, once the centre of Punjabi Sikhs is now virtually called the Afghani Sikhs Street. They are ubiquitous by their small and unique turbans and the brashness of their youth. Not much is known about the status of their women, though. A large number of Afghani Sikhs live as stateless persons in India as India continues to grant them stay on a year to year basis, without confirming their residency.
Though Anjali Kaur could not fulfil her dream to become a pilot, she is certainly chanelling her life with respect and would be a shining star for all those who fight for an equal world.
Honaryar works for the country's Independent Human Rights Commission and has been consistently campaigning for equal rights and democracy. She was also a member of the Afghan Constitution Committee.
She was chosen as Person of the Year by human rights groups and journalists’ unions in Afghanistan.

with thanks :

Indian 'riot politician' cleared

A former Indian federal minister accused over the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 has been cleared by police.
Congress party politician Jagdish Tytler said the case had destroyed his career but he had now been vindicated.
Sikh groups and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party have criticised the police report.
Mr Tytler had been cleared in November 2007 but a month later the case was reopened after a witness said he saw Mr Tytler leading a riot mob.
The riots, sparked by the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, left more than 3,000 Sikhs dead.
Mr Tytler has consistently denied any role in the rioting.
'Truth is out'
India's federal Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed its final report on the investigations into the riots to a Delhi court last week.
In the report, which was opened in court on Thursday, the investigative agency said it wanted to close the case against Mr Tytler.
"This case destroyed my career. And media portrayed me as a criminal. But the truth has finally come out. How can I react to the truth?" Mr Tytler told reporters in Delhi.
The CBI move angered Sikh groups.
"The victims have no rights. A criminal who is a politician who has money has all the rights," an unnamed victim told a private television channel.
The BJP has accused the CBI of working under the instructions of the Congress party government.
Mr Tytler is a Congress candidate for the forthcoming general elections.
'No evidence'
In November 2007, the CBI closed a case against Mr Tytler, saying there was "no evidence" or "witness" to establish that he had a role in the rioting.
But soon after, Jasbir Singh, who lives in California, claimed that he saw Mr Tytler lead a mob on a Sikh temple in Delhi during the riots.
Three Sikhs were burned to death in the attack on the temple.
Mr Singh, who lost 26 family members in the rioting, left the country after the incident.
The court asked the CBI to carry out a fresh investigation.
Mr Tytler had earlier been implicated by a judicial commission set up to investigate the 1984 killings.
The report, by retired Supreme Court judge GT Nanavati, was the ninth inquiry commission into the riots, and was set up in 2000 by the then governing BJP.
The inquiry found "credible evidence" against Mr Tytler and recommended further investigation into his role.
Mr Tytler submitted his resignation as a minister for expatriate Indians after being implicated in the riots.
He said he had resigned to have his "name cleared".

with thanks :

Indian turban makes it big in German fashion

by Neeraja Ganesh

NEW DELHI, April 2 (Xinhua) -- In a first of its kind, a turbaned Indian American Sikh named Sonny Caberwal who is in India these days, has become the international face of the prestigious German men's magazine GQ.
Turbans, even if worn as symbol of Indian religion Sikhism, is in some nations, including Germany, associated with Osama bin Laden, where Sikhs have been targeted in hate attacks after the September 11 attack.
However, the 30-year-old Sikh has been featured in GQ's style Germany Spring Summer-2009.
He will go down as a "footnote in history for being a stereotype buster," the newspaper the Mail Today noted Thursday.
"It's not about me, but about Sikh identity and about our culture and traditions being shown in a positive light to people around the world," the Mail Today quoted Caberwal as saying in Mumbai.
Caberwal has received hundreds of comments and e-mails from people around the world telling him how proud they were to see their own identity being represented positively.
Caberwal's portfolio was shot in Hamburg, Germany, in January.
Conde Nast, the publishers of CQ discovered Caberwal after he appeared in 25th anniversary ad of leading American fashion house Kenneth Cole in 2008.
The GQ collection was for formal wear but they thought using turbaned Sikh would be cool, Caberwal told Mail Today.
Although he has been lucky in modeling world, Caberwal says there are still some challenges for turbaned model to gain mainstream attention.
On the positive side, he says there is definite place for unique and interesting looks, and in the western world, the turbaned look falls in that category.
Among the Sikhs, the turban is an article of faith that represents honor, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and piety.
The Sikhs wear the turban partly to cover their long, uncut hair. The turban is mostly identified with the Sikh males, although some Sikh women also wear turban. The Sikhs regard the turban as an important part of the unique Sikh identity.
The turban has been an important part of the Sikh culture since the time of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. The Sikh warriors, the Khalsa, wear turban, partly to cover their long hair, which is never cut, according to the wish of their last human Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.
Editor: Fang Yang
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