Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Part 2 of the documentary
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
A day before Sikhs were to observe the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur on November 24, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh announced that the day must be marked on December 10, leading to confusion among the devotees.
“I have decided that the day should be observed on December 10. The SGPC will observe the day on December 10,” the Jathedar said, adding that he had received various requests from the world over to change the date.
However, he said “if some Sikh bodies or institutions have made arrangements for the day’s ceremonies” for November 24, they could go ahead with the celebrations. The others should celebrate on the date being announced by the Akal Takht.
Earlier, the SGPC and the Punjab government had mentioned November 24 as holiday on the Guru’s martyrdom.
with thanks : Indian Express : link in headline above for more detailed news.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
with thanks : Hindustan times : link in headline above for detailed news.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
On Sunday, many around the world will observe the anniversary of birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of sikhism. I send my best wishes to all those observing this extraordinary occasion.
This is also an opportunity to recognize the many contributions that Sikh Americans have made to our nation, and to reflect on the pluralism that is a hallmark of America.with thanks : latimesblogs : link in headline above for detailed news.
Islamabad, Nov 20 (IANS) At least 20 tents of Sikh pilgrims were burnt to ashes in Pakistan's Nankana Sahib city where they had gone to participate in the 542nd birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, a media report said Saturday. No casualties were reported.
'Rescue officials and fire brigade have reached the spot and the situation is under control,' Dunya TV reported adding that there was no loss of life or injury.
Regarding the cause of fire, there were conflicting reports. Some people on the spot said that the 'tents caught fire during the process of cooking food in one of them' while some others claimed that 'children playing with fire-crackers caused the fire'.
New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday indicated that it may refer to the constitution bench the question whether Sikhs in Punjab enjoy minority status in respect of setting up educational institutions and availing related benefits.
The apex court bench of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar said this while hearing the petitions by the Punjab government and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
The state government has challenged a Punjab and Haryana High Court order quashing its notification granting minority status to institutions run by the SGPC.
The high court's Dec 17, 2007 order talked about the definition of 'Sikh' under the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 and its relation with constitutional provisions that protect the rights of minorities to set up their own educational institutions.
The high court held that there was no material to substantiate that Sikhs were non-dominant group in Punjab apprehending deprivation of their rights at the hands of 'dominant' groups that may come to power.
with thanks : SIFY : link in headline above for detailed news.
Friday, November 19, 2010
London: Resham Singh Sandhu, a prominent Indian-origin multicultural leader selected as the new High Sheriff of Leicestershire.He will be the first turban-wearing Sikh in the UK to hold the office of High Sheriff.
Sandhu, who was awarded the MBE in 2002, migrated to Leicestershire from Punjab 38 years ago.He was a former chairman of Leicester's council of faiths;was commissioned in 2006 as the Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Leicestershire.
He told the media in Leicester."It's a great honour and privilege. This is going to set a good image of Great Britain. People can see that if you really work hard and deserve it, you can become a civic dignitary. It promotes multi-culturalism,"
He added: "My family in Punjab always worked with communities and to help other people. When I came over here I wanted to do the same. I didn't do it because I wanted to be recognised for it I never expected that".
Sandhu will succeed Colonel Robert Martin in either March or April next year and will be expected to attend royal visits and be entitled to act as a returning officer in parliamentary elections.He will wear the same ceremonial uniform for the role of High Sheriff.
Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/first-turban-wearing-sikh-to-be-uk-high-sheriff-66936?cp
Sikhs in Sint Truiden celebrated birth of first Sikh Guru,Sri Guru Nanak Dev on 14th November 2010 .There was a Nagar Kirtan (Religious Procession)in which around 300 Sikhs took part, among them ,approximately,50 were Afghani Sikhs who specially came down from Brussels, where they live as asylum seekers .
Courtesy to Lili Van Heers who herself is Belgian & Teacher but fighting for Sikh cause since last so many years. She is also an author of a Book on Sikhism.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Spell bound Bhangra Performance of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College,Dev Nagar's Bhangra Team for Chinese Delegation:
Honourable Mr.Amardeep Singh Cheema (Vice Chairman of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan ,Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports), conveys his heartiest thanks to Dr. Man Mohan Kaur,Principal,S.G.N.D.Khalsa college, University of Delhi,Dev Nagar for sending excellent Bhangra team of the college along with Dr.Gurdeep Kaur (Associate Prof.;Department of Political Science & National Service Scheme Programme Officer) for the cultural evening organised by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India to honour Chinese Youth Delegation comprising of 100 young Chinese Youth, research scholars, journalists, environmentalists etc.; visiting Delhi from 16 - 25 November 2010.,under the Youth Exchange Programme.
Chinese Delegation found Bhangra performance very lively & were very enthusiastic about Bhangra Team's colourful & beautigul dress.
This cultural evening took place at National Institute of Agriculture & Science Centre( NASC),International Guest House,Pusa Road on 16th Nov.2010 .It was witnessed by the Secretary; Youth Affairs, Govt. of India, Ambassador of Chinese Embassy in India and many other high ranking officers who applauded Bhangra performance of SGND Khalsa College students. This event gave a good exposure to College students also.
Department of Political Science,
National Service Scheme Programme Officer
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College,
University of Delhi,
with thanks : youtube
with thanks : youtube
Two persons have been jailed for life for the "sickeningly violent" murder of an Indian-origin Sikh shopkeeper in Britain, who refused to meekly abandon his property during a robbery eight months ago.
The Bradford Crown court sentenced Muawaz Khalid, 20, and his accomplice Nabeel Shafi, 18, to life in prison for killing Gurmail Singh, 63, for a few pounds, some sweets, alcohol and cigarettes during a raid at his shop in West Yorkshire in February, the Daily Mail reported.
Singh came to England from India in 1963 and raised his family in Huddersfield. He bought the Cowcliffe shop about five years ago.
"This was a most violent and sickening attack by at least two of you on a lone shopkeeper late at night. It is to be regretted that no defendant at any time during the eight-week trial showed the slightest remorse," Justice Henriques was quoted as saying in the court.
The judge said the victim's skull had been shattered into little pieces' by the force of the blows. "One blow would have disabled him, seven blows took his life away. If Gurmail Singh had abandoned his property and money and said 'take what you want boys', he would not have lost his life.with thanks : DNAINDIA : link in headline above for detailed news.
The Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex governing body of Sikh shrines across India on Tuesday re-elected Avtar Singh Makkar as its President.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the ruling party of Punjab had backed Makkar for this coveted post.
The elections were held at the Teja Singh Samundari Hall in SGPC Headquarter premises and under the presence of five head priests, who are non-voting members of the SGPC.
Total of 156 votes were cast in the SGPC election out of which Avtar Singh Makkar bagged 133 votes and was duly elected for the sixth time defeating Bhajan Singh who bagged 23 votes.
with thanks : ANI : SIFY : link in headline above for detailed news.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A day ahead of the general house meeting of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Hardeep Singh, a member of the committee on Monday demanded the resignation of the Avtar Singh Makkar. He slammed the SGPC for publication of a book allegedly containing defamatory comments about Sikh gurus.
Addressing press conference today, Hardeep Singh, a SGPC member from Mohali said, “Makkar should bring an apology resolution in tomorrow’s general house of the SGPC.”
with thanks : IndianExpress : link in headline above for detailed news.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Teachers have been advised that up to 2,000 Sikh students in schools across a county should be allowed to wear a ceremonial DAGGER – to SCHOOL.
New guidance issued to head teachers and governing bodies in Bedford states that baptised Sikhs can wear a dagger – or Kirpan – with a blade of up to SIX INCHES.
The dagger, usually worn discreetly beneath clothing, is one of the five ”articles” of faith worn by Sikhs who have gone through the Amrit baptism ceremony.
Members of Bedford’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) agreed the guidance developed by members of the Sikh community on Wednesday.
The advice was issued after parents asked for clarification on the issue and states that there should be no objection to the practice of wearing the five Ks.
These include the Kirpan, a steel bangle (Kara), unshorn hair (Kesh) a comb, (Kanga) and special underwear (Kacha).
with thanks : swns : link in headline for detailed news.
Chandigarh, Nov 14 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Sunday urged established Sikhs all across the world to contribute one per cent of their earnings to provide free quality education to poor children in the state.
'We have called upon the Sikh intellectuals, representatives of social and religious organisations to jointly chalk out an action plan to impart quality education based on Sikh values to our children, throughout the country, and to establish a fund for this purpose,' he said.
'I also appeal the Sikhs who have established themselves all over the world to contribute only one per cent of their earnings for the cause to provide free quality education to the children of the poor class in Punjab,' Badal added.
A huge number of NRIs from different parts of Punjab are based in the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, the Gulf countries and in various European countries.
with thanks : SIFY : link in headline for detailed news.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Lili van Heers(a Belgian citizen & teacher) was very pleased to watch a programme on BBC1 about Sikh heroes during the First War. Since last ten years or so she herself has been trying to inform Belgians about the Sikh religion and the Sikh people. She is of the opinion that there is a lot of ignorance amongst Belgium people on Sikhism. It may be because Sikhism is not mentioned in schools and local people are not familiar with turbaned Sikhs and unknown of the fact that quite a number of Sikhs fought and died for them; in those wars for their freedom. Therefore, if Belgian pupils could learn about the Sikh contribution to the freedom of their country at school, they would have more respect for these strange Indians with turbans and maybe the current turban problem in European schools might not be an issue.Lili has beautifully said "After all, the Sikh soldiers fought valiantly with a turban, not a helmet, for a cause that was not even theirs, so why can they not get an education with a turban on their head?"
Friday, November 12, 2010
My husband and I were blessed to be able to attend, for the first time, the Sikh Parade in Tierra Buena. We had a great time and are already making plans to go next year.
We already thought East Indian folks were great, and this event solidified our feelings. At each of the food booths we visited (and we tried to visit all of them, but our stomachs could not hold any more goodies) we were made to feel welcome. The food was great, and I was thrilled when I found a booth that had saag (creamed spinach).
We did not understand the significance of the street sweepers in front of the first float, but judging by the very soothing chanting of the throng surrounding the float, we guessed it was for making the street holy. We were also impressed by how peaceful the entire event was. We have been spectators at many parades, and without fail, there is some jerk who ruins the fun for many. That was not the case at this event. It was, as one gentleman told me, "a different kind of fun." He made my day.
To the Sikh community, thank you from my family. I am proud we are neighbors. May God bless you.
with thanks : appeal-democrat : link in headline above.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
One of the biggest Sikh Temples outside of India is to officially open next week, after a multi-million pound project taking almost a decade to complete.
Members of the current Siri Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Clarence Place, Gravesend, will vacate the site on Thursday as a massive procession is expected to herald the completion of the new temple, off Khalsa Avenue.
Temple secretary Narinderjit Singh, 58, said the date had been chosen as it coincides with the birthday of the founder of Sikhism, Siri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
This week, as he oversaw the finishing touches to the interior of the building, he said: “This will be one of the, if not the, biggest Sikh temple outside of India. It is a fantastic time in Gravesham’s history and something for the whole community to treasure.
“We are immensely proud of what we have achieved with the help of the entire community. There are more than 12,000 Sikhs in Gravesend, a large part of the population. It has been a long time from start to finish but you must agree it is magnificent.”
with thanks : gravesendreporter : link in headline above for detailed news.
First runner-up Jasjit Singh from Mumbai (left) and second runner-up Dilmeet Singh from Delhi flank winner Gurneet Singh from Delhi.
with thanks : sikhnet : link in headline for detailed news & more pics.
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The first Sikh to become an enlisted U.S. Army soldier in nearly three decades said Wednesday he's eager to move on to training as a combat medic and defend his new homeland on the battlefield.
"When the bullets begin flying, it doesn't concern anyone what religion you are. I bleed the same color," said Spec. Simran Lamba, 26, after his graduation ceremony from basic combat training.
Sikhism, a 500-year-old religion founded in India, requires its male followers to wear a turban and beard and keep their hair uncut. Army policies since 1984 had effectively prevented Sikhs from enlisting by barring those items. But Lamba was granted a rare exception because he has skills the Army wants - the Indian languages Hindi and Punjabi.
Before him, two Sikhs joined the Army as medical officers earlier this year. But Lamba is the first enlisted man since the policy barring religious articles of clothing.
Lamba said his black turban, full beard, unshorn hair and religious beliefs posed no problems during his 10 weeks of training.
"I am proud to be a Sikh, I'm proud to be a U.S. citizen, and proud to be a U.S. Army soldier," he said.
During training, he wore a camouflage turban under his Kevlar helmet. He used petroleum jelly to get a tight grip between his beard and gas mask, and was able to keep his hair clean under all conditions, meeting all the military's concerns about training and appearance.
And besides, the Sikhs were founded as a warrior group who were meant to fight against injustice and inequality, Lamba said, so adopting Army values were an easy fit for him.
"The Sikhs are warriors in Indian culture. Once our soldiers heard that, they were all for him," said Lamba's battalion commander, Lt. Col. Bryan Hernandez.
"It's going to be a good thing for our Army and our nation" to have Lamba in the service, Hernandez said. Lamba said he was treated like any other soldier.
The Army installation went to great lengths to educate his fellow soldiers, his commanders and anyone who would come in contact with him in order to make the transition go smoothly, said Maj. Gen. James Milano, Fort Jackson's commander.
"He met all requirements, he went through the training just like everyone else," said Milano.
Two hours before the graduation, Lamba also took his oath of citizenship along with a dozen other soldiers.
The native of New Delhi, India, was granted the honor of carrying a red-white-and-blue unit color flag as the 450 new soldiers paraded in a salute before 3,000 friends and family gathered in the stands.
Donning a uniform allowed him to fulfill a childhood dream of entering the military, Lamba said.
He came to the United States to get a master's degree in industrial engineering at New York University, and thought about enlisting and getting his citizenship. He did some research, and found that the Army's special forces units were allowed to wear beards, so it occurred to him that he might be able to enter the service. Also, he'd read about a Sikh dentist and a Sikh physician who'd entered the Army recently, and he sought their guidance.
"I thought, why not fight for this country? It doesn't matter that I wasn't born here," Lamba said.
After enlisting, it took a 10-month Army review before the service granted him a waiver.
Lamba got some mentoring in advance of taking his big step, said Capt. Kamal Kalsi, a fellow Sikh and emergency room physician now based at Fort Bragg, N.C., who entered the Army in June.with thanks : lakewyliepilot.com : link in headline above for complete story.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
WASHINGTON: Sikh advocacy groups in the US have-demanded stop to the screening of turbans at airports, arguing the additional search of their religious headwear is not required as the travellers pass through full-body scanners.
Sikh organisations have said federal transportation officials plan to always search turbans at airport screening stations even if wearers pass through the state-of-the-art body imaging scanners.
The groups are calling on their constituents to lobby the Congress and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to over turn what hey said was an “unjust policy”, the New York Times reported.
Officials from the Sikh Coalition United Sikhs and the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund said on Friday they met with representatives of the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA several weeks ago.
”All of us jointly feel there are definitely some elements of racial profiling here,” said Jasjit Singh, associate director of the Legal Defense Fund, a civil rights group.
Hansdeep Singh, a senior staff lawyer for the New York based United Sikhs, said the meeting in Washington was arranged to hear about how new “advanced imaging technology” scanners would affect Sikhs. They had hoped the devices would eliminate the need for extra screening that they say they were subjected to at airports.
But the community representatives said they were told that the turbans would be treated “as a per se anomaly”, Singh said. They said TSA officials declined to tell them whether the scanner was incapable of seeing through a turban, which typically had layers of fabric.
The advocacy groups met with officer for civil rights and civil liberties Margo Schlanger at the Department of Homeland Security and special counsellor to the TSA administrator Kimberly Walton the New York Times said. .
More than 300 body scanners have been installed at 65 airports in the US, according to the TSA website. An additional 450 scanners are set to be installed by next year.
TSA spokeswoman Sterling Payne said: “Removal of all headwear is recommended, but the rules accommodate those with religious, medical or other reasons, for which ‘the passenger wishes not to remove the item.”
“If the officer cannot reasonably determine that the clothing or head covering is free of a threat item, individuals will be referred for additional screening,” she said.
SOURCE-HT : taken from : punjabnews.org
Obama told this to Shiromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal during the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence in New Delhi Sunday evening.
According to Badal, Obama said he would visit the Golden Temple in Punjab the next time he comes to India.
with thanks : thaindian : link in headline for detailed news.
US President Barack Obama has promised to have a close look at the issue of disrespect shown to Sikh religious symbols like the turban during security check up and will find some way to ensure that religious sentiments of the community as well as security concerns of the US officials were taken care of.
The President said this to SAD member of Parliament Harsimrat Kaur Badal at the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday.
with thanks : IndianExpress : link in headline for detailed news.
Monday, November 8, 2010
With best regards
Chandigarh, Nov 7 (IANS) Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Sunday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up with visiting President Barack Obama the frisking of headgear of all turban-wearing individuals, including Sikhs, during airport checks in the US.
The US federal transportation agency recently issued directions for the mandatory searching of the headgear during airport security checks.
'Sukhbir Singh Badal has urged the prime minister to take up this matter with the US president Barack Obama. The prime minister is himself a Sikh and understands the sensitivity of this whole issue,' the state government spokesperson said.
'Wearing a turban is an integral part of the Sikh religion. Such guidelines making the frisking of turbans necessary, will interfere with Sikh principles and hurt the psyche of Sikhs. Such orders should be immediately withdrawn,' the spokesman added.
with thanks : SIFY : link in headline above for detailed news.
With thanks : Times of India : link in headline above for detailed news.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
It is worth mentioning Guru Nanak Dev stayed at Dera Baba Nanak nearly 18 years and departed for his heavenly adobe at Katrarpur in Pakistan where a gurudwara was constructed and it went to Pakistan during the partition in 1947.
The prominent among Jasvir Singh Zafarwal , Gurinder Singh Bajwa, Avtar Singh USA and Kulbir Singh Sandhu.
with thanks : Punjabnewsline : link in headline.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
The Sikhs are apprehensive, fearing a repeat of massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chattisinghpora village in March 2000, when then US President Bill Clinton was on a visit to India.
Uniformed personnel, travelling in a civilian vehicle, last night knocked on the doors of residents of predominantly Sikh-inhabited Hutmura village, 65 kms from here, in Anantnag district, raising concerns among the minority community.
A police spokesman said there was a "misunderstanding" created by a patrol of security forces in Hutmura village which was later sorted out by the intervention of senior civil administration and police officials.
with thanks : outlook : link in headline above for detailed news.
COMMUNITY ALERT: Turbans to Always be Searched at Nation’s Airports
Sikh Organizations Coordinating Joint Action
WASHINGTON, DC: Early last month, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials told representatives of UNITED SIKHS, the Sikh Coalition, and the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) that Sikhs should now expect turbans to always be searched at American airports.
While procedures which allow Sikhs to pat down their own turbans and have their hands swabbed by a TSA screener shall remain in place, what has changed is that Sikhs must go through an additional hand wand scan of the turban as an extra screening procedure 100% of the time. This is true for Sikh travelers who voluntarily choose to be screened by going through the new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines. The AIT machines (otherwise known as whole body imaging machines) are being placed in airports nationwide over the coming years.
UNITED SIKHS, Sikh Coalition, and SALDEF oppose this policy and question its necessity. Targeting turbans for additional scrutiny sends a message to other passengers that Sikhs and their articles of faith are to be viewed with suspicion by fellow travelers. The policy is a serious infringement on our civil rights and liberties.
What to Expect at the Airport
Air travel checkpoints in the United States employ different screening technologies.
While most checkpoints only have metal detectors, many airports are now installing AIT machines. The AIT machines are new whole body imaging devices that will be installed in every airport in the United States over the coming years.
According to the TSA, regardless of whether a Sikh clears the metal detector or the new AIT machines, they will still have to go through an additional procedure in which their turban will be checked for non-metallic items. During this second screening procedure, a Sikh will have a choice of either:
In addition, after this extra screening of the turban, a third screening procedure (under AIT screening policies) will subject Sikhs to a metal detecting wand that will be scanned over the turban.
Please remember, that under current procedures, a Sikh can always ask that they pat down their own turban rather than have a screener pat it down.
If a Sikh traveler opts out of the AIT screening, they will immediately be subjected to a full body (rigorous) pat-down by a TSA official plus a hand wand screening. If you are asked to undergo a full-body pat down, you have the right to ask for this screening to occur in a private room or other setting away from the rest of the traveling public.
The TSA’s Rationale
The TSA says that because a turban is “non form-fitting,” it is more capable of concealing dangerous items than other forms of clothing. The TSA also says that its new AIT machines cannot see through the folds of a turban to determine if it is concealing a dangerous item.
Our organizations vigorously question these rationales. First, the Department of Homeland Security’s own website states that the AIT machines are capable of screening threat items “concealed under layers of clothing.” Second, on Christmas Day 2009, a person was able to smuggle explosives onto a plane headed to the United States in his undergarments. If explosives can be concealed in undergarments, all garments should be targeted for extra scrutiny, not just turbans.
Each one of our organizations will continue to oppose this unjust policy. We will call upon Sikhs in the coming weeks to communicate directly with the TSA and their members of Congress.
Each one of our organizations are also aware that the Sikh American community is as invested in the national security of the United States as any other community.
Nevertheless, the TSA cannot target turbans for extra scrutiny without cause. We will continue to vigorously question the necessity of this policy given the weak rationales presented for it.
Coordination Amongst Sikh Organizations
Our three organizations would like the community and government to know that it is our intention to work together to combat unlawful profiling of Sikhs by the TSA. We will jointly strategize and communicate with both the government and the Sikh community about our work on this issue.