Sunday, July 31, 2011

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

London 2012 Olympics chief allows Sikhs to carry ceremonial dagger

Lord Coe says Sikhs can display their kirpan as 'an article of faith' when attending the Games.

Sikhs attending the London 2012 Olympics will be able to carry a small dagger, known as the kirpan, following reassurances from Lord Coe.
In a letter to the Sikh Federation, the former gold medal-winning athlete and chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, wrote that there would be no ban on a kirpan with a maximum blade length of three inches (eight centimetres).
In Sikhism, the kirpan and kara (bangle) are two of the five articles of faith that baptised Sikhs must carry at all times.
Lord Coe said: "At Games-time, small symbolic ceremonial daggers (an Article of Faith with a maximum blade length of 3 inches) carried for religious reasons will be allowed.
"We have worked closely with the Sikh community and the Metropolitan police on our plans in this area, and published this statement on our website and I would appreciate your help in communicating this to your federation.
"The Sikh community has played a major role from the outset of the bid to host the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games here in London."
The group, welcoming the letter, suggested its lobbying activity may have even helped London to triumph over Paris in the race to stage the event.
The Sikh Federation wrote to IOC members to discourage them from supporting the Paris bid because of the French ban on religious symbols in public places, "specifically targeting around 45 of the 115 voting IOC members who are from countries where religion is of paramount importance".
Dabinderjit Singh, a spokesman for Sikh interests in the UK, said: "I think that's what Seb was alluding to in his letter. We played that card quite heavily but didn't publicise it at the time."
He added that while there was a growing awareness about the kirpan as a religious item, there was still work to be done.
He cited the case of Sikh cricket fan Gurdev Singh, who was denied access to Lord's during a test match last weekend between India and England because he was wearing a kirpan. He staged a protest outside the ground.

with thanks : link above for detailed news.

High Court appoints its first Sikh judge

Rabinder Singh QC has become the first Sikh to be made a judge in the High Court, and will wear a turban rather than a traditional judicial wig when he takes up the appointment later this year.
Mr Singh, 47, a founding member of Matrix Chambers, has forged a name for himself as a dogged human rights lawyer.
His elevation comes at a time of concern over the lack of diversity within the judiciary, which tends to remain an overwhelmingly Oxbridge-educated white-man's world. Five new High Court judges were appointed yesterday, four of whom are white men.
The House of Lords constitution committee is investigating diversity within the judiciary. Of the 3,598 judges in England and Wales in 2010, just 20.6 per cent are women and 4.8 per cent from ethnic minorities.

with thanks : link above.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rahul Gandhi praises Sikhs

New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) Attempting to improve the Congress’s ties with the Sikhs, party general secretary Rahul Gandhi Friday heaped praise on the community, saying they have ‘done the country proud by their achievements’.

Inaugurating a memorial dedicated to Tegh Bahadue, the Sikhs’ ninth Guru, Rahul Gandhi hailed the teachings of the Sikh spiritual gurus and also the contributions of the community.

‘The Sikhs of this country have done the nation proud with their achievements. They have hoisted the flag of India in every part of the world,’ he said in Hindi.

Gandhi also thanked Prime Minsiter Manmohan Singh, a Sikh, for taking the country on the path of development and progress.

‘The country is thankful to the Sikh community, for the progress and development brought by them. I am very thankful to Prime Minister Mamohnan Singh, who has brought progress and development in the country,’ he said.

He was all praise for Guru Teg Bahadur.

‘We must understand the importance of Guru Teg Bahadur. This country in not the country of any caste or religion, this is a country of every Indian.’

‘These were the teaching of Guru Tegh Bahadur and we must understand the importance of his teachings,’ Gandhi said.

The Congress general secretary added that he goes back to the teachings of ancient gurus of India for guidance.

‘When I think of my work, I go through the teachings of the ancient gurus of India and follow them. The whole country must follow their path for the development of the country,’ he added.

The Congress’s ties with Sikhs were strained after the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi in 1984. More recently, many Sikh groups are demanding the release of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, a former Khalistan Commando Force militant, who has been given the death penalty in a 1993 car bombing case in Delhi.

with thanks : link above.

SGPC poll on Sept 18

Chandigarh, July 28

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the Gurdwara Election Commission to hold the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections on September 18 as recommended by the Chief Commissioner, Gurdwara Elections, Justice (retd) HS Brar.

Justice Brar said the elections would be held simultaneously in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. With the announcement of the election date, the Model Code of Conduct comes into force immediately.

As per the code, the state government cannot announce new programmes and policies or lay foundation stones for projects. It cannot undertake any activity that can be interpreted as an attempt to influence the voter.

In all, a little over 55 lakh voters will exercise franchise. This time only “keshdhari” Sikhs (who have given an undertaking that they strictly follow the Sikh tenets) have been included in the voters’ list. During the last SGPC elections in 2004, “sehajdhari” (clean-shaven) Sikhs were allowed to vote too.

Justice Brar said preparations for the smooth conduct of the elections were completed way back in May.

“We were only waiting for a date from the MHA, which we received today”.

with thanks : tribune : link above

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

All we need a desire in our hearts to ignite a fire of Transformation

Fr.Nigel Barrett head of the Church’s communications centre said “We are teaching Church leaders about Facebook and other new-age media. We held a seminar recently where we taught priests how to use the media to reach out to congregations and the public, and are now planning follow-ups to make them Computer savvier as far as new-age media is concerned ”

With the same spirit,if we love Sikhi,then we also need to show in REAL terms with our noble motive of “sarbat-da-bhala“ (Welfare of All ).

We have to help Sikh Community preachers to overcome fear about the new-age media. Educating them on e-media is essential in contemporary time,not just for communication purposes,but with an intention to have online counselling sessions for people who need help/ information on Sikh Religion. Quite often it has been observed that at the initial stage,many youngsters prefer to be anonymous while seeking help/knowledge about religion to overcome their anxiety or unknown fears/doubts. This will surely change the Sikh Community from the very core and its impact would be long lasting.

Lets begin a transformation at the ground level.We can talk to our respective authorities in SGPC,DSGMC and local Gurdawara Management Bodies to organise Computer Workshops with the inclusiveness of our Gururdwara’s Granthis,Sewadars,Prabandhaks (Preachers).We can also provide them computers to make them efficient to practice more on their own initiative.

In Mumbai,Young Sikh Volunteers have already taken an initiative to get course in “Gyani ji” themselves .They are also sparing their valuable time & offering their services by helping Gurdwara Sewadars( Sikh Preachers) to be comfortable with computers.

With thanks :Young Sikh Leaders

Dr.Gurdeep Kaur
Associate Professor
S.G.N.D.Khalsa College
University of Delhi
Dev Nagar
New Delhi-110005

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Really Shocking ! Three blasts in Mumbai !!

Really Shocking ! Serial blasts struck Mumbai this evening. The three blasts, in sequence, were timed at 6.30 pm, 6.45 pm, and 7 pm IST, and targeted in that order Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and the Kabutarkhana area of Dadar West. Chief Minister Chauhan confirms 20 dead and 113 injured so far; extent of injuries is not clearly known and casualties are expected to rise.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bhullar mercy plea: Supreme Court notice to Govt

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Centre and Delhi government on a writ petition filed by the wife of Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, a convict in the 1993 Delhi car bomb blast case.

Navneet Kaur contended that execution of a mentally unstable prisoner was in violation of the Constitution.

with thanks : NDTV : link above for detailed news.


Does India need a separate prevention of communal violence bill?

Plz view Mr B S Vohra in this Debate.
with thanks : NDTV 24x7 : link above.


NDTV 24 x 7 : Communal Violence Bill : B S Vohra : SikhsIndia

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Watch NDTV 24x7 : A programme on "Communal violence Bill " :

Watch NDTV 24x7 :

A programme on "Communal violence Bill " : 

Sunday 10th July at 8 pm. 


Pak begins construction work at gurdwaras, temples

AMRITSAR: To accommodate the large turnout of Hindu and Sikh devotees from across the world in various gurdwaras and templesof Pakistan on different religious occasions, Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board (PETPB) has undertaken massive construction work in gurdwara and temple premises to provide comfortable stay to pilgrims.
For the first time the PETPB has constructed a common cremation ground for both Hindus and Sikhs in Lahore. Giving information about the development work carried out in Pak gurdwaras and temples, deputy secretary PETPB, Sayed Faraz Abbas told TOI over phone from Lahore on Thursday that work for the conservation of Hindu temples including Samadhi Ganga Ram, Krishna Mander Lahore, Krishna Mander Rawalpindi, Shamshan Ghat Lahore, Agrwal Ashram Lahore, Katas Raj, Sadhu Bela had begun and would be completed in the near future.
with thanks : Times of India : link above for detailed news.

Fauja Singh, Britain’s most popular Sikh

He replaced David Beckham as Adidas’s new poster boy. On the Adidas billboards, spread across London, he was sitting cross-legged; as if cooling his heals after a day’s work out, peeping over Londoners, tired and overworked, telling them the secrets of his unfailing energy.

Fauja Singh, Britain’s most popular Sikh is 98 now, the oldest runner in London Marathon.

He is threatening to break his own world record of 5.40 hours in the 90 plus age bracket that he set previously. While running Marathon races in London, New York and Toronto, he raised thousands of pounds for various charities promoting Sikh culture around the world. He has also raised money for B.L.I.S.S., a charity dedicated to the care for premature babies. He describes it as the ‘oldest running for the youngest.

Fauja’s jogging skills were developed on an Indian farm in Punjab, and then at the magical age of 81, when he moved to the UK, his love for the sport became more “serious”.

plz read the detailed News Story with pics at :

100-year old Sikh marathoner's biography released in Britain

"Turbaned Tornado", a biography of 100-year-old UK-based marathon runner of Indian descent Fauja Singh, was release in Britain's House of Lords.
The 114-page book, penned by journalist-cum-writer Khushwant Singh, captures Fauja Singh's zest for life and his invincible spirit. Lord Anthony Young of Norwood Green formally released the biography of Fauja Singh, a world record holder marathoner in his age bracket, last evening.
The book traces the runner's roots and tries to capture his life's journey, understanding the impact of Fauja on the world around him.
For Fauja "impossible is Nothing", Khushwant Singh told the gathering.
Khushwant Singh, also the author of best-selling Sikhs Unlimited, a travelogue from UK to USA, featuring extraordinary Sikhs, told the gathering that he first met the world's half marathon runner in 2005 "when I was working on my first book, Sikhs Unlimited."

with thanks : Indian Express : link above.

Kartarpur Sikh Pasage: Pak yes to corridor

Islamabad, Pakistan: Pakistan has offered to set up a special corridor for Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, barely 3 km from the border, a senior official has said.
Pakistan is ready for talks with India to create such a special corridor for a safe passage for pilgrims, Syed Asif Hashmi, chief of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) that is responsible for maintaining shrines of minority communities in Pakistan, told reporters at Hasanabdal on Friday.
Organisations representing Punjabi Sikhs have been demanding the establishment of a passport and visa-free passage between Dera Baba Nanak on the Indian side and Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan’s Narowal district.
According to Sikh history, Guru Nanak Dev Ji spent 17 years at the site where Gurdwara Kartarpur is situated.
Hashmi also said the ETPB has spent more than Rs 400 million for the upkeep, maintenance and improvement of facilities at gurdwaras to make visits by Sikh pilgrims comfortable.
A 500-gallon water tank has been constructed at Nankana Sahib and 20 washrooms have been established at Dera Sahib, Kartarpur and Sacha Saoda.
Work on Dewan Hall in Kartarpura temple will begin during the next fiscal year, he said. More than 100 Indian Sikhs have arrived for a visit to Gurdwara Punja Sahib to participate in religious rituals. They are on a 10-day pilgrimage in connection with a function marking the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
ETPB Deputy Secretary (Shrines) Syed Faraz Abbas said the Sikhs are being provided foolproof security during their stay in Pakistan.

with thanks : sikhsangat : link above.

1984 riot case: Sajjan's aide pleades innocence

New Delhi: A former MLA, facing trial along with Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case relating to killing of six persons in Delhi Cantonment area, on Friday claimed innocence before a city court saying it was a conspiracy to ruin his political career.

"I was not involved in the 1984 riots. It was a conspiracy to tarnish my image and political career," Mahender Yadav, who is an aide of Sajjan, told Additional Sessions Judge Sunita Gupta.
Yadav claimed he was not involved in any manner in the riots and he had already been acquitted by a city court earlier in another 1984 riot related case.

with thanks : IBNLive : link above.

The forgotten history of Sikh troops in China

Excerpts :

Sikh regiments made their way to the foreign quarter “crawling through the Imperial sewage canals”, undetected by the Boxers, and were the first troops to come to the aid of the besieged foreigners.
The lifting of the siege was one of only several key instances where Indian troops left an unlikely mark on the course of Chinese history in the early twentieth century.
On August 4, 1900, a relief force of more than 3000 soldiers from Sikh and Punjabi regiments left Tianjin, part of the larger eight-nation alliance that was dispatched to aid the besieged quarter, where 11 countries had set up legations. Sikh troops were also dispatched to guard churches and Christian missionaries, the targets of the Boxer uprisings.
Among the Indians, there was sympathy for the Boxers, Colonel Jaishankar said. Gaddhar Singh, a Rajput who was in Beijing in 1900-01, empathised with Chinese grievances in his accounts, arguing it was an entirely justified peasant rebellion.
The British also dispatched Indian regiments to China leading up towards the Opium War, which ended with the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 and the opening up of Chinese ports to the British.
The British deployed Sikh soldiers as law enforcement officers in ports like Shanghai, where their trading companies had set up a large presence by the early twentieth century. The Sikh soldiers were feared by the Chinese with their imposing figures, so much so that the British deemed that they did not even need guns when on duty, Colonel Jaishankar said, citing records from the time.
The history of Indian and Sikh troops in China is one that is ignored in Chinese accounts, and is likely a sensitive legacy considering they were often deployed against the Chinese.

with thanks : sikhsangat : link above

Sikh Gurudwara Attacked in Australia

Victoria, Australia (CHAKRA) - After a hate crime against a gurudwara in the state of Victoria in Australia, the Sikh community has appealed for security, fearing that further attacks will take place against the minority community in the area. Sikhs from Shepparton, Northern Victoria have appealed to the assailants, that their place of worship be left alone.
A local Sikh, Kuldeep Singh said that he thinks the vandalism could have partly been done due to racism but he does not know or understand why anyone would want to put the Sikh community to harm.
After various incidents of vandalism at the Gurudwara in addition to a car smashing into the fence surrounding it, security has been upgraded to surveil the area. The Sikh community is both surprised and hurt by these acts of vandalism and hope that their pleas for peace will not go unnoticed and ignored completely by other nearby dwellers.
Singh said that the Sikh community is hard working and very good to others around them. He further stated that his community’s belief in God should not be a reason for such consequences.
On another note, a Sikh boy, in Grade 11, attending a Christian school in Melbourne, was forced to shave off his beard if he wanted to continue attending the school, according to Harkirat Singh, a member of the Sikh Federation of Australia. The Indian community surrounding the school is outraged and greatly upset with the mockery of a symbol of the Sikh religion. They accused the school and board of institutionalized religious discrimination.
Over the last few years, in Australia, more than 100 incidents including those of hatred and racism have occurred. Various organizations have formed such as the National Council of Indian Australians, in response to the hate crimes. These groups hope to come together to raise awareness of the Indian religions so that incidents of such a nature disappear altogether.

with thanks : ChakraNews : link above.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pics : Gurdwara Data Bandi Chor Sahib, Gwalior : Happy Gurupurab !

ਛੇਵੀ ਪਾਤਿਸ਼ਾਹੀ ਮੀਰੀ ਪੀਰੀ ਦੇ ਮਾਲਿਕ, ਅਕਾਲ ਤਖਤ ਦੇ ਰਚਨਹਾਰ ਗੁਰੂ ਹਰਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੇ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ ਪੁਰਬ ਦੀ ਲੱਖ ਲੱਖ ਵਧਾਈ।