Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sikhs demand investigation into “disrespect” at European airports

Britain's Sikh community has called for an investigation into allegations of “intimidation and disrespect” suffered by turban-wearing Sikhs at European airports, following complaints that they are forced to remove their turbans for security check even after they have successfully passed through scanners.
Hundreds of Sikhs held a rally outside Parliament demanding an end to “discrimination” against turban-wearing Sikhs and urging the British government to take up the issue with its European allies.
They said the turban, known as “Dastar,” was an important part of Sikh identity and its forcible removal was an “infringement” of their faith.
Similar protests were held in several other European capitals, including, Rome, Madrid and Brussels.
Rami Ranger, Chairman of the British Sikh Association, said the turban symbolised “the Sikh Gurus' commitment to human freedom…The Sikhs with their turbans paid supreme sacrifices in both the Great Wars and changed the course of world history. It is important that in their time of need to preserve their identity, the world repays that debt to them,” he said.
The protesters alleged that turban-wearing Sikhs were being singled for extra security checks.
with thanks : the Hindu : Link above for detailed news.

High priests demand murder charges for showing disrespect to Granth Sahib

AMRITSAR: Sikh clerics have asked Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Avtar Singh Makkar to impress upon the Central government to issue directions for registration of cases under Section 302 (murder) instead of Hurting Religious Sentiments (295 A) in cases of disrespect shown to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, considered as 'living Guru' by Sikhs, reasoning that even the Supreme Court had declared Sri Guru Granth Sahib as a 'juristic person'.

Talking to media persons after holding a meeting of five Sikh high priests on Monday, Jathedar ofAkal Takht Giani Gurbachan Singh said that in recent past incidents of disrespect to Sri Guru Granth Sahib had increased and there was dire need to implement stringent laws to punish the culprits.

with thanks : TOI : link above for detailed news.

BSP suspends MLA after Sikh remarks

The Bahujan Samaj Party on Monday suspended its sitting MLA from Meerut city, Haji Yaqub Qureshi, on disciplinary grounds. Yaqub is the same person who had publicly announced a reward of Rs 51 crore on the head of a Danish cartoonist in 2006.
The BSP said Yaqub was suspended for his alleged objectionable remarks about the Sikh community during the inauguration of a slaughterhouse in Meerut.
Chief Minister Mayawati, who is also national president of her party, has issued instructions not to allow Qureshi at any party programme.
But sources said the action came because of his brother Yusuf Qureshi's decision to join the Congress. The Congress has already given a ticket to Yusuf for contesting the 2012 Assembly polls from Meerut city.
“The party was not ready to see the two brothers — Yaqub and Yusuf — as candidates of BSP and Congress, respectively, in the same Meerut district. It could have sent a wrong impression to its core voters and the action against Yaqub was inevitable,” a source in the BSP said.

with thanks : Indian Express : Link above for detailed news.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Aarakshan on NDTV in HumLog with Pankaj Pachori : B S Vohra

Sikhs seek access to PoK gurdwaras

Sixty-four years after partition, Sikhs of Jammu and Kashmir are trying for the revival of the gurdwaras in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) which have been non-functional since their migration in 1947.
Thanks to the renewed Indo-Pak thaw, the Sikhs are trying hard to revisit the gurdwaras in PoK similar to revered gurdwaras in other cities of Pakistan for pilgrimage.
The Sikhs have kicked off the process by meeting the former prime minister of PoK Sultan Mehmood Chaudhary who advised the Valley recently. “We have urged Sultan Mehmood Chaudhary to use his good offices to help the Sikh community to visit the historical gurdwaras with Pakistani government,” said Jagmohan Singh Raina, chairman of All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee.
PoK and northern areas are dotted with Gurdwaras as several Sikh Gurus visited the places centuries ago. But after raiders’ attack in 1947, Sikhs migrated to Jammu and Kashmir leaving behind their property and religious places.

with thanks : DNAIndia : link above for detailed news.

Victory was always on but sweep lifts their bigger hopes

That the Shiromani Akali Dal would easily win the elections to the “mini-parliament” of the Sikhs, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, was a foregone conclusion. What mattered was the handling of the SGPC polls, the margin of the SAD victory and the trends it might throw up ahead of the Assembly polls, due in five months.

The SAD, with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal as its patron and his son and deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal as its president, had any major rival to face, with the Congress neither contesting the elections nor overtly backing candidates. The SAD, which had a tie-up with the Sant Samaj, bagged 157 of the 170 seats while its main rival, the Panthic Morcha of five Sikh organisations, was left trailing way behind.

The euphoric Badals have been hailing the results as a pointer to the outcome of the ensuing Assembly elections, while the Congress has called the SGPC elections a “farce” that will have no impact on the Assembly elections. The SGPC elections, which have always been won by the Akalis (they bagged 134 seats last time), have a total electorate of 56 lakh compared to the 1.8 crore voters registered for the Assembly elections to be held by February.

The SAD had appeared desperate to put up a good show. There were reports of tension and clashes among party workers even during the selection of candidates. Later, a few who had been denied tickets contested as rebel candidates. Despite the unmatched resources with the ruling party, there were areas in which multi-cornered contests led to uncertainties about the outcome.

with thanks : Indian Express : link above for detailed news.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

View our CEO Sd. B S Vohra

Vegas police develop educational course on Sikhism

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas police say they've finished developing an online course to educate civilians and police officers about the Sikh (SEEK') religion.
The department's counter terrorism center has been working with the Sikh community in southern Nevada since January to create the overview of the faith, its practices and its cultural interactions.
Sikhism developed about 500 years ago in the Punjab region of northern India.
Sikhs in the U.S. have occasionally been the target of anti-Muslim sentiment because of the turbans and beards they wear. The religion is separate from Islam.
Police officials say they hope the online course fosters mutual respect and understanding between the department and the Sikh community.
with thanks : link above.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Baroness Warsi visits Sikh Holy Shrine

Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) was visited by Baroness Warsi, Britain’s first Asian Cabinet Minister.

Her recent trip to India was for talks on interfaith issues, women’s empowerment as well as UK-India trade matters and bilateral issues.

The trip included a visit to Amritsar where she first went to Harmadar Sahib the sacred Sikh Shrine and then went to  Jallianwala Bagh. She said: “I am delighted to be here for my first visit to India beginning today. It was a great honour to visit the Golden Temple and to meet with the local Sikh community.”

Baroness Warsi also spent some time at the Langar at the Golden temple with local Sikh women volunteering in the kitchen. After visiting Jallianwala Bagh, she added: “Today has also been a deeply emotional experience, as I laid a wreath at the Jallianwala Bagh.” In the evening Baroness Warsi hosted a reception to launch the new BMI route from Amritsar to London-Heathrow. 

The Minister was in New Delhi yesterday (19.09.11) where she called on senior Indian Government Ministers, including Minister for Law and Minority Affairs Salman Khursheed, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik and the Chief Minister of Delhi Shiela Dikshit.

The Minister also spoke about her life at the Jamia Islamia University. She said:

with thanks : emgonline : link above for detailed news.


Sunday is “Turban Day” for Europe’s Sikhs

Thousands of Sikhs will gather across Europe Sunday to proclaim their right to wear their faith’s required turbans — and to voice concerns with legal challenges to such headgear in some parts of Europe.

The turban or dastaar is mandatory for devout Sikh men. They are not allowed to remove it even to wear safety headgear such as motorcycle helmets.

Thousands of turban-wearing Sikhs are expected to gather in European capitals in a simultaneous gathering organized by the Sikh Channel, a Europe-wide TV Station on the SKY platform.

Live broadcast on the Sikh Channel the Turban Awareness Gatherings will take place from Madrid, London, Rome and Brussels.

Sikhs in Italy have complained of difficulties at some Italian airports of being asked to remove their turbans, with many Sikhs refusing to do so and, as a result, missing their flights. Some Italian provinces require Sikhs to remove Turbans for driving licence photographs. Thus, a number of Sikhs have not applied for driving licenses to avoid what they consider the humiliation of being photographed without their turbans.

The British gathering is expected to occur at noon outside of the Houses of Parliament. In Rome, Sikhs will gather at the Piazza Montecitorion.

with thanks  beliefnet : link above.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Extract: The Punjab Bloodied Partitioned and Cleansed

extracts : 

‘The first batch of raiders arrived around the village in the evening of 6 March. There was no warning, although we had heard that trouble had started in Rawalpindi a day or two earlier. The first attack on the village was from behind, from the north and not the road in the south. Initially only a few hundred took part in the assault but soon others joined them. Their numbers continued to swell all the time. They were beating drums and shouting Allah ho Akbar. Some were on horses but most were on foot. Our elders took positions on the rooftops, giving the impression that we were well-armed, whereas in fact we had only three double-barrelled shotguns and almost no ammunition. The early attacks were mostly cases of brick-throwing which continued sporadically until the 12th when several thousand men encircled Thamali. In the meantime, efforts were afoot to reach some agreement that would terminate the hostilities. On the 12th, finally, an agreement was reached. My father, Subedar Diwan Pal Singh, had retired only six months before the riots. He and retired Superintendent of Police Bal Mukand, a Brahmin, represented our side. The Muslims had Subedar Lal Khan and some other notables representing them. The agreement was that if we surrendered our weapons they would escort us safely to village Pharawan from where we would be able to take the road to Poonch in Kashmir. During the negotiations, the raiders realised that we were poorly armed. So, against all moral and religious principles, the same evening a massive attack took place. Bal Mukand and some other Brahmins had already left for Lal Khan’s village under a secret understanding. One Brahmin, Jagan Nath, was killed because he had a rifle and the Muslims had seen him firing at them. About 10-12 Sikhs from our village had gone to village Kaloha and were saved. ‘The Sikhs decided not to surrender. Some of them even went out and fought in the fields, but it was clear that we were fighting a lost battle. The women were taken to the gurdwara. They brought along their valuable possessions. Then a fire was lit. It had been decided that we will not let the Muslims touch our womenfolk. My grandmother, mother and one of my sisters died in that fire. My brother’s wife, her father, and her infant son and her daughter were also burnt to death.

with thanks : please read  more at :


Sikh leader threatened in Lahore

LAHORE - The business of a prominent Pakistani Sikh leader has been attacked by unidentified people several times over the past six months, and now the miscreants have even threatened him against speaking about the issue, according to newspaper reports.

Former Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee President Sardar Bishon Singh, who has always been quite vocal against the government’s ‘injustices’ with the Sikh community, has been selling imported cloth in shops across Lahore since he moved from the tribal areas in 1993.

“I have been threatened with dire consequences if I do not stay silent over issues,” Singh said. 

“They have threatened me with death and financial loss.”

He said cloth worth Rs 7 million was looted from his shop in Azam Cloth Market. Another one of his shops, located in Zeenat Tower on the Model Town Link Road, was shut down by the building’s owners.

Earlier this month, the owners cut the power supply to his shop and constructed another shop, blocking the way to his shop. “According to the tower’s map, there is no space on which the new shop can be constructed, so I have approached the court where I obtained a stay order. But when I tried to stop the construction, owners threw me outside the tower and closed my shop.”

His attempts to reach out to the police did not bear any fruit. 

“Instead of hearing my complaint, police began inquiring if I belonged to India or Pakistan,” Singh said. “I tried to approach Malik Owais, Superintendent Police (SP) Model Town, but he said he had no time to entertain Sikhs as he had to deal with more pressing issues.”

“I then approached Zahid Aslam Gondal, the deputy secretary for law and order at the [Punjab] Chief Minister Secretariat, but I was not treated well. [Punjab] Governor Latif Khosa has now asked me to come see him,” he said.

with thanks : link above

Sukhbir Badal expresses gratitude to Sikh community for reposing faith in SAD

CHANDIGARH:  The Shiromani Akali Dal President and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today said he had been deeply moved by the trust reposed by the Khalsa Panth in the programs and policies of the Shiromani Akali Dal in the just concluded SGPC elections. He thanked the Sikh sangat for the overwhelming mandate in favour of the SAD, the Sant Samaj and allies.

In a statement, Badal reiterated his and his party’s resolve to work day and night to justify people’s trust and will uphold the values that Gurbani teaches us.   Mr. Badal said he had been surprised by the unwarranted hue and cry raised by the parties rejected by the Panth in the poll and said “ I hope they show more grace and dignity in true Sikh traditions and accept the verdict of the Sikh sangat in all humility.    There is no place for arrogance in the face of collective will of the Khalsa Panth”.  

The SAD President pointed out it was not only in Punjab alone, where the SAD-BJP were in government but also in Haryana the Khalsa Panth had placed its faith in the SAD and had thwarted those who were out to divide the community.  "It is for the Congress sponsored Panthic Morcha to explain why our opponents met the same fate even in the Congress-ruled Haryana where the SAD won eight out of 11 seats.  In fact, their plight in Haryana is even more pitiable as the main leaders of the Panthic Morcha, Jhinda and Nalvi, lost with humiliating margins.

Badal also felicitated the leaders and workers of SAD for this superb victory and stated the crushing defeat of the anti-panthic forces especially the Panthic morcha in these elections was a pointer towards its complete isolation and rejection of their immoral acts to capture SGPC. 

with thanks : link above in the head line.

Press release : SAD - Delhi UK

Role in 1984 anti-Sikh riots: US court reserves order in case against Kamal Nath

JALANDHAR: A US federal court on Wednesday reserved its order in the case filed against Union minister Kamal Nath over his alleged role in leading a mob during anti-Sikh riots in November 1984 in Delhi.

Judge Robert W Sweet of the US federal court for the southern district of New York heard arguments in the case.

According to Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is pursuing the petition, Nath failed to produce "statement of interest" from US department of state in support of his claim for diplomatic immunity.

After hearing the arguments from both sides, lasting over 45 minutes, Judge Sweet reserved his ruling.

The plaintiffs requested the court to issue a default judgment against Nath for failing to respond within 21 days after receiving the summons on April 6, 2010. SFJ has already demanded a "jury trial" during which plaintiffs would submit documentary evidence proving participation of Nath and other leaders of Congress in November 1984 Sikh genocide.

In the arguments on Wednesday, plaintiffs emphasized that despite having knowledge about the case and openly acknowledging the receipt of summons and complaint, Nath did not respond within 21 days as required by the law. In fact, Nath completely ignored the summons till August 2010 when plaintiffs moved for entry of default judgment against him, the plaintiff's counsel argued in the court. 

with thanks : times of india : link above for detailed news.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Citizen charter on Janpath, Delhi Aaj Tak : B S Vohra

Please view the video :

Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Headstart for SAD but real war ahead

Politics is all about timing and momentum. That's why the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal has a reason to gloat over its resounding victory in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections. Barely five months short of the high-stake Punjab Assembly elections due in February, the party, in an alliance with the Sant Samaj, romped home on 157 of the 170 seats up for grabs, re-asserting its time-old hold on the apex Sikh religious body.
In Sikh politico-religious affairs, the SGPC, with an annual budget of Rs 600 crore, represents a veritable powerhouse with enormous sway on the Sikh masses. Clearly, Sunday's triumph has buoyed SAD's morale, galvanised its grassroots workers and geared up the party machinery for the bigger battle ahead for the Vidhan Sabha. That's all that will count for the SGPC election outcome's impact on Punjab's political landscape in the next few months.
But, to interpret the SGPC win as a referendum on the SAD-BJP government's performance, as upbeat Akali leaders are tempted to do, will be a measure of their capacity for self-delusion. Nor does the buoyant forecast of Badals' spin doctors on the "historic verdict" as "a semifinal" to the assembly poll slugfest hold much water.
After all, the SGPC electorate - about 55 lakh and spread over Punjab and parts of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh - is limited to the Sikh constituency of only 'keshdharis' (those with unshorn hair). In other words, only one-tenth of Punjab voters eligible for the Assembly elections exercised their franchise for the SGPC polls. More importantly, the SAD was the only mainstream political party to contest the polls while Punjab's other key political players namely the Congress, BJP and Manpreet Singh Badal's People's Party of Punjab were out of the fray -albeit directly.
Also, the SAD's feat has lost some its sheen because of brazen intimidation and misuse of power by its workers. As if political acrimony and mudslinging that marred the high-decibel campaign was not sacrilegious enough, large-scale, in-your-face violations of the Gurdwara Act, coupled with violence, struck a jarring note to the elections so ineptly conducted by chief gurdwara commissioner Justice HS Brar (retd), who chose to look the other way despite a flurry of brazen violations exposed by the media. That perhaps was Brar's way of returning the favour to the Badal Government for appointing his daughter as a top law officer in Punjab advocate general office.
The reason why the SAD pitched its stakes so high is obvious. In factionalised Sikh politics, the Akali Dal that lords over the SGPC is reckoned as the real Akali Dal, while others merely "Khaali Dal (empty party)".
An astute campaign organiser, SAD president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal pulled out all stops not only to re-assert his party's long-held supremacy on religious turf, his carefully-crafted strategy had three near-term objectives, too: to buff up his own image as an election-winner, to fire up the Akali rank and file, and to make a headstart in the Assembly elections. And, his strategy has seemingly clicked.

with thanks : HT : link above for detailed news


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DSGMC Press conference on 20.9.11 on Sikh affairs by Sd. Paramjit singh Sarna


Surrey man appears on 'Regis and Kelly' with world's longest beard

Surrey Sikh priest Sarwan Singh appeared on the Regis and Kelly show in New York on Tuesday to show millions of television viewers his beard. At eight feet two and a half inches long, his is believed to be the longest beard in the world.

Singh serves as high priest of Guru Nanak temple in Newton. He also teaches music at Surrey's Akal Academy.
I am very proud to have been given the opportunity to represent the Sikh and Surrey communities," Singh said of his guest appearance on the show.

He was speaking through his translator and friend Dr. Pargat Bhurji, a Surrey pediatrician who accompanied him to New York.

Bhurji is also the principal and president of Akal Academy.

"This is history in the making," Bhurji said. "Out of the 6.5 billion people in the world, he is the only one standing there."

Sikhs must not cut their hair as an article of their faith and Singh, 45, has been growing his beard since he was 15 years old. He has held the Guinness World Book record for longest beard since 2008.

with thanks : link above for detailed news.


CPI demands cancellation of SGPC elections

Amritsar, Sep 19 (PTI) Alleging that all norms of Gurdwara Election Commission were enormously violated during the SGPC polls, CPI National Council member Joginder Dayal today demanded its cancellation. "There were clear cut instructions by the Chief Gurdwara Election Commission that no Sehajdhari Sikh would exercise voting right, following the court directions, but not even Sehajdhari people many clean shaven were also shown casting their votes at various tv channels," Dayal said. When the matter related to Sehajdhari Sikhs was still pending in the Punjab and Harayna High Court, why non-Sikhs and clean shaven people were given chance to cast their votes for SGPC elections on September 18, he asked. "Now thousands of Sehajdhari Sikhs who didn't come out from their houses with the impression in their mind that they wouldn't be allowed to cast vote, fell discriminated...In such precarious circumstances, SGPC elections should be cancelled," Dayal said.

with thanks : link above.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Polling peaceful, turnout lowest in sitting SGPC president's constituency

Ludhiana Polling for the SGPC elections passed off peacefully with the district recording 56.43 per cent voter turnout. Votes for 18 seats falling in 13 constituencies involving 73 candidates were cast on Sunday. With a 39.25 per cent polling percentage, Ludhiana West recorded the lowest voter turn-out. Sitting SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar is the SAD(B) candidate from this constituency while the highest polling percentage was recorded in Raikot (71 per cent) where Jagjit Singh Talwandi, son of senior SAD(B) leader Jagdev Singh Talwandi, is the front runner.

Counting of votes has begun with initial trends indicating a SAD(B) lead with the lowest lead of about 400 votes being recorded at Ludhiana South, at the time of writing this report. SAD(B)’s candidate Simerjeet Singh Bains is contesting this seat against independent Surinder Singh Ryat.

Meanwhile stray incidents of heated arguments were reported from areas like Doraha, Humbran, Praian and Moti Nagar. Sitting SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar too was accused of creating ruckus in some polling booths which fall in his area. Makkar, however, denied the charges.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari maintained that the polling went off peacefully. Khanna recorded a poll percentage of 68 per cent. Polls for four seats were held here in which candidates like Amrik Singh of SAD (1920), Sandeep Singh (independent), Jaswinder Singh of SAD( Amritsar) and Davinder Singh of SAD (B) are in the fray.

Payal meanwhile recorded 66 per cent voter turnout. Surjit Singh of SAD(Amritsar), Devinder Singh of Panch Pardhani, Mangat Rai Singh of SAD(1920) and Raghubir Singh of SAD(B) are contesting for this seat. Sidhwan Bet which recorded a poll percentage of 58.25 per cent has Harnek Singh of SAD(A), Gurbaksh Singh (independent, Jaswant Singh SAD(B), and Jagir Singh (independent) in the fray.

with thanks : express india : link above for detailed news.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

SGPC poll on schedule on Sept 18 without Sehajdharis voting

NEW DELHI: There was disappointment but not despair for Sehajdhari Sikhs in the Supreme Court, which on Friday allowed the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee elections to be held as scheduled on September 18 without the faction voting in it.

However, a bench of Justices J M Panchal and H L Gokhale said the outcome of the SGPC elections would be subject to the Punjab and Haryana High Court's decision on the voting rights of Sehajdhari Sikhs.
The Sehajdhari Sikh Federation had challenged a September 9 order of the full bench of HC refusing permission to them to vote in the polls to the Sikh religious body, which controls most of the gurudwaras in the country. 
The controversy started with the October 8, 2003, notification by the NDA government excluding Sehajdharis from voting in SGPC polls. The controversy gained political overtones when the Centre's counsel Harbhagwan Singh made a statement recently before the HC, where the issue was pending since 2002, that the Centre was contemplating withdrawing the notification.

The HC disposed of the petition on the basis of the statement. But the Centre's purported statement led to a huge uproar in Punjab and led to BJP and A
kali Dal MPs seeking a clarification from the Centre in Parliament. 

with thanks : Times of India : link above for detailed news.

Gatka and A Riot of Colours

For more than 13 years, Ambala-based mechanical engineer and entrepreneur, MS Sodhi, has never missed Hola Mohalla, a Sikh festival that’s also known for the Sikh Olympics. Sodhi has seen and documented every session of the festivities — up, close and personal. The result: a collection of over 1,000 photographs. Forty of those have found find their way to a photography exhibition titled “The Spirit of Hola Mohalla”.
While one photograph evokes the enthusiasm and fervour with which the festival is celebrated at Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib,with people indulging in martial arts, another captures their daredevil approach, with a man standing on a running bike. “I have tried to summarise the event and bring out its best in this photo essay exhibition,” says the 48-year-old, standing near the photograph after which the exhibition has been named — it’s a snapshot of nihangs as they climb on to a tree to get a glimpse of the festival.
Amongst other works are those of simulated mock battles, gatka moves and fun events. While a photo titled ‘Weapons of War’ showcases the historical weapons used by the Sikhs, ‘American Dream’ zooms in on a man with a scarf with an American flag on it. As for ‘Colours of Joy’, the picture captures people playing Holi. Also finding place in the exhibition are snapshots of the langar (community kitchen), of men indulging in sword wielding, jousting and other sports.
Sodhi has earlier showcased these photographs in Washington DC and also in Toronto, Canada. His short film by the same title was selected and screened at the “The Spinning Wheel Film Festival” in Toronto.

with thanks : Indian Express : Link Above

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sajjan first Sikh to command Canadian army regiment

Lt-Col Harjit Singh Sajjan has become the first Canadian Sikh to assume command of a Canadian army regiment. 

Lt-Col Sajjan was over the weekend given his charge as the Commanding Officer (Designate) of the British Columbia Regiment in a ceremony held at the Beatty Street Armoury in Vancouver.

In a statement, the World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) offered its congratulations to Lt-Col Sajjan.

Lt-Col. Sajjan joined the British Columbia Regiment as a Trooper in 1989 and was commissioned in the Regiment in 1991.   He was promoted to Captain in 1995 and to Major in 2005.

Lt-Col Sajjan has served in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as three deployments to Afghanistan.

Most recently, in November 2010, he was requested to serve as the Special Assistant to US Army Major-General James Terry, Commanding General of 10th Mountain Division and Commander of Regional Command South.

Lt-Col Sajjan is also the recipient of the Commander-in-Chief's Commendation and the Deputy Minister of National Defence Award for recruiting in the Sikh community.

He is married to Kuljit Kaur, a medical physician and they reside in Vancouver with their daughter, Jeevut, and son Arjun.

Lt-Col Sajjan's parents Kundan Singh Sajjan and Vidya Kaur Sajjan are long-time members of the WSO and S. Kundan Singh currently serves on WSO's National Executive. 

WSO president Prem Singh Vinning, who attended the Change of Command ceremony, said: "This is a proud moment for all Canadian Sikhs. Lt-Col Sajjan is an inspiration to young Sikhs and he shows just how much a part of Canada Sikhs are today."

with thanks : link above.

Monday, September 12, 2011


A Sehajdhari  Sikh is one who performs cermonies according to Sikh rites, does not use tobacco or ‘katha’ in any form, who is not a Patit and who can recite ‘mul mantra’. Patit means a person who being a Keshdhari Sikh trims or shaves his beard or ‘kesh’ or who after partaking ‘amrit’ commits anyone or more of the four ‘kurahits’. Sehajdhari Sikh and Patit are two separate entities any Keshdhari Sikh who cuts/trims his hai and beard is a Patit.

“A person who cuts/trims his beard/hair although he might be performing his cermonies like a Sikh, might not be using tobacco, etc and could recite ‘mulmantra’, cannot be a Sehajdhari because he cuts/ trims his hair and beard and as per the sections (of Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925)... he cannot be a Sehajdhari Sikh.”


Hon'ble Chief Justice Mr. J. S. Khehar

Justice Khehar was born on August 28, 1952. After graduating in science from GovernmentCollegeChandigarh, in 1974, he received his law degree from Punjab University in 1977 and completed his LLM in 1979. He was enrolled as an advocate in 1979 and was appointed Additional Advocate General, Punjab, in January 1992. He was elevated to the High Court of Punjab in 1999 and appointed as Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court on November 29, 2009. Thereafter he was transferred and appointed as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court from August 8, 2010.

with thanks : link above.

Justice Khehar had defined Sikh identity

CHANDIGARH: Justice J S Khehar, who will be taking oath on Tuesday as judge of the Supreme Court (SC) and is expected to become the first Sikh Chief Justice of the country in 2017, had once defined a Sikh.

While heading full bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court on May 30, 2009, Justice Khehar had held, "Retaining hair unshorn is a fundamental tenet of the Sikh religion and a Sikh is one who keeps unshorn hair and does not trim beard or pluck eyebrows."
Justifying judicial intervention on such issues, Justice Khehar, who spoke for the bench, had also maintained that once a court arrives at the conclusion that a particular aspect of a religion, is fundamental and integral, as per the followers of the faith, it must be given effect to, irrespective of the views expressed on the said issue, based either on science or logic.

"Not only that, under the 'Sikh rehat-maryada', a Sikh is not permitted to dishonour hair, or even to harbour any antipathy to hair of the head with which a child is born. Dyeing one's hair is considered as an act of dishonouring hair. Transgression of these norms is treated as 'tabooed practice', which is condonable only after suffering a chastisement prescribed," he had held in the historic judgment. Two other judges, Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice A K Mittal, were also part of the bench headed by him. 

with thanks : Times of india : Link above for detailed news.