Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gutkha logo with Guru Nanak Dev picture, communal tensions imminent

gyani paan samagri

 By Sukhpal Kaur
There is a complete ban on use of tobacco and any other addictives in Sikhism. Gyani is a respectable word used for those who have spiritual and religious knowledge. This gutkha is being manufactured by Kumar enterprises, an undertaking of Rajapur Chitrakoot.
A gutkha and pan-masala manufacturers is playing with the sentiments of the community, launching such packets of gutkha with the pictures of first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji. Not only this, a company even went to the extent of naming it ‘Gyani Paan Samagri’.
What is more hurting is that this ‘Gyani’ gutka is an instant hit in entire Uttar Pradesh.  Ironically, using the picture of a Sikh guru, the pack also carries a warning , ‘Tobacco is injurious to health’, despite the fact that playing with religious sentiments of a community is against the law.
Meanwhile, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkad has expressed his ignorance over the whole thing. He further said, nobody will be allowed to fiddle with the Sikh sentiments and legal action will be taken against the proprietors if the reports regarding this incident are found to be true.
with thanks : Punjab News Line : LINK 

AMRITSARGURU’S PHOTO ON MASALA SACHET: The Akal Takht has taken serious notice of a company selling ‘pan masala’ by the name of Giani Gutkha and with a photograph of Guru Nanak Dev on its sachet. Talking to mediapersons , Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said he had received complaints in this regard from the Sikh Sangat. He directed the SGPC to seek legal opinion and subsequently initiate strict action against the company manufacturing the product. He said the Union government should also ensure stringent norms to check such instances.

with thanks : TRIBUNE : LINK

French designer Jean Paul Gaultier's Sikh-inspired line

 Sikh-inspired line

Designer Jean Paul Gaultier's love for India reflects in his womens wear collections from time to time. Like Gaultier, India has been an inspiration to many international design houses and with time, the country has also carved out a significant spot for itself on the global fashion map.

The renowned designer's use of sari gowns, traditional Indian colours and fabrics and stylised lambskin Jodhpurs has already evoked rave reviews in the fashion world. And with his spring/summer 2013 menswear collection which was showcased in Paris on Thursday, Gaultier of Hermès proved that his love for India is no fleeting romance.

Dressing up his models in Sikh-styled turbans, teamed with various ensembles such as shorts, blazers, tuxedos, T-shirts and overcoats, Gaultier paid a rich tribute once more to the land of many cultures and colours.

The collection was inspired by the travel theme, presenting a globe-trotting fashionable man who understands the very essence of travelling that is cultivating a bigger understanding and respect for various cultures. He then reflects the same in his wardrobe and style.

with thanks : India Today : LINK for detailed news.

Australia Gets Its First Turbaned Sikh Constable

ADELAIDE – Jag Singh Malhi becomes the first South Australian Police Academy graduate to wear an official-issue turban when he joined western Adelaide police.
Outgoing Police Commissioner Mal Hyde presided over his final graduation ceremony – welcoming Probationary Constable Malhi, the first Sikh graduate, among 40 overseas and interstate recruits.
The group, including 38 UK officers, one New Zealander and one officer from NSW, will join their South Australian colleagues across the state.
Prob-Constable Malhi moved to South Australia after 6½ years serving as a police officer in New Zealand.
He is now one of about 600 international officers recruited by SA Police after being turned down by both Victorian and NSW Police because he was not an Australian citizen.
Prob-Constable Malhi said he expected to face challenges as one of only two Sikh officers – his comrade joined SA Police earlier – but hoped his recruitment would encourage others.
“Being one of the Sikh police officers here, I think more will join and more people from other communities will look at it and (SA Police) will be more culturally diverse,” he said.
“In New Zealand as the first police officer to have the turban on I faced some challenges but … being a police officer in itself is a challenge.
Commissioner Hyde said he was “a bit nostalgic” after the ceremony – 3500 officers have graduated from the SA academy since he became Commissioner in 1997, when there were just 3000 serving officers.
He added the international recruiting program had done more than just fill ranks by bringing exposure and experience and different cultural insights to the job.

with thanks : LINK : The Link Paper

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sikh NGO to launch Eco Amritsar 2017 on June 30th

AMRITSAR: US-based EcoSikh, an NGO working for environment protection will launch an international campaign for Eco-Amritsar 2017, a five year plan to mark city's 440th anniversary with the goal of making it eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable, informed NGO's president Dr. Rajwant Singh while talking to media persons here on Wednesday.

The launch will take place on June 30th. He said that EcoSikh had envisaged 6 point program. It proposed that various sections of civil society and the administration in Amritsar make commitments towards sustainable infrastructure, conserving water, recycling and better waste management, alternate energy usage, introducing public transport, increasing green cover and open spaces, and also sharing information on greening strategies. He further stated, "Amritsar being a pilgrimage city can encourage devotees to be respectful towards nature throughout their pilgrimage by minimizing waste and they will go home with constructive message."

with thanks : Times of India : LINK for detailed news.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

No OBC reservation in minority institutions: Court

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday exempted four minority colleges of Delhi University from reserving 27 percent seats for students from Other Backward Classes (OBCs) for the 2012-13 academic year.

The court's order came while hearing the plea filed by a group of colleges seeking exemption from reserving 27 percent seats for students from OBCs, as they were minority-run institutions.

The court said these colleges shall provide reservation in admission for Schedule Castes/Scheduled Tribes as per the university's norms, but "they will not be obliged to give reservation to OBCs".

A division bench of Justice V.K. Jain and Justice Pratibha Rani said: "We are modifying the order dated 29 May 2012 to the extent that the appellant (colleges) shall give reservation in admission for the year 2012-2013 to SC/ST category, as per the norms of DU, but they will not be obliged to give reservation to OBC."

Four colleges run by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee(DSGMC), constituted under the Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras Act, approached the court challenging a single judge's May 29 order directing them to continue with the admission process in accordance with the DU guidelines which lay down reservation for the SC/ST and OBC students.

Accepting the contentions of senior advocate KTS Tulsi that they were granted the status of minority institutions by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI), the court said: "We are of the view that the practice, which these institutions had been following till 2011-2012 for reservation, should not be change to their (colleges) disadvantage, particularly when these institutes has already been declared as minority institutions".

During the hearing, advocate appearing for DU said that reservation rule of DU for OBC should be followed by these colleges also.

The colleges - Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, Guru Gobind Singh College, Mata Sundari College and Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College - declared minority institutes last year contended that the reservation policy was not applicable to their institutions in view of a Supreme Court verdict on OBC reservations. 

with thanks : TOI : LINK for detailed news.

Monday, June 25, 2012

400 India Sikh yatrees reach Punja Sahib

Attock—As many as 400 Indian Sikh Yatrees (pilgrims) have arrived at Gurdwara Siri Punja Sahib Hassanabdal to participate in the 173rd death anniversary of raja Ranjeet Singh. Deputy secretary Shrines Syed Faraz Abbas who is accompanying the yatrees said this while talking to newsman Attock.he said that the Sikh yatrees had started the anniversary of the Ranjeet Singh with the ritual Akhand Paat and will be concluded with the ritual “Bhog” on 26th June.he said that all the visiting Indian Sikh Yates have been provided with boarding, messing, health and better security cover facilities.

Party Leader of Sikh Pilgrims which include Former MLA Indar Itwal Singh, Deputy party leader Sardar Baldev Singh ,Sardar Santok Singh and Sardar Balber Singh while talking to newsman expressed their entire satisfaction over the arrangements made for them by Govt of Paskistan. They specially lauded the efforts of Chairman Pakistan Evacuee Trust Board Asif Hashmi for keeping the gurdwars in better condition by spending million of rupees.

They said the people of Pakistan and specially of Hassanabdal are loving, caring and because of this all the yatrees are feeling like at their own homes. On the other hand Attock police has made elaborate security arrangements to cover the event.

with thanks :  Pak Observer : LINK

On martyrdom day of first Sikh General, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was a great Sikh general who established Sikh rule in large part of Punjab. Born to Rajput parents, his childhood name was Lachhman Das. He was very fond of hunting in early life but an incident changed his entire life and he shunned the worldly pleasures to become a bairagi sadhu.
Once he hunted a pregnant deer. The dying animal gave birth to two kids who died in front of his eyes. Lachhman was shocked to the core of his heart and thus became a sadhu. He became a disciple of many but none could provide him peace  of mind. Later, he inclined to tantric sadhus and acquired some riddhis and siddhis (miracle powers). Thus, he became quite popular among simpletons,near the area around his ashram on the bank of river Godavari.
Baba Banda Singh after baptisation with Guru Gobind Singh
Though, none benefitted from his powers, he used them to humiliate religious leaders and other saints who ever happened to visit his ashram. Whenever, any such saint visited, he would overturn the cot using his powers.
Guru Gobind Singh after leaving Punjab travelled towards South India along with some Sikhs, visited Lachhman Das’s ashram and sat on his cot in his absence. 
Accepting defeat, Lachhman Das Bairagi fell at the feet of Guru Gobind Singh and sought forgiveness and said, “O, Guru Ji, I am your Banda (Slave). Show me the right path.”
Guru Gobind Singh taught him the basic principles of Sikhsim and baptised him. Lachhman was given the name ‘Banda Singh’. He transformed from a proud bairagi to a humble and brave Sikh of Guru.
Guru sent Banda Singh on a mission to Punjab to punish the guilty and cruel rulers of the time. He was also provided with five brave Sikhs as advisors and necessary weapons.
Banda Singh was soon joined by thousands of Sikhs in his crusade against the wicked rulers. Within a short span of time, Sikhs under Banda Singh’s leadership put an end to life of many tyrant rulers, including Nawab Wazir Khan, the main culprit behind death of younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh.
Banda Singh captured large part of Punjab and established Sikh rule there. He also minted coins in the name of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh. In the meantime, Faruksiyar became Delhi’s emperor. Angered by defeat at the hands of Banda Singh and Sikh forces, he sent a large force from Delhi and mobilised from elsewhere in Punjab to defeat and capture Banda Singh.
Sikhs were surrounded by large number of Mughal forces in the fortress of Gurdas Nagal. They fought valiantly under Banda Singh’s command. They fought valiantly but due to depleting ration, they ultimately became too weak to fight with the enemies. 
baba banda singh bahadur tortured by mughals 
Ultimately, the brave general Banda Singh Bahadur was arrested along with seven hundred Sikh soldiers and brought to Delhi, after eight months. Inside the fortress, Sikhs survived on leaves, trees, and even bark of trees.
In Delhi, they were insulted and paraded in Delhi bazars. Sikhs were offered amnesty by Mughals in lieu of accepting Islam. Not even a single Sikh betrayed the spirit of Sikhism and embraced Islam. They were tortured and killed publicly
After an ordeal of about three months, Baba Banda Singh was killed in one of the most cruel manners mentioned in the history of mankind on June 9,1716. His four year old son Ajai Singh was put to death in front of him. His liver was thrusted into Banda Singh’s mouth.
But Baba remained as tranquil as ever, and even this act failed to break his resolve and determination. Finally, Banda was put to death mercilessely by pincing the flesh from his body, bit by bit, with means of hot pincers. His eyes were pulled out and his feet were chopped off. 
With the martyrdom of Banda, Khalsa leadership was taken up by new warriors like Baba Deep Singh, Nawab Kapur Singh, Chhajja Singh, Bhuma Singh, Hari Singh Dhillon, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Budh Singh, Naudh Singh and Charhat Singh Sukerchakia and others. Within ninety years, Mahraja Ranjit Singh had established Sikh kingdom.
with thanks : Punjab Newsline : LINK for detailed news.

Delhi CM throws open DSGMC inn

Amritsar: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday inaugurated Guru Teg Bahadur Niwas, a serai (inn), constructed by DSGMC in Amritsar. Dikshit, who reached Amritsar on Saturday evening, paid obeisance at Golden Temple. Asked about the ongoing water crisis in Delhi, Dikshit said that it was disappointing that New Delhi was not able to draw water even after paying nearly Rs 650 crore to Haryana. “Haryana is saying that New Delhi did not have any share in the water. It is disappointing,” she added.

with thanks : Indian Express : LINK

Inauguration of Guru Teg Bahadur Niwas in Amritsar ( Pic 4 )

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit (R)and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President, Paramjit Singh Sarna (L) pay their respects at the Golden temple in Amritsar on June 23, 2012. Dikshit visited the city to attend the inauguration ceremony of Guru Teg Bahadur Niwas on June 24.


Link with thanks :

Inauguration of Guru Teg Bahadur Niwas in Amritsar ( Pic 3 )

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit pays her respects at the Golden temple in Amritsar on June 23, 2012. Dikshit visited the city to attend the inauguration ceremony of Guru Teg Bahadur Niwas on June 24.


Link with thanks :

Inauguration of Guru Teg Bahadur Niwas in Amritsar ( Pic 2 )

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit (3L), Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President, Paramjit Singh Sarna (R), Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Om Parkash Soni (C), and Delhi Education Minister, Arvinder Singh Lovely (L), sit as they listen to the speaker during an inauguration ceremony of Guru Teg Bahadur Niwas building in Amritsar on June 24, 2012. Dikshit visited the city to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Guru Teg Bahadur Niwas building and visit the Sikh Golden Temple.


Link with Thanks :

Inauguration of Guru Teg Bahadur Niwas in Amritsar ( Pic 1 )

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit holds a sword presented by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President, Paramjit Singh Sarna (2R) and members of the DSGMC during an inauguration ceremony of Guru Teg Bahadur Niwas building in Amritsar on June 24, 2012. Dikshit visited the city to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Guru Teg Bahadur Niwas building and visit the Sikh Golden Temple.

Link with thanks :

18 Sikh saves accident victims

Imphal, June 23 2012: In a miraculous incident today, two persons who were visiting on a Maruti Van have evaded death when their van plunged into a pond outside the Tulihal Airport in front of 18 SIKH location, according to a press release of PRO IGAR (S) .

The two persons were travelling in the van loaded with chicks for a poultry farm in Imphal market when the driver of the van fell asleep due to which the van went off road and fell into the pond.

Immediately, a team of 18 SIKH of 9 Sector under HQ IGAR (S) rushed to the spot and managed to pull out both the passengers.

The van however was stuck deep inside the pond.

A heavy vehicle from 18 SIKH unit and a JCB were used to pull out the vehicle.

The injured victims were administered first aid and immediately evacuated to RIMS hospital for further treatment.

The quick action from 18 SIKH helped in saving lives of the two persons, the release added.

with thanks : E-pao : link

Monday, June 18, 2012

After Rajya Sabha, Ahluwalia loses Patna Sahib poll

JALANDHAR: After his defeat in Rajya Sabha election from Jharkhand, BJP leader S S Ahluwalia lost his election in Takht Patna Sahib Management Board on Sunday. He lost it to former Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Managing Committee president Harvinder Singh Sarna, who is also general secretary of SAD (Delhi). Ahluwalia had earlier remained president of the board for several years in his Congress days and then after he switched sides to BJP. Even when he was not president he called the shots in the board and his confidants controlled it.

With this loss, he has finally lost the clout in gurudwara management of Patna Sahib, which also happens to be a Takht of the Sikhs. The SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, who had reached Patna Sahib for the election and had advocated a consensus, did not cast his vote. Makkar confirmed the development to TOI on phone from Patna Sahib. "I tried for a consensus and had told that if election would be held then I would not be casting the vote," Makkar said. Sources said Ahluwalia had the support of Parkash Singh Badal-led Shiromani Akali Dal, but Badal's bete noir Sarna got nine votes, while Ahluwalia could muster only four votes. The board had 14 members (Makkar abstained from voting) and it was to elected 15th member.

Now, after three weeks its president and other office bearers would be elected. It is learnt that Makkar preferred to stay away from voting after it was clear to him that majority of the members were siding with Sarna and when he advocated consensus these members said that then consensus should be on Sarna to which Makkar could not agree and said that some other name should be suggested. Sarna had said that he would support election of a local member as the president. Earlier, leaders from Punjab had also been holding the post which had not been going down well with local community leaders.

Former SGPC secretary general Manjit Singh Calcutta said during Operation Bluestar and during subsequent turbulent times for Sikhs, Ahluwalia sided with Congress but now apparently SAD was siding with him due to his political ends, as he was now in BJP. "This election has also confirmed that SAD's influence was confining to Punjab alone and it was losing confidence of Sikhs living in other states," he said, adding "diaspora Sikhs have already rejected the changes affected by SGPC in Nanakshahi calendar". 
with thanks : Times of India : LINK

Sikh In Kabul, Afghanistan - FULL DOCUMENTARY FILM 2012

Synopsis: Documentary focuses on the Sikh community of Afghanistan that have dwindled from 80,000 to a mere 1000 as of 2012. The proud Afghan Sikhs have been a part of the culture and heritage of Afghanistan ever since the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev Ji visited Kabul on his return from Baghdad and Mecca to India in the 16th century.

This film has captured the testimonies of the surviving Sikh families of Kabul who live in appalling conditions within their damaged Gurdwaré (Sikh place of worship) where 2 families are confined to a room. Since the American invasion of 2001 numerous wealthy Sikhs fled in haste to Pakistan and Europe, but some unable to flee were stranded and today their dilemma is worse than ever.

Walk on with Náám in your heart and, you'll never walk alone.

Pritpal Singh
ਸਰਦਾਰ ਪ੍ਰਿਤਪਾਲ ਸਿੰਘ
सरदार पिर्तपाल सिंह

Friday, June 8, 2012

1984 anti sikh riots : Congress seeks dismissal of case in US on grounds of delay

New York: The Congress Party has sought dismissal of an anti-Sikh riots case against it in a US court on grounds that the case was filed nearly 25 years after the 1984 riots took place. A US judge in New York will hear the motion on June 27. 

In a motion filed in federal court in New York on May 29, the Congress party has sought dismissal of the claims filed by rights group Sikhs For Justice saying the riots took place in November 1984 and the victims filed their case in March 2011. 

Due to the lapse of 25 years, the statute of limitation had already expired, lawyers for the political party said. 

1984 anti-Sikh riots: Congress seeks dismissal of case in US on grounds of delay

"Plaintiffs' claims are time-barred because they complain about alleged activities that occurred more than twenty-five years ago; all statutes of limitations have long expired," said attorney Geoffrey Stewart of the law firm Jones Day, which is defending the Congress in the case. 

The party has been accused by the Sikh group of conspiring, aiding, abetting and carrying out attacks on the community in November 1984 following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. 

Judge Robert Sweet, presiding over the matter, said the Congress' motion to dismiss SFJ's complaint or to get a stay would be heard on June 27. 

Meanwhile, SFJ said Congress Member of Parliament Motilal Vora submitted an affidavit in the US Court in support of the motion to dismiss the complaint filed by riot victims. 

Vora's affidavit states that "no summons and complaint from the New York Litigation was delivered to the Indian National Congress Party in accordance with the Hague Service Convention". 

with thanks : IBNLive : LINK for detailed news.

Sikh TSA Agent Kulwinder Singh Wins Religious Rights Case Against Agency

A TSA agent won a $30,000 settlement after he complained to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that he wasn't allowed to display his kara, a wristband that some sikhs wear to remind them of the divine, the Religion News Service reports.

Kulwinder Singh, who works at New York's JFK airport, said a supervisor asked him to cover up or remove the wristband.

“By keeping it concealed, it defeats that purpose,” the attorney who represented Singh to the wire service.

As part of the settlement, the TSA will have to post notices that Sikhs are free to wear the kara if they wish by mid-June.

with thanks : Huffington Post : LINK for detailed news.

US Sikh body gives scholarships to Punjab students

Washington-based Sikh Human Development Foundation (SHDF) has given scholarships totalling about $210,000 to 504 needy students pursuing higher education in 159 institutions in Punjab and other northern Indian states for the 2011-12 academic year.

"This number is up from 412 of thelast year," said Gajinder Singh Ahuja, secretary general of SHDF. "Fifteen scholarship recipients belonged to farmers' families where the farmer had committed suicide to escape the excruciating debt burden." 

There is increased emphasis on female education in our programme, he said, noting 69 percent of the scholarships went to female students and 31 percent to male students. 52 per cent scholarship recipients were from rural areas and 48 percent from urban areas.

SHDF has granted 2,373 scholarships since the programme was initiated in 2001 and 774 students have already graduated and have become professionals, according to SHDF chairman Amar Jit Singh Sodhi.

"It is heartwarming that some of the scholarship recipients have landed in multi-national companies or found top career jobs throughout India and overseas," he said.

Rajwant Singh, SHDF's outreach director, said: "In rupee terms, this year we have distributed more than Rs.1 crore (close to $210,000) as pure scholarship money."

with thanks : Hindustan Times : LINK for detailed news.