Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A travelling tale of anti-Sikh riots

A campaign to remind the government of its failure to punish the guilty
A travelling photo exhibition documenting the horrors of the 1984 anti-Sikh violence that erupted after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was on display at the Arts Faculty at Delhi University’s North Campus on Monday.
The exhibition comprising 80 photographs will, in the coming days, also be displayed at Jail Road, Patel Nagar, Kalkaji, Bangla Sahib Gurdwara and finally culminate at Jantar Mantar on November 3. It is part of a campaign to remind the Indian Government of its failure to punish the guilty and provide justice to the victims and survivors of the violence.
Some of the photographs show buildings set on fire at Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk and Trilokpuri. One photograph shows dogs feeding on a burnt human body. In another, the windows of former President Giani Zail Singh’s car are shattered.
In a photograph shot at INA Market, a mob is holding a Sikh man by his hair while some men are hurling stones at him. One photograph shows a mob at AIIMS crossing. Another one shot at the New Delhi Railway Station shows two bodies of Sikh men lying on a trolley-cart while people walk by staring at the corpses.
A number of affidavits submitted by widows of men murdered during the violence are also on display. Most of the photographs on display at the exhibition were shot by Ashok Vahie and Ram Rahman.
On Tuesday, the exhibition will travel to Jail Road and on Wednesday it will be on display at Patel Nagar near Satyam Cinemas and in the evening at Kalkaji B-Block. On November 1 and 2, the exhibition can be seen at Bangla Sahib Gurdwara. On November 3, a public demonstration and a candlelight vigil will be held at Jantar Mantar.

with thanks : THE HINDU : LINK : 

'Hate crime' attack on Sikh family home on wedding day

Police say they are treating an attack on the home of a Sikh family whose daughter was about to marry a man from a different religion as a hate crime.
The door of the terrace house in Coventry was damaged and its windows were smashed early on Saturday.
The family members, who asked not to be named, said they were targeted because a daughter was due to marry a Hindu man in a Sikh temple later that day.
The wedding later went ahead peacefully, as planned.
The family said they had been threatened in the weeks leading up to the wedding by some "hardline" Sikhs, who were unhappy about non-Sikhs getting married in one of the religion's temples, known as gurdwaras.
They said the people had also made aggressive calls to the gurdwara where the wedding was due to take place.
'Very frightening'
The father of the family told BBC Asian Network that at about 01:30 BST on Saturday he heard the glass in the house's front windows shatter.
He said: "It went 'bang, bang, bang'. It was very frightening."
The family were given a police escort to and from the gurdwara for the wedding.

with thanks : BBC News : LINK : for detailed news.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Awareness on DENGU : from net !

Awareness on DENGU : from net !

New York film festival to showcase Sikh culture

New York, Oct 26 (IANS) Sikh Art & Film Foundation's 9th AnnualInternational Film Festival to be held here Nov 2-3 will present 14 groundbreaking films sharing the culture, values, self-esteem and struggle of contemporary Sikhs.
The Sikh Heritage Award Gala Nov 2 will premiere a multi-million dollar public service announcement campaign called "Be Proud", created by Founder & CEO of RadiumOne, Gurbaksh Chahal and sponsored by SAFF.
The Be Proud campaign, created in the wake of the tragic Gurudwara shootings of six Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin in August, will begin airing nationwide in November, bringing its anti-hate, pro-unity message to Americans from all walks of life, SAFF said in a media release.
The campaign, which is backed by noted figures such as Deepak ChopraBen Kingsley, Lisa Ray, Jay Sean, and Gurinder Chadha, is about eliminating hate with the "unifying truth that we are all a little different and we should be proud of what makes us unique", according to Chahal.
Be Proud will also be recording videos at the gala that will be used on the Be Proud website,

with thanks : YAHOO NEWS : LINK : for detailed news.

SAD (D) seeks visa on arrival for Sikh pilgrims of both India and Pakistan

AMRITSAR: Shiromani Akal Dal (Delhi) has demanded from both Indian and Pakistan governments to issue visas on arrival to Sikh pilgrims of both nations. While talking to TOI on Monday, General Secretary of SAD (D) Harvinder Singh Sarna said that Sikh devotees of both nations had to pass through cumbersome formalities for getting visas to travel across the borders for paying obeisance at Gurdwara's. 

"We have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up the issue with his Pakistani counterparts so that Sikh's religious aspirations were fulfilled and they were not harassed in fulfilling their religious commitments" he said. Sarna informed that SAD(D) had also passed a resolution in party's meeting that calls for urging both governments to issue visas on arrival to Sikh pilgrims of both India and Pakistan. "A major mistake was committed during 1947 Indo Pak partition as there was no consideration made on the maintenance of around 175 historical Gurdwa's left back in Pakistan, we want to rectify that mistake, if Sikhs from India will get easy access to their Gurdwara's in Pakistan they will ensure that maryada (code of conduct) was implemented" he said. 

with thanks : TIMES OF INDIA : LINK : for detailed news.

Badals meet PM, oppose Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act

Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention on the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act issue. 

The two wanted the Prime Minister to advise the union home ministry to stop the Delhi government from amending the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act, regarding direct election to the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.

The two called the move by the Delhi government as "ill conceived" and "politically motivated". "The interference of the government in the religious affairs of Sikhs could lead to serious conflicts," the chief minister told the Prime Minister. The chief minister impressed upon the Prime Minister to ask the Delhi government for immediate withdrawal of the proposed amendment.
Describing the amendment bill as "absurd", the chief minister said it violated the agreement reached between Jawaharlal Nehru and Master Tara Singh, which specifically talked about the commitment of the union government not to take any steps on Sikh affairs without consulting the Sikh community and representatives of Sikhs through the SGPC.
"This attempt on part of the government would lead to fresh suspicion, resentment and alienation in the minds of Sikhs, already recovering from the painful and discriminatory blows. In addition, it would also lead to unprecedented corruption in gurdwara affairs," Badal said.

with thanks : HINDUSTAN TIMES : LINK : for detailed news.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Special Sikh award for Lakshmi Mittal

London, Oct 22 (PTI) Indian-origin steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has received a Special Recognition Award from the Sikh community here for his outstanding contribution in setting up a USD 4 billion joint venture refinery in Punjab.

Receiving the Sikh Award a programme here last night, Mittal, Chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal the world's largest steel producer, said, "The Sikh Award given to a non-Sikh is very important... This award is for the Sikhs and the people of Batinda and Punjab".

with thanks : PTI : LINK

Sunday, October 21, 2012

70% of the Punjab Youth is in the Grips of Drugs. Who is responsible?

70 % Punjab in Drugs

Punjab’s struggle with drugs

Trust a satirist to put complicated matters into perspective. So as the political class of Punjab debates the veracity of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s comment that 7 out of 10 youngsters in Punjab are ‘into drugs’, satirist Jaspal Bhatti wrote on Twitter: “Why’s Akali Govt. angry at Rahul Gandhi? Is he trying 2 snatch the credit from them for making Punjab 70% drug addict?” (sic)
Over the past week, what could have been an opportunity to start a debate on how to pull Punjab’s Gen-Y out of  the abyss, has been reduced to a centre-state  rhetoric. While Rahul, in his speech at Panjab University in Chandigarh, blamed the SAD-BJP government for the drug problem, the state government has passed the buck back to the centre  and also interpreted Rahul’s concerned comment as an insult of the state’s youth.

Acknowledge first
An affidavit submitted by the Punjab government in the high court three years ago, cited a report which concluded that 70% of the state’s youth are hooked to drugs. The Congress has been flashing the affidavit to prove that Rahul was right.

The irony is: the writer of report, Amritsar-based sociologist Ranwinder Singh Sandhu, insists that his 2006 study has been misinterpreted: “I didn’t study the general population, but a scientific sample of 600 drug addicts from four districts — Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala and Bathinda. The aim was to understand the trend within the addiction circles, and we found that 73.5% of the drug addicts belong to 16-40 age group. That’s the ‘7/10’ that people cite.”
He adds: “Irrespective of my report, the drug problem must be acknowledged first. They (govt.) don’t think it’s a problem. Why has there never been a survey to determine the extent?”
 The same affidavit makes another claim: 67% of rural households in Punjab have at least one drug addict.It also mentions, “Households survey conducted by ICD (International Classification of Diseases of the UN) indicates that there is at least one drug addict in the 65% of families in Majha and Doaba and 64% of families in Malwa. 3 out of 10 girls have abused one or the other drug. Nearly 66% of school students take gutka or tobacco; and about 7 out of 10 college students abuse one or the other drug.
Pay attention to markers
At least 5,000 drug addicts undergo treatment every year at the 51 rehabilitation centres across the state. Amanjeet Singh, president of the Punjab State Drug Counselling and Rehabilitation Centres Union, says,”The number of addicts admitted in each centre was 80-85 till 2007, and has now gone up to 190 in some centres.” Ludhiana, Moga, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala are the hub of synthetic drugs;  Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur, Ferozepur and Jalandhar are known for heroin, cocaine and smack. Mansa, Bathinda and Patiala have maximum number of opium and poppy husk addicts.

Transit route?
According to the state govt 40% of all drugs transited via India to the West go through Punjab. There’s reason to believe that the route is turning into a destination. A recently released study by Chandigarh’s Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) to assess patterns of abuse  in northern India over three decades (Sept 1978 to Dec 2008) found an eight-fold increase in patients who approached the institute for de-addiction. The number of those registered for de-addiction rose from 555 in the first decade (1979 to 1988) to 4,168 in the third decade (1999 to 2008).

This study, too, is not as specific as the PGIMER gets a third of its patients from Punjab while the rest are from Chandigarh and neighbouring Haryana, Himachal and J&K. Satish Sachdeva, who works for rehabilitation sums up by saying, “The Congress and the SAD are blaming each other but none is interested in dealing with the genesis. The need of the hour is to acknowledge, study, and then eliminate the problem.”

Imprisoned by addiction: problem of drugs in Punjab’s prisons
The problem of drugs in prisons of Punjab is another issue that has cropped up in the recent past. The state government has not succeeded in freeing prisoners from addiction. Of the 11,189 undertrials in the district jails, 4,507, nearly 30% are facing the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Among the 6,839 convicts, NDPS convicts are 2,103, which is over 40%. A report compiled by the department of health and family welfare says 62% of prisoners are drug abusers and 20% are addicts. Of the 35 posts of medical officers in the jails, 10 are vacant. There are just 21 pharmacists against the sanctioned 41, and just four psychologists. Principal secretary (home) DS Bains, says, “De-addiction programme will be started in eight central jails by October end.” — Anshu Seth

The heroine route: why Punjab is vulnerable to an inflow of the drug
Over the past year, there has been a hike in smuggling heroin from the Pakistan border, but the state is mainly a transit point. “Heroin starting at R1 lakh/kg from Pakistan is received in Punjab at R10 lakh/kg. Once smuggled out to the West, its further sold at R5 crore/kg in the international market,” says BSF inspector general Aditya Mishra. The modus operandi is pushing the drug using plastic pipes through border's barbed wire. But the recent heroin hauls from the Samjhauta Express, and from imported cement bags, indicate smugglers are adopting every possible route. The State Special Operation Cell that made many recoveries from the border districts, especially Amritsar, has seized 476 kg heroin from 2005 to October this year.  — Rajeev Bhaskar and Aseem Bassi

Case study: taking the right step
Reports say that the number of people registering for de-addiction has increased. Here are some stories of hope...

Gurpreet Singh (30), Thattian village (Amritsar)
“I started with cough syrups in 2004 then tried injections before switching over to heroin. Paying for a single dose every day became difficult as a gram costs Rs. 700-1,000. I started stealing motorbikes and pump-sets from the fields. My condition deteriorated and I met with six accidents times in three years. I have three metal plates in different parts of my body. Ultimately, I knew I needed help.”

Sukhbir Singh (35), Nihal Singh Wala (Moga)
“I started popping prescription drugs when I was 12. When even 100 tablets a day didn’t give me kick, I started taking poppy husk and opium. I began stealing jewellery, the goldsmiths, knowing my addiction gave me inadequate money in lieu of the stolen articles. I became violent and my parents took me to various rehabilitation centres.NowI am determined to quit drugs.”

Rajwinder Singh (35), Sansarpur (Jalandhar)
“Married for seven years, I was on the verge of losing my family when I finally decided to say no to drugs. It was not easy to deal with the withdrawal symptoms as I had stomach cramps and severe headache But I braved everything with the support of the staff at the rehab centre. Yoga sessions and sports have helped me a lot. This is my last chance to save my family.”

Pritpal singh (35), Bhagalpur (Kapurthala)
“I used to consume smack worth Rs. 1,500 every day, lived by cheating others for 10 years. A driver by profession, I married early and hid my problem from my wife. I used to even hit my wife but the eyes of my five-year-old son made me feel guilty. Unable to face him, I wanted to get out of the vicious circle and opted for de-addiction.”  

(As told to Anshu Seth)

with thanks : HINDUSTAN TIMES : LINK

Friday, October 19, 2012

Guru Nanak Food Pantry in Los Angeles

Tustin,California: UNITED SIKHS opens up the Guru Nanak Food Pantry in Los Angeles in collaboration with Orange County Second Harvest Food Bank which has a capacity to store over 2,000 pounds of food. It allows convenient access for anyone in need.The Pantry aims to assist many Californians, who are at risk of hunger and who don't qualify for federal nutrition benefits. The Pantry derives its purpose to serve the Greater Orange County area from a cornerstone tradition in the Sikh faith known as 'langar', spiritually defined as the community kitchen or divine dining. The concept of bringing langar from the Gurdwara to the local community in need truly embodies a Sikh's belief of serving the community " said, Dr. Arinder Singh, Regional Director of UNITED SIKHS. "Unemployment remains high in California and those returning to the workforce are either working part time or taking salary cuts. In counties with a higher proportion of such people, who are not eligible for government assistance, the burden to help often falls on family members and local charities." states Dr. Arinder Singh. "The Guru Nanak food pantry is our effort to take the concept of langar out of the confines of the Gurdwara to the people that will benefit most from it." "We continue to help those in need through Guru Nanak Food Pantry and urge everyone to contribute generously towards the project" said Kuldip Singh, President UNITED SIKHS. "This pantry honors Guru Nanak Dev ji, who reminded us to serve all those in need. We hope this will grow and expand to many more locations" said Dr. Daljeet Singh, Regional Director of UNITED SIKHS.

Regional Directors of UNITED SIKHS: Dr. Daljeet Singh and Dr. Arinder Singh

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

DSGMC meets Chief Minister of Delhi to thank for passing the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Election Amendment Bill 2012

A large number of Sikh Sangat, under the leadership of S. Paramjit Singh Sarna, President, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee and Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi visited the Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit, today at her residence to thank for passing the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Election Amendment Bill 2012 by the Government of NCT of Delhi. 


Pics by B S Vohra / Janhit News

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

SAD opposes amendment in Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Act

Chandigarh, Oct 9 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal today strongly opposed the Shiela Dikshit government's decision to amend the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Act and warned the Congress party against playing with the sentiments of the community.

The party also opposed the proposal of holding direct election for the post of President, Delhi Gurudwara Management Sikh Committee, terming it "anti-democratic exercise" to scuttle the elections that were to be held before December 31 as per a court directive.

with thanks : PTI News : LINK

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Delhi Cabinet clears Delhi Sikh Gurudwaras (Amendment) Bill

Delhi government today approved a Bill seeking certain changes in functioning of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee. 

A meeting of the Delhi Cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit cleared the draft of Delhi Sikh Gurudwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2012. 

The Bill will now be sent to the Union Home Ministry for approval following which it will be tabled in the Delhi Assembly. 

 The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee was constituted under Section 3 of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Act, 1971 with an aim to oversee functioning of the gurudwaras across the city. 

In the amendment bill, the government seeks to extend tenure of the president of the Committee to four years instead of current two years besides proposing to make certain other changes in the organisation. 

The Committee consists of 46 elected members from single member wards and nine co-opted members. 

with thanks : Business Standard : LINK

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College's 40th Anniversary Celebration

Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College( Dev Nagar,University of Delhi )on the Occasion of its 40th Anniversary Celebration;organised two days Workshop : Approaches, Processes & Tools of Education (APT) at Radisson Blue Hotel,Greater Noida on 3rd and 4th October 2012 for both teaching and Non-teaching staff members. Chief objectives of Workshop were re- thinking educator's role/approach in teaching, explaining contemporary changes in the area of higher education and considering new techniques and tools of teaching. Teaching is a unique profession where the professional and personal self of the educator has a lasting impression on molding career of the student. In this age of easy access to information , chalk and board tools alone are insufficient in delivering the content and capturing students’ attention. Hence it is imperative that the holistic approach of the teacher is re- addressed . For this , it becomes essential for educators to acquire themselves with latest information tools to keep pace with students,to facilitate research, dissemination of information and also for tabulation of performance and attendance. The workshop successfully motivated teaching and non -teaching staff to negotiate with new approaches in teaching; apply new tools in class room teaching / administrative work and revisit the processes at work to move forward with new age's enthusiasm. 40 years celebrations was an appreciative effort to look back and cherish the achievements and rediscover the passion for teaching . This collective re- look and planning will certainly help the institute/College in marching ahead to achieve certain Goals and greatest possible heights. The credit for holding this dedicated Unique Workshop goes to Sd. Bhupinder Singh Chadha ( Chairman),Dr. Man Mohan Kaur( Principal,SGND Khalsa College),Ch. Kuljeet Singh( Treasurer),Parent Body & Governing Body of the College.