Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Modi draws flak for bid to force out Sikh farmers

The Narendra Modi government has ‘prima facie’ discriminated against the 500-member Sikh community in Kutch, a report by the National Commission for Minorities says.
The government had ordered the Sikhs to sell their land and return to Punjab because they were not Gujaratis, citing the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948.
The commission strongly disapproved of the interpretation that only Gujarati farmers could own or buy land in the state. The Sikh farmers’ land accounts have already been frozen.
“Modi, who has the habit of terrorising the minorities in Gujarat, was in this case victimising the Sikh farmers,” commission member Ajaib Singh said in the report.
The government’s order was struck down by the Gujarat HC but the verdict was challenged in the Supreme Court.
The commission has asked the Gujarat government to accept the high court’s verdict. Modi was also requested to administer a national minority scholarship programme and set up a state minorities commission.
Singh also wrote to Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to intervene in the matter.
‘Expose Modi’s lies’

Rahul Gandhi on Monday directed Gujarat party leaders to expose Narendra Modi’s “dangerous politics and lies”and to focus on issues to build pressure on the BJP government.

with thanks : HINDUSTAN TIMES : LINK

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Australian couple jailed for racial attack on Sikh

“The turban is the crowning glory of the Sikhs,” Judge Stephen Southwood was quoted as saying during the sentencing. “For Sikhs, the head and the turban are sacred – they must not be touched or insulted in any way,” he said.

Sydney : A court in Australia has sentenced a husband and wife to nine months in jail for a racially motivated attack on a Sikh man, reports AFP. 
Angelina Kim Sollitt, 44, and her husband Michael John Arbouin, 40, were given the jail sentence for what has been described as a malicious and unprovoked attack on Jagroop Singh, a taxi driver in Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory in October last year, the NT News reported on Wednesday.
The incident happened after Singh picked up Sollitt, Arbouin and three other people from the Dinah Beach Yacht Club in Darwin.

As Singh drove the group, Sollitt told him to remove his turban, a symbol of the Sikh faith, saying that it was Australia and not his country. “If you want to live in Australia, take this sh** off,” Sollitt was quoted as telling Singh.
Singh kept on driving but when the abuse did not stop, he eventually pulled over in a bid to remove the group from the cab.
It was then that Sollitt got out from the cab and ripped off Singh’s turban leaving him dishevelled. When Singh called police for help, Arbouin threw him to the ground and punched him in the face.
Police eventually arrived at the scene and brought the situation under control.
According to the NT Times, Singh was so embarrassed by what happened at the time that he cut off his young son’s hair and forbade him from wearing a turban.
“The turban is the crowning glory of the Sikhs,” Judge Stephen Southwood was quoted as saying during the sentencing. “For Sikhs, the head and the turban are sacred – they must not be touched or insulted in any way,”
he said.
Southwood also said that the concept of Sikhism included “universal acceptance of all humanity, belief in one God and the equality of all persons irrespective of their caste, colour, gender, nationality and religion.” 
Singh had earlier told the newspaper that the turban was symbol of faith for him. “I only care that these people insulted my religion,” he had said.

with thanks : The Free Press Journal : LINK

SAD thinks beyond Punjab

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) plans to field candidates in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha elections in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who on Friday made the announcement here after the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected members of the block samitis and zila parishads, also said the party might also fight the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi and Haryana.
Confident after victory in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections, Sukhbir said the Akalis had consolidated their vote bank outside Punjab and were ready to expand their area of activity there.
On fielding Lok Sabha candidates from Haryana and Delhi, there is no final decision yet within the party but going by the eroding credibility of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, general elections before December seemed possible indeed, said Sukhbir.

On People's Party of Punjab (PPP) leader Manpreet Badal's joining hands with the Congress, Badal said it was forgone conclusion the moment Manpreet had resigned from the SAD. He described Manpreet's move as inconsequential, saying: "Zero plus zero will still remain zero."

No power cuts on the domestic sector, said Badal, but added that industry would have to bear these for a few days, as the central grid was not allowing Punjab to purchase more than 5,300 megawatts of electricity in view of last year's grid failure.

with thanks : Hindustan Times : LINK : for detailed news.

Delhi Sikh gurdwara body constitutes sports directorate

AMRITSAR: With an idea to take away youth from drugs and make them physically fit, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) constituted a sports directorate on Saturday.
DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK told TOI that former hockey player Swaranjit Singh Brar had been made its honorary director.
He said DSGMC has also announced to hold Khalsa Sports Meet in the month of October in Jawahar Lal Stadium.
Other than Brar as honorary director, the sports directorate would have seven members - hockey players Harbinder Singh and Ajit Pal Singh and former Olympians, Harkamal Singh, Apinder Pal Singh, international badminton umpire Manjit Singh Dua who had represented India in different competitions.

with thanks : Times of India : LINK

My mother, wife feeling proud of me after 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag': Farhan

Actor Farhan Akhtar is happy with the positive response that his recently released film 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' is garnering from all quarters.
Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' is a biopic on The Flying Sikh- Milkha Singh. The protagonist's role was essayed by Farhan on the big screen.
"We are happy that people love this film. The biggest compliment is the acceptance of audience and Milkha Singh and his family," Farhan told reporters at the success party of the film.
He is also ecstatic being praised by his family for his performance. "My mother (Honey Irani) and wife (Adhuna) are feeling proud of me. It is nice to see this reaction as I was away from them and gave most of the time to this film," he said.

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

Young Sikh Soccer Players’ Special Appearance!

Last weekend the Concacaf Gold Cup Group B game took place between Haiti and El Salvador at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. What was special about this game other than the fact that El Salvador won and advanced to the Quarter finals?  Well, two young Sikh soccer players had the most exciting day of their lives.  They walked onto the field with team Haiti.  Mandeep S. Birring and Manpreet Singh held hands with the two players at the front of the line and accompanied them onto the field.  Certainly this was a moment of great joy as the live telecast was seen by millions on live TV.

with thanks : the link paper : LINK

Sikh holy book desecrated again in Sindh

KARACHI: Before police could arrest culprits who desecrated Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib in Pano Aqil, a similar incident happened in Shikarpur, in which unknown people tore 24 pages of the sacred book. 

The incident has caused annoyance and fears among the Sindhi Sikhs, who are already a minority within Pakistani religious minorities.

Sardar Jai Singh, a local Sindhi speaking Sikh of Shikarpur told Daily Times over telephone that some unknown people entered the local Gurdwara Khat Wari Darbar at Store Ganj and not only tore 24 pages of the sacred book, but also took the pages away with them.

Shikarpur police registered the case (FIR No-74/2013) under section 295 Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against unknown persons. 

“Police is investigating and we are sure that soon they will arrest the actual culprits. Though we are not sure, but we have a suspicion some local extremist Hindus are involved. There already is a tussle with local Hindus in which Sikhs asked their religious leader to apologise for disrespecting the holy book,” said Singh. 

ASP Shikarpur Tariq Wilayat, who is officially investigating the case, said that the police still does not know who is the actual culprit, but a case has been registered. “We have registered the case and are investigating. We still do not know who actually desecrated the holy book, however, the recent tussle between the Sikh and Hindu community creates doubts if some local Hindus are involved. We will soon find the actual culprits and the motives behind such happenings,” ASP Wilayat said.

Just last month, a similar incident took place in Pano Aqil, and some extremists tore the pages of the Sikh holy book. Despite protests, Sukkur police was not ready to register case due to pressure from Hindu parliamentarians, and had only arrested a poor man after massive protests. The incident case filed (FIR No-205/2013) under section 295-A was also registered against unknown persons. 

On contact SSP Sukkur Irfan Baloch had said that it was not a big incident as Hindus and Sikhs belong to the same community and will resolve the issue at community level very soon.

Chairman Pakistan Sikh Council Sardar Ramesh Singh said that inter-religious harmony among minorities of Sindh has always remained exemplary, for which Sindh remains less extremist. “We are shocked that in a month two such incidents occurred and it is painful to see that we are being targeted. I think a group with an ulterior motive is responsible for such incidents. Now it is up to the police to conduct a transparent investigation and find the actual culprits and punish them,” he said.

Denying prior reports, Ramesh said, “Earlier, some Sikhs blamed Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MPA Lalchand Ukrani of pressurising police authorities, it was incorrect and I personally deny such allegations, that he was supporting local Hindus in this case.” 

Pakistani Sikhs are a tiny community compared to Hindus who make up 5.5 million officially with several parliamentary, provincial and national assembly representatives as well as members in the senate. 

However, Sikhs have a population of only 6000 in Pakistan without any representation in Sindh Assembly.

with thanks : Daily Times : LINK

Sikh American soldier's battle for the turban

"If the militaries in Canada, England, India and progressive nations allow Sikhs to serve in turbans and beards, then why can't the US?"
That was the question that Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, the first Sikh soldier in a generation allowed to keep the articles of his faith, posed to his commanders back in 2009 when he was told that he cannot wear his turban and beard while in service.
Eight years earlier when he joined the US army he had spoken with the recruiters and "they said 'it's not an issue, not a big deal' because they had seen other sardars in service," Kalsi told IANS on phone from Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Before the policy change in 1981 there were many Sikhs who served in all the branches of the military all the way from early 1900 and many serving Sikh soldiers were grandfathered in, he said naming two retired officers, col GB Singh and col Sekhon.
But Kalsi's commanders agreed to put in a request for a waiver up the chain of command. "They afforded me a very amicable process, though a very lengthy one with a large amount of paperwork."
He finally won an accommodation from the Pentagon in 2010, went on active duty at Fort Bragg and was deployed twice in Afghanistan, where he went on to win a Bronze star for service and a NATO commendation.
Since then, two more soldiers, Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan, a dentist and specialist Simran Preet Singh Lamba, an army medic, have received waivers from the Army.
The Army raised three concerns, whether he could wear a gas mask and a helmet and whether it would affect his "unit cohesion" or esprit de corps.  Kalsi said he met all their concerns by wearing a helmet over his long hair wrapped by a 'patka' or sport bandana.

with thanks : Hindustan Times : LINK : for detailed news.

Sindh Police not so serious in resolving Sikhs’ concerns

KARACHI: Instead of visiting the place in person to probe the case, as ordered by the Chief Secretary Sindh, Additional Inspector General (AIG) of Police (Special Branch) Shahid Hayat will conduct his enquiry into desecration of Sikh books in interior Sindh from Karachi, Daily Times has learnt.

The Chief Secretary had asked AIG Hayat to probe into the two cases in which most sacred book of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahab was desecrated in northern Sindh district. It has been learnt that AIG will not visit these cities where incidents happened but will conduct his enquiry from Karachi.

On Thursday, eight member Sindh delegation of Sikh Council of Pakistan met with Chief Secretary Sindh and asked him that they have no trust on the district police of Sukkur and Shikarpur districts where these incidents held and requested him to constitute special team comprises on the officers from Karachi.

CS Sindh assigned AIG Hayat on this case but now he, instead of visiting the cities where these incidents held, will probe both cases while sitting in Karachi. When contacted by this scribe to get his statement, he refused to talk. “I am not allowed to issue any statement,” said Hayat.

Sikhs with a tiny population in Sindh is considered as a minority within minority and after these incidents they are afraid of the local powerful Hindus. Despite two consecutive incidents of desecration of holy book, no one from the leadership of mainstream political parties including PPP, PML-N, MQM and PTI or anyone from Sindh government has so far contacted Sikhs of Sindh to assure them the justice in these incidents.

Not any single Non-Muslim parliamentarians, who were selected in the assemblies on the seats of religious minorities, took notice of the issue or have raised it in any assembly. 

Despite happening of these incidents, the Sindhi newspapers and private television channels or even FM Radios did not report the cases, as Sindhi press always remained vibrant, otherwise. Even when Sikh Community contacted provincial leadership of ruling PPP, they received no response. 

“We sent a letter to CM Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah who is also PPP president Sindh to give us time so that we can explain him all three incidents and demand justice, but despite passage of weeks, there is no response,” said Chairman Pakistan Sikh Council Sardar Ramesh Singh. 

On June 18, 2013 in a local temple run by local Hindu Panchyat, (unofficial community organisation) in Pano Akil town of Sukkur district, some unknown people tore the Sikh’s holy book Guru Granth Sahab. Sukkur police refused to register case saying that Hindu parliamentarians are forcing them to resolve the issue at community level.

After massive protests by Sikhs, at last police registered the case. Before police could arrest the culprits, another incident occurred in Shikarpur, where in a Hindu temple some unknown people again torn 24 pages of the holy book. 

The actual tussle started when a Hindu caretaker of a local temple Narain Bhajan embossed Hindu symbol on Guru Granth Sahab and signed his own signature and took the photo of the signing ceremony and posted them on social media networking site. Local Sindhi Sikhs reacted severely and rushed to the temple and asked religious leader to issue apology for disrespecting their book. 

“Both incidents could possibly be a reaction, in which our Sikh friends asked the Hindu leader to render apologies, but we are not sure and now it’s up to the police to find out actual reasons and the culprits behind this,” said Sardar Ramesh Singh.

with thanks : Daily Times : LINK

Flying Sikh’s life reaches new heights

At the age of 81, his demeanour and gait can make the younger generation break into cold sweat. Amidst attending to congratulatory calls from friends and family for the success of the film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, coordinating the working of his charitable trust that helps poor and needy sportspersons in Chandigarh and attending numerous functions to felicitate him and his efforts, veteran athlete Milkha Singh takes out time to talk about his life and struggles.
His autobiography, The Race of My Life, will hit the stands next month. Dressed in his trademark red turban, tie and a navy blue suit, he confesses that he is enjoying all the attention and glory. “All this sudden busyness in my life at this age is only making me feel that I should live for another decade,” he exclaims.
He starts off on a casual note, saying, “After decades, it is fun to get the limelight. You must have heard about the call from Carl Lewis after watching the film. He was so overwhelmed with it that he wants to gift me something and asked me what I would like. Ab iss umar mein kya hi aur mangu.” He adds, “Just like you, most of the present generation was not even born when I was at my peak. They had no idea about my traumatic childhood, poverty, army life and my glorious years as country’s top athlete. The film has helped to shed a light on all these aspects of my life and I’m glad that I am alive to watch how positively it has been received by all.”
He is quick to add that he had not planned any of this and he didn’t even know that a film would be made on his life. “A book was written on my life in Punjabi 35 years ago and translated to Hindi later. After reading the latter, three or four Bollywood directors approached me. I have stopped watching films post 60s and had no idea, who should I give my nod to. But my son Jeev had watchedRang De Basanti and loved it. So he asked me to let Rakeysh direct a biopic on me,” he explains. He says his only conditions were that the film should be inspirational and 10 percent of the profits from the movie should go to his trust. He is happy with end product. “More than 80 percent of the film has been drawn from my real experiences. Baaki filmon mein thoda addition to karna padta hai,” he smiles and adds.

with thanks : asianage : LINK : for detailed news.

Editor booked for publishing morphed picture of Sikh gurus

A day after some Sikh bodies allegedly vandalised a Punjabi daily's office for publishing the morphed picture of Sikh gurus, the local police on Saturday booked its editor.
Daba police station booked Rajesh Sharma, editor of Khuli Soch, an evening daily, under sections 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 298 (Uttering words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Meanwhile, several Sikh bodies continued their protest on Saturday by blocking traffic on Gill road.
The protesters demanded arrest of the newspaper's editor.
Jagdev Singh, president, Baba Buddha Ji Gurmat Granthi Sabha, said if the police did not arrest the accused, they would intensify their protest.
Sharma on Friday had said that someone had posted morphed picture of Sikh gurus on Facebook, and they had only published the picture in the newspaper to criticise the act of the accused. “We had no intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments,” he had added.

with thanks : Hindustan Times : Link

Friday, July 19, 2013

'Milkha' is a 'Flying Sikh' at the box-office too


The Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra directed Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (BMB), a tribute to India's 'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh, is not only a critically acclaimed flick but also a commercial success. 

At the end of the first week, the movie has already netted more than 53 crores and it has been declared a hit. The Northern belts and Mumbai circuit have been the standout circuits. In the overseas markets, the success story continues with markets such as USA and UAE outperforming. 

 Made at a big budget of close to 50 crores, the movie has recovered its costs and is on its way to making handsome profits. This week, there isn't much competition as we have two films, Ramayya Vastavayya and D-Day, which don't have a big star to pull in the audiences. Guess, BMB will gallop for a few more weeks.

with thanks : behindwoods : Link

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

White House celebrates 100 yrs of Sikh contribution

The White House has acknowledged the contributions of the Sikh community to the US as it celebrates 100 years of their achievements and the immigrant success story in America.  The occasion was an event last week to mark the centenary of the arrival in July 1913 of Bhagat Singh Thind from his home in Amritsar, Punjab, in pursuit of higher education while dreaming of a better life for himself and his family. Thind became the first turbaned Sikh to fight in the American armed forces and led a life-long campaign to gain citizenship for him and many others. A century later, nearly 150 Sikh business leaders and CEOs of various companies gathered at the White House to celebrate this pioneer and more than a century of achievement by the American Sikh community.
 "The goal of this event is to acknowledge the contributions this community has made to the country, celebrate 100 years of achievement, the immigrant success story in America and also to acknowledge the horrible tragedy of Oak Creek last year," said Paul Monteiro, associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

An American white supremacist fatally shot six Sikh worshippers and wounded four others in a mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in August 2012. While recognising the success of Sikh immigrants, Monteiro expressed White House's hope it can further open a dialogue between the Obama administration and Sikhs for years to come.

with thanks : Hindustan Times : LINK : for detailed news.

'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' mints Rs.8.5 crore on opening day

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", deemed a moving and inspirational tale of life of Indian sprinter Milkha Singh, managed an impressive Rs.8.5 crore business on its opening day.
The movie, which released Friday, features Farhan Akhtar as the Flying Sikh, and he is said to have got as real as it gets for the role.
A paid preview of the movie Thursday minted Rs. 1.5 crore, and the buzz for the movie only ended up getting a boost.
On its opening day, the movie made Rs. 8.5 crores across India, where it opened in 1,500 screens.
According to trade analyst Taran Adarsh, "'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' had an amazing pick up in evening shows on Friday".
Confirming the same, Piyush Raizada, director, Delight Cinemas, told IANS: "It had a good occupancy on Friday, and it will do well this weekend."
Co-produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures, the movie was much-awaited ever since it was announced, and then its powerful and clean-cut trailer opened to viewers.
Farhan's performance, which is a result of several personal sessions with the man himself - Milkha Singh, has been immensely appreciated, while actresses Sonam Kapoor and Divya Dutta also make their mark with small, but meaningful performances.
Members of the film fraternity have been heaping praises on the project, with some saying, it will "go down in history". Until then, "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" on Bollywood's box office!
with thanks : Times of India : LINK

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Flying Sikh's new hunter shoes

Flying Sikh Milkha Singh ran barefoot on baking village sand as a kid and later red earth running tracks. He displayed indomitable will and courage, even vomited blood while training too hard in Pune for the Olympics. These are memorable echoes from his romantic struggle from a zero to a hero. Entwined seamlessly in all these traits was an obsessive streak of self-preservation, and this reflected in the ace runner choosing discretion as the better part of hunting valour! And, there even came a time when he made much of his shoes: a pair of new hunters! Before turning a golf addict, shikar, racing, beautiful women, Scotch and playing cards were his five cardinal passions.

The Flying Sikh would be up at 4 am with son Jeev and his imported guns primed for expeditions into the hinterland. Jeev was then Chiranjeev, a small, wiry fellow, with coils of hair held fast by a white handkerchief and red rubber band. And, to the eternal blessings of the God that looks after wild creatures, the Flying Sikh was not an able marksman, his strenuous efforts notwithstanding! The Flying Sikh and my late father Man Mohan Singh were shooting flying partridges at the invitation of Tikka Shiv Chand of Bhallan in Nangal tehsil in 1977. Jeev and I were accompanying our dads.
Tikka was an institution in himself as far as shikar in Punjab was concerned. He organised hunts for the high and mighty, getting hundreds of villagers to participate in beat shoots. In return, VIPs would ensure the villagers' works were done in the corridors of power in Chandigarh. Returning from the partridge shoot near Bela Ramgarh village, we were crossing the Sutlej river to Bhallan village in a country boat, which started to leak like rat-nibbled Swiss cheese. As the village "pehelwans" deployed by Tikka jumped into the river to keep the boat buoyant, the Flying Sikh quickly sized up the situation. He piggy-backed onto the sturdy shoulders of the first "pehelwan" who swam to the boat and hijacked him to reach safely on the opposite bank. The rest of us, including six-year-old Jeev, slowly sank in mossy green waters. A rescue by villagers saved the day for us, even as the Flying Sikh coolly directed us not to panic from his dry perch! The Flying Sikh was asked later why he abandoned us.

He disarmingly quipped, "There was really no danger to the boat." Pressed further, he replied in weak-kneed jest to alleviate the tension, "I did not want my new hunter shoes to get wet!" Our reaction to that is best kept buried in public interest, though, for years later he sportingly faced unsparing jest at shikari dinners.

with thanks : Hindustan Times : LINK : for detailed news.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Turbaned Sikh men take their fashion to the streets

The Singh Street Style blog aims to put Sikh chic on the map and show that wearing a turban doesn't stop people from being creative and individual with their fashion sense
Sikh men pose for the Singh style blog
'I wanted to show that Sikh turbaned men can be just as fashionable as anyone else' Photograph: Single Style Blog
Growing up as a teenager in Essex, Pardeep Singh Bahra often found he attracted the wrong kind of attention on the streets. "I found it quite difficult wearing the turban, especially in an area where there weren't many Sikhs," the 22-year-old explains. As Bahra grew older, and developed a love of style, he noticed that it wasn't just on the streets of Essex that his turban was an anomaly.
"I quickly realised that none of the fashion sites I looked at ever featured a turbaned Sikh man," he says. "I wanted to give the turbaned Sikh man a fair representation within the fashion world, and also show the blend of British and Sikh identities together. I wanted to show that Sikh turbaned men can be just as fashionable as anyone else." Three months ago, Bahra launched Singh Street Style.
Bahra started the blog by taking photos of people he happened to walk past in central London who stood out not just because their sense of personal style but also the way they wore their turban. "I just stop and go up to them and tell them about my blog. I tell them I like their style, and ask if they wouldn't mind having their photo taken for the site," he explains. "Most people are up for it."
He also takes photos of his friends, and often blog followers email him suggesting people whose style they think will fit in with the site to photograph too. Bahra has since photographed Jatinder Singh, a Sikh model who has done work for Topman and GQ wearing elaborate turbans; and Madhu Singh, from the dance duo Signature (known for their Michael Jackson bhangra dance routines for Britain's Got Talent).
Mostly, he relies on social media to reach out and keep finding stylish Sikh men to keep the blog going (he has more than 4,200 "likes" on his Facebook page and nearly 9,000 followers on Instagram).
Hakam, a 20-year-old optometry studentHakam, a 20-year-old optometry student, as photographed by Pardeep Singh Bahra Photograph: Pardeep Singh Bahra
Hakam, a 20-year-old optometry student, was one of the first people Bahra photographed – he wears ankle-skimming, skinny black jeans with lime green socks, brown brogues and a purple parka with a white turban. Elsewhere, Gurj, a 25-year-old accountant, wears a fitted grey blazer and white shirt with Sikh prayer beads around his neck.

with thanks : Guardian : LINK : for detailed news story.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee sets up panel to seek cancellation of new DU norm

AMRITSAR: The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has constituted an 11-member joint action committee (JAC) for cancellation of a provision by Delhi University, introduced from this academic session, by which many students will lose the opportunity to study their mother tongue.

Talking to TOI on Wednesday, DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK said student representatives of different colleges affiliated to DU, a number of social organisations and NGOs working for development of regional languages -- termed as modern Indian languages (MILs) -- met him, urging his intervention for cancellation of the provision.

As per the new provision for four-year graduation course of DU, being implemented from this session, it shifts Punjabi, Urdu and other MILs, to the second year (third semester). Earlier, these languages were introduced from the first semester.

He said the committee comprising professors of Urdu, Punjabi and other languages would jointly work to restore the pride of regional languages.

Manjit said he would lead a delegation of DSGMC to meet Vice President Hamid Ansari, who is also the chancellor of DU, for cancellation of the new provision.

MILs had the status of second language in many states of India. Even Urdu and Punjabi had the status of second language of Delhi. Like Urdu and Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and Sindhi carry great literary and cultural traditions, which truly represent the Indian ethos and a picture of unity in diversity, Manjit stated.

with thanks : Times of India : LINK

Sikhs of halhalia

resp vir jee guru fateh ,sending article on sikhs of halhalia published in Gurmat Parkash (march 2013) and jagbani published on 2nd april 2013 ,regards jagmohan singh gill . phone no 09831059675 , kolkata

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sikh Man Brutally Stabbed After Fender Bender

Manteca resident Gulwinder Singh was driving to work at 7 am near Highway 99 in Stockton, California when his car was hit. He stopped his car and got out to exchange information with the other driver. That’s when the situation went from bad to worse.

The assailant asked Singh to leave when he got out of his car following the collision. However, Singh insisted on exchanging driving licence information. It was then that the assailant pulled out a small back revolver. He pointed it at the victim and pulled the trigger, but the gun did not go off.
“I asked him for his license and he pulled a gun on me. And I said, ‘O.K., O.K., it’s cool, I’m leaving,’” Singh told reporters at FOX40.
Walking back to his car, the other driver attacked Singh – first hitting him in the back of the head with a rock and then pulling a knife and stabbing him repeatedly in the face.
Bloodied and confused, Singh got up off the asphalt and that’s when other drivers stepped in and his attacker took off. The suspect tried to flee in his car but crashed into a tree. The assailant then fled on foot.
Singh was taken to San Joaquin General Hospital and received 40 stitches in his ear, above his eye and on the bridge of his nose. Singh says he has no idea why the other driver snapped. “Maybe he already did something and wanted to escape,” Singh said.
Singh has been a San Joaquin county business owner for 13 years and says he never expected to be attacked like this. “I drove taxi for nine years in San Francisco and this never happened to me,” he said.
Stockton Police Lieutenant James Chraska described the suspect as a 5 foot 6 or 8 inch, 21 or 22-year-old black or Hispanic male with medium length hair and a beard.

with thanks : thelinkpaper : LINK

Friday, July 5, 2013

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee to adopt 4 villages near Hemkunt Sahib

AMRITSAR: After cooperating with army and state government machinery in evacuation and distribution of relief material to the Uttarakhand natural calamity victims, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) is all set to adopt 4 disaster hit villages near Hemkunt Sahib to rehabilitate the lives of their residents and provide them with basic living infrastructure that have been washed away in recent flash floods.

DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK told TOI on Thursday that DSGMC had in principal decided to adopt Pandukeshwar and Gobind Ghat villages besides two more villages on way to Hemkunt Sahib. He said local MLA from Badrinath Rajinder Singh Bhandari was taking keen interest in DSGMC adopting villages falling in his constituency.

"We are sending a high powered team that would assess the damage in these villages following which a detailed plan would be chalked out with the help of subject experts" said president of DSGMC that evacuated 75 local residents of Badrinath and airlifted them to Joshi Math on Wednesday when army had officially called off its evacuation mission.

He said he had received reports that residents of these villages had lost their homes, farms and livestock and have to begin their life from scratch.

"We can help them in building their homes, helping them to purchase livestock or set up small vacations as par their desires " he said.

He said he had also convened a meeting of executive body of DSGMC to discuss the issue before sending the high level team to assess the damage in these villages.

Manjit said they were not restricted in adopting just 4 villages but were open and the final decision on the number of villages would be taken after receiving the report of the team who would soon visit the spot. Hailing the efforts and interest shown by local Badrinath MLA , GK said the DSGMC would be able to reach up to every affected person with local support and logistics.

with thanks : Times of India : LINK

Sikh intellectuals back Sidhu on his religious utterings

AMRITSAR: Sikh intellectuals have appealed to Jathedar of Akal Takht Giani Gurbachan Singh to examine the whole context in which BJP MP from Amritsar Navjot Singh Sidhu had used the religious song Naam Khumari Nanaka Charri Rahe Din Raat in a satirical form before taking any action against him. 

Sikh intellectual and a senior professor of Guru Nanak Dev University Professor Balwant Singh said that though the verse was not a part of Gurbani but Jathedar should examine the whole context in which it was used - may be in satirical form. Going through the reported verse uttered by Sidhu he said "It appears as if he has only praised the name of Nanak". Sidhu's uttering of Sikh religious song in humorous way had earned the wrath of Akal Takht jathedar. 

Gurbachan Singh said that Akal Takht secretariat had not received any complaint against Sidhu but the Sikh clergy would definitely contemplate so as to dispel the confusions among Panth with respect to mocking of Sikh religious songs. Another Sikh scholar Baljinder Singh said "One has to be cautious while using Sikh religious names but it should be examined by Sikh clergy before reaching at any decision". Despite several attempts Sidhu who is reportedly in Mumbai, couldn't be contacted for comments. 

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

Sidhu hurts Sikh sentiments, evokes Akal Takht ire

AMRITSAR: Sitting BJP MP Navjot Sidhu is set to face ire of Akal Takht once again.
The former cricketer who is seen engaging in a funny banter with comedian Kapil Sharma on a TV show telecasted on Colors channel on Sunday allegedly used name of first master of Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev saying the lines were in gurbani (Sikh hymns).
Sidhu during the show said: Bura nasha sharab ka, uttar jaye prabhat. Naam khumari Nanaka, chadi rahe din raat.
Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh though there is no such line in gurbani but still Sidhu has no right to use name of Guru Nanak Dev in such lines mentioning ‘liquor’.
The Sikh community has been deeply hurt by this act of Sidhu.
The Jathedar said he himself is looking into the matter and appropriate action will be taken against Sidhu.
Seeing the anger amongst the Sikhs, the video showing Sidhu speaking the lines has been removed from various social networking sites.
Navjot Sidhu is no new to controversy.
Earlier in 2009, he was accused of hurting Sikh sentiments by taking part in ‘yagna’ and wear a thread across his body.
with thanks : Punjab Newsline : LINK

Sikh Couple Forced to Leave Theater for Wearing Articles of Faith

Sikh Couple Forced to Leave Theater for Wearing Articles of Faith

Image: Ikman and Manjot Singh, shown here with their children, were forced to leave an AMC theater in Emeryville, Calif., after security guards accused the couple of carrying weapons.

In a broad-ranging move affecting all Sikh Americans who wear their articles of faith, AMC Theaters has stated it will vigorously enforce its “no weapons” policy after a Sikh couple wearing kirpans (a ceremonial dagger carried by Sikhs) were asked to leave a theater in Emeryville, California.

On June 22, Manjot and Ikman Singh were preparing to watch the new Superman movie, “Man of Steel,” at AMC’s Bay 16 theater in Emeryville. After finding seats, Manjot Singh went to the concession stand, where he was confronted by security guards who said he was carrying a weapon. Singh and his wife Ikman both wear kirpans under their clothing; both were asked to leave the theater.

AMC communications director Andy DiOrio told India-West the company has banned weapons of any sort in its 347 theaters across the U.S. and Canada. “We vigorously enforce our no weapons policy for all patrons,” he asserted.

DiOrio referred to the kirpan – a blunt, ceremonial blade carried by Sikh men and women – as a knife, and added that knives were prohibited at AMC theaters. Asked if this effectively barred all observant Sikhs from attending AMC theaters, DiOrio repeated his earlier comment and characterized the kirpan involved in the incident as a “5 ½ inch unsheathed knife.”

AMC has issued a corporate statement, saying: “Our no weapons policy prohibits guests from carrying weapons of any kind into our theaters. This national policy is for the safety and security of our guests and staff.” 

“The person in question was approached when our security team noticed the guest was wearing an approximately 5-1/2 inch unsheathed knife, in clear violation of our rules. We stand by our policy, as this matter is about the weapon alone and not at all about religious freedoms. The safety and security of all our guests and associates is our duty and responsibility, and we take it very seriously.”

In an interview with India-West, Manjot and Ikman Singh both stated they were humiliated by the incident. Manjot Singh said he could see at least three security guards eyeing him as he approached the concession stand. As he prepared to head back into the theater, allegedly tailed by the guards, Manjot Singh said one of the guards approached him and asked him to step aside.

The guard allegedly told Singh he believed he was carrying a weapon. Singh replied he was not carrying a weapon, but was wearing his kirpan under his shirt. The security guard allegedly said, “I know all about Sikhs and we have a zero tolerance policy towards weapons,” according to Singh, who replied that he did not have a weapon.

The security guard reportedly asked Singh to remove his kirpan, saying he would keep it for him until after the movie was over. Singh explained it was an article of faith that could not be removed. The security guard then allegedly asked Singh to leave. Singh mentioned that his wife – who was inside the theater – also was wearing a kirpan. A security guard went inside the theater to find Ikman and brought her out.

“I saw my husband standing there and I asked what happened and he said, ‘they’re kicking us out.’ I was just in shock as to how someone could even do that,” Ikman Singh told India-West. She added that a kirpan is a religious requirement for Sikh women, who are considered equal to men according to the tenets of their faith.

Manjot Singh said he was interrogated by theater security for about 20 minutes, in full view of other patrons. “A few people were staring and looking at us like we were crazy. Looking the way we do, you can’t help but feel people must think we did something wrong for this to happen,” he said. Singh said he and his wife were looking for an apology from AMC as well as a “kirpan policy” at the theaters.

“It is not acceptable to racially profile and pick someone out of a line because you think they look scary. (AMC) needs to educate their employees on Sikhs and on how to deal with different people in general. This level of bias, insensitivity and discrimination is illegal and unacceptable in 21st century California,” stated Manjot Singh.

United Sikhs has taken up the Singhs’ complaint and has launched a campaign to get AMC to define its policy regarding kirpans at its theaters. Manmeet Singh, a staff attorney with the organization, told India-West he had contacted AMC on the couple’s behalf, but has not yet received a response.

“The kirpan Manjot was carrying has the bluntness of a butter knife,” said Manmeet Singh, adding that it was inaccurate for the AMC to characterize it as a knife or a weapon. Manmeet Singh noted that Manjot and Ikman daily wear their kirpans to their workplaces and other venues, including courthouses, without incident.

with thanks : newamericamedia : LINK : for detailed news.