Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baisakhi mela: 4000 Sikh yatrees to visit Pakistan

LAHORE: Some 4000 Indian Sikh yatrees will arrive in Lahore on April 11 via Wagah border to take part in Sikh religious festive, Besakhi.

The security plan has been finalized ahead of yatrees’ arrival in the country, this was said by Aukaf Board Chairman Asif Hashmi at a press conference.

Hashmi said that rangers and elite force jawans would be deployed to provide security for visiting Indian yatrees.

According to the Sikh religion, the Besakhi festival is celebrated only at the holy city of Hassanabdal, where lies the Gurdwara Punja Sahib.

In 1921, it was decided by the Gurus (elders) of the Sikh religion to celebrate the event on the first day of Sunsikrat month of Besakh in memory of the day of the first Besakh in the year 1699 when the 10th Guru of the Sikh religion awarded Punj Kaaf slot and symbol to Guru Goband at the city of Anandpur Sahib (India).

With thanks : Source : TheNews


Sikh Stabbed to Death At Birthday Party in Vancouver

Vancouver, March 31 – Police have identified a young Sikh man who was stabbed to death in a birthday party at Cloverdale on the outskirts of the city Sunday.

Twenty-one-year-old Buta Singh Sangha was stabbed when a fight broke out between two neighbouring families over the birthday party celebrations. The Punjab-born victim was invited as a guest by the family celebrating the birthday of their baby when the dispute with the neighbours started.

Police said Sangha was stabbed when the dispute turned violent. He was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

A 32-year-old man with criminal past has been arrested for the crime. Police said the alleged killer, Adrian Skara, was also a guest at the other neighbour’s house when he stabbed Sangha.

Many people had called police when the dispute started. But before cops could come, it turned violent leading to stabbing of the Sikh man.

‘This incident remains as an altercation between neighbours and does not have any links to gangs, drugs or organized crime,” police told the media.

More than a 100 Punjabi-origin young men have been killed here over the years in rivalry among drug gangs. Most of these cases remain unresolved despite the creation a special homicide unit by police.

Vancouver and its satellite towns of Surrey, Delta, Richmond and Abbotsford have the largest concentration of the Punjabi community in Canada. The area is known for its secret harvesting of marijuana which is smuggled into the US in exchange for cocaine.

Apart from the deaths of over Punjabi-origin youths, many Punjabi truckers have also been arrested for their complicity in smuggling.

With thanks : source :


Monday, March 29, 2010

1984 anti-Sikh riots: CBI questioned in Tytler case


A city court Monday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) why it did not examine three persons named by a witness in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case involving Congress leader Jagdish Tytler.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Pandit asked the CBI to be ready April 1 with their answers for not examining all the witnesses.

Rebecca R. John, counsel for a riot victim's widow, Lakhwinder Kaur, said: 'The CBI did not examine all the witnesses. There are three more people named by witness Surinder Singh who have not been examined by the CBI.'

Kaur's husband Badal Singh was killed during the riots in November 1984. She claims Tytler's alleged involvement in the killing.

Questioning the CBI closure report in the case, John added that there are discrepancies in the report and the case should be investigated further.

'The court should either discard the (closure) report or send it for further investigation,' he said.

During the two-hour long hearing, counsel questioned the CBI's decision to reject the statements made by witnesses Surinder Singh and Jasbir Singh, living in California.

The CBI completed its arguments on the closure report by Feb 10 and gave a clean chit to Tytler April 2. The agency claimed there was insufficient evidence against him.

The report said that Surinder and Jasbir had made statements to frame Tytler.

The alleged role of Tytler in a case relating to the killing of three people Nov 1, 1984, in the aftermath of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination, was re-investigated by the CBI after the court refused to accept a closure report against him in December 2007.

With thanks : source : SIFY



SAD Politicising SGPC, Says Congress MP

Charging the Shiromani Akali Dal with politicising the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee, Congress MP and president of state Youth Congress Ravneet Singh Bittu today said he will approach those close to it to vote against the SAD.

"Although, the Congress will not directly contest the SGPC election, but it will definitely approach its near and dear ones to vote against SAD candidates, as the latter virtually politicise the religious institution", Bittu, who was here to take meeting of the District Youth Congress, told reporters.

Asked whether the Congress would support the candidates of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DGSMC) led by its President Paramjit Singh Sarna, Bittu evaded a direct reply and said "we will support all good candidates in the SGPC poll, who will promise to free the SGPC from the clutches of SAD".
Justify Full
Earlier former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had said that the Congress would support Sarna's candidates in the SGPC, but after his criticism in the party circles on the issue, he had to virtually take back his statement.

On a query regarding the Union Government's decision to review the "black list" of Sikhs, Bittu welcomed the decision and said "it is good that the Sikhs, who are no more attached or involved in separatists' activities should be allowed for their comeback."


With thanks : source : OutlookIndia


SIT for anti-Sikh riots would have set a precedent: BJP

NEW DELHI: After Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi appeared before the SIT to be quizzed for nine hours in connection with the 2002 riots cases, BJP on Sunday said a precedent would have been set if a similar body had been formed to quiz then PM Rajiv Gandhi in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

"Now that Modi has appeared before the SIT, retrospectively, BJP feels that a similar SIT should have been constituted to examine then PM Rajiv Gandhi post-1984 riots. The precedent would have left enough ground for no one to disagree to a similar SIT probe today," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

The party also said Modi had "silenced his critics" by appearing before the SIT. Another BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said Modi's critics had resorted to rumour mongering about the date of his appearance before the SIT and Congress had happily gone ahead and spread the rumours further.

For detailed news, plz click the headline above.

With thanks : source : Times of India


Centre to ‘prune’ Sikh blacklist, only 50 hardcore names to stay

Giving in to a two decades old demand by Punjab and its diaspora, the Centre has begun work on pruning the “blacklist” of Sikhs that debarred several members of the community from entering the country for their association with terrorists, it is learnt. Highly-placed sources in the Union Home ministry have said the list containing 300-odd names would be pared down to about 50 by next month-end.

Notably, the list was prepared when terrorism was at its peak in Punjab in the eighties and mid-nineties. A large number of disenchanted Sikhs had left the country during that period and are presently settled in Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. While many of them actively took up the cause of Khalistan through militant outfits like Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF) and Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), others were involved indirectly.

Sources said the Home ministry was currently in the process of identifying those who got involved with these groups in the rush of emotions at that time and have since distanced themselves from the movement. Officials admit there were several persons on the list who had made an occasional “anti-India” speech or attended an occasional meeting of separatist groups, and now their names would be struck off.

“We will only retain the hardcore elements on the list and these should not account for more than 50-odd names,” said a senior Home ministry official, adding the sifting was being done on the basis of intelligence reports.

Sikh NRIs and political parties like the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Punjab Congress had been pressing the Centre to review and revise the list on the plea that it was prepared “arbitrarily” and that the situation in Punjab had improved after those dark days of militancy.

For detailed news, plz click the headline above.

With thanks : source : Tribune India


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Baba Deep Singh ji - Shaheedi purab

The Shaheedi Purab of Baba Deep Singh ji will be celebrated on 4th April at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, F Block Krishna nagar, Delhi - 110051. Jathedar Gurcharan Singh ji Gatka master has informed that the Ragee jathas reciting Gurbani on that day, will include :

Bhai Sahib Bhai Guriqbal Singh ji, 9.30 to 10.30 am
Bhai Sahib Bhai Davinder singh ji - Harjas Keertani Jatha, 10.30 to 11.00 am
Bhai Sahib Bhai Jasbir Singh ji, 11.00 to 12.00
Bhai Sahib Bhai Amrik Singh Jakhmi, 12.00 to 1.00 pm
Bibi Pushpinder Kaur Khalsa - Dhadi Jatha, 1.00 to 2.00 pm

The prominent Sikh personalities expected include : Sd. Param jit singh Sarna, President, DSGMC, Sd. Gurmeet singh Shanti, Gen. Secy., DSGMC as well Sd. Arvinder singh Lovly, Minister Delhi Government and Mrs. Deepika Khullar, Member Corporation.

Guru Ka Langer & the Shastra Johar - Gatka will be at the end of the programme.

Plz view the vids as below :


Eyes on SGPC polls, anti-Badal factions prepare for convention in Delhi

The Sikh Sammellan being convened by SAD (Delhi) chief Paramjit Singh Sarna in Delhi on April 10-11 will be an opportunity for various anti-SAD bodies to lash out at Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, ahead of the upcoming Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak (SGPC) polls.

Sarna has roped in former Akal Takht jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti who will preside over the convention. The atmosphere is all set to hot up as the SGPC polls, due since May last year, are expected after the harvesting season. Shiromani Panthic Council (SPC), headed by former minister and SGPC secretary Manjit Singh Calcutta, SAD (1920) headed by Ravi Inder Singh, All India SAD, headed by Jaswant Singh Mann, various representatives from other countries are expected to take part in the Sammellan.

SGPC Chief Avtar Singh Makkar has, meanwhile, termed the convention a mere gimmick and said that neither have they been invitated nor will they take part in the meet. Sources close to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said the Takht has also not received any invitation.

Makkar said only the Akal Takht has the right to convene such conventions and it was unfortunate that the political leaders were trying to deviate people from the real issues.

Calcutta told The Indian Express that an open invitation had been sent to all Sikhs and no organisation was being specially invited. The convention had the support of over a dozen bodies and political outfits to ensure that it is a success, he said.


With Thanks : source : Indianexpress


Friday, March 26, 2010

Belgian Spokeswoman for the Sikhs

Lily van Heers who is still waiting for her dream to see the daylight:

For the past ten years or so, considering the relative unfamiliarity of Sikhism in Belgium, Lili Van Heers has been trying to inform Belgians about the Sikh religion and the Sikh people because still there is a lot of ignorance amongst Belgium people on Sikhism .It may be because Sikhism is not mentioned in schools and local people are not familiar with turbaned Sikhs; the way they are in Britain.

Lily has made the whole aim of her life to help Sikh community & to spread awareness of Sikh religion. Its remarkable that being Belgian nationality herself,she is a spokeswoman for the Sikh community in Belgium.She is often contacted by the press whenever they need any information, by social services, by different organisations wanting a presentation, ... on Sikhism.

She often volunteers groups/local people to the local Gurdwaras and shows them (using many slides) to let them know; what Sikhism is all about. Sikh community living in Belgium ,themselves, call her for many of their different problems living in foreign land, practical and religious (e.g. kirpan confiscated by the police and subsequent court cases ).

With all her experiences with the Sikh Community, she decided to write a book on Sikhism. But the publishing houses refused her manuscript because they thought it would not sell in spite of the fact that it was the only Dutch book on the subject and well written according to them.

Then she contacted,Professor Winand Callewaert,Prof. in the Arts Faculty of KU Leuven,who took care of the diacritic signs and the layout & advised her to take her manuscript to Delhi, to Manohar Publishers. So she took the text and had it printed her Book titled :The Sikhism and the Sikhs in Delhi (2008, published in-house, see Coverage in MO * by Gie Goris Editor).Afterwards Delhi Publisher sent all the books by mail to Belgium. But unfortunately, in the absence of any Belgian publisher to promote, there is still nobody to market her book.

Not even in her wildest dream, Lily thought about such consequences, so now even after so much efforts & goodwill,she is stuck with an awful lot/pile of her own books. Her noble aim to inform about Sikhism through her Book to as many Belgians as possible;has not been fulfilled. She is still waiting for her dream to see the daylight!

Dr. Gurdeep Kaur

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Guru Nanak portrait sells for $50,000

NEW YORK: An oil-on-canvas portrait of Guru Nanak sold for $50,000 at a Sotheby's auction in New York. The impressive and large portrait of the first Sikh guru by Arjan Singh had an estimate of $40,000-60,000.

It was the highlight of the Sikh works in the sale of Indian and South East Asian Art that featured a well-curated selection of Indian, Himalayan and South East Asian works.

Culled from private collections in the US, Canada, UK and Europe, and with impeccable provenance, the auction presented a unique opportunity to collectors to acquire the works.

With thanks : source :


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Paradigm shift in US Army: Sikhs allowed religious symbols

IN INDIA Sikhs in the Army are a common sight. They have a fine martial tradition. The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji had transformed all followers of the Sikh Dharma into soldiers of the faith to defend and protect the weak from the strong oppressor. The United States had accepted Sikhs in the Army with their unshorn hair, an uncut beard, a turban and so on until 1984 when the new regulations forbade them from sporting their religious symbols and look different in the Army. That saw an end to the Sikh entry into the US Army.

The Iraq and Afghan wars made the US policy makers change regulations. More and More surgeons and orthodontists were needed to treat and provide comfort to the sick and the injured officers and enlisted men of the US Army. here was an opportunity for Tej Gagandeep Singh to join the US Army and undergo training with men and women who joined the Officers Training School.

We are Americans. We are US citizens. protecting and Defending America is our duty and that we shall do - that was the solemn pledge that Capt Tej Gagandeep Singh made solemnly along with other American men and women who had successfully completed the tough training. The 32 year old Sikh was permitted to maintain and sport all religious symbols of his Sikh Dharm.

He said that he asked for no exemptions in the tough schedule and did every act that a trainee is required to do. His fellow trainees had no problems with him and his different look due to his religious symbols was never an issue with other white and black American trainees. The Sikh American dental officer is now ready to be deployed anywhere in the world along with other officers and Enlisted Men and Women.

With thanks : source for detailed news :


Sikh IAS officer may be made PSB chief as stopgap measure

In the absence of an eligible Sikh candidate to head Punjab & Sind Bank after its current chairman and managing director GS Vedi retires on June 30 this year, the government might consider appointing a Sikh IAS officer for the top job.

Days after the ministry of finance wrote a letter to the Prime Minister’s office seeking its approval for appointing a non-Sikh as the head of the public sector bank, Tarlochan Singh, ex-chairman, National Commission for Minorities and currently a member of the Parliament, wrote to the finance minister suggesting that such a decision would hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community.

“I’ve spoken with the finance minister on this and also written a letter. He has agreed to consider appointing a Sikh civil servant to run the bank until the government is able to zero in on an eligible Sikh banker for the job. There are a lot of candidates who will match the eligibility criteria for the top job in a few years,” said Singh.

For detailed news, plz click the headline above.


Apology issued after nurse cuts Sikh's beard

B.C.'s Fraser Health Authority is investigating why staff at a seniors care facility made the "terribly unfortunate human error" of cutting the beard off an elderly Sikh patient, the second time such an incident has occurred in the past two years.

A nurse cut the man's beard out of what she thought was medical necessity, according to David Plug, Fraser Health's vice-president of communications.

"The nurse thought that she had more consent than she actually did from the family," Plug said. "It was a terribly unfortunate human error."

Unshorn hair and beards are one of the five articles of faith for baptized Sikhs.

The controversy prompted Fraser Health Authority CEO Nigel Murray to appear on a Punjabi-language radio station Wednesday to apologize.

"We just wanted to reassure the wider Sikh community that we believe it was an unfortunate mistake," Murray said.

The elderly man died last week. His identity and the cause of his death have not been made public.

Similar incident in 2008

Plug said Fraser Health apologized to the man and his family immediately after the incident occurred earlier in March, while the man was still alive.

Fraser Health is one of the largest authorities in B.C., with responsibility for the 1.5 million people in communities stretching from Burnaby to Hope, which includes the highly concentrated Sikh populations in the city of Surrey and the Fraser Valley.

In 2008, Fraser Health took system-wide steps to educate staff about cultural sensitivities after a nurse at Royal Columbian Hospital cut the beard of a 70-year-old Sikh man in intensive care.

Since that incident, executive directors at all clinical facilities have been given information about the Sikh religion.

Plug said the nurse involved in the latest beard-cutting incident had been on the job for six months. It was not known whether she had been briefed on the significance of hair and beards to Sikhs.

Fraser Health will hold more formal education sessions about the issue at all its senior facilities, Plug said.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

First turbaned Sikh in a generation joins U.S. Army

When the 31-year-old Tejdeep Singh Rattan graduated into the army from Fort Sam Houston at San Antonio, Texas this week he did something that no member of his community had done in nearly three decades. He became the first Sikh in a generation who had continued wearing a traditional turban and yet joined the United States military, a feat not achieved since 1981.

On graduation day, surrounded by a gaggle of other members of the Sikh community and media a beaming Captain Rattan said to reporters, “I'm feeling very humbled. I'm a soldier. This has been my dream.”

Harsimran Kaur, Legal Director of the Sikh Coalition, a community-based organisation, spoke to The Hindu about the rare exception that Captain Rattan’s case is. She explained that in 1981, the U.S. Army banned “conspicuous” religious articles of faith for its service members. This included a ban on Sikh turbans and unshorn hair.

Ms Kaur said that Captain Rattan was initially enrolled in a dentistry course and signed up for training for the army back in 2006 through a Health Professionals. At the time he was told he would be able to enter the army wearing the traditional Sikh turban. However by the time he was near graduation, in 2008, he was informed that that decision had been revoked. It was at this point that the Sikh Coalition got involved, Ms. Kaur said.

The Sikh Coalition along with legal counsel supported Captain Rattan in putting in an application for an exemption from the U.S. Army. After a process that was drawn out over nearly six months, they finally got news that the application had succeeded. Additionally another Sikh applicant had succeeded, it was learnt -- Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, also with a medical background.

For Detailed news, plz click the headline above.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Vandalism At Guelph Gurdwara

On early Friday morning, vandals threw bricks through the front window of the Gurdwara. This attack follows weeks of controversy surrounding attempts to rezone a piece of land to build a new Gurdwara to accommodate the growing Sikh community in Guelph. The Sikh community in Guelph has recently faced increasingly intolerant and often racist comments opposing the move.

Although those who oppose the re-zoning of the proposed Gurdwara site have a right to express their views, there is no room for bigotry, racism or now violence in the dialogue. The Sikh community can be asked to defend their zoning application, but they should not be put in the position of having to defend their presence in the community. Canadians pride themselves on the multicultural fabric of their nation and Sikhs are an integral part of that fabric. There is no reason a Gurdwara should be any more difficult to integrate into the community than a church or synagogue. WSO

With thanks : Source : Mapleleafsikh


Better Facilities for Pilgrims at Sikh Gurdwaras Assured

ISLAMABAD — The federal government has spent Rs260 million for maintaining and up-keeping Sikh Gurdwaras across the country while millions more have been earmarked for 22 other projects designed to improve facilities, Chairman of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Syed Asif Hashmi said.

Talking to reporters at Gurdwara Punja Sahib Hasan Abdal, one of the most important Sikh temples in the country, Hashmi said three of the new projects would be undertaken at Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore. Another 16 will be launched in Nankana Sahib in addition to the three earmarked for Punja Sahib Hasan Abdal.

“The PPP government right from the first day in office in 2008 embarked on an aggressive plan for addressing the issues related to the religious shrines of Sikhs and other minorities,” Hashmi said. He said Rs49 million were spent on providing additional facilities and improvements in Sikh Gurdwaras alone. In the first four months of 2009 an amount of Rs172 million was spent on this count. Special attention was paid on providing safe and comfortable journey to Gurdwaras and temples.

He said all possible facilities are provided to Hindus, Sikhs and other minorities including security, on-site comforts and uninterrupted observance of festivals and religious rites during sacred days. The trust also plans to build a 100-bed hospital at the Punja Sahib along with a well-equipped trauma centre where modern treatment facilities would be made available.

The project for ‘lungerkhana’ at Punja Sahib to allow free meal had remained dormant for five years but has now been completed within four months. A three-storey building has been completed at a cost of Rs20 million where about 500 people can have their meals.

For the upcoming Bisakhi festival fool-proof arrangements have been made to ensure security and peaceful atmosphere for yatrees, he said.

with thanks : source :

"The Sikhism and the Sikhs" by Lili Van Heers, an author from Belgium

Lili Van Heers ,an author of the Book "The Sikhism and the Sikhs"

Lili Van Heers studied Germanic Philology at the K. U. Leuven. She taught Sikhism more than thirty years ago in Asia . Since then she has lived with/among the Sikhs. She is an author of the book "The Sikhism and the Sikhs" (2008, published in-house, see Coverage in MO * by Gie Goris Editor).

In the Interdisciplinary Study Center Religion & Interfaith Dialogue ,she delievered a lecturer on "The role of religious music in Sikhism"as part of ICRID Lectures cycle "Believing in the Society" on 18th March 2010 in the Maria Theresia College, Faculty of Theology,Leuven.Belgium.

Given the relative unfamiliarity of Sikhism in Belgium, she briefly discussed the origin and historical evolution of the Sikhism & about the holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib and paid special attention to the characteristic of the ritual texts dealing with some of the Guru Grant Sahib is recited.

Her lecture was very well received by the students as well as by the Faculty memebers.

Dr. Gurdeep Kaur

Sunday, March 21, 2010

1984 anti-Sikh riots case: Sajjan Kumar to face trial at session’s court in Delhi

New Delhi, Mar 20: Congress party leader Sajjan Kumar, who is one of the accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, would face trial at a sessions court from March 27.

Claiming to have strong evidence, senior advocate H. S. Phoolka, counsel for the families of the riot victims, announced that the two murder cases against Sajjan Kumar and other accused have been committed by the magistrate and have been sent to the sessions court.

“The two murder cases against Sajjan Kumar and other accused have been committed today by the magistrate and now these cases have been sent to the court of Sessions judge. The trial will start in the court of session’s judge from March 27 and charges would be framed, evidence and then trial,” Phoolka said.

“We have strong evidence against Sajjan Kumar her accused. We are quite hopeful that both of these cases will end up in conviction,” he added.

Earlier, the court had issued two non-bailable warrants against Kumar, who surrendered in court on March 10. He was granted bail by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Lokesh Kumar.

The CBI had on January 13 charge-sheeted Kumar and others in the two cases accusing them of making provocative speeches, leading to the killing of 12 persons in the riots that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. (ANI)

With Thanks : Source :


SGPC head not to attend World Sikh Convention

Ludhiana, Mar 21 (PTI) Dubbing the World Sikh Convention to be held in Delhi next month as a politically-motivated exercise, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar today said he would not attend the conference to be organised by the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee.

"The only aim of this politically-motivated conference is to denigrate the importance of Akal Takht, the highest temporal institution of the Sikhs," he told reporters here.

Makkar alleged the primary motive of the organisers was to rake up a controversy regarding the status of the Akal Takht "in one form or the other" and challenge its supremacy.

"No true Sikh can ever tolerate such a thing," he said.


with thanks : source : PTI News


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Two special trains to Delhi for world Sikh convention

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee will pay the entire transport expenses

In order to make the world Sikh convention a big success, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee (DSGMC) will be running two trains which will start from Ferozepur and Amritsar on April 10.

The convention is on April 10 and 11.

The entire expenses will be paid by the DSGMC to the Railways and hence the commuters can travel free of cost to Delhi to attend the convention. Apart from this, buses and other modes of transport will also be made available to workers and residents of Punjab.

This was announced by J S Balleawal, spokesperson of Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi), who was in the city. He said the convention is being held to find solutions on increasing interference of political parties (read SAD (B) in religious affiars in which Sikh bodies from abroad as well as India are participating.

The DSGMC is organising the entire event, he said. Balleawal on one hand criticised the involvement of political parties in religious affairs but at the same time he stated, Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) is participating in this event in a big way to support the Sikhs and to create an awareness in them about Sikh affairs, the importance of Shri Akal Takht Sahib and much more.”

At the moment, the hukamnama of the Akal Takht is dictated by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, while his media adviser writes and sends it to the jathedar.

for detailed news, plz click the headline above.

with thanks : source : Indian Express


The role of religious music in Sikhism

On March 18th 2010,the faculty of Theology,KU Leuven organised a lecture at Maria Therisia College on The role of religious music in Sikhism ,delievered by Lili Van Heers who taught Sikhism more than thirty years ago in Asia. She is an author of the book "The Sikhism and the Sikhs' (2008, published in-house, see Coverage in MO * by Gie Goris Editor). An agenda of this lecture was to discuss the origin and historical evolution of the Sikh faith considering the relative unfamiliarity of Sikhism in Belgium.

Two Sikh Kirtan Singers ;Parminder Singh & Sukhdev Singh introduced European students to Sikh religious Music (Kirtan). They migrated from Punjab and live in Sint-Truiden,Belgium. Both Ragis (musicians) also contributed to the CD called ‘Profundo’ containing religious music from various major religious traditions in Belgium.

Lotte Beernaert : Excerpts from the beautiful message received from Lotte Beernaert who is a third year student of Theology in KU Leuven:

First the Kirtan-singers and Lili Van Heers were introduced and then Lili gave us briefly a summary about Sikhism. We, the third bachelors do already know the theory and the story of Sikhism because we saw that last year, but for the second bachelors it was new, I think. She told us about the ten Guru's, about the Guru Granth Sahib. Though we already knew it, but sometimes that is good for wakening up the mind . She also told us about Indira Gandhi and the cruel attack on Golden Temple.

She told about the Golden Temple and it brought a nice feeling back, remembering the days we spend there. The Golden Temple was for me one of the highlights in India, on our trip. After her twenty minutes of explanation about the founding of Sikhism and the important facts, then the Kirtan Singers song for us Bilaaval Mehlaa 5 (GGS 820). While listening my mind were filled with memories of last August. If I could I took the plane immediately, and I wasn't the only one with that feeling but all Bachelor (Graduate)students who went to India shared that feeling.

After the prayer, we listen another fourteen minutes to Lili Van Heers. Now it was more specific about the structure of the Guru Granth Sahib, and that was new to me. With the different parts in the Holy Book and the explanation on which way it is structured the importance of music came up. We already knew that music was special to come closer to God and pray, but by knowing where the structure is based on and that Guru Nanak was a singer and travelled a lot and sings a lot of prayers, the importance of music in Sikhism become more and more clear. Though, in every religion music has an important place, but in Sikhism it has that little bit more of importance. Music (Kirtan) is really fantastic and tonight by learning more about the Guru Granth Sahib than that we already knew and also because we were witness of three prayers song by Kirtan with Tabla and Harmonium, we could feel its impact within Sikhism.

Lili used in her explanation a lot of quotes of the Guru Granth Sahib or some saints. It was a comprehensible lecture and she knew what she was talking about. The Kirtan with their prayers gave an extra dimension on the lecture. An important dimension within Sikhism that may not be undervalued when we are learning about the world Religion.I liked this lecture very much, because it recalled memories that we won't forget. I discovered that with the experience of Tine; her death; we didn't talk a lot about our experience in India. We don't forgot, but actually we didn't like to talk about it.But tonight we did after the lecture;when we go drinking something in 'De Werf'. It was the first time that we shared our experience, especially about the Sikhs in India, with our fellow students. It was a beautiful day today, because the Spring is in the air for one of the first times this year and the lecture was as nice as warming closure of the day!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Sufi Music

Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan & Punjabi Academy, Delhi has organised an evening of Sufi Music Mere Sainya Jio on Saturday, March 27, 2010 from 6.30 P.M. onward in Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan, Gole Market, New Delhi.Eminent Sufi singers Manpreet Akhtar & party and Jasbir Jassi & party will perform.

Mrs. Gursharan Kaur wife of Dr.Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India,has consented to be the Chief Guest.Dr.M.S. Gill,Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports,will preside over the function. All are invited to join this Sufi Music evening & for Tea before the start of the function.


RWABhagidari blog

On 1st January, 2010, our CEO Mr B S Vohra had launched a blog for the RWA's of Delhi. He felt that the RWA's are a scattered lot with no means of being in touch with each other. Therefore, he launched the Blog as a common platform for interaction of RWA's with each other, on various issues being faced by each of them.

The blog received the attention of both the Print & Electronics media and was covered by Hindustan Times Delhi in HT Live East Delhi, HT Live West Delhi, HT Live South Delhi & HT Live North Delhi editions on different dates. The Dainik Jagran City plus, Amar Ujala, Rashtriy Sahara also covered the blog many times in this period. Even Delhi Aaj Tak TV Channel covered the blog few times. Blog also received a letter of appreciation from the Office of the Delhi Chief Minister.

The blog as per the RWA community is a very good effort of Mr Vohra. Some of the top personalities of various RWA's have already joined the blog with many of them very active. The RWA's can, not only cover the details of day to day activities, they can also add the details of any civic problems being faced by them, directly on the blog.

The blog also offers the subscription facility , where all the subscribers get the regular mails of daily updates. RWA's can also register the details of any civic problems by SMS. A SMS alert facility has also been launched by the blog, where just by a single click, the message can be forwarded to all the registered Residential welfare associations.

Mr Vohra, through this blog is very well engaged in the activities of Social welfare as well for generating awareness amongst the residents. We invite all the visitors from Delhi to log on to the blog to subscribe it for regular updates directly in your mail box. If you could promote this blog in your areas, we will be thankful to you.

with best regards,


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sikh man break his own record of longest beard, all set to make into Guinness Book

SURREY(CANADA): A Surrey man with the longest beard in the world has broken his own record. When Bhai Sarwan Singh made the Guinness Book of World Records in 2008, his beard measured more than seven-and-a-half feet in length, the longest of any known living man.It's now two inches longer.

Singh, the head priest at Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, recently had his beard re-measured for a European television show that features Guinness world record holders. He was invited to Rome by the Guiness World Records and Euro TV to appear on “Lo Show dei Records” (The Show of Records).

Singh’s episode was taped on March 5 and is scheduled to air in Europe on March 27. Singh originally had to be talked into going for the record. "It's not a talent, like playing music," he objected."It's a gift from God."But it was an opportunity to publicize the Sikh faith which opposes cutting facial hair, so he relented. Singh, who has never shaved in his life, wasn't sure exactly how long his beard was until 2008.

Normally, he keeps his beard rolled up or over his shoulder, but if he wears it down the front, his whiskers will brush the floor.He said he's done nothing special to encourage his beard to grow, calling it his "favourite body part."

The all-time longest known beard was 17-and-a-half feet.It belonged to Norwegian-Born Hans Langseth, who wore it over one shoulder and down one arm.When Langseth died in 1927 his beard was donated to the Smithsonian museum in the U.S. Bhai Sarwan Singh, the head priest at Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, recently had his beard re-measured for a European television show that features Guinness world record holders.
with thanks : source : Punjab News Line

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Govt hunts for a non-Sikh to head Punjab & Sind Bank for first time

Punjab & Sind Bank could go where it has never been in its 102-year history.

The Ministry of Finance has sought the guidance of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to appoint a non-Sikh as the Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab & Sind Bank. The community bank, which was established in 1908 and nationalised in 1969, has always had a Sikh as its head.

“It is not written anywhere that Punjab & Sind Bank must have a Sikh as its head. But it has always been seen as a community-based bank. And unlike other community-based banks like Corporation Bank and Vijaya Bank, this bank has always been chaired by a person from the Sikh community,” said a senior government official.

“Therefore, we have sought the Prime Minister’s view on the subject before taking a final decision on this matter.”

According to the official, the Ministry could not find an eligible candidate from the Sikh community this time around. GS Vedi, the current CMD who is Sikh, is due to demit office this June. A few non-Sikhs have earlier served as head of the bank, but they have all been short stints in the nature of a temporary additional responsibility.

Punjab & Sind Bank is headquartered in Delhi. It was founded by Bhai Vir Singh, Sir Sunder Singh Majitha and Sardar Tarlochan Singh, and opened its first branch in Amritsar in 1908. Today, it has 917 branches and extension counters spread across the country. As of March 31, 2009, it had assets of Rs 41,363 crore.

with thanks : INDIAN EXPRESS


Monday, March 15, 2010

Gurdwara Chehrata Sahib : SikhsIndia


‘Sikh relics’ found near Gurudwara to be examined

Did the sixth Sikh guru leave behind a few weapons on the outskirts of Kailey village near Ludhiana during his halt during his ‘dharam parchar’ tours of the region in 1621? The recovery of some sharp-edged weapons and a ‘chur’ during digging in the vicinity of the village gurudwara, built in memory of Guru Har Gobind, has raised this question among Sikh intellectuals.

The area’s residents, led by Darshan Singh, chairman of the Budha Gurmat Parchar Trust, have urged members of the gurudwara management committee to get the articles recovered and examined by experts of the archeology department and exhibit them for ‘sangat’, if found to belong to the Guru.

A large number of enthusiasts from the area visited Gurudwara Chhevin Patshai in the village to have a look at the weapons and a ‘chur’ (a large ‘chullah’) that were recovered during digging for expansion of the gurudwara on Thursday.

Kuldeep Singh, the head ‘granthi’, had announced the villagers recovered some weapons and a ‘chur’ during digging yesterday. “Believing Guru Har Gobind and his disciples had made a halt here in a temporary abode during one of his journeys it is thought the weapons belonged to the guru”, he added.

Kuldeep said the articles would be kept in a palanquin after getting them examined by archeological experts.

According to some history books the guru had visited this area in the course of his ‘dharam parchar’ tours sometime in 1621. Though Kailey village does not find any mention, a nearby village, Sidhar, is among the localities where the guru organized mass meetings for preaching the ‘meeri peeri’ concept.

Har Gobind is said to be the first Sikh guru to advocate the necessity of military training and martial arts among his disciples.

Mahesh Sharma

with thanks : source :


Prominent Sikh Societies

We have uploaded details of some of the Prominent sikh Societies on our Sikh web portal at Please mail us for any additions or corrections in this list, at the earliest. If your society is not in this list, please feel free to mail us for inclusion.

You can subscribe the blog for regular updates, directly in your mail box.

French govt may lift Sikh turban ban on India's plea

CHANDIGARH/NEW DELHI: India may have found a novel way of persuading France to lift the ban on Sikh turbans by invoking Europe's deep-seated fear of terrorism.

According to minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur, India has taken up the issue of French authorities taking photographs as identity markers and conveyed to Paris that if Sikhs are photographed without turbans, it would create a faulty database.

Kaur said the Indian demand of allowing turbans in France was under active consideration and the matter was likely to be resolved soon.

"The plea that we have taken is that the French government is taking photographs and fingerprints as identity markers. However, if Sikhs are photographed without turbans, then they are accumulating wrong records because normally, a Sikh will always wear a turban," Kaur said.

Kaur, who was in Chandigarh on Saturday, said the fact that a turbaned Sikh — PM Manmohan Singh — was a chief guest in France recently was a strong message by the French government that it was not averse to turbans.

"The matter is being pursued and we are hopeful it will be resolved," she added. In March 2004, the French Parliament had passed a law banning all ostentatious religious symbols and signs in all public places such as schools, hospitals and town halls.


With Thanks : Source : Times of India


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Suspicious Fire damages Sacramento Sikh Temple

A charred building and broken windows are all that is left of a Sacramento Sikh temple after a suspicious fire nearly destroyed the house of worship overnight.

Instead of attending services today, members of the Sikh temple on the 7600 block of Rangeview Lane are picking through the charred rubble.

"This is too much damage. I can't believe it," said Sulakhan Singh who attends the temple. "Everything's gone, totally lost."

Singh says the congregation has never received threats or had problems before. So it's especially upsetting for members to hear someone may have targeted their temple. Arson investigators are labeling the fierce blaze that broke out before midnight as suspicious.

"You can't rule out the possibility of a hate crime. We're not saying it's accidental or on purpose, but it is suspicious at this time," said Sacramento Metro Fire Captain Rusty Dupray.

Because the fire involves a religious building and arson may be to blame, the FBI and ATF have been notified and brought into the investigation.

Sacramento Metro Fire investigators collected samples from the debris this morning to check for chemicals or accelerants.

Firefighters say the 911 call came in from the priest who lives at the temple and was startled from sleep by smoke alarms.

The fire damage is estimated at $250,000 leaving Sikh congregation is left without a place of worship.

With thanks : source :


Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti interview

Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's play Behzti, set in a Sikh gurdwara, caused riots - the fallout forced her into hiding. Her new work, Behud, directly addresses the controversy.

Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti refuses to have her photograph taken for this paper. She’s not being difficult - the reason for her refusal is simple. She’s the writer responsible for Behzti (Dishonour) which, famously, caused a riot at the Birmingham Rep in 2004.

Incensed by her decision to set her play in a Sikh temple - a gurdwara - and for presenting it as a den of iniquity, rife with patriarchal sexual abuse - hundreds of Sikh protestors gathered on several consecutive nights to voice their anger before attempting to storm the theatre on Saturday December 18.

Windows were smashed, arrests were made, Bhatti - already the subject of violent threats - was forced to go into hiding, and the production’s run was abruptly cancelled.

This shocking, unexpected episode, unparalleled in modern British theatre, became a cause celebre and serves as a chilling illustration of how fragile freedom of speech can be.

Five years on, Bhatti remains understandably wary about being easily identified. And yet the smart, petite Asian woman who meets me in a central London cafe couldn’t be further from the cowed or chastened figure one might have expected. Revisiting the saga for the first time in a national newspaper, the 41-year-old playwright comes across as quiet, thoughtful and, above all, totally defiant.

“I’d do it again,” she says, firmly, almost matter-of-factly. “I wouldn’t think twice about it. Behzti was the play I wanted to write. I always believed in what I’d done.”

She has steered clear of media interviews until now, she explains, because she wanted to get on with her life and work, developing projects for TV, film and radio. “I had to do that. I’m a human being, not a controversy.”

She realised Behzti was provocative - up to a point: “I’m from a Sikh background. I knew it would be controversial, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with provoking people.”

For detailed STORY, plz click the headline above.

With thanks :


SGPC to release new calendar on March 14

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) will release a revised Nanakshahi calendar for the next year, beginning from March 14. The radicals have, however, decided to stick to the old one.

The changes proposed by the SGPC had been vehemently opposed by a large section of Sikhs had who favoured the calendar released in 2003.

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar said they have ordered printing of the new calendar after making the required changes. It will soon be distributed among public.

He said the decision was taken after long discussions and the changes were approved by the Akal Takht.

“We will release the new calendar at a simple but impressive function at the Golden Temple complex on Sunday,” said Makkar.

On the other hand, radical Sikh bodies including Dal Khalsa, Khalsa Action Committee and Shiromani Panthic Council (SPC) have vowed to stick to the old calendar. They had been opposing the move to change the calendar.

for detailed news, plz click the headline above.

with thanks : IndianExpress

Friday, March 12, 2010

Long cherished dream : Guru Granth Sahib Resource Centre

With Akal Purkh’s Grace & with a major grant from the Department of Culture, Government of India. ,Bhai Veer Singh Sahitya Sadan’s long cherished dream of setting up of Guru Granth Sahib Resource Centre has been realized under the able guidance of Director, Dr.Mohinder Singhji. The Resource Centre aims to build a first-rate Digital Library on Sikhism in addition to digitizing and conserving rare Guru Granth Sahib Birs with due maryada(respect). The new four storied building is complete with a big centrally air-conditioned hall on the ground floor. The lift has also become operational.

As we all are well aware that Bhai Vir Singh, the Saint-Poet of India,in whose memory the Sadan was set up 1958, popularized environmental concerns through his writings, especially poetry.

In view of this, Sadan observes March 14th every year as Environment Day by planting trees and ornamental shrubs in the Sadan’s complex and singing of Bhai Vir Singh’s poetry by eminent singers. Fortunately this year;also happens to be the New Year according to the Nanakshahi Calendar and Gurgaddi Divas of seventh Guru Har Rai who was the pioneer in Eco Movement!!

Everbody is requested to join this auspicious occasion on 14th March,Sunday at 11.00 a.m at Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan, Gole Market, New Delhi-110001.

Dr. Gurdeep Kaur

SGND Khalsa College,Dev Nagar,University of Delhi

Photos of Free Medical Health check-up & Blood Donation camp which was held on 3rd March in Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College,Dev Nagar,New Delhi. It was organised by the National Service Scheme Unit of the college under the Supervision of NSS Programme Officer, Dr.Gurdeep kaur(Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science) who wants to give the entire credit for the success of an event to her College's respective Principal Dr.Man Mohan Kaur.

Dr.Gurdeep Kaur
Associate Professor
SGND Khalsa College
Department of Political Science
National Service Scheme Programme Officer

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sikh Matrimonial

Please log on to the sikh web portal with over one lakh hits per month. The portal contains matrimonial profiles of Sikh Boys & Sikh Girls. You can also add a classified listing or a detailed profile.


Abhishek Bachchan washed dishes at Golden Temple

Do you think Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan will wash plates at home? I don’t think. Believe it or not, he washed dishes at the Golden Temple in Amritsar as part of his kar seva recently. The actor, who was with his sister Shweta Nanda in the city, visited three prominent gurdwaras.

"Abhishek and Shweta meanwhile have had a most awesome and wonderful ‘darshan’ at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. They were allowed to spend almost an hour inside the complex and Abhishek even did some ‘kar seva’, by cleaning up the premise, and washing the dishes at the ‘langar’. There were two other prominent gurudwaras that they visited and were ecstatic about their visit,” Amitabh Bachchan posted on his blog.

He went on to say that it feels good to see his children getting religious. “It is always such a joy to see children putting their minds to faith and devotion. Nothing would give me greater joy and nothing I believe could be better than their achievement in belief and prayer,” he wrote.

Abhishek, who was in Amritsar for the shooting of his reality show Bingo, also posted about his visit to the temple on his Twitter page. “Went to the Golden Temple at 3 in the morning. Did seva for about an hour, then just sat there listening to the kirtan,” he tweeted.

Amitabh had earlier written on his blog about his inclination towards his Sikh blood and his wish to visit the Golden Temple along with his children. It may be mentioned that Teji Bachchan, the mother of the 67-year-old actor, was from a Sikh family.

with thanks : Source :


Monday, March 8, 2010

Promising life after Death – 8 Sikhs started body organ donation campaign

Mohali, Punjab: It is not easy to look at one’s death with a positive attitude. Tougher still, to actually do something good before departing from this world. But these eight residents of SAS Nagar, all full of life, are living with such a passion, only to die for a cause far greater than their lives.

Inspired by Olympian Ajmer Singh, whose body was donated to PGI in January, these people have also pledged to donate their bodies to PGI for medical research.

Now they are planning to run a body organ donation campaign.

“A few years back, a pro- fessor from Amritsar Medical College told me that there was an acute shortage of bodies for research in medical colleges. The education of medicos was facing a setback due to this shortage,” said Amrik Singh Gill, who is one of the initiators of this cam- paign. He is an organic agriculture consultant staying in SAS Nagar, Phase II.

He says that around two years back, he along with wife Raj Gill pledged to donate their bodies to PGI.

“At that time, PGI’s Head of the Department of Anatomy told us that being a research institute, PGI requires around 25 bodies a month but they were getting just two. Then I realised how even dead bodies were important for living human beings,” says Singh.

He then shared the idea with his neighbour Brigadier H.S. Cheema (retired) and his wife Raj Cheema. “Both of them immediately agreed,” says Singh. Soon, it began tak- ing the shape of a campaign.

More people joined in and it almost became a community.

Today, sitting among the donors, H.S. Cheema proudly says, “I am the most eligible candidate among all these, because each day, I am growing older for the greater common good.”

with thanks : sikhsangat


Guru Nanak Dev International University (GNDIU), Nankana Sahib

Coming up at Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev in Pakistan’s Punjab, at an hour’s drive from Lahore, the Guru Nanak Dev International University (GNDIU) will be spread on 2,500 acres and promises to have numerous faculties, some of them devoted entirely to the teachings of Nanak. This will be the second university in the name of Nanak, after Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar set up in 1969. AGPC head Dr Pritpal Singh said the university building would be the most modern with architects hired from the United States, and it would have the best of curricula and research activities. He said it would have links with the world’s best universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, adding that scholars from all over the world would come for research work.

with thanks : source : Indian Express


SGPC not invited for Nankana Sahib function, angry

But welcomes move by Pakistan government to start Guru Nanak Dev International University

The Pakistan government is all set to lay the foundation stone of Guru Nanak Dev International University (GNDIU) at Nankana Sahib on April 17. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) here has welcomed the move, but it is surprised, and irked, at not being invited for the event.

Claiming to be the paramount representative body of Sikhs, the SGPC feels ignored as it has not been taken into confidence while finalising the date for the significant event, to be attended by world Sikh leaders. SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar says he things their criticism of Pakistan on various issues, including the recent beheading of a Sikh by the Taliban near Peshawar, may not have gone down well with the government of the neighbouring country. “We often criticise them. We are not like those who stoop low and turn sycophants ignoring the critical issues confronting the Panth,” says an agitated Makkar, confirming that no invitation has been received by them.

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani will lay the stone of the ambitious project named after the founder of Sikhism. The university will spread the message of Guru Nanak on world peace, brotherhood and work. “It is a great step by the Pakistan government and I welcome the move to set up the university. But it is a surprise that we have got no invitation to take part in the event,” said Makkar.

With thanks : Source : IndianExpress


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sikh groups abroad reviving Punjab militancy: Government

NEW DELHI: Sikh militant groups based abroad are trying to revive terrorism in Punjab and the government is maintaining a close watch on such outfits, the home ministry says.

"Available reports suggest that Sikh militant groups, especially those based abroad, continue to persist with their efforts to revive militancy in Punjab," Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken told the Rajya Sabha last week.

"A close watch is maintained on the activities of various groups known to have been engaged in trying to foment terrorist activities in Punjab," he said.

for detailed news, plz click the headline above.
with thanks : Times of India

Punjabi edges out Tamil in Haryana

Chandigarh: Last week when Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was honoured at a function in Chandigarh for declaring Punjabi as a second language of the state, official circles were wondering what would happen to the Tamil language, which had so far been enjoying the status of second language in Haryana.

Even as there is practically no presence of Tamilians in the state, Haryana had declared Tamil as its second language in 1969 when Bansi Lal was the chief minister.

Officially Tamil had never enjoyed the status of a second language in this predominantly Hindi-speaking state, but the arrangement somehow carried on willy-nilly for more than 40 years.

Old-timers say the Tamil was declared as the second language just to give a rebuff to Punjab. “Since it was the Punjabi suba agitation that had led to formation of Haryana, Bansi Lal thought, ‘Let any language other than Punjabi be the second language of the state’. Hence, Tamil became the second language even though there might not have be even a single Tamil native family in the state at that point of time”, said a former bureaucrat.

Subsequently, though the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) announced the replacement of Tamil with Punjabi, nothing changed on the ground.

Hooda said here last month that a notification had been issued to accord Punjabi a second language status. Incidentally, the Congress menifesto had promised to take the step. The move might finally result in Tamil language being obliterated from the Haryana government records.

Hooda, keeping an eye on the Sikh vote bank, said his government would endeavour to popularise the language. Earlier, Hooda had announced to carve out a separate Sikh gurdwara management committee for the Sikhs in Haryana.

The Sikh population in Haryana is close to one crore, though the number of Punjabi-speaking population could be much higher.

with thanks : Source :


Saturday, March 6, 2010

There is no black list of Sikh militants settled abroad: Centre

Even as politics heats up over the black list of former militants settled abroad, the Centre’s reply to an RTI application says there is no such list. Satnam Singh Dhaliwal, president of an NGO, Universal Human Rights Organisation, had asked for a copy of the list from the Ministry of External Affairs. The application was transferred to the regional passport office by ministry, saying that the subject matter is more closely connected with their functioning. The reply by Deputy Passport Officer Bidhi Chand, dated January 18, denies the existence of any black list. Dhaliwal is mulling an appeal to get more information.

with thanks : Source :


Pak PM to lay foundation stone of Sikh University at Nankana Sahib

By Ravinder Singh Robin

New Delhi, March 6: Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani will lay the foundation stone of the Baba Guru Nanak International University (BGNIU) next month at Nankana Sahib, Pakistan.

The ceremony is likely to be attended by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife Gurusharan Kaur and Punjab’s chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Talking to Asian News International over phone from Lahore about the ceremony of Baba Guru Nanak International University, Azhar Ehsan, an Advocate and the Executive Director of BGNIU’s governing body, said: “The function would be held on April 17 and Mrs. Gursharn Kaur, the wife of Dr. Manmohan Singh and Parkash Singh Badal, chief Minster of Punjab have shown interest to attend the ceremony.”

The university would be constructed in 2,500 acres of land in Nankana Sahib.

More than 15,000 Sikh pilgrims are likely to visit in the month of April to attend the Baisakhi festival’s celebrations in Pakistan.

Dr. Pritpal Singh from United States said that the proposed university would have the best architecture, curricula and research center on Sikh and other religion and culture. He said that AGPC would bear all the expenses on establishing the course related to Gurmat Sangeet facility.

“We will invite scholars from all over the world to join the university. It will be planned University that to be modeled similar to standards set by the great universities of Oxford and Cambridge and students from all over the world will be offered admission to the University.”

It is pertinent to mention that none of the members was taken from India in the governing body of the University, neither from the Shri Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the premier body of the Sikhs or from Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC).

However, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee chief Parmjit Singh Sarna said: “I am happy that the Pak Prime Minister would be laying the foundation stone ceremony to build the University. It makes no difference to me whether they have not given any representation in the committee to us.”


with thanks Source :