Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vast Sikh temple in Kent is 'largest outside India'

You can view the BBC News Video from this link :


SGPC sends off group of 58 Sikh devotees to Bangladesh

AMRITSAR: SGPC (Shriomani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) here Monday send off the group of 58 Sikh devotees including 15 females first time to Bangladesh to pay obeisance at various Sikh shrines and observe the birth anniversary of founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev.
In a release issued here SGPC stated that the group of Sikh devotees during their visit to Bangladesh would reach at Dhaka on December 3 to observe the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev at Gurdwara (Sikh shrine) Memon Singh. Sikh devotees after paying obeisance at various Sikh shrines in Bangladesh would return to India on December 9.
with thanks : punjabnewsline : link in headline for details.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

'Golden Temple kitchen busiest'

CHANDIGARH: Food is said to be a great unifier, and a documentary film appears to second this. According to Holy Kitchens production— an initiative of an Indian-American Chef Vikas Khanna, who is rolling out a series of films to tie together the metaphysical meaning of food in religion with the real world experience of sharing food in a spiritual context — Golden Temple has the busiest kitchen in the world.

Khanna is an award winning chef, author TV personality and restaurateur based in New York City.

The first in the series is a documentary 'True Business', which takes its inspiration from first Sikh master Guru Nanak's message of Sacha Sauda, from where the concept of 'langar' or common kitchen originated.

As the story, Guru Nanak's father had given him Rs 20 to start a business but was surprised to see his son distributing food to the poor, bought with the money meant to start an enterprise. On being asked that why did he do this, Guru Nanak is supposed to have replied that this was ''Sacha Sauda, True Business''.

With thanks : times of India : link in headline above for detailed news.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Be proud, very proud!!

Have a look at the BBC documentary on Sikh representation in the Indian forces in the 2 World Wars. Very well documented and presented, you will feel your chest swell up with pride with this bit of re-told history. And, even more so, if you are a Sikh!


Part 2 of the documentary


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Martyrdom day on Dec 10 ?

Can't we pre-decide the dates of Gurupurab's as well Sangrand & other important days. It seems, we are loosing the unity, just due to the differences in the leaders of different areas. Delhi is observing 24th Nov as the Martyrdom day whereas Punjab will have it on 10th December. A part of the community is arranging Samagam's on one day & the rest of the community on any other day. We must do something to fix the dates of all the historical days.


Not today, martyrdom day on Dec 10: Akal Takht

A day before Sikhs were to observe the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur on November 24, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh announced that the day must be marked on December 10, leading to confusion among the devotees.

“I have decided that the day should be observed on December 10. The SGPC will observe the day on December 10,” the Jathedar said, adding that he had received various requests from the world over to change the date.

However, he said “if some Sikh bodies or institutions have made arrangements for the day’s ceremonies” for November 24, they could go ahead with the celebrations. The others should celebrate on the date being announced by the Akal Takht.

Earlier, the SGPC and the Punjab government had mentioned November 24 as holiday on the Guru’s martyrdom.

with thanks : Indian Express : link in headline above for more detailed news.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sikhs protest govt decision to bar 'Palki' procession in Pak

LAHORE: Sikh elders have protested a decision by Pakistani authorities to bar the community from organising the 'Palki' procession at Gurdwara Janamsthan in Nankana Sahib to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

Authorities said their decision to bar the procession, which goes from Gurdwara Janamsthan to seven other gurdwaras in Guru Nanak's birthplace, was based on security concerns.

Sikhs were not allowed to organise the procession last year too.

with thanks : TOI : link in headline above for detailed news.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Remove Indo-Pak border restrictions: Sikh pilgrims

The border restrictions between Pakistan and India should be abolished for peace and prosperity in the region, said a group of Sikh pilgrims from India. Over 4,000 Sikh pilgrims reached Pakistan by special trains through the Wagah border Friday to attend the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, the first guru of Sikhism.

Sikh pilgrims told the media at Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore Saturday that people of Pakistan were peaceful and foreign elements were involved in all terror activities, the News International reported Sunday.

with thanks : Hindustan times : link in headline above for detailed news.


Sat Guru Nanak Pargateya.......Miti Dhund Jag Chanan Hoya.

Guru Nanak dev ji de prakash purab di lakh lakh wadhai hove ji......


Saturday, November 20, 2010

President Obama honors Guru Nanak Dev Ji

On Sunday, many around the world will observe the anniversary of birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of sikhism. I send my best wishes to all those observing this extraordinary occasion.

This is also an opportunity to recognize the many contributions that Sikh Americans have made to our nation, and to reflect on the pluralism that is a hallmark of America.

with thanks : latimesblogs : link in headline above for detailed news.


Sikh pilgrims' tents in Pakistan catches fire; no casualties

Islamabad, Nov 20 (IANS) At least 20 tents of Sikh pilgrims were burnt to ashes in Pakistan's Nankana Sahib city where they had gone to participate in the 542nd birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, a media report said Saturday. No casualties were reported.

'Rescue officials and fire brigade have reached the spot and the situation is under control,' Dunya TV reported adding that there was no loss of life or injury.

Regarding the cause of fire, there were conflicting reports. Some people on the spot said that the 'tents caught fire during the process of cooking food in one of them' while some others claimed that 'children playing with fire-crackers caused the fire'.

with thanks : SIFY : link in headline above for detailed news.


Larger bench may take up Punjab Sikhs' minority status case

New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday indicated that it may refer to the constitution bench the question whether Sikhs in Punjab enjoy minority status in respect of setting up educational institutions and availing related benefits.

The apex court bench of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar said this while hearing the petitions by the Punjab government and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

The state government has challenged a Punjab and Haryana High Court order quashing its notification granting minority status to institutions run by the SGPC.

The high court's Dec 17, 2007 order talked about the definition of 'Sikh' under the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 and its relation with constitutional provisions that protect the rights of minorities to set up their own educational institutions.

The high court held that there was no material to substantiate that Sikhs were non-dominant group in Punjab apprehending deprivation of their rights at the hands of 'dominant' groups that may come to power.

with thanks : SIFY : link in headline above for detailed news.


Gravesend Sikhs move to new Gurdwara

with thanks : BBC : 16 beautiful pics of this new gurudwara can be viewed from the link in headline above.


Friday, November 19, 2010

First turban-wearing Sikh to be UK High Sheriff

London: Resham Singh Sandhu, a prominent Indian-origin multicultural leader selected as the new High Sheriff of Leicestershire.He will be the first turban-wearing Sikh in the UK to hold the office of High Sheriff.
Sandhu, who was awarded the MBE in 2002, migrated to Leicestershire from Punjab 38 years ago.He was a former chairman of Leicester's council of faiths;was commissioned in 2006 as the Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Leicestershire.
He told the media in Leicester."It's a great honour and privilege. This is going to set a good image of Great Britain. People can see that if you really work hard and deserve it, you can become a civic dignitary. It promotes multi-culturalism,"
He added: "My family in Punjab always worked with communities and to help other people. When I came over here I wanted to do the same. I didn't do it because I wanted to be recognised for it I never expected that".
Sandhu will succeed Colonel Robert Martin in either March or April next year and will be expected to attend royal visits and be entitled to act as a returning officer in parliamentary elections.He will wear the same ceremonial uniform for the role of High Sheriff.

Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/first-turban-wearing-sikh-to-be-uk-high-sheriff-66936?cp

Celebration of Gurupurub in Sint -Truiden,Belgium:

Sikhs in Sint Truiden celebrated birth of first Sikh Guru,Sri Guru Nanak Dev on 14th November 2010 .There was a Nagar Kirtan (Religious Procession)in which around 300 Sikhs took part, among them ,approximately,50 were Afghani Sikhs who specially came down from Brussels, where they live as asylum seekers .

Link europesamachar.com.

Courtesy to Lili Van Heers who herself is Belgian & Teacher but fighting for Sikh cause since last so many years. She is also an author of a Book on Sikhism.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spell bound Bhangra Performance of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College,Dev Nagar's Bhangra Team for Chinese Delegation:

Honourable Mr.Amardeep Singh Cheema (Vice Chairman of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan ,Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports), conveys his heartiest thanks to Dr. Man Mohan Kaur,Principal,S.G.N.D.Khalsa college, University of Delhi,Dev Nagar for sending excellent Bhangra team of the college along with Dr.Gurdeep Kaur (Associate Prof.;Department of Political Science & National Service Scheme Programme Officer) for the cultural evening organised by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India to honour Chinese Youth Delegation comprising of 100 young Chinese Youth, research scholars, journalists, environmentalists etc.; visiting Delhi from 16 - 25 November 2010.,under the Youth Exchange Programme.

Chinese Delegation found Bhangra performance very lively & were very enthusiastic about Bhangra Team's colourful & beautigul dress.

This cultural evening took place at National Institute of Agriculture & Science Centre( NASC),International Guest House,Pusa Road on 16th Nov.2010 .It was witnessed by the Secretary; Youth Affairs, Govt. of India, Ambassador of Chinese Embassy in India and many other high ranking officers who applauded Bhangra performance of SGND Khalsa College students. This event gave a good exposure to College students also.

Dr.Gurdeep Kaur
Associate Professor,
Department of Political Science,
National Service Scheme Programme Officer
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College,
University of Delhi,
Dev Nagar,
Delhi 110005

New TSA Screening Guidelines Angers not only Sikh Travelers

with thanks : youtube


First Sikh Police Officer with Turban in Newzealand

with thanks : youtube


Two jailed for life for killing Indian-origin Sikh shopkeeper in London

Two persons have been jailed for life for the "sickeningly violent" murder of an Indian-origin Sikh shopkeeper in Britain, who refused to meekly abandon his property during a robbery eight months ago.

The Bradford Crown court sentenced Muawaz Khalid, 20, and his accomplice Nabeel Shafi, 18, to life in prison for killing Gurmail Singh, 63, for a few pounds, some sweets, alcohol and cigarettes during a raid at his shop in West Yorkshire in February, the Daily Mail reported.

Singh came to England from India in 1963 and raised his family in Huddersfield. He bought the Cowcliffe shop about five years ago.

"This was a most violent and sickening attack by at least two of you on a lone shopkeeper late at night. It is to be regretted that no defendant at any time during the eight-week trial showed the slightest remorse," Justice Henriques was quoted as saying in the court.

The judge said the victim's skull had been shattered into little pieces' by the force of the blows. "One blow would have disabled him, seven blows took his life away. If Gurmail Singh had abandoned his property and money and said 'take what you want boys', he would not have lost his life.

with thanks : DNAINDIA : link in headline above for detailed news.


Avtar Singh Makkar re-elected SGPC chief

The Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex governing body of Sikh shrines across India on Tuesday re-elected Avtar Singh Makkar as its President.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the ruling party of Punjab had backed Makkar for this coveted post.

The elections were held at the Teja Singh Samundari Hall in SGPC Headquarter premises and under the presence of five head priests, who are non-voting members of the SGPC.

Total of 156 votes were cast in the SGPC election out of which Avtar Singh Makkar bagged 133 votes and was duly elected for the sixth time defeating Bhajan Singh who bagged 23 votes.

with thanks : ANI : SIFY : link in headline above for detailed news.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

1984 riots: Witness alleges Delhi police helped rioters

NEW DELHI: A witness in the 1984 anti - sikh riots today alleged before a court, trying senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and others, that the Delhi police virtually helped the rioters during the carnage.

"I was watching from the window that police vans came and on seeing them Sikhs rushed out of hoping they would help. Thereafter, the police vans went away and then after sometime, mobs came and burnt those very houses from where Sikhs came out," Joginder Singh told Additional Sessions Judge Sunita Gupta.

Deposing as seventh witness, Singh identified Kumar's co-accused ex-MLA Mahender Yadav, ex-councillor and Kumar's nephews Balwan Khokar and Kishan Khokar and Captain Bhagmal as those involved in the riots that had followed the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

The 53-year-old witness, whose father-in-law was also killed in the riots, said the mob was led by Khokar brothers and Yadav.

With thanks : Times of India : link in headline above for detailed news.


SGPC members demand Makkar’s resignation

A day ahead of the general house meeting of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Hardeep Singh, a member of the committee on Monday demanded the resignation of the Avtar Singh Makkar. He slammed the SGPC for publication of a book allegedly containing defamatory comments about Sikh gurus.

Addressing press conference today, Hardeep Singh, a SGPC member from Mohali said, “Makkar should bring an apology resolution in tomorrow’s general house of the SGPC.”

He said “baseless and intentionally incorporated” defamatory comments about Sikh gurus in the SGPC publication must be rejected, condemned and termed as anti-Sikh”.

with thanks : IndianExpress : link in headline above for detailed news.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Pics - Keertan Darbar : Sri Guru Nanak Sewak Jatha

Pics of the Keertan Darbar on 15th November, 2010, arranged by Sri Guru Nanak Sewak Jatha, Chand mohalla, Gandhi Nagar, Delhi - 110031.

Sikh students allowed to wear ceremonial dagger to school

Teachers have been advised that up to 2,000 Sikh students in schools across a county should be allowed to wear a ceremonial DAGGER – to SCHOOL.

New guidance issued to head teachers and governing bodies in Bedford states that baptised Sikhs can wear a dagger – or Kirpan – with a blade of up to SIX INCHES.

The dagger, usually worn discreetly beneath clothing, is one of the five ”articles” of faith worn by Sikhs who have gone through the Amrit baptism ceremony.

Members of Bedford’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) agreed the guidance developed by members of the Sikh community on Wednesday.

The advice was issued after parents asked for clarification on the issue and states that there should be no objection to the practice of wearing the five Ks.

These include the Kirpan, a steel bangle (Kara), unshorn hair (Kesh) a comb, (Kanga) and special underwear (Kacha).

with thanks : swns : link in headline for detailed news.


Give one percent of earnings for education: Badal to Sikhs

Chandigarh, Nov 14 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Sunday urged established Sikhs all across the world to contribute one per cent of their earnings to provide free quality education to poor children in the state.

'We have called upon the Sikh intellectuals, representatives of social and religious organisations to jointly chalk out an action plan to impart quality education based on Sikh values to our children, throughout the country, and to establish a fund for this purpose,' he said.

'I also appeal the Sikhs who have established themselves all over the world to contribute only one per cent of their earnings for the cause to provide free quality education to the children of the poor class in Punjab,' Badal added.

A huge number of NRIs from different parts of Punjab are based in the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, the Gulf countries and in various European countries.

with thanks : SIFY : link in headline for detailed news.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sikhs Hold Annual Parade In Queens

with thanks :
Link also in headline above.


Commemoration of Sikh Soldiers in Tyne Cot (Iper,Belgium) on 11th November

In the Belgian town of Ieper (south-west of Belgium),where during four long years of world war, terrible trench wars were fought;there is an arch with the names of fallen soldiers and one can read many times over the name 'Singh'. Every evening the 'Last Post' is played by the bugles but on the 11th November, every year, hundreds of Sikhs from all over Europe; especially from the United Kingdom, come and gather to take part in a special remembrance ceremony on the Tyne Cot Memorial War Cemetery to honour and commemorate the sacrifices of Sikh soldiers who died in both the First and the Second World War.

Lili van Heers(a Belgian citizen & teacher) was very pleased to watch a programme on BBC1 about Sikh heroes during the First War. Since last ten years or so she herself has been trying to inform Belgians about the Sikh religion and the Sikh people. She is of the opinion that 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 and unknown of the fact that quite a number of Sikhs fought and died for them; in those wars for their freedom. Therefore, if Belgian pupils could learn about the Sikh contribution to the freedom of their country at school, they would have more respect for these strange Indians with turbans and maybe the current turban problem in European schools might not be an issue.Lili has beautifully said "After all, the Sikh soldiers fought valiantly with a turban, not a helmet, for a cause that was not even theirs, so why can they not get an education with a turban on their head?"

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sikh parade impresses

My husband and I were blessed to be able to attend, for the first time, the Sikh Parade in Tierra Buena. We had a great time and are already making plans to go next year.

We already thought East Indian folks were great, and this event solidified our feelings. At each of the food booths we visited (and we tried to visit all of them, but our stomachs could not hold any more goodies) we were made to feel welcome. The food was great, and I was thrilled when I found a booth that had saag (creamed spinach).

We did not understand the significance of the street sweepers in front of the first float, but judging by the very soothing chanting of the throng surrounding the float, we guessed it was for making the street holy. We were also impressed by how peaceful the entire event was. We have been spectators at many parades, and without fail, there is some jerk who ruins the fun for many. That was not the case at this event. It was, as one gentleman told me, "a different kind of fun." He made my day.

To the Sikh community, thank you from my family. I am proud we are neighbors. May God bless you.

Jonette Bumgarner


with thanks : appeal-democrat : link in headline above.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sohnijodi Matrimonial - Gursikh Extremely beautiful girl

BA Pol Sc. (hons.), Bed, DOB. 4th Jan. 1989, 5'-8", Extremely Beautiful, Very fair, Slim, 58 Kgs, Religious, Homely, Affectionate. Father - Amritdhari, Gursikh, in property business. Mother a homely lady. Brother in USA doing a good job in a Bank. Pic of the girl can be mailed after getting your detailed profile with pics. plz log on to www.sohnijodi.com/sikhg.htm

£15 million Sikh Temple to open next week

One of the biggest Sikh Temples outside of India is to officially open next week, after a multi-million pound project taking almost a decade to complete.

Members of the current Siri Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Clarence Place, Gravesend, will vacate the site on Thursday as a massive procession is expected to herald the completion of the new temple, off Khalsa Avenue.

Temple secretary Narinderjit Singh, 58, said the date had been chosen as it coincides with the birthday of the founder of Sikhism, Siri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

This week, as he oversaw the finishing touches to the interior of the building, he said: “This will be one of the, if not the, biggest Sikh temple outside of India. It is a fantastic time in Gravesham’s history and something for the whole community to treasure.

“We are immensely proud of what we have achieved with the help of the entire community. There are more than 12,000 Sikhs in Gravesend, a large part of the population. It has been a long time from start to finish but you must agree it is magnificent.”

with thanks : gravesendreporter : link in headline above for detailed news.


www.sohnijodi.com www.sikhsindia.blogspot.com www.RWABhagidari.blogspot.com

Amidst dance and music, Sikhs crown new "Mr. Singh"

First runner-up Jasjit Singh from Mumbai (left) and second runner-up Dilmeet Singh from Delhi flank winner Gurneet Singh from Delhi.

with thanks : sikhnet : link in headline for detailed news & more pics.


Amarjit Singh conferred with 'Sikh of the Year 2010' Award

LONDON: Additional Solicitor General Amarjit Singh chandhiok has been conferred with the prestigious 'Sikh of the Year 2010' Award for his outstanding achievement in his profession and for the betterment of society.

Britain's Secretary of State for the Home Department Theresa May presented the award instituted by the Sikh Forum International to Chandhiok last night at The Great Hall of Lincoln's Inn in the presence of an august gathering including Lord Swraj Paul, Lord Khalid Hameed and Sir Mota Singh QC.

The previous recipients included Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Listing Chandhiok's achievements, the citation said "a significant dimension to Chandhiok's profile is his ability to find time for being a humanitarian. He takes special interest in environmental protection, and care of elders in the society. He has rendered immense help in organising blood donations, arranging special treatments for the lower strata of the society by providing means to run charitable clinics.

With thanks : Tims of india : link in headline above for detailed news.


Army gets first Sikh enlisted soldier since 1980s

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The first Sikh to become an enlisted U.S. Army soldier in nearly three decades said Wednesday he's eager to move on to training as a combat medic and defend his new homeland on the battlefield.

"When the bullets begin flying, it doesn't concern anyone what religion you are. I bleed the same color," said Spec. Simran Lamba, 26, after his graduation ceremony from basic combat training.

Sikhism, a 500-year-old religion founded in India, requires its male followers to wear a turban and beard and keep their hair uncut. Army policies since 1984 had effectively prevented Sikhs from enlisting by barring those items. But Lamba was granted a rare exception because he has skills the Army wants - the Indian languages Hindi and Punjabi.

Before him, two Sikhs joined the Army as medical officers earlier this year. But Lamba is the first enlisted man since the policy barring religious articles of clothing.

Lamba said his black turban, full beard, unshorn hair and religious beliefs posed no problems during his 10 weeks of training.

"I am proud to be a Sikh, I'm proud to be a U.S. citizen, and proud to be a U.S. Army soldier," he said.

During training, he wore a camouflage turban under his Kevlar helmet. He used petroleum jelly to get a tight grip between his beard and gas mask, and was able to keep his hair clean under all conditions, meeting all the military's concerns about training and appearance.

And besides, the Sikhs were founded as a warrior group who were meant to fight against injustice and inequality, Lamba said, so adopting Army values were an easy fit for him.

"The Sikhs are warriors in Indian culture. Once our soldiers heard that, they were all for him," said Lamba's battalion commander, Lt. Col. Bryan Hernandez.

"It's going to be a good thing for our Army and our nation" to have Lamba in the service, Hernandez said. Lamba said he was treated like any other soldier.

The Army installation went to great lengths to educate his fellow soldiers, his commanders and anyone who would come in contact with him in order to make the transition go smoothly, said Maj. Gen. James Milano, Fort Jackson's commander.

"He met all requirements, he went through the training just like everyone else," said Milano.

Two hours before the graduation, Lamba also took his oath of citizenship along with a dozen other soldiers.

The native of New Delhi, India, was granted the honor of carrying a red-white-and-blue unit color flag as the 450 new soldiers paraded in a salute before 3,000 friends and family gathered in the stands.

Donning a uniform allowed him to fulfill a childhood dream of entering the military, Lamba said.

He came to the United States to get a master's degree in industrial engineering at New York University, and thought about enlisting and getting his citizenship. He did some research, and found that the Army's special forces units were allowed to wear beards, so it occurred to him that he might be able to enter the service. Also, he'd read about a Sikh dentist and a Sikh physician who'd entered the Army recently, and he sought their guidance.

"I thought, why not fight for this country? It doesn't matter that I wasn't born here," Lamba said.

After enlisting, it took a 10-month Army review before the service granted him a waiver.

Lamba got some mentoring in advance of taking his big step, said Capt. Kamal Kalsi, a fellow Sikh and emergency room physician now based at Fort Bragg, N.C., who entered the Army in June.

with thanks : lakewyliepilot.com : link in headline above for complete story.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Keertan Darbar at Chaand Muhalla, Gandhi nagar, Delhi


WASHINGTON NEWS: US Sikhs Decry Turban Screening At Airports

W­AS­H­INGTO­­N: Si­kh ad­v­o­c­ac­y gro­up­s i­n­ t­he US hav­e-d­eman­d­ed­ st­o­p­ t­o­ t­he sc­reen­i­n­g o­f t­urban­s at­ a­i­r­por­ts­, a­r­gui­n­g t­he­ a­ddi­t­i­on­a­l se­a­r­ch of t­he­i­r­ r­e­li­gi­ous he­a­dwe­a­r­ i­s n­ot­ r­e­qui­r­e­d a­s t­he­ t­r­a­v­e­lle­r­s pa­ss t­hr­ough full-body sca­n­n­e­r­s.

Si­kh or­gan­­i­sati­on­­s have sai­d f­eder­al tr­an­­spor­tati­on­­ of­f­i­ci­als plan­­ to alway­s sear­ch tu­r­b­an­­s at ai­r­por­t scr­een­­i­n­­g stati­on­­s even­­ i­f­ wear­er­s pass thr­ou­gh the state-of­-the-ar­t b­ody­ i­magi­n­­g scan­­n­­er­s.

T­he gro­­ups are c­alli­ng o­­n t­hei­r c­o­­nst­i­t­uent­s t­o­­ lo­­bby­ t­he C­o­­ngress and t­he T­r­an­spor­t­at­ion­ Sec­ur­it­y­ Ad­m­in­ist­r­at­ion­ (T­SA) to­­ o­­ver turn wha­t hey­ s­a­i­d­ wa­s­ a­n “unjus­t p­o­­li­cy­”, the New Y­o­­rk­ Ti­mes­ rep­o­­rted­.

Of­f­icial­s f­r­om­ th­e Sikh­ Coal­ition­ U­n­ited Sikh­s an­d th­e Sikh­ Am­er­ican­ L­egal­ Def­en­se an­d Edu­cation­ F­u­n­d said on­ F­r­iday­ th­ey­ m­et w­ith­ r­epr­esen­tatives of­ th­e Depar­tm­en­t of­ H­om­el­an­d Secu­r­ity­ an­d th­e TSA sever­al­ w­eeks ago.

”Al­l­ o­­f u­s jo­­i­ntl­y­ fe­e­l­ the­r­e­ ar­e­ de­fi­ni­te­l­y­ so­­me­ e­l­e­me­nts o­­f r­ac­i­al­ pr­o­­fi­l­i­ng he­r­e­,” sai­d Jasji­t Si­ngh, asso­­c­i­ate­ di­r­e­c­to­­r­ o­­f the­ Leg­al D­efens­e Fund­, a civil­ righ­ts gro­u­p­.

Ha­nsdeep Sing­h, a­ senior­ st­a­f­f­ la­w­y­er­ f­or­ t­he New­ Y­or­k­­ ba­sed Unit­ed Sik­hs, sa­id t­he m­­eet­ing­ in W­a­shing­t­on w­a­s a­r­r­a­ng­ed t­o hea­r­ a­bout­ how­ new­ “a­dva­nced im­­a­g­ing­ t­echnolog­y­” sca­nner­s w­ould a­f­f­ect­ Sik­hs. T­hey­ ha­d hoped t­he devices w­ould elim­­ina­t­e t­he need f­or­ ext­r­a­ scr­eening­ t­ha­t­ t­hey­ sa­y­ t­hey­ w­er­e subject­ed t­o a­t­ a­ir­por­t­s.

B­ut th­e co­m­m­unity rep­res­entatives­ s­aid­ th­ey were to­ld­ th­at th­e turb­ans­ wo­uld­ b­e treat­ed­ “as­ a p­er s­e ano­m­aly”, S­ingh­ s­aid­. Th­ey s­aid­ TS­A o­fficials­ d­eclined­ to­ tell th­em­ wh­eth­er th­e s­canner was­ incap­ab­le o­f s­eeing th­ro­ugh­ a turb­an, wh­ich­ typ­ically h­ad­ layers­ o­f fab­ric.

The­ adv­oc­ac­y­ grou­p­s m­e­t wi­th offi­c­e­r for c­i­v­i­l­ ri­ghts an­d c­i­v­i­l­ l­i­be­rti­e­s M­arg­o Sc­hlan­g­e­r at­ t­h­e­ Dep­a­rtm­ent o­f­ H­o­m­el­a­nd Secu­rity­ an­­d spe­c­i­al­ c­oun­­se­l­l­or t­o t­he­ T­SA admi­n­­i­st­rat­or Kimberly­ Wa­lton­­ th­e­ N­­e­w­ York­ Time­s said. .

Mo­­re than 300 bo­­dy­ s­c­anners­ hav­e been ins­talled at 65 airpo­­rts­ in the US­, ac­c­o­­rding­ to­­ the TS­A webs­ite. An additio­­nal 450 s­c­anners­ are s­et to­­ be ins­talled by­ next y­ear.

TS­A s­po­kes­w­o­m­an S­terl­i­n­g P­ayn­e sa­i­d­: “Remova­l­ of a­l­l­ hea­d­wea­r i­s recommen­­d­ed­, bu­t the ru­l­es a­ccommod­a­te those wi­th rel­i­gi­ou­s, med­i­ca­l­ or other rea­son­­s, for whi­ch ‘the p­a­ssen­­ger wi­shes n­­ot to remove the i­tem.”

“If­ th­e o­­f­f­icer canno­­t reas­o­­nab­ly determine th­at th­e clo­­th­ing o­­r h­ead co­­v­ering is­ f­ree o­­f­ a th­reat item, indiv­iduals­ will b­e ref­erred f­o­­r additio­­nal s­creening,” s­h­e s­aid.

S­O­URCE-HT : taken from : punjabnews.org


I will visit Golden Temple next time: Obama

He may have missed visiting the Golden Temple this time, but US President Barack Obama has assured that he will do so on his next trip to India.

Obama told this to Shiromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal during the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence in New Delhi Sunday evening.

According to Badal, Obama said he would visit the Golden Temple in Punjab the next time he comes to India.

with thanks : thaindian : link in headline for detailed news.


But Prez strikes right notes on turbans, Golden Temple

US President Barack Obama has promised to have a close look at the issue of disrespect shown to Sikh religious symbols like the turban during security check up and will find some way to ensure that religious sentiments of the community as well as security concerns of the US officials were taken care of.

The President said this to SAD member of Parliament Harsimrat Kaur Badal at the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday.

with thanks : IndianExpress : link in headline for detailed news.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Sohnijodi - A Sikh web portal

Sohnijodi - A sikh web portal with almost ONE LAKH hits per month is a complete Sikh portal with details on Sikhism, Gurdwara pics, Vids of various Historical Gurdwaras & a lot more. With over TEN THOUSAND visits in October, it is a fast upcoming Sikh web Portal. Matrimonial section on this web portal was not in operation for the last few months. It is being revived again & now you can add your matrimonial profile at a very very nominal price i.e. just to cover the costs of the portal. Please log on to the Sikh web portal www.sohnijodi.com. You can also Advertise on this Web Portal at a very nominal cost.

With best regards


Raise headgear issue with Obama, Sukhbir Badal urges PM

Chandigarh, Nov 7 (IANS) Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Sunday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up with visiting President Barack Obama the frisking of headgear of all turban-wearing individuals, including Sikhs, during airport checks in the US.

The US federal transportation agency recently issued directions for the mandatory searching of the headgear during airport security checks.

'Sukhbir Singh Badal has urged the prime minister to take up this matter with the US president Barack Obama. The prime minister is himself a Sikh and understands the sensitivity of this whole issue,' the state government spokesperson said.

'Wearing a turban is an integral part of the Sikh religion. Such guidelines making the frisking of turbans necessary, will interfere with Sikh principles and hurt the psyche of Sikhs. Such orders should be immediately withdrawn,' the spokesman added.

with thanks : SIFY : link in headline above for detailed news.


Sikhs disappointed, Obama told

CHANDIGARH: The cancellation of US president Barack Obama's visit to Amritsar came as a disappointment to the Sikh community, especially in the wake of speculations that he had been advised against wearing a headgear, which could give an impression of his being a Muslim. The community, which was hoping that his visit may help dispel that very confusion about Sikhs being mistaken for Muslims, and thus being made victims of racial profiling, had expressed its disappointment through various forums. On Sunday, a Punjab MP did manage to convey the sentiments directly to the US president..........................................................................................

The Akali MP, who, during the dinner, happened to be sharing the table with US ambassador to India, Timothy J Roemer, along with Montek Singh Ahluwalia, also managed to convey Sikhs' sentiments on the "humiliation and embarrassment at being asked to remove turbans at US airports for security checks".

With thanks : Times of India : link in headline above for detailed news.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

City of Golden Temple celebrates Diwali

AMRITSAR: Diwali was celebrated with great religious fervor in the holy city of Amritsar. Thousands of devotees thronged at Golden Temple for a holy dip in the sarovar. The holiest of holy shrine of Sikhs was tasefully decorated with colorful lights.

On the occasion , Jathedar of Akal Takht Giani Gurbachan Singh , in a message to Sikh panth, cautioned to keep an eye on elements that were bent upon brining disgrace to rich Sikh values and creating unwarranted controversies implicating not only the Sikh religious institutions but also Sikh guru's. He said Sikhs had been successful in establishing their distinct identity in the world in small span of time .

With thanks : timesofindia : link in headline above for detailed news.


Sikh devotees hold Prayer at Indo-Pak border

DERA BABA NANAK: To get the free corridor from border town of Dera Baba Nanak to Gurdwara Kartar Pur Sahib in Pakistan, hundreds of devotees under the banner of Kartarpur sahib Ravi Darshan abhilashi Santha, organized its 117th monthly prayer at International border Indo Pak border here Saturday.

Earlier, Sikh devoteesled by Jathedar Kuldip Singh Wadala gathered at Gurudwara Darbar Sahib where from they reached at Indo Pak International border and offered their prayer urging the governments of both countries to provide corridor.

It is worth mentioning Guru Nanak Dev stayed at Dera Baba Nanak nearly 18 years and departed for his heavenly adobe at Katrarpur in Pakistan where a gurudwara was constructed and it went to Pakistan during the partition in 1947.

The prominent among Jasvir Singh Zafarwal , Gurinder Singh Bajwa, Avtar Singh USA and Kulbir Singh Sandhu.

with thanks : Punjabnewsline : link in headline.


Diwali with a difference : Sd. B S Kohli ji, Navi Mumbai

Sd. B S Kohli, Navi Mumbai, Celebrating Diwali with Orphan / Disowned / Handicap childrens on 31st October at Chembur, Navi Mumbai.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

J&K: Uniformed Men Swoop on 2 Sikh Villages

Coinciding with President Barack Obama's visit to India, two incidents of uniformed gunmen descending on Sikh hamlets have taken place in the Kashmir Valley, sending jitters among some members of the community.

The Sikhs are apprehensive, fearing a repeat of massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chattisinghpora village in March 2000, when then US President Bill Clinton was on a visit to India.

Uniformed personnel, travelling in a civilian vehicle, last night knocked on the doors of residents of predominantly Sikh-inhabited Hutmura village, 65 kms from here, in Anantnag district, raising concerns among the minority community.

A police spokesman said there was a "misunderstanding" created by a patrol of security forces in Hutmura village which was later sorted out by the intervention of senior civil administration and police officials.

with thanks : outlook : link in headline above for detailed news.


COMMUNITY ALERT: Turbans to Always be Searched at Nation’s Airports

UNITED SIKHS November 5, 2010
19th Katik (Samvat 542 Nanakshahi)
Press Release

COMMUNITY ALERT: Turbans to Always be Searched at Nation’s Airports

Sikh Organizations Coordinating Joint Action

WASHINGTON, DC: Early last month, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials told representatives of UNITED SIKHS, the Sikh Coalition, and the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) that Sikhs should now expect turbans to always be searched at American airports.

While procedures which allow Sikhs to pat down their own turbans and have their hands swabbed by a TSA screener shall remain in place, what has changed is that Sikhs must go through an additional hand wand scan of the turban as an extra screening procedure 100% of the time. This is true for Sikh travelers who voluntarily choose to be screened by going through the new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines. The AIT machines (otherwise known as whole body imaging machines) are being placed in airports nationwide over the coming years.

UNITED SIKHS, Sikh Coalition, and SALDEF oppose this policy and question its necessity. Targeting turbans for additional scrutiny sends a message to other passengers that Sikhs and their articles of faith are to be viewed with suspicion by fellow travelers. The policy is a serious infringement on our civil rights and liberties.

What to Expect at the Airport

Air travel checkpoints in the United States employ different screening technologies.

While most checkpoints only have metal detectors, many airports are now installing AIT machines. The AIT machines are new whole body imaging devices that will be installed in every airport in the United States over the coming years.

According to the TSA, regardless of whether a Sikh clears the metal detector or the new AIT machines, they will still have to go through an additional procedure in which their turban will be checked for non-metallic items. During this second screening procedure, a Sikh will have a choice of either:

  1. a pat-down of their turban by a TSA screener;
  2. patting down their own turban and having their hand swabbed for traces of chemical explosives; or
  3. requesting a private screening (in a room outside of public view) of their turban.

In addition, after this extra screening of the turban, a third screening procedure (under AIT screening policies) will subject Sikhs to a metal detecting wand that will be scanned over the turban.

Please remember, that under current procedures, a Sikh can always ask that they pat down their own turban rather than have a screener pat it down.

If a Sikh traveler opts out of the AIT screening, they will immediately be subjected to a full body (rigorous) pat-down by a TSA official plus a hand wand screening. If you are asked to undergo a full-body pat down, you have the right to ask for this screening to occur in a private room or other setting away from the rest of the traveling public.

The TSA’s Rationale

The TSA says that because a turban is “non form-fitting,” it is more capable of concealing dangerous items than other forms of clothing. The TSA also says that its new AIT machines cannot see through the folds of a turban to determine if it is concealing a dangerous item.

Our organizations vigorously question these rationales. First, the Department of Homeland Security’s own website states that the AIT machines are capable of screening threat items “concealed under layers of clothing.” Second, on Christmas Day 2009, a person was able to smuggle explosives onto a plane headed to the United States in his undergarments. If explosives can be concealed in undergarments, all garments should be targeted for extra scrutiny, not just turbans.

Going Forward

Each one of our organizations will continue to oppose this unjust policy. We will call upon Sikhs in the coming weeks to communicate directly with the TSA and their members of Congress.

Each one of our organizations are also aware that the Sikh American community is as invested in the national security of the United States as any other community.

Nevertheless, the TSA cannot target turbans for extra scrutiny without cause. We will continue to vigorously question the necessity of this policy given the weak rationales presented for it.

Coordination Amongst Sikh Organizations

Our three organizations would like the community and government to know that it is our intention to work together to combat unlawful profiling of Sikhs by the TSA. We will jointly strategize and communicate with both the government and the Sikh community about our work on this issue.