Saturday, January 29, 2011

Which is more important: Sikh Women Safety or Sikh Religious Code of Conduct?

Please comment your views regarding this major controversial issue..

Delhi Government's decision to enforce wearing of helmets by women driving or riding pillion on a two-wheeler could snowball into a controversy again.While the government is exploring ways to make necessary changes in rules to make helmets compulsory for women, leaders of Sikh organisations said they would oppose any such move tooth and nail.

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee president Pramajit Singh Sarna said,"Wearing any headgear by women is prohibited in our religion, even if it is a helmet.We'll oppose any such move of the government.It has been more than 50 years since two-wheelers started plying in our country.I have not heard of women falling off scooters and dying because they were not wearing helmets".

While Traffic experts believe fatalities would come down drastically if women drivers and riders start wearing helmets.International road Federation chairman KK Kapila said,"I think Sikh organisations should be convinced by showing them statistics".

The proposal to make helmets mandatory for women had turned into a major controversy in the late 1990s too. While the Central Motor Vehicles Act had made it compulsory for anyone riding a two-wheeler to wear a protection on head, but exception were made to Sikh men wearing turbans.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sikh man 'cannot become guard because of beard'









A Sikh man cannot become a prison guard as his beard means he cannot be fitted for a statutory issue gas mask, California's Attorney General has argued.

Kamala Harris said religious beliefs were not enough to overcome a corrections department ban on beards.

She argued in a court filing on January 6 that Trilochan Oberoi could not be properly fitted for a gask mask if he kept the facial hair required by his religion.

with thanks : : link above for detailed news.


NSO campaign to stop harassment of Sikhs in Poland; Legal precedent set in Polish Border Guard case.

London: January 22nd 2011; In August 2010 the NSO launched a campaign following a terse plea from Shammi Puri, a Gursikh geophysicist working with the UN in Poland. In 2010 the Polish Border on grounds of security began a policy of asking Sikhs to remove their turbans and place them on the conveyor for inspection. With the help of UK gurdwaras and other Sikh organisations, the NSO took advantage of a Prime Minister led Polish trade delegation to India to get the Indian government to criticise the Polish behaviour. External affairs minister Preneet Kaur outraged by the behaviour of the Polish authorities towards her fellow Sikhs made her feelings known to the Polish Prime Minister in no uncertain terms, leading to the Polish authorities grudgingly halting their harassment of Sikh visitors to Poland.

The present position is that while the insulting requirement for Sikhs to remove their turban has been temporally suspended, there has been no change in the rules, and the requirement. could be quietly re-introduced at any time. An indication of bad faith is that The Polish Border Guards are prosecuting Mr Puri for earlier impeding them in their duty. Mr Puri in response has reluctantly taken out a counter claim alleging undue harassment by the Polish Border Guards. The two cases poignantly highlight the difficulties Sikhs are facing in airports across Europe in a post 9/11 era.

On 12th January 2011, In the first substantial hearing of the counter action brought by Mr Puri, evidence was heard from 10 officers of the Border Guards who on their own admission were familiar with the claimant but insisting that they were doing their duty. The next Hearing has been listed for the 16th March 2011.

Shammi told the NSO that despite the ensuing legal proceedings, on a flight earlier this week from Warsaw to London, he was again targeted and searched, furthermore he was checked in a “puffer machine” and the machine detected the presence of some “forbidden substances” He was later to be vindicated by the Border Guard, following the use of a second screening machine, which highlighted the first had malfunctioned. Shammi informed the NSO that he felt this recent incident had added to the toll the legal action was taking. He feels it may have been designed to intimidate him deliberately in the middle of a trial.

Dr Indarjit Singh, Director NSO comments:

“Shammi Puri and Sikhs travelling to Poland and other parts of Europe deserve the full support of UK Sikhs. The NSO is already helping with the cost of the action in Poland . We appeal to other UK Sikh organisations and individuals to pledge their financial support to help us meet this challenge to Sikh identity.”

 Published in:

Malaysian Sikh sets record for longest stint as TV news presenter

Kuala Lumpur, Jan 26: A Malaysian Sikh has set a new record as the ‘longest serving television news presenter’ after working 38-years with RTM.

Harjit Singh Hullon, 57, who said that it has always been his dream to appear on television, was awarded the title by the Malaysia Book of Records on January 25.

"Ever since the first time I tuned in to the radio, I knew I wanted my voice to be heard too," the Star Online quoted him as saying.

And what he liked most about the honour is that he did not break an existing record, but created a new one.
"It will not be an easy record to break," Hullon who joined RTM as a radio deejay in 1972, said.

The bilingual newscaster, known for his flawless Bahasa Malaysia and English, won the inaugural Infor­mation Minister’s Special Award at the Angkasapuri Awards presentation ceremony in 2006.

Hullon will be retiring this year but the father of two has no plans of sitting back and relaxing, saying that he wants to give back to the company that made him who he is today.

As a regular and familiar face to viewers of RTM as well as being the only Sikh newscaster on the channel, Hullon said his friends have given another meaning to the acronym ‘RTM’.

"My friends say it stands for ‘Regular Turbanned Man’," he joked.

On his loyalty to RTM, Harjit said he never thought of leaving the government broadcaster despite receiving offers from rival companies.

"Looking back, I know I made the right choice," he added.

with thanks : SIKHSANGAT

Akal Takht Jatehdar asks Indian PM to take up removal of Sikh's turban with Italian govt

AMRITSAR: Jatehdar Akal Takht Gyani Gurbachan Singh in a letter to Prime Minister Dr. Manomhan Singh Thursday asked him to break his silence over the Turban issue of German based Sikh who wase humiliated at airport of Italy when his turban was forcibly removed.
A German based NRI and president of Gurdwara (Sikh shrine) Berlin in Germany Jaswinder Singh Dhaliwal in a complaint to Jatehdar stated that a few days back, he was humiliated in a very bad manner at Malpensa (Milaan) airport of Italy when his turban was forcibly removed on the pretext of security frisking.
Jatehdar said that when the turban of Jaswinder Singh was being removed at Italy’s airport, at that time Italian Airport Authority was asked to contact the Indian consulate which also remained failed to convince the Italian Airport security due to lack of awareness of Turban in Sikh community.
Jatehdar asked  Prime Minister said to raise such a sensitive issue with Italian Government at the earliest possible, since the sentiments of Sikh community across the globe were hurt by and large with this incident.
Adding further Jatehdar said that Turban was the essential and inseparable symbol of Sikhism as per the Sikh tenets. He said that to remove the turban of baptized Sikh at any airport of the world mean to show humiliation to Sikhism.
with thanks : punjabnewsline : link above for detailed news.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sikh leaders meet Sonia Gandhi

JALANDHAR: A delegation of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee and SAD (Delhi), led by president Paramjit Singh Sarna met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Tuesday to raise issues, including the Anand Marriage Act, granting of citizenship to Hindu and Sikh migrants from Afghanistan and the matter of blacklisted Sikhs.

The issue of the constitution of a separate Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC) was also taken up with her. "We told her that this was a poll promise of the Congress to the Sikhs of Haryana and if the party wanted to keep them with it, the promise would have to be fulfilled," Sarna told The Times of India. 

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


Sikh shrine in Baghdad lives on in memories

A desolate courtyard surrounded by fields of mournful graves is all that remains of an ancient shrine to the Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak inside a sprawling Muslim cemetery in Baghdad.

War, insurgents or looters have wiped any trace of a historical footnote that had preserved the memory of the Indian holy man's 16th-century journey through Arabia and his stay in Baghdad, hailed by Sikhs as an early example of inter-faith dialogue.

"No one visits anymore," lamented Abu Yusef, the lean and bearded Muslim caretaker, standing in the nearly-bare patio where a disorderly stack of broken electric fans and a discarded refrigerator replace the prayer books and articles of Sikh worship that had furnished a shrine whose modesty mirrored the apparent humility of the man it honoured.

"Before the war a few Sikh pilgrims would occasionally arrive," Abu Yusef said, referring to the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled ex-dictator Saddam Hussein and unleashed an unending cycle of violence.

with thanks : SIFY : link above for detailed news.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Flag hoisting ceremony on the eve of Republic Day at Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College

Dr.Man Mohan Kaur(Principal,Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College,University of Delhi,Dev Nagar),hoisted National Flag on the eve of Republic Day celebrations in the College premises.Professor Harmohinder Singh Sarna(Executive Member of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee),Dr.Amardeep Singh Bindra (In- Charge of NCC Wing of the College) and other staff members with their presence boosted young National Cadet Corps (NCC) students of the college who marked the day with Grand March Past .

Monday, January 24, 2011

Plans to include Sikh trainers in NS camps

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 24, 2011): The National Service Training Department is planning to include Sikh trainers in National Service (NS) camps in the future, said department director-general Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil today.
The NS service department has also urged volunteers or NGOs identified by the Malaysian Sikh Union to visit all nine NS camps nationwide to get feedback on problems or complaints by Sikh trainees.

Abdul Hadi said the measures in line with the government’s aim to instill unity and patriotism among trainees of various races and culture.

He also said the initiatives will help prevent a similar incident last week where 17-year-old Sikh trainee Basant Singh woke up at the Sungai Bakap camp in Penang to find his hair snipped off.

The cutting or shaving of hair is one of the four taboos in Sikhism.

Abdul Hadi was speaking in a press conference today after meeting the family of Basant and members of the Union of Perak Sikh Organisation (UPSO) in Wangsa Maju.

The family of Basant and UPSO made no comments on the hair-cutting incident as they are waiting for police to complete investigations.

Abdul Hadi said the parents have been informed that Basant is free to switch camps or defer his national service training although he cannot be exempted from NS.

with thanks : thesundaily : link above for detailed news.

'No determination on diplomatic immunity for Nath'

The United States has made "no determination" on the question of diplomatic immunity for Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath against the backdrop of the summons issued against him by a US court on a lawsuit alleging his involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The State Department here said that US is looking forward to working with Kamal Nath in his new capacity as the Urban Development Minister. 

with thanks : Hindustan Times : link above for detailed news.

Anti-Sikh riot nails Kamal Nath; NY court summons

New Delhi, Jan 23: Just after a few days that the Urban Development Ministry has been allotted to him, a major set back for Kamal Nath came on his way.

A New York court summoned Kamal Nath in regarding the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and Washington also declined to provide diplomatic immunity to the minister.

A media report stated that a civil lawsuit was filed in a New York court in Apr 2010 alleging his involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in New Delhi.

However, there is no legal case against Kamal Nath in India in connection with the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

with thanks : oneindia : link above for detailed news.


Kamal Nath summoned by US court in 1984 Sikh riots case

Washington, Jan 23
Indian Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath has been summoned by a New York court for a pre-trial conference Feb 9 for his alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
The trial will proceed as the US State Department has declined to intervene in the case due to the seriousness of allegations of human rights violation against Kamal Nath, according to Gurpatwant S. Pannun, legal advisor for Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a US based human rights advocacy group.

After being summoned by the Southern district court of New York Dec 10, 2010, Kamal Nath had sought diplomatic immunity. His request for immunity has now been turned down by the State Department, Pannun said.

In April 2010, SFJ along with two individuals filed a law suit against Kamal Nath under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) & Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) asking the court to order compensatory and punitive damages against the minister.

According to Pannun: "Alien Tort Claims Act of United State, the law under which trial against Kamal Nath will be held is specifically created to provide remedy and forum to victims of genocide to vindicate their complaints."

with thanks : prokerala : link above for detailed news.


Celebrating 5 Years of Aasra Magazine

TIME: 2:30 PM
27100 164th Avenue SE
Covington, WA 98042
The Sikh community is one of the fastest growing communities in King County. Sikhism's faith-based traditions and teachings are associated with the history, society and culture inspired by their holy book the Guru Granth Sahib. You must have seen Sikh men with turbans and beards; find out the meaning behind this tradition. Learn about the Sikh religion and culture. Their music. Participate in the Poetry Reading. Enjoy refreshments and ask any question you may have in a relaxed atmosphere. Brought to you by Aasra Magazine- Connecting Communities and KCLS. For information please Email or call 206-550-3154

Saturday, January 22, 2011

SLUMDOG SIKHS : Join our Facebook Group

Please join our SikhsIndia Facebook account group : SLUMDOG SIKHS. Come, let's do something for the downtrodden sikhs.

Best Regards

B S Vohra

Four follower of Sacha Sauda appear at Akal Takht, returns to Sikh religion

AMRITSAR: Jatehdar Akal Takht (highest Sikh temporal seat) Gyani Gurbachan Singh here Wednesday stated that four followers of Dera Saucha Sauda sect  snapped their ties with the dera and returned into Sikh fold as they appeared at Akal Takht with request to pardon them.

The four who entered in Sikh fold were Jaswinder Singh, Harnek Singh, Baljit Singh and Jaswinder Singh. They told the Jathedar that they were misled by the sect of Dera Sacha Sauda and now realized their blunder, said Jatehdar.

Jatehdar said that all the four have made commitment that they would follow the Sikh rituals with letter and spirit and would never look back to Sacha Sauda sect.

Jatehdar said that it would give good message to the society, with this development more and more people would snap ties from Sacha Sauda sect.
with thanks : punjabnewsline

Sikhs' bravery in world wars

AMRITSAR: To remember the forgotten Sikh soldiers and make the world aware of their heroic deeds in 'Sikhi Saroop' (complete Sikh appearance), Birmingham-based film-maker Jay Singh Sohal officially released his documentary movie 'Sikhs at War' on the net on Thursday.

The film recalls the forgotten Indian Sikhs who had fought the world wars for the British Empire in the name of king and country they had never seen.

Earlier, the movie was screened in the British Parliament in December.

More than 1,00,000 Sikhs had participated in these wars. Sikhs comprised 20% of the British Indian army in action, despite being only 2% of the Indian population.

with thanks : times of india : link above for detailed news.


Thursday, January 20, 2011


Hope you have viewed the Video uploaded by us a few days ago. We will visit this Sikh Village very soon. We will accompany a few members of DSGMC as well SGPC. Please confirm if you wanna join us, so that the date & timings could be intimated.

With best regards

B S Vohra

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Punjabi University to publish literature on Sikh gurus, martyrs

Punjabi University will publish literature on the lives and contribution of Sikh gurus and martyrs of the 18th century. Vice-Chancellor Dr Jaspal Singh said this while presiding over a two-day national seminar on “Baba Banda Singh Bahadur: Achievements and Place in History”, organised by the university’s Department of Punjab Historical Studies on Tuesday. 

with thanks : Indian Express : link above for detailed news.

Sikh group barred from legislature over kirpans

QUEBEC CITY — Hearings into the accommodation of minority groups were disrupted Tuesday when security agents refused to accommodate four Sikh officials who refused to turn in their ceremonial daggers.

The representatives of the World Sikh Organization of Canada were denied access to the Quebec legislature for a scheduled presentation before a committee examining Bill 94.

The draft legislation sets out rules for accommodating minority groups in government. Much of the attention has centred around a proposed government ban on serving or hiring women who insist on wearing Islamic face coverings. But there has also been tension in the past over the Sikh dagger, known as the kirpan.

A Montreal school board’s decision to ban the kirpan on school grounds made it all the way to the Supreme Court in 2006. The high court ruled unanimously that schools have the right to impose conditions on students wearing the Sikh religious symbol but that a blanket ban on the daggers infringes fundamental religious freedom.

with thanks : torontosun : link above for detailed news.

Calendar row: Jathedar slams Vedanti for airing views, spreading doubt

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh today said his predecessor Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti should show restraint on the subject of Nanakshahi Calendar. Gurbachan Singh took exception to Vedanti’s remarks about the calendar made on Monday. 

The Jathedar said Vedanti himself had been on the supreme ‘temporal seat of Sikhs’ for long and must be well-versed in the Sikh Maryada (code of conduct) and should abide by the same. 

In a written statement issued here, Jathedar Gurbachan Singh said Jathedar Vedanti had violated the Maryada by releasing the Calendar in defiance of the Takht, which does not behove him. “You had been on the post for eight long years and know about the Sikh Maryada,” wrote Jathedar Gurbachan Singh, adding that no arbitrary ‘amendments’ were made in the calendar, only some ‘improvements’ were made as per the wishes of the Sikh Sangat. 

with thanks : IndianExpress : link above for detailed news.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"No proof hair was cut by fellow trainees"

PUTRAJAYA (Jan 18, 2011): Preliminary investigation has shown there was no proof that the unshorn hair of a Sikh trainee has been cut by his fellow trainees in the Sungai Bakap camp in Kedah on Sunday.

However, National Service Training Department (JLKN) director-general Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil said the case was now under the second phase of investigation by the department.

"The camp commandant in his investigation has tried to locate the hair that was said to have been cut but the trainee could not provide it.

"He has also investigated the dorm where the trainee has been staying but could not find any traces of hair, or scissors, or knives there," he told a press conference here today.
with thanks : thesundaily : link above for detailed news.


Please view the attached video. We hope you will join us to serve the community.  Reply as well your valued comments are being awaited !

B S Vohra
Available on : Facebook   Twitter   Youtube

Dera clash: Sikh leaders meet injured

Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, along with preacher Baljit Singh Daduwal, visited Faridkot on Monday to meet the activists — who were injured in a clash with the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda — near Sadhanwala village on Sunday. 

The two leaders held a meeting at the local gurdwara. Jathedar Nandgarh slammed the state government for showering patronage on the deras. “Because of the current regime, the deras are prospering in Punjab. This is evident from the fact that the police, instead of taking action against the dera followers, prefer to sit quietly,” he said. 

with thanks : Indian Express : link above for detailed news.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tension in Punjab district after clash

Faridkot (Punjab) , Jan 16 (IANS) Tension prevailed in this Punjab district Sunday after followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect clashed with some members of Sikh community, police said.

According to police, some followers of the Haryana-based Sacha Sauda indulged in heated arguments with members of the Sikh community over a religious issue here Sunday afternoon. This was followed by minor clash between the members of two groups.

with thanks : sify : link above for detailed news.


Mass cheek swabbing takes over Sikh temple


Hundreds of people in Edmonton's south Asian community answered the call to help a 13-year-old boy battle a rare form of leukemia Sunday, doing a simple test to see if they are a match for a bone marrow transplant.

A mass cheek swabbing event took over the Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha in Mill Woods, with the hope someone will prove a viable donor for Brampton Ontario's Noor Deol. An operation is the best bet for the teenager because a chromosome abnormality makes for high chances of the cancer returning, even if he enters remission.

The challenge is his community make up only 2.6 per cent of Canada's stem cell registry. Since those with shared ethnicity have the highest chance of proving a match, his family is rallying to the cause, asking healthy individuals between the ages of 17 to 50 to come out and get tested.

"What we need to do is get more people involved," argued Noor's uncle Raminder Gill, who organized the Edmonton event.

"You can't expect them to come to your fight - you have to bring it to them sometimes…One thing with our community, there's a lack of knowledge of the situation, but once you bring it out there they're more than willing to come out."

The clinic was organized after 2,300 Canadians of South Asians descent turned out to a December cheek swabbing event in Toronto, with none proving a match.

At least 500 people turned out on Sunday, hoping there is strength in numbers.

"If it saves someone's life, why not do it?" argued Ravi Sangh. "I'm a Sikh, I should be helping the community and the people, right? It's my responsibility… I'm going to tell my friends and they're going to tell their friends."

with thanks : edmonton : link above for detailed news.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sikh devotees take holy dip on 'Maghi Mela'

Muktsar :

Braving winter chill, a large number of devotees today took a holy dip in the 'sarovars' of the various Gurdwaras in and around the town on the occasion of Maghi Mela. 

Maghi is observed in the memory of the 40 'Muktas' (the redeemed ones) who sacrificed their lives while fighting the Mughals in the last battle of the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh in 1705. According to the legend, the Guru personally cremated the martyrs on the day following the festival of Lohri. 

Despite the biting cold, devotees came in droves from Punjab and neighbouring areas, including Haryana and Rajasthan, to pay obeisance at Gurdwaras here. 

with thanks : Indian Express : link above for detailed news.

Sarna's new muse: 111 verses of Zafarnama in English

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Diplomat-author Navtej Sarna has always felt a creative kinship with exiles. This time round, he has penned an English translation of Zafarnama - 111 spiritually resonant Persian verses of impassioned plea for justice composed by Guru Gobind Singh, the last Sikh guru, while on the run from Mughal emperor Aurangzeb's soldiers in the early 18th century.

'It's a blistering indictment of Aurangzeb's policies and statecraft, the lack of morality in governance and war during his tenure,' Sarna, who is at present India's ambassador to Israel, told IANS in an interview here before he heads to the Jaipur Literary Festival later this week.

'At the same time, it is a stirring praise to true god. Guru Gobind Singh was a prophetic poet, writer, a warrior poet and a polyglot who was well versed in Persian, Sanskrit and Brijbhasha,' said Sarna, who also served as spokesperson of India's Foreign Office for six long years.

with thanks : SIFY : link above for detailed news.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Burglars steal £42k of Sikh jewellery in Portsmouth


Sikh jewellery worth more than £42,000 has been stolen from a house in Hampshire.

More than £17,000 in cash was also lost when burglars removed a safe from the property in Goldsmith Avenue, Portsmouth, at the weekend.

Police said someone got in through the back door of the property between 2345 GMT on Saturday and 0320 GMT on Sunday.

With thanks : BBC News : link above for detailed news.

Sikhs warned of additional screening of turbans at US airports

Washington, Jan 14 (PTI) Already peeved by securitypat downs, Sikhs in the US have been warned that they couldnow face 100 per cent screening of their turbans at Americanairports as the new imaging technology cannot see throughtheir ''pagris''.

In a mass email alert to the community members, SikhCoalition, an advocacy group, told them that they should beready for additional screening at all the airports.

"Sikhs should now expect to be secondarily screened 100per cent of the time at American airports, even after passing through so-called Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines,"it said.

Although the Transport and Security Administration (TSA)publicly asserts on its website that its newest machines cansee through "layers of clothing," the TSA has made clear inboth word and practice that such machines are not powerfulenough to see through Sikh turbans.
with thanks : oneindia : link above for detailed news.