Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Birmingham's Sikh Nishkam primary free school to open

The first Sikh-ethos "free" school in the country is preparing to open.
The Nishkam Primary in Birmingham will be in the first batch of 24 free schools across the country to begin teaching children this September.
It has been set up by the Nishkam Education Trust - a charity which already runs a private nursery in Handsworth.
The group had planned to open a grant-maintained primary school three years ago, but could not secure the funding.
Head of school, Narinder Brach, says the coalition government's free school policy gave the chance to do to revisit the plans.
with thanks : BBC News : link above for detailed news

Centre says no to separate Sikh Marriage Act, SAD to meet PM

Chandigarh In a major blow to the Sikh community, the Centre has ruled out any amendments to the Anand Karaj (Marriage) Act of 1909 and said providing a separate Act for the Sikhs would invite similar demands from other communities.

“There may not be any justification for secluding Sikhs from the rest of the categories (covered by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955) as such a step would invite similar demands from other religious denominations. It is against the directive principles in Article 44 of the Constitution which aims at bringing in a Uniform Civil Code,” Law Minister Salman Khurshid said in reply to a query by Shiromani Akali Dal MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa in Rajya Sabha.

The Centre’s move to enact a separate Act for Sikh marriages drew criticism from different quarters with various Sikh bodies terming it as “anti-Sikh”, while SAD said it will take up the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and raise it in Parliament.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal reacted strongly to the government’s decision and called it a “breach of trust” by the Centre, as the former law minister M Veerappa Moily had assured the draft bill for Sikh Marriage Act was ready and would be sent for Cabinet approval soon before being placed in Parliament.

The marriages performed under Sikh religious rights are registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act or the Special Marriage Act.

The proposal was that under the Special Marriage Act, which was to be amended, provision for the registration of marriages performed according to the Anand Marriage Act of 1909 shall also be incorporated.

with thanks : expressindia : link above for detailed news.


New York law to ensure freedom to Sikhs practicing religious beliefs

Sikhs in the US will be allowed to wear turbans and grow beards in federal agencies like the police department and transit authority after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wednesday signed into law a bill that will ensure freedom for employees to practice religious beliefs at workplace.
The 'Workplace Religious Freedom' bill was initiated by civil rights group Sikh Coalition and sponsored by Queens Democrat Council member Mark Weprin.
In signing the law, Bloomberg said employers must make a "reasonable accommodation" for an employee's religious practices unless following such practises creates an "undue hardship."
The undue hardship is now defined as requiring "significant expense or difficulty."
"This bill sends the message that people should not have to choose between serving our city and adhering to their religious beliefs. All Americans should receive the full embrace of our country’s constitutional freedoms," Weprin said.
Sikh Coalition's programme director and co-founder Amardeep Singh said the law would ensure that religious minorities like Sikhs and Muslims in the US are not discriminated against by their employers for practising their religion.

with thanks : DNA india : link above for detailed news.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FYI the SGPC is busy,no asssistance provide in Amritsar for we poor Indonesia Sikhs

Sardar ji,

FYI the SGPC is busy,no asssistance provide in Amritsar for we poor Indonesia Sikhs. What was written in our faith( Karma) we happily accepted and now wish to try in N.Delhi. Our Gurmat school project will be completed anyway with or without SGPC donation. "Jithey niche semalien,Thithey Nader teri bakshish"(SGGS ang 14). I am at present in N.Delhi after giving up in my request for assistance from SGPC unheeded,and neglected.

Balwant singh

Lokayukta orders probe against Badal

The Punjab Lokayukta on Monday ordered a probe against Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and former MLA of the Akali Dal Bibi Jagir Kaur to ascertain charges of misuse of public land in the state.

Bibi Jagir Kaur, the former chief of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee, has been accused of misusing 12 acres of public land at Begowal village allegedly for her personal use. A complaint in this regard was filed by Punjab Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira. The Congress MLA has also accused Badal of aiding the SGPC chief in her alleged illegal pursuit. 

Elections in the state are around the corner and this probe is likely to embarrass the ruling combine.
Khaira claims the land, valued at about Rs 100 crore, belongs to the village panchayat. He has alleged that Jagir Kaur got a society registered in which her daughter and son-in-law are president and secretary respectively.

with thanks : deccanherald : link above for detailed news.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Please answer !

Do you think that the members of various Gurdwara committees are capable enough for that seat ?

Do you think that members of various Gurdwara committees have done anything for the Sikhism ?

Factual replies please, may be for or against. Please post your reply at :

SGPC Elections 2011: Non-keshdharis attempting to vote would be arrested, Election Cheif

Chandigarh (August 28, 2011): Chief Commissioner of Gurdwara Elections, Justice H S Brar (retd), is reported to have that non-keshdharis attempting to vote in the SGPC elections will be arrested.

“Express News Service” report adds that Justice Brar, while speaking to the media, said: “We have received complaints that some non-keshdahri Sikhs have been included in the electoral rolls. Besides arresting non-keshdharis attempting to vote, we shall also initiate action against the officials concerned.’’ Around some 60 complaints have been received till date, he added.

He said that 19 elections observers have been deployed in Punjab — all senior Haryana cadre IAS officers of the rank of secretary. In Amritsar and Ludhiana districts, two observers per district have been posted, as these have more SGPC seats.

In Haryana, seven election observers have been posted — senior IAS officers in the rank of secretary, this time from Punjab. On one seat each in Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh, one observer each has been posted. They are Punjab cadre officers.

“The cut-off date of getting late votes made will be September 2. By this date, applications can be given to concerned deputy commissioners. On the same day, they will have to decide whether the vote can be made or not. Now, by September 17, the commissioner of gurdwara elections will have to decide on the applications rejected by the DCs,” he is reported to have added.

with thanks : link above.

Three-day-long procession begins from Akal Takht

Amritsar, Aug 28 (PTI) The three-day-long colourful Nagar Kirtan, a Sikh religious procession, began here from the highest Sikh Temporal seat Akal Takht marking the 305th year of compilation of the Guru Granth Sahib.Earlier, Jatehdar Akal Takht Gyani Gurbachan Singh performed Ardas or prayer as per Sikh rituals in the presence of nearly 50,000 Sikh devotees before the beginning of the procession in the marbled periphery of the Golden Temple. There was a big cavalcade with the Nagar Kirtan when it was passing through the city's streets and was accorded rousing welcome at various places in the city.Gyani Gurbachan Singh on this occasion said that tenth Singh Guru Gobind Singh had compiled the Guru Granth Sahib after inserting religious discourse scripted by ninth Sikh master Guru Teg Bahdur. He said that on August 30 at Talwandi Sabo a great religious day would be observed to mark the 305th anniversary of the compilation of the Sikh religious scripture.

with thanks : IBNLive : link above for detailed news.

Sikh temple celebrates 100 years

When the Gur Sikh Temple opened in Abbotsford in 1911, there were only 2,300 Sikhs in all of British Columbia.

On Sunday, at least that many people showed up for a parade celebrating its 100 years of serving the community.

The gurdwara, believed to be the oldest still-standing Sikh temple in North America, opened the doors to its archives on the main floor so people could see photographs from the community's long history.

Pioneers working in B.C.'s forestry and farming industries began building the temple in 1908, using lumber donated by a local mill. At that time, Sikhs in Canada were nearly all men because immigration policies restricted their wives and children from joining them in the country.

"This temple is a great gift to the Sikh community," said Gurdev Sidhu, 71, as he stood chatting with friends outside the simple white, three-storey building.

"I came into this country in 1969 and settled in Mission. At that time, we struggled to get more people, to provide more services, and we've come a long way."

Free samosas and water bottles were handed out as the parade wound its way from the temple down South Fraser Way to Rotary Stadium, where speakers continued the celebration.

with thanks : Read more:

Golden Temple tales chart course of Sikh history

Going back more than two centuries, nearly 80 historical artefacts are on display in central  London at the world's first major exhibition on the Golden Temple of Amritsar, north India.

They include some of the earliest-known paintings and photographs of the temple, along with film footage and eye witness accounts from western travellers.
The 10-week show, organised by the UK Punjab Heritage Association, has already attracted thousands of visitors, including many from across the world.
The exhibition traces the temple's history, from the 1800s up until the middle of the 20th Century - described as the "golden era" of the temple and the height of Sikh empire.
On the ground floor of the Brunei gallery at the School of Oriental and African Studies, in the Bloomsbury area, an accurate to-scale Perspex model of the temple, as it once stood, is displayed on a table.
It shows trees surrounding the shrine, along with tall buildings, known as "bungas", where intellectuals would meet and debate.
with thanks : BBC news : plz check link above to view the detailed news.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bhagat Singh’s kin, 300 others join in

Had Bhagat Singh been alive, he’d have been proud of the mass upsurge against tyranny of a different kind — of the system and by the system — faced by the citizens of India. As if on cue, the latest to join Anna Hazare's anti-corruption crusade is a team of 300 Sikhs from Punjab, led by freedom fighter Bhagat Singh’s nephew, Abhay Singh Sandhu.

On Tuesday afternoon, a rally was held from India Gate to Ramlila Ground in support of the Jan Lokpal Bill by members of the Sikh squad donning yellow turbans.
“We have come here from Chandigarh to support Anna’s fight for a strong Jan Lokpal Bill. My uncle laid down his life for the nation and if need be, we will also do the same,” said Sandhu, son of Bhagat Singh’s youngest brother Sardar Kulbir Singh, who landed in the Capital on Tuesday morning, along with 300 supporters.
Carrying portraits of Bhagat Singh, Anna supporters from Punjab joined the crowd at Ramlila Ground and shouted slogans in favour of an effective Jan Lokpal Bill.
“People are out on the streets across the nation and the message is clear. The government should bring in the Jan Lokpal bill to curb corruption or it should go to the people and seek a fresh mandate,” said stand-up comedian Bhagwant Mann (of Laughter Challenge fame), who also arrived in Delhi from Chandigarh to support Anna Hazare’s movement.
“Lakhs of people have come out to support Hazare. It certainly shows they have unflinching faith in the activist,” Mann added.

with thanks : Hindustan times : link above for detailed news

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sikh Arts, statues, prints, watercolours & other documents on sale

Plz log on to the link in headline above & in the upcoming page, type SIKH in search to view two pages of detailed items related to Sikh Arts, statues, prints, watercolours & other documents on sale. Why don't the SGPC or DSGMC try to hold this sale & get back these valuable items related to Sikhism or Punjab.

with thanks : Sd. Kartar Singh ji.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Korean ambassador offers tremendous investment opportunities in Punjab

CHANDIGARH:Korean Ambassador Joong Keun today called on Punjab Chief Minister  Parkash Singh Badal and evinced keen interest to set up automobile & electronics industry in Punjab.

Taking part in the deliberations during a meeting with  Badal at Chief Minister’s residence this evening,  Joong Keun apprised him that Korean Government had already signed an comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with India which has resulted in huge volumes of trade to the tune of 17 Billion US dollars thereby registering an increase of 42% recently.  

He said that the bilateral relations between India and Korea were very cordial and there was further huge potential of trade and economic activity.  He also urged the Chief Minister to establish joint ventures in food processing industry in view of Punjab’s agrarian background.  

The visiting envoy also impressed upon  Badal to tie up with world acclaimed Korean companies like  Hyundai Motors, LG Electronics,  Samsung besides Steel Giant Posco to set up their units in Punjab as these companies had already put up their several manufacturing units in different parts of the country.  He said that the investment scenario in Punjab were very much conducive and extended all support and cooperation on behalf of Korean government.   

Appreciating the congenial investment climate in the state,  Keun asked the Chief Minister to immediately initiate efforts to bring Korean industry to the state as both Korea and Punjab would be mutually benefited. 

Responding to the offer made by the visiting Korean envoy,  Badal informed that a special team of senior officers led by his Principal Secretary DS Guru would immediately tie up with these companies so that these proposals could be formalized.  The Chief Minister also sought technical know-how and expertise from the Korean food processing industry so that the income of the farmers could be increased manifold through value addition. 

with thanks : punjabnewsline : link above for detailed news.

Clerk convicted for taking bribe from anti-Sikh riot victim

New Delhi, Aug 19 (PTI) A Delhi government employee has been held guilty of demanding and accepting bribe from a 1984 anti-Sikh riot victim five years ago for releasing compensation to the family.

Special CBI Judge Dharmesh Sharma convicted Naib Tehsildar I K Takkar, a revenue clerk posted at Nazafgarh Sub Divisional Magistrate in West Delhi, under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

"I conclude that the State (CBI) has been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt a case of corruption against accused I K Takkar for demand and accepting an illegal gratification of Rs 10,000 by abusing his position as a public servant from complainant Gurmeet Singh Kapoor," said the judge convicting Takkar.

According to CBI, Takkar, who was dealing with disbursement of compensation to the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims, had demanded a bribe of Rs 10,000 from Kapoor in August 2006 for releasing a compensation of over Rs two lakh to him after his grand father Inder Singh Kapoor and uncle Paramjeet Singh Kapoor were killed in riots here in the aftermath of assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

with thanks : msn : link above for detailed news

Thursday, August 11, 2011

BBC NEWS Sikhs against rioters at southall gurudwara

London Sikhs lead fightback against riots

LONDON - The fires which have raged in London's worst rioting for decades have forged a sense of community rarely seen in the British capital, with Sikhs in the western borough of Southall leading the way.
Hundreds of turbaned men gathered outside their gurdwara, or temple, to defend the west London borough on Tuesday after rumours circulated on social networking website Twitter that it was next on the looters' hitlist.
Men sporting traditional garb including the kirpan, a ceremonial Sikh dagger, led chants as others patrolled the area by car and motorcycle looking out for the looters who have terrorised the city since Saturday.
The Sikh religion obliges every devotee to carry a small stylized dagger sewn in a closed scabbard under their clothes but most were steadfast in their of rejection of violence.
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded in 15th century Punjab, India, on the teachings of Guru Nanak and 10 successive Sikh gurus. Its principal beliefs are faith and justice.
Amarjit Singh Dhillon, an adviser to the hastily-convened committee, explained to AFP that the operation was "not about vigilantes, just self-defence".
"Being a Sikh means that you can never attack anyone, but if somebody attacks you... enough is enough!" he added.
"My house can be rebuilt...but this is a place of worship, it is for everybody," he said, adding that he would be ashamed of himself if he didn't protect it.
Committee President Himat Singh Sohi, sporting a lustrous white beard and black turban, stressed that "the message of our guru is peace, live in harmony and work hard".
Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, the biggest Sikh temple in Europe, serves as the focal point for local worshipers, who make up 23 percent of the area's population, according to the 2001 census.
Sunny Bangea, 23, said he was prepared "to fight fire with fire" to protect the temple and surrounding community.
"A lot of stupid things happened here," he said. "On Monday night, gangs tried to set the temple on fire, but there was no damage. Since then, we look after the temple 24 hours a day."
"It's just a bunch of idiots creating trouble."
The community mobilised after a tweet from rioters was intercepted Monday reading: "All my...niggas that linked up today Roll thru tomoro at 6pm sharp in Southall broadway hit up the jewellers!"
Although centred around the temple, the operation extended to all members of the community, one of Bangea's friends explained.

with thanks : link above for detailed news.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

100 Sikhs guard Seven Kings and Ilford Gurdwaras overnight

Hundreds of Sikhs stood outside Ilford and Seven Kings temples this week in defiance of the ongoing civil unrest.

The group formed a solid presence in Ilford and Seven Kings High Road where they patrolled into the early hours of the morning, determined to protect the Gurdwara Karamsar and the Singh Sabha London East from opportunistic violence.

The orders had not come from any Sikh council, but elders within the community had decided it was necessary to keep a vigil outside the temple on what marked the second and third nights of civil unrest in London and some suburbs.
Members of the Sikh community in Redbridge are planning to stand guard at temples again tonight.

Spokesman for the British Sikh Council, and Chairman of the Singh Sabha in Seven Kings, Upkar Singh Rai, said the community was doing all it could to help police.

“We have had a meeting with the police and asked how can we help, without aggravating the situation. We told them we will look after our temples and protect ourselves,” he added.

“Police stopped and waved, and some even came in to have tea during the course of the night,” said Mr Singh Rai.

“I’ve had two hours sleep last night as we finished at 4.30am and I’m exhausted, but we are keeping ourselves going and planning a strategy for tonight,” he added.

Chairwoman of the Sikh Women’s Alliance, and Seven Kings ward councillor Balvinder Saund, said the solidarity was a testament to the community minded faith.

“I think there is a vigilante streak in many Sikh people, they have been used to looking after themselves for centuries.

“It’s that support in them that comes out when there’s any danger,” she added.

with thanks : london24 : link above for detailed news.

It was scary, says Sikh leader in Britain

NEW DELHI: Recalling a terrifying night of plunder, a Sikh community leader in a British town says, "It was scary". 

"The rioting started yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon and shops were looted and cars were set on fire. It continued through the night," Dya Singh, president of Guru Har Rai Gurdwara Sahib, said on phone from West Bromwich town in the West Midlands, England. 

Violence erupted in London over the fatal shooting of a man by police and quickly spread to other cities in Britain. London, which is to stage the Olympic Games, next year saw shops being looted and buildings set afire for four consecutive days. While the British capital became comparatively peaceful Wednesday, unrest gripped other cities. 

West Bromwich, with about 200,000 people, was also affected. A number of Sikhs and Hindus call it home. 

There was no control on the situation, said Dya Singh who quickly added that as day broke, it became "relatively peaceful". 

Dya Singh said people were put on security duty to protect their gurdwara. 

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

London riots: residents cautioned over 'vigilantism'

The Metropolitan Police has warned Londoners against forming "vigilante patrol groups".

The caution comes after hundreds of residents in Southall, Enfield, Hackney and Eltham patrolled their areas.
On Tuesday night Sikh men in Southall, many with hockey sticks, stood guard outside a Sikh and a Hindu temple and a mosque following Monday's disorder.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh said "vigilantism" could lead to violence and drain Met's resources.

The Met described Monday's disorder as "the worst" in its recent history as violence began in Hackney and spread to Croydon, Clapham, Camden, Lewisham, Peckham, Newham, East Ham, Enfield, Woolwich, Ealing and Colliers Wood.

About 16,000 officers were on duty on Tuesday night - up from 6,000 - and the increased police presence will remain, the government said.

About 300 Sikh men gathered in Southall to protect religious buildings and businesses while about 100 men stood in Church Street, Enfield, vowing to "defend the streets".

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

Sikh TV presenter is riot hero

A SIKH TV presenter became an unlikely hero of the Birmingham riots last night - after giving police a lift to arrest four thugs while he filmed them live on his satellite telly channel.

Upinder Randhawa became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter as word spread about his coverage of the riots on Sangat TV, which appears near the bottom of Sky's electronic programme guide

While the major news channels didn't have any live pictures of the Birmingham riots when they flared up last night, they also cut to Upinder's Gonzo-style coverage as he drove around the city in his own satellite van filming the disturbances as they kicked off.

As the riots intensified, Upinder gave a cop a lift in his van to one flashpoint - and filmed as four thugs were arrested in front of him.  

with thanks : link above.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

HC declines to stay SGPC polls

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday declined to stay the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee elections slated for September 18. 

The court issed notices to the Union of India and the Gurdwara Election Commission returnable by August 16 while declining to stay the SGPC elections. A Full Bench of the High Court comprising Justice M M Kumar, Justice Alok Singh and Justice Gurdev Singh passed the order on a writ petition filed by Harbans Singh Khandola and the Sehajdhari Sikh Federation.

It said the election process, beginning tomorrow, would continue subject to the decision of the writ petition. 

The petitioners contended a large number of Sehajdhari Sikhs were debarred from voting in the SGPC polls by the then NDA government. A notification to this effect was issued by the Home Ministry on October eight, 2003, they said. 

with thanks : link above for detailed news.


Nominate clean candidates, shun liquor, money: Akal Takht

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh on Wednesday appealed to all political parties to nominate “clean candidates” for the general Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections — to be held on September 18. It also asked the parties to shun liquor and money while campaigning for the polls.

The highest temporal seat of the Sikhs made this appeal keeping in view the fact that malpractices have made inroads into religious body elections as well.

The polls to the House, known as “mini parliament” of the Sikhs, must be conducted free of any voice that is usually witnessed in Assembly and parliamentary polls, said Jathedar. Adding that there is urgent need to protect Sikh tenets and beliefs, he said: “Only baptised Sikhs should be fielded. It must be ensured that they have commitment towards serving panth.” “There must be commitment of high moral values and political parties should field candidates who have the knowledge of Gurbani and Sikh tenets,” stated the Jathedar. He added that those consuming liquor or are using intoxication of any kind — like tobacoo or cigarettes — or who does not behold good moral character, should not be given the ticket.

with thanks : link above for detailed news.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pain of European Devotee : Lili Van Heers

I went to the Gurdwara today and I was shocked to find a huge poster(about 3metre high) of Bhindranwale at the entrance of Gurdwara complex.Even inside,next to the Guru Granth Sahib ,there was a similar poster.That was the place where a painting of Guru Nanak used to hang.I felt sick and immediately left after offering a short prayer.I was thinking: where am I going to worship now? I cannot pray peacefully anywhere except at home.Inside the prayer hall we come to open our heart;to follow the message of Gurus and not to let hatred be stirred up. Politics and religion should not be mixed in the prayer hall”.

Lili Van Heers is a spokeswoman for the Sikh community in Belgium and is an author of a book on Sikhism in Dutch Language entitled: The Sikhism and the Sikhs (2008, Manohar Publishers).

She has dedicated her life to spread awareness on Sikh Religion amongst Belgian Community because there is still a lot of ignorance amongst Europeans on Sikhism. She is often contacted by the press,by different social service organisations whenever they need any information on Sikh community.She also takes an initiative to volunteers herself for local people to arrange a visit to Gurdwaras.Sikh community (living in Belgium ) also seek her help time to time for their many problems relate with religion/religious symbol (e.g. kirpan(dagger) confiscated by the police and subsequent court cases).


Empowerment &Upliftment of Sikh Youth

Sewak Jatha Dadar - Education Wing held its 5th Annual event in the Darbar Hall of Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha(Dadar,Mumbai).This was for the felicitation of Sikh students securing 75% marks and above in Std Xth examinations for the academic year 2010-11.A total of 91 students were felicitated with Siropas, Trophies and cash gifts. Out of these, the ones requiring financial assistance have been selected for scholarships.

In the meeting an emphasis was put on the fact that all Sikhs should take an oath to speak in their mother tongue(Punjabi)at homes and while talking to other Sikhs .Parents and children were encouraged to develop the habit of reading in order to be well informed on the current events.The concept of having a Study room/Library in our Gurdwaras was also brought forth!

All Gurudwaras in India/Abroad should do similar events as this will surely help in promoting feeling of pride among youth for being a Sikh.

Celebrating Excellence is an appreciative way through which we can impress upon all that the community not only cares but is also geared towards meritocracy.It can have a ripple effect on Sikh youth.

With thanks : Young Sikh Leaders

Dr.Gurdeep Kaur
SGND Khalsa College
University of Delhi
Dev Nagar
New Delhi-110005