Sunday, June 22, 2014

Coventry Sikh war memorial plea

Jagdeesh Singh at the memorial

A man whose grandfather fought in World War One is calling for a war memorial for Sikh soldiers to be installed in a better location in Coventry.
Maghar Singh was sent to the frontline in France aged just 15, after signing up to fight in the British Indian Army.
In 2002, his son joined other Sikhs in Coventry to help set up a memorial on a roundabout on the A444.
While praising the memorial, Maghar's grandson Jagdeesh Singh said the location underplayed the Sikh role.
Between 1850 to 1945 three generations of the family served in the British Indian Army, including Jagdeesh Singh's great-great grandfather, Bassan Singh, in the 1st Sikh Infantry.
with thanks : BBC News : LINK : for detailed news story

Letter: Need More Education on Sikh Religion

Gursant S

Dear Judge Susan E. Green of the Superior Court of Sutter County,
I am a Sikh. My faith – which stems from India – is acknowledged as one of the world’s major religions (there are 23.8 million Sikhs and only 13.4 million Jews). We stand out because baptized, male Sikhs wear turbans, beards and uncut hair as a sign of their faith. If you see a man on the street with a turban and beard anywhere in the USA, it’s almost certain that he is a Sikh.
The tragic events of September 2001, plus the torrent of publicity about Osama Bin Laden, led to enormous difficulties for Sikhs in the USA. On September 15, 2001, one Sikh was shot dead in Phoenix. On Sunday, August 5, 2012, a lone gunman walked into a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and began deliberately shooting at the congregation, killing six and wounding two. These incidents were caused by mistaken identity: mistaking Sikhs for Muslims.
Sikhs are not Muslims and have no relationship with Islam. In fact, as Sikhs, we are enjoined to be tolerant and accepting of all other religions. It is a vital part of who we are.

with thanks : Huntington News : LINK : for detailed news report.

Pakistan Sikhs threaten protests against holy book desecration

A Sikh organisation in Pakistan has threatened to launch countrywide protests if those who allegedly desecrated the Sikh holy book are not arrested by Saturday.
Speaking at a press conference at Karachi Press Club yesterday, Pakistan Sikh Council (PSC) patron Ramesh Singh demanded that a judicial commission be constituted to investigate how and why such incidents had all of a sudden started happening across Sindh province, reported the Dawn.
He said that all the culprits should be arrested, tried and awarded stern punishment so that it could act as deterrence to others. He also demanded security for the religious places of minorities.
Recounting instances in which copies of the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib were burnt, Singh alleged that various incidents had been reported from across the province including in Sukkur, Dadu and Shikarpur districts.
Earlier this month, similar incidents were reported in Karachi and Shikarpur.
Singh said that Sikhs had been living in peace and harmony with other communities in Sindh for centuries but such incidents had never happened in the past. He said that Sikhs were as patriotic as other communities in Pakistan and did not want to embarrass the country internationally, but they had been pushed to the wall and it was the government's responsibility to recognise the Sikhs' religious sentiments.
Pakistan is home to about 20,000 Sikhs.
with thanks : DNA India : LINK : for detailed news.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sikh leaders come out against opulent marriages

Sikh leaders are taking the initiative to curb extravagance at weddings. On Sunday, representatives of 17 gurudwaras met at Khar to discuss ways to do this and put an end to the game of one-upmanship associated with grand weddings among Sikh families.
"The meeting was to ensure that people spend less on marriages. These days marriage expenses run into lakhs. We feel the money wasted on fancy weddings should be utilised to better educate and socially uplift the community," said Pritam Singh, treasurer, Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Khar, where the meting was held.
Sikh weddings have, over the years, grown in grandiosity with members of the community growing richer. The catering rates per plate in some of these marriages are as high as Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000.
"The trend is to have Mexican, Italian, Thai and Chinese dishes with a large number of sweets added in. However, there isn't a matching capacity to eat, the result often being a lot of food being wasted. But this splurging, instead of triggering consternation, make many others in the community feel inferior and envious. We are now thinking in terms of introducing a code of conduct where not more than one dal, two/three vegetables, raitas, etc are served," said Kanwal Nain Singh, chairperson of the trust looking after Gurudwara Kalgidhar Sabha in Dahisar.
Decorations too eat into the purse, say Gurudwara representatives. "There was a time when people conducted marriages spending just a few thousand rupees," said Avtar Singh Sachdev, president, Khar Gurudwara, who took the initiative in organising the meeting.
with thanks : DNA India : LINK : For detailed news story.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sikhs marrying foreigners must register matrimonial alliance: HC

CHANDIGARH: Twelve years after marrying a US citizen, Sarabjit Singh, a resident of Ferozepur district, learnt that his marriage was not void. In an order with huge ramifications, especially on Punjabi youths marrying foreign nationals, the Punjab and Haryana high court has held that a marriage solemnized by a youth with a foreigner woman as per Sikh ceremonies is null and void if it is not registered under the Special Marriage Act.

A division bench headed by Justice S S Saron passed these orders on May 2, after hearing a petition filed by Sarabjit who had married California-based woman Lourdes Serrato in 2000 as per Sikh rites and now wanted to annul it on the ground of cruelty by his estranged wife

Sarabjit and Lourdes were married on May 8, 2000 at Mudki village of Ferozepur. Lourdes was living in California and came to India with her family for the marriage. The marriage was solemnized with the consent of parents of both parties as per the Sikh ceremonies.

According to Sarabjit, both of them lived together at Mudki, but Lourdes left for California after 20 days of marriage and declared her intention of not coming back as she was married without her consent.

In his plea, Sarabjit stated that he tried his best to bring his wife back, but when all efforts failed, he filed a divorce petition at a Ferozepur court on March 7, 2012. On December 10, 2013, the court dismissed his petition saying, "Sarabjit's move to approach for divorce after a prolonged silence of 12 years does not inspire confidence of the court."

Sarabjit approached the high court. Hearing the petition, the high court noticed that Sarabjit was mentioned as "Sikh Unmarried" and the wife as "Christian Unmarried" in documents prepared by them before performing their marriage as per the Sikh ceremonies. Finding the matrimonial alliance between the two parties as "no marriage in the eyes of law," HC held that the Ferozepur court should have dismissed the divorce petition on the ground of maintainability.

HC clarified that marriage performed under Sikh rites is covered under the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA). The court said as per the HMA, both parties should be Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs by religion, and if they are not, the marriage is void.

with thanks : Times of India : LINK

Friday, June 13, 2014

Beautiful 'Aarti' from Sikh Religion

Once actor Balraj Sahni asked the late Nobel Laureate Rabindra Nath
Tagore, "You have written the national anthem for India . Can you write an
international anthem for the whole world?" "It has already been written,
not only international but for the entire universe, in the 16th century by
Nanak," replied Tagore. He referred to the Sikh Aarti (ceremony of
light). Gurudev Tagore was so enamoured of this arti that he personally translated it into

Every evening in all Gurudwaras, after the recitation of Rehraas Sahib, we
can hear a melodious rendition of the Aarti sung by the Raagis in Raga
Dhanashri. This is a tremendously soothing experience, capable of taking us
directly into the spiritual realms of devotion through music.

As Guru Arjan Dev has written on page 393 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji -
arti kirtan sada anand. Singing God's praises is His Aarti, bringing
boundless bliss.

As legend has it, in 1508 CE
Guru Nanak Dev visited the famous temple of Jagannath at Puri in Orrisa,
which was very well known for its arti for Lord Krishna. In the evening,
priests brought a platter full of many lighted lamps, flowers, incense and
pearls and began the Aarti. Guru Nanak Sahib meanwhile spontaneously gave
words to the wonderful Aarti which was being hummed by Nature before the
invisible altar of God, the creator of this universe:

Gagan mein thaal rav chand dipak baney, tarika mandal janak moti,
dhoop maly-anlo pavan chavro kare saal banray phulant joti, kaisi Aarti
hoye bhav khandna - teri arti.

(SSGSJ page 663)

*The sky is puja thaal (platter used for the artis), in which sun and moon
are the diyas (lamps)/The stars in the constellations are the jewels/ The
wind, laden with sandal-wood fragrance, is the celestial fans/All the
flowering fields, forests are radiance! What wonderful worship this is, oh!
Destroyer of fear, THIS is your Aarti! *

However, the Aarti that is sung daily in the Gurudwaras is however only
partly composed by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The second stanza, from "Naam tero
arti majan muraare Hark e Naam bin jhoothey sagal pasaarey" - SGGSJ page

(O* Lord, Thy name to me is the Aarti and holy ablutions. Everything else
is false, *has been composed by Bhagat Ravi Das Ji, a Hindu who,
incidentally, was a cobbler therefore Brahmins' would not allow him to
enter the temple.

The third stanza, "Dhoop deep ghrit saaji arti vaar ne jaau kamalapati"
(*May I be a sacrifice unto the Lord: that for me is the Aarti performed
with lamps, ghee and incense' (*Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji: page 695)
* onwards,*was composed by Saint Sain, a barber in the court of Raja Ram,
King of Rewa.

The fourth stanza, from "Sun sandha teri dev devaakar adhpat aad samaayi",
'*Brothers! That is how the Immaculate Lord's Aarti is made: Let Divine
essence be the oil, the Lord's Name the wick and the enlightened self, the
lamp. By lighting this lamp we invoke the Lord' *(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji:
page 1350)* onwards, *was composed in the same vein by Sant Kabir, the
Muslim Julaha (The Weaver).

Thereafter, from "Gopal tera aarta jo jan tumhri bhagat karante tin ke kaaj
*'O Gopala, accept your Aarti You grant the wishes of those who worship
you!* (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji: page 695) onwards, was composed by Bhagat
Dhanna, a simple Jat farmer from Rajasthan.

*The final part was composed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji,* right from "Ya te...
maha mun devar ke tap mein
sukh pave jag kare ik ved rarey". The Lord is pleased by penance, prayers,
rituals, recitation of scriptures, meditation music and dance of celestial
beings and the melody of the Aarti. The cosmic worlds rejoice and chant the
Divine Name onwards

That the Aarti which we sing daily has been composed by two Gurus, a
cobbler, a barber, a weaver and a farmer. This is yet more proof that
Sikhism believes in the equality of all human beings:

*Awal Allah noor upaya/Kudrat ke sab bandey/Ek noor te sab jag upjaya/Kaun
bhale ko mande.*
'First of all, God created light; Mother Nature created all human beings
equal; from that one Light the entire world came into being; so how do we
differentiate that one is better that the other?'

*Jo tis bhave so Aarti  hoye* 

sent by a Reader 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Over 12 Injured as Two Groups Clash Inside Golden Temple Premises

Over 12 Injured as Two Groups Clash Inside Golden Temple Premises

Amritsar Over 12 people were injured when two groups clashed inside the premises of the Golden Temple in Amritsar this morning.

The clashes followed an altercation that reportedly happened between the two groups during a ceremony organised to mark the anniversary of Operation Bluestar.

Sources say Simranjit Singh Mann of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) reportedly wanted to address the gathering but his demand was turned down by the Akal Takth Jathedar. This reportedly left his supporters angry who then clashed with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee or SGPC task force members.

Members of the two groups, seen brandishing swords and lathis, clashed for close to half an hour. 

The situation is calm now. Heavy security deployment is in place.

Terming the clashes "unfortunate,"  SAD spokesperson Prem Singh Chandu Majra said the SGPC will take action against the culprits.

With thanks : NDTV : LINK

ब्लू स्टार की बरसी के मौके पर स्वर्ण मंदिर के अकाल तख्त पर तलवारें चल गई हैं : IBN 7

ब्लू स्टार की बरसी के मौके पर स्वर्ण मंदिर के अकाल तख्त पर तलवारें चल गई हैं। ब्लू स्टार ऑपरेशन में मारे गए लोगों को श्रद्धांजलि देने के कार्यक्रम में सिमरन जीत सिंह मान के समर्थकों और स्वर्ण मंदिर की टास्क फोर्स के बीच झड़प हो गई। इस झड़प में कई लोगों को चोटें आईं हैं। 


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Soha Ali Khan, Vir Das to act in film on 1984 Sikh riots

Soha Ali Khan

Patil recounts, “I was in Delhi for the National Awards when a gentleman came to me and told me his family’s story, he told me how they were affected by the violence when he was just seven years old. When I heard about the ordeal they went through after Indira Gandhi was assassinated, I was moved by it all.’’

He adds that his film will tell the story about this Sikh family that lived in Janakpuri with their twins and how three Hindu families helped them escape death. It is a story of three nights of ordeal.

It seems that the person who approached Patil has chanced upon letters written by his father that chronicle their ordeal in detail. It is said that the film will draw heavily from these letters. Patil reveals that Vir Das will play the husband’s part while Soha Ali Khan will play the wife.
“Delhi is not the same anymore so we are shooting in Ludhiana, which looks similar to the Janakpuri of 1984. Our art director Bhupinder Singh has managed to get hold of old Ambassador cars, burnt DTH buses and other items that were needed to make it look real,’’ he added.

Producer Harry Sachdeva plans to release the film on October 31, the day when Sikh riots broke out in Delhi.

with thanks : Post Jagran : LINK

Monday, June 2, 2014

चीन में पहली बार अखंड पाठ का प्रकाश, चीनी महिला ने अपनाया सिख धर्म

चीन में पहली बार अखंड पाठ का प्रकाश, चीनी महिला ने अपनाया सिख धर्म

चंडीगढ़। दशकों से कम्युनिस्ट शासन और नास्तिकता के प्रभाव में रहने वाला चीन भी अब अध्यात्म की तरफ जा रहा है। ऐसे माहौल में चीन के कई हिस्सों में विभिन्न धर्मों का प्रभाव बढ़ रहा है। सिख धर्म को भी पहली बार चीन में आध्यात्मिक शांति के लिए अपनाया जाने लगा है। धर्मजोत कौर पहली ऐसी चीनी महिला हैं जो कि सिख धर्म को अपना चुकी हैं और अब अपनी बेटी को भारत में मीरी पीरी एकेडमी में सिख धर्म को समझने के लिए भेजा है। 
चीन में सिख धर्म की शुरुआत छह साल पहले सतमुख सिंह ने की थी और आज उनका मिशन कई सौ चीनियों को अपने साथ जोड़ चुका है। अब अजाए अलाए सेंटर, शेनझेन में श्री गुरुग्रंथ साहिब जी का प्रकाश हर सुबह-शाम किया जा रहा है। शाम को सुखासन की परंपरा भी निभाई जा रही है। फ्रांस से आए सतमुख सिंह ने शेनझेन में योगा सेंटर की शुरुआत कर चाइनीज योगा फेस्टिवल शुरू किया। उसके बाद सिख धर्म का प्रचार आगे बढ़ाया। इससे चीनियों की दिलचस्पी बढ़ी और काफी लोग इससे जुडऩे लगे। सतमुख सिंह ने बताया कि उन्होंने कुछ स्थानीय लोगों से सिख धर्म से जुड़े कुछ तथ्यों का चीनी भाषा में अनुवाद भी किया है और उससे भी लोगों को तेजी से सिख धर्म के बारे में जानने का अवसर मिल रहा है।
गुरुद्वारा बनाने के लिए मंजूरी का इंतजार
अभी एक छोटी सी जगह को गुरुद्वारा साहिब में बदलने का प्रयास किया जा रहा है और उसके साथ ही लंगर शुरू करने की भी योजना है। प्रशासनिक तौर पर अभी इस संबंध में अनुमति मिलने का इंतजार किया जा रहा है।
हांगकांग में कई गुरुद्वारा साहिब
मेनलैंड चाइना में सिख धर्म का प्रसार बीते सालों में ही हुआ है, लेकिन चीनी शासन वाले हांगकांग में सिख धर्म बीती एक सदी से मौजूद है। ब्रिटिश काल में पंजाब से गए सिख प्रवासियों ने हांगकांग में कारोबार स्थापित किए। वहां अभी भी कई गुरुद्वारा साहिब हैं। मेनलैंड चाइना में गुरु ग्रंथ साहिब का प्रकाश पहली बार हुआ है। लंबे समय से धर्म से दूर रहे चीनी अब धर्म की तरफ मुड़ रहे हैं और सिख धर्म उनकी इस आध्यात्मिक जरूरतों को पूरा कर रहा है। 

with thanks : Bhasker : LINK

Visit to Gurdwara Sangat Sahib,Stockholm Tullinge ,Sweden

On 1st June 2014,Swedish Indian Association(Svensk-Indiska föreningen ) organised an exciting visit to a Gurdwara Sangat Sahib (Stockholm Tullinge ,Sweden ) to learn about Sikhism. All particiapted with full devotion in Kirtan and Ardaas ceremony and enjoyed Langar ( Community food ).

Prof. Heinz Werner Wessler from the Department of Linguistics and Philology at Uppsala University ,Sweden gave an informative lecture/presentation on Sikhism,its history and philosophy for the Swedish Sangat .Prof. Heinz has translated a selection of hymns from the Guru Granth sahib and other holy scriptures in German together with Tilak Raj Chopra: Aus dem Gurū Granth Sahib und anderen heiligen Schriften der Sikhs. Verlag der WELTRELIGIONEN. Berlin,2011 and published articles on Sikhism.

The other prominent delegates were representative of Indian Ambasador,Embassy of India , Sweden and Latvia -J. P. Meena Deputy Chief of Mission (Consular & Political) and Ms Bimla Chandra ;Chairman ,Vice- Chairman ,Members of Swedish -Indian Association- Henrik Sundbom, Mohinder Singh, Nadia Sundbom,Prof.Peter Schalk and Dr.Gurdeep Kaur, Associate Professor ,Delhi University ( Currently in Uppsala University ).