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Everything posted by Azaad

  1. The warped psycho Harjinder Dilgeer is upto his old tricks again. Recently on Facebook he stated that "dash granthis should not use the name of Baba Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in support of Dasamgranth, otherwise people will finding more and more about his mistakes." He has also spoke out against the rescue mission currently happening at Gurdwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib, describing Sri Hemkunt Sahib the invention of RSS. Even now he is trying to spew his distorted Sikh history via articles on Wikipedia which is used by Sikhs and Non-Sikhs all over the world. Dilgeer recently edited the page on Guru Arjan Dev ji Maharaj and wrote: How Was the Guru Martyred?[edit] According to Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer (National Professor of Sikh History):When Guru Arjan appeared in the court of Jahangir, the latter himself issued orders for the execution of the Guru; the task of execution was assigned to Chandu (a courtier of Lahore Darbar). Guru was tied with a rope and taken to the burning sand pits on the bank of Raavi River and also poured red hot sand on his body. Chandu monitored torturing of the Guru for three days and on the 30th of May, when Guru's body was badly burnt; it was thrown into the river."[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Arjan Dilgeer invents his own version of Guru Arjan Dev ji's Shaheedi and does not describe the actual events such as "Guru Sahib was tied to a tree which had all its branches cut off so there was no shade. They then had sand poured over their feet and were kept in a open courtyard in the blistering heat all day long without any food or water to drink. This went on for a few days. The order was then given that Guru Arjan Dev ji were to be seated on a hot iron plate whilst boiling sand would be poured over them. Maharaj after this torture, were allowed to bathe in the River Raavi which flowed on the outskirts of the city of Lahore. Here Guru Arjan Dev ji immersed into the cool waves of the river and journeyed to their heavenly abode… Dilgeer also writes on the page of Damdami Taksal that: Damdami Taksal asserts to be over 300 years old and names Guru Gobind Singh as its founder.[5][6] However, some independent scholars, such as Harjot Oberoi, assert that there is no firm evidence to support this claim.[7] According to Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer (Sikh Twareekh, vols 2 and 5) the term Damdami Taksal never existed before 1977. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damdami_Taksal Pages such as Baba Ajit Singh ji (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahibzada_Ajit_Singh) is also full of incorrect information regarding the age differences between the Sahibzade and the issue of marriage of Baba Ajit Singh ji. This page again is using Dilgeers books as references. His own page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harjinder_Singh_Dilgeer) claims he is the National Professor of Sikhism and was also awarded the Koh-i-noor award by the Sangat but does not once mention how his book Sikh Tavareekh was banned by Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and the Sangat of UK & Europe. Benti to sangat, please help edit and change the wrong parchaar done by Dilgeer on Wikipedia and other sites.
  2. Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee invites suggestions for memorial
  3. The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate AK Jain today held Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawala and seven others guilty in two cases registered against them for hurting the religious sentiments of the Sikh community. Two FIRs (No 49 and 61) were registered against the controversial dera head and his 15 followers by Punjab's Ropar police at the Morinda police station in 2001. The Baba and his followers had burnt copies of Guru Granth Sahib in various parts of Punjab, which led to communal tension. The Baba's dera in Nurpur Bedi was raided, a ‘Granth’ brought out by him banned and several cases registered against him. Later, on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the cases against Bhaniarawala and his followers were shifted to Ambala. Those held guilty today were Harjit Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Surmukh Singh, Surjit Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Ashok Kumar and Rajinder Singh. Balwinder, Pritam, Sadhu, Karnail and Satnam, were acquitted for want of evidence. Two others named in the FIR died during the trial. The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment on May 13. Baba Bhaniarawala arrived at the courts complex amid tight secutity. He was escorted by 25 police personnel. Ambala Superintendent of Police Vinod Kaushik said the Baba was yet to be taken into custody. In May 2003, a sessions court had acquitted the Baba and two others in a case registered against them at the Sirhind police station on September 30, 2001, for lack of proof. He was charged with setting ablaze a gurdwara in Tarkhan Majra village. In 2009, the Baba was acquitted in a case registered under the Arms Act. He and his 23 followers were granted relief in another case of alleged sacrilege two months ago.
  4. Nirpreet Kaur, a 1984 riots victim, ended her fast after she was informed by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal that President Pranab Mukherjee had assured a delegation of political parties that he would look into the demands of the riot victims. Nirpreet Kaur had been on a fast at Jantar Mantar since the past six days to protest against the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar by a District Sessions Court in a 1984 riots case. Badal and Sukhbir went to Jantar Mantar to meet Nirpreet Kaur after meeting the President, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. Addressing a gathering, they said representatives of all political parties, except the Congress, had accompanied them to meet the President on the issue. Badal asked the DSGMC and the SGPC to approach the Supreme Court, seeking that the Centre be directed to form a special investigating team (SIT) to look into the 1984 riots. The delegation was led by Parkash Singh Badal. The latter briefed the President about the details of the case and the “injustice” done to the Sikh community. The delegation sought the President’s intervention in directing the Central Government to order a Supreme Court-monitored special investigating team (SIT) to probe the attack on Sikhs after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. It pleaded that the investigation should be completed within a given time. The delegation said that the CBI should challenge the verdict on Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal in the High Court and file a charge sheet in another case registered with the Nangloi police station. It said that investigations against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler be expedited. Leaders of the BJP and the SAD along with those of the Shiv Sena, Samajwadi Party, TDP, JMM, INLD, BJD and the JD-U handed over a memorandum to the President.
  5. The CBI will challenge before Delhi High Court the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case by a city court as it has found "strong grounds" which could form basis of its petition. CBI sources said here today that the agency is likely to wait till the court pronounces its verdict on the quantum of sentence for those found guilty in the case. District and Sessions Judge JR Aryan had on April 30 acquitted Kumar in the 29-year-old case in which he was accused of murder and of instigating a riotous mob that killed five Sikhs in Delhi's cantonment area. Five others — Balwan Khokkar, an ex-councillor, Mahender Yadav, an ex-MLA, Kishan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal — were convicted for their involvement in the riots that had broken out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. Kumar, a former Lok Sabha MP from Outer Delhi who was refused a Congress ticket for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, still faces a trial in another 1984 rioting case. In a third case, the Delhi Police have filed a closure report, saying there was no evidence against Kumar to implicate him. His acquittal has led to protests by Sikh outfits in the national capital and in parts of Punjab. Legal cell on job District and Sessions Judge JR Aryan had on April 30 acquitted Kumar in the 29-year-old case in which he was accused of murder and of instigating a riotous mob that killed five Sikhs in Delhi CBI sources said the agency is likely to wait till the court pronounces its verdict on the quantum of sentence for those found guilty in the case The agency's legal department has studied the judgment and highlighted several strong reasons on the basis of which it is likely to approach the Delhi High Court challenging the acquittal of Kumar
  6. The miseries of the producers of controversial Punjabi film ‘Sadda Haq’ appear to be unending. After fighting a long legal battle for its release in Punjab, the movie again faces uncertainty as several single-screen and private theatre owners in several districts have allegedly refused to screen it. The move, the producers alleged, had come under pressure from the local administration and the Police Department. In a fix over the latest problem, the film’s producers, Kuljinder Singh Sidhu and Dinesh Sood, have blamed the local administrations of a few cities for allegedly threatening cinema owners against screening the movie. The producers said though multiplexes had tied up with them for the movie’s release, theatre owners in Patiala, Ropar, Ludhiana and Nawanshahr were showing reluctance. “They do not want to mess up with the powers that be because of one movie. Therefore, they have politely conveyed it to us that they are helpless,” they said. Sidhu, who plays the lead role, said: “I am disappointed at the turn of events. Bollywood has also made several movies on similar lines in the past. Why is so much fuss only about Sadda Haq?” he asked. The district administration and theatre owners in Patiala, however, have refuted the allegations. Patiala Deputy Commissioner GK Singh said no one from the district administration had spoken to the movie’s team or theatre owners. “The allegations are baseless and if at all someone has tried to threaten them, they should come out with the details and we will take action against the guilty,” he added. A theatre owner, Harjinder Singh, said they were not running the movie only because they had already tied up with distributors of other films.
  7. State Congress spokesperson Sukhpal Singh Khaira today asked the Akal Takht chief, Giani Gurbachan Singh, to step down as his daughter-in-law Lakhvir Kaur was contesting zila parishad elections on the SAD symbol from Muktsar’s Harike Kalan zone. “The Jathedar has clearly associated himself with the SAD. By doing so, he has compromised his position as the Pope of the Sikhs,” he said. He said with his son Manjinder Singh Bittu appointed SAD’s Muktsar circle (rural) president, “the Jathedar has ceased to be a neutral and impartial figure. To uphold the dignity and sanctity of his seat, he must quit immediately,” Khaira said. Patiala: The SAD-BJP alliance on Monday announced the first list of candidates for the Zila Parishad elections. Of the total 21 seats, 10 are in the general category, five reserved for women, two for SC (women) and four for SC candidates.The alliance announced candidates for 17 seats. Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra said for the two Rajpura seats (allotted to the BJP) and the Samana and Shutrana seats, candidates would be announced shortly.
  8. The controversy over the Damdami Taksal’s move to dedicate Operation Bluestar Memorial to Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and “other martyrs” further deepened today with the Sant Samaj submitting a memorandum to the Akal Takht chief, urging him not to remove plaques with Bhindranwale's name at the memorial. Jathedar Gurbachan Singh has called a meeting of the Sikh clergy on May 15 to deliberate on the issue. Talking to mediapersons, Taksal chief Harnam Singh Khalsa warned that they would not tolerate any “tampering with the boards/plaques carrying Bhindranwale’s name”. He said any such attempt would be “tantamount to hurting the sentiments of the community, the consequences of which will be bad”. He demanded that the wall clock with Bhindranwale’s photo be re- installed at the memorial. He claimed that the SGPC had already passed a resolution on putting up a board on Bluestar history outside the memorial. A similar decision was reached by a sub-committee formed to construct the memorial, he claimed. He demanded that SGPC employees who had on the night of April 27 tried to remove the board mentioning the history of the Army operation should be taken to task. The Taksal chief said the Congress and the BJP were “unnecessarily interfering in the religious affairs of the Sikhs and should restrain themselves from doing so”. Earlier, a delegation of at least 70 organisations led by the Taksal chief met the Takht Jathedar and handed over a memorandum to him. Rising tensions Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Khalsa says SAD, BJP should refrain from interfering in Sikhs’ religious affairs Says won’t tolerate any ‘tampering’ with plaques Akal Takht chief Jathedar Gurbachan Singh calls a meeting of Sikh clergy on May 15 to discuss the issue
  9. The Punjab Government is keen to remove the inscription listing separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s name from the “Yadgar” memorial erected in memory of those killed during Operation Bluestar despite pressure from the Damdami Taksal that led a march to the Akal Takht today to thwart any such move. Sources said the inscription at the entrance of the memorial and the plaques on either side of the stairs leading to it mentioned about separatist leaders. This was in direct contravention of the assurance made by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in the state Assembly that the memorial would be a simple gurdwara only. Sources said while the developments embarrassed the Chief Minister, these had also made him lose face vis a vis his alliance partner-the BJP-which is extremely unhappy at the turn of recent events. Observers feel the Chief Minister was essentially a moderate and hence could not allow Bhindranwale’s name to be projected in the manner done by the Damdami Taksal. The SAD has reportedly taken up the issue with Damdami Taksal and members of the Sant Samaj spearheading the current campaign to ensure that the inscriptions are not removed. As per the SAD stand, an understanding was arrived at with some radical elements to pave the way for the establishment of memorial. Despite it being a 20-year-old demand, memorial could not take shape as there was no unanimity on its shape. A section of radical elements, including the Sant Samaj, approached both the CM and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal after coming to an “understanding” that all other parties were misleading the radical leaders and put their “trust” in the Badals on the issue. This helped the SAD to get support of the Sant Samaj for the 2012 Assembly elections. The Sant Samaj also earned legitimacy by getting a long-pending demand “fulfilled”. SAD sources claim it was decided that a memorial to all those who were martyred during Operation Bluestar should come up on the Darbar Sahib complex. This is disputed by the Damdami Taksal which claimed the purpose of the memorial all along had been to commemorate the “martyrs”, including Bhindranwale. The SAD claims the Taksal has “deviated” from this understanding and that no personality-centric memorial should be allowed on the Darbar Sahib complex. The SAD and the government is, however, wary of the Damdami Taksal because the latter is not willing to let go of the “success” achieved by it on the issue. Sources said the Damdami Taksal and its head Harnam Singh Dhumma felt it had “achieved” something which no other radical leader had till now. It is this which is coming in the way of an amicable “settlement” of the issue. THE ROW The inscription at the entrance of the Yadgar memorial and the plaques on either side of the stairs leading to it mention about separatist leaders SAD sources say the understanding was to raise a memorial to all those martyred during Operation Bluestar in the form of a simple gurdwara
  10. The stalemate between the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Damdami Taksal over the Operation Bluestar Memorial controversy continues as a meeting held between the two sides here today remained inconclusive. Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, Golden Temple head granthi Giani Mal Singh and SGPC executive member Rajinder Singh Mehta were also present during the deliberations. Sources said Makkar raised an objection to Taksal’s move to dedicate the memorial to Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and engraving his name at different points while terming it as “a direct interference” in the SGPC affairs. He said the boards and the marble on which his name had been inscribed should be removed. Talking to The Tribune, Makkar said they would not tolerate any intervention in the SGPC functioning. He said the SGPC was in charge of the memorial’s management and it would be run as per the ‘maryada’ of the Golden Temple, which was a symbol of communal harmony and peace. On the other hand, Taksal chief Harnam Singh Khalsa has opposed any such move. He said they had strongly resented the SGPC plan to remove the board with Bhindranwale’s name. He said the SGPC had been warned not to tamper with the memorial. He warned that if any such move was initiated, it may cause a “division in the community, for which the SGPC chief will be responsible”. He said they will present a memorandum to the Akal Takht Jathedar on May 6, urging him that the memorial’s history should not be distorted. He said the Sant Samaj and Nihang outfits would take out a march from Chowk Mehta and reach Akal Takht in the form of a procession on May 6. He said there was widespread resentment in the Sikh Sangat over the SGPC’s move to remove the wall clock having Bhindranwale’s photograph. He alleged that Makkar’s attitude at a meeting held earlier was “dictatorial”. The Taksal chief has called a meeting to decide the future course of action over the suggestions being given by the SGPC. Though the meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere, no decision could be reached about the contentious issue. The opening of Operation Bluestar Memorial on April 27 here had sparked a row after it came to light that the Taksal had dedicated it to Bhindranwale. The SGPC cried foul play contending it was kept in the dark about it. The Taksal had inscribed Bhindranwale's name on six spots, besides putting up a wall clock with his photograph. In a damage-control mode, the SGPC had turned around the 'golak' with his name on it and also removed the wall clock. However, his name is still intact on five plaques outside the memorial.
  11. With the historical "khuhi" (well) at a gurdwara in Kathmandu finally cleaned, efforts are now underway to restore the wooden structure of Gurdwara Nanak Math that has been raised on the site believed to be visited by the founder of Sikhism in 1516. The gurdwara is situated on the banks of the Vishnumati river. The Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Trust headed by Dubai-based businessman SP Singh Oberoi has undertaken the kar sewa of all the three gurdwaras in Nepal with the help of local Sikhs. Oberoi discovered the gurdwara structure during one of his Kathmandu visits. He took up the issue of its restoration with the Nepal Prime Minister in November last year. "We have been carrying out the kar sewa of a 27-ft deep historical well in another gurdwara. Interestingly, after cleaning, inscriptions of Mool Mantra surfaced on the walls of the well in one of the three gurdwaras in Kathmandu," he claimed. "The Nepal Prime Minister has assured us all possible help towards the ongoing restoration of the structure. He would be looking into possibilities of retrieving the shrine's vacant land," said Oberoi. He said the trust headed by him was had also undertaken the construction of a langar hall (community kitchen) in the gurdwara premises as well as that of 100-room inn for Sikh pilgrims. About the shrine Guru Nanak Dev is belived to have visited Kathmandu in 1516 on his way back from Tibet He stayed at a place that was later named as Gurdwara Nanak Math It was earlier known as Sangat Bari, Charbaksh Sthan and Sankha Bari The then King of Nepal donated 200 acres of land in Guru Nanak's honour Now only five acres of land remains There are three gurdwaras in Kathmandu run by mahants from Varanasi and Punjab
  12. The Akal Takht chief, Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, today asked "Sikhs occupying high posts" to introspect in the light of the court verdict acquitting Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a riots case. In a statement, the Jathedar said; " Sikhs, who are at the helm of affairs, and have deliberately shut their eyes, should wake up to the reality and put an end to the injustice meted out to the community." He also directed the Punjab Government, the SGPC and the DSGMC to take the battle up to the apex court and bring the guilty to book. He termed the court verdict as "grave injustice" to the Sikh community. Activists of the Sikh Students' Federation (Mehta) held a protest march against the court verdict. The protesters, led by the federation's district unit chief Amarbir Singh Dhot, burnt the effigy of the UPA chairperson. Addressing the protesters, Dhot alleged successive Congress governments at the Centre had shielded the perpetrators of the anti-Sikh riots and rewarded them with important posts.
  13. The acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in an anti-Sikh riots case today triggered protests by the victims, their families and Sikh organisations in the Capital. The police had a tough time controlling the large number of protesters who tried to enter the trial court in the Karkardooma complex immediately after the Judge had pronounced the judgement. Jagdish Kaur, complainant in the case relating to the killing of five Sikhs in the Delhi Cantonment area during the November 1984 riots, sat on a protest inside the courtroom, demanding justice. The protesting families of the victims said justice had been denied to them. The police detained several protesters, including a man who threw a shoe inside the courtroom. Akali MP Naresh Gujral said the party would pursue the cases relentlessly till justice was delivered. The protesters broke the police barricade and opened the iron gate despite the presence of a large police force and members of the Rapid Action Force. The policemen finally gheraoed the protesters and pushed them out. Nirpreet Kaur, one of the eyewitnesses in the case, said there was no hope of justice. "But we will go to the High Court for further legal action. The judgement has come to us as a major shock." Baby, who resides in Tilak Vihar, said: “We have been fighting the case for the past 29 years. All the eyewitnesses have given their statements. We have given up hope for justice after today’s judgement. Eight members of my family were killed by rioters.” Leela Kaur said: “ If he (Sajjan Kumar) is not guilty, what was he doing during the riots in his area. Being MP, where was he when Sikhs were being killed? I lost 10 persons of my family. The family has 10 widows." A distraught Darshan Kaur alleged that Sajjan Kumar had been able to get away because of his political clout. Senior DSGMC leaders, president Manjit Singh (GK), general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa, Kuldeep Singh Bhogal and Onkar Singh Thapar, also joined the protest. The protestors were detained but later released.
  14. To resolve the controversy triggered by the Damdami Taksal’s move to inscribe the name of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale at the entrance of Operation Bluestar Memorial, the SGPC today requested Akal Takht chief Giani Gurbachan Singh and Golden Temple’s Head Granthi Mal Singh to resolve the matter with the Taksal. Rajinder Singh Mehta, SGPC executive member, will coordinate the talks. Sources said Jathedar Gurbachan Singh and Head Granthi Giani Mal Singh may meet Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa tomorrow. They said that SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar had a telephonic talk with Baba Harnam Singh. As part of damage control, the SGPC has turned around the ‘golak’ kept inside the memorial which had Bhindranwale's name on it. However, there are five more spots where Bhindranwale's name has been inscribed- two marble plaques atop the memorial entrance, two aluminum plaques on either side of the staircase and a board mentioning the history of Operation Bluestar on the left side of the entrance. The Dal Khalsa today ridiculed the SGPC president's claim that the Taksal had kept him in the dark on the issue of dedicating the memorial to Bhindranwale. Quoting from the resolution passed at the SGPC executive committee meeting on May 3, 2012, party chief HS Dhami said it clearly stated that the “meeting authorises Damdami Taksal head Baba Harnam Singh to raise the memorial near Akal Takht in memory of Sant Bhindranwale" and others killed in the Army operation.
  15. To promote education among Sikh girls in Jammu and Kashmir, the SGPC has decided to offer free education and accommodation to them in institutions run by the committee. Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC chief, said today that a committee would be formed to survey schools in Jammu and Kashmir to enlist Sikh girl students. A decision to this effect was reached after Makkar’s meeting with Kashmir Sikh Sangat chairman Dhanwant Singh who said the Sikhs were facing several problems in the strife-torn state. Makkar saidt the committee would help Sikh students who came forward to propagate Sikhism in Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, after its win in the DSGMC elections, the SAD seems to have taken control of the daily discourses at Sikh shrines in New Delhi, though the party officially denies the same. The discourse from Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is being telecast live on a TV channel. Paramjit Singh Sarna, SAD (Delhi) chief, claimed that the SAD had shunted out some preachers hired by the earlier committee while some others had been told to restrict their discourse to ‘katha’ (explaining the essence of Gurbani). He alleged that the SAD was dictating terms to ‘katha vachaks’ (preachers). This was unwarranted. Asked as to how the SAD was doing this when the reins of the DSGMC were still in his hands as the new body was yet to take charge, he said: “As I have been defeated, I don’t want to intervene on this issue, though I’m taking care of routine affairs. I want to see as to how low they can stoop.” Daljeet Singh Cheema, SAD secretary, denied the charge. He said since the new committee was yet to take charge, “making changes in the affairs of Delhi gurdwaras does not arise.” However, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar admitted that Giani Mann Singh had been in Delhi to deliver religious discourses in gurdwaras there. He dubbed this as a temporary arrangement. “We will send preachers to the Capital whenever the DSGMC approaches us,” he added. Former DSGMC general secretary Kulmohan Singh confirmed that they had sought the services of SGPC-appointed preachers and Giani Mann Singh was the first among them. “He will be delivering discourses at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib,” Kulmohan Singh said
  16. Armed men barged into a Gurudwara in California city and took away the money from a donation box kept inside the complex, police said. According to the local Livingston police in California, three robbers entered the Gurudwara through the front door early Sunday morning. One of the men was armed with a gun, while another with a knife. The third robber was unarmed. The three men took a few thousand dollars from a donation box and left through a side door, joining two other men who were waiting outside, local newspaper Merced Sunstar quoted police as saying yesterday. North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) president Satnam Singh Chahal also that the three men took money from the donation box and left through a side door. Police Chief Ruben Chavez said all of the men were wearing hooded jackets or sweatshirts, concealing their identities. Police are searching for three unidentified men. Chavez said while money has been stolen from the donation box before, it's the first robbery that he knows of at the Gurudwara. "This is more brazen because they did come in armed. Obviously it's someone who knew the temple because they knew where to go," he was quoted as saying. "We're looking at different angles, and we will do our best to get to the bottom of it. We really want to identify who they are," Chavez said. Sikhs make up nearly 20 per cent of Livingston's population. In August, a Wisconsin shooting rampage at a Sikh Gurudwara left seven people dead. Mayor Pro Tem Gurpal Samra, who worships at both of the city's Sikh Gurudwaras, classified Sunday's robbery as "very disturbing." "I was in Fresno when I got the call," Samra said. "The first thing that flashed in my mind was Wisconsin, right away." The Wisconsin incident was one of the reasons officials at the temple had surveillance cameras installed, said Narinder Dola, vice president of the temple. Three person, including a woman, were present inside the Gurudwara at the time of incident. Dola was glad those inside the Gurudwara didn't confront the robbers. "I think they did the smart move, they didn't do anything, they just kept quiet."
  17. The only positive I see out of this is that people like Sarbjit Dhunda will not be able to use Gurdwara Bangla Sahib and Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib to do his "missionary" parchaar. The Missionary college in Ludhiana will also see a lot of its influence disappear in Delhi.
  18. A Sikh businessman was kidnapped from Qaidabad, Peshawar, by unidentified armed men, Express Tribune reported on Wednesday. Rakbir Singh, a trader and shopkeeper in Peshawar’s Karkhano Market, was nabbed outside his house by armed men who overpowered him and shoved him into their car. Members of the Sikh community believe Rakbir has been kidnapped for ransom. “He goes to the temple to offer his prayers and then to his shop according to his daily routine,” said Sahib Singh, a former Sikh council member. “He was kidnapped while returning home.” Dozens of Sikhs staged a protest rally in front of the Chief Minister House on Wednesday to protest the kidnapping. The Banamarhi police have registered an FIR and started an investigation.
  19. It was during 2002-2003 when Akali leader Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC patriarch Gurcharan Singh Tohra parted ways. Paramjit Singh Sarna, then a Tohra acolyte, ensured that Delhi Sikhs came out of the shadow of Punjab politics. Tohra found an able ally in Sarna to take on the powerful Badal and successfully oust his group during the July 2002 Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections. Sarna become president and Badal, then out of power in Punjab, patched up with Tohra in May 2003. While Tohra merged his party (Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal) with Badal’s SAD, Sarna chose to break away. In a calculated move, he decided to challenge the combined might of Badal and Tohra when the 2003 elections for the one-year term of DSGMC President were held. Sarna’s candidate, Prahlad Singh Chandhok, won. Then on, there was no looking back for Sarna, who calls himself as the leader of urban Sikhs. Today, at the office of the DSGMC at Rakab Ganj Sahib, hangs a portrait of Tohra. Alongside is the portrait of Master Tara Singh, inarguably the tallest post-Independence Sikh leader, indicating that Sarna acknowledges the two leaders as his mentors. Sarna, accompanied by his brother Harvinder Singh, did the unprecedented when in 2005 he made arrangements to send a gold ‘palki” in a procession to Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. By this time, the Sarnas, whose parents had migrated to Delhi from Rawalpindi, had become close to the then Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who helped them in their endeavour. Today, elections to the DSGMC are polarised on the Punjab versus Delhi lines. The Punjab CM and his son Sukhbir Badal are camping in Delhi. Sarna’s reputation of a tough opponent has brought several Punjab leaders here. Sarna, a businessman residing in Punjabi Bagh, says: “With me are the blessings of the Guru and my work to protect Sikhism. The Badals have ruined it all. Look at Punjab, 95 per cent of Sikh youths there do not support a turban. It is the RSS agenda that Badal has implemented in Punjab”. Pointing out that thousands of Punjab police personnel, officers and sarpanches were camping in Delhi, Sarna asked: “Why does Badal not improve the functioning of SGPC-run colleges and schools? We are doing much better than the SGPC”. For the SAD, a victory in the gurdwara poll could help the party bargain with its alliance partner (BJP) for moe seats in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha elections. In its formative years, the DSGMC had Jathedar Santokh Singh as its leader. He was shot dead in the early 80s. After his killing, no elections were held for more than 15 years during which the Congress lost its Sikh support base because of Operation Bluestar and the 1984 riots. With the Madan Lal Khurana-led BJP coming to power in Delhi, the DSGMC elections were held in 1995, which the Badal-led Akalis swept, ousting Congress loyalists from the committee.
  20. The Damdami Taksal chief, Harnam Singh Dhumma, accompanied by former Akal Takht chief Jathedar Jasbir Singh Rode, today called upon the Sikh voters in the Capital to save the ‘Panth’ (community) and vote for the Parkash Singh Badal- Shiromani Akali Dal in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) poll on January 27. Dhumma and Rode, who was Akal Takht chief during Operation Black Thunder-II in 1988, both shared the dais with Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal here this evening. Dhumma, who leads the Sant Samaj, said: “The SAD symbolises the Panth and you must ensure its victory in the elections. Paramjit Singh Sarna opposes the Akal Takht edicts. Hence, he does not deserve to win.” Dhumma’s speech to the 800-strong crowd at the Delhi residence of SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal was received with cries of ‘Bole So Nihal. Rode, a nephew of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwala, was even more forceful in his speech. “You must ensure that the reins of the DSGMC are handed back to the Panth. And we will ensure your welfare,” he said. Later Sukhbir Badal, when asked to clarify if this meant that his party was backed by the Panth in its fight against Sarna, he said: “This if a fight of the community against these people (the Sarna brothers)”. Sukhbir, who landed in Delhi this evening, told his supporters: “Sarna is being used to weaken the community. But nobody, from Sonia (Gandhi) to Sajjan Kumar to (Jagdish) Tytler, can stop the victory of the Panth”. Sukhbir’s team that consists of leaders like Ludhiana legislator Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and old warhorses Balwant Singh Ramoowalia and Tarlochan Singh, are working behind the scenes, meeting people one on one. They have been able to build so much pressure that Sarna’s main candidate against Manjit Singh GK, Badal’s presidential nominee, has withdrawn from the contest. He was seen at today’s congregation, sharing the stage with Dhumma and Rode.
  21. The British-Sikh community may once again be dominated by India-born arrivals, reversing the trend of a decade earlier when 56 per cent were born in the UK. The new statistics, based on recently released Census 2011 data, have profound implications for the future of the British-Sikh community, majority of which, only a decade earlier, was UK-born. “India-born Sikhs tend to be more conservative, traditional, have bigger families and struggle in the labour markets,” explains Professor Gurharpal Singh, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, who has analysed the data. “Historically, they are also the ones who controlled gurdwaras,” he said. Gurharpal, who is the author of “Sikhs in Britain: the making of a community” and other works, adds, “There is the possibility that the emergence of a British-Sikh identity, which seemed to be taking firm roots in the 2000s, with the community being at ease with itself and being increasingly recognised in public life, might once again be challenged by homeland concerns. This is not to say British-born Sikhs are uninterested in issues of Sikh identity and homeland concerns, but that their attachment to India and Punjab is much less rooted and anchored than the first generation of India-born.” His study of the latest census data indicates that the Sikh community in England and Wales jumped from 3.36 lakh in 2001 to 4.23 lakh in 2011, representing a 26 per cent increase in a decade. He says this is substantially less than the 7 lakh total claimed by some UK Sikh organisations. However if the numbers for Scotland and Northern Ireland are added, along with the numbers of illegal Sikh immigrants (estimated at 50,000), the true figure for the actual Sikh population in the UK is closer to 5lakh. “In terms of size”, Gurharpal explains, “the (British) Sikh community is today almost on a par with its counterparts in Canada and the USA. The data confirms that British-Sikhs are a growing, expansive community.” In Gurharpal’s view, this increase in the Sikh population cannot be accounted for only by natural growth. Additional reasons include internal migration within the European Union. Most important of all, because of the liberal visa regime of the previous British Labour government, was the higher rate of immigration from India. “Clearly we need more detailed data from Census 2011 on the place of birth, ethnicity, education and employment to draw more firm conclusions,” Gurharpal agrees. “However, my initial view is that primary migration (from India) has contributed significantly to the increase. If that is, indeed, the case in this decade it will tip the balance in favour of the non-British-born Sikhs.” All South Asian ethnic communities have shown a significant increase. But the statistics for the Sikhs are modest compared to the Muslims, whose numbers have gone up from 16 lakh to 27 lakh (70 per cent), Hindus from 5.58 lakh to 8.17 lakh (46.3 per cent) and Buddhist 1.49 lakh to 2.48 lakh (66 per cent). Muslims now make up nearly 5 per cent of the population of England and Wales, compared to 1.5 per cent Hindus, 0.8 per cent Sikhs and 0.4 per cent Buddhists. “The emergence of Muslims as the undisputed leading ‘minority’ religious community in Britain is likely to intensify political and economic competition among minority communities, especially in areas of local settlement - little Punjabs, Gujarats and Kashmir, like Southall, Leicester, Sparkbrook and Bradford,” says Gurharpal. “The major conflict that is likely to emerge is around control of local councils.” He, therefore, points out that South Asian communities will have a profound impact and major say in the outcome of the next British General Election due in 2015.
  22. US President Barack Obama has unveiled sweeping gun control measures, including background checks and a ban on military-style assault weapons, to reduce gun violence in the wake of incidents like the Wisconsin Gurdwara shooting and the Connecticut school massacre. "We cannot put this off any longer. I will put everything I've got into this," Obama said while proposing the most sweeping gun control legislation in decades. With relatives of some of the 20 children killed in the Connecticut rampage looking on, Obama signed 23 executive actions, which do not require congressional approval, to strengthen existing gun laws and take steps on mental health and school safety. "The right to worship freely and safely, that right was denied to Sikhs in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The right to assemble peaceably, that right was denied to shoppers in Clackamas, Oregon, and to moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado," Obama said yesterday at a White House event. — Sikhs back Obama WASHINGTON: Welcoming the gun control steps taken by President Barack Obama, the Sikh community in the US has asked the Congress to support his proposals, saying many innocent people have become victims of these senseless killings.
  23. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01g86qm/Our_World_No_Mans_Land/
  24. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-20800033 A group of Indian drummers are pleading with the football club they support to lift a ban on them playing their instruments during matches. The Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters, who call themselves Punjabi Wolves, frequently take their dhols, a type of Indian drum, to away matches. But Wolverhampton Wanderers will not allow the instrument at Molineux for home games. The Championship club has a policy of not allowing drums inside the ground. Raj Bains, of Punjabi Wolves, said: "All we are saying to the club is just give us a chance. "I think the problem is that they tried it about five years ago and it didn't work. "They had the England band in and to be honest they didn't bring a great deal of atmosphere in." He said that the dhol being played during a game at Wigan created "a fantastic atmosphere" . Andy Sahota, also from Punjabi Wolves, said: "We just feel let down by Wolves because we've been allowed it at Wigan, Fulham and other away grounds, whereas we are based in Wolverhampton, it's our home ground. "That's why it feels like a kick in the teeth, really." Glimmer of hope Wolves are not the first club to impose bans on musical instruments being played at football grounds during matches. Wembley Stadium has its own rules and has banned "any article that might be used as a weapon". Spectators are not allowed to take into the ground unlicensed musical instruments, including trumpets, drums and "other devices capable of causing a disturbance or nuisance", A spokesman for Wolverhampton Wanderers said the ban on all musical instruments at Molineux had been decided upon after consultation with fans. But there is a glimmer of hope for the Punjabi Wolves. The club said it frequently reviewed policies, usually at the end of the season, and that its stance may change in the future.
  25. Has anyone else come across the Ravidassia Times account on twitter? Recently one of their posts have been outlining the rise of "Khalistani Sikhs" and how the "Ravidassia Community" is in danger from such "fanatics". One of their tweets is below: Ravidassia Times ‏@RavidassiaTimes Why we dont support Khalistan? the Sikh Taliban are on the rise - WATCH - Imagine our people's treament? http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=62e_1356288681 … via @liveleak
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