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Happy Guru Nanak Gurpurb Day

Guru Nanak Dev Ji:
Caste and gender

Prem Kumar Chumber
Editor: www.ambedkartimes.com

Life and teachings of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji brought a gigantic transformation in the way social and religious thinking were articulated in the Brahminical social order. He made the stupendous task of spiritual regeneration and social transformation his life long mission. He traveled long [Udasis] in all directions to convey the message of the oneness of the mankind and the omni-presence of the non-anthropomorphic and formless God.  

His social transformation agenda revolves around two main issues: Caste and gender. Guru Nanak minces no words in categorically condemning caste and gender based discriminations. His negation of caste is absolute. He said: Fakar Jati phakar nau, Sabhana jia ika chau [Worthless is caste and worthless an exalted name; for all mankind there is but single refuge]. Another sabad is: Neechan andar neech Jati, Neechi hun ati neech, Nanak tin ke sang sath, Vadian siyon kya rees, Jithe neech sanmalian, Tithe nadr teri Bakhshish [I am the lowest of the low castes; low, absolutely low; I am with the lowest in companionship, not with the so-called high. Blessing of God is here the lowly are cared for] (Translate. as in Harish K. Puri, "Scheduled Castes in Sikh Community: A Historical Perspective", EPW, Vol. 38 (26), June 28, 2003, p. 2694).  

Guru Nanak Dev 's concern for the eradication of caste assumes practical shape in his taking up of cultivation of land, often clubbed with low caste professions. He took to cultivation in order to assign dignity to manual labour. In fact, regard for manual labour had always remains the hallmark of the all low caste saint-poets also. In addition, Guru Nanak introduced the institutions of 'sangat' and 'pangat' (eating together in Langar). Thus Kirat Karo (do labour), Vand Chhako (eat by sharing), Naam Japo (recite God's name) became the mantra of equality for all.  


STOCKTON, SEPT. 19, 2012 - On Saturday, Sikh Americans will host a conference on “The Sikh Journey in America,” the first of four events commemorating 100 years since Sikhs first settled in the United States.

The conference occurs September 22 in the Faye Spanos Concert Hall at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. It is hosted by Gurdwara Sahib Stockton, the oldest Sikh American establishment. Founded in 1912 by Pacific Coast Khalsa Diwan Society (PCKDS), the gurdwara became a hub of social, religious, and political life for all South Asian Americans. An estimated 700,000 Sikhs now live in the U.S., of whom approximately 250,000 reside in California.

“Stockton Gurdwara, home of the Sikh pioneers, is the Pacific Coast’s premier example of living history,” said Harnek Singh Atwal, President of PCKDS Gurdwara Sahib Stockton. “It was at the forefront of American civil rights struggles for citizenship, immigration, and land-ownership. It also launched India’s first organized and sustained campaign for independence from the British Empire. There are heroes on every corner of this building.”

The conference will highlight the heroes of Stockton Gurdwara and its foundational relationship to the Sikh American community. Speakers include Dr. Bruce La Brack (University of the Pacific), Dr. Karen Isaksen Leonard (University of California, Irvine), Dr. Harold Gould (University of Virginia, Charlottesville), Dr. Hugh Johnston (Simon Fraser University), Dr. Amrik Singh (California State University, Sacramento), and 13 others.

“This is a year of tragedies and triumphs for Sikhs in the USA,” said Manjit Singh Uppal, Chairman of Stockton Gurdwara Centennial Committee. “Our greatest triumph is to mark 100 years since the Sikh American community was born. America provided so many opportunities to work hard and live free that all we can do is thank God for the first Sikh establishment in Stockton.”

Sikhs were the earliest South Asian immigrants to North America. They arrived in 1899 through Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco, CA. Mostly from Punjab in northwestern India; Sikhs were attracted to the similar climate and agricultural traditions of California’s Central Valley.

In 1913, Stockton Gurdwara founders Baba Jawala Singh and Baba Wasakha Singh formed the Ghadar Party to foment resistance against British occupation of the Indian subcontinent. In 1914, the Gurdwara began campaigning against American laws barring Asian land-ownership and citizenship.

An early victory came in 1935, when U.S. Army veteran Bhagat Singh Thind received American citizenship. Another victory was in 1956, when Dalip Singh Saund, a former Secretary of Stockton Gurdwara, became the first Asian, first Indian, and first Sikh ever elected to the U.S. Congress.

The Sikh American centennial celebration begins September 22 with the Sikh Journey in America conference, the first of four events. September 23 is the opening of the Sikh History Museum on the grounds of Gurdwara Sahib Stockton. September 30 is a Punjabi-language conference on “100 Years of Sikhs in the USA (An Eastern Perspective).” October 13 and 14 will complete the celebration with a weekend-long community celebration at the Gurdwara.

“Our gurus taught us to pursue liberty and justice for all,” said Amarjit Singh Panesar, Vice-President of Gurdwara Sahib Stockton. “Our ancestors who immigrated to America embraced that vision. They were also inspired by the American founding fathers, who opposed a colonial system of oppression. Our celebration of their hard work for American and South Asian democracy and civil rights will culminate with a parade on October 14, 2012.”
Media Inquiries: Bhajan Singh Bhinder, Coordinator, Stockton Gurdwara Centennial Committee,
Email: centennial@sikhcentury.us, Phone:855-SIKH-100, www.SikhCentury.us


STOCKTON, July 30, 2012 - The American Punjabi Chamber of Commerce, based in Stockton (California), on Sunday endorsed Sonny Dhaliwal for Mayor of Lathrop. “Mr. Dhaliwal is a solid family man who we value for his integrity,” said Rex Dhatt, Public Relations Officer of the American Punjabi Chamber of Commerce. “We endorse his vision for leading the community towards greater peaceful cooperation and a flourishing economy.”

Dhatt continued, “Sonny’s vision for Lathrop’s growth encompasses the greater Stockton region. This makes him an exciting candidate for local business-owners, who are quite fond of him. Like APCOC, he is committed to prospering future generations in the City of Lathrop and the whole region.”

Sonny Dhaliwal is a Lathrop City Councillor. First elected in 2006, he was immediately appointed as Vice-Mayor until 2008. He was re-elected to the city council in 2010. The father of 4 children, he and his wife Ruby moved to Lathrop in 1996 to raise a family.

About APCOC: The American Punjabi Chamber of Commerce was founded in June 2012 to encourage a thriving economy by representing Punjabi-owned business across the USA. For interviews with Rex Dhatt or Sonny Dhaliwal, please contact APCOC.


Dr. Onkar
S. Bindra


Sacramento, May 17, 2012. The California State Assembly today had about 20 Sikhs in the gallery. The occasion was the consideration of the Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR97) introduced by Assemblyman Henry Perea on Feb.2, 2012 in response to a request made to him by Pashaura Singh Dhillon on behalf of the Sikh Council of Central California, Fresno, during their celebration of Guru Nanak’s Parkash Utsav (birthday) at the Caruthers Gurdwara on October 19, 2011. Besides Mr. Dhillon, they included Charanjit Singh Batth, the Raisin King of California, and a dozen of his friends including Kartar S. Sidhu, Bhupinder S. Aujla, Harvey Singh, M.S. Sandhawalia, Inder S. Batth, Jaswant S. Sidhu, and Gurdip S. Nijjer. Those joining from Sacramento area included Nirmal Singh, Gurjatinder S. Randhawa, Editor Punjab Mail USA, Prem K. Chumber, Editor of Ambedkar Times (English), and Desh Doaba (Punjabi).

“Please join me in declaring November 2012 as California Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month”, announced Assemblyman Dan Logue, representing Assemblyman Perea, who could not be present owing to his mother’s serious illness. Assemblyman Logue added the following.
“Every year on the first Sunday of November, Sikh Americans celebrate the coronation of their scriptures. Among the celebrations are Sikh parades, the largest of which is held in Yuba City, which is famous worldwide.

Californians of Sikh heritage deserve to be recognized for their significant contributions to our state. They came here around 100 years ago and have made their mark in agriculture, trucking, medicine, and technology. The Sikh religion comes from the Punjab region of South Asia. It is monotheistic and shares beliefs with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Sikhs have often faced persecution for their beliefs. Even recently in the United States, Sikhs have been subjected to hostility and discrimination. Please join me in honoring this great people and the contributions they have made to our state and our nation.”

Immediately thereafter, five Assembly Members, namely Roger Dickinson, Warren T. Fururtani, Jim Nielsen, Chris Norby and Bob Wieckowski, stood up one by one spontaneously and paid glowing tributes to the Sikh Californians through their extempore short speeches. The resolution was passed without any opposition.

Then Mr. Logue recognized the presence on the house floor, of Amarpreet (Ruby) Dhaliwal, San Joaquin Mayor, who came especially for the event. Finally, he recognized Mr. Nirmal Singh, whose 21-year old only son, Cpl. Gurpreet Singh of U.S. Marines, died last year serving this country in Afghanistan. Responding, Nirmal Singh stood up. All in the Assembly Chamber and its gallery gave him a standing ovation through a thunderous applause for the sacrifice made by this Sikh family of Antelope.

It may be noted that nearly all the Assembly Members (They total 80) chose to become coauthors of this popular and highly desirable resolution, authored by Henry Perea. Only eight did not, because they were apparently not present at the time of voting.
Posted on May 17, 2012


Mr. Makhan Bains, the CEO and President of the RAJA SWEET & CATERING and the prominent personality of the Indian society will be honored by Bob Wieckowski (Assembly Member, 20th District) in the Annual State of the Assembly District Address and Awards Ceremony on December 15, 2011 at James Logan High School's Center for the Performing Arts, 1800 H Street (Corner of Alvarado Niles Blvd. and H St.), Union City, California. Ambedkartimes congratulate Mr. Makhan Bains for winning this honorable award.
Prem Chumber
: Editor www.ambedkartimes.com (Posted on December 12, 2011)

Contact :
Makhan Bains,
CEO & President: Raja Sweets & Catering
Work (510)489-9100, Cell (510)715-1619 www.RAJASWEETS.com
Image by Teofie Decierdo


I just wanted to inform of the sad demise of Gurbachan Singh Dhillon’s father Sardar Surat Singh Dhillon of Sur Singh Wala earlier this morning at 5:00am that was sick for a long time.The funeral is on Sat, Oct. 29, 2011 from 11:00am to 1:30pm in Chapel of Chimes in Hayward, on Mission Blvd (between Whipple and Industrial), Langar and Bhog follows after that at Gurdwara Sahib, Fremont. An other demise, Bhaji Harry Singh’s brother Resham Singh (of Manjhpur) also passed away this morning who was in hospital for last few days.

If anyone needs to contact Gurbachan Dhillon or Harry Singh the details are as follows:
Gurbachan Dhillon at (510) 552-7540 & Harry Singh at (408) 234-1222

Jasjeet Singh Posted on October 24, 2011

Late Surat Singh Dhillon
Ambedkartimes sends its condolences to Gurbachan Singh Dhillon’s & Bhaji Harry Singh’s families, relatives, and friends on their biggest losses.
Editor: www.ambedkartimes.com

Press Release: Day of Action re Murder of Elk Grove Sikhs

Gurmej Singh Atwal and Surinder Singh were shot and murdered in Elk Grove, California on March 4, 2011. The two grandfathers, both turban-wearing Sikhs, were peacefully walking in their own neighborhood when they were attacked. The criminals have not been found and law enforcement authorities are at an impasse. “It's been frustrating, because the tips that have come in have been sporadic and unfortunately none of them led us to the conclusion we'd all like to see,” said Captain Brian Noblett.
On October 16, 2011 volunteers gathered near the crime scene to begin a 'Day of Action'. They were joined by Elk Grove Mayor Steve Detrick, Elk Grove Councilmember Sophia Scherman and representatives from a broad coalition of community groups. Bobbie Singh-Allen, community organizer with Elk Grove First, described the sentiments of the volunteers, "We are here because this crime strikes at the heart of our community. We will not rest until the criminals are prosecuted."
Volunteers went to local stores and neighborhoods to post reward bulletins. In the process, the group raised awareness regarding the crimes. "Somewhere, there is a witness with information that can help bring justice for the victims' families and the community," said Amar Shergill, local attorney and community organizer.
Darshan Mundy, participated on behalf of the Sacramento Sikh Community, and explained "The Sikh Community and a coalition of community organizations have joined to offer a reward of over $42,000 for information leading to the arrest of person(s) responsible for the shooting."
Randy Goodwin of the Sacramento County Probation Department attended as a representative of Sacramento Crime Alert. His organization is offering a separate reward of $15,000 if they receive a tip that leads to a hate crime conviction. The additional funds come from a special Hate Crime Fund and ensures anonymity.
On August 22, 2011, the Elk Grove Police Department sent a letter to Governor Brown requesting a Governor's Reward of $50,000 pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1547. The victims' families and a broad coalition of community groups have also written letters to the Governor requesting that he grant the request of the Elk Grove Police Department. There has been no response from Governor Brown. "It is apparent from the outpouring of support that these murders have struck at the heart of the community," stated Shergill. "We call upon the Governor to add to the award in an effort to motivate witnesses and bring justice to the victims' families."
Anonymous tips may be made to Crime Alerts:
* Call 916-443-HELP (443-4357)
* Text 274637 (CRIMES) SACTIP
* Visit www.CrimeAlert.org; click on the Submit a Web tip tab
Individuals wishing to contribute funds to the rewards should contact Lynne Brown, Crime Alerts, crimepreventionpros@gmail.com.


Guru Fateh!
We want to personally invite you to a press conference concerning Davinderpal Singh Bhullar's imminent hanging. His mother, Opkar Kaur, will make a statement to the Sikh panth about her son's dire plight. Manjit Singh Sohi’s daughter Bibi Gurtej Kaur and Tejinderpal Singh Bhullar, brother of Devinderpal, will also appear with Mata Opkar Kaur to make statements. Navkiran Kaur Khalra the daughter of martyred human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra will also attend the event. We welcome your presence there to support Davinderpal in his final hour of need. Please set aside time to be there on Sunday, July 10 at Noon at: Stockton Sikh Gurdwara 1930 South Grant Street Stockton, CA 95206-2735 (site of the historical Gadri Baba's). For more information, please contact Bhajan Singh at 209-321-0337, Tejinderpal Singh Bhullar at 530-713-6757, or Manjit Singh Uppal (President, Gurdwara Sahib Stockton) at 209-649-2767.

As you may know, Davinderpal's father, S. Balwant Singh, and his mother’s sister’s husband, Manjit Singh Sohi were disappeared by police in 1991. Punjab Police came to Davinderpal’s family home for him, but failing to find him they instead abducted Balwant and Manjit. Both these men were tortured to death while in police custody. In 1993, Davinderpal was accused of bombing a militant political activist office in New Delhi. He says did not commit the crime. Fearing that if he remained in India he would receive the same fate as his father and uncle instead of a trial, he sought political asylum in Germany. Although German law made it illegal to return Davinderpal to India because he would face torture and the death penalty there, India pressured German authorities into handing him over.

The entire trial process contravened due process. Davinderpal was denied access to a lawyer until after police interrogated him. During the interrogation, he says he was “made to sign on blank pieces of paper, which were later filled by a statement written and typed in by the police, under threat that if he did not sign he would be terminated by the Punjab Police in a false encounter.” This confession was the only basis used for Davinderpal’s conviction. Not a single one of the 133 witnesses in the trial identified him as being guilty of any crime. The prosecution failed to present a scrap of evidence against him. Davinderpal appealed to the court to toss out his confession, which he gave only under the threat of murder by the police, but the court ignored his appeal.

Davinderpal received the death sentence. After 16 years of imprisonment in solitary confinement, he is suffering from depression, back pain and high blood pressure. In January, his health declined so alarmingly that he was hospitalized in a New Delhi mental hospital. Nevertheless, the Indian state is still determined to put him to death. His execution can be scheduled at any day. This Sunday, we will demand Davinderpal Singh Bhullar’s immediate and unconditional release from Indian custody. Please help us work to preserve his life.
Bhajan Singh Bhinder, Coordinator, Committee to Free Bhullarbhinder@sikhinformationcentre.org Tel: 1-888-551-SIKH (7454) Posted on July 9, 2011


By Dr. Satpal Singh, Interfaith Committee of WSC-AR
The Huffington Post, April 13, 2011

As I write this, the airwaves are abuzz with the trembling and choking voice of a Libyan woman, who is putting her life at stake for the sake of freedom and dignity. Why would someone willingly risk her own life? Life is to be celebrated and cherished, not to be wagered lightly. Patrick Henry, one of our founding fathers, eloquently addressed this question: "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" The concept of equality, liberty and dignity for all, has been enshrined in a socially sacred document of today: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". The Sikh Faith arose more than 500 years ago in the context of a South Asian society that was shackled in slavery to the caste system, to the wanton abuse of women, and to the tyranny of the rulers. There was no defense for the defenseless.
Sikhs stood up against the degrading treatment of fellow human beings in the name of religion and social mandate. They advocated for the inviolable equality of all, including women. The ten Sikh Gurus (Messengers of God) raised their voice against tyranny directed not only at the Sikhs but also at anybody else. Not surprisingly, the Sikhs paid a price for it. This included the torturous martyrdom of their fifth Guru, Siri Guru Arjan Sahib, by making him sit on a red-hot plate and pouring scalding sand on him. The ninth Guru of the Sikhs, Siri Guru Tegh Bahadar Sahib, embraced martyrdom, and his associates accepted being burnt, boiled and sawed alive, for defending the right of the Hindus to freely exercise their religion. This occurred even though the Guru and his associates themselves did not believe in many of the Hindu principles and practices.
A central tenet of the Sikh Faith is to adhere to peaceful means to resolve any issues, including those on tyranny and subjugation of humankind. However, history is a witness that a tyrant does not spare even a divine messenger. When all peaceful means have been exhausted, rather than letting the unbridled tyranny, senseless brutalization and death of innocent masses continue, it is considered righteous for a Sikh, even while he/she is to live a saintly life, to rise up as a soldier in defense of the weak, oppressed and the defenseless. This concept of 'Saint-Soldier' is an integral principle of the Sikh Faith.
On the Vaisakhi day of 1699 (the first day of the month of 'Vaisakh' in the Sikh calendar), Siri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, the tenth Guru, formalized the concept of Saint-Soldier by introducing the Amrit ceremony (the formal initiation ceremony). The initiates were instructed to keep the five K's: Kes (uncut hair), Kangha (a small comb), Karra (an iron bracelet), Kachh (a special short) and Kirpan (a sword). They were given the title of Khalsa, meaning those whose life and spirit belonged only to the One Universal Creator and not to any ruler, tyrant or even a messenger of the Creator. The principle of One Universal Creator, a founding principle of the Sikh Faith, means that all human beings are children of the same One Creator, and are thus all equal, irrespective of their religion, gender, race, color, caste or the like.
The establishment of the Khalsa intensified the state sponsored brutality against the Sikhs. At the same time, the institution of Khalsa further uplifted the spirit of the Sikhs to stand up for the oppressed. A six-year and an eight-year old son of Siri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib willingly accepted to be buried alive in a wall constructed around them brick by brick, steadfastly refusing to abandon these principles. For refusing to give up these principles, Sikh mothers were forced to witness extreme tortures to their infants. In the Sikh supplication, we routinely remember the Sikhs that were cut up joint by joint, tortured on wheels fitted with razor sharp blades and subjected to other unspeakable forms of torture. Such brutality did not deter Sikhs from standing up for their own or others' right to liberty. They would even attack far better equipped and manned forces of Afghanistan's Ahmed Shah Abdali and free thousands of Hindu and Muslim girls being carried by him as war bounty, at a huge cost to the Sikhs' own lives.
The Sikhs would bear extreme tortures and loss of life with saintly serenity. On witnessing merciless beating of Sikhs engaged calmly in prayers, during a peaceful protest regarding access to a Gurdwara (a Sikh place of worship) in Punjab, Reverend C. F. Andrews, an Anglican priest, remarked in 1922 to the then Governor of Punjab that he had seen with his own eyes "hundreds of Christs being crucified" at Guru Ka Bagh. Such is the determination required to stand up for life and liberty for all. Such is the Saint-Soldier spirit nurtured by the principles of the Sikh Faith. The spirit of 'give me liberty or give me death'. The spirit of the self-evident truth that we all are created equal. The spirit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not only for oneself but also for others. That is the spirit of Vaisakhi, the day the Khalsa was established, that the Sikhs celebrate on this 312th Vaisakhi on April 14, 2011.
The paradigm of liberty has taken root in many countries, but there still exist numerous dark corners. Today, liberated nations are themselves playing a role in defending the defenseless, again at a high human cost. Still, we need to do more. The story of Eman al-Obeidy from Libya is reflective not only of brutality in general, but also of particular brutality against women. Whether it is the trafficking and abuse of women, burning alive of brides in greed for dowry, female infanticide, or the use of women as weapons of war, humanity is still struggling with its darkest issues. Hopefully, individuals and organizations that are fighting to win liberty for the oppressed men and women in today's world will be able to make a significant difference. Hopefully, soon.
Posted on April 13, 2011

(Onkar S. Bindra)

It is important that every one is aware of the Focal Points where we can get help, guidance and assistance. A Focal Point is a senior center or community center that provides certain required services to seniors as well as additional activities according to the desires of those who patronize that center.
1. All Focal Points have to either provide a noon meal or provide transportation to one.
2. All Focal Points have to provide information and referral concerning senior needs and interests.
3. All of them either provide transportation or are close to public transportation stops.
4. Each Focal Point takes on the “flavor” of its community so each is unique.
5. All are welcoming.
6. Seniors are advised to form “Focal Point Groups” for going to the nearest Focal Point. There they can enjoy indoor games, strolls/walks, exercise, and have low cost lunch and join excursion trips. They can carpool or ask the Focal Point for transportation. They can and should ask their Focal Point for help and guidance.
This will help break the barriers between us and the other Americans and help educate the non-Sikhs about the Dastaar, Patka etc. This will also help reduce the ignorance and misconception of n0n-Sikhs about us and reduce their hatred for us.

A list of the Focal Points in the Sacramento County is given below together with information on the Directors and its locations. Readers in Counties other than Sacramento County may contact their own County Office for information on Focal Points close to them.

Focal Point Director Location
Asian Community Center, (5-07) Judy Heary, 393-9026 ext 323, jheary@accsv.org
7375 Park City Drive
Sacramento, CA 95831
Cordova Senior Activities Center (5-90) Jenn Taylor

3480 Routier Road
Sacramento, CA 95827
Hart Multipurpose Senior Center (5-00) Roseanne Bernardy
915 27th Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
Mission Oaks Senior Center
(2011) Terri McAdam
4701 Gibbons Drive
Carmichael, CA 95608
Pannell Meadowview Community Center
(5-90) Laura Bjornsen
2450 Meadowview Road
Sacramento, CA 95832
Senior Center of Elk Grove Inc. Sara’Ann Martin (assistant)
8830 Sharkey Avenue
Elk Grove, CA 95624
South County Services
(5-00) Mary Lou Powers
539 N. Lincoln
Galt, CA 95632
Stanford Settlement Neighborhood Center
(5-90) Sister Jeanne Felion
450 W. El Camino Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95833

Posted on March 9, 2011

Dr. Amrik Singh & Prem Kumar Chumber


Our sympathy goes out to the family of S. Makhan Singh Bains ( Raja Sweets in California) on passing of their uncle (Chacha Ji) S. Sohan Singh Bains resident of Village Mallan Bedian, who died on December 26, 2010. Late Sohan Singh Bains was very well known personality in their area. For more information please contact at (510) 489 9100
Editor: Ambedkartimes.com (Posted on January 11, 2011)

Sikh Americans of Central Valley California Celebrated Sikh American Awareness &
Appreciation monthwith Mainstream America November 14, 2010 Fresno (California)

Fresno- (Pashaura Singh Dhillon) :- The Sikh Council of Central California celebrated its Annual Guru Nanak Prakaash Utsav dedicated to Honoring Assembly Concurrent Resolution 181 (Logue) -Relative to California Sikh Awareness and appreciation Month on Sunday November 14, 2010 at Selma Sikh Temple. Akin to a seminar, the program was highly educational; brainstorming as educators how to create awareness and fill the cultural gap using this opportunity to bring long term benefits to Sikh Americans and the American Community at large?
On this auspicious Guru Nanak Prakash Utsav, the 54st Birthday of the founder of the Sikh Religion, there couldn’t be a better tribute (Nazrana) for Guru Ji, than the California Legislature has bestowed in passing its unanimous Resolution181; a resolutionnow enthusiastically

being honored with adopted proclamations by the county and city governments as well as by the school districts all over the state. No doubt there is a long way to go but this measure is a big step in the right direction in dispelling some of the serious misconceptions about the Sikh Americans, caused by the 911 tragedy. However belated, the Sikh American community greatly appreciates it and is thankful to the legislature in its entirety especially, to Assembly Member

Daniel Logue for passing this resolution.
This event was not a mission in advocating a particular community or religion to the multiethnic and multicultural population as such, but the Sikh Americans need to use all possible means of educating fellow Americans about who they are and ensure that their identity is not to be mistaken or abused. If this was the case with any other community, the values of the Sikh faith demand that a Sikh stands up and demands that no one, regardless of faith or creed be barred from practicing their faith freely; that no one be denied justice and compassion. All presentations were focused to explore the ways and means especially through our educational system that allows the Sikh Americans to work together towards new progressive educational initiatives that benefit Sikh American students and help close the cultural awareness gaps that currently exist in text books between them and their peers. The possible use of California Department of Education approved Supplemental Instructional Material in classrooms and school districts as a way of attaining mutually beneficial objectives was demonstrated through videos, power point presentations and to the point speeches, on this occasion.

The carefully selected participants made excellent presentations and the whole program with a packed hall went according to the plan. Lot of young students from the Gurdwara schools along with their teachers and parents attended and watched every video and presentation with great interest.

The program started sharply at 11 AM after the Bhog Shri Akhand Patth and Kirtan by the Hazoori Ragis of the Selma Temple. Dr. Ranjit Singh Rajpal General Secretary of the SCCC shared greetings of the Gurpurb, gave a brief introduction on the Sikh philosophy and welcomed all participants. Pashaura Singh Dhillon, the Education Coordinator gave a brief synopsis of the program as a Master of the Ceremonies and briefly touched upon why the Sikh Americans needed this Resolution 181although they have lived in California for more than a century. Now they have got it how best to use it to realize its full potential in creating awareness among fellow Americans. Apart from other venues, Mr. Dhillon emphasized the role of classrooms in public schools where it all begins. A couple of videos ‘Meet the Sikhs ‘ and ‘Understanding Sikhism were shown which were produced by Dr. David Hosley while he was C.E.O at the PBS KVIE Sacramento. These videos are available on You Tube and are approved by the California Department of Education.

Dr David Hosley was introduced by Dr, Onkar Singh Bindra of Sacramento who along with Dr.Jasbir Singh Kang and other community members especially from Yuba City, worked closely with Dr. Hosley in preparing these videos. Dr. Hosley now an Interim Vice Chancellor of UC Merced spoke briefly and shared his experience with the congregation and was honored by the SCCC with a Commendation Certificate. Dr. Jasbir Singh Kang made a comprehensive power point presentation covering 120 years of Sikh American history in California, genesis and background of ACR 181 and Achievements of the Sikh Community in California. He also introduced Assembly Member Daniel Logue, author of the ACR 181. Mr. Logue glowingly appreciated the Sikh American community and thanked for their patriotism, hard work and valuable contribution to this Golden state.

Dr. Onkar Singh Bindra of Sacramento made a very impressive and brief presentation to create awareness, demonstrating some practical ways through classroom in public schools, libraries, work places and other venues of interaction with other communities through his personal involvement. Robert Frausto, Kerman Unified School District Superintendent topped it all, by offering to inculcate all the Supplemental instructional material as approved by the CDE in the classroom in his school district of Kerman without delay. Mr. Frausto touched upon AC 181 Resolution passed by the State Assembly declaring November 2010 Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month and what that means to public school districts. To every one’s delight he explained what specifically the Kerman Unified School District was currently doing to promote Sikh awareness and appreciation and the duty of public education in promoting multicultural awareness and cultural sensitivity in the public school setting. It is appropriate to state here that the Kerman Sikh American Community because of its leaders, is way ahead from others except perhaps Yuba City where Punjabi course is being taught for the past some years in schools
Other Sikh American organizations and representatives who took part and made powerful and focused presentations relating to ACR 181as to what has been done in the past by their respective organizations and what are the future plans to honor the resolution and create awareness among fellow Americans to fill the cultural gap were as follows: Simranjit Kaur Sandhawalia and Iqbal Singh Bains from JAKARA, Raj Singh Dadhesha from SALDEF, Manvinder Singh from United Sikhs, Jessi Kaur and Reshma Kaur from KAUR Foundation. The program ended with the donation of several hundred blankets to the representative of Poverello House Fresno; A word of thanks for the program well accomplished by the General Secretary and Ardas at 1.45PM.

The Langar as usual was served all day long. Media coverage was provided by most local TV channels and newspapers. Moga Video provided free photo and videography to cover the occasion. Special thanks go to the entire management committee of the Sikh Temple Selma for their close cooperation with the SCCC and for playing host. Special thanks are also in order for the special committee members set up for this function to assist the Education Coordinator, without their help this would not have materialized.
Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com (November 23, 2010

ACR 181 (Logue) - Sikh Awarenes & Appreciation Month Honored by local TV Stations

Dear Editor,

At my request for honoring ACR 181(Logue), which designated November 2010 as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month, the PBS/KVIE Sacramento televised their video, Sikhs in America, on Nov. 6, 7 and 21, Further, the RCCTV is televising Sikh videos (Sikhs in America of KVIE, Cultural Safari of www.kaurfoundation.org , and Sri Guru Granth Sahib documentary by Kalsi) on Comcast channel 20 and Surewest channel 19 during November as per schedule below: Wednesdays – 9am to 10am; Thursdays – 10am and at 4pm; and Fridays - 5:30pm and at 6:30pm. Those who do not have access to said cable channels may log on towww.rcctv.net on their computer, scroll down to the lower part of the front page and click on the "simulcast". Readers may inform their friends, colleagues and neighbors.
Onkar Singh Bindra, Ph. D., (osbindra@yahoo.com)..Ph.(916)858-2650 Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com (November 22, 2010


Hello Respected Sir,
Satsriakal ji
I am feeling honoured to communicate with you through this email. Actually i am a writing you this email to share a very urgent and most important news with you. You may be aware that Legislature of California has passed a resolution No.181 i.e. SIKH AMERICAN AWARENESS AND APPRECIATION MONTH IN CALIFORNIA, NOVEMBER 2010

I am sending you the complete info in attachments,now its my humble request that please write few words in your esteemed paper about it. Also do publish the Brochure that we have prepared to make Non Sikhs aware of who THE SIKHS ARE? On behalf of SIKH COUNCIL OF CALIFORNIA we are also conducting a big awareness function In Selma Gurudwara Sahib on November 14,2010 where we are showing various videos like MEET THE SIKHS,SIKHS IN AMERICA,CULTURAL SAFARI to non sikh guests including local politicians,and delegates from different departments.

We are requesting all other newspapers too. Its a noble cause and we should all work together to make it a sucess,afterall its a matter of sikh identity
We are running a radio show too i.e.Punjab News & Views www.punjabnewsandviews.com where we are discussing about it every Sunday 3pm-4pm. I hope that you will definitely join us in this noble mission and do publish the said brochure with few words from you about SIKH AMERICAN AWARENESS AND APPRECIATION MONTH IN CALIFORNIA, NOVEMBER, 2010.

Please do confirm me about this and also do not hesitate to contact me for any further information if required
You can even contact
S.Pashaura Singh Dhillon,
Education Co-ordinator, SIKH COUNCIL OF CALIFORNIA Contact: 559-708-4399

Hope for your positive reply and support. Thanks and regards
Gurtej Singh Cheema
Agri.Officer, California State Department of Food & Agriculture, Fresno,California
Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com (November 10, 2010

Sikh Awareness & Appreciation Month
California Legislature recognized and acknowledged the significant contributions made by Californians of Sikh heritage to the state, and adopted Assembly Concurrent Resolution 181 (Logue) on August 26. It seeks to afford all Californians the opportunity to better understand, recognize, and appreciate the rich history and shared principles of Sikh Americans, their monotheistic religion and the tenets of their faith, and the important role that Sikh Americans play in furthering mutual understanding and respect among all peoples; and designated Nov. 2010 as Sikh Awareness & Appreciation Month.
Through his letter of Oct. 28 (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs/im/suptltrlegres0910.asp), Mr. Jack O’Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instructions, has advised the County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators to conduct appropriate exercises to honor ACR 181. He has also invited their attention to his letter of November 30, 2007 (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs//im/sikhameriltr11-07.asp) regarding the use of a short educational video.
Sikh Facts
• In USA, 99.9% of men having unshorn facial hair together with a turban on their heads, and 100% of the boys wearing mini-turbans (Patka) are Sikhs, who are maintaining their Sikh identity.
• Sikhism is not a branch of another religion. This monotheistic faith was founded in Punjab (India) by Guru Nanak (1469-1539). With nearly 26 million followers, it is now the 5th largest world religion.
• Now, Sikhs live all over the world. Of the nearly 650,000 Sikhs in the USA, some 40% live in California.
• A Sikh place of community worship, Gurdwara, means “Door to the Guru”. Non-Sikhs are welcome to the Gurdwara and to the lungar, the community kitchen, where free vegetarian meal is served to all without any discrimination.
• The 1430-page Sikh scripture (Guru Granth) is in verse and Indian classical music. It includes compositions by Sikh gurus and many Hindu and Muslim Saints.
• Sikhs respect other religions, and believe in equality of all humans. Sikh prayer ends with a wish for welfare of all humans.
• The Fact is that Sikh boys are often harassed, because of their head coverings, viz. Patka & Turban.
• Teachers can help stop the harassment by educating the students about the Sikh culture. They will find the following useful: (1) CDE-approved Supplemental Instructional Materials, e.g. Cultural Safari video of www.Kaurfoundation.org; Meet the Sikhs and Sikhs in America videos of PBS TV Station KVIE, Sacramento (Available on www.youtube.com & from www.kvie.org), The Boy With Long Hair of www.sikhfoundation.org (Good for being read out to students of grades 1-3); and the USDOJ poster, Common Sikh American Head Coverings and Sikh Americans and the Kirpan.

Flag Khanda one God Kara Kirpan Patka Turban Dr. Saund Dr. Thind

Brief History of Sikhs in California
• Sikh immigrants have resided in California for more than a century, the first Sikh immigrants worked on railroads, in lumber mills, and in the agricultural heartlands of Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Imperial Valleys;
• The Sikhs established in Stockton, California, the first Gurdwara in 1912, and started six Guru Gobind Singh Educational Scholarships at U.C. Berkeley in the same year.
• Sikh Americans have demonstrated particular success in the areas of agriculture, medicine, engineering, trucking, and small, family-owned businesses;
• Dalip Singh Saund was the first Sikh American and Asian American member of the US Congress
(1957-63); and Bhagat Singh Thind, a U.C. Berkeley student served in the U.S. Army in 1917-18;
• Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany of Palo Alto is acknowledged as father of fiber optics;
• Sikh Americans have served as council members and mayors in California (e.g. David Dhillon in El Centro, Gurpal Samra in Livingston, Amarpreet “Ruby” Dhaliwal in San Joaquin, and Kashmir Singh Gill in Yuba City);
• Yuba City, CA, has the largest populations of Sikh and Punjabi Americans, and the coronation day of Sikh Scripture is celebrated there on the first Sunday of every November, with a parade that attracts about 70,000;
• The Sikh and Punjabi American communities of California continue to make important contributions to our state and nation. (osbindra@yahoo.com ; 916-858-2650) Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com (November 10, 2010

SSPI Advises School Administrators to Honor Sikh Awareness Month

State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI), Mr. Jack O’Connell, has vide his letter of October 28, 2010, notified County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators that the Assembly Concurrent Resolution 181 (Logue) designates November 2010 to be California Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month. He added, “A letter about the contributions of Sikh Americans, and a link to a short educational video about Sikhs, is also posted on the CDE History-Social Science web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs/im/sikhameriltr11-07.asp”. The SSPI has pointed out that the Legislature encourages local educational agencies to conduct appropriate exercises and hold needed functions.
Now, it is the duty of all Californian Sikhs to approach their County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators to arrange functions needed to honor the ACR 181(Logue) in all schools. The Sikh community should provide them copies of relevant materials (e.g. “Meet the Sikhs” video of www.kvie.org ; “Cultural Safari” video of www.kaurfoundation.org and posters - printed ones like that available from osbindra@yahoo.com or hand-written ones being prepared at some Gurdwaras, e.g. Roseville and San Jose) and speakers to answer questions about Sikh American history, culture and faith.
The Nov. 30, 2007 letter referred to above reads as follows.
“Dear County and District Superintendents:
Subject: EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE ABOUT SIKH AMERICANS During and after the 2005 History–Social Science Primary Adoption, the California Department of Education and State Board of Education (SBE) received extensive testimony from members of the Sikh community on how to better incorporate materials on Sikhs into the history–social science curriculum. The Sikh population in California has some 250,000 members, and includes large communities in the agricultural towns in the Central Valley. Members of the Sikh community have testified to the SBE that Sikhs have been targets of hate crimes, especially in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, by Americans who mistakenly identify them as Arab or Muslim. Public Broadcasting station KVIE in Sacramento has agreed to allow free distribution of a short video entitled, “Meet the Sikhs.” This video is available in QuickTime format on the KVIE Web site at KVIE Outreach (Outside Source). I encourage you to make use of this video to inform students about the roles and contributions of Sikhs to the history of California. If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Suzanne Rios, Administrator, Instructional Resources Unit, at 916-319-0665 or by e-mail at srios@cde.ca.gov. [Note, the preceding phone number and e-mail address are no longer valid. The Standards, Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division phone number is 916-319-0881.] Sincerely, JACK O’CONNELL; JO: km cc: Onkar Bindra, Sikh Temple Sacramento

The SSPI (Mr. Jack O’Connell, SSPI, CDE, 1430 N St., Sacramento, CA 95814) deserves letters of appreciation and thanks for issuing the advisory letters mentioned above, at the request of Dr. Onkar S. Bindra.
Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com (October 30, 2010


Sacramento-(Onkar Singh Bindra):- Besides the textbooks, the California Department of Education approves Supplemental Instructions Materials (SIM), after a Social and Legal Review. The SIM may be used by public school teachers in their classrooms. Recently, they have approved Cultural Safari of Kaur Foundation (www.kaurfoundation.org ). It is a 17-minute video aimed at educating America's school children, teachers and school administrators about what it means to be a Sikh American. It gives a user-friendly introduction to the origin, history, festivals and holidays of the Sikh Americans, and information on their basic beliefs, practices and cultural traditions. Viewers get to meet a Sikh family, watch a turban being tied, and even witness a live Vaisakhi festival complete with Bhangra dancing! Indeed, anyone who watches this DVD will come away knowing basics about the Sikhs, and perhaps wanting to learn even more!

It may be noted that efforts made since 2005 have resulted in approval of the following other Sikh SIM: (1) Meet the Sikhs of PBS/KVIE Sacramento CH 6; kvie.org , an outstanding 3.22 min. DVD that may be seen on You Tube; (2) Sikhs in America, 26.46 min video; kvie.org/viewfinder ; (3) The Boy With Long Hair coloring book of www.sikhfoundation.org ; and (4) The Sikh Next Door of www.sikhnextdoor.org

Honoring the ACR 181 (Logue), which designates November 2010 as SIKH AWARENESS AND APPRECIATION MONTH, the KVIE, Sacramento TV CH 6 will telecast Sikhs in America multiple times in November. Readers should bring it to the attention of their families and friends and colleagues at work. Those not in KVIE’S coverage area may request their local PBS TV station director to likewise honor ACR 181 by showing the said video, or at least Meet the Sikhs, which is available on www.youtube.com . Further, it is recommended that copies of Sikhs in America and Cultural Safari, CDE-approved SIM, should be donated to neighborhood schools for their libraries, with the request that these be shown to the teachers, other staff and students, honoring the ACR 181 (Logue). (osbindra@yahoo.com; 916-858-2650)
Posted on October 11, 2010

Sikh Awareness Month
Sacramento-(Onkar Singh Bindra):-California’s Assembly Concurrent Resolution 181, passed unanimously by the Assembly and the Senate on August 26, designates November 2010 as SIKH AWARENESS AND APPRECIATION MONTH. The Sikh community needs to request public institutions, viz. libraries, museums, public radio & TV stations, school districts, schools etc. to honor this resolution, which reads: “Resolved. That the Legislature recognizes and acknowledges the significant contributions made by Californians of Sikh Heritage to our state, and by adoption of this resolution, seeks to afford all Californians the opportunity to better understand, recognize, and appreciate the rich history and shared principles of Sikh Americans, their monotheistic religion and the tenets of their faith, and the important role that Sikh Americans play in furthering mutual understanding and respect among all peoples."

Sacramento’s local PBS TV station (KVIE, Channel 6) has responded favorably, by including their DVD “SIKHS IN AMERICA” in their November program. Other PBS TV stations may agree to do the same, if they are so requested. PBS has TV stations in Eureka, Fresno, Huntington Beach , Los Angeles , Los Angeles , Redding, Rohnert Park , Sacramento ,San Bernardino , San Diego , San Francisco , San Jose , San Mateo. Sikh intelligentsia need to urge their local PBS TV station to honor the ACR 181 through their program. Readers may Google for the needed contact information of their local PBS TV station, by using appropriate words, e.g. “Contact info PBS TV Eureka” or “Contact info PBS TV Fresno”.
Readers are urged to call their local TV station’s Director or Outreach and Education Department, invite their attention to ACR 181, and request them to honor it by including appropriate Sikh videos in their coming program.

Some PBS videos that are suitable for the purpose are: (1) "Sikhs in America" (c) 2008 KVIE; 26.46 min; kvie.org/viewfinder series, (2) "Meet the Sikhs" (c) 2005, KVIE; kvie.org , an outstanding 3.22 min. filler available on You Tube ; (3) "Dream in Doubt", www.pbs.org/independentlens/dreamindoubt . You local PBS TV station will be able to obtain these videos through the National Educational Telecommunications Association’s (NETA) Programming & Information person, Gayle Loeber, at Ph.1- 803-799-5517 Ext. 109. It is important that the readers call the Director or head of the Outreach & Education Department of their local PBS TV station and request that they honor ACR 181 (Logue) by including one or more of the above mentioned videos in their November TV program. This needs to be done without loss of time. (osbindra@yahoo.com)
Posted on October 11, 2010

Makhan Bains Raja Sweets, Union City, California Contact: 510-715-1619

Gurnam Singh is a well known name in our community, normally people know him by "Gary". Gary is also the Chairman of Union City Planning Commission and Board of Director for Union City Chamber of Commerce. He is long time resident of Union City. He has already built his reputation among our and other Union City communities and considered as front runner among all the candidates. Now he is running for Union City Council for one of 3 open seats & the election will be held in November. We are holding his campaign kick-off party on Sunday, September 12th from 4pm to 6pm at our Raja Sweets location in Union City (California). For further information please: Gary Singh can be reached at (510) 489-3331 or me at (510)715-1619 Makhan Bains Raja Sweets, Union City (California) Posted on September 3, 2010
Onkar Singh Bindra, Ph. D. (U.C. Berkeley, 1958-60), Sr. Prof. & Head Dept. of Entomology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India (1967-75); Visiting Research Professor of Entomology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria (1976-80); Entomologist, Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Sudan , Liberia & Indonesia (1980-88); Ex-Board Member, The Renaissance Society, California State University, Sacramento;
Trustee Sikh Temple, Sacramento. Ph.(916)858-2650

Sacramento: (Onkar Singh Bindra):-California legislature has unanimously approved the Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 181 (California Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month). Introduced on August 2, 2010 by Assembly Member Daniel R. Logue, at the request of Marysville-Yuba City Sikhs, it designates November 2010 as California Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month. His press release in appealdemocrat.com states, “This is the first time in state history that Sikhs are receiving recognition for their outstanding contributions to California. He added, “ month’s designation should serve to honor one of the state’s notable and accomplished communities.”

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, the resolution reads “ That the Legislature hereby designates the month of November 2010 to be California Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month; and be it further Resolved, That the Legislature recognizes and acknowledges the significant contributions made by Californians of Sikh heritage to our state, and by adoption of this resolution, seeks to afford all Californians the opportunity to better understand, recognize, and appreciate the rich history and shared principles of Sikh Americans, their monotheistic religion and the tenets of their faith, and the important role that Sikh Americans play in furthering mutual understanding and respect among all peoples; and be it further Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution to the Members of the Legislature, members of the California Sikh American community, and other interested persons.”

The resolution, it is hoped “ would recognize and acknowledge the significant contributions made by Californians of Sikh heritage to California and afford all Californians the opportunity to understand, recognize, and appreciate the rich history, shared principles, religion, faith, and role Sikh Americans play in furthering mutual understanding and respect among all peoples.”

The following provided a justification for the resolution.

1. California and our nation are at once blessed and enriched by the unparalleled diversity of our residents; 2. Among this unprecedented diversity in California, there reside an estimated 200,000 Americans of Sikh origin, comprising nearly 40 percent of the nation’s estimated Sikh population; 3. Sikh immigrants have resided in California for more than a century, with the first Sikh immigrants believed to have labored on railroad construction projects, in lumber mills, and in the agricultural heartlands of the Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Imperial Valleys; 4. The first Sikh temple (Gurdwara) in California was established in Stockton in 1912, and Sikh temples have since been established in communities throughout California; 5. While Sikh Americans have distinguished themselves in numerous areas of endeavor, they have demonstrated particular success in the areas of agriculture, trucking, medicine, and in the creation of small, family-owned businesses; 6. Yuba City, California, boasts the largest population one of the largest confirmed populations of Sikh and Punjabi Americans in the nation; 7. Dalip Singh Saund was the first Sikh American and Asian American member of the United States Congress; 8. Dr. Bhagat Singh Thind struggled and fought for Asian Indians to be allowed to become American citizens; 9. Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany of Palo Alto is acknowledged by many to be the father of fiber optics; 10. Sikh Americans have served as mayors of California cities, including David Dhillon in El Centro, Gurpal Samra in Livingston, Amarpreet “Ruby” Dhaliwal in San Joaquin, and Kashmir Singh Gill in Yuba City, and numerous Sikh Americans have served as council members of California cities; 11. The Sikh and Punjabi American communities of California continue to make important contributions to our state and nation; 12. Sikh Americans City throughout California celebrates the coronation day of Sikh Scripture as Guru Gaddi Divas, along with parades in cities across California, the largest being held in Yuba City on the first Sunday of every November.

There is not much time left before November 2010. I urge all Sikh organizations in California (Gurdwara Managements, Cultural Associations, Sikh Students Associations in California, Jakara, Sikh Foundation, SALDEF, Sikh Coalition, United Sikhs, WSC-AR, PAHS, SCCC, etc.) and Sikh intellectuals to consider it their duty to arrange functions for awareness and appreciation of Sikhs in November 2010 throughout California. Museums, Libraries, School Districts and Media (TV, radio, print media, internet media - Blogs, twitter, Facebook) can all help. I recommend the use of PBS Sikh videos like “Meet the Sikhs”, “Sikhs in America”, and “A Dream in Doubt” etc., and Kaur Foundation’s “Cultural Safari”. Further, we need to hold open houses, exhibitions, seminars etc. and invite neighbors and teachers, and to hold teacher appreciation functions. Furthermore, we must participate in Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11 (Displaying a life-size picture of Bhagat Singh Thind, when he was in the United States army during WWI) and in other neighborhood parades, and distribute a brief leaflet about Sikh identity, religion, culture and history in California.

Posted on September 3, 2010

In memory of those, whose voices were forever silenced?
Khalra’s Remembrance Committee request your participation at Sikh Temple of Sacramento
2301 Evergreen Avenue, West Sacramento, CA 95691 on SEPTEMBER 4th & 5th 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010: Saturday Youth Session: 10am - 3pm, Youth workshops & discussions by : Navkiran Kaur Khalra (daughter of Jaswant Singh Khalra) Life, Legacy and Mission, Harinder Singh (Sikh Research Institute) Sevadar: Becoming an Inspired Activist, Dr Amrik Singh (Ambedkar Times) Human Rights and the Politics of Identity, Ensaaf Ending Impunity, Achieving Justice, Nandeep Singh (Jakara Movement) Why It All Matters, Saturday Public Session: 3pm - 5pm

Various Sikh youth speakers: Rev. David Thompson (Interfaith Service Bureau), Jaswinder Banga (Chairman Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Sacramento, California) M.R. Paul (International Bamcef Coordinator - Social Justice Society for Minorities and Backward Classes in India) Unveiling of Khalra’s Memorial Wall by Navkiran Kaur Khalra ---- ("Khalra's List," a visual memorial to the victims documented by Khalra) Darshan Mundy (Public Relations Gurdwara Sahib West Sacramento) Honored guest on Saturday, 4th of Sept. will include Congressman Tom McClintock and other political leaders.

Sunday, September 5, 2010: 10am - 3pm: Kirtan Diwan, Movie & Panthic Vichar, Sunday Diwan Speakers will include: Navkiran Kaur Khalra (daughter of Jaswant Singh Khalra), M.R. Paul (International Coordinator - Social Justice Society for Minorities and Backward Classes in India), Harinder Singh (Sikh Research Institute), Naindeep Singh (Jakara Movemen), Prem Chumber (Editor in Chief Ambedkar Times) AND other organizations

If you need further assistance, please contact 1-888-551-SIKH (7454) •· khalramission.org@gmail.com

Jaswant Singh Khalra was a human rights activist who was disappeared 15 years ago by Indian police. Khalra was responsible for uncovering evidence of a direct police role in the murder of Sikhs in Punjab and the illegal disposal of their bodies. He discovered files belonging to the city of Amritsar which contained the names, ages and addresses of thousands of Sikhs who were picked up by police, killed and then cremated. Eyewitnesses from local crematoria confirmed that police regularly cremated multiple bodies on funeral pyres recorded as used for a single person. Khalra confirmed that nearly 2100 Sikhs were "disappeared" by these methods just in the administrative district of Amritsar. However, using similar evidence found in Punjab’s 12 other districts; he estimated that approximately 25,000 had been similarly murdered throughout the state.

Jaswant Singh Khalra, who had received frequent death threats from police, gave his life for his work. On the morning of September 6, 1995, witnesses saw uniformed police officers abduct Khalra, who had already received many death threats from police. Although police denied they held him in custody, multiple witnesses have confirmed seeing him in jail. For seven weeks, he was tortured by police, who finally shot him and left his body in a canal. His widow, Paramjit Kaur, who has been pursuing justice for her murdered husband, said: “In court we have to fight and there is so much harassment.... This won't finish in our lifetime.” To learn more about Mr. Khalra, visit: http://www.ensaaf.org/programs/legal/khalra/ TORCH OF JUSTICE SHINES: BE THERE. BE COUNTED.PASS IT ON.
Posted on September 3, 2010



Punjab born Feel
Punjab’s pain –
Sheikh Azhar Ehsan

The Struggle for
One Punjab
and One Punjabi:

Swaranjeet Singh

Chicago: ( July 23, 2010) Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies (IFCAPS) in collaboration with Asian American Seniors Association (AASA) and Akal Foundation (Chicago) organized a special function in honor of Sheikh Ajhar Ehsan, a most revered person among Pakistani Sikhs. The venue Pepper & Salt Restaurant presented a festive look as a large gathering joined in the dialog and discussion for three hours. The topic that held great interest of the participants focused on “ Mutual Respect of Sikhs and Muslims in Pakistan” This gathering aimed at increasing mutual cooperation and strengthening love on both sides of the border without any regard to political biases and complaints. Mr. Sheikh Sahib said in a very affectionate tone, “You may come to your religious places quite often. We have kept our doors open for you for ever. To pay pilgrimage to your religious places is your right. No one can snatch these rights from you, no matter who rules in Pakistan. We will not let borders come in the way of our relations of love and understanding.” This brief dialog had a long range of uniting hearts and clearing misunderstandings.

Mr. Sadhu Singh Rikhiraj, the president of IFCAPS while welcoming the guests said that member of different communities and the presence of the chief guest paints a picture of the complete Punjab. Professor Joginder Singh Ramdev also urged that they would have to keep alive respect for each other. Thakur Singh Basati and Dr. Javed Bhatti said that they should take pride in their mother tongue. It is born for nurturing love and fellow feeling. They said that until Punjabis sing together love and peace, the high walls of misunderstanding wouldn’t come down to make a way for building bridges and end the reign of hatred.

The Executive Secretary Prof. Kulwant Singh said that the foundation of IFCAPS was laid with a view to promote love and understanding with the hope that solutions emerge spontaneously from such an atmosphere. The pen used in this direction will sure bring peace in South Asia. S. Sadhu Singh Rikhiraj and Prof. Jagindar Singh Ramdev honored Sheikh Sahib with a plaque of honor. The executive Director Dr. Swaranjeet Singh presented few publication of IFCAPS “ Roshan Zameer, Sach ki Bani: Universal for Peace” to the Chief Guest.

Mr Sheikh is a member of Wakaf Board of Pakistan. He is also a member of the global governing council. The same governing council has given permission to build Baba Guru Nanak International University on 2500 acres prime land. He said it in a clear language that the proposed university is a first step to increase love and cooperation. The foundation of that love was laid by Sain Mian Mir on the request of Guru Arjan Dev ji. He said, “We alone can’t complete this project, you will have to come forward and support it.”

The standard of this university will match International standards. 75% of total students will enroll from other countries; Pakistan will keep only 25% share in the enrollment. He stressed, “Today Nanakana Sahib is beckoning Sikhs. Come to see your Guru’s places. There is no ban on Sikhs for visiting their religious places. We always keep waiting for you. You can comet on four most important occasions: Vaisakhi, Guru Arjan Sahib’s martyrdom, Guru Nanak’s Birthday, and Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s death Anniversary. You may come on other occasions as well, we shall put your request before the government. I have seen Sikh children becoming emotional and shedding tears while saying goodbye to their religious places. It is easy to know such reactions, but one can imagine how it affects them profoundly who feel bonded to their places. Punjab’s pain can be felt only by those who are born in Punjab. Governments don’t do anything. Only people can become one-voiced. I am your voice. Whatever you propose I shall try my best to fulfill that. Let your voice mingle with mine to create unique melody. Punjab understands that melody. I am sure you will do your best to strengthen this love. We haven’t raised border walls. Sheikh Sahib evoked such painful memories, that everyone felt connection to the old glory of Punjab.

Executive Director of IFCAPS Dr. Swaranjeet Singh conducted the stage in a highly appreciable manner. He observed that Sheikh Sahib’s love for Punjab reduced feelings of separation to some extent, however, the battle for saving Punjabi and the Punjab’s soil, a long distance has to be journeyed. Punjabi language is our mother; therefore, it is necessary to become one purposed. This voice is free from the differences of religion, politics and race. In the end, Mr. Sajid Chaudhary recited poems. The atmosphere became very colorful.

The people who took part in discussion were Dr. Javed Bhatti, Sajid Chaudhary, Jodh R, Rawat, Dr. Pradeep Singh Gill, Inderjit Singh Mukker, Dr. Baldev Singh, Ginny, Baljot Kaur, Dr. Swarnjit Singh, Prof. Kulwant Singh Hundal, Prof. Jagindar Singh Ramdev, Kanwar Singh, Gaurav Singh, Sewa Singh Virdi, Amolak Singh Giddha, Surinder Singh Grewal, Ravneet Singh Grewal, Hardeep Singh Komal, Harmeet Singh and Thakur Singh Basati. Similar programs were proposed for the future also.

Posted on July 30, 2010

Manmohan Singh

Recent reports of horrific beheadings of Sikhs by the Taliban in Pakistan are causing major concerns to the Sikhs around the world and in particular to the many Sikhs in the United States some of whom have relatives in Pakistan. These concerns and horrific reports have led to conclusions that the general safety of Sikhs in parts of Pakistan has been compromised.

We also acknowledge and are grateful to the Pakistan authorities who have freed the remaining known captured Sikhs in the last few days. However the condition of the Sikh community remains a deep concern for us all.

The World Sikh Council – America Region has requested our representatives in the US government to make an inquiry to find out what steps they can take with the Government of Pakistan, as well as other active organizations, regarding the safety of minorities and particularly of Sikhs in that country. We will continue to press for assurance and action so that all are safe and respected.

Posted on March 07, 2010

Last Saturday, Dr. Cynthia Keppley Mahmood from the University of Notre Dame was honored with "hwA dw nwArw" award by IFCAPS in recognition for her dedicated services to the study of Sikhs. The Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies honored her for her commitment to honesty, integrity in her academic pursuits and for standing on the side of truth regardless of the consequences. The award was in the form of a Certificate and a check for $1000.00. The event took place at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, IL. The award was presented to Dr. Mahmood by the President of IFCAPS, S. Sadhu Singh Rikhiraj. Explaining the idea behind this award Executive Director of IFCAPS Dr. Swaranjeet Singh said "This award has been established in memory of the courageous deed of sympathy and compassion shown by Nawab of Malerkotla who fearlessly opposed cruel martyrdom of the younger Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh ji. With the same fervor and zeal Dr. Mahmood is fighting for the rights of the Sikhs in courthouses of the Western Hemisphere. This award will
not be an annual event: however it will be awarded to those courageous enough to dedicate themselves to serving the cause of Truth and giving voice to the oppressed. This award will transcend all geographical, social and religious boundaries. Dr. Mahmood is the first deserving, brave and selfless woman candidate for this award who risked her personal safety and her career to stand by truth and justice. Sikhs will always remain indebted to her for this invaluable service.

The program started with S. Sadhu Singh Rikhiraj welcoming the participants; remembering and reminding the audience about the agonizing tragedy of 1984. Thereafter, IFCAPS Director of Communications Bibi Harvind Kaur recited Gurbani Shabad. The audience maintained silence in memory of those who were mercilessly massacred in 1984. During this silent tribute, the audience was shown the horrific reality of the Delhi Pogroms and the Operation Blue Star through historic photographs. Bibi Harvind Kaur introduced Dr. Mahmood and invited her to express her views about the ghastly tragedy of 1984 and the plight of Sikhs today. Without mincing words she expressed the following, "In reflecting on the twenty-five years since the tragedies of 1984, I focused particularly on the wider context of the conflict in Punjab and the Sikh movement for self-determination. Based on twenty years of intimate research with the Sikh community, I noted the insularity of this community and its tendency towards concentration on internal dynamics rather than building relationships with other communities, working on shaping the external perception of the Sikh experience, and learning from the comparative history of other movements for self-determination. I emphasized the notion of readiness to seize moments of opportunity, and discussion ensued around how the global Sikh panth could work now on issues of unity, communication and planning that have thus far been elusive." She further said within her lecture that, "It is impossible for Sikhs to forget the tragedy of 1984. There are many facets to this tragedy. This tragedy is the direct result of establishing a Centralized System of government that took away the rights of states to self determination .In the changing circumstances of today, 1973 document prepared by Sirdar Kapur Singh, is the best alternative and solution to the problems faced by minorities in India. Sikhs should unite and pursue this course. In the changing circumstances of the last twenty five years, Sikhs should also change their approach. Because of the curse of prevailing caste consciousness, the Dalits are moving away from mainstream Sikhism. Negative approach towards splinter groups- within the brotherhood - by the mainstream Sikhs and their insular mentality and preoccupation within the Gurudwaras has given birth to too many problems that they face today. Current statistics show that Sikhs top in domestic violence. This is highly disappointing to Sikhs and sympathizers seeking solutions to the problems faced by the Sikhs."

During question/answer session Dr. Mahmood provided highly logical answers. During this time Dr. Swaranjeet Singh, also clearly expressed IFCAPS position on the complex river waters issue in Panjab, he said "This issue of river waters should be settled according to International Law. This issue pertains to riparian rights of states. It is a problem: not a conflict. The division of 1947 is a conflict that has lead to this agonizing problem. Since the Punjab has been divided many times, its riparian and geographical integrity has been violated. Solution to this nagging problem lies in re-establishing a riparian state from the Sindh River to the Jamuna River. The division of the Panjab is the root cause of this problem. Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Jinah both are responsible for this problem. Sikhs are paying price for the problem created by them."

To conclude the event, Prof. Kulwant Singh Hundal thanked all the organizers and lecture attendys.He also acknowledge the work of Inderjit Singh, Ifcaps, Director of Public Relations and outreach. He was special thankful to the donors who support the Ifcaps. Lakhwinder Singh Cheema, Surinder Singh, Narinder Singh, Harmeet Singh, Ravi Singh, Karamjit Singh, Amardev Singh, Santokh Singh, Hardeep Singh Gill, Inderbir Singh Gill, Ujagar Singh Gill, Mandeep Kaur Gill, Upawan Kaur, Irwinpreet Singh, Sukhvir Kaur, Kuldeep Singh Makkar, Surinderpal Singh Kalra, Dr. Baldev Singh, Prof. Jagindar Singh Ramdev, Thakar Singh Basati. Jaswinder Singh,Harjinder Singh Jindi, Harbans Singh, Amrikpal Singh, Bibi Jasvir Kaur, Bibi Gurbachan Kaur , Bibi Mann Kaur, Gurdev Singh, Tirlochan Kaur, Gaurav Singh, Hardeep Singh Komal, Amrit Kaur, Sewa Singh Virdi, Narinderpal Singh Marwaha, Amolak Singh, R.S.Mahal, Jaspal Singh Bajwa, Tara Singh Hundal, Bhupinder Singh Hundal, Lal Singh, Surinder Singh, Sarwan Singh, Harpinder Singh, Rajinder Singh,Inder Kaur, Ginni and more Chicago land respectable families participated in the event.

Posted on December 23, 2009

U.S. Sikh leaders condemn Violence in Vienna
and appeal for peace in India Wednesday,
27 May 2009

WASHINGTON DC: Sikh leaders across United States have condemned the violence in Vienna ,
Austria, in which one person died and several others were injured.

Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman of Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE), said, “We condemn the violence which took place in Vienna , Austria. This kind of violence has no place in the Sikh affairs and it needs to be categorically condemned by all Sikhs without going into the merits of the issue. No issue requires taking law into your own hand no matter what the provocation is. We are saddened by this terrible tragedy and we appeal everyone to maintain peace and calm at all cost.”

He added, “This is undoubtedly a major setback to the Sikh interests on the international scene especially in Western Europe and the Americas. Various Sikh groups have been working hard day and night to create positive image of the Sikhs and also to get Sikhs the right to exercise their religion without restrictions throughout the Western world. This incident does tremendous damage to all such efforts and it has brought bad name to rest of the peaceful Sikh community worldwide.”

He further added, “We appeal to Jathedar of Akal Takhat, the highest spiritual authority in India, to issue a strict edict that no person or organization should resort to violence to deal with any issue related to Sikh observances or Maryada (Sikh code of conduct).  We have seen an escalation of violent means to deal with issues related to Maryada or issues related to respecting Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Scriptures) in the recent times. Only Akal Takhat should be the place to bring an issue for deliberations.

Dr. Gurpal Singh Bhuller of Association of Sikh Professionals and Sikh Association of Central Virginia, said, "We Sikhs need to completely reject the attack on other worshippers in Vienna, Austria.  People of God cannot condone such violent acts in a place of worship.  Differences in theology, belief and form must be settled with reason and respect for the laws of the host country, the rights of its citizens, as well as the acceptance of all fellow human beings.  It is a tragedy that this crime was committed by individuals to protect the sanctity of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, which preaches tolerance and forgiveness."

Dr. I.J. Singh, writer of various Sikh books in New York, said, “The action of the attackers is contrary to Sikh teachings. Everyone is entitled to practice their own faith as they see fit. No body has any right to stop others much as we do not allow anybody to interfere in practice of our own faith. History is full of examples where Sikhs have defended the rights of others to exercise their religion freely and we are known for this.”

Dr. Jasbir Singh Kang, a prominent Sikh leader in Yuba City, California, had called the local Shri Guru Ravidass Gurdwara in his area to express his condolences. He said, “We condemn the violence and it does not help anything. Guru Nanak, Founder of Sikh faith, taught us to have gosti- discussions when there is disagreement. You can have difference of opinion but cannot go to the extent of taking someone’s life. Fighting among brothers within Sikh community will not help anything and we appeal to all concerned to show restraint in India and abroad.”

Posted on May 28, 2009


A Delegation Of Sikh Naujawan Sabha Pakistan met the Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti
Federal Minister Of Minorities Affair Government of Pakistan & Chairman Sikh Naujawan Sabha Sardar Ramesh Singh Presenting a  Sindh Tradional Ajrak to Minister of Minorities Affairs Government of Pakistan Islamabad.
Press Secretary
Arjun Singh
Sikh Naujawan Sabha Pakistan

Posted on April 28, 2009


Ambedkartimes shares its deep grief over the untimely passing away of Giani Wadhawa Singh Gill , who was very closely associated with the West Sacramento Sikh temple. He was very active & dedicated to the Guru Ghar and he will be remembered forever for his services to the Sikh community.

Ambedkartimes pays floral tributes to beloved Giani Wadhawa Singh Gill Ji and sends condolences to his family and fellow missionaries on their biggest loss.

(Ambedkartimes Group)

Posted on February 27, 2009


Our beloved Giani Wadhawa Singh Ji Gill touched our lives in many ways. We salute him for living his life as a Great Sikh and objectifying spiritual values in his conduct and everyday interaction with the community. The community has indeed lost the most revered member.

Dr. Amrik Singh & Onkar Singh Bindra, Ph. D.


Giani Wadhawa Singh Ji Gill, who was very closely associated with the West Sacramento Sikh temple, a past president, currently spiritual advisor to the Sikh temple passed away on Tuesday. He was a very noble soul who brought all seven Sikh temples from greater Sacramento to join hands in celebrating the 300 anniversary of the Guru Granth sahib. We are all going to miss him dearly. His funeral is likely to be on this Saturday.

Iqbal Badwalz 916-548-2248


IVACC shares the grief and loss of Giani Wadhawa Singh Ji Gill West Sacramento Sikh temple; He will be remembered for his services and devotion to Sacramento Sikh community. God bless his great soul rest in peace.

Sukh C. Singh- General Secretary
Indus Valley American Chamber of Commerce, Elk Grove (Ca.)

Funeral and Shri Sahej Path

With a very heavy heart we share the sad news that our beloved Giani Wadhawa Singh Ji Gill passed away at home on 2/24/09 after a short illness.  Giani Ji had touched many lives and hearts.  His loss is beyond description for our community. The information about his Antam Saskar (Funeral Services) is as follows: Saturday 2/28/09    from 11 AM - 1 PM Funeral Services at North Sacramento Funeral Home, Funeral Home Address: 725 El Camino Ave, Sacramento, CA 95815 Phone: (916) 922-9668 Saturday 2/28/09   From 2pm – 3:30pm Arambh Shri Sahej Path -at Sikh Temple Sacramento will start after the Antam Saskar.

Sikh Temple Address :
2301 Evergreen Ave , West Sacramento , CA 95691

Phone (916) 371-9787Saturday 3/7/09     Bhog Shri Sahej Path and Kirtan Program   3 - 5 PM  At West Sac. Sikh Temple. Please feel free to share this news with others. Sadh Sangat Da Das,

Mohinder S Sandhu General Secretary

  Sikh Temple Sacramento, 2301 Evergreen Ave , West Sacramento , CA 95691
e-mail:   sikh.temple.sacramento@gmail.com

Posted on February 27, 2009


In the memory of Late Tejinder Sibia, Mrs. Manjeet Sibia, Mr. and Mrs. Karn and Kirn Jakhed have made arrange for a memorials service at:

SIKH TEMPLE SACRAMENTO, 2301 Evergreen Avenue, West Sacramento , CA. 95691,
On Saturday Feb. 28, 2009 from 6: PM to 7:30 PM,
Ph. # is 916-371-9787 

All friends and relatives are invited to attend. His loss is for ever felt by every one. For further information please contact: Mrs. Manjeet Sibia 916 717 5441, 916 419 3511

Posted on February 21, 2009 (1:28am)

Press Note

- Release of Sach Ki Bani-Universal Message for Peace

Edited by Swaranjeet Singh, Harvind Kaur Singh and Kulwant Singh Hundal,
Published by Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies

The Gurta Gaddi Tercentenary celebrations have stopped. The search for eternal peace, tranquility and soul-satisfaction continues. You are invited to participate in this ongoing journey, the path of which has been laid down by the Bani of the Gurus. To take you into the deeper realms of Gurbani, through practical experience and academic excellence, the editors of this new volume dedicated to the Tercentenary celebrations, Sach Ki Bani –Universal Message for Peace, have brought forth a unique rare fare in two languages –English and Punjabi.

Authors Swaranjeet Singh, Harvind Kaur Singh and Kulwant Singh Hundal, under the aegis of the Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies have compiled a compendium of especially written articles by scholars and Sikh practitioners far and wide, for they believe that “the current dissonance between those who claim to be experts in Sikhism and those who are immersed in the praxis must be confronted. This gulf is ever expanding; however, a true bridge between the two is necessary in order to more fully realize the essence of what Sikhism is and means to a wide spectrum of believer and non-believers.”

Like all Sikhs the editors are convinced that the truth contained in the writings as composed in Guru Granth Sahib are eternal. However, they have significantly pointed out that, “while many efforts at interpretation and understanding exist and assist in creating awareness, the true essence and meaning for each individual remains tied to their own effots at deciphering and realizing the truth within the sacred words.”

Acknowledging that there can be no studies without use and understanding of the Gurmukhi language, this is a bilingual volume combining the best of both the worlds, for as SS Ek Ong Kaur Khalsa says in her piece on Dharam Khand, the English language is perhaps inadequate to express the rich language and content of Gurbani while detailing human consciousness.

This unique volume starts with the extraordinary enunciation of the Japji by Sirdar Kapur Singh. It contains the amazingly mystical and magical journey into the cosmos through Gurbani, exploring the relationship between religious studies and natural sciences by Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh. New York University professor IJ Singh while dwelling on anthropology and the mystique of the Sikh scripture, clearly recalls the Guru’s words “that it is not the sight and idolization of the Guru Granth that is liberating, but engagement with the word therein.” Gurtej Singh explains the pluralism of the Guru’s word, Swaranjeet Singh, the executive director of the Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies goes through the role of Sikh women in religious texts and Sikh history and seeks full implementation of equality to women in Sikh society. Manjyot Kaur revels in the ecstasy of the company of Guru Granth Sahib, Jaginder Singh Ramdev details the contribution of Bhagats, Swaraj Singh and Ranbir Singh Sandhu extol the universality of the message of the Gurus, ace chronicler Raghbir Singh Bains emphasizes the need of Gurbani for democratic functioning and universal peace, while Kulwant Singh Hundal explores the shades of Maya and Gurbachan Singh Bachan traces the physical ecology from the pre-universe era to the creation of the present universe and this article should serve as an inspiration for scientists looking at the relationship between this aspect of science and the Sikh religion.

As always, the Panjabi section is laced with inspirational articles. In their respective articles, veteran Sikh writers Jaswant Singh Neki, Kulwant Singh Hundal and Niranjan Singh Dhesi take the reader on a spiritual journey on the path to Begumpura. The articles on Raagas by Dr. Gurnam Singh, the contemporariness of Guru Granth Sahib by Devinder Singh and the importance of Guru Granth Sahib in today’s ultra-modern age by Bhupinder Singh Khehra are a ready reckoner about the basic tenets of the Sikh faith and are of immense value to the lay reader. Swaranjeet Singh, Kulwant Singh Hundal and Darshan Singh have explored the social ramifications of Gurbani in their articles.

A common thread of peace, compassion and proximity to God and godliness runs through all the articles in this path-breaking 300 page reasonably priced volume which was released today in Chandigarh by Gurtej Singh -former IAS officer and National Professor of Sikhism, Dr. Darshan Singh –former Professor and Chairman of Department of Guru Nanak Sikh Studies, Panjab University –and Rajinder Singh -the chairperson of the Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat.

Perhaps the best way to commemorate the Tercentenary celebrations is to spread the Guru’s word, their teachings, philosophy and way of life to as many people as possible so that mankind can benefit can be inspired to the creation of Halemi Raaj and to seek and establish an equalitarian order on the lines of Begampura as enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib.

Undoubtedly, readers in Panjab, the Diaspora and elsewhere would immensely benefit from this work of the Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies, whose sole and primary motive is to provide a forum of free exchange of thought processes incorporating Gurbani whose reach is universal. This book will provide a stepping stone to social scientists and activists concerned about creating a new world order and also to those who would like to embark on a spiritual journey.

Editors: Sach Ki Bani

Dr. Swaranjeet Singh is a Founder and executive Director of Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies (IFCAPS). He earned his PhD in Panjabi Language and Literature from Panjab University , Chandigarh . His work focuses on Sikh historical novels. He passed NET (National Eligibility Test) from UGC (University Grant Commission, Delhi ) in 1991 for Lectureship in Indian Colleges and Universities. Dr. Singh holds a Master’s in Panjabi and a Bachelor’s from Panjab University , Chandigarh . He also completed a Certificate Course in Persian to gain more complete research skills for his work in Sikh History. Dr. Singh has served as a lecturer in several colleges throughout Panjab. He left lecturing after more than seven years of graduate and undergraduate teaching experience in 2000. For a short while he was appointed the assistant editor of the Sikh Studies Quarterly, by Gurtej Singh, editor of the same journal in the Institute of Sikh Studies , Chandigarh . He resigned from this position in 2001 and migrates to USA , where he earned Associates in Accounting from OCC. He is the author of BUTT PARASTH NAHI AKAAL PARASTH. This text is a remarkable work that outlines Sikh strategy and important Sikh concerns regarding the onslaught of fascist organizations under the umbrella of the R.S.S. This document was originally published at the request of Joint Action Committee (Now Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat) in 2000. The original brochure was published anonymously. He has written ROSHAN ZAMEER and SACH SUNAISI books. His articles have been published in Amritsar Times, Chardi Kala, Panjab Times and The Sikh Bulletin, Spokesman, Shahadat International, Sikh Shahadat and Aaj Di Awaz. He is also the Co-Editor with Gurtej Singh SHAHEED BILAS: SANT JARNAIL SINGH. He contributed six articles on Bhagat Singh controversy which were published in SIKH CHETNA ATE BHAGAT book. He is also a Former Media Coordinator of Sikh Religious Society, Palatine .

Harvind Kaur Singh is a Director of Communications of Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies (IFCAPS). She began her television career as an undergraduate at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she completed her degree in Journalism and Philosophy. She received an Emmy Nomination for her weekly series Educate! which aired locally on WYCC-TV Chicago. She earned Master degree in Divinity from University of Chicago . She holds a Master in Liberal Arts and a Master in Divinity with a concentration in the history of religions. Kaur is a professional documentary producer. Her works have aired on PBS and her community related work was showcased at the first Spinning Wheel Film Festival in Toronto . Keep the Faith is her first Sikh focused project. She is currently working on two other community related projects including a series of programs designed to highlights the achievements of Panjabi’s across the globe. The first installment of the series titled Sikh Portraits: Glorious Past, Brilliant Future will focus on the life and achievements of US Congressman Dalip Singh Saund. Her other project which is still in production deals with the unheard voices of India ’s minority communities. The project titled, India : Democratic Miracle or Mirage? has a corresponding website www.democraticindia.org. The trailer can be viewed on-line. This visionary and proactive program was premiered and launched at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago in 2003. She is currently Vice President of Singh & Associates, Inc. and actively writing in Sikh chic. Her articles have published in Amritsar Times (English and Panjabi edition), World Sikh News and Indian Reporter.

Kulwant Singh Hundal is an Executive Secretary of Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies (IFCAPS). He completed his high school education from Lyallpur Khalsa School , Sham Chaurasi. He joined Indian Navy in 1958 and during this period received Master’s in English and Political Science from Panjab University , Chandigarh . He served as Lecturer in English at Lyallpur Khalsa

College, Jallandhar from 1969 to 1979 and migrate to USA in 1979. He is a Former President and Religious Secretary of Sikh Religious Society, Palatine and Former Executive Member’s of AGPC and WSC.

Posted on February 8, 2009



By: C L Chumber

Jalandhar:  A Nagar Kirtan in honor of Sikhs’ first Guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji was organized on November 10, 2008 by city Gurdwaras, Sikh organizations and educational societies. The procession was led by Guru Granth Sahib on well decorated float escorted by Panj Piaras. On the route of the procession,  the sidewalks were crowded with people from all walks of life. They savored food prepared by Sikhs, business houses and social organization. The spirit of serving others pervaded highlighting Guru’s message of harmony. Members of all political parties took part in the Nagar Kirtan. A newly declared nominee of Jalandhar Parliamentary seat, Hans Raj Hans was seen interacting with people of his constituency. Gatka parties exhibited their skills to the awe of curious onlookers. City schools and colleges participated in a big way along with their teachers.

Posted on November 22, 2008

Gurus words Reign Supreme
at 29 th Sikh Parade in Yuba City

Dr. Amrik Singh writes from Sacramento

1 Leading Float escorted by Five Beloveds of the Guru, 2 All California Universities and Colleges students feel proud to be a part of the Parade, 3 Devotees sweeping the path for the Holy March, 4 Punjabi Learners of Yuba City High School with Supervisor of Sutter County Jim Whitekar, 5 Following the leading float, Sikh men and women walk listening to Shabad, 6 Steve and Rachel are students of Punjabi class at SCC, UC Davis, 7 Curious to know about the message of the Parade, Yuba City Residents look at the main float, 8 Sacramento Residents Robert, Garry, Pete and Pam attracted to the Parade

29th Sikh Parade in Yuba City on November 2, 2008 was a special occasion this year. Global Celebrations linked with 300 years of enthroning Guru Granth Sahib as the spiritual Head of Sikhs has attracted attention of the world community. Guru Granth Sahib’s universal message of peace is looked upon as one of the possibilities of enshrining world peace.

An estimated 65- 70 thousand people joined the parade. Sikhs came from as far as Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Espanola, New Mexico, Vancouver, Canada to honor their Guru’s message to believe in One God, Work Hard, Share with Others, and universal brother and sisterhood of mankind. Besides Sikhs, people from almost all faiths joined in the parade and expressed their thankfulness for a unique experience.

Sikh temples from all over USA, Sikh organizations, Sikh Student Associations, Cultural Clubs and Business Organization had their floats decked with multi-colored backgrounds with motifs of Guru’s message, Religious music played adding to the dreamlike atmosphere of the parade. T.V. crews, journalists of ethnic and American media and artist were seen busy in covering 29 th Sikh Parade. Over the years, the Sikh Parade has blended with diverse cultures of Sutter County. Despite the traffic congestion on the streets, Americans living in the surrounding areas consider it as a most welcoming event. It provides an opportunity to them and their families not only to savor a variety of ethnic foods but also adds to the color of their life.

The excitement of the younger generations in preparing, decorating and equipping their floats gives them positive energy to stay away from drugs, crimes and gang involvement. They consider themselves a part of the community that advocates recognizing other faiths, groups and belief systems.

The Sikh Parade also increases interaction of the community with elected officials, lawmakers and law enforcement. It is a great challenge for the Sutter County to make arrangements for the parade. Lt. Governor John Garamendi joined the congregation on Saturday, November 1, 2008 and watched a movie about the universal message of Guru Granth Sahib. Three more movies were screened to make connection with the Sikh history. One such movie focused on the tragic life of Maharaja Dalip Singh who suffered unbearable miseries at the hands of the British. Sherriff department had made elaborate arrangements to maintain order for the free flow of traffic on the streets.

The writer talked with a number of people to know about their experiences who came for the parade for the first time. Robert, Garry, Pete and Pam came all the way from Sacramento. Though they did not know anything about the actual purpose of the Sikh Parade, they however figured out it was for peace. On being informed about Guru Granth Sahib’s uniqueness, one of them suggested some written information would have been very helpful for the first timers like him. Students of Punjabi course at Sacramento State University and Sacramento City College at Davis while enjoying the Parade were able to read many signs in Gurmukhi and were so happy to experience what they were learning in the classroom. Katie though lives in Yuba city for the last four years, but came for the first time on the suggestion of a certain friend. She said it was so ennobling for her and her children that she would not miss any parade in the future.

A special studio on behalf of Comcast Cable News Network was set up at the premises of Professor Hari Singh Everest’s on Tierra Buena Rd. Dr. Jasbir Singh Kang of Sikh American Heritage held special interviews for Central Valley Comcast. Dr. Onkar Singh Bindra, a former Professor and Alumni of UC Berkeley distributed information about the approval a new course “Sikh American and Globalization” at California State University Sacramento. TV channel 8 will telecast the coverage of the Parade on November 23, 2008 at 4 PM and November 29 at 3 PM. It is also available on Online www.mykbtv.com . Newly founded JUS Punjabi TV on Dish Network Channel 809 covered live all proceedings of the 29 th Sikh Parade.

Posted on November 04, 2008

Sikh Style Capitol Rally for World Peace

Photos: Left to right: Lt. Governor of California State John Garamendi, Senator Darrell Steinberg, President California State Senate,
David Jones Assemblyman California State Legislature and Sangat for the March for World Peace on 11 Oct. 2008 at Capitol Sacramento

Report & photos by Dr. Amrik Singh Sacramento

State Capitol of California recorded an unparalleled event on Saturday, October 11, 2008 when members of interfaith groups joined Sacramento Valley Sikhs in the March for World Peace and Capitol Rally. The occasion was to commemorate 300 years of spiritual leadership of Guru Granth Sahib, acknowledged as the Eleventh and the last Guru of the Sikhs. Ten Sikh Gurus in human form between 1469 A.D -1708 A.D. guided Sikhs to recognize the unity of Mankind on our planet and the Fatherhood of God in the entire universe. Guru Granth Sahib embodies revelations of Sikh Gurus, saints, seers and visionaries who stress enshrining of God’s Name in the center of consciousness as the sure way to peace. In 1708, the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh ordained Sikhs to seek guidance only of the written words in the Holy Scriptures, thus ending the possibility of any human to gain the status of Sikh Guru in future.

In the first leg of the Rally, members of the Interfaith groups and Sikhs gathered at the Southside Park where Sikh leaders drew attention to the significance of Tercentenary Celebration worldwide. A specially customized vehicle carried Guru Granth Sahib as the leading float of the rally. Sikhs and other participants followed in a March to the Capitol in Downtown Sacramento. An array of California State leaders, Assemblymen, Senators, Mayor of Sacramento and Interfaith leaders gathered on the lush green lawns of the Capitol to deliver their Special Message to Sikhs for their efforts to create mutual understanding among people of diverse ethnicities and religious backgrounds.

At the Capitol, the keynote speaker was Lieutenant Governor of California, John Garamendi who praised Sikhs for their hard work, positive attitude, and a spirit of sharing with other communities. Tercentenary celebrations of Guru Granth Sahib indeed are efforts to bring peace by invoking Guru’s blessings. President of the State Senate, Senator Darrel Steinberg declared that Sikhs were always welcome to the State Capitol as special invitees. Mayor of Sacramento Ms. Heather Fargo mentioned how on September 13, 2001 only two days after 9/11 Sikhs came out in a big way to extend moral and financial support to victims of twin towers. NBA star and Mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson waited long for his turn to deliver his message. Assemblyman of 9 th District David Jones presented a special Peace Resolution on behalf of the California State Assembly thus making Tercentenary celebration historical for California. Mike Moran of Spiritual Life Center, Interfaith Service Bureau said Guru Granth Sahib Message was evident in the enthusiasm of Sikhs to reach others. Ex-President David Thompson said how love and peace in action was needed to remove doubts and ignorance. Mr. Jay Alan, Deputy Director of Communication, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, Supervisor Mariko Yamada, Supervisor Roger Dickinson, Councilmember Mark Johannessen, the City of West Sacramento, Ms. Durriya Syed, President of Interfaith Bureau Service, Don Saylor, Mayor Pro tem City of Davis were others who addressed the audience.

Earlier, Bhai Ranjit Singh of West Sacramento Gurdwara started the Capitol Rally with Sikh Prayer. Giani Wadhawa Singh Gill Religious Advisor emphasized to recognize all pervasive Fatherhood of God. S. Mohinder Singh Sandhu, General Secretary of West Sacramento Gurdwara, and Dr. Gurinder Singh Kanwar conducted the stage events very successfully. Dr. Gurtej Singh Cheema, Dr. Narinder Singh Parhar President of Bradshaw Gurdwara, JP Singh of Sikh Temple, El Sobrante, Mr. SS Raikhy a CEO, Mr. Jaswinder Jandy of Gurdwara Fremont, Balbir Singh Dhillon President of Gurdwara West Sacramento, and Darshan Singh Mundy, Public Relation Officer expressed their ideas on the significance of the Tercentenary Celebrations all over the world. A message from Sri Akal Takhat Sahib was also read. At the Southside Park Mr. Kawal Bolina read message on behalf of the entire Nor. Cal. Sadh Sangat. The following Sikh leaders also addressed the gathering: S. Paramjit Singh, Gen. Sec. Shri Sach Khand Sahib, Sikh Temple Roseville S. Maheshinder Singh, Gen. Sec., Sikh Temple Roseville, Melody lane Amar Baidvan of Shri Guru Ravidas Temple Rio Linda, Taran Hundal & Amandeep Dhariwal - Sunday School, West Sacramento Sikh temple, Bhai Bikram Singh Ji, Guru Nanak Sat Sangat of California, Sikh Temple Elsie Road. An airplane with the message “Guru Granth Sahib 300 Years Peace Recipe” hovered in the Sky throughout the ceremonies. An estimated eight thousands people took part in the celebrations. Free breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages were served in plenty.

Posted on October 18, 2008


By Onkar Singh Bindra, Ph. D. (U.C. Berkeley)*

In America , there is widespread ignorance about the Sikhs. Because of their turban and beard, Sikh men are often called Osama bin Laden. Sikh children have to face bullying and harassment. Recently, the Patka of a Sikh boy was set on fire in New York , while another Sikh boy was beaten badly. We need education, education and education. For educating the masses about Sikh identity, it is very important to include information about Sikhs in the textbooks and Supplemental Instructional Materials (SIM).

Last June, this reporter pointed out to the California Department of Education (CDE) the need for inclusion of “The Boy with Long Hair” in the SIM, and advised the publisher, to submit it for approval. It is a pleasure to report that the said coloring story book has now been approved by the CDE for grades K-3.

The Boy with Long Hair is a true story of a California-born Sikh boy. He was quite happy in San Jose . His family moved to a small town where they had not seen a boy with long hair. Here, no one wanted to play with him, or talk to him. His isolation saddened him and ignorance of kids around him angered him. This book tells the story of courage and triumph of this young boy, how he dealt with the situation and finally became happy as the boy with long hair. His unique identity was no longer a problem. Everyone in his school knew him as an intelligent fun-loving boy.

In the words of the author (Pushpinder Kaur), it is a story for all those children who have felt left out and lonely because their heritage has given them customs that seem strange to some people. It is the story of a boy who knows that although people may look or behave differently, there is much that they share. She states, “This coloring book teaches children to be proactive, finding solutions to problems. Children and teachers alike realize that we have many similarities despite our differences, as the boy with long hair points them out. This book sends a powerful message about respect for diversity of our nation ( America ).”

It may be noted that earlier, this reporter got the following two items approved for use in California’s public schools: (1) “Meet the Sikhs”, a short DVD produced by PBS/KVIE, Sacramento (www.kvie.org ), now viewable on “You Tube”, and (2) “The Sikh Next Door” of Lohgarh Sikh Educational Foundation (www.sikhnextdoor.org ). With the approval of “The Boy with Long Hair” of the Sikh Foundation (www.sikhfoundation.org ), we will now have three items on the SIM.

It is extremely important that Sikh parents request the teachers of their school children to make use of these Supplemental Instructional Materials. Gifting one or all of these to the teachers and the Principal concerned will definitely encourage them to use these CDE-approved instructional materials, for education of the staff and the students. Readers are requested to convey this message to Sikhs throughout California . (Prof. Onkar S. Bindra, Sacramento : osbindra@yahoo.com)

Posted on August 31, 2008

*Onkar Singh Bindra, Ph.D. (U.C. Berkeley): Formerly Head of Entomology Dept., Punjab Agriculture Univ., Ludhiana, India; Retd Entomologist, Food & Agric. Organization of United Nations; Ex-Board Member, Renaissance Society, Calif. State Univ., Sacramento; Trustee Sikh Temple, Sacramento. Ph.(916) 858-2650

California Schools: History Framework

The History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools, available at http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/pn/fd/documents/hist-social-sci-frame.pdf , governs the topics that publishers must include in the history-social science textbooks. The current edition of the Framework does not have even a word about the Sikh identity, culture, history, or religion. It is now under revision. A Framework Focus Group met on May 7 at Sacramento, where Prof. Onkar Singh Bindra and Dr Gurtej Singh Cheema made comments. The Focus Group will meet on May 30 in the Santa Clara County, on June 5 in Los Angeles County and on June 6 in San Diego County, in County Education Offices. Sikh activists have been informed and requested to make Public Comments at those meetings, and to submit what additions/changes are needed and where.

Prof. Bindra also made a Public Comment at the May15 meeting of California’s Curriculum Commission. Inviting attention to the loss of lives of five Sikhs in hate crimes, starting with that of Balbir Singh Sodhi on Sept. 15, 2001 in Mesa (AZ), and to last week’s incident of a student setting on fire the Patka of a Sikh student in a New Jersey school, he said, “What we need is education, education and education.” He requested for inclusion of images, script and activities relating to Sikh appearance, culture, history and religion in the Framework. Finally, he presented to the Chair an educational DVD, “Sikhs in America”. Produced by the KVIE Sacramento, Public Television of Northern California, it has won an Emmy award in the category of Best Historic/Cultural Program. Readers may contact www.kvie.org for a copy of the DVD and their local TV station regarding its screening.

By: Onkar Singh Bindra, Ph.D. (U.C. Berkeley) Formerly Head of Entomology Dept, Punjab Agric. Univ., Ludhiana, India;
Retd Entomologist, Food & Agriculture Organization of United Nations; Ex-Board Member, Renaissance Society, Calif. State Univ., Sacramento; Trustee Sikh Temple, Sacramento. Ph. (916) 858-2650

(Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com May 19, 2008 )

Sikhs, Swamis, Students and Spies
The India lobby in the United States, 1900-1946.

By Harold A. Gould
460 pp. Sage Publications.

Book Review by
Dr. Amrik Singh


Harold A Gould’s book, Sikhs, Swamis, Students, And Spies: The India Lobby in the United States 1900-1946 is a landmark study of pioneers’ quest for freedom, love and justice both in lands of their birth and the lands they bowed to make green. Their contribution, according to Gould, will remain exceptional in the annals of history. Their dream of undivided India, though, could not become a reality due to the inept handling, yet their extraordinary role in becoming catalytic agent of change would alter our perception. Gould focuses on 1900-1946 period to dig out the truth behind the British’s eviction from India. His narrative flows uninterrupted through out 460 pages, mainly because he avoids hot spots of controversies for a more authentic account. Unlike most post-independence Indian historians, Gould constructs a comprehensive image of Ghadrites in championing the cause of freedom. Obstacles in the way to attain citizenship roused their ire creating a response that ironically advanced the cause of civil rights on both sides of the globe.

The author clearly explains how a small community of not more than 5000-6000 in 1910-20, had originally conceived a dream of claiming their country from clutches of the colonialists. In their monumental efforts, they struggled on behalf of then 260 million Indians who were being magnetized and mesmerized with glamour and glitz of colonial lifestyles. Pioneers’ lobbying efforts promoted the cause of freedom in American media, academia, and the society. The armed incursion of revolutionaries, though, suffered many jolts as British intelligence had made deep inroads into the very heart of Ghadr, however, it fueled the imagination of Indians to explore possibilities of free India. The title of the book, in fact, is a quip of Lala Hardyal who used it to categorize Indians in America as Sikhs, Swamis, Students and spies; it is so apt and apposite to the subject matter that it holds readers’ interest until the end.

The main plot revolves round Ambassador William Phillips’s assignment to India and his highly confidential report on British Raj’s hollowness and callousness in suppressing the voice of freedom and jeopardizing ongoing war efforts. Through his private report, Phillips urged the President Franklin D. Roosevelt to take action against the British in view of the common agenda adopted by allies in World War II. Since the lobbyists had sympathizers in the US state department, the confidential letter to the President found its way in the most popular column of the Washington Post. Drew Pearson’s “The Washington Merry-Go-Round” created a rift right in the middle of World War II. Who had leaked the information to the press? Gould reveals the name for the first time in the book under review.

The book has been dedicated to Professor I. Crane (1922-97) whose name is linked for the first time to the greatest mystery in the state department leakage case of 1943 to one of the columnists of the Washington Post. This disclosure hit hard at the British’s orchestrated campaign of constructing myths in America about benevolence of the British Raj. J.J. Singh, who was known as ‘one-man lobby’ and a genius of public relations among his American sympathizers, had worked hard to advertise Indian freedom movement. The author comments that firebrand leader like Lala Har Dyal though provided organizational support initially, yet could not manage to run the affairs for long due to British operatives’ threat. However the recruits mostly Sikhs, some Hindus and Muslims as well stood trial and some achieved martyrdom as wages for their allegiance. Professor Crane says about Sikhs: “They were all patriots and wanted India to be free, but they also wanted American citizenship.”

The intertwined motif of ending discrimination on the basis of race made pioneers willing partners in fight to the finish. The struggle for freedom starting in 1900 in North America continued with the same fervor though different routes had to be followed for achieving results. After the First World War, Punjabi pioneers’ influence looked unstoppable as they had 122,000 acreage in their possessions. Immigration & Naturalization Services’ decision to challenge the verdict of a district court in the US Supreme Court won support of Anglo Americans as a deterrent measure. Their main angst was pioneers’ unquenchable thirst for agricultural lands. The British Raj succeeded in convincing US government to try in court of law all revolutionaries for conspiring an armed incursion with money pumped by imperial Germany. The trials, according to Gould, were a media circus. “It lasted 155 days; cost the US government $450, 000 and the British government 2.5 million. The amount the British spent is obviously a measure of how threatening they believed Ghadr, in concert with the German enemy, had become.” In trials, the British had a motive for using American media for stereotyping ‘Hindoos’ as people of violent and criminal bent of mind. The phenomenal amount of dollar spending to suppress a small group of radicals through infiltration on the one hand and to egg on non-violent movement involving a larger population was the only course left to sidetrack barrels of guns from faces of Raj’s custodians.

In the 47 years of journey, Ghadr pioneers and their friends continued financial, moral and nationalistic support to the lobbyists. The median income of Indian Americans in 2005 is over $60.000 per annum, according to Gould, higher than any other minority group. Sufferings and energies of Sohan Singh Bhakna, Har Dayal, Taraknath Das, Syud Hossain, Anup Singh, Sridharani, JJ Singh, the Sikh leaders on the Pacific Coast, and so many others like Professor Robert Crane made it possible. The tenacity of their purpose and steady financial support won a badge of American citizenship when President Harry S. Truman signed ‘Celler-Luce Bill’ on July 2, 1946. The relief applied to all people of the Indian subcontinent. Gould emphasizes that isolating Ghadr from the latter-day campaigns will result in belittling its historical role. Gould opines, “The intellectuals were especially crucial in developing the various organizations that promoted political awareness and provided framework for collective action. Ghadr was a classic manifestation of this fateful conjecture, as were the organizations that followed, such as the Friends for Freedom of India, the India League of America, the Indian Chamber of Commerce of America, and the National Committee for Indian Freedom, the India Welfare League, etc.”

The armed invasion for liberation fantasized by Ghadrites may look a mere figment of imagination today, but for British intelligence it was a big plot to single out and dispatch white people from India. The interception of a ship, Henry S loaded with 5000 pistols at the sea was though a major success of the British intelligence, yet it spread panic among whites. The great enthusiasm of revolutionaries had stunned the ruling minority of India. The intelligence planned to create a counter political movement that might be not only culturally savvy and socially well-liked, but also damaging to the radicals. The double edged sword fashioned by master minds of the British intelligence both worked to decimate the influence of radicals in India as well as in the US. The main goal of underground operatives was to send early signals of an impending uprising.
Lobbyists’ efforts definitely increased American intervention in forcing the British to leave India. The President Harry S. Truman’s declaration of citizenship to Indians in 1946, in fact, was the precursor to India’s liberation in 1947. It is a different matter though colonialism continued in post-independent era in different indigenous forms. This could have been the only reason that Indian successive governments became apathetic to the demand of erecting a commemorative structure for Ghadr martyrs.

Sage Publication has done a good job except for errors in Professor l. Crane’s year of birth. Readers won’t know which one is right— 1920, 1922 and 1927.

Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com (December 20, 2007)

Gurpurb of Satguru Nanak Dev Ji

Sacramento: (Ambedkartimes.com News Bureau):- The Gurpurb of Satguru Nanak Dev Ji will be celebrated on December 2nd, 2007 (Sunday) with great dedication and spirit at Shri Guru Ravi Dass Temple, Rio Linda (California). On this auspicious occasion, the Waheguru’s blessed family of Mr. Kuldip S Mehmi s/o Mr. Bhagwan S Mehmi for the happiness and prosperity of their families will provide a three days Shri Akhand Path Sewa from November 30 to December 2, 2007. This Akhand Path will begin on November 30th (Friday) and the Bhog ceremony will be performed on December 2nd, 2007 (Sunday). Afterward, prominent kirtankars will enlighten the sangat with Gurbani and immortal teachings of Guru Ji. All sangat is, therefore, requested by the Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Sacramento to join in this celebration with families and invoke Waheguru’s eternal blessings. May Waheguru keep the dedicated Mehmi family and all Sacramento sangat in chardi kala and fulfill their cherished desires.

Posted on www.ambedkartimes.com (November 28, 2007)


Guru Nanak Gurupurb Celebration

Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha (Bay Area) California will celebrate Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Gurpurb on Sunday, 25th November 2007 at Newark Pavillion in Newark (California). The Shri Guru Ravi Dass Sabha is requesting every one to join this celebration with families. Programme will be 10.00 am to 3.00 pm.

For further more information contact: Baldev Suman (Chairman) - 510 750 4433, V. K. Chumber (President) - 510 219 5672, Balbir Singh Sheemar (General Secretary) – 510 299 7879, Prithipal Jhamat (Cashier) – 510 213 1743


Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha Bay Area celebrated Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Gurpurb at Newark Pavilion, Newark (California) on November 25, 2007. Some pictures from celebration by Mr. V. K. Chumber

Yuba City: (Takshila Chumber) Last Sunday on November 04, 2007 the Sikh Community celebrated the 28th Nagar Kirtan/Guru Gaddi Divas (Guru Granth Sahib) in Yuba City (California). On this great occasion other communities also participated in thousands. According to the Sangat this year’s the Sikh parade broke all previous records of sangat attendances & the celebration day was peacefully. The Sangat arrived from many different parts of the state & also from other countries. The Sangat(s) were warmly greetings to each other. Besides the Sangat, the younger generation also left its imprint on the Sikh Parade, including school/college cultural clubs.

Posted on November 07, 2007


Seminar in Honor of Punjabi Pioneers

Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi of California
And Sutter County Top Officials Assure Support

Dr. Amrik Singh

Sacramento: Three-day celebrations of 28th Annual Sikh Parade in Yuba City started with fireworks on Friday, November 2, 2007. An open seminar was held on Saturday afternoon. Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi inaugurated the seminar and congratulated organizers for their efforts to handle Sutter County’s largest religious festival. Dr. Bruce L. Brack Professor of Anthropology and International Studies of Pacific University Stockton delivered the keynote address. Sukhraj Singh, an American born Sikh spoke on challenges he had to face to keep his identity intact. Rori Ramirez, vice mayor of Yuba City shared his impressions of working with Sikhs. City Mayor John Miller talked about the significance of annual Sikh Parade and enthusiasm of Yuba City residents. Dr. Jasbir Singh Kang, M.D. introduced Professor Bruce La Brack and informed the audience of his intellectual stature and contribution. Sutter County supervisor Jim Whiteaker told about his long association with Sikhs and how incredible was the process of preparing food for such a big gathering. Later Yuba City’s Sikh City Council members Tej Mann and Kash Gill addressed the audience saying how proud they were to represent the Sikh community in the city council.

Professor Bruce La Brack who authored the book The Sikh of Northern California visited Punjab, India in 1969 for his research on Sikh religion. Due to second Indo-Pak war, however, he was not able to carry on with his project in India. He went to East Africa to construct dynamics of Sikh immigrants’ success in foreign lands. He also learnt Swahili language for that purpose. Then, he came to know about Stockton Gurudwara in California and Punjabi immigrants’ involvement in Gadhar movement (armed rebellion) against the British occupation of India. Talking about Sikh resilience and flexibility, he recalled how some Muslims were allowed to say their prayers while in the premises of Gurudwara. Gurudwara, according to him, used to be the mainstay of events important to the community. He reminisced about his 10 day stay in Yuba City with Sikhs who slogged day and night to eke out a living for their families and still participated in the community life.

Professor Brack traced causes of Punjabi immigration that were rooted in overpopulation in the state of Punjab and rising cost of land and living during the last quarter of 19th century. He recalled one incident in which 3000 Punjabis jumped the freighter illegally in Panama Canal and suffered unimaginable hostilities to reach the land of their dreams. Professor Brack wondered how Punjabis came as illiterate farmers and became a community with highest graduate and post graduate rate among ethnic groups. Besides being professional class, they maintain highest per capita income in groups of different ethnicities. Settled in 60 countries, Sikhs are the largest agriculturist community outside India.

Sikhs’ egalitarianism, competitiveness, flexibility and practicability constitute their success, according to Professor Brack. While making an observation, Professor Brack said that 10 major American values for being successful are incidentally 10 Sikh values too. He regretted that after 9/11, Sikhs had to face a wave of backlash due to mistaken identity. However, he congratulated the community in coming out in a big way to tell Americans who actually they were. Parades, fund-raising events for disasters like Katrina, 4th July, and Veteran day participations have dispelled misconceptions to a larger extent.

28th Annual Sikh Parade on November 4, 2007 saw a congregation of 75,000 to 80,000 on 4.5 mile route; scores of floats symbolizing Sikh history and periods of persecution adorned the streets. In California, November heralds a spirit of festivities. Beginning with Harvest Festival and ending with Thanksgiving, Californians in this month get in the mode of holidaying that lasts till Christmas. Annual Sikh Parade on first Sunday of November in Yuba City arouses curiosity of one and all. Sutter County administration makes special arrangements for the smooth conduct of ceremonies that include fireworks, open seminar, recitation of hymns and cooking of 200,000 meals for visitors and Sikhs who converge here from as far as Canada, England and India. Guru Nanak, born in 1469, founded Sikh religion to end poverty, oppression, and inequality by reciting One God, doing hard work and sharing food with others without any regard to race, religion, class and gender. Nine of his successors carried forward his message by demonstrating unflinching faith in the unity of mankind, voice of conscience and freedom of choice. The last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh in 1708 transferred spiritual leadership to the holy book of 1430 pages revered as Guru Granth Sahib. The parade is to commemorate the historic event of 1708.
Posted on November 07, 2007

Posted on November 07, 2007

Happy New Year to the writers & readers of the


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