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In Memory of Dr Noel Q King

The General Body of the Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, held a condolence meeting on February 07, 2009, on the sad demise of Dr Noel Q King, the well known scholar and writer and philosopher, who had deep study of the Sikh religion and its traditions.

The assembly of the Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, recited the Mool Mantar five times to honour the memory of the noted Sikh scholar, Dr Noel Q King, who had won the heart and soul of the Sikh community by his sagacious treatment of the Sikh theology. He had been in the thick of the Sikh ethos and had been honoured by Sri Akal Takht, Amritsar, the Supreme seat of Sikh Authority. He had contributed scholarly papers to the Sikh seminars and conferences. He had intimate knowledge of the subject, having associated as teacher at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjabi University, Patiala, and guided many young scholars on Sikh Studies.

We pray to Almighty to grant peace to the departed soul and solace to his wife and his children and grand-children, and guide them to imbibe his great traditions of truth and peace.

~~~

SGPC Commiserates Dr Kharak Singh’s Demise

Resolution dated 19.12.2008 (translated from Punjabi). The General House of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee expresses profound grief on the demise of Dr Kharak Singh, Member, Dharam Prachar Committee, SGPC. Appreciating the contributions of Dr Kharak Singh towards dissemination and promotion of Gurmat, today’s House prays to the Almighty that He may grant peace to the the departed soul, and give courage to all friends and relatives to accept the irreparable loss.

~~~

Dr Kirpal Singh Honoured

The Punjabi University, Patiala on December 29, 2008, in its 32nd Annual convocation, conferred the Degree of D Litt (Hons Causa) on Professor Kirpal Singh (member of the Institute of Sikh Studies). The citation reads as follows:

“Punjabi University, Patiala considers itself deeply privileged to honour Professor Kirpal Singh with the Degree of D Litt (Hons Causa). An eminent historian and erudite scholar, Professor Kirpal Singh has been one among those men of letters who have tried to uncover through genuine research, the pioneering researches that have lent dignity and status to Punjab Historical Studies at National and International levels.

Professor Kirpal Singh has established himself as a scholar of Punjab and Sikh History. List of honours that have been showered upon him, speak volumes about his outstanding contribution in the field of Sikh history as also the culture of Punjab.

His elaborate researches on Sikh Gurus, the legendary achievements of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Janamsakhis have earned him well deserved accolades as Light House for the coming generations.

His work entitled Partition of Punjab has been received as an authentic contribution on the partition literature. His penetrating and prolific writings have made him doyen of Punjab historiography.”

~~~

Dr Gurbhagwant Singh Kahlon Memorial Paper Competition
(Award: Certificate + Gold Medal)

The Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh calls for entries for its first Dr Gurbhagwant Singh Kahlon Memorial Paper. The papers should deal with ‘Modern Sikh History’ specially focusing on the Sikh engagement with modernity, the history of their migration overseas and the problems they confront there, and the issues relating to Sikh heritage in the diaspora.

The deadline for indicating the intention to participate is June 15, 2009 and for the submission of the paper is August 15, 2009. The evaluation of the Papers will be done by a specially constituted committee of experts. The Winner will be contacted and the Award will be announced by Sept 15, 2009.  The Awardee will be invited to present her/his paper at the IOSS premises on a date in Oct 2009 which will be announced later.

Eligibility:
1. The participants must be less than 30 years of age and should hold atleast a Bachelors degree in any subject or must be pursuing any undergraduate course during the year 2009-10.
2. The participants must be Keshdhari Sikhs.

Guidelines:
1. The paper should not be longer than thirty typed pages of text [Font: Times New Roman, Size 12, Spacing: Double] exclusive of the title page, endnotes, and bibliography. All pages, except for the title page, must be numbered, and all endnotes must conform to standard historical formats.
2. The author’s identity is to appear nowhere on the paper.
3. A separate, unattached page should accompany the paper, identifying the author (along with the title of the paper) and providing his/her home address, telephone number and e-mail address.
4. A one-page (250-word) abstract must accompany each submission. Abstract of winning paper will be published in all announcements of competition results.

Submission:
1. In an e-mail to iosschd@gmail.com electronic files of a) the paper, b) the page with identifying information, and c) the abstract attached as separate Word files. (This is the preferred method of submission.) OR
2. Four (4) printed copies of each of the following: a) the paper, b) the page with identifying information, and c) the abstract to:

Institute Of Sikh Studies
Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Kanthala,
Opp Tribune Chowk, Indl Area Phase II
Chandigarh - 160 002 (India)

Please write “Dr Gurbhagwant Singh Kahlon Memorial Paper” on the envelope.

~~~

Heritage Awareness Drive Among Vanjara/Sikligar Sikhs

Estimated over 6 crores, Vanjaras, constituting Sikligars, Lobanas & others, Guru Nanak Naam Levas, are spread in many backward belts of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, etc. During medieval times, they constituted a class of traders traveling in long caravans to sell/exchange their merchandise from one corner of the country to others. The Vanjaras came into the Sikh fold quite early during the time of the Gurus. They adopted Sikhism and made a lot of contributions and sacrifices, specially, during the times of Guru Hargobind and Guru Gobind Singh, bringing glory to the history of Sikhism. Their sacrifices during the times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Banda Singh Bahadur were also very significant.

During the British regime, their services and skill of weapon manufacturing were not viewed favourably by the rulers, and the whole Vanjara community was thus notified as “Criminal Tribe of India.” After India’s Independence, the Vanjaras have been denotified as “Nomadic Tribes” (Vimukt Jatis). The All India Banjara Seva Sangh of Maharashtra is very well organized and is pursuing with the Government of India to restore all constitutional benefits to Vanjaras at par with other Indian tribes. The Census enumeration so far has been enlisting all Vanjaras (about 150 castes/sub-castes) under Hindu religion. Since there never had been any representation from the Sikh Institutions/Organizations for segregating them as Sikhs during Census operations, they are still counted as Hindus. This is a wake-up call for Sikh Institutions to campaign to get them enumerated as Sikhs under the forthcoming Census Operation, due in 2011. Their below-poverty living, socio-economic & educational backwardness can not be improved unless all tribal development benefits are restored to them. It is also the responsibility of Sikh Community to help, assist, and educate Vanjaras through special missions and spread awareness of Sikh Heritage among them so as to help bring them back into the main Sikh stream.

For achieving the noble objective of spreading Sikh Heritage awareness among Vanjaras, the Trust for Welfare of Vanjaras & Other Weaker Sections, # 457, Phase 4, Mohali, conducted the third Gurdhams Yatra of gurdwaras of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab, by sponsoring a 51-member Jatha from Maharashtra from 23rd to 29th March, 2009. (S Mohinder Singh, Secretary, Trust <vanjarat@sify.com>)

~~~

Capt Kanwaljit Singh Passes Away

Chandigarh, March 29. Senior Akali leader and Punjab Co-operation Minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh was killed in car crash on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana Highway, near Khanpur village in Kharar, on Sunday evening. He was 67 and one of the veterans of Akali leaders. He was elected MLA four times, and was presently a Cabinet Minister in Shiromani Akali Dal government. He had been a Finance Minister also in the SAD government.

Leaders of various political parties, chief ministers and ministers of various States are among those who have condoled the untimely death of Capt Kanwaljit Singh. A seven-day mourning has been declared. He is survived by his wife Sarabjeet Kaur, son Jasjit Singh and a daughter.


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