News & Views
IOSS Strongly Condemns the Blasphemic Utterance of Nihang Dharam Singh
News appearing in a Daily Punjabi Newspaper dated March 22, 2011 in which one Dharam Singh Nihang has attacked the very fundamentals of Sikh faith. In his blasphemic utterance he has also negated the installation of Guru Granth Sahib at Sri Harminder Sahib by Guru Arjun Dev and also challenged the bestowing of Guruship to Sri Guru Granth Sahib at Nanded by the Tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh.
Guru Granth Sahib is sublime guide, Guru for eternity and embodiment of faith. Anything connected with it cannot be a subject matter of debate.
On behalf of Institute of Sikh Studies, Bhai Ashok Singh, its Spokesman strongly condemns these nefarious, blasphemic utterances and urge upon the SGPC to take stringent action at it resource against the person.
Press Note Issued by the Institute of Sikh Studies on Nanakshahi Calendar
Chandigarh, Jan 29. It is most unfortunate that the two Jathedars have entered into controversy in Press. It is equally unfortunate as it is detrimental to the Panthic interest and its image.
We the members of the Institute of Sikh Studies (IOSS) do not want to take sides and make the matters worse.
The reform of calendar was undertaken at the instance of the Institute of Sikh Studies keeping in view the over all Panthic interests. The Sikhs are now spread over many countries. They want fixed dates for celebrations of Gurpurabs. Sikhs have always been celebrating these days as is clear from Bhai Gurdas’ words:
jT[ pfbjkoh r[o f;yK
GkJh Grs r[og[op eozd/ ..
S Pal Singh Purewal was requested by IOSS to initiate these reforms. Reform of the calendar implies conversion of Lunar to Solar system. Under Lunar system dates keep changing every year and this is not possible for Sikhs settled abroad to follow and track the changing dates.
There was and is an urgent need to fix the dates of Purabs for celebrations world over, where Sikhs have settled.
A conservative section of society is opposed to any reform in every society. The reform can only be carried out if the reformer sticks to his decision and does not waver. More over separate Solar calendar will definitely establish separate and independent identity of Sikh Panth. If, however, there are any flaws, a committee of experts can look into it without changing the basic Solar structure.
Institute of Sikh Studies’ (IOSS) Lucknow Chapter
As per guidelines of the IOSS and blessings of Waheguru, Lucknow Chapter of IOSS has been opened on 13th Feb, 2011.
On that day birth anniversary of Bibi Bhani Ji was celeberated at Gurdwara Sahib in RDSO, Lucknow.
Following are the office bearers of the chapter
1. Patron - Gyani Baldev Singh- a very senior pracharak and on the executive of SGPC
2. President - S Jagjeet Singh Lali- P.G. in Western History from Lucknow University, Retired Sr. Traffic Manager/Station Manager, Northern Railway Lucknow
3. Vice President – Dr (Capt) Manmeet Kaur Sodhi – M.A., Ph.D., Head Dept. of Philosphy Nav Yug Girls P.G. Degree College, Lucknow(Ph.D. in Critical study of SUKHMANI SAHIB in Hindi under the guidence of Prof.Harpal Singh Pannu,Punjabi University, Patiala)
4. Secretary - S Yashveer Singh Sahney Retd. IRSME, Dir.(QA), RDSO Min of Railways, Lucknow
5. Jt. Secretary -S Jaswant Singh Kandhari-Retd Chief Design Astt. RDSO Min of Railways, Lucknow
6. Office Incharge-S Navjeet Singh
Apart from this Presidents of Sikh Young Men’s Assosiation and Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Lucknow have been nominated as permanent invitees(Ex-Officio)
We are bit selective in membership drive and the process is on.Will be updating the list from time to time. We have fixed our meetings on 1st Sunday of every month. Next meeting will be on 6th March 2011.
Can IOSS publish research works , articles on Gurmat, and Sikh History in Hindi also? If so We have good material for publication.
However I am in process of writing a review of Dr.Manmeet Kaur’s Hindi book Sukhmani Ek Bahupakchhiya Adhyayan based on her Doctoral thesis, in English.
Peace Message from Oz
Artist Daniel Connell from Australia talks about the motive behind choosing Sikhs as the subject of his sketches.
There’s a deep thought behind each detail of these artworks. Even behind the visible cello-tapes used to join all the even-sized rectangles that take the shape of a portrait, there’s a creative idea. The portraits are of 10 Sikh men who have migrated to Australia from India. “Their faces mirror the resolve to survive in Australia. And the cello-tapes that make a collage of the portrait, indicates their vulnerability.” Titled Faith, the exhibition of portraits by the Australia-based artist, Daniel Connell has a two-point agenda. “First is aimed at the Australians. It’s to make them aware of how humble and wonderful Sikhs are. Second is to make Indians comfortable and help them realise that ours is a hospitable society.”
Dealing with this sensitive issue was never easy, especially after the attacks on Indians but Daniel realised that someone has to make a beginning. “Someone has to initiate the process of restoring faith in the multi-dimensional society of Australia, where one out of every three persons is not born in the country. I tried doing that by putting up portraits in the restaurants, metro stations, bus stops and even the streets of Adelaide.”
Public places were preferred to museums and art galleries to reach out to maximum people. We get a glimpse of how the portrait looks at the public places through a five-minute documentary he has made on the same subject. The background music of it is a popular Punjabi number, Teriyan Gulabi Bullan. “Indians bring along their rich culture. If not on an equally grand scale, they do celebrate their festivals and Punjabi music is played in discs, taxis, shopping malls.”
The exhibition, he says, was important to make people see the real picture, which they mistook as racial attacks. “Attacks on Indians weren’t racial in nature.” He elaborates, “Indian population has exploded in the last five years. They work till late at night and at that time, they are as vulnerable as anybody else on the streets. It was the media that blew it out of proportion.” He was perturbed with India’s reaction, especially with a Mumbai-based politician, who warned that he would not let the Australian cricket team play in India. “I need not say more than that Biharis in Mumbai weren’t treated better either.” But with this he doesn’t mean to justify whatever happened in Australia. “Injustice in any form shouldn’t be tolerated. Efforts should be made to better the relations between the two countries.”
Coming to his artwork again, his first subject was Lakhvir Singh. It was through him that he met others from the community. “With a turban and beard, their personality is dominating. They made for the perfect subjects, but weren’t very simple to draw.” And he found sketching turbans really difficult, “It has to have proper folds and layers or it’ll look like a lump on the head. The religious connotation of the turban adds to its significance.”
Next, Connell plans to take the exhibition to Ludhiana. “If the exhibition can help in the image makeover of Australia and restore faith of Indians, I’ll add more cities to the plan.” Thus justifying the title of exhibition —Faith Once More. (Courtesy: The Tribune, January 11, 2011)
Premiere Documentary Film Screened – A Little Revolution
A documentary film based on the critical condition of Punjab farmers, who committed suicides due to heavy debt and their families, was screened at Press Club, Sector 27, Chandigarh on March 11, 2011. The documentary is produced by US based Sach Productions. A little Revolution – A story of Suicides and Dreams, follows, the journey of filmmaker Harpreet Kaur, who travels from the rural villages of Punjab to the capital of India with children of farmers, who’ve committed suicide. She confronts the government’s highest officials with the hope that they will understand the effects of their policies and avail the opportunity to help these children.
Vast areas of rural India are currently facing a crisis deepens. At the center of this emergency are the thousands of India peasant farmers who have taken their own lives. Like many other crises currently facing the world at this moment there is no one single, complete solution to the farmer suicides in India. However, the general consensus is that a farmer takes his own life due to high interest loans, taken to cover india’s pro-industrial agricultural policies where expenses far exceed his farming income.
However, Kaur forces the audience to not limit the dialogue to the economic, environmental or political side of the issue but to adjust the lens and focus on the plight of the farmer’s children who are left behind carrying this burden. This is a story of hope, empowerment and simple dreams. Kaur takes the viewers from the picturesque countryside of rural Punjab into the homes of these families where the children have accepted their fate but aspire for an opportunity for a better future. She gives them the opportunity to share their stories with the world and confront the Government with their
Personal letters that offer a raw, humanistic and honest portrait of what the impact of their parents suicides have had in their parents suicides have had in their lives.
Manmeet Singh, the producer of the film feels that title of the film is not limited to what is presented in the film but what he is expecting from his audience. According to Singh, we need advocacy on the issue, pressure on the Government with the help of media and the diaspora and immediate rehabilitation and relief to the families waiting on Baba Nanak Educational Society list. He is hoping that the audiences don’t just watch, but join-A Little Revolution.
Sikh Organisations Unite for Original Nanakshahi Calendar
Several Sikh organisations have announced the formation of Panthic Unity Council International to struggle for the implementation of the original Nanakshahi calendar of the year 2003.
Also, these organisations have received support from former Akal TAkht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti and former Jathedar of Damdama Sahib, Kewal Singh.
A Joint press conference was organised by the leaders of these organisations on Friday, that included Akhand Kirtani Jatha representative Rajinder Singh Purewal, senior SAD leader and Sikh Sewa Society President Parminderpal Singh Khalsa, PPS officer and former SSP Iqbal Singh, and Sikh Missionary College representative Harjit Singh,
The leaders said that the Council would meet Akal Takht Jathedar and SGPC President with their demand of implementing the original Nanakshahi Calendar as the amended calendar, being a copy of the Bikrami Calendar, had killed the very spirit of the original calendar.
They also said that the amendments were against the Guru Granth Sahib and the reasons for the amendment were more political than personal. (Courtesy: The Indian Express, March 19, 2011)
Letters to Editor
The Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925
As the SGPC’s election is going to take place shortly, The Editors of the Sikh Newspapers and Magazines are requested to enlighten the Sikh Voters about relevant provisions of The Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925 by clicking the above Link.
Section 1 (2) reg. jurisdiction of SGPC in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and UT Chandigarh; Section 43-A reg. composition of SGPC members Section 45 reg. Qualifications of elected members Sections 49 & 92 reg. Qualifications of electors Section 134..(g) Powers to suspend or dismiss any office-holder and other Sections.
Gurmit Singh (Sydney-Australia)
1. Read your editorial in the latest ASS on the Brahminical efforts to distort and weaken the Sikhs steel frame.
2. If you have been a reader of Dalit Voice, now 31 years old, you must be aware of our support for Sikhism, our arrest and imprisonment in Chandigar jail (1981) from our support to Sant Bhindranwale movement and our editorial on the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
3. We have published innumerable editorials and articles on Sikhism and had a big circulation in Punjab. Dalit Voice is known to al Sikh intellectuals. We spoke twice at your annual conference conducted by your own organization at Chandigarh.
4. All this is past history. Today, DV has become weak. Our circulation falling because Sikhism is under attack from Brahminism which has resorted to its good old historical game of divide and rule to kill Sikhism and enslave Dalits.
5. DV caught in this fight between Sikhism and Dalits – beautifully managed by the Brahmins.
6. We are deeply worried that neither the Sikh religious leadership nor the Sikh intellectuals are not doing anything to halt this drift. We conducted a long debate on the “Slow death of Sikhism” also.
7. The killing of a Dalit religious leader at Vienna, Austria, an year ago by the Brahminical RAW agent further aggravated the growing divide between the two. So much so we are being kicked from both sides.
8. After reading your latest editorial on this very subject, we are encouraged to write you to request t do something to save the situation. If right thinking people don’t step in Brahminical forces will swallow Sikhism and destroy Dalits.
9. We request you to publish this as our communication in ASS and tell us wht you can do in this direction. More on hearing from you.
Editor, Dalit Voice
For the past many years, I have been a reader of your esteemed journal ‘Abstracts of Sikh Studies’, and have consistently prevailed upon friends, and acquaintances to subscribe to it, and more especially so, at the visit of Dr. Khark Singh & S.Daljit Singh to Vancouver. I, sincerely feel that the Special Number - entitled ‘Magnificence of Guru Gobind Singh’ is a unique treatise in itself. Many erudite scholars have contributed their valuable thoughts & ideas in it. It is a matter of immense gratification that all these articles are also available ‘on line’. Your thought-provoking ‘Editorial’ as well as the articles sent by Dr.K.S.Raju, Lt General Kartar Singh, Dr Paramir Singh, Prof. Arvinder Singh, are worth appreciation.
Sardar Ishwinder Singh has presented the seminar in such clear words as if the whole thing has been before our eyes.
In short, everything in the magazine bears an imprint of profound scholarship, dedication and commitment.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2011, All