News & views
Institute of Sikh Studies invited for World Fourm on Intercultural Dialogue at Baku, Azerbaijan
Three members (Dr Birendra Kaur, Prof Kulwant Singh and S Inderjit Singh Jaijee) of the Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh have been invited in the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue to be held on 5-6 May 2017 in Baku, Azerbaijan. This 1st High-Level Meeting of the Heads of International Organisations and the World Forum Ministerial at Baku will discuss the "Advancing Intercultural Dialogue: New Avenues for Human Security, Peace and Sustainable Development". This meet is being organised by the Govt of Azerbaijan with the partnership with UNESCO, UNAOC, UNWTO, FAO, the Council of Europe and ISESCO.
This Institute collaborated with UNESCO publication Agree to Differ. It is a landmark outreach publication in the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (IDRC). Institute of Sikh Studies contributed an article in this publication regarding the teachings of Sikhism.
More Sikhs Now Planning to Join US Army After New Rule
Washington - Sikhs in America are now planning to join the US Army in large numbers after it issued a new regulation on religious liberty to accommodate people who sport turbans and beards for religious reasons. In a significant move to enable all religious minorities in America, including the Sikhs, the US Army last week issued new regulations on religious liberty to accommodate people who wear beards, turbans or hijabs. The new set of rules allows religious accommodations to be approved at the brigade-level. Previously it was at the level of Secretary. "This is a historic day for Sikhs in the US," said Rajwant Singh secretary of the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, which organised an event to celebrate the US Army announcement in this regard. (Courtesy: India Today, Jan 13, 2017)
Interfaith Activist Dr. Harbans Lal Receives 2016 International Lifetime Achievements Award
Dr. Harbans Lal was among a group of faith leaders receiving the "International Medal of Honor" award for his lifelong commitment to promoting interfaith engagement among adherents of the world's religions. An Award Banquet was held on November 12, 2016, in Irving, Texas to recognize 28 Honorees with achievements in several categories of public service.
Dr. Lal is a distinguished neuroscientist and scholar who has been actively engaged in interfaith dialogues and engagement since his student days in Pakistan and India, and since 1956 in the United States. As a high school student (1940-46) in his native Pakistan, he promoted joint Sikh-Muslim-Hindu interfaith dialogues at the town library which he managed. During this time, he was inducted into the Executive Committee of the All India Sikh Students Federation; in 1954 he became its national president.
The award medal was presented by the Grace International Seminary, founded and led by President Dr. Karen Hollie-Thibodeaux. She is also the Senior Minister of The Lifeway Church of Dallas, which is the only seminary for women in the USA with chapters spread in many cities. (An email)
Court Language in Patiala
ABOUT a couple of years ago, His Highness the Maharaja Sahib of Patiala directed that the language of offices and courts in the Patiala State shall be Punjabi. Some doubt having lately arisen as to the language in which pleaders were expected to address the courts, Diwan Bahadur Daya Kishan Kaul, Financial and Foreign Secretary, has emphasised the previous orders by notifying that the language shall be Punjabi, the mother tongue of the people. (Courtery: The Tribune - Hundred Year Ago, March 6, 2017)
EC wants 'Electoral Literacy' in Schools
New Delhi, February 12. The Election Commission wants students to learn from the secondary school level how to become responsible voters. In a bid to educate 15 to 17-year-old "future voters", who would enrol as voters when they turn 18, the EC has asked the Union HRD Ministry to introduce "electoral literacy" in the curriculum at the secondary school level.
And till the time the subject becomes part of the curriculum, the commission has asked the HRD Ministry to ask the NCERT to bring out a booklet on elections and electoral process "that may be included in the list of supplementary reading material for schools at appropriate level".
Last July, CEC Nasim Zaidi had written to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar requesting him to include "electoral literacy" in the curriculum. (Courtesy: The Tribune, Feb 13, 2017)
Women with Wings - Arpinder Kaur
By Envoy Air - January 14, 2017. Anyone's first flight has the potential to be a profound one. For the 14-year-old Arpinder Kaur, her flight from India to the United States evoked her desire to be a pilot.
As a child, she says she was a "tomboy". She climbed trees, played cricket and played outside with the boys. Her parents allowed her to be this rambunctious, because they saw how happy she was.
Yet, nothing made her as happy as her very first flight. During the trip, the flight attendant asked young Arpinder if she would like to go inside the cockpit.
This being her very first time to see a plane, let alone fly on one, Arpinder the "tomboy" said yes.
"I went in and sat in the jump seat," says Arpinder. "I was just mesmerized. The uniforms, the view, just everything in the cockpit told me, okay, this is what I want to do when I grow up."
That flight represented the start of a new life for her family. Growing up in India, Arpinder says she felt the opportunity to be whatever she wanted to be waited for her in the U.S. (Courtesy: www.sikhnet.com)
German teens Sentenced for Sikh temple
Bombing in Essen
A court in Essen handed three teenagers long juvenile sentences of up to seven years on Tuesday for their role in a bomb attack on a Sikh temple last spring, a court spokesman said.
The judge ruled that the teens should serve sentences of seven years, six years and nine months and six years in a juvenile detention center.
The two defendants who detonated the bomb were convicted of attempted murder, among other charges. The third teen was found guilty of conspiracy to murder since he was not at the crime scene. The defendants Yusuf T., Mohamed B. and Tolga I. were aged 16 years when they detonated a homemade explosive device outside the temple. All three boys were born in Germany.
A priest suffered serious burns due to the blast, which took place after a wedding party on April 16, 2016. Two other people were also injured by shards of glass.
Around 200 members of the Sikh community live in Essen, in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. (Courtesy: www.dw.com, March 21, 2017)
SGPC appoints Dr. Roop Singh as secretary of ‘Nankana Sahib Education Trust’
LUDHIANA, March 12, 2017 —The Supreme Sikh body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhik Committee has appointed Dr. Roop Singh as a Secretary of ‘Nankana Sahib Education Trust’ which is operating prominent educational institutions in Ludhiana. Currently, Dr. Roop Singh is also serving as Secretary of SGPC. He has achieved degree of Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph. D) on SGPC.
After his appointment, Dr. Roop Singh said that he will deliver onto his duties with full dedication and sincerity. He thanked the SGPC President Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar for appointing him on the post of secretary in this trust.
It is pertinent to note here that the ‘Nankana Sahib Education Trust’ was constituted on January 13, 1954. SGPC President Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar heads this trust in which S. Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, S. Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, S. Harsurinder Singh Gill, S. Maheshinder Singh Grewal, S. Gurcharan Singh Grewal, S. Gurmail Singh Sangowal, S. Raghbir Singh Saharanmajra, S. Tara Singh Gill and S. Charan Singh Alamgir have been inducted recently.
Prominent Sikh institutions including Guru Nanak Engineering College, Guru Nanak Polytechnic College, Guru Nanak B.ed College and 12 public schools are being run under the patronage of ‘Nankana Sahib Education Trust’. (Courtesy: www.sikh24.com)
Connecticut Sikhs Ask Officials to Increase Awareness Programs to End Hate Crimes
March 14, 2017. HAMDEN, CT, USA — A presentation on Sikhs was arranged by U.S. Attorney Office (State of Connecticut) in Hamden Police Station to create awareness about the Sikh religion.
Swaranjit Singh Khalsa, Member Commission of City plan Norwich and President of Sikh Sewak Society International (USA) provided key informatino on the Sikh religion. He also made the attendees aware that recently due to new political scenario, their has been increase in hate crimes on Sikhs.
Swaranjit Singh Khalsa mentioned that recently, a Sikh men was shot in Kent and one Indian doctor in Kansas also lost his life.
Manmohan Singh Bharara, President of Hamden Gurdwara Sahib, also attended the presentation and also decided to join Department of Justice outreach program as a Presenter.
Speaking with Sikh24, Swaranjit Singh Khalsa said that he has sent a note to Deirdre Daly, the U.S. Attorney, who resigned on Friday at the request of President Trump. Swaranjit Singh wished her good luck for her future endeavors and also made a remarks that while she was in the office, she always pushed outreach and awareness program for Sikhs and other religious groups. (Courtesy: www.sikh24.com)
Letters to Editor
I would firstly like to commend the efforts of the Sikh Institute Chandigarh for it's work in the area of Sikh studies.
I have a copy of Rattan Singh Bhangu's Panth Prakash translated by Prof Kulwant Singh. Your website mentioned the current research project of Sri Gur Sobha which is being translated. I just wanted to ask when this might be done?
There are various texts such as Bansavalinama which no one has yet translated. I wondered if you were looking for contributors or funders for these projects so that Sikhs around the world can benefit from learning of their history.
I am based in London UK. It would be great to discuss more.
(S Manveer Singh ji, many thanks for reaching out to us. Sri Gur Sobha by Kavi Sanipat has been translated and published and is already on sale. The Institute of Sikh Studies plans to take up translations of more Sikh Classics subject to the availability of funds and would welcome the donors who can sponsor such work. – Editor)
I asked a friend of mine who was visiting Chandigarh for providing around C$400.00 for putting all the articles of the Journal from different writers on the Institute of Sikh Studies Web site.
My wife Balbir Kaur Aulakh receives a copy of the magazine but it will help substantially when we need a portion of the text of a paper while responding to someone, specially when we are engaged with the University of British Columbia (UBC) and what the Chair Holder Dr. Anne Murphy is writing about Sikhism.
Secondly, if and when the project of Translation of Guru Granth Sahib in English is undertaken by the Institute as it was mentioned by Prof. Kulwant Singh Ji in his paper in 2015, I will contribute Rs one Lac (Rs 100, 000.00).
I will write separately in detail to Prof. Kulwant Singh Ji about this.
Pritam Singh Aulakh.
(The Institute of Sikh Studies is grateful to all well-wishers and plans to do much more with their active help - Editor)
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