News & Views
Election of the IOSS President
Lt Gen. R.S. Sujlana was unanimously re-elected as the President of the Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh for the year 2023. He decided to work with the same team of office bearers which he had during 2022 under his leadership.
3rd Dr Kharak Singh Memorial Lecture – A Report
The third lecture in memory of Late Dr Kharak Singh, one of the distinguished founders of Institute of Sikh Studies was held on December 17, 2022 in the Conference Hall of the Institute. One of the most eminent speakers of Punjab, S Bir Devinder Singh, former Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha delivered a very passionate and heart-moving lecture on the rare and unique sacrifice and martyrdom of the two Younger Sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh and Mata Gujri in defence of their faith at Sirhind on December 27, 1704. Tracing the whole sequence of events leading to their horrible execution by the ruling Mughal authorities, he dwelt upon the unprecedented torture of the two infant Sahibzadas and equally exceptional grit, stamina and moral courage of these two revered Sahibzadas. He brought out all the pathos and solemnity of this sacred occasion and called upon the audience and the Sikh youth to imbibe the form and spirit of Sikhism and Sikh identity. He regretted the lack of seriousness among some sections of the Sikhs who do not realize the solemnity and sanctity of this great historical event. His lecture was heard in spellbound silence with rapt attention. His lecture created an environment of complete silence and peace which was writ large on the faces of the audience. The lecture was followed by some queries regarding certain events and sought explanation from the speaker. His lecture was followed by an introduction about the successfully working Startup in IT Services and Management project and its very young promising entrepreneur Ms Mandeep Kaur Tangra in her own village. She presented herself as a job giver by giving white collar jobs to 125 Sikh youth. Her model of entrepreneurship provides a perfect model of employment for the rural Sikh youth and an effective solution ongoing to the large scale migration of Sikh youth to foreign shores.
The function was presided over by a prominent industrialist and Sikh social activist S Gurmeet Singh Bhatia. He appreciated all the activities of the IOSS and promised to make a substantial financial contribution for the successful execution of Institute of Sikh Studies' ongoing projects.
Sikh Students Allowed to Wear Kirpan on Campus of US University
A prominent US university has announced that it would allow Sikh students to wear a kirpan on campus, a religious article in Sikhism.
The change comes about two months after a video was posted online showing a student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte was handcuffed for carrying a kirpan.
The University of North Carolina in a statement on Thursday said that the school's policy will allow students to wear kirpans on campus as long as the blade length is under 3 inches and is "worn close to the body in a sheath at all times." The statement released was signed by Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber and Chief Diversity Officer Brandon L. Wolfe said the ruling was effective immediately.
"The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with support from Institutional Integrity, also conducted additional awareness training this week with our police department and will continue its work to expand our cultural education and training opportunities for all of campus," the statement said.
The university also said other religious accommodations, including a request to wear a larger kirpan, can be made to the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX and evaluated on a case-by-case basis, it said.
"Over the past several weeks, we have engaged in dialogue with representatives from the local and global Sikh communities about how we could modify University policies to honour the tenets of religious freedom while protecting the safety of our campus," the statement said.
The university thanked Sikh leaders, including nonprofit organisations The Sikh Coalition and the Global Sikh Council, who provided expertise and perspective to help with the policy change.
Class 12 Jammu student to Launch Nano-Satellite with help of ISRO
Jammu, December 7. Onkar Batra, a Class 12 student from Jammu, will launch his nano-satellite this month with the help of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Batra, a student at BSF Senior Secondary School here, has developed India's first open-source satellite 'InQube'. The satellite is prepared under the banner of Paradox Sonic Space Research Agency.
While talking to Milap News Network, Batra said the satellite weighs around one kg and has been developed with the help of nano-technology. He said many universities and researchers in foreign countries are doing such work, so they decided to launch it in space with the help of ISRO. Its launch in India will cost Rs 20 to 80 lakh, while in foreign countries, the price went into crores.
He said every satellite launched into space has a special mission and added that 'InQube' has two missions. One is to test if such a lightweight satellite can work in space and the other is to look at the temperature to help researchers know what the weather conditions are going to be like.
Batra, who is also the CEO of Batra Technology, received the National Bal Shakti Award from former president Ram Nath Kovind for creating an interactive website for covid.
Batra created the first website when he was seven-year-old which earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records by becoming the world's youngest Webmaster (male).
He became the world's youngest theoretical author by writing his book 'When The Time Stops' at the age of 12. He has created two companies-Batra Technologies in 2018 and United India Publishing in 2019.
Sikhs in US Marines can now Keep Beard, Wear Turban
New York, December 24. In a historic move forward, a federal appeals court has ruled that Sikhs recruits in the US Marine Corps can keep a beard and wear turbans.
Judges from the District of Columbia's federal appeals court on Friday cited the Apresent Corps' boot camp rule of cutting hair and shaving beards as a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The ruling came after three Sikh Marine Corps recruits — Aekash Singh, Jaskirat Singh and Milaap Singh Chahal — fought for an emergency appeal in District of Columbia's federal court to get an immediate exemption to the Corps' boot camp rule. "Now, three Sikh recruits, who had previously been denied religious accommodations, can enter basic training," Eric Baxter, senior counsel who represented the Sikh trio, tweeted.
The Marine Corps previously denied all these requests, due to which the trio for years have remained poolees — an individual who has already signed up to become a Marine but has not yet left for the recruit training at boot camp. Further, the Marine Corps argued that allowing Sikhs to wear religious beards would disrupt troop uniformity and appearance among the recruits, ultimately threatening national security.
The US Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard already accommodate the religious requirements of Sikhism.
Judge Millett stated the Sikh recruits "not only have a substantial likelihood of success on the merits, it is difficult to imagine them losing". She noted that the Marine Corps had never explained "why the Corps cannot apply the same or similar (religious) accommodations that the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and Coast Guard provide", Baxter wrote in a series of tweets. And Judge Millett said it was particularly clear in light of "the exemptions already made for other Marine recruits' beards, hair, and other individual physical indicia," as well as the Corps' "own history of flexible grooming and uniform requirements" since its creation in 1775.
Harkirat Singh, First Turbaned Sikh as a Deputy Mayor in Canada
In a proud moment for entire Sikh community, Brampton city in Canada got its first turbaned Sikh deputy mayor with the appointment of Harkirat Singh. Singh, who represents wards 9 and 10, has been appointed deputy mayor from 2022-26. As a Deputy Mayor, Singh will preside at Council and other Committee meetings and assume ceremonial and civic event duties on behalf of the Mayor if the Mayor is absent or unavailable. In the present Canadian Parliament there are 18 Sikhs members. Currently Harjit Sajjan, Bardish Chagger are the two Sikhs who are ministers in the Justin Trudeau government in Canada.
Singh was also the regional representative at the Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA). He holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto, where he majored in Economics and Public Administration. He is a M.Sc. in Economics from London Metropolitan University and has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, specialising in Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Organizational Behaviour. "I am proud to have Councillor Harkirat Singh serve as this Term of Council's Deputy Mayor. He is a dedicated, hardworking Councillor with proven results in delivering what is best for Brampton," said Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown.
This is not the first time when Sikhs are acquiring revered position outside India. Although infamous SFJ which was banned by India is holding referendums in Canada demanding 'Khalistan'. It is clear that majority of Sikhs residing in India & abroad are indifferent. The sole purpose appears to sow seeds of division on the basis of religion. The idea is simple and dangerous: to create a theocratic state.
Inspiring Story of Indian Origin Sikh Who Won 2023 NSW Australian of the Year Award
Amar Singh, an Indian origin Sikh who founded 'Turbans 4 Australia' in 2015, won a prestigious 2023 NSW Australian of the Year Award. The awards recognise and celebrate the extraordinary contributions of people who have demonstrated exceptional service to the nation. Last week, his name was announced in the local hero category for the NSW Australian of the Year series award.
The recipients from all the states will join for the national awards ceremony in Canberra on Wednesday, 25 January 2023.
'Turbans 4 Australia' is a charity organization that provides up to 450 food and grocery hampers every week to people experiencing food insecurity in Western Sydney. The organization also supported Australians impacted floods, bushfires, drought and pandemics. According to Singh, religion, language, and culture should not restrict how we help others. He added that with a charity van running in Queensland's Brisbane and a new warehouse coming up in Victoria's northern suburb of Thomastown, he can proudly say that ours is a national charity and as a humbled Sikh he hope that his team will continue to promote charity, compassion and multiculturalism for many years to come,"
Mr Singh, now 41 years old, believes helping others should not be limited by religion, language or cultural background. He moved to Australia when he was a teenager. He has been very passionate about community service from a younger age. Although he experienced ethnic slurs because of his beard and turban but his invariable passion and perseverance stand as a lighthouse & inspired others to make own unique contributions to the betterment of society. He also volunteered during the Sydney 2000 Olympic games, Invictus games, Gold Coast commonwealth games and many other community events.
Letters to Editor
I have just now received the Abstracts Of Sikh Studies Vol XXIV, Issue 4. for which thank you.
But, I surprised to receive two copies of Vol. XXIV, Issue 2 and till now the Issue 3 has not reached my postbox !!
These Abstracts sometimes have articles worth sharing with the students of the Federal University Students here who go for Masters qualification after doing Graduation on Religions Studies, thus it is important for me to keep all the issues and read them from cover to cover and help them. I had told this to Late Dr. Kharak Singh ji.
Request your goodself to do your best to send me a copy of the Issue 3.
Rajwant Singh Kalsi
Enclosed are two cheques, drawn on the State Bank of India, 11 Parliament Street, (Main Branch), New Delhi:
1. Cheque No: 79 - for Rs 67,500/- as my support cheque for the IOSS for year 2023 as promised.
2. Cheque No: 80 - for Rs 60,000/- as my support cheque for one student for preparation for Civil Services Examination.
You are doing a yoemen service for the panth. Your team deserves all the congratulations.
Kindly acknowledge receipt of the Cheque through Email.
Col Avtar Singh