Annual General Meeting, ISC
– KeyNote Address –
Dr Kharak Singh
Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa; Waheguru ji ki Fateh.
I had been looking forward to this AGM with great excitement.
Just imagine my frustration, when due to ill health, I find
myself bedridden and unable to welcome you personally. Instead
I am sending this ‘Message’ which is indeed
a poor substitute for personal appearance.
In my illness during the past month and a half, I have received
numerous enquiries about my health, messages of good wishes
and prayers to the Almighty for my speedy recovery. It has
been difficult to respond individually to all my friends
and well-wishers whose prayers have already put me on the
road to recovery. I am indeed deeply grateful to them all,
and assure you that with Satguru’s grace I shall very
soon be back at your service with full commitment and devotion.
The organisation of the ISC is one of the greatest events
in our history after the Creation of the Khalsa by Guru
Gobind Singh. It is still in its nascent stage and facing
problems common to all new organisations. But the way all
initial formalities, such as, official registration, setting
up a central, regularly functioning office, constitution
of Executive Committee and the five Advisory Councils, exemption
of income tax on donations to the ISC, establishment of
ISC Chapters in several cities, enrolment of members, etc.,
inter alia, have been undertaken is no small achievement
in such a short period. This has been possible through untiring
efforts of Gen Kartar Singh and your constant ungrudging
support. The contribution of Giani Harinder Singh in providing
accommodation for the Central Office deserves special mention.
As we all know, the functions of the ISC are to be performed
through its five Advisory Councils manned by ablest men
among our community. You have already selected most eminent
leaders like Justice Mota Singh, Dr Sardara Singh Johl,
Giani Harinder Singh and Dr Charan Kanwal Singh to head
these councils. Their credentials are well known, their
achievements familiar, and their commitment and integrity
are acknowledged by one and all. Dr Gurcharan Singh Kalkat,
although at the moment reluctant to accept any office due
to his other crucial responsibilities in the govt, is an
equally great asset. With such a team and many more eminent
Sikhs from Delhi, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and abroad,
there is no limit to the achievements that can be expected
from the ISC.
It must be remembered that the ISC is only a corollary to
Guru Gobind Singh’s doctrine of Guru Granth –
Guru Panth which means that while Guru Granth Sahib is the
Soul, the functions of the body have to performed by the
Khalsa, or the members of the fraternity themselves. The
Gurus from the very origin taught us to look after our own
affairs ourselves, and not look to an avtaar or God Himself
as a human being to restore dharma. “nkgfD
jEh nkgDk nkg/ jh eki ;tkohn?” was the clear
message of Guru Nanak.
Such are the ultimate aims of the ISC — representing
the Panth, taking decisions on all vital issues of common
interest to the community, taking care of all its members
wherever they are and ensuring their freedom and fundamental
rights. This is only a follow-up step of our daily ardas
for ‘ijK ijK ykb;k ih ;kfjp sjK sjK ofSnk fonkfJs’.
This implies struggle for freedom to wear our five symbols
and practise the Sikh way of life. The ISC has to settle
all Panthic disputes and controversies in the spirit of
Gurbani through this organisation as Sarbat Khalsa. The
ISC has to uphold the position of Sri Akal Takht Sahib as
the Supreme Authority of Sikhs. The ISC has to take up a
comprehensive campaign to explain and spread the message
of our great Gurus, not only in our own interest but also
for the benefit of the entire humanity.
While I sincerely believe that performance of the ISC so
far is commendable, and the cooperation from members and
public encouraging, I do feel that we need to speed up the
pace of our activities. Our Advisory Councils have to be
more vigilant and active to ensure that Sikh rights are
not violated in any part of the world.
The ISC passed three vital resolutions:
a) To set up Guru Nanak Education Fund.
b) To set up a 24-hour TV Channel for the spread of
c) To prepare a standard English Translation of Guru
These resolutions need to be implemented without delay.
Some other points that need to be considered urgently are:
a) Expansion of the ISC membership in order to have
an active Chapter in every major city of India as well
as abroad. Ludhiana affords an excellent example.
b) Campaign to mobilise financial resources.
c) An appeal to all major Sikh organisations to become
patrons of the ISC, since its aim its to support all
Sikh institutions, and not replace any.
d) It is necessary to mount special mission consisting
of eminent and influential members of the community
to go round and organise the ISC activities.
e) Implementation of the five-point minimum common programme
adopted in the recent Conclave organised by the ISC,
where a large number of dera heads, sant babas and Sikh
f) Organisation of the Governing Council.
I hope the AGM will consider these humble suggestions and
many more, and ensure follow-up actions, so that the ISC
is seen as an active organisation working for a brighter
future of the Panth, and not merely as a debating club.
Once this agenda is approved by the AGM, the Executive Committee
and the Advisory Councils will come out with the details
of the activities envisaged, and work out a plan required
for their implementation, as early as possible.
I wish the meeting all success and have no doubt that S
Gurdev Singh, IAS (retd), the Co-convenor, and Gen Kartar
Singh, CEO, will not only conduct the meeting in their usual
exemplary way, but will also look after the members as best
April 26, 2008 Convenor, ISC