News & Views
Book on Bhai Rupa ji
The book titled Bhai Rup Chand - Virasat ate Vansh Prampra written by Dr Paramvir Singh, renowned Professor of Punjabi University Patiala was released on June 11, 2010 at Press Club, Sector 27, Chandigarh. The function was presided over by the Education Minister, Punjab Dr Upinderjit Kaur. The other distinguished guests in the function was Sardar S S Boparai, Ex-VC, Punjabi University, Patiala, Dr Kirpal Singh, a renowned Sikh historian, Dr Jodh Singh, renowned Sikh scholar, Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian, 11th successor of Bhai Rupa Ji, S Gurdev Singh, Patron, Institute of Sikh Studies, S Pritam Singh Kohli, President, Institute of Sikh Studies and Lt Gen Kartar Singh, CEO, ISC.
Dr Paramvir Singh author of the book told that Bhai Rup ji served during 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind ji to 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. He compared Bhai Rupa Ji to Baba Budha Ji, who served during Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji to 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib.
Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian who organized the release honoured the author by a purse of Rs 50,000/-
‘Ek Onkar — A Real Force
Chandigarh, April 23. “Ek Onkar…” or the ‘Oneness in the creation’, chanted as a devotional melody, is now being scientifically studied as the “grand unification” of all forces in nature. Eminent physicist Prof Goran Senjanovic and Panjab University’s Prof CS Aulakh are working to demystify this ‘unexplained union’ of all forces.
The PU’s physics department is among the four coveted research centres in the country where scientists are currently studying this grand unification.
The electro-magnetic, strong and weak nuclear forces, are all aspects of only one force in nature, simplifies Prof Senjanovic in an interview to The Tribune.
A faculty at the prestigious International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italy, Prof Senjanovic has more than 100 well-cited research papers to his credit according to Spires database of particle physics literature at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre.
“There are speculations in the physics fraternity that all the forces and particles in the universe are one. We hope to prove that all forces are one and all particles are one.” said Aulakh. Senjanovic also contributed in developing “see-saw mechanism” in particle physics and discovering the properties of “neutrino”, a sub-nuclear particle that is the hardest to detect.
“Since everything in the micro world should have left right symmetry, the heavy (right) partner of the ultra light (left) neutrino is being searched for at the famous Large Hedron Collider at Geneva,” said Senjanovic, who was in town to deliver a series of 10 lectures at the recently concluded “school of theoretical physics” at PU. (Courtesy: The Tribune, April 24, 2010)
The Khalsa in History
The Institute of Sikh Studies(IOSS), Chandigarh in collaboration with Bhai Vir Singh Study Circle, Chandigarh organized the 1st Bhai Vir Singh Memorial Lecture on 24th April, 2010 in the Conference Hall of Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Industrial Area Phase 2, Chandigarh.
The keynote address on the subject of “The Khalsa in History” was by the world-renowned historian Dr. J.S. Grewal, former Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. In his scholarly discourse, Dr Grewal stated that historical sense had developed quite early amongst the Sikhs even during the Guru-period. Quoting from primary sources, he explained that the meaning of the term Khalsa kept evolving and getting enriched with the passage of time. Quoting from contemporary and near-contemporary sources, he reconstructed the ideals and principles which Guru Gobind Singh had laid down for the Khalsa. He stated that the Khalsa-ideal of equality was much ahead of time. He further compared and contrasted the understanding of Khalsa history over time by Sikh and non-Sikh historians. Differences in understanding were due to different backgrounds and training of the interpreters. Moreover, Sikh history had been interpreted variously by different groups to suit their agenda. He concluded his lecture by stressing the point that any meaningful understanding of Sikh history would necessitate a proper appreciation of the Khalsa self-image.
The Presidential Speech was given by Dr. Darshan Singh, former Chairperson of the Guru Nanak Studies Department of Punjab University, Chandigarh. He stated that study of theology was a must for a good historian. For a student of Sikh history, the primary source had to be the Guru Granth Sahib. He added that the Gurus were not interested in who was ruling. Rather their concern was with the principles of governance. The Khalsa movement was not revenge-based, it was born out of commitment to ideals. Its mission was not to capture land but to capture hearts.
Dr. Kirpal Singh Historian and Dr. Harnam Singh Shan also briefly spoke on the occasion. Earlier, S. Pritam Singh (President IOSS) welcomed the audience and informed them that the IOSS had organized a similar seminar on the theme of Khalsa and the twenty first century in 1998. The motivation behind organizing the current event was to benefit from the interaction between a historian and a theologian over their understanding of the institution of the Khalsa. (A Report by S Ishwinder Singh)
Akali factions to lodge protest with Home Ministry
Amritsar, June 23. Various Akali factions came together here today to lodge protest with the Home Ministry to remove discrepancies in the voter forms being distributed for the SGPC election.
The President, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (DSGPC), Paramjit Singh Sarna, said a joint delegation of these Akali groups would submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in this regard.
He said certain terms in the forms were objectionable to the Sikh community and amounted to violation of the Sikh Rehat Maryada (code of conduct) and the Sikh Gurdwara Act. He mentioned that voter forms said that a person in the habit of smoking could not qualify to be issued right of voting whereas in Sikhism consumption of tobacco was prohibited altogether.
Sarna reiterated that various Akali factions would unitedly contest the elections against the SAD (Badal).
Various Akali parties, including the SAD (Longowal), SAD (Delhi), All-India Shiromani Akali Dal, Khalsa Action Committee (KAC), Dal Khalsa and SAD (Panch Pradhani), were present at the meeting held today. Their leaders, Jaswant Singh Maan, Baldev Singh Maan, Mohkam Singh and Kanwarpal Singh, discussed these discrepancies to find a suitable way to remove them.
Replying to a question, Sarna said “efforts would be made to bring SAD (Amritsar) and SAD (1920) on a common platform to vanquish the Badal family-run Akali Dal in the SGPC election”.
The Chairman, Shiromani Panthic Council, Manjit Singh Calcutta, said if their demand for removing discrepancies from voter forms was not met, then they would knock the doors of the court. (Courtesy: The Tribune, June 24, 2010)
Letters to Editor
Sikhs Living in States other than Punjab
I have come across a copy of Papers Presented at the Seminar organized by your Institution on 24-25 November, 2009 on the subject “Sikhs Living in States other than Punjab.”
At the outset I must congratulate the Organizers of the Seminar for taking up an untouched, but multi-dimensional subject on the problems of the Sikhs living outside Punjab. The magnitude of the subject can well be imagined from the ideas expressed by the learned contributors to the Seminar.
I am, however, much distressed over the views expressed by Sardar Tarlochan Singh, M.P. (Rajya Sabha) so far as Bihar is concerned. He has stated that journey to Patna is hazardous resulting in lesser number of pilgrims to the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. I have great respect for Sardar Tarlochan Singh Ji, who has done a good job as Chairman of National Minorities Commission. But it appears to me that he has not visited Bihar in recent past, or has no inter-action with Sikh leaders of Bihar. There is a network of trains from Punjab & Delhi to Patna and back and thousands of pilgrims are visiting Patna Saheb every month. He has rightly said that one Sikh, Sardar Inder Singh Namdhari has made his place in politics of Bihar/Jharkhand. I fail to understand how could S. Tarlochan Singh miss to mention the name of Sardar S.S. Ahluwalia, his colleague in Rajya Sabha for the last so many years. Sardar S.S. Ahluwalia entered national politics when he was appointed by the Central Government as Member of Committee headed by Sardar G.S. Dhillon in 1985 for relief and rehabilitation of 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims. In the year 1986, he was elected to Rajya Sahab from Bihar Assembly and later Jharkhand Assembly having one of the largest tenures in Rajya Sabha. He became Member of the Prebhandhak Committee Takht Sri Harimandir Ji Patna Sahib in 1984, remained its President for years and is still a Member of the Committee. During his tenure as President the Shrine witnessed significant developments and even today he is a guiding factor in the affairs of the Committee. His contribution to the cause of the Sikhs is well known and he has, you will agree with me, secured a unique place in national politics.
Some of the learned contributors of the Seminar have mentioned about personalities who have served in various fields in their respective areas. I avail this opportunity to make a brief mention of some of such personalities of Bihar.
The late Sardar Mauleshwar Prasad Singh, a member of Zimindar family of Uchal Estate (Distt. Katihar) elected as General Secretary Prabankhak Committee, was nominated as M.L.C. in Bihar for two consecutive terms. Similarly Sardar Joginder Singh Jogi, Advocate of Dhanbad, having been five times elected from South Bihar (now Jharkhandconstituency has been serving this Takht for the last about forty three years since 1967. He also served as president for about nine years.In the year 1985, Bihar Government constituted a High powered Committee for relief and rehabilitation of riot affected families of Bihar with a Cabinet Minister of Government as Chairman and Sardar Joginder Singh Jogi as its active member. In the year 1986 he was appointed by Bihar Government as Vice Chairman of State Minorities Commission and became the first Sikh of Bihar to have been conferred the status of a State Minister. He remained such Vice Chairman for about nine years up to 1994. His post is presently occupied by Sardar Charan Singh a local Sikh for the last four years. Sardar Gurrinderpal Singh, also from Uchal Estate elected from North Bihar constituency as a Member of Prabandhak Committee, is a young Sikh Leader of North Bihar and also is a Member of the State Level 15 Point Programme Committee for the welfare of Minorities. I take this liberty to say that the undersigned, a member of Sanatni Sikh Sabha of Patna City was unanimously elected as Secretary of this august shrine and has been functioning for the last about five years with confidence of the entire Prabandhak Committee.
In his Article contributed to the Seminary, Sardar Joginder Singh Jogi has mentioned only the problems of Nanak Panthis of Bihar. But there are number of other Sikhs called “Puratan Sikhs” or “Sanatni Sikhs” settled in Patna, Sasaram, Katihar Purnea, Kishanganj and Gaya etc. To my knowledge Jogi ji is also conducting a survey of their problems. The problems of these Sikhs, particularly the poor ones, has been drawing the attention of the Prabandhak Committee and we hope to take some positive measures to address them.
The above note is being presented simply to set the record right and I hope you will please circulate it to all the learned contributors of the Seminar.
Takht Sri Patna Sahib