On the ISC Front
The fourth quarter of the year remained very busy period with the key purpose of ISC towards holding seminar on the supremacy and independence of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Role and appointment of Jathedar Akal Takht Sahib, SGPC elections and Conversion of Sikhs into other religions and educating the rural Sikh students,.
Meetings of the Advisory Councils
The ‘Group of Advisory Councils’ has been meeting regularly every month during the period. The main thrust area in these meetings was to arrive at a consensus and decide the course of action to ‘Achieve Independent Working and Supremacy at Sri Akal Takht Sahib’
The International Sikh Confederation in coordination with Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha and Institute of Sikh Studies organized a seminar on 19.11.2022 on ‘To Achieve Independent Working and Supremacy at Sri Akal Takht Sahib’. The main speakers in the seminar were following
i. Prof. Manjit Singh, Former Jathedar, Sri Akal Takhat Sahib
ii. Giani Kewal Singh, Former Jathedar, Sri Damdama Sahib
iii. Dr. Balkar Singh
iv. Dr. Kehar Singh
v. S. Harsimran Singh
The seminar was well attended by the renowned Sikh personalities who also shared their views. Few among them were Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian, Lt Gen. R. S. Sujlana, Dr. Jaspal Kaur Kaang, Brig. G. J.Singh, Dr. Barinder Kaur, Sartaj Lamba, S. Bhagwan Singh. International Sikh Confederation has been working to finalize the Narrative for the upcoming SGPC (election) and working of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib. A draft was prepared by S Lakhwinder Singh Moosa for the same and a video was shared by S. Gurbir Singh about it.
Dr. Sardara Singh Johl, Convenor ISC, could not attend the seminar due to his prior commitments. He conveyed a message on this occasion. He said, “The subject is so serious and relevant to the time when, as I see, Sikh community is quite disoriented in every respect and its institutions are not performing in consonance with the community’s expectations and aspirations. The hope in my opinion lies in the institution of Akal Takht which, if fully empowered, can be expected to put the derailed Sikh institutions, especially the SGPC and the Shrimoni Akali Party, back on the rails according to the Sikh Traditions.”
He also sent his write up and views on the issue, which was read out by Col. J. S. Multani, Secretary General, ISC. He suggested that the nomination/appointment of the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib should be done through a collegium which should have representation of the Sikhs from all the quarters. He suggested a collegium of 51 members.
A special message from Dr. Sukhmandar Singh from USA on the subject was also read.
Homework Tuition Centers being run by the ISC are working excellently. The village students are attracted towards it and day by day the number of students is rising significantly. In some of the centers, the number of students is more than 50. The day to day activities of Homework Tuition Centre are being regularly monitored through video calls; receiving a positive feedback. Recently, 2 more tuition centers have been opened in Amritsar district. Till now, total 20 such centers have been opened. Monitoring is done both online as well as physically (where ever needed). Homework Tuition Centres are being run in Rajpura, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur districts. Students are not only doing Homework but are also taught Punjabi as well as Gurbani. 90% students have Mool Mantra Paath on their finger-tips, whenever there are asked to recite. They also remember the names of 5 pyaras, 4 sahibzadas, all the 10 Gurus.
The ISC has co-ordinated with the IAS Study Circle, Chandigarh and arranged coaching of the students sponsored by ISC. The ISC is providing free boarding and lodging facility to these students. Presently, five students are availing this facility. The ISC is supervising the coaching of the students and also attending to their day to day emergency needs. Appreciating the efforts of International Sikh Confederation, one of the donors Col. Avtar Singh from USA and Er Gurkirpal Singh have sponsored the financial expenditure of each one of two students. ISC is thankful to its donors for the cause.
Global Sikh Council, UK organized a seminar in Amritsar. On behalf of ISC, Brig G J Singh with media team participated and highlighted the details / working of ISC to them.
The main point taken up there highlighted was the conversions of Sikhs into Christians which are taking place and poses a serious threat to Sikhism. Most of the speakers expressed their anguish and concern about this serious issue. Ms Kiranpreet Kaur Dhami informed that they are taking up some initiative to ensure that no more religious transformation/conversion takes place in Punjab. The discussion took serious view of the non performance of SGPC in this regard. SGPC must trace reasons behind conversions taking place. What has SGPC done so far for this?
Other point of discussion was the tragic killings of Sikhs and loot and plunder of their properties in 1984 in major Indian cities and the sequence at violence. Are we prepared to protect ourselves or to protect our community, such a situation arises again? Are we prepared and have we educated the sikh masses how to defend ourselves, and our children, and defend our ladies form (mother, sister and daughters).
An MOU has been finalized with HWPL (Heavenly Culture, World Peace & Restoration of Lights) & ISC is in contact with them for the same and hopefully the MOU will be signed with them.
One wrestling coach engaged by ISC is providing coaching at Baba Sheikh Farid Khusti Akhara, Dhurpur Ransih under the patronage of ISC and Jugraj Singh Gill Charitable Trust. Recently 3 girls undergoing coaching from the Akhara have won Gold medals in Inter College Championship. Lot of expectations are expected from these upcoming wrestlers at national level. We are proud of our players/wrestlers.
Both the initiatives have been highly appreciated. S. Gurbir Singh suggested that we should initiate a dialogue in the community among the youth, especially by improving the youth. If we involve youth in dialogue from starting then they can be better communicators in future. The duty of Sikh thinkers / intellectuals is that they should understand these issues and then the roadmap of the whole process can be drawn gradually. Sikh Youth should be a thinking youth. The work of SGPC so far has been manily in area of seva-sambhal of Gurudwaras. It should utilize its funds for the education of children, making children a thinking youth. The discussions should be held in colleges and universities, among the youth. If it cannot happen there, then it should happen in gurudwaras and the villages. It should involve all the Sikhs. SGPC should promote skill based education which will be much more relevant in future to cope up with the changing times. It can be done through the use of social media. So we have to prepare the platform for youth to get them involved in healthy dialogue, so that they become good guides for our future generations.
The members of the advisory council discussed the draft in details and all suggestions put up by these members were deliberated upon to finalize the same for the consideration of Executive Council for further advice and directions.
ISC is also working on the resolving of some pending Sikh issues. Changes required in Nanakshahi Calender are pending depending upon what changes we are seeking. The members of SGPC should be non political, they should not jump from SGPC to join a political party. All these amendments are required to be done in Sikh Gurudwara Act. Publication Committee of SGPC is not doing its job well; with many mistakes visible in SGPC published books. There should be sub-committees for each issue which should be effective, accountable and answerable.
ISC is also taking up the issue on the pollution levels that shoot-up in Punjab in the winter months, on account of stubble burning. Dr S.S. Johl suggested that the growing alternative crops and research should be done by Punjab Agriculture University; Stubble burning should be avoided, at all costs. Govt should be requested to implement better prices for all crops. Punjabi language should be promoted forcefully. Every administrator should take responsibility. ISC is actively working on this and had even taken up the issue at Government level.
Thirty five members have been nominated to the Executive Committee of International Sikh Confederation in concurrence with the Convenor, ISC. All the nominated members have been informed of their nomination for 2 years.
ISC is working zealously on Sikh academic, religious, cultural, national and international problems and trying to associate reputed Sikh professionals to avail their expertise in dealing with some crucial problems confronting the Sikh society.