2017 Year of Sikh Diaspora and Sikh Newsmakers

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As the New Year races on, World Sikh News reflects on the year gone by and calls 2017 Year of the Sikh Diaspora. WSN also lists Sikh Newsmakers of 2017 who have been the talk of the Sikh world and who have made a mark in their fields of endeavour.

2017 -Year of the Sikh Diaspora: With unparalleled contribution, Sikhs in the Diaspora brought relief and cheer to the Sikh world. For the Sikhs, the year 2017 as clearly the Year of the Sikh Diaspora.  The Sikh Diaspora brought cheer to the Sikhs. Sikh ministers in the Cabinet of Canada, an increasing number of members of Parliament of Punjabi and Sikh origin in the same country, the first Sikh female judge of a senior court in Canada, increasing numbers of participants in the public life of USA, Europe, Great Britain, the Pacific and Southeast Asia -all contributed to the Sikh Diaspora dominating the Sikh thought processes.  Active intervention and online indulgence in developments in the Sikh homeland in various spheres impacted the Sikhs in Punjab and other parts of India.

2017 as the Year of Sikh Canadians: In many ways, it was also the year of Sikh Canadians. Sikh politicians, parliamentarians, ministers, judges and sportspersons -all had remarkable achievements. The Canadian air space became more Sikh-friendly by allowing Sikhs to carry small kirpans on air flights. Sikh Canadian sportspeople made it big in hitherto banned sports and Sikhs wholesomely supported queer communities as well as fully backed the aboriginals.

The Sikh Diaspora made its mark -fair and square. Holding the Sikh head high, standing up for the turban and the Sikh identity, adhering to the basics of Sikhism, students, artists, social welfare organisations, advocacy groups, businesspersons, CEOs, politicians, writers and sportsmen -all have risen to the the zenith of their individual glory and have made the Sikh community proud worldwide.  

Books, movies, videos, paintings, speeches, representations, interventions in court  and advocacy of concern beyond the Sikh domain, making an impact on the environment, reaching out to the communities through nationwide campaigns -all have seen the Sikh Diaspora rise to the call of the times.  

We hope and pray that notwithstanding the difficult times faced from time to time, Sikhs in the Diaspora will stay steadfast and focussed. Homeland Sikhs expect that they will bring in their success stories and replicate them in Punjab too.

WSN cautions that as competition within the Sikh sphere in the Diaspora builds up, community leaders may endeavour to imbibe the inclusive policies and practices of the countries they dwell in and not revive their caste, class or other divisive traits which surface in the face of competition and mar the reputation and democratic working of the Sikh people -socially, religiously and politically. Any such development will be detrimental to the smooth and amazing progress of Sikhs in the Diaspora.

Within Indian too, we had a mix of good and not-so-good Sikh newsmakers. Politicians and religious persona dominate news and so it is with newsmakers too. However we have a mix of books and websites too.  While Canada made air space Sikh-friendly by allowing Kirpans, the Central Board of Secondary Education in India has framed a policy to disallow Sikh students with Karas and Kirpans to examination halls. Newspaper Hindustan Times tested Sikh anger by displaying a Sikh smoking a cigar, which has not resulted in an upsurge of anger against the publication leading a lame-duck apology and continuing to display the image on the website.

As we move closer to 2019 -the 550th year of the advent of Guru Nanak, it is time to evolve the Commonwealth of the Khalsa with appropriate Sikh-like behaviour, Chardikala attitude, inclusive strategies, focussed target-oriented approach, internal democratic functioning, healthy criticism, seeking solutions to long pending issues and problems and a deep involvement in conflict-resolution in the personal, religious and political domain in respective countries and collectively for the Sikh people.

WSN presents the top Sikh Newsmakers for 2017

jagmeet singh

Jagmeet Singh: Unquestionably, the rise of young, dashing, debonair, determined Jagmeet Singh to become the leader of the National Democratic Party in Canada and lead the party to the next parliamentary elections as a Prime Ministerial candidate is a huge leap for the individual, a giant stride for Sikh Canadians and a proud moment for the Sikh world. For a beleaguered community, barely 2 percent in number, Jagmeet Singh’s politics, rooted in truthfulness, inclusiveness and a bold outlook towards human rights, is a tribute to the multicultural cosmos of Canada and a culmination of the 100 years of existential struggle of the Sikhs in Canada.

Harjit Singh Sajjan

Harjit Singh Sajjan: From the struggle to join the armed forces as a military recruit to become the National Defence Minister of Canada, the soft-spoken, suave, gentle Harjit Singh Sajjan has brought respect to the Sikhs worldwide.  The martial Sikh tradition has got a big boost with the Sikhs seen not just as soldiers but as generals too. His interaction with military authorities and defence ministers across the world are widely circulated by Sikhs in the social media with deep respect and awe. His visit to Punjab was in the spirit of a true Punjabi sticking to his roots.

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi: The multi-religious, multi-cultural constituents of the Slough constituency in the UK elected the handsome, linguist, socially-minded Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi as the first turbaned Sikh Member of Parliament and his presence in the portals of the House of Commons brings pride to the community not only in that country but worldwide. His focus on social causes worldwide, including the concern for Rohingya Muslims is exemplary of his large-heartedness and deep commitment to human rights.

Palbinder Kaur Shergill

Palbinder Kaur Shergill: A woman, a Sikh woman, nay a turbaned Sikh woman, Palbinder Kaur Shergill reached the high echelons of the Canadian judiciary, when she became the first Sikh lady judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster. Her judicial activism for worthy Sikh causes and those of other communities has been appreciated and applauded.

Harinder Kaur Malhi

Harinder Kaur Malhi:  Member of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario, daughter of the illustrious first turbaned Sikh Member Parliament Gurbux Singh Malhi, she boldly presented, with support from her Sikh colleagues, and got approved a motion calling the November 1984 Sikh killings as genocide. Obviously the guilty state of India was hugely upset but that has not deterred the young politician.

Navdeep Singh Bains

Navdeep Singh Bains: A member of the kitchen cabinet of the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his confidante, after his election as a parliamentarian, Navdeep Singh Bains is the Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Racing from one part of Canada to another, from one Commonwealth country to another, Navdeep Singh is making the right moves for Canadian commercial and economic progress.

Bardish Chaggar

Ms. Bardish Chaggar:  Adding to the ever increasing Sikh women presence in Canadian politics, Ms. Bardish Chaggar is the parliamentarian from the Waterloo riding and the Canadian minister for Small Business and Tourism. With her effective role as an activist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre, Ms. Bardish Chaggar is a distinguished community person enhancing people’s participation in public life.

Ruby Sahota

Ruby Sahota:  Joining Sikhs at the unfurling of the Sikh flag -Nishan Sahib in the foreground of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, parliamentarian Ruby Sahota applauded the contribution of Sikhs and other migrants. Her website aptly describes her as “ a dedicated mother of a four-year-old and a natural leader, she is passionate about engaging the youth vote, and is experienced in galvanizing people toward a common goal.”

Sarabjit Singh Marwah

Sarabjit Singh Marwah: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed to the Canadian senate former senior banker and founder of Sikh Foundation of Canada Sarabjit Singh Marwah “to showcase the rich diversity of Sikh and South Asian art and culture”.  Kolkata-born Sabi Marwah, as he is generally known has served on the boards of many famous Canadian institutions such as the Toronto Star, the Toronto International Film Festival, the C.D. Howe Institute, the Royal Ontario Museum, the United Way Campaign, and the Hospital for Sick Children.

Dr Rajwant Singh

The National Sikh Awareness Campaign: Stung by rising hate crime against the Sikhs in the US and the appalling lack of awareness about the Sikh people, activist and influencer Dr Rajwant Singh lead a focussed US-wide media and social awareness campaign on “Who are Sikhs?”  While the results are still pouring in for this expensive endeavour, there is definitely a heightened interest about the identity of the Sikhs in the media and in the academics. Exigencies of constituency politics has been influenced with politicians tailoring their outreach to include the needs and aspirations of the Sikh people.

Khalsa Aid

Khalsa Aid:The presence of Khalsa Aid in Bangladesh to feed and care for the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar made the organisation make a mark in the Muslim world who were agog with praise and support to the Indian and other representatives who gave a totally new twist to Sikh Langar tradition.  With his readiness to move in the most difficult terrains, Ravi Singh is ably demonstrating the Bhai Ghanaiya Ji tradition of the Sikhs.

Lord Indarjit Singh

Lord Indarjit Singh:  85 year old Lord Singh of Wimbledon, one of the two octogenarian Lords of the British House of Lords, Lord Indarjit Singh CBE won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 17th Annual Asian Achievers Awards. He has stood steadfast to his view about Sikhs and ethnicity and the debate continues unabated. As the director of the Network of Sikh Organisations (UK), he is the chief representative of the Sikhs at British official functions. His radio talks have a good audience, his interfaith dialogues are admired and he continues to inspire many through his writings and speeches.

Harjinder Singh Kukreja

Harjinder Singh Kukreja: Ace traveller and social media influencer, WSN associate Harjinder Singh Kukreja garnered a million Twitter followers through social activism, support to humanitarian causes, daring to go where no one has gone before, upholding the sanctity of the turban, doing sports feats and engaging his followers on a regular basis for unique events and causes.

Sikligar Sikhs

Sikligar Sikhs: Forgotten no more, Sikligar Sikhs -the traditional weapon makers of the Sikhs, honoured by the Gurus, now disconnected from the Sikh world, made a comeback into the Sikh psyche after a few of their ilk were hounded by the Indian police for their weapon-making skills. It is heartening to note that many in the country and the Diaspora are now focussing on improving their habitat, imparting education to their children and making a difference in their lives.

Harvindar Singh

Harvindar Singh: A young Sikligar Sikh, one of the first graduates in Social Work, an activist of the A Little Happiness Foundation, passed away because of a rare kidney ailment. He made a huge impact through his activism in the lives of Sikligar youth -boys and girls in Alwar, Jaipur, Agra, Kasganj and Delhi. His family and friends now manage the Harvindar Singh Centre of Learning in Alwar.

J.J. Singh Kapur

J.J. Singh Kapur: All of 20, the energetic, effervescent, smiling J. J. Singh Kapur delivered the Speech of 2017, when he won the Original Oratory Concert organised by the National Speech and Debate Association of the USA.  His word delivery in this speech and in other forums compares to the impromptu skills of former President of the US -Barack Obama.

The black prince

The Black Prince: The movie on the life of the last Maharaja of the Sikhs caught the fancy of Sikhs across the Sikh world, notwithstanding the naysayers and nit-pickers.  Without joining cause with the historicity of each frame and sequence, this first Sikh Hollywood movie in three languages not only evinced interest about Sikhs, but also about Sikh Raj amongst Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike.

When Abdali’s Palanquin Trembled

When Abdali’s Palanquin Trembled: Ajay Singh Brar and his sister Navjot Kaur in their new style provide an insight into the Sikh Raj in this book. In the words of the authors, “This book is an endeavour to study the Misl period of the Sikh history and understand the recent past and present. Misl period, besides being one of the most traumatic periods for the Sikh Quam, was also a period of complete metamorphosis.”  Marveling the role of the Sikhs, the book demonstrates how “during the invasions of Ahmad Shah Abdali, an Afghan warlord and a more powerful foreign invader than the Mughals, the Sikhs from being freebooters and plunderers turned into an elite fighter force and sovereign rulers.”

WSN Logo

The World Sikh News:  A new star on the horizon of Sikh journalism, the launch of The World Sikh News has been welcomed in the Sikh world and the WSN team is happy to share that the true Sikh perspective on world events and Sikh developments has been appreciated and well received. The WSN team will strive to do more and continue its mission to become the Sikh media of the future, because the truth needs to be told.

Mool Nanakshahi Calendar App

Mool Nanakshahi Calendar App: Technology overrides whims and fancies of leaders who entangle a community in a rot. This app, applicable universally, is a tool developed to ensure that the anomalies of the Bikrami calendar, the goofs of historians and the unnecessary intervention of self-proclaimed historians is totally done away with. To synchronise the social and religious of Sikhs in all countries, adoption of this will make personal and social lives easy. It will also enable respective countries to declare Sikh holidays should they choose to do so.

Ajay Singh Banga

Ajay Singh Banga: Mastercard Global CEO Ajaypal Singh Banga makes the Sikh world proud of his contribution in making the world “free of paper money.” He is known to have said, “my competition is with money.”  Mastercard President Ajaypal Singh Banga was bestowed with many prestigious awards in 2017. The Asian Awards called him as the Most Influential Business Leader in the World whereas he received the Hero Hunger Award from the World Food Programme for his contribution in assisting 2.2 million refugees in Syria and Lebanon. 

Preet Kaur Gill

Preet Kaur Gill: Preet Kaur Gill is the first female British Labour Co-operative Sikh Member Parliament from Birmingham Edgbaston who was backed by many Sikh groups but had the overwhelming support of other constituents too. She continues to pursue causes of all communities.

Ravinder Singh Bhalla

Ravinder Singh Bhalla: As the success stories of Canada closely affect the political nerve of the Sikhs in the US, many young Sikhs make it big in politics with various posts in the US administration, capping it all was the first elected Sikh Mayor of New Jersey -the young and dynamic, well-read lawyer Ravinder Singh Bhalla.

John Key, Kanwal Bakshi

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi:Proving his mettle, Kanwaljit Singh was elected for the fourth time in a row to the New Zealand Parliament.  Following him many more Sikh and other Indian-origin aspirants are pursuing public office -from politics to police in New Zealand.

Dr. Parmjeet Kaur Parmar

Dr. Paramjeet Kaur Parmar: A second time Member of the New Zealand parliament, Dr. Parmjeet Parmar represents Mt Roskill, Auckland and is a doctorate in Biological sciences. Representing the National Party, she is currently a member of the Select Committee on Economic Development, Science and Innovation.

Manjit Singh Puri

Manjit Singh Puri: A career diplomat, typically soft-spoken and focussed, this gentleman has served as Indian ambassador in many countries and forums, including Germany, Belgium and the United Nations. This year he took office as India’s ambassador to Nepal. He was part of India’s Security Council team during the years 2011-2012, when India served on the UN Security Council.

Amar Siingh

Amar Singh: Malaysia is a Muslim country with a Sikh police chief officer. Amar Singh succeeded his Muslim predecessor and was one of the first such public personality of the .16 percent Sikhs of the Malaysian population. He is a descendant of the family which joined the Malay states police forces in the early period of the last century. He is now incharge of the Bikut Aman -as the Malaysian police headquarters are called.

Sikhs in Australia

Sikhs in Australia: With the release of the census figures of Australia 2016 census, 126,000 Sikhs, being 0.5 percent of the total population, have become the fifth largest religious community in Australia.  Though Sikh settlement is 150 years old, a gush of students over the last five years has resulted in a huge exodus from the Punjab. There have been problems of recognition of the turban and other 5 Ks of the Sikhs in Australian schools and public life, but with increasing presence of Sikhs in police and public spheres, these will likely settle down.

Preet_Didbal

Preet Didbal: She braved a physical assault, lives life as a single mother, adheres to the family tradition of rising out of the phoenix -a trait she learned from her parents. Preet Didbal is the first female Sikh mayor of Sikh-dominated Yuba city in California. 

Dal Khalsa doyen Manmohan Singh Khalsa

Manmohan Singh Khalsa: Doyen of Dal Khalsa, this UK based Sikh activist -a core Sikh nationalist at heart, kept the dreams of the Sikh world alive for self-rule till his last breath. His never-say-die attitude will be remembered for a long time and will serve as an inspiration for upholding the distinct identity and status of the Sikh nation.

Gurbir Singh Garewal

Gurbir Singh Grewal: From politics to law, the US is catching up with Canada in terms of Sikh public presence. Gurbir Singh Grewal was nominated as the Attorney General in New Jersey and he was the first Sikh to get the honours. Selected by Governor-elect Phil Murphy, Speaking about Grewal, Governor elect Murphy stated, “Our State needs someone with a steel backbone, who will not be afraid to stand up to President Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress to protect the rights and values of our State and of all 9 million of our residents.”

Manjit Singh GK

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee: A new management committee was elected under the presidentship of Manjit Singh GK.  Elected representatives of the DSGMC, notably Manjinder Singh Sirsa -the General Secretary of the body chose to renege on their election promises and oath to God and Guru, by contesting and winning election as an MLA and Paramjit Singh the Chairperson of the Dharam Parchar Committee of the body, contested and won as a councillor. Making good public noises on Sikh issues has been the hallmark of DSGMC but deliverance on issues is still a far cry.  

Jathedar giani gurbachan singh

Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh: The Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib -the highest temporal authority of the Sikhs remained in the news for all the wrong reasons. From pardoning the pseudo-saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim to not taking a stand on the 5 January Parkash Purab of Guru Gobind Singh to toeing the Badal Akali Dal line, the Jathedar’s role was discussed, debated and ridiculed over the social media a great deal.

Justice Khehar

Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Kehar: After decades of being ignored for high offices in India, a Sikh judge found his way to the highest echelons of the Indian judiciary to become its first Sikh Chief Justice this year. Holding the office for barely 7 months, he maintained his image as a no-nonsense judge till the last, maintaining the supremacy of the judiciary over the executive.

Maharaja Amarinder Singh

Maharaja Amarinder SinghMaharaja Amarinder Singh, the scion of the Patiala dynasty, bounced back as the chief minister of Punjab, expressly for “my last term in politics”, but love for Punjab soon made him say that, “in the interest of Punjab, I may continue”. With no perceptible change in style and achievements, people of Punjab have accepted him without much expectation. Farmers are dying, human rights violations continue and the Punjab assembly continues to dysfunction totally snuffing out opposition opinion.

KPS Gill

KPS Gill: He died in 2017 and he died in ignominy. Much like the thousands of young Sikh rebels whom he killed extrajudicially during his tenure as police chief of Punjab. Hardly any senior government functionary mourned his death while Sikhs recalled the vast human rights violations done by him personally and by the Punjab police and paramilitary forces under him.

Sikh farmer suicide

Sikh Farmers Suicide: With an average of 2 to 3 suicides a day, the provider of the food basket of India -the hard working Sikh farmer has taken to suicide to get over his agony of ever-increasing debt. With the government playing politics over the issue, social, religious and political organisations have not brainstormed to evolve a solution.  Punjabis seem to have become immune to the daily suicide related news and just skip to the next news item.

punjabi diasappeared

www.punjabdisappeared.org: The Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project (PDAP) released their interim report about disappearances in Punjab through the 1980’s and 1990s in insurgency-torn Punjab, through their systematic and comprehensive data documentation. Keeping memories alive, the report puts pressure on the Indian state to follows norms of international jurisprudence and apportion blame on the guilty for crimes against humanity and try them as per internationally recognised procedures and practices.

The Quest Continues Lost Heritage

The Quest Continues: Lost Heritage -The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan:  Singapore based avid researcher and photographer, inspired by the life and times of his ancestors, Amardeep Singh travelled to Pakistan to has done a fascinating work tracing the images of Sikh history. This second volume of his research was released this year and has further enhanced interest in conservation and care of religious and historical monuments of Sikhs in their erstwhile homeland, now in Pakistan.  For his pictures, it has been aptly said, “His pictures come alive at every step. I can almost hear the footfalls of time.”

Air Marshal Arjan Singh

Air Marshal Arjan Singh: Octogenarian Air Marshal Arjan Singh passed away after completing his journey on planet earth of 98 years, winning laurels for his bravery and earning the distinction of being the only officer of the Indian Air Force to be given a distinction equivalent of a Field Marshall. His leadership in the 1965 Indo-Pak war is remembered to this day.

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa: B S Dhanoa took over as the Chief of the Air Staff on 1 January 2017.   He has served as a fighter pilot and is an alumni of the Indian Rashtriya Indian Military College, the National Defence Academy and the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.

Sikh Social media champs

Sikh Social Media Champs: Without naming any one individual or organisation, it was heartening to see the pressure created by Sikh social media activists who brought the RSS offshoot Rashtriya Sikh Sangat to its knees when they attempted to rope in the Sikhs for their obtuse version of the 350 year celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh Ji in Delhi at the fag end of the year.

Harmanpreet Kaur

Hermanpreet Kaur: Wearing the 1984 shirt during her plays as a remembrance for the November 1984 carnage, this young all round cricketer from Punjab has brought laurels through her sheer hard work and diligence. Awarded the Arjuna Award for cricket this year by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Satdeep Singh

Satdeep Singh: This young filmmaker through his short videos is making a huge impact on how the Sikhs view themselves and how the Sikhs are viewed by others. Taking a bold stand on issues touching the Sikhs, Satdeep Singh is the Sikh lensman of the future.  

Teena Kaur

Teena Kaur: Mumbai-based independent film producer and director Teena Kaur Pasricha, with many a documentary to her credit, brought to life the 33-year anti-Sikh genocide of November 1984 in Delhi through her rare documentary film, “When the Sun didn’t Rise.” Acclaimed at film festivals, the documentary made through dedicated research and persistence, is the film maker’s quest to get justice for the victims as individuals and also the victim community as a people.

Gurmehar Kaur

Gurmehar Kaur: A student leader with strong opinions about politics and public life, Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur was challenged by firebrand nationalists and holier-than-thou film stars and cricketers when she raised concern about violence on students campuses. She stood up to them and did not buckle. She is ambassador for Postcards for Peace with a clear stand on promotion of peace in the Indian subcontinent.

Prof. Pandit Rao Dharennavar

Prof. Pandit Rao Dharennavar: Kannadiga man Pandit Rao Dharennavar, a professor in sociology at Government College, Chandigarh, has literally come from the skies as a saviour and champion of the Punjabi language. Holding a banner above his head, travelling the nook and corner of Punjab, he has boldly challenged the shrill, unsavoury and vulgar Punjabi songs which are promoting a sub-culture of glorification of drug abuse, women as objects and the pecuniary benefits of a criminal life.

Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar: Rarely does someone from outside the Sikh fold show so much grace and respect than that which was showered by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the Sikh Sangat during the opening and closing ceremonies of the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh during 2017.  Keeping his politics aside, he received well-deserved accolades from one and all and his outlook for the future of Patna Sahib has endeared him to the Sikhs.

Hardeep Singh Puri

Hardeep Singh Puri: The only Sikh in the Narendra Modi cabinet in India, Hardeep Singh Puri is the current Union Minister of State with Independent Charge in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The transition from being a diplomat to a policial persona has been quick.   A writer on international diplomatic affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, with his heart in the right place is making moves for housing for the poor through affordable housing schemes.

diljit-dosanjh-events-gallery

Diljit Singh Dosanjh:While the Punjabi film industry, now called Pollywood is throwing up rehashed Bollywood, bringing in the anti-women culture and mouthing dialogues doing injustice to Punjabi culture and heritage, in his characteristic style, Diljit Singh Dosanjh has highlighted the drug abuse situation in the Punjab through his well-acclaimed Bollywood and Pollywood films with the actor getting Filmfare awards during the year.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh: Nemesis catches up, sometimes a bit late. In this case, though it was far too late, no one would have imagined that this pseudo-saint, his cohorts and gang, who were on Cloud Nine because of patronage, support and sympathies of the Indian government, would end up with a 20-year sentence in a rape case, with more to follow. His “kingdom” is again catching up, but it is now not even a shadow of its past.

Gobind Singh Longowal

Gobind Singh Longowal: While no one could really understand the religio-political reasons for the Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to choose him as the SGPC President, one-time assistant of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, a former minister of Punjab, Gobind Singh Longowal looped out of the Akali envelope and was “elected unanimously’ by the SGPC members without a murmur. With promises galore, it remains to be seen what he will achieve to arrest apostasy and drug abuse in Punjab.

Jagtar Singh Johal

Jagtar Singh Johal: British citizen Jagtar Singh Johal, on his second trip to Punjab for purposes of marriage, has been in Punjab police custody for weeks together, with police remand in one case after another. Concern by parliamentarians, including British Prime Minister Theresa May did not deter the Punjab police to continue his harassment and torture except that they simply denied it.  Human Rights lawyer Jaspal Singh Manjhpur stands solid as a rock defending the rights of the virtually indefensible situation in which Jagtar Singh Johal and his associates find themselves.  

Jimmy Singh

Jimmy Singh: Another British citizen, arrested alongside Jagtar Singh Johal, he too is doing the rounds of courts and police stations.  While legal assistance is available to him, consular access has been denied in both the cases and judiciary is playing ball to the whims and fancies of police requests.

Gauravdeep Singh

Gauravdeep Singh Ludhiana: He is the Gaurav -pride of Ludhiana, Punjab and India. All of 18, with a thorough nurturing in the basics of Sikh living, dedicated to social causes and a committed life, young Gauravdeep Singh was chosen to be one of the 20 National Youth Awardees. His presence on the internet and on live television as a host of special causes endears him to one and all. Making a start with the “I vote I lead” campaign in Ludhiana, Gauravdeep Singh made his way to people’s hearts through his simple dedicated approach and is now an icon for many.

Dr. Daljit Singh

Dr Daljit Singh:  Ophthalmologist par excellence, Dr Daljit Singh passed away at the ripe age of 82, leaving behind a family of ophthalmologists and thousands of patients whom he cured through his magical hands and pioneering lens implant technology. Before the technology spread across the country, there was a beeline of patients from across the country to Amritsar, with many Gujrati patients saying, “God could not have been everywhere, so he sent Daljit Singh to spread good vision.”

Charanjit Singh Chadha

Charanjit Singh Chadha: He and his team turned the Bhai Vir Singh inspired and established Chief Khalsa Diwan into a private trust, killing the very spirit and mission of the historic body, which has contributed substantially to Sikh education movement. He capped the year 2017 with his overtures to a female teacher of a Chief Khalsa Diwan school, which has brought ignominy and shame to him, his family, the Chief Khalsa Diwan and the Sikhs at large.

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