– Special: Jathedar Vedanti Criticises Giani Gurbachan Singh on Nanakshahi Calendar Row

Sikh24 Editors

In a special interview with Sikh24, former Akal Takht Sahib appointed Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti stated that the original Nanakshahi calendar engineered by Sardar Pal Singh Purewal represented the separate identity of the Sikh nation but it is a matter of deep concern that those who were trying to kill the spirit of this calendar, are committing a gross blunder by destroying the supremacy and dignity of Sri Akal Takht Sahib as well.

Vedanti said that on the pretext of making corrections, the calendar was murdered in 2010. “From 2003 when it was implemented, to 2010, the calendar caused no loss for the Sikh nation religiously, politically, or principally,” he said.

He explained that the original Nanakshahi Calendar came into existence in 2010 with the hard work of Canada based Sikh expert Pal Singh Purewal, but Akal Takht Sahib constituted a separate committee to test its viability.

Also, it was reviewed by various Sikh organizations of India and abroad, Sikh historians, geographers, and astronomers. In addition, it was passed by the executive panel and general house of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

Following all these steps which took 3 years, Akal Takht Sahib accepted this calendar.

Following this long procedure, Jathedar Kirpal Singh Badungar, the then president of SGPC and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Badal had decided to release this calendar from Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo.

“If any shortcoming was seen in it, a committee should have been constituted in order to correct it, in which Pal Singh should also be included.

We demand if there is any fault in the original calendar implemented by all Sikh organizations, Gurdwara management committees, Singh Sabhas, and others, Jathedar Kirpal Singh Badungar, Parkash Badal, Pal Singh Purewal deserve punishment, and being the then head of the First Takht of the Sikhs, I am ready to face any kind of punishment,” he said, asserting that whoever was guilty of causing great loss for the nation by amending the calendar, should be ready to face punishment as well.

He said in straightforward words that on the pretext of amending the Calendar, supremacy of Sri Akal Takht Sahib is being hurt.

Taking a jab at the incumbent appointed Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib, Giani Gurbachan Singh, Vedanti said, “On one side, the decision to celebrate Parkash Gurpurb of Sri Guru Gobind Singh on January 7 is taken by Panj Singh Sahiban (highest presidium of Sikhs), on the other hand there seems to be no need to call Panj Singh Sahibans to make a change.”

He questioned if it is not an act of hurting the supremacy of Akal Takht Sahib that Giani Gurbachan Singh changed the decision taken by Panj Singh Sahiban.

He said in emotive words that opponents and invaders assaulted Sri Akal Takht Sahib many times but the nation kept on constructing its building in more and more beautiful ways, but who would compensate the loss caused by hurting the traditions and tenets of the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs?

It is matter of grave concern at present.

On being asked about the identification of the agencies who are trying to kill the spirit of the Nanakshahi calendar, he said that these agencies were disclosed in 2010.

He said that an ordinary Sikh, Sikh leaders, and respected Jathedars of Takhts are accountable before Sangat of Guru, not before any other. He indicated towards the RSS, a right-wing Hindu terrorist organisation, as being behind these activities to ruin the separate identity of Sikhs.

Sikh24 Editors can be reached at

The Tribune – Three jawans, three militants among seven killed in Jammu encounter

Jammu/New Delhi, 27 November 2014. Three Army personnel and as many militants were among seven killed in a fierce gun battle that broke out today between security forces and militants who had sneaked into Arnia border sector along international border in Jammu district.

One civilian was also killed and two others were injured in the fresh bloodletting that came ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu region tomorrow for Assembly poll campaign.

Elsewhere, Army troops foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district and arrested a suspected armed militant.

“Three Army personnel and as many militants have been killed in the attack in Arnia sector in Jammu,” an Army source in New Delhi said.

“As per initial reports from the area, a group of militants numbering between two to four infiltrated from Arnia belt of Jammu district and resorted to firing,” a police officer told PTI, adding that the security grid of the Army, BSF and police swung into action and launched a cordon and search for the militants this morning.

Army sources said the militants occupied a vacant bunker of Army’s 92 infantry brigade in Pindi Khattar belt of Arnia border sector of Jammu district.

A fierce encounter broke out between hiding militants and security forces in which three militants were reported to have been killed, they said.

The encounter was on when the reports last came in from the area.

A car has also been seized in the area which might have been used by the militants.

A senior District administration official told PTI that the deceased civilian has been identified as Sunil Sabarwal.

Meanwhile, a suspected militant was arrested after security forces foiled an infiltration bid this morning near the LoC in Rajouri district.

Troops noticed some suspicious movement near LoC in Leharan Company Operating Base in Lam Battalion area of Rajouri district around 0630 hours today, a senior army officer said.

The security personnel responded immediately and foiled an infiltration bid, he said.

During search operation, a suspected militant was apprehended and one AK-47 with 30 rounds, one Pakistan made pistol and Rs 8,100 Pakistan currency were seized from his possession.

He was identified as Adul Qayoomi alias Punjabi, he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to campaign for BJP in second phase of Assembly elections in Udhampur and Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir tomorrow.

Modi will address a rally in Udhampur district, which is 100 km from Arnia.

According to Kashmir BJP spokesman Farooq Khan, Modi will address rallies in Udhampur district and border district of Poonch at 12 pm and 2:30 pm tomorrow.

Security has been beefed up by the BSF along the border and also in Jammu city, Udhampur and Poonch areas.

Army had yesterday said militants were out to disturb the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir but the forces were on alert to foil their designs. (PTI)

The Asian Age – Omar Abdullah warns against early celebration

Asian Age Correspondent

Srinagar, 27 November 2014. Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday cautioned against projecting the huge voter turnout recorded in the first phase of the state Assembly elections as a defeat of separatists who had called for boycotting the exercise.

This, he said, could create problems in the remaining phases of elections.

Mr Abdullah, who is also the working president of the ruling National Conference (NC), said that no doubt call for poll boycott was issued initially but the same was later withdrawn.

“One doesn’t know what would have been the response but it is heartening the people got an opportunity to cast their votes at free will,” he told reporters here after filing his nomination papers for Srinagar’s Sonawar seat.

He reiterated it that now projecting it as a setback to separatists and militants could create problems in the smooth conduct of the remaining phases of the elections.

While talking to reporters and later addressing an election rally at Vijaypur in Jammu, Mr Abdullah attributed the huge turnout in the first phase to the “turnaround” brought in the situation by his government and questioned the comprehension of those sitting on judgment in New Delhi.

“Those crying hoarse about nothing having been done during the past six years should ponder over the fact that his government made the situation conducive for people to vote freely and fearlessly,” the chief minister asserted.

He also said that as a result of sustained peace, the people got encouraged to participate in democratic exercise in a big way.

“Even those not daring to vote for the past 18 years walked towards booths to be part of democracy,” he said, adding that his NC has all along remained in the forefront to meet challenges unfolded by situations. “This is discernible by the sacrifices offered by its workers during past two and half decades,” he said.

Mr Abdullah exuded confidence about his party forming the next government in the state. “Response of voters has enthused the cadre, who have galvanised themselves across the state to steer the party to victory,” he said.

He expressed surprise over the “somersault” of the Congress, saying that if they found the NC wanting, they should have restrained from seeking its help in the April-May Lok Sabha elections.

“Just six months back we sought votes for Congress candidates in the elections to the Lok Sabha for enabling Mr Rahul Gandhi to be the Prime Minister and now they are questioning the coalition at every fora,” he said. He accused the BJP of creating fear psychosis among the people by creating doubts about secular parties to garner support in polls.

“Do I have to remind it the NC has all along rejected the politics based on religion, caste or region? We inherited as legacy from Sheikh Abdullah the philosophy of unity in diversity,” and single entity of the state, he said and recalled his grandfather and legendary leader’s cherished slogan of ‘Hindu, Muslim Sikh Itehad’.

Walking in Southall – 18 October 2014

Havelock Court – Havelock Road
My friends

Havelock Road
Another wedding at Havelock Road Singh Sabha

Havelock Road

Another wedding, another Rolls Royce

Park Avenue Singh Sabha

Beaconsfield Road
Diverted 427 due to Broadway roadworks

To see more Southall, Middlesex, UK pictures :

More UK pictures to follow
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Tribune – Traffic chaos in Phagwara

Punjab, with a population of 38 per cent in cities, is on the road to urbanisation. Census 2011 figures indicate that a large number of people have migrated from villages to cities. The Tribune reporters visited various towns and cities to study the impact of urbanisation, especially with municipal elections in the state round the corner

Deepkamal Kaur and Ashok Kaura, Tribune News Service

Phagwara, November 26. Located on National Highway-I, this commercially important town with excellent road and rail connectivity, is set to see its first municipal elections. The Phagwara Municipal Corporation (MC) was constituted in July 2011. Since then it is being run by bureaucrats.

Elections to the MC could not be conducted due to fresh delimitation of wards. As it is a must for any corporation to have a minimum of 50 wards, the MC limits were extended and 13 more wards added. The MC now covers an area of 16.44 sq km.

Areas of 16 surrounding villages, including those of Chachoki, Hazipur, Sukhchain Nagar, Kot Rani, Gobindpura and Guru Nanak Nagar villages, have been merged with the MC.

Source of income

A city with a population of 1.5 lakh, mostly NRIs, has a small annual budget of just Rs 28.59 crore. Half of this amount (Rs 14.5 crore) is spent on the salaries of MC employees, Rs 2 crore on payment of electricity bills for streetlights and Rs 2.30 crore for running 36 tube wells.

An amount of Rs 1 crore is spent on the maintenance of the sewage treatment plant at Hadiabad that has the capacity to treat 8 MLD effluent and the other on Palahi Road that has the capacity to treat 20 MLD.

This leaves less than Rs 8 crore for development. Re-appointed PCS officer SPS Marar said though the budget was low, the MC received grants for development works under several schemes. Besides, VAT refund too was a source of income for the corporation.


For a passerby, the choked highway itself is a problem with the toll plaza making things worse. Since the local bus stand is located along the road, buses do not enter the bus stand but pick and drop passengers on the roadside.

There is congestion everywhere, be it the popular Gaushala Bazaar or the Bansanwala Bazaar. With no parking provision anywhere, vehicles are parked haphazardly on the roadside, posing a problem to commuters.

Encroachments too are a problem. The Rest House Chowk, Gol Chowk, Gandhi Chowk and Jang Ghar Chowk in the main market have become traffic hazards.

The residents are supplied drinking water from 36 tube wells. Four water head tanks have been dry for the past 12 years. Residents of the Gujarati Mohalla say they have been reeling under water shortage for years but the MC has failed to install a new tube well.

Gobindpura and Onkar Nagar are the worst-affected by water contamination. These localities see an outbreak of water-borne diseases every year.

Stray cattle is a menace and so are more than 3,000 stray dogs. There is no solid waste management plan for the town as of now. Neither does the town have the facility of door-to-door collection of waste.

The MC plans to introduce city bus service from Jalandhar to Phagwara on fixed routes.

Political graph

The BJP-led municipal committee before 2011 did not do much except for installing a sewage treatment plant. There is much factionalism within the party. The Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Local Bodies, Som Parkash, has been trying to assert himself but it is former minister Swarna Ram who wields the power in the area.

It is said that it was on the insistence of Som Parkash, a former bureaucrat, that both Phagwara and Hoshiarpur were elevated as corporations. Som Parkash reportedly had his way during the recent delimitation of wards.

Even the Congress camp stands divided with the former minister and three-time Phagwara MLA, Joginder Mann, leading one group and former chairman of the Phagwara Improvement Trust Balbir Raja Sodhi leading another. Congress spokesperson Nimisha Mehta has formed a third front.

Ward reservation

Twenty-seven of the 50 wards of the new Phagwara MC are reserved for candidates from the Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and women (including general and SC categories).

NRIs’ role

As the authorities have failed to do much on the development front, certain NGOs, with help of NRIs, have taken the task of improving the civic amenities. Swami Vivekananda Society has taken up the task to develop the neglected Swami Vivekananda Park at Chahal Nagar. President of the society Vipin Handa said the park now had a green cover. “We will be installing streetlights too,” he said.

Dawn – South Asian leaders reach last-minute energy deal at Saarc summit

Kathmandu, 27 November 2014. South Asian heads of state attending their first summit in three years reached a deal on energy sharing Thursday, but failed on two other economic agreements during a retreat where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi shook hands.

On the last day of the two-day summit, the leaders flew to a mountain resort near Nepal’s capital and agreed on electricity sharing among the eight nations through a common grid.

During the retreat, Nawaz and Modi shook hands and talked in a group, but did not have one-on-one dialogue, according to Nepalese officials.

Indian officials have already said exchanging courtesies among the leaders did not mean talks between the two South Asian rivals.

“If they interact, exchange courtesies and exchange a few words, that does not translate as dialogue,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said earlier.

The leaders of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka boarded helicopters from Kathmandu to the retreat at Dhulikhel, 30 kilometres (19 miles) away.

The area is a popular viewing spot of the Himalayan mountains.

The trip Thursday gave them a final chance to reach agreements that were expected to be signed during the meeting.

Officials indicated that Pakistan had made last-minute objections to energy sharing, roads and railways connectivity agreements because of incomplete internal procedures, but at the end, the energy deal was clinched.

Earlier Nawaz and Modi also shook hands and met briefly during the retreat at the Saarc Summit, according to Indian media reports.

Sources say there was no separate conversation between the two leaders.

According to a report on NDTV, Modi and Nawaz shook hands and spoke briefly at an informal retreat for Saarc leaders at a resort outside Kathmandu.

The report also says that Nawaz will fly out of Nepal this evening, a little earlier than scheduled. He will miss a banquet and a meeting with the president of Nepal.

An Indian government source had earlier said that Modi may hold informal talks with his Pakistani counterpart at the Dhulikel resort in the Himalayan foothills on Thursday morning, although that had remained uncertain.

Modi held one-on-one talks with every Saarc leader except Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday, with both sides saying it was up to the other to request a meeting.

The 18th South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit kicked off Wednesday as leaders of the eight members states got together here at the capital of Nepal to find ways to make the regional grouping more viable and effective.

All the eight leaders were invited to the conference table and the ceremony began with the playing of the national anthem of Nepal.

Analysts have blamed Saarc’s failure on the mutual mistrust between Pakistan and regional powerhouse India, which has taken a more assertive stance toward its northern neighbour since the election of a new Hindu nationalist government in May.

The Indian Express said there were “visible cold vibes” between the two leaders, who did not even exchange nods on Wednesday, let alone shake hands, despite being only two seats apart for around four hours.

Ealing Passenger Transport Users’ Group – Public Meeting on Tuesday 2nd December 2014 at 7.00 pm

Ealing Passenger Transport Users’ Group

invites you to a

Public Meeting on Tuesday
2 December 2014 at 7.00 pm

John Barry, Head of Network Development Buses Directorate at Transport for London, will give a presentation entitled

“Ealing’s Bus Services: Past, Present but mostly Future”

This is your chance to have your say and put your questions to John about bus services throughout the Borough.

This will be followed by the EPTUG Annual General Meeting.

The meeting will be held in the Parish Hall to the rear of Christ the Saviour Church
New Broadway, Ealing, London W5 2XA

We hope that you will be able to attend and also find out more about EPTUG !

Human Rights Without Frontiers – Two Protestant clergymen on trial in Bangladesh for alleged “forced conversions”

Asia News, Bangladesh, 25 November 2014. Two Protestant clergymen are awaiting trial in Bangladesh on charges of inducing Muslims to convert.

The incident occurred in mid-November when some 200 Muslims attacked the Christian religious leaders – anonymous for security reasons.

The two clergymen, who belong to Faith Bible Church of God, were celebrating baptisms in the northern district of Lalmonirhat, 341 kilometres from Dhaka.

A source told AsiaNews that some members of the local Muslim community – perhaps incited by conservative imams – were angered by reports that Muslims were set to undergo baptism, and so stormed the site.

The police intervened and arrested 45 Protestants, including two pastors. A few hours later, the faithful were released, but the Protestant religious leaders remained in prison.

Some imams filed a complaint for “forced conversions” against them. Because of pressure from Islamic leaders, the authorities at first denied the two bail.

After a second request, on 18 November, police released the Protestant clergymen, who now have to stand trial.

Bangladesh does not have anti-conversion laws. Islam is the state religion, practiced by about 89.5 per cent of the population. Catholics are only 0.1 per cent.

The Constitution does not recognise Sharia (Islamic law) and guarantees full religious freedom; however, conversions to a different religion are often opposed.

United Sikhs – Unprovoked Attack- Investigation Continues as Sikh Man, Father of Three Stabbed to Death in California

Labh Singh Nigah stabbed to death after dropping off son to his elementary school

California, USA. On Thursday, 13 November 2014 at 8.40 am, Mr. Labh Singh Nigah, 55-years-old, was walking in Sierra Linda Park when he was stabbed to death. Mr. Singh, a resident of Oxnard, was killed shortly after dropping off his son to his elementary school.

The crime took place in a safe, residential area rarely hit with violent crime, leaving Sikh community members to believe this may have been a hate crime. Police have made no arrests and are trying to piece together a motive.

Mr.Labh Singh was a father to three children, ages 16, 14 and 10. He reportedly worked seven days a week at a 7/11 convenience store to provide for his family.

United Sikhs alerted the United States Department of Justice’s First Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, California and the local Community Relations Services office regarding this case. We emphasized the importance of a thorough investigation for a possible hate crime.

We have been informed that DOJ has now spoken to the Assistant Chief of Oxnard Police and is in touch regarding developments in the investigation. They have also reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to track this investigation.

The Assistant Chief has assured us they are actively investigating the case, including as a possible hate crime. Many local police officers knew Mr. Singh well, as they frequently visited his 7/11 store.They have increased the number of uniformed officers in that area to assure community members safety.

As the investigation continues, a $10,000 reward is being offered by the Oxnard Police Department for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects responsible.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Police Department online or through Ventura County Crimes Stoppers at 800-222-8477, or by calling or emailing Detective Miguel Serrato at 805-385-7688 or

This incident comes at the heels of other crimes against Sikhs this year. Mr. Sandeep Singh of Queens, NY was run over by a truck and dragged after the driver called him a terrorist and a Sikh doctor was called Osama Bin Laden and beaten up by a group of teens.

Our condolences and prayers go out to the friends and family of Mr. Labh Singh. We will continue to monitor the investigation through our communications with relevant governmental agencies and the Oxnard Police Department.

United Sikhs urges you as usual to practice your faith fearlessly. If you believe you might have been a target of bullying, hate/ biased based crime, discrimination in the USA or globally, please report it here.

Our team does not reject anyone’s appeal for help knowingly, please continue to show your support so we may continue to help those in need.

Issued by: Anisha Singh
Staff Attorney and Policy Advocate.
International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA)
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To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.

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The Sikh Aid team provides non-partisan global humanitarian disaster relief services, which not only provide immediate aid but also rehabilitation help to the needy.

The Tribune – Punjab drug racket; No need for Majithia to step down: Badal

Ruchika M Khanna & Kuldip Bhatia, Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Ludhiana, November 26. Caught on the back foot with Enforcement Directorate (ED) ready to summon Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, the SAD-led Punjab government is firmly behind the minister.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today came to the rescue of Majithia and denied he would be asked to step down after ED made it clear that it would summon Majithia in the Rs 6,000 crore drug racket case.

Interacting with the media after the Punjab Cabinet meeting, the CM said there was no substantial evidence against Majithia to prove his involvement in the drug racket, allegedly operated by dismissed DSP Jagdish Singh Bhola.

“Jad tak saboot nahin aanda, assi ki kar sakde haan (We cannot act against Majithia until there is a strong evidence against him),” he said.

Sukhbir, who was in Ludhiana today, said: “The allegations are a political stunt aimed at tarnishing the image of the state government.” Talking to reporters, Sukhbir refuted allegations that the government was going soft on drug peddlers.

“The Punjab Government has adopted a zero tolerance policy against drug trafficking and many notorious smugglers have been sent to jail,” he claimed, adding that drugs were being smuggled either from Pakistan or from other bordering states to Delhi through Punjab. The onus to tackle drug problem lies on the Centre, he said.

The Punjab Police also came in the minister’s defence by claiming that it had found allegations of Majithia receiving hawala money as “false and fabricated”.

It also maintained that former Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira was basing the allegations on forged transcripts of Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Punjab Police and his role, along with that of a sub-inspector, who supplied the forged transcripts, was under scanner.

The Punjab Police claimed to have solved the mystery behind the leakage of some Financial Intelligence Unit documents, which suggested that Majithia had received Rs 70 lakh as hawala money in April 2011.

In July this year, former Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira had alleged that he had received documents of the FIU, which showed that Majithia had received the hawala money through Gurmeet Manchanda.

IG (Intelligence) Gaurav Yadav said the police investigations revealed that sub-inspector Swaran Gandhi, who was earlier posted with the FIU, prepared the forged transcripts.

Showing the original transcripts and comparing these with the forged ones that Khaira had used, Yadav said the name and number of the Revenue Minister was deliberately added by someone in order to defame him.

He said Gandhi had admitted that he forged the transcripts which were records of legal phone tapping of some people involved in money laundering. He said the SSP, Sangrur, has been asked to conduct an inquiry. He did not rule out the possibility of examining Khaira’s role in the forging of the transcripts.

Meanwhile, the political slugfest on the issue continued with Akali minister Sikandar Singh Maluka and SAD spokesman Virsa Singh Valtoha questioning the “double standards” of the Congress by not seeking the resignation of Chaudhary Santokh Singh who was also questioned by ED in the drug racket.

The Opposition parties – the Congress and Manpreet Singh Badal’s People’s Party of Punjab — continued their tirade against the Badals on this issue.

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, MLA from Dera Baba Nanak, alleged that Majithia was being shielded by his relatives, enjoying power in the state and his sister, a Cabinet Minister in Modi government.


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