The News – First Sikh army officer gets married

Rawalpindi-Panjab-Pakistan, 4 December 2017. Pakistan Army’s first Sikh officer Major Hercharn Singh on Sunday tied the Knot at Gurdwara PunjaSahib, Hasan Abdal, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa in his message extended best wishes for matrimonial life of newlywed couple, the statement added.

A number of serving and retired officers of Pakistan Army attended the wedding ceremony Major Harcharn Singh.

According to Arm’s media wing, ISPR, Major Harcharn Singh was commissioned in Pakistan Army in 2007.

Pakistan Army remains a symbol of national integration and respects rights of religious minorities in Pakistan, the ISPR statement added.

Advertisements – Punjab Police arrests another Sikh youth from Jammu

Sikh24 Editors

Jammu-Jammu & Kashmir-India, 3 December 2017. The Baghapurana police on December 1 arrested a Sikh youth from Jammu after obtaining arrest warrants from the Magistrate in an FIR No. 193/16 registered in the Police station of Baghapurana.

Jagjit Singh is the third Sikh youth from Jammu who has been arrested in this case following the arrest of Tarlok Singh Laddi and his cousin brother Taljit Singh Jimmy.

It is learnt that the Baghapurana police raided onto Jagjit Singh’s home in Shastri Nagar of Jammu on December 1 and arrested him. When the local Sikh representatives asked the Police to clarify the reason for arresting Jagjit Singh, they didn’t provide any reasoning.

Following this, the local Sikh activists staged protests in Jammu by blockading the traffic on road.

Sources have informed that the Police took away his laptop, mobile and cash from his office.

Last year Tarlok Singh Laddi was arrested in this case following which the Police got apprised of Taljit Singh Jimmy who was residing in UK. As soon as Taljit Singh arrived in India during October this year he was arrested. Other arrests were made shortly after this.

Gent: Sint-Pieters NMBS Station – Leuven NMBS – Gent Gurdwara

Sint-Pieters NMBS Station
04 November 2017

IC train to Luik / Eupen via Leuven

Leuven NMBS
04 November 2017

Platform resurfacing still on-going

The good old 16:19 via Gent

Mata Sahib Kaur Gurdwara
05 November 2017

Reading the final verses of the Guru Granth Sahib

Reading the final verses of the Guru Granth Sahib

Mata Sahib Kaur Gurdwara
Kortrijksepoortstraat 49
B-9000 Gent – Oost-Vlaanderen

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Times of India – ‘Fanaticism being promoted under the garb of nationalism’

Chandigarh-Panjab-India, 3 December 2017. Regardless of various constitutional guarantees in India, religious minorities along with Dalits, creative artists, writers and rationalists are feeling threatened.

It was the majority view of various scholars during the opening day of the two-day seminar held at Institute of Sikh Studies (IOSS) at Chandigarh on Saturday.

The seminar is being attended by distinguished scholars from Delhi, Punjab and various universities in Punjab and representatives of social organizations from all over India.

In his keynote address IOSS president Professor Kulwant Singh highlighted several acts of majoritarian intolerance and acts of violence by violent cow vigilantes and other right wing organizations and exhorted the citizens to safeguard India’s centuries old multi-religious, multi-lingual, multicultural unity in diversity.

“Today when fanaticism is being promoted under the garb of nationalism, the vast majority of Hindus are answerable for actions of a tiny vocal minority in the name of Hinduism,” said Professor Apoorva Nand of Delhi University.

Professor Khalid Mohammed from Panjab University (PU) said that Muslim bashing was rampant under the garb of terrorism, love ‘jihad’, ‘ghar vapsi’ and triple talaq. He added that the history was sought to be reinterpreted where Muslims were shown only as traitors and all their monuments projected to be built after destroying Hindu temples.

Professor Emmanuel Nahar of PU said Christians had been facing structured and symbolic violence in India during the present as well as the previous government’s regime. Giving an example, Nahar added that an important festival like Christmas had being trivialized as ‘Good Governance’ day by the present government.

Former deputy speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Bir Devinder Singh expressed the doctrine of religion based majoritarianism would diminish completely the role of minorities in the political system of governance in India.

At the same time, Sikh scholar Swaraj Singh said diversity had always been a part of Indian ethos and according to him imposing uniformity goes against the very grain of Hinduism.

The Hindu – What is the Babri Masjid case all about?

Krishnadas Rajagopal

2 December 2017.

What is it?

At the core of the nearly 70-year-old Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute is the belief that Lord Ram was born 9,00,000 years ago in the Treta Yuga, in a room located under what was the central dome of the Babri Masjid.

The masjid was built on the orders of Mughal emperor Babur in the 16th century and had occupied 1,482.5 square yards before its demolition by kar sevaks on 6 December 1992.

On September 30, 2010, a three-judge Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court upheld the Hindu belief, reasoning that the “world knows” where Ram’s birthplace is. The Bench ordered a partition of the site occupied by the Babri Masjid equally among the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla, the deity.

In May 2011, on appeals by the Sunni Waqf Board and other parties, the Supreme Court stayed the judgment, calling it a “leap of faith.” The stay ensured status quo, which meant that a lone priest would continue to worship in the makeshift temple built at the site, a custom legitimised in the Ayodhya Act of 1993.

The ban continued on any mode of activity on the 67 acres acquired by the Centre following the Supreme Court orders of March 13 and 14, 2002. Now, the appeals are due for hearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on December 5.

The hearing coincides with the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition. The case banks mostly on documents written in languages as varied as Persian and Arabic, dating back to the 16th century.

How did it come about?

The idols of Ram Lalla were placed “surreptitiously” under the central dome of the Babri Masjid in 1949. The next year, Gopal Simla Visharad filed the first suit in the Faizabad civil court for rights to perform puja to Ram Lalla.
Paramahansa Ramachandra Das filed a suit for continuation of puja and keeping idols in the structure.

In 1959, Nirmohi Akhara filed a third suit, seeking a direction to hand over charge of the disputed site. The UP Sunni Central Wakf Board filed the fourth suit in 1961 for declaration and possession and a fifth was filed in 1989 in the name of Ram Lalla Virajman for declaration and possession.

In 1986, the district court ordered locks to be removed for the site to be opened for Hindu worshippers. In 1991, the Uttar Pradesh government acquired land around the structure for the convenience of devotees coming for Ram Lalla darshan.

In 1993, the Centre took over 67 acres of land around the area and sought the Supreme Court’s opinion on whether there existed a Hindu place of worship before the structure was built. In 1994, the litigation reached the Lucknow Bench. The suits were heard from 1996 till September 2010.

Why does it matter?

The Supreme Court’s decision will be a deciding factor in the backdrop of the movement for building a Ram temple at the disputed site gaining momentum. The Ram temple was a major promise in the BJP manifesto.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, in April 2017, decided to revive the criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders, including L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, in the Babri Masjid demolition cases.

What next?

With just days left for the Supreme Court to hear the appeals on December 5, UP Central Shia Waqf Board chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi informed the court about a settlement reached between the Board and “non-Muslim stakeholders” for the building of the Ram temple at the disputed site.

The Board said it would bear the expenses and construct a mosque in Lucknow. Rizvi had earlier claimed the Babri Masjid was a Shia waqf (endowment), and termed the Sunnis, who had been at the frontlines of the title dispute, as “hardliners.”

The so-called settlement may face resistance from the Sunni faction in court. Though the Supreme Court has leaned in favour of an out-of-court settlement, this Sunni-Shia rift may compel it to adjudicate the dispute.