Dawn – India deprives Sikh pilgrims of Jorr Mela yatra

Khalid Hasnain

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 15 June 2019. A number of Sikh pilgrims staged a protest demonstration at the Attari railway station on Friday against the Indian government after a special train from Pakistan was not allowed to enter its territory to pick them for Jorr Mela.

The irritated pilgrims despite carrying visa and travel documents remained stranded at the Attari railway station as they waited for hours for the special train to take part in the Jorr Mela, which is held every year to mark the death anniversary of Guru Arjun Dev.

“It is a matter of great displeasure that India once again behaved as it did in 2017,” said an official of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) while talking to Dawn.

On Friday, the official said, the special train reached the Wagah railway station at 9am to pick as many as 146 Sikh pilgrims.

Protest staged at Attari railway station against New Delhi for disallowing train from Pakistan to pick them

“Our authorities contacted their Indian counterparts again and again to accept and allow entry of the train to their territory for picking and bringing the Yatris to Lahore so that they could proceed to their destination for attending the 10 day long Jorr Mela festival.

“But it is very sad that at about 12.40pm they [Indian authorities] finally refused to allow the train to pick the Yatris,” the official explained.

“We all, senior ETPB officials, Sikh office-bearers of Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, local administration and others concerned, remained present at Wagah to welcome the pilgrims. But India didn’t bother [to facilitate their travel], forcing the pilgrims to remain stranded at Attari for hours.”

An official requesting anonymity told Dawn that around eight pilgrims, however, succeeded in entering Pakistan on foot via Wagah-Attari border.

The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi had issued visas to around 200 Indian Sikh pilgrims for attending the festival.

Under a bilateral agreement between the two countries, Pakistan can issue visas to as many as 500 pilgrims for this event. Last year, a meagre number of pilgrims (less than 50) visited Pakistan for this event. But in 2017, India disallowed 80 pilgrims after rejecting Pakistan’s request of sending special train to pick them on June 8.

Yet some 14 pilgrims, who had visa to enter Pakistan on foot via Wagah border, succeeded in crossing the border. Later on June 28, 2017, the Indian authorities once again did not allow 300 Sikh community members to attend the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, citing refusal by the Ministry of External Affairs to clear their names.

“This time, too, we had made extraordinary arrangements for the lodging, boarding, security, etc, of 146 pilgrims. On June 16, the main ceremony in this regard has been scheduled to be organised here. But India didn’t see this and forced the pilgrims to return home from Attari. It is really against the universally admitted fundamental rights of the people,” the official deplored.

There was an issue over the exact date of this event mentioned in the Nanakshahi Calendar (a calendar of Sikh pilgrims’ religious rituals in Pakistan), with a few people considering it to be June 6 as against the understanding of most of the Sikh pilgrim associations in both countries which agreed on the dates of indigenous months (Jaith, Harh), linking them to the English months, according to the official.

As most of the Sikh pilgrims considered June 16 as authentic date for this event, scores of them applied for visa.

“The Pakistan High Commission issued visas to them and this was already in the knowledge of the Indian authorities,” the official said.

Finally on Friday when the special train from the Wagah railway station was ready to travel to the Attari railway station to pick the Sikh pilgrims, the Indian government did not give it permission, depriving them of visiting Pakistan for attending the festival.


Sikh24.com – Row Over Missing Saroops: Anyone found guilty won’t be spared, says Longowal

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 15 June 2019. Amid serious allegations of selling saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji being leveled on SGPC, the SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal went to the Sikh Reference Library to understand its working on June 14. He also took a glimpse of the historic handwritten saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji placed inside the Sikh Reference Library.

Reiterating his commitment of thorough probe into this issue, Longowal said that the probe committee would be constituted soon in which prominent rational Sikh personalities will be appointed.

Commenting on the charges of selling the historic saroops returned by the Indian army, Longowal said that anyone found guilty in this concern won’t be spared at any cost, but if the charges proved wrong then the SGPC will also sue the concerned media section in Court.

“However, we have confirmed that a large portion of the treasure of Sikh Reference Library has not been returned by the Indian army till date,” he added.

Longowal clarified that the literature wealth of the Sikh Reference Library is a safe deposit of Sikh community with SGPC and the SGPC is liable for returning it to the Sikh community in an intact position.

SGPC’s Chief Secretary Dr. Roop Singh, Secretary Mohinder Singh Aahli, Secretary Manjit Singh Bath, Secretary Balwinder Singh Jaura Singha, Personal Secretary Er. Sukhminder Singh, Dr. Amarjit Kaur (Incharge of Sikh History Research Board), Bagicha Singh (Librarian, Sikh Reference Library), P.A. Darshan Singh etc. were also present on this occasion.

Row Over Missing Saroops: Anyone found guilty won’t be spared, says Longowal

Sputnik News – 130 Stranded Sikh pilgrims await Modi government’s go-ahead to enter Pakistan

Despite the near war-like situation due to the February escalation, India and Pakistan did not interrupt the Kartarpur Corridor religious infrastructure project, slated to be operationalised this year. The joint people-to-people exchange effort facilitates Indian Sikh pilgrims’ visits to the final resting place of Sikhism’s founder, Guru Nanak Dev.

Atari/Wagah border, Panjab, 14 June 2019. Around 130 Pakistan-bound Sikh pilgrims, including women, children, and elderly, with valid visas are stuck at the Attari border, as the Indian government is yet to allow them to cross over to observe the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh guru.

The people have been stranded there since the early hours of the day and have so far been unable to proceed.

Footage from the location showed that most of the pilgrims are elderly citizens who arrived at the station from different parts of the Indian state of Punjab.

The stranded pilgrims expressed their anger, saying bilateral issues should not be allowed to come in the way of religion.

Local authorities in Punjab said that a special train from Pakistan will have to take the pilgrims beyond the Wagah border into the country. The train requires a nod from India to enter its territory, but it has not been allowed to enter Attari, located on Indian side of the border.

“The moment we will get the permission, we will allow the train to enter Attari”, M.L. Rai, the Attari Railway Station master, told reporters as pilgrims raised slogan against the government for the delay.

The pilgrims said that Pakistan had issued them a visa on 4 June and that their passports were handed over to Pakistan on 12 June. The visa is valid from 12 to 23 June.

Hundreds of Sikh pilgrims from India visit Pakistan for religious festivals every year under the framework of the India-Pakistan Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines 1974.

Earlier, this past April, Pakistan issued visas to 2,200 Indian Sikh pilgrims to allow them to participate in the annual Baisakhi celebrations from 12 to 21 April at the peak of tensions in the wake of the Balakot air strike.

The two countries have also been working on the construction of the Kartarpur Corridor. The corridor is expected to provide visa-free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to worship at the Gurdwara (Sikh worship place) in Kartarpur Sahib ahead of the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak, which will be celebrated in November this year.


The Tribune – SGPC team asks Meghalaya government to stop Shillong Sikhs’ relocation

Ready to build 6-storey structure for Punjabi Lane residents

Shubhadeep Choudhury, Tribune News Service

Shillong – Meghalaya – India, 13 June 2019. A SGPC team from Amritsar today met Meghalaya Home Minister James Sangma here and urged him that attempts being made to “relocate” the Sikh residents of Shillong’s Punjabi Lane must be stopped.

In a memorandum, the SGPC said the Sikh residents of Punjabi Lane were being harassed for the past 20 years in the name of relocation and removal. A fresh attempt is underway, they said.

The SGPC said this would be gross injustice since the Sikhs were staying in this area for over 150 years, a fact which has been acknowledged by the Syiem (the tribal chieftain) of the area.

The SGPC urged Sangma to intervene and direct the administration to refrain from taking any “unlawful action”. The Sikh families, whose forefathers had come here with the British as sanitation workers, have been contributing to the betterment of Meghalaya with their hard work, it added.

Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma is visiting Delhi tomorrow and SGPC representatives will meet him there. The SGPC team said the Home Minister assured full protection to residents of Punjabi Lane. “If granted permission, the SGPC will build a six-storey building for the Punjabi Lane residents,” SGPC’s Bhagwant Singh said.


The Argus – Hindu and Sikh veterans trek to Chhattri memorial for service

Veterans made their way up the South Downs on Sunday to hold a poignant memorial service.

Samuel Brooke

Hindus and Sikhs walked two kilometres to the Chattri memorial on Steep Bottom hill near Patcham to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the First World War.

Brighton and Hove mayor Alex Phillips attended the service.

The Chhattri memorial was built in 1921 on the site of a funeral pyre used to burn the bodies of Hindu and Sikh soldiers who had died fighting for Britain.

Three makeshifts hospitals were set up in Brighton during the war to treat wounded Indian soldiers, including one in the Royal Pavilion.

A memorial service is held at the Chhattri every June.


Scroll.in – Akshay Kumar played him in the movie ‘Kesari’, but who really was Havildar Ishar Singh?

Edited excerpts from a new book on the Battle of Saragarhi in 1897, in which 21 Sikh soldiers bravely faced thousands of Afghani tribesmen.

Thursday, 13 June 2019. In all of recorded history, one of the most consistent traits passed on from one generation to another is that we as humans have always needed a ‘leader’ to guide us as, inevitably, most of us are ‘followers’ by nature. Both are equally important but seldom interchangeable.

In case of the military, a few characteristic qualities are necessary to make a good leader, namely courage, cooperation, stamina, determination, self-confidence, liveliness, effective intelligence, initiative, quick decision making ability, social adaptability, the power of expression, the ability to inspire, reason and organize, as well as a strong sense of responsibility.

The soldiers at Saragarhi on 12 September 1897 were not short of a leader; rather, their leader was someone who was a fine example of a military man, with balanced qualities that had been forged in the heat of battle for most of his service. The 20 young men were led by non-commissioned officer Havildar Ishar Singh.

Born in the year 1858 in a village called Jhorarh near Jagraon, Punjab, Ishar Singh enrolled for service in the Punjab Frontier Force in 1876, and was later transferred to the 36th Sikhs in 1887. In the year 1893, he married Jiwani Kaur, little knowing that he would never see his wife again, since he left home a year after their marriage when his regiment moved to the North West Frontier to defend the border against Afghans.

While Ishar Singh’s soldierly conduct and his decisions on the battlefield were sound, and the orders passed on to him via heliograph by his senior officers, who were witnessing the battle of Saragarhi from the other two forts in close proximity, were faithfully executed, he was hardly one to blindly follow his superiors.

In the words of the British military historian Major General James Lunt, ‘Ishar Singh was a somewhat turbulent character whose independent nature had brought him more than once into conflict with his military superiors. Thus, Ishar Singh, in camp, a nuisance, in the field, magnificent.’

Ishar Singh, as we now know him, was a feisty and experienced soldier who sometimes preferred to march at the drum of his own beat, but was an exemplary soldier and inspiring leader. Such men, who cannot be fully tamed yet act within the restraints of righteousness, often change the course of history, immortalising themselves and their deeds forever.

The post of Saragarhi was besieged by Afghan tribesmen on the morning of 12 September 1897, hence cutting off all communication between Fort Lockhart and Fort Cavagnari, and neither Lieutenant Colonel Haughton nor Major De Voeux were able to move out in the open to reinforce the 21 men at Saragarhi as thousands of tribesmen had positioned themselves between Saragarhi and the forts on its either side. The post was now on its own.

How Ishar Singh motivated his men

With numerical superiority on their side, the Pathans attempted to rush the post in the beginning of the attack, with scores of standards flying, ready to raze everything in their path in the inferno of their discontentment. By then, the soldiers inside the post had already been warned and stood prepared to face this onslaught of more than 10,000 Pathans.

Havildar Ishar Singh judged the gravity of the situation at hand and took command without delay. A seasoned soldier, he knew how to encourage the 20 men relying on him for leadership. He is said to have quoted Guru Gobind Singh’s verses about how each of them was equivalent to 125,000 foes, and the Pathans they had to fight were not even a fraction of it.

He reminded them about the greatness of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and the fact that it was his legacy they needed to honour that day. He cited the tale of the brave Hari Singh Nalwa, who had fought the Afghans in these very hills not long ago. His words were enough to ignite a fire inside the 20 young Sikh soldiers to give the impending fight their all, thereby creating military history.

Before an all-out attack, the Pathans offered the Sikh soldiers an opportunity to surrender in return for safe passage. However, no offer could lure Havildar Ishar Singh or any of his men. Singh knew that he had to hold the enemy for a few hours until Lieutenant Colonel Haughton could receive reinforcements and they were therefore ready to defend their posts until their deaths.

Unsuccessful in their efforts, the aggravated tribesmen now told the soldiers that they would not survive even for a few minutes if the Pathans charged at them. This, too, did not budge the determined soldiers of Saragarhi. The tribesmen then began to charge at the fort in order to conquer the fort before reinforcements could arrive.

Soon, the valley began to echo with the deafening blasts of thousands of Jezails and Henry-Martinis. The Sikhs aimed their rifles at the incoming horde and when the enemy was within effective range of their weapons, they opened fire on Havildar Ishar Singh’s order, shouting their war cry of ‘Bole so nihaal…sat sri akaal!’.

Wave after wave of Pathans on the frontlines fell and the ones behind them scrambled to find cover. The battle had begun.

The Pathans, who had seemed in a hurry to take down the post just a little while ago, now took cover behind rocks and in defiles where the bullets could not reach them. Using ground cover, the tribesmen began to fire incessantly at the fort even as the battlefield in front of them was sprinkled with dead bodies from the first attack.

A firefight ensued, but the Sikhs had to be very careful while using their ammunition as every soldier had only 400 rounds to sustain him in this bloody battle.

In the meantime, Signalman Gurmukh Singh used their heliograph machine to send a message to Lieutenant Colonel John Haughton that they were under attack. While he was distressed to hear this, Haughton replied that it was impossible for him to send reinforcements at the time as they would not be able to break through the intervening hordes of Pathans.

Havildar Ishar Singh then had Gurmukh Singh send a single word as a reply, ‘Understood’. This reply spoke volumes about Havildar Ishar Singh’s stature and his maturity at the time.

Excerpted with permission from 21 Kesaris The Untold Story of the Battle of Saragarhi, Kiran Nirvan, Bloomsbury India.


The Tribune – Ensure safety of Sikhs in Shillong: SGPC to Centre

The SGPC has appealed to the Union Home Ministry for ensuring the safety of the Sikhs in Shillong, Meghalaya.

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 11 June 2019. Following the threat by the banned organisation Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), Sikh body Harijan Panchayat Committee in Shillong has also approached Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for the safety of the Sikh families who have been residing there for the past two centuries.

Ironically, the Shillong Municipal Board has also served a notice on the Sikh residents of Harijan Colony to establish their ownership rights or vacate the place. A few days back, HNLC activists had threatened the colony residents to face consequences if they dare to contest the municipal board’s notice in the court.

Gurdwara Bara Bazar management committee chief Gurjeet Singh said after the threat, tension had prevailed among the Sikh families as they were attacked earlier too.

The SGPC has decided to send a delegation to Shillong.

Gobind Singh Longowal, SGPC president, said an appeal had been made to Home Minister Amit Shah and the Home Secretary too. “The delegation will also meet Meghalaya CM.”


The Nation – Tragedy of Operation Blue Star

Adeela Naureen

12 June 2019. Asian News Agency(ANI) is one of the major Indian News agencies, this year ANI tried to rub salt on wounds of Sikh community by terming the 35th anniversary of Operation Blue Star as a celebration.

The ANI report on this somber occasion stated that locals have celebrated 35th Anniversary of Operation Blue Star in Punjab’s Amritsar. This was totally opposite to the situation on ground as thousands of Khalistani activists raised the slogans of Khalistan Zinda Baad and Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale Zinda Baad at Akal Takht, demanding a separate homeland for Sikh community.

Sikh diaspora has lambasted this blatant assault on their feelings and emotions and demanded the Indian government to refrain from such efforts to defame great freedom fighters of Sikh cause. Is it a sign of an arrogant Hindutva Republic as Modi 2.0 began its next tenure of five years to make sure minorities in India are kept oppressed?

In the age of information empowerment of the masses, India cannot hide her shame of Operation Blue Star. Taking help from my previous articles on Sikh resistance, I thought of refreshing the memories of great sacrifices by the Sikh community and pay homage to those who laid their lives for Khalistan.

The month of June reminds us that Sikh resistance against Indian oppression is not only alive and kicking but also entering a new paradigm. In 2017, Indian high Commissioner to Pakistan, Ambassador Ajay Basaria was confronted by Sikh activists at Panja Sahib Hasan Abdal.

The Sikh community feels that the Indian government and her agencies were involved in production of a film, which amounted to desecration of Sikh culture and religion.

In April 2015, the Sikh community in UK was displeased at release of a film Nanak Shah Faqir, as it personified the revered Sikh Guru, Baba Guru Nanak Sahib, something disallowed in Sikh religion. Indian government who claims to follow secular principles has failed its diverse communities at various occasions and Sikhs are no exception.

Whether it be the physical attack on Akal Takht and massacre of Sikhs in droves in the eighties, the sponsorship of dubious characters like Ram Rahim Singh or the question of separate Sikh identity in the Indian constitution, Sikh community has been gradually pushed to the wall.

Operation Blue Star cannot be discussed without the mention of the Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a great leader who dedicated his life for Sikh freedom. He called for Sikh community to return to roots of Sikhism, fighting against the consumption of liquor, drugs and laxness in religious practices, such as the cutting of hair by Sikh youth.

Launching the Dharam Yudh Morcha in August 1982, Bhindranwale aimed at the fulfillment of a list of demands based on the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. Thousands of people joined the movement in the hopes of acquiring a larger share of irrigation water and the return of Chandigarh to Punjab.

Operation Blue Star with heavy support of Armour and artillery was launched in Jun 1984 to assassinate Bhindranwale and his valiant soldiers including former Sikh Major General Shabeg Singh. Bhindranwale was martyred by Indian Army on 6th June, creating ripples across India and paving way for permanent fissures between Sikhs and Hindu community.

From grandeur of Sikh rule in the subcontinent to bitter memories of Operation Blue Star and desecration of Akal Takht in 1984 (which resulted into a mutiny in Indian Military), Khalistan has remained a dream for the Sikhs of India as well as their strong Diaspora around the entire globe.

In Canada, US, UK, Europe, South East Asia and Australia, Khalistan 2020 is becoming a major movement. The Sikh Federation UK had already presented their manifesto with three major objectives:

  • Independent inquiry into the actions of the UK government in the lead up to and after the June and November 1984 Sikh genocide.
  • Call for the UK government to recognise the events of June and November 1984 as a Sikh genocide
  • Call for the UK government to recognise and support the application for self-determination to the Sikhs for an Independent Khalistan.

Sikh diaspora across the world and especially those living in Europe and North America has found a new spirit to contest Indian hegemonic attitudes and browbeating of the proud Sikh community. The Hasan Abdal episode had highlighted that Sikhs would not allow Indian government and its head honchos in the Rajpath to bluff the world by posing as a secular republic.

Many Gurdwaras across the west have put serious restrictions on Indian diplomats to visit or offer supplications as they believe that Indian façade of secularism has outlived its shelf life and India cannot bluff the international community.

Sikh community strongly feels that there has been sustained and graduated efforts to kill their identity and culture through a majoritarian philosophy of the Hindutva flag bearers since Independence of India in 1947. Even the constitution was subverted to make sure that Sikhs gradually lose their identity and culture.

Unfortunately, the Indian response to legitimate aspirations of minority communities like Sikhs and Muslims has been coercive and deceitful; Indian Punjab is likely to become the new battleground between the Sikh community and the Hindutvadi Nazis.

Pakistan, as the favorite whipping boy of the Indian security establishment, will have to remain in the eye of the storm blowing across the River Ravi and should expect more false flag operations like Pathankot and Balakot.

Sikh community in North America and Europe has been very active in support of Khalistan 2020 campaign. Over 5000 Khalistani protestors along with their Kashmiri brothers staged a demonstration in Trafalgar Square in Aug 2018 asking for a free Punjab and separate homeland for Sikh community.

Similarly burning Tiranga(Indian flag) movement has gained lot of currency in Sikh youth, this year in a large Sikh protest in Washington DC, Tiranga was burnt and pro-Khalistan activists raised slogans against India.

To conclude, Khalistan 2020 campaign will pick up momentum in coming years as the Sikh youth becomes aware of the brutalities of Operation Blue Star, the killing of thousands of Sikhs after assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1985 and rise of Saffron terror in India.


Associated Press of Pakistan – British Sikh businessmen to donate Rs 96.5 billion to upgrade religious sites in Pakistan

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 11 June 2019. The Peter Virdee Foundation (PVF) and some Sikh businessmen living in the United Kingdom have announced to donate £500 million (Rs 96.5 billion ) to upgrade their religious sites in Pakistan.

The commitment was made by the PVF, a non-governmental organization working for marginalized section of the society, in a meeting with Chairman National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB) Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari in London.

Zulfikar Bukhari, talking to APP by phone from London on Tuesday said the PVF’s announcement for setting up the £500 million fund depicted how the government was channelising available resources for promoting religious tourism effectively.

British Sikh businessmen to donate Rs 96.5 billion to upgrade religious sites in Pakistan

The Indian Express – Global Sikh Council: Sikh body to spread Guru Nanak’s peace philosophy through Geneva meet

To commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak (1469), the first guru of the Sikhs, World Council of Churches, Geneva, in collaboration with the GSC will organise a Christian-Sikh dialogue in Geneva on July 5, with the dialogue focusing on the theme ‘Pursuing Peace in a Pluralistic World’.


Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 10 June 2019. “Sikh is the thought and Guru is the knowledge, which it has to imbibe,” believes Gurpreet Singh, president, Global Sikh Council (GSC), an organisation that is ‘The Voice of Sikhs Around The World’.

A global Sikh body formed to address various issues of Sikhs around the world, promote art, culture, language and initiate dialogues and discussions on various concerns of the Sikhs, this year GSC’s forthcoming convention and annual general meeting from July 4 to 7 in Langenthal\Geneva is dedicated to Guru Nanak’s philosophy of peace and concept of universal brotherhood.

To commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak (1469), the first guru of the Sikhs, World Council of Churches, Geneva, in collaboration with the GSC will organise a Christian-Sikh dialogue in Geneva on July 5, with the dialogue focusing on the theme ‘Pursuing Peace in a Pluralistic World’.

The theme of peace, explains Chandigarh-based Singh, is intrinsic to the Christian and Sikh faith traditions and the conference will adopt a holistic understanding of peace which is intrinsic to the Christian and Sikh faith traditions, bearing in mind that peace without justice is incomplete.

The relevance of focusing on the theme of peace in a time such as this cannot be understated in a turbulent time such as this.

The growth of xenophobia fuelled by religious fundamentalism, the mixing of politics and religious bigotry and the increasing atrocities on religious minorities continue to remind people of faith of the need to redouble our efforts towards peace making.

This encounter, hopes Singh, will be a modest effort to foster a new partnership that can effectively decipher the signs of the times and offer responses which are courageous and committed.

This will be the first time that the World Council of Churches will be engaging in a formal bilateral dialogue with the Sikhs and the hope is that this will be the first step in a long process of walking and working together towards justice and peace.

The programme will include speakers sharing their views on peaceful co-existence in post-modern contexts, challenges for peaceful co-existence, peace building through service beyond borders, using arts and social media for promoting peace and challenges for Christians and Sikhs to pursue peace in a pluralistic world.

“The city council will also organise an inter-faith meeting in Zurich, with each faith projecting their philosophy and as part of it, we will tie turbans on five young Sikhs. All faiths have the same message to give.”

The Annual General Meeting of GSC (July 4 to 7) will begin at Gurdwara Sahib Langenthal, Bern, with speakers from various faiths coming together on a common platform to talk of Guru Nanak’s various philosophies.

This will be followed by invitees speaking on the role of Sikh women and their contributions in the world, legacy of Guru Nanak, ecological concerns, issues of importance to the Global Sikh Community and GSC. “We will be approaching the UN to name this year as year of Universal Brotherhood and this effort should initiate many conversations.”