The Tribune – India to raise SFJ issue with Canada, UK

New Delhi – India, 11 July 2019. The government has expressed its resolve to curb the banned Sikh separatist organisation, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), by taking up the matter strongly with countries where it is active, especially with the Canadian government, MEA spokesperson Ravish Kumar told mediapersons at a press conference here today.

The other countries which will be sounded out are the UK and US where SFJ plans to step up its activities.

While the vast majority of Sikhs in Canada share warm relations with India, Ravish Kumar said this fringe group had supported violent extremism in India. The Home Ministry had pointed out that while the SFJ had over 2 lakh online supporters, it was a group of only eight to 10 people and the government had been successful in getting the Twitter handle of its legal adviser Gurpatwant Pannu.

Links on Facebook had also been brought down on India’s request.

Sikh Federation UK – India’s ban on Sikhs for Justice shows it has no respect for freedom of expression and the basic right to self-determination

India’s ban on Sikhs for Justice shows it has no respect for freedom of expression and the basic right to self-determination

London – UK, 11 July 2019. The decision earlier this week by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs to ban Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) from operating in India shows India’s total disrespect for basic human rights and its desire and desperation to silence the Sikh Diaspora.

SFJ is a human rights advocacy group based in North America that has been highlighting human rights violations and the 1984 Sikh Genocide by the Indian state for the last 12 years and has in the last five years been underlining the right to self-determination.

During the 1984 Sikh Genocide and in the decade that followed the Indian State perpetrated what can only be termed crimes against humanity. Following the 1984 Sikh Genocide the rape, torture, disappearances, fake encounters and extra-judicial killings of Sikhs was nothing short of Indian State terrorism.

Not content with its gross violation of human rights for over a decade the Indian authorities turned its attention by killing human rights activists in Punjab like Jaswant Singh Khalra. He was eliminated by Indian police as he highlighted to the global community 25,000 Sikh disappearances, including unidentified bodies and illegal cremations.

The “Sacrificing Sikhs” report published in November 2017 based on around half of the UK Governments own official papers released after 30 years provides evidence the Indian State was active in the 1980s to try and silence the British Sikh voice of opposition and calls for Sikh independence that followed the 1984 Sikh Genocide.

There is little doubt the Indian state would have tried to do the same with other foreign governments like Canada and the USA to varying degrees of success that no one has yet uncovered to the extent as in the UK. The Sikh Federation (UK) has also in recent years become aware of some of India’s anti-Sikh activities in countries like Germany and Switzerland to try and silence Sikh opposition.

UK politicians have confirmed in 2001 the Indian government pressured the UK Government to ban the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF). The ISYF was the main Sikh organisation operating in the Sikh Diaspora highlighting human rights violations by the Indian State and advocating for an independent Sikh State.

The 9/11 act of terrorism was misused by India for its own purposes to push for worldwide restrictions on the ISYF and bans in India (December 2001) and Canada (June 2003).

In the UK Sikhs have successfully lobbied and used the legal process to have the ban on the ISYF lifted in March 2016 and two months later to have all restrictions lifted on the ISYF across Europe. There has been recent talk that Sikhs in Canada may be legally challenging the Canadian government to justify the continued ban on the ISYF.

The US Administration has stood up to the Indian government and never banned any Sikh organisation, but the authorities have been pressured to act against individual Sikh nationalists. What is abundantly clear is the Indian government has been constantly complaining to foreign governments for up to 40 years about Sikhs in the Diaspora raising human rights violations in India and pressuring them not to engage with Sikh organisations and individuals advocating for the right to self-determination.

Instead the Indian authorities have increasingly pushed with foreign governments Sikh groups, businessmen and individuals that are totally silent on criticism of India or who are pro-Indian as Sikh representatives with whom they should engage.

The Indian authorities are increasingly worried about the in-roads being made by Sikhs in the Diaspora into the highest levels of the political arena in countries like Canada and the UK.

They are struggling to understand many of the Sikh politicians have been born in Canada or the UK or lived most of their lives there and are duty bound to respect human rights and act as champions for the minority Sikh community.

As shown with Canada India has gone to extreme lengths in the last 18 months to discredit the current Canadian Prime Minister and exert pressure on the Canadian government to act against individual Sikh activists with a no-fly policy or try and demonise the entire Sikh community through official reports.

With federal elections taking place in Canada in October 2019 the Indian authorities are unashamedly approaching the opposition Conservative Party to change their position on freedom of expression and those campaigning for Sikh self-determination.

Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:

“We want to make clear the Indian authorities will never be able to silence the Sikh Diaspora from highlighting human rights violations and our right to self-determination.”

“Banning Sikhs for Justice in India where it does not exist, pressuring foreign governments to take actions against Sikh nationalists and interfering in the Canadian federal elections are signs of desperation by the Indian regime.”

“Sikhs in the Diaspora are increasingly politically active and media savvy and foreign politicians will find it more and more difficult to appease the Indian authorities at the expense of their own Sikh citizens.”

“In the long run India’s actions will backfire as foreign governments will eventually realise they have more to gain from a large independent Sikh State in the Indian sub-continent than from bowing to the blackmail of the Indian authorities.”

Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK) – India bans ‘Sikhs for Justice’; Captain asks Indian government to declare SFJ as a “terror outfit”

Sikh24 Editors

New Delhi – India, 10 July 2019. The Indian government has imposed ban on the US based pro-freedom Sikh outfit ‘Sikhs for Justice’ (SFJ) which has been campaigning for a referendum in Punjab in 2020.

The move came shortly after the supporters of SFJ’s campaign “Referendum 2020” shouted pro-freedom slogans in the semi-final match between India and New Zealand at Edgbaston (UK) on July 9. India has lost this match by 18 runs today.

It is pertinent to note here that the Punjab police have already arrested a score of Sikh youths for being a supporter of “Referendum 2020” campaign.

It has also come to fore that the Twitter account of SFJ’s legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannu has been also suspended on the request of Indian government.

Meanwhile, the Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has welcomed the Indian government’s move of banning ‘Sikhs for Justice’. He has asked the Indian government to declare ‘Sikhs for Justice’ as a terror outfit.

“Though the outfit deserved to be treated as a terrorist organisation, the Government of India had at least taken a long-overdue stand against SFJ, which had unleashed a wave of terror in Punjab in recent years,” Captain said in a statement released from Chandigarh.

India bans ‘Sikhs for Justice’; Captain asks Indian government to declare SFJ as a “terror outfit”

The Guardian – Senior female Asian police officer accuses Met Police of discrimination

Parm Sandhu alleges she was denied promotion on the basis of her race and gender

Harriet Grant

London – UK, 06 July 2019. One the UK’s most senior female Asian police officers has launched a discrimination lawsuit against the Metropolitan police.

Temporary Chief Superintendent Parm Sandhu has brought an employment tribunal claim, alleging she has been denied promotion and work opportunities on the basis of her race and gender.

The move comes shortly after Sandhu was cleared of allegations that she breached rules about honours nominations. She was accused of gross misconduct over allegations that she encouraged colleagues to support her nomination for a Queen’s Police Medal.

National Police Chiefs’ Council guidelines state “any person can nominate any other person for an honour” but people are not supposed to nominate themselves.

In 2006 Sandhu was presented with an Asian Women of Achievement public sector award, in part for her work in the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 London bombings.

Sandhu was placed on restricted duties while the allegations were looked into but investigators concluded last month that there was no case to answer.

A Metropolitan police spokesman said: “The Met’s directorate of professional standards began an investigation into the conduct of three officers following an allegation they breached guidelines relating to the UK honours nomination process.

“The investigation concluded in June 2019 and found there was no case to answer for gross misconduct or misconduct in relation to any of the officers. The [discrimination] claim will be heard on a date yet to be confirmed. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Sandhu, who is of Indian heritage, is one of a very small number of female Asian police officers at senior levels across England and Wales.

Last year, there were six Asian chief superintendents and three officers at a higher rank; most of them were male.

Sandhu, 54, is being backed by the Metropolitan Black Police Association, which says it is concerned about the lack of senior female ethnic minority officers. She has not commented publicly on her discrimination claim but did retweet a BBC article about the case on Saturday.

The Metropolitan police came under pressure earlier this year over allegations that black and Asian officers are more likely to be lower paid.

A report in January found that the pay gap in the force between white officers and their black and Asian counterparts had widened over the previous year.

The findings, the second ethnic police pay audit by the Met, found that black and Asian police officers working in London were paid £1.80 an hour less than their white colleagues last year, compared with £1.52 in 2017. All 37 senior officers on salaries of £100,000-plus were white, it found, while minority ethnic officers received fewer and smaller bonuses than their colleagues. – India’s outcry intensifies after display of pro-freedom attitude by Sikhs and Kashmiris in world cup matches

Sikh24 Editors

London UK, 07 July 2019. The state embedded Indian media doesn’t spare any chance to begin poisonous propaganda against the Sikhs living in developed countries like USA, Canada, UK etc. due to their liberal nature and blunt stand in favor of a sovereign Sikh state.

This poisonous propaganda against the Sikh diaspora has picked a fast pace as compared to the previous years because of Pakistan’s initiative on Kartarpur corridor and the recent manifestation of pro-freedom attitude by the Sikhs and Kashmiris living in Britain during the recently held Cricket World Cup matches.

It is pertinent to note here that a plane carrying a banner with wording “India stop genocide & Free Kashmir hovered over the Leeds cricket stadium in England during a match between India and Sri Lanka.

As per its routine work, the Indian media has now started propaganda that the Pakistani nationals are financially helping the pro-Khalistan Sikhs living in Canada and Britain, and they are also getting help of Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI.

This time, the Indian media has used the former Indian Army’s Major General Dhruv Katoch as its mouthpiece to give a base to its propaganda.

Major General (Retired Dhruv Katoch, who didn’t handle any spying agency during his service tenure, has claimed that the Pakistani Muslims are trying to promote pro-Khalistan activities in Britain and Canada but the governments of those countries don’t have anything to do with it.

India’s outcry intensifies after display of pro-freedom attitude by Sikhs and Kashmiris in world cup matches

Birmingham Mail – Two arrested in Sikh Youth UK charity fraud probe

Counter-terror detectives detained a man and woman from an address in Birmingham

Detectives probing alleged fraud offences at a Birmingham-based charity have arrested two people at a city address.

A man, aged 38, and a 49-year-old woman, were detained by officers from West Midlands Police’s Counter Terrorism Unit .

The arrests were in connection with alleged fraud offences of donated charitable funds at Sikh Youth UK.

A West Midlands Police statement read: “Two people have been arrested today, Wednesday, July 3, by detectives from West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, following the examination of evidence obtained during searches which took place in September 2018.

“A 38-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman were detained from an address in Birmingham for questioning in connection with alleged fraud offences of donated charitable funds.

“The pair are being held at a police station in the West Midlands.

“WMCTU has been working closely with the Charity Commission on this investigation.”

According to its website, Sikh Youth UK raises awareness of “social evils” and supports victims of sexual grooming, substance abuse and domestic violence.

Last November, footage emerged showing members of Sikh Youth UK giving recruitment officers from West Midlands Police their marching orders at a West Midlands Gurdwara.

Police had been allowed by the temple’s [Gurdwara] committee to set up a stall during Diwali to recruit members of the Sikh community for the force.

But phone video footage showed Sikh Youth UK members approach officers and demand they left – which they eventually did.

The Asian Age – Mark Tully gets lifetime achievement award for role in UK-India ties

The annual UK-India Awards celebrates special talents and organisations who use their worldwide influence to strengthen UK-India ties.

London – UK, 29 June 2019. Veteran British journalist Sir Mark Tully was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in London for his contributions to the UK-India relationship.

Tully, the former Bureau Chief of the BBC, New Delhi, received a standing ovation on Friday from the gathering as he said that being in India was his karma. “I owe a great debt to India and I have been rewarded way beyond my expectations,” said 83-year-old Tully, who has been previously knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the UK and conferred with the Padma Bhushan in India.

The annual UK-India Awards, which celebrate special talents and organisations who use their worldwide influence to strengthen UK-India ties, included wins for British Telecom (BT) in the Social Impact category and Indian hospitality start-up Oyo in the Market Entrant of the Year category.

While British Indian actor Kunal Nayyar, best known for his role as Rajesh Koothrappali on the US sitcom The Big Bang Theory, was named Global Indian Icon of the Year, Indian-origin peer and Cobra Beer founder Lord Karan Bilimoria were presented with a special Significant Contribution to UK-India Relations Award.

“The UK is a wonderful global power and if there is a special relationship, it is with India,” said Karan Bilimoria.

The start-up of the Year Award, sponsored by Indian software services major Infosys, was won by Maanch, a new platform that matches up funders and receivers to accelerate global sustainable development.

“Maanch is an impact technology and it is designed to really bring the world together for sustainability so that we can invest and give money in a way that has the highest impact. An award like this is an important validation because technologies like these are new,” said Founder and CEO Darshita Gillies.

The awards marked the conclusion of the annual UK-India Week, which kicked off on Monday with the first-ever India Day in the Houses of Parliament in London.

Some of the other winners of the night included Fund of the Year for SoftBank Investment Advisers, Law Firm of the Year for the UK”s Baker McKenzie, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency of the Year for Manchester India Partnership, Deal of the Year for EverSource Capital/ Lightsource BP and Finance Organisation of the Year for AXIS Bank Limited.

The UK-India Awards, now in their third year, were selected by an all-women judging panel for the first time, including Director and Chief Counsel of Rolls-Royce plc Deborah D’Aubney and prominent Indian-origin anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller.

“All the winners and nominees are inspirational figures at the cutting edge of technology, innovation, business, international relations and culture, who are doing amazing work in making that UK-India partnership a truly winning one,” said Manoj Ladwa, Founder & CEO of India Inc. – the organisation behind the awards.

The Hindustan Times – Pakistan fan sings ‘Jana Gana’ to support India against England

Ahead of India-England clash, the Pakistan fans have already started expressing their support for the Men in Blue.

New Delhi – India, 30 June 2019. In the sporting world, the India-Pakistan rivalry needs no explanation. And when the two arch-rivals clash on cricket field, it not only ignites emotions and feelings but also attracts eyeballs globally.

However, it will be a rarest of the rare occasion when on Sunday Pakistani fans will cheer and pray for their neighbours, India, who will take on hosts England in a group affair at the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Might be only for a day, but yes, the Pakistani fans have kept the rivalry aside and want India to uproot England from the showpiece event as it would help the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side enter the semi-finals smoothly.

After three consecutive wins, the Green Brigade has climbed to the fourth spot, pushing the hosts to fifth and another loss for England is what every Pakistani fan wants. Ahead of India-England clash, the Pakistan fans have already started expressing their support for the Men in Blue.

Before England’s must-win clash against India, former skipper Nasser Hussain had asked Pakistani fans on Twitter as to which team they would be supporting. “Question to all Pakistan fans, England vs India, Sunday, who are you supporting?” tweeted Hussain on Thursday.

In reply, a Pakistani fan Nasir Ali wrote the Indian national anthem on Twitter: “Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka Jaya he Bharata Bhagya Vidhata.”

“Punjab Sindh Gujarat Maratha Dravida Utkala Banga,” he added.

Meanwhile, another Pakistani fan wrote: “Hum tou Abhinandan ko bhi chai pilaatay hain, Kohli tou phir humaaray dilon mai rehta hai. Tum saala gora loag humaari jooti ke neechay. (We even offer tea to Indian Air Force’s wing-commander Abhinandan and Kohli (Virat) rules our heart).

“Definitely backing India for two reasons: 1 – they’re neighbours, 2 – they’re passionate about cricket,” another fan wrote.

Another fan went back to the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the rule of the British East India Company saying: “1857 ki jang – Azadi hum ne mil kar angrezoo kay khilaf lari thi. (We together fought the 1857 revolt against the Britishers)

“Definitely Neighbours i.e. India. We can choose our friends but not neighbours. India any day over colonial England,” one more fan replied.

Earlier on Saturday, Pakistan had defeated Afghanistan to strengthen their position in the points-table with nine points. The Green Brigade will face Bangladesh in their last group game on July 5 while England has two remaining games against India and New Zealand.

World Sikh News – From Panjab to Diaspora, Sikh leadership in sham­bles

Published 3 months ago – Jagmohan Singh
25 June 2019

As the World Sikh News completes two years of its presence on the internet, we focus on the working in the Sikh world. On the eve of the elections in the Punjab, with deep anguish, we present an analysis of the political canvas of the Sikhs, the Sikh leadership in Panjab and the Diaspora. We will soon follow up with detailed analyses of Sikh social and religious forums.

As India goes to the hustings, the Sikh leadership from Punjab to the hustings, the Sikh leadership from Punjab to the Diaspora is in utter shambles. There is no organisation or individual worth the salt who can lead the situation and take the community forward in these trying times.

The religious, political and religio-political leadership, the traditional and revolution-inclined parties are all in limbo, waiting in the wings for a miracle to happen or a leader to descend from the skies. No party or leader, individually or collecively has framed the Sikh agenda and thrusted down the throat of the political parties contesting the elections.

Once upon a time, the Akali leadership was considered the Sikh leadership. Over the decades, they became Punjabi leadership in name to feed their pseudo-secular stance but in effect they are always at sea, not knowing which side to lean on. Today, the Badal Dal leadership is swinging between the Panth and the BJP, but doggedly pursuing their selfish and feudal politics.

Sikhs in the Congress have been voted to power many a time in the past but they have never qualified nor have been accepted as Sikh leadership by the Sikh population. They do not deserve to be so called, any­way. The present leadership certainly does not deserve to be called Sikh leaders.

For the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Panjab begins and ends in Sangrur. Though the party raises Sikh issues, the leadership is found wanting on many fronts. The Bharatiya Janta Party, through some nouveau-riche Sikhs has made inroads into the political fibre of Punjab, with active connivance and support of the Badal Dal, but they can never dream of being liked or accepted as Sikh lead­ers.

As for the Aam Aadmi Party, neither the party nor the leadership has any pretence of being Sikh leaders and they have still to make up their minds whether they want to align with the people of Panjab or their wavering leadership in Delhi.

The Taksali Akali Dal wants to be holier than thou and is heavily banking on the leftovers or break­aways from their parent party. They are still making up their mind whether they want to be pro-Panjab and pro-Panth or simply anti-Badal.

The Panjab Ekta Party is an attempt to be secular yet pro-Panjabi. The party leadership is still evolving and so far has only been able to break away from its parent Aam Aadmi Party.

The Lok Insaaf Party is testing the waters as it expands from Ludiana to around the state with their efficient management approach and provoking political mannerisms. Much water has to flow down the Sutlej till the leaders become Sikh leaders of the state and beyond.

Long ago, the Bahujan Samaj Party concluded that the 13 Parliamentary seats of Panjab do not have much significance in the larger scheme of things as it is Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar which decides who will get majority in the house of 543 mem­bers. The party has very little interest in the Punjab.

The Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and some extreme left versions continue their ‘botched politics’ of increasing the numbers of their vote count, without making an impact, but certainly siding with the State as opposed to Sikh interests.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee leadership has sold its body, mind and soul to the Bharatiya Janta Party. It would be naive and stupid to expect anything from them.

The Panjab Bachao Morcha of the Chandigarh club is devoid of innovative ideas and continues their anti-Badal rant. It has still to come to terms with what the revolutionary Chandigarh poet Gajinder Singh said years ago, “change and revolution does not come about over endless cups of tea in the comfort of drawing rooms.”

The All India Sikh Students Federation which was once the leadership bank of the Shiromani Akali Dal is now bankrupt; the defunct body has a lineage of sycophants and way­ward activists. They are not leaders and they have no organisation to lead, it is torn apart into so many groups that the body is totally defunct. No­body can lead the body, how will they lead the community?

The Bargari Insaf Morcha shamelessly has now got nothing to do with Bargari, no Insaf is sought and the Morcha has fizzled out. In their love for politics, they do not attend court hearings of top police personnel incarcerated for Bargari and Behbal Kalan police firings and then let off on bails. This morcha has been the biggest let down of the decade for the Sikhs, particularly those who expected the moon.

The Panthic Coordination Committee, working since the last decade has proffered no Panthic agenda; there is no coordination and the committee exists only on paper.

The Sikh Sewak Army, professedly non-political, but has not moved an inch on the ground to change the functioning of the SGPC. Unless it catches the bull by its horns, sweet-mouthings in the media will not fetch results.

On the side­lines, those who do not directly participate in the elections yet claim to be religious and religio-political leaders have failed to show initiative and dash.

The religio-political leadership of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee is too content to serve langar to candidates and supporters of the Badal Dal and wherever possible send employees in mufti as volunteers of the party. There is hardly any dividing line between the party and the SGPC, prompting the Sikh Sangat to paint both with the same brush.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee leadership has sold its body, mind and soul to the Bharatiya Janta Party. It would be naive and stupid to expect anything from them.

The Takht Harmandar Patna Sahib Committee and the Takht Hazur Sahib Nanded Committee is always ready to be manipulated either by the government of the day or by the SGPC. So engrossed in their own worlds, it is a far cry for them to pro­vide leadership to the community on any front.

The Chief Khalsa Diwan, throwing the idiom, wisdom, vision and historical work of its founder Bhai Vir Singh to the winds, is now a ‘private limited company’ of Amritsar-based rich Sikhs, who are engaged in changing the course, nomenclature and ownership of the properties of the organisation. For them Sikh leadership as an issue ceased long back.

The Akhand Kirtani Jatha and the Damdami Taksal have lost their political voice. They are either silent or aligned to some individuals here and there.

The Gurmat Missionary Colleges selectively become ‘religious’ and ‘semi-political’ or ‘political’ depending upon canddate and the times. Their leadership is too barricaded and without a world view of the Sikhs or the Sikh world. They are so engrossed in ‘pro­tecting’ the religious dictum as per their thinking that they end up creating more divisions than bridging those already there.

For the political forums in Panjab and elsewhere dedicated to up­hold the sovereignty of the people of Punjab, the elections in Punjab offer no ground for work. So they think.

The Dal Khalsa cadres are on a three-month sabbatical, free to pursue any political party or person of their choice, as the party has taken the stand of not contesting any elections under the Indian dispensation.

The Sikh Federation UK, the American Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the ‘June 1984 groups’ and the World Sikh Organisation of Canada would hereto­fore take keen interest in the religio-political developments in Panjab. Not anymore.

Now Sikhs are left to fend for themselves. These bodies are too entrenched in their own political canvasses to worry about the Panjab, except a human rights violation here and there. The same is the situation with other groups in other coun­tries.

The Diaspora bodies in all the countries where Sikhs now have sizable numbers and those numbers are increasing with the flight of Sikhs from the Panjab, these bodies are more concerned about local problems and their solutions.

The Sikh Referendum 2020 team in the Diaspora is desperately waiting for 2019 to pass. If you want to believe them, in the year 2020, notwithstanding whatever kind of referendum they will be able to manage, all problems of the community will be solved.

Sikhs will be in the seventh skies and Sikh sovereignty which we lost on 29 March 1849, will be restored in the year 2020. Does their leadership look, speak and function like Sikh lead­ers?

The can­di­da­ture of Paramjit Kaur Khalra has given a lit­tle fil­lip to the Di­as­pora Sikh bod­ies to iden­tify with hu­man rights as an agenda.

Oth­er­wise from UK to Canada to Aus­tralia to the US, they would have re­mained silent spec­ta­tors, first al­low­ing things to hap­pen with­out in­ter­ven­tion and then ru­ing that ‘look this is hap­pen­ing in Hindu In­dia.’ Re­gur­gi­ta­tion is their forte.

The Pak­istan Sikh Gur­d­wara Par­band­hak Com­mit­tee will do well to fol­low the trail of Sikh her­itage ex­perts and look af­ter the huge spec­trum of Sikh legacy wast­ing by the day in that coun­try. It will do well to look af­ter the eco­nomic needs of the poor­est of the poor Sikhs in Pak­istan and Afghanistan.

The Diaspora miserably failed in its assessment of the Aam Aadmi Party in the last elections, funding the party to the teeth and giving false high hopes of political power to their Sikh candidates, with many waiting in the wings to become the Chief Minister of the state.

In the present times, in the Diaspora and within Panjab has emerged a string of social media warriors who spare no opportunity to pick up Sikh issues and raise their voice against injustices by the state or union government.

They relentlessly expose the political renegades in the community. They are happy in their cocoons and would not like to become leaders of the Sikh community.

The religio-political leadership of the Jathedars, recognised by the SGPC to those recognised by the Sarbat Khalsa has miserably failed to provide direction to the existing parties or to anyone else. They are too involved in pursuing their own agendas only.

In the sixties of the last century, Pettigrew wrote her path-breaking analysis of politics in Punjab in her book Robber­man Noble­man and said that politics in Panjab is everything about ‘palty­baazi’. The group is more important than the Panth. The stance of the group is more important than the cause. The party is more important than Panjab. The party leaders are more important than the Sikh masses.

Out of the political party sphere, no individual has either aspired or volunteered or worked to shake the old foundations of the political systems in Panjab and prove Irish anthropologist Joyce Pettigrew wrong.

In such times, with such a situation, what will happen? Nothing. No individual or party from the present sphere has the capacity, capability and vision to nurture and throw up Sikh leadership. As has happened in the past and as it stands, there will be a major up­heaval in the Indian subcontinent and some kind of Sikh leadership will emerge. Will it be ready to take the situation head on and guide the destiny of the community?

The freedom and the opportunity that the West provides to the Sikhs settled there should enable them for a more benevolent, visionary and effective interaction with the Panjab and Panth and not limit only to religious dogma and dictum.

Many of these groups and individuals have the interest of the Panth and Punjab at heart. However that is not enough. The context and perspective has to change. Repeating the same dialogues, the same arguments, yearning for funding is not going to help. The huge monster of Indian democracy cannot be wished away or fought with merely sloganeering and crying hoarse.

Soul-searching, adoption of new technologies, adaption of new world political thinking, developing Sikh leadership from amongst the youth from scratch, giving up old hyperbole, stopping to drum discrimination, engaging with the people of all castes, class and shades, reorienting the teachings of the Gurus and making it part of our lives and changing the social and religious fibre to be more inclusive and visionary.

All this needs to hap­pen and hap­pen fast.

From Punjab to Diaspora, Sikh leadership in shambles – Taxi driver may be stripped of his licence after Huddersfield Sikh temple attack

Karamjit Singh was convicted of assault at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Springwood

Emma Davison

Huddersfield – West Yorkshire – UK, 24 June 2019. A taxi driver faces losing his licence after assaulting a man at a Sikh temple in Huddersfield.

The attack happened at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Prospect Street, Springwood, on February 3.

Karamjit Singh, 60, pleaded guilty to assault on the day of his trial.

The cabbie now faces a court hearing to determine whether he will be allowed to keep his licence.

Singh, of Mount Avenue in Mount, was fined following his conviction for the offence on June 5.

Kirklees magistrates also ordered him to pay £50 compensation to the victim.

Tahir Hanif, prosecuting on behalf of Kirklees Council, said that pending the outcome of the court hearing Singh’s hackney carriage driver’s licence was suspended.

He then launched an appeal with the authority against this decision.

Taxi driver found guilty of refusing to take blind woman’s guide dog in his cab

Mr Hanif said: “It was thought prudent to adjourn the matter because the assault trial was listed for June 5.

“He has been convicted by way of a change of plea.

“He’s submitted an appeal against the original decision to suspend his licence and is allowed to continue driving during that time.

“Now he’s convicted the licensing authority will look at that and make a decision, either to revoke his licence completely or allow it with conditions.”

A full hearing will now take place at the Huddersfield court to determine if Singh is a “fit and proper person” to continue working as a taxi driver.

Singh will give evidence at the hearing on July 18.