Guru Gobind Singh ji completed Guru Nanak Sahib's mission of establishing Sikhi as the global Khalsa Panth, the egalitarian Order of the Khalsa.
Today, Sikh identity, ideology and institutions continue to face challenges in India and in the Sikh diaspora. For British Sikhs, as for other UK communities, year 2018 will be remembered as the year of the Brexit negotiations, and the countdown for the UK to leave the European Union (the Brexit) was approaching its end. In the US, minority communities including the Sikhs, have been apprehensive following Donald Trump's victory to become the President due to his extreme right wing views. Other countries can follow this trend to the extreme right to cause problems for the minorities by challenging the very ethos of multi-culturalism.
Terrorism in the name of misguided "Islam" which has been spreading since 9/11, has posed challenges for Sikh identity in the West. Yet, as a recent Sikh Network survey has shown, Sikhs continue to remain invisible to the government of the UK and other Western countries because they are not counted and monitored reliably as "Sikhs" under the current system. For example, many crimes against Sikhs are recorded as crimes under "Islamophobia".
There is a new awakening to push Sikh identity at global level. There is a global Sikh reaction to being lost in figures as "Indians" or "Asians" or misidentified as "Muslim" or even mis-profiled as "terrorists".
The challenges to main stream Sikh ideology and the independence of central Sikh institutions have been only too obvious for more than a century when Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha was compelled to write "Hum Hindu Nahi". There are Snatan dharmi Sikhs who are now openly preaching Brahmanic thought.
Internal controversy about the Dasam Granth must be avoided by fully accepting the Guruship of Jugo Jug Attal Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib in accordance with the Command of Guru Gobind Singh ji. Dasam Granth should be researched and celebrated as an invaluable source of literary heritage but not placed at par with Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Otherwise, today, Sikhs are better engaged with governments in the diaspora countries. We look to Year 2019 as the year of Chardhi Kalaa of the global Khalsa Panth.
Let us "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."(Albert Einstein)
May the Khalsa be imbued with humility and high wisdom. (Sikh Ardaas)
Have a promising and fulfilling New Year.
Further reading -
Parkaash = illumination. Birth of a saintly person who becomes a source of spiritual enlightenment.
Gurpurb (or Gurpurab) is a religious festival commemorating a Guru.
For Sikh word concepts refer to the glossary
A one year study by S. Gurmukh Singh OBE has been published by the Sikh Missionary Society UK. The debt which humanity and India owes to Guru Tegh Bahadur has yet to be fully acknowledged.
Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-75 C.E.), the ninth Guru of the Sikhs, gave his life for the religious freedom of all. He saved the sub-continent of India from religious bigotry and thus, according to Bhai Gurdas II, "Stabilised the world." Today, the world can learn from the shaheedi of Guru Tegh Bahadur who opposed the religious bigotry of Emperor Aurungzeb.
The main reason for this publication is to produce a factual account for the research student and the mature lay reader. I am convinced that here we have, at least, the start of a serious study of Guru Tegh Bahadur's life and martyrdom - otherwise much distorted by parcharaks (traditional preachers) and Indian NCERT historians alike. In Guru Tegh Bahadur, the Sikhs have a most remarkable story to tell the world torn apart by religious conflict. It is the story of a great saint-martyr who gave his life for the religious freedom of all. He was witness to the end, to the founding belief of Guru Nanak's egalitarian ideology: that all have the fundamental human right to own chosen religious path to seek the Ultimate Reality described by numerous Names. His was a protest through his supreme sacrifice, against zealous proselytization and bigotry.
The ebook is available at the following link - Life and the Unique Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-1675)
"Jarnail Singh's 'I Accuse...' is a shocking book that should shame every citizen of India.... I Accuse ...opens wounds which have not yet healed. It is a must-read for all those who wish that such horrendous crimes do not take place." - Kushwant Singh. Learn more...
This Album (6 CDs) is a Compilation of Shabads in All the 31 Sudh Raags of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The name of this Album is 'Raag Ratan' Learn more...
The First Anglo-Sikh War was fought between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company between 1845 and 1846. It resulted in partial subjugation of the Sikh kingdom. Learn more...
Current Affairs advisories from Sardar Gurmukh Singh OBE, Chair of the Sikh Missionary Society Advisory Board -
The Sikh Missionary Society (U.K.) is now affiliated to the Sikh Council UK supporting the principle of Sikh unity to pursue Sikhi miri-piri objectives in the UK & Europe (following the Paris Sikh Summit of 26 November.
Sikhs worldwide remember the 1984 pogrom in which, according to official figures, at least 3,000 Sikhs were killed by organized mobs in Delhi in the first 3 days of November 1984. Thousands of Sikhs were also killed in other cities of India. While the terror of the human slaughter within such a short time was horrifying, the contrived completeness of the failure of the Indian administrative system was inexcusable.
Those killed, the widows, and their children who grew up without much support or succor, are the direct victims of the pogrom. The world Sikh community suffering from the collective trauma and remembering the pogrom, is the second victim. It may be argued that the Indian democracy, which failed to protect own citizens and continues to deny justice to the victims, is the third victim of this tragedy.
Pogroms, genocides and human tragedies, should unite all right thinking, fair-minded people above communal and religio-ethnic divides so that lessons are learnt, and history does not repeat itself. The politics of forgetfulness must not be allowed to suppress the traditional Sikhi spirit of remembrance expressed in the daily Ardaas (supplication).
In an ever shrinking world, no one can remain immune from large scale selective massacre of one community and prolonged delay in the delivery of justice. We remember those who lost their lives in the Sikh genocide of November 1984 and their families who continue to be denied justice to this day.
Achieving this Guidance on the wearing of Sikh Articles of Faith in the workplace and public spaces by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is an important step forward in recognition of the Sikh religious identity in the UK. The Sikh Missionary Society UK was represented by Gurmukh Singh (UK) in the drafting of the Equality and Human Rights Commission guidelines.
You should read this guidance if you require:
To Produce and distribute books on the Sikh Faith in English and Panjabi, and other languages to enlighten the younger generation of Sikhs as well as non-Sikhs.
To Advise and support young students in schools, colleges and universities on Sikh issues and Sikh traditions. If you belong to an educational institution and would like more information on Sikhism please contact the Resource Centre.
To Arrange Classes, Lectures, Seminars, Conferences, Gurmat camps and the celebration of Holy Sikh Events.
To award prizes to children on the basis of their achievement and interest in the field of Sikh Faith and Panjabi Language.
To make available all Sikh Artefacts, Posters, Literature, Music, Educational Video's, DVD's and Multimedia CD-ROMs
Read about the Sikh Missionary Society, its background History, activities and the managing committee. Learn more...
Browse our Book, Audio and Video library and read publications and articles in our Resource Centre. Learn more...
Learn to read, write and speak Panjabi.
To find out more about Punjabi Classes at the Sikh Missionary Society please call us (020) 8574 1902.
Times: Wednesdays 6.00 - 7.30 PM
Learn to play and sing Kirtan
You can bring your own instruments for practice and accompaniement.
To find out more about Kirtan Classes at the Sikh Missionary Society please call us (020) 8574 1902.
Times: Wednesdays 6.00 - 8.00 pm