#Justice4Gurpreet – Calling the youth of Delhi for this candle march

I seek support of every person who has suffered in the hands of rich brats and influential people who do not value a person’s life. It is now time to stand united for #Justice4Gurpreet. It is time to raise voice in favour of a common man.

Some days, I feel ashamed to be a part of Delhi… because the city and its people behave so insensitively and so very irresponsibly. Look at the high and mighty like Rohit Krishna Mahanta who mowed down two young photography students! Mr Mahanta dashed his car into the motorcycle of Gurpreet Singh and his friend Maninder Singh. The reason – they had objected to Mahanta blowing cigarette smoke onto their faces!

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Such cruelty followed by corruption!

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee would not let such injustice to happen!

We are demanding that the government should pay Rs1 crore as ex gratia to Gurpreet’s family. The officers who tried to hush up the case should be dismissed and the probe should be handed over to the CBI.

We are organizing a Candle March on September 23, today, starting from Gurdwara Mata Sundri Ji at 5:30 pm in the evening starting from Gurdwara Mata Sundri Ji. We also plan to gherao the Delhi police headquarters for their bias and corrupt attitude in favour of accused and his family.

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We have also asked the Delhi Government to name its campaign for de-addiction in the name of Gurpreet.

I exhort the young boys and girls, the parents of teenagers and everyone who felt that Gurpreet was right in telling that drunk man not to blow cigarette smoke on to his face, to join in for the Candle march.

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I seek support of every person who has suffered in the hands of rich brats and influential people who do not value a person’s life. It is now time to stand united for #Justice4Gurpreet. It is time to raise voice in favour of a common man.

 

Why this exhibition on ‘Ban on Hookah Bars in Delhi’

I have dedicated this exhibition to the young man Gurpreet Singh who lost his life after a murderous attack on him when he had resisted smoking on public places.

It was a rainy day in Delhi; even the weather failed to dampen the spirit of hundred of people who came to Connaught Place today morning to see the exhibition and support ban on Hookah Bars in national capital.

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I have dedicated this exhibition to the young man Gurpreet Singh who lost his life after a murderous attack on him when he had resisted smoking on public places. I thank S. Manjit Singh GK for gracing the exhibition with his presence.

My motivation behind organizing this exhibition and raising my voice against Hookah bars is simple – these bars are a curse on  our society and are making the youth crime-prone leading them further towards drug addiction!

While interacting with the people, I was amazed that most of us do not even know that 1 session of Hookah smoking is equally dangerous as 100 cigarettes! No wonder, Hookah Bars are destroying the youth of national capital. I was forced to come out so loudly and emphatically against Hookah bars culture in Delhi because the Delhi government is in deep slumber and least bothered about the youth. This exhibition will spread the message of ill effects of smoking hookah and its main motive is to get enforced a complete ban on Hookah Bars in Delhi. Most worrisome aspect is that youngsters in the age group of 13-15 are worst hit by Hookah addiction and everyday more than a thousand people are falling in death trap because of tobacco or similar addiction.

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An initiative has been taken now and I plan to continue it. I am thankful to hundreds of people who gathered on the occasion to support the action of seeking ban on these bars in national capital.  Many states including Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and Maharashtra have already imposed ban on Hookah bars in their states.

I am also thankful to opinion leaders like General JJ Singh, former chief of Indian Army, Sh. Manoj Tiwari, MP and President BJP Delhi, S. KTS Tulsi, Advocate and MP, Sh. Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma, MP, Sh. Mahesh Giri MP, Sh. Vikramjit Singh Sahney Padma Shri and Ms. Anjana Om Kashyap national icon journalist who have come forward to support the campaign against Hookah bars in Delhi.

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On the occasion, Arjuna awardee and Common Wealth Silver medalist Mr. Mandeep Jhangra also announced to support the cause.

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Anand Marriage Act – how it will help Sikhs?

Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Meghalaya are the five states of India where the Act has been implemented while Delhi, Bihar, Assam, UP, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttarakhand are completing the process to implement it soon. I am making all efforts and extending maximum support to get it implemented in the remaining states. 

Most of the Sikhs have asked me how will Sikh community benefit with this Act. Let me tell you all in detail –

First of all, the demand for Anand Marriage Act was made way back in 1909. The demand for Anand Marriage Act was first made when it was realized that the certificate of Marriage to Sikhs is issued under Hindu Marriage Act which created conflict in legal procedures for Sikhs citing Sikhism as their religion.

Sikh marriage ceremonies are known as ‘Anand Karaj’ and so it was felt that the Marriage certificate should specify Anand Karaj.

The demand for the Act was raised by Akali Dal only. Veteran Akali leader Sundar Singh Majithia Ji was the one who stressed upon the need of a law to regulate Sikh marriages.

 

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Not many people are aware that a long battle had to be fought for enacting the Act and its implementation.

Sikhs going abroad were facing difficulties showing their marriage certificate under Hindu Marriage Act while quoting their religion as Sikh. So, once again, this forgotten Act was brought on table. This Act has been cleared since 2012 by the then President, Smt. Pratibha Devi Singh Patil Ji. All the states of India were asked to implement it individually whereby Anand Marriage Act certificate was to be issued to Sikh couples getting married. No such problem will arise once they get their marriage registered under Anand Marriage Act.

However, not all states took the initiative of implementing the act. In Punjab, Shiromani Akali Dal & BJP government implemented it. Shiromani Akali Dal President S. Sukhbir Singh Badal entrusted the responsibility of getting Anand Marriage Act implemented to Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee all across India.

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In sync with Badal Sahab’s vision, I have been following up with the Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries of different states for implementation of the act. I even met Chief Ministers, Lieutenant Governors and Chief Secretaries of different states in this regard.

Anand Marriage Act has been a long standing demand of the Sikh community. Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya are the five states of India where the Act has been implemented while Delhi, Bihar, Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, UP and Uttarakhand are completing the process to implement it soon. I am making all efforts and extending maximum support to get it implemented in the remaining states. We are providing document and procedural support to the states whenever they ask us, in context of understanding Anand Karaj and Anand Marriage Act.

With the implementation of Anand Marriage Act in many states, more than a century-old demand of the Sikhs has been fulfilled.

I now request every Sikh young men and women to ask for their Anand Marriage Certificate from the Marriage Registrar of their state or concerned SDM who are duty-bound to issue Anand Marriage Certificate under registration of Anand Marriage Act, 2012. Any refusal to issue the certificate, knowingly or unknowingly, amounts to violation of law.

Let’s make the world aware about Kirpan

The world needs to understand that an Amritdhari Sikh follows Guru’s orders and wear a Kirpan to protect him/her self and others. Sikhism does not cultivate the culture of attack and so Kirpan is not a weapon of offence!

The recent order by Government of Karnataka banning acquisition, possession and carrying of arms without license, specified in category V of the schedule I of the Arms Rules of 2016, in public places under the jurisdiction of Bengaluru city of has resulted in  banning wearing of Kirpans by Sikhs. The order not only hurt the Sikhs but has left many of us shocked – how can a government in our own country be so insensitive or ignorant about the religious symbol of Sikhs!

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Kirpan is a religious symbol of the Sikhism and it is an inseparable article of faith for the Amritdhari Sikhs. Our Dasham Pitah Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji had given 5 Kakaars to the Khalsa and Kirpan is one of the 5 articles which Amritdhari Sikhs must carry when they take khande di pahul.

Humbly quoting Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji  who introduced the metaphor of the Kirpan with reference to God and his qualities –

“O Sword, O Conqueror of continents, O Vanquisher of the hosts of evil, O Embellisher of the brave in the field of battle. Thy Arms are unbreakable, Thy Light refulgent, Thy Glory and Splendor dazzle like the sun. O Happiness of the holy, O Crusher of evil intent, O Subduer of sin, I seek Thy refuge.” (Guru Gobind Singh, Vachitra Natak, Chapter I).

The world needs to understand that an Amritdhari Sikh follows Guru’s orders and wear a Kirpan to protect him/her self and others. Sikhism does not cultivate the culture of attack and so Kirpan is not a weapon of offence!

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I also quote the Constitution of India which under the Article 25 specifies that Sikhs have been granted exemption to carry Kirpan (article of Sikh faith) under freedom of practice of religion.

Why I am so concerned about making the world aware about Kirpan, beginning from India, because in past also, such incidents have happened and embarrassed the Sikhs. Like at the Bengaluru airport, a Sikh passengers was forcefully deboarded from the flight when he refused to board the flight without his Kirpan!

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I wish to tell my Sikh brethren that Sikhs traveling in domestic flight in India are allowed to carry the Kirpan with size 6 inch blade and 3 inch handle on board under Civil Aviation Rules, Govt. of India.

Maa-Boli Satkar Lehar – to fight step-motherly treatment given to Punjabi language

ਸਮੇਂ ਦੀ ਹਨੇਰੀ ਵਿਚ ਝੁਲਣਾ ਨਹੀਂ
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਸਾਡੀ ਮਾਂ-ਬੋਲੀ ਹੈ, ਇਸ ਨੂੰ ਭੁੱਲਣਾ ਨਹੀਂ!

While we all enjoy dancing on Punjabi songs and watching Punjabi humour, how many of us in Delhi speak in Punjabi at our homes? Are our children learning Punjabi at schools? Can they read a Punjabi text? 

If these questions bother you as a Punjabi native in Delhi, kindly join Maa Boli Satkar Lehar campaign by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.

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To kill a language, one just needs to sideline it! That’s how most of the languages have died in the world. We will never let this happen in Delhi. This ‘Maa Boli Satkal Lehar’ is just a beginning. DSGMC will be working relentlessly to promote Punjabi language in Delhi.

Quoting the facts – Punjabi speakers made 7.14% of the total population of the national capital in 2001 with 988,980 persons. Hence, the estimated number of Punjabi speaking people of Delhi would have been 1.19 million by 2011.

So it hurts me when I see the step-motherly treatment given by AAP Delhi Govt towards Punjabi as well as Urdu.  CM Arvind Kejriwal had published full page advertisements before Punjab elections for appointments of Punjabi teachers last year. The irony is, 769 posts of Punjabi and 610 posts of Urdu teachers in government schools are still unfilled. What happened to Kejriwal’s promise of reviving Punjabi language in Delhi?

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I seek the support of Punjabi speaking families in this movement. Let us speak Punjabi at our home, with our kids and grandchilldren. Let us buy Punjabi story books for our children. And let us remember –

ਸਮੇਂ ਦੀ ਹਨੇਰੀ ਵਿਚ ਝੁਲਣਾ ਨਹੀਂ
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਸਾਡੀ ਮਾਂ-ਬੋਲੀ ਹੈ, ਇਸ ਨੂੰ ਭੁੱਲਣਾ ਨਹੀਂ!

 

Sharing the pain of Sikhs in Kashmir

Isn’t this surprising while Kashmir enjoys a special status under Article 370; the state does not accord Minority status to Sikhs!

Kashmir, despite being called the ‘heaven on earth’, have been facing numerous problems. The turbulent times of Haminastu land can be traced to the interference of a scrupulous neighbour like Pakistan. But that alone is not the reason why Sikhs are unhappy in Kashmir. Sikhs, being a minority in Jammu and Kashmir, deserve minority welfare measures and schemes which has not been given to them by any of the previous governments.

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I seek kind attention of Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi Ji towards the plight of Sikhs in Kashmir. I also ask CM Mehbooba Mufti Ji that isn’t this surprising; while Kashmir enjoys a special status under Article 370; the state does not accord Minority status to Sikhs!
Sikhs have contributed a lot to development of Kashmir. But they need facilities and welfare measures from the Govt side. The state govt should accord Minority status to Sikhs.

Sikhs in Kashmir have suffered both economically and politically especially because Agriculture and transport sector traditionally have been the main stay of the Sikhs in Kashmir. Introduction of Agrarian Reforms Act ensured that the excess land beyond prescribed limit was either escheated to State or given to tillers and land that which was cultivated by tenants was transferred to them. This resulted in a setback for Kashmiri Sikhs because it meant that the Sikh youth needs to search new jobs or avenues for sustenance. Sikhs being in minority have no reservation in govt jobs while private sector is not very lucrative for them.

Talking about the repercussions of militancy, Sikhs had to face unfortunate incidents of Chitti Singhpura and Mehjoor Nagar killings.

But one must admire the faith of Kashmiri Sikhs that they have not left their motherland and are still looking for sunshine days in the valley.

So on behalf of all Sikhs of Kashmir, I use this space to bring it to the notice of PM Narendra Modi Ji and CM Mehbooba Mufti Ji the need for Minority Welfare measures for Sikhs. Being a minority in Kashmir, they deserve Minority status and benefits of schemes.

 

Let’s communicate

This is the post excerpt.

I am not a writerly kind of writer. But I wish to communicate with people. With Digital media taking up an important place in our life, I have made this blog where I will be talking about various issues concerning India. Sikhs, my constituency Rajouri Garden, welfare of people, humanitarian aspects and whatever engages young Indians to contribute to the glory of nation.

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Feel free to share your ideas in the comments. I am open to all types of feedback, both negative as well as positive.