Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sikh Communit & youth Services (UK) on General Hari Singh Nalwa

General Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa

Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa is regarded as one of the greatest of Punjabi-Sikh generals. During 1881, European newspapers wrote articles comparing him to the great European Generals such as Napoleon, Field-Marshal von Hindenburg and the Duke of Wellington. The British concluded that Sr Hari Singh Nalwa was the greatest of them all. With a limited force of men and materials, he freed not only Kashmir and Multan, but also the state of Peshawar and made them part of the Greater Punjab empire of His Majesty Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Sher-e-Punjab). All people lived in equality regardless of whether they were Hindu, Sikhs or Muslims under the Punjabi-Sikh rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Sardar Hari Singh was a courageous, devoted and farsighted general. He impressed the Governor General of India with his statesmanship when he met him at Shimla in 1831 as an emissary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Early life Hari Singh Uppal, born into a Jat Sikh family in 1791, was the son of Sardar Gurdial Singh Uppal of Gujranwala, West Punjab, now in Pakistan. His father died when he was only seven years old but his mother provided him a good religious education and trained him in martial arts. Observing his mastery in the use of arms, Maharaja Ranjit Singh recruited him to his army and he was made General within a short space of time. When on a hunting mission with the Maharaja, General Sr. Hari Singh Uppal was attacked by a tiger. He smartly defended himself and killed the tiger, this act gave him the title, Nalwa (tiger). General Sr
Hari Singh NalwaÂ’s first major battle was fought against the Nawab of Kasoor, West Punjab (now in Pakistan) who continually launched attacks on the Sikhs in Amritsar and Punjab during the 18th century. Later he participated in the battle against Multan to free the people from the Nawab of the region. General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa demonstrated his superb fighting skills during these battles. Releasing Shah Shuja General Sr Hari Singh NalwaÂ’s next expedition was to Kashmir. He joined two other famous Generals, Akali Phoola Singh and Sardar Sham Singh Attariwala, in obtaining the release of the imprisoned Shah Shuja, the king of Afghanistan. Shuja was ousted by his own brother and he had no alternative but to move to Punjab and seek the protection of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Later, when Shuja attempted to take over Kabul, he was defeated, imprisoned, and detained in Kashmir. His wife requested that the Maharaja once again free her husband. In return, she offered him the greatest and most famous of all diamonds, the Kohinoor. The success of the expedition to bring Shah Shuja safely from Kashmir to Lahore so enraged the ruler of Afghanistan, that he sent his army to take over the fort of Attock in 1813, and oust the Sikhs. General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa, however, led his army to victory against great odds and retained Sikh control over the area. Annexation of Multan The Nawab of Multan, who was governing that state on behalf of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, rebelled against the Punjabi-Sikh rule. General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa was deputed to bring him under control. General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa fought bravely and took over the strong fort of Multan.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh granted him the estate of Gujranwala as a reward for his accomplishment. In 1818, the Nawab again rebelled against Lahore. General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa had to fight a long bloody battle to annex Multan and make it a part of Punjab to resolve the problem forever. Freedom for Kashmiris In 1819, the Kashmiris sent a deputation to Lahore, asking Maharaja Ranjit Singh to free them from four centuries of foreign Muslim rule. Three famous Sikh Generals, including Sr Hari Singh Nalwa, were sent to Kashmir again. After defeating the ruler there, General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa was made the Administrator of Kashmir. He streamlined the whole administration and ensured justice for everyone, which made him very popular with the Kashmiri people. However, his stay there was short lived as he was recalled in 1821 to reassert Sikh control over the western regions.

Retaking Peshawar General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa could never be free from fighting the Pathans and Mughals of Afghanistan. Yar Mohd Khan, who had been appointed Governor of Peshawar, was the brother of the king of Afghanistan. He became disloyal to the Punjabi-Sikh rule and joined his brother, which necessitated sending another Sikh expedition to Peshawar. The Sikh army built a pontoon bridge over the river Attock and challenged the Pathans. At the height of the battle, a contingent of Pathans cut the bridge. When Maharaja Ranjit Singh and General Sr Akali Phoola Singh reached the scene, they found the bridge washed away. They could hear the fighting on the other side of the river. They had no other choice but to take the great risk of crossing the flooded river on horseback. The battle, however, had been won by General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa by the time the Maharaja reached there. The major battle for retaking Peshawar still lay ahead. Thousands of soldiers and Mujahideens (religious zealots) had gathered there to stop the Sikhs from reaching Peshawar. A bloody battle was fought, where both sides were determined to win at any cost. The Mughals and Pathans found the Sikh Army too powerful and beat a hasty retreat to Afghanistan. The Sikhs again took over Peshawar, although they paid a very high price for it. They lost their General Sr Akali Phoola Singh in battle. The Punjabi-Sikh rule was thus established over all the areas of the present Pakistan, Kashmir, and Punjab up to Kabul. General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa as the Governor of Peshawar General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa, as the Governor of Peshawar, relieved the Hindus of the tax which they had been paying since the 17th century. He managed the whole state effectively to bring peace, and stopped the looting of the people by Pathans and Afghans. To maintain order in the state, he established military posts all over the region and built forts at strategic places. The fort of Jamrud was the most famous and it blocked the Khyber Pass, not permitting any army to come across from Afghanistan. The king of Afghanistan, finding himself controlled by the chain of forts built by General Hari Singh Nalwa, was always devising plans to destroy the Sikh administration.

The last battle The Dogras knew every secret of the army and its deployment. Being in charge of the government, they were in a position to misinform Maharaja Ranjit Singh and they did so colluding with the Afghans and British. In 1837, the Peshawar army was back at Lahore for the wedding of Kanwar Nau-nihal Singh, the son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa was on leave due to illness, no senior person was in Peshawar to guide the Sikh soldiers. All of this information was sent to Kabul by the Dogras and the Afghans were told to attack Peshawar. Such a message was very encouraging to the Afghans and the king of Afghanistan immediately sent his army to drive the Sikhs out of Peshawar. After crossing the Khyber Pass, they attacked Jamrud. It was here that Bibi Harsharan Kaur (Sharnagat Kaur) played a heroic role by walking from Jamrud to Peshawar and reporting the attack on Jamrud. General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa, though ill, repulsed the attack, losing his own life due to the betrayal of the Dogras. It was General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa’s presence which resulted in the Sikh victory; otherwise, the small Sikh army numbering only a few thousand, was no match for the 30,000 Afghan army supported by civilian fanatics. During this time, General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa sent to Maharaja Ranjit Singh three letters, all of which were kept by the Dogras, they did not let Maharaja Ranjit Singh know of them. Recent research has shown that the Afghans and Dogras connived to murder General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa. This is evidenced by the fact that the person who shot General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa from very close range, was wearing a Sikh soldier’s uniform. By the time help arrived from Lahore, the battle had been won by the Sikhs. Peshawar was thus retained in the Punjabi-Sikh rule, the credit for this going to Bibi Harsharan Kaur and General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa’s bravery. General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa was an eloquent statesman and an able administrator. He was instrumental in bringing Kashmir into Greater Punjab under Sikh control and brought peace and prosperity to the people as the Governor of the state. Peshawar, a region of Punjab which had been partitioned from it for eight centuries, was again made a part of it due to the bravery of General Sr Hari Singh Nalwa. He has since been known as the “Hero of Peshawar” and was rated as the greatest general of his time. The forts he built there to stop invaders from looting Punjab and Delhi, were effective long after his death. A large part of his successes can be attributed to him being a kind and devoted Sikh, committed to his people and possessing a keen sense of duty and responsibility.


From: "Amrit Pal Singh"
Subject: Gurdwara Bhai Bachhitar Singh ji Ropar
This is just a few meters away from Gurdwara Bhatha Sahib and Bhai Bachhitar Singh was one of the commanders of Guru Gobind Singh ji's army. Phone : 91-1881-226574
Mukh Sevadar : Bhai Jainal Singh : 91-9218183846
History---------BACHITTAR SINGH, BHAI (d. 1705), warrior and martyr, was the second son of Bhai Mani Ram, a Parmar Rajput and devotee of the Gurus. One of the five brothers presented by their father for service to Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708), he joined the order of the Khalsa on the historic Baisakhi day, 30 March 1699, and shot into prominence during the first battle of Anandpur against the hill chieftains, when, on 1 September 1700, he was selected by Guru Gobind Singh to face a drunken elephant brought forth by them to batter down the gate of the Lohgarh Fort. As the elephant reached near the gate, Bachittar Singh, sallied forth on horseback and made a powerful thrust with his spear piercing the plate and injuring the animal in the forehead. The wounded elephant ran back creating havoc in the besieger's ranks. Bachittar Singh also took part in actions at Nirmohgarh and Basali and in the last battle of Anandpur. On the fateful night of 5-6 December 1705, when Anandpur was evacuated, he was one of those who safely crossed the torrential Sarsa rivulet. At the head of a flanking guard watching pursuers from the direction of Ropar, he had an encounter with a body of irregulars near Malikpur Ranghran in which he was seriously wounded. He was carried to Kotla Nihang Khan where he died two days later (8 December 1705). You can see in the photo section the entrance of the gurdwara ,his shield , sword , well from where water was taken for his saskar , place of his saskar and remains of the old fort of the Pathans.
From contribution of Amrtit Pal Singh ji to the GD digest
Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, Anandpur Sahib, Dist. Ropar .
This is the birthplace of the Khalsa. It was here on March 30th, 1699 that a very large gathering of Sikhs had arrived at Anandpur Sahib as per Guru Gobind Singhs instructions. After prayers Guru Gobind Singh ji stood up with his sword and asked the gathering of thousands, "Is there anyone here ready to lay down his life at my call? This sword of mine is crying for the blood of a dear Sikh of mine." The congregation was shocked and afraid, the third time Guru Gobind Singh ji repeated his call, Daya Ram stood up and offered his head. Guru Gobind Singh ji took him into a tent. The sound of a sword cutting a body was heard and blood trickled out of the tent. Guru Gobind Singh ji emerged from the tent and asked for another Sikh. Dharam Das stood up and volunteered. Again the same episode was repeated. Three more Sikhs offered their heads to the Guru in the same way, Mukham Chand, Himmat Rai and Sahib Chand. After some time Guru Gobind Singh brought the five Sikhs before the congregation dressed in new clothes and revealed to the congregation that he had really slaughtered five goats inside the tent. Guru Gobind Singh ji then baptized them with amrit stirred with his Khanda, The Guru ji called them his Five Beloved Ones and gave them the last name `Singh' which means Lion. Guru Gobind Singh ji then humbly bowed before the Five Beloved Ones and asked them to initiate Him into the Khalsa Brotherhood. 12 of the original weapons of Guru Gobind Singh ji as well as the khanda used by the Guru ji to stir the amrit during the Khalsa baptism ceremony are kept here
Amrit pal ji on Amritsar
A Sikh pilgrim's progress is usually measured by the journeys he or she takes to visit gurudwaras of historical importance. In Amritsar District, the bus is the appropriate mode of transport for such moral and duty-bound excursions. The day begins by invoking the name of the almighty, the Sri Harmandir Sahib, the most hallowed shrine of the Sikhs. Here Sikhs from all over the world spend a few blissful moments and in prayer. Satnam Singh, a driver of the Punjab Roadways, has a pleasant job of taking Harmandir Sahib pilgrims on a daylong journey to historical gurudwaras. The journey costs a mere Rs.2. Lakhwinder Singh, the General Manager of Punjab Roadways in Amritsar, says the gurudwara excursion is not a profit-driven venture. "We have laid down no economic parameters and have no desire to make this a profitable venture. It's a service of love for devotees who want to visit the historical gurudwaras with in Amritsar District," Singh claims. With pilgrims chanting `Wahe Guru', the journey starts towards its first destination, the Gurudwara Kotha Sahib in village Valla. A 15-minute journey and the gurudwara built in memory of the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur looms for all to see. History tells us that while on his way to Amritsar, Guru Tegh Bahadur reached the village of Valla where people welcomed him wholeheartedly. Gratified by their hospitality the Guru exclaimed "Valla Guru ka Galla" (Valla is the bowl of Guru). Pilgrims halt here for a few minutes to pay their respects to the Guru and then move towards the Gurudwara Baba Bakala. Munching a spicy mixture of dried and fried roasted peas, the pilgrims enjoy the pleasant drive to Baba Bakala's shrine. The shrine is associated with an important event in Sikh history. It may be recalled that before his death, Guru Harkishan whispered feebly `Baba Bakala', thereby meaning that his successor was to be found at Bakala village. On that day, the only Baba there was Baba Tegh Bahadur. However, a trader later discovered the genuine Guru. A beautiful gurudwara stands at the spot where the Guru used to meditate in an underground cell. The next destination is Khadur Sahib, the sacred village where Guru Angad promoted the message of God. A 20 mile-long journey ends up at a gurudwara where weaving loom of a cloth weaver use to stand. History records that Guru Amar Das stumbled into a weaver's pit, while carrying a pitcher of water on his head for his guru Sri Angad Dev. In spite of his fall, he succeeded in saving the pitcher filled with water. The noise of the fall awakened the weaver who suspected a thief had come. When weaver's wife heard a voice uttering `Japji' she remarked that there was no thief but, poor and homeless Amar. When the incident came to the notice of Guru Angad, he was pleased to see that Amar Das was not homeless and lowly and appointed him as his successor. "Our purpose in visiting Amritsar was to visit the Golden Temple, Jallianwalan Bagh and the retreat ceremony at the Wagah joint check-post. But when we heard about the bus service by Punjab Roadways to the historical gurudwaras, we quickly amended our plans, and made a programme to pay obeisance at all gurudwaras," says Gajraj Singh, one of the pilgrims. Traveling a few miles southeast of Amritsar, the bus reaches Goindwal, a small town where two historical gurudwaras, Chaubara Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Arjun Dev and Baoli Sahib, the first centre of Sikhism, have been constructed. The third Guru, Sri Amar Das showed an alternative place of pilgrimage, to Haridwar and Benaras, where God alone was to be worshipped. The Guruji purchased land and constructed a `Baoli' or a well with steps descending to the water. The baoli had eighty-four steps and the dip here is considered most holy. The guru decreed that whoever faithfully and ardently repeated `Japji' on every step; he would be released from the travails of wandering through eighty four lakh births and rebirths. A lunch break follows at the famous community kitchen of Guru Amar Das, where each visitor is offered food free of cost. It is believed that Emperor Akbar also partook of a meal in the langar, before meeting the Guru.


Aussies are plotting.It is in their bloods when it comes to sports. Find a weak link and exploit it to the maximum. Drag the victim to a Psychological warfare. Get him down psychologically and make him suffer in performance. Aussie fans are experts in this war.Their journalists declare war when the tours are in embryonic stages.But the strongest who can tolerate this toughness will emerge the winner.This is the greatness of Aussies.They are tough nuts to be cracked.Take Steve, He is a real rock solid guy and a great example to many cricketers. But, if you are soft and weak, it will bring your downfall.
Let me give you some examples. Murali's story was history.He is tormented so much by the irritability of Aussie fans so , now he has expressed " enough is enough". He will not tour down under anymore to feel embarrased by rising waves of shouts " chucker".Then came the turn of West Indian HINDUS. Sarwan was different.Though of Asian Descent, He has the guts of Afro Carribean patriot " Sir Viv Richards".He fought fire with fire. Issue was not prolonged.It died on the spot.
England are the hot blokes on the block. Ageing aussies lost Ashes in England.According to opinion polls, that is the most disgarceful sporting defeat for Aussies.It was intolerable for a sport hardned nation.Prospects are gloomy for a favourable outcome in the Ashes in their own backyard. So, the war has started.They have a target. A soft target, as they presume. Monty, for his poor fielding. The things to come by is in an article apperaed in the AGE.This is how it goes. Fun is all around OZ after the current " MONTY GOES TO LORDS" comedy series against SL.
"ENGLAND'S new left-arm spinner Monty Panesar may sport a turban and be of Indian Sikh extraction but it's not racial taunts from Australian crowds that he should be worried about if, as expected, he is chosen for next summer's much-awaited Ashes series. The tour is still five months away but already the pundits are fearing the worst for Turbanator II because of his atrocious fielding, which is so bad that he is already being compared to two of the worst the game has known — Phil Tufnell and Bishen Bedi. It came under scrutiny during England's just-completed second Test against Sri Lanka at Edgbaston, where he made a series of errors including missing a regulation catch at mid-off to dismiss Lasith Malinga before the Sri Lankan had scored, thus allowing a scoreline of 8-82 to become 141. And every time he touched the ball after that he was cheered, and he got even bigger cheers on the numerous occasions he misfielded. Well, all of this has got England cricket fans shuddering about what awaits him Down Under. Former England captain Michael Atherton, who copped plenty from Aussie fans in his time, is one who fears for Panesar, explaining in his column in England's Sunday Telegraph that if his fielding doesn't improve the Aussie crowds "will hit him with the kind of derision that, in the last decade, they reserved solely for Phil Tufnell". Lawrence Booth, who writes a column called The Spin in The Guardian, took a similar tack. "The Australians will be noting all of this down and resolving to take a single every time the ball goes to Panesar. Unless he's on the boundary, when they will take two."
EVEN the fans are taking the mickey out of poor ol' Panesar. In a special "Monty Panesar Fielding Appreciation Society" address created on a website cricket forum, one writer, " J K Lever" wrote: "Can we seriously take this bloke to Oz? He will get eaten alive by the crowds for his fielding … methinks his throwing arm will be tested at some of the larger grounds in Oz, too. I shudder to think of Melbourne." Personally, we can't wait to see him. By the way, Henry Blofeld already has a nickname for Panesar — he refers to him as Monty Python
Will he be a weak link? May be he is poor in fielding? But, remeber he is a son of " Saint solider GURU GOBIND SINGH JI". He necessarily should have the grit, determination, valour, self respect instilled in Khalsa members by it's founder. Khalsa members will not lay down their efforts, come what adversity. Ashes is a war. Monty has to defend his motherland. Sikhs will lay down their lives to a just, right cause. Will the Aussie fans be able to unsettle the will of a khalsa man by shouting rubbish.

Monty do not worry. Listen to a shabad sung by great aussie sardar" DYA SINGH".Roll your arms what ever cahnt is heard in the stands of the park.No cry is stronger than "
Photo (C) Getty Images

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Wahi Guru Ji ka khalsa Wahi guru ji ki fateh
This is a request from
Sat Shri Akal
I need help by people from all over this world.I am looking for seva for helping site by finding KIRTAN RECORDINGS BY THESE OLD RAGI'S.
Sadh sangat ji.
Helping this task is important as it enables any body the access to keertan on line.
Further, it helps the spread of Guru's Bani which is eternal truth
Ashes will be soon. The English squad will travel to Down Under.Conditions will be tough. More than most , what worries touring teams is the racism of Aussie crowd.
Muttiah Muralidharan was at the receiving end. Then It was the South Africans. The intensity of the issue was such that the ICC had to appoint an independent commision to look into the matter. The report of the commision showed that racist behaviour was not limited to a certain section of crowd and it looked to be organised.Like football racism in spain against world's most exciting black players, Ugly monster is raising the head in cricket as well.
Come ashes, English lions will be in Aussie. Among them there will be Shamsudden Singh (Lion) Panessar . Sardar Monty. He is a crowd favourite in Britain than exciting Kevin Pieterson.Mike Brearly heard people saying " if non indigenous English are like Monty, ther will not be problems '(Read the Guardian article link to which is given below) When the sikh in Dustar comes into bat or is tossed the ball to roll his left arm , he gets a warm reception. But this will be a boo in Aussie.
Aussies are known to target soft Asians rather than giant West Indians of African descent.They know what to expect in return.In recent past, they targetted HIndu East Indian players in the Carribean team. How Sarwan was targetted was history.
A sikh in Guru's recommended garb will definitely be a target. How will he stand up to the task.His sikhiness will guide him through as we assume. A chap according to his sikh codes refused to share a beer to celebrate victory may not find facing hot tempered Kangaroos a difficulty. He is a born lion(Singh). But read this interesting guardian atricle on "Maverick Monty is the Manuel of multiracial Britain",,1784808,00.html
Picture from Getty images
England experts are worried about Monty's fielding

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Gurudwara means the abode of Guru. This is the sikh equivalent of a church for christians, Synagogue for Jews and a temple for Buddhists. Sometimes it is called a sikh temple in English lierature.

Unlike Buddhist and Hindu temples, a gurudwara does not have statues and sikhs do not pay homages to idols.Their veneration goes to Sri Guru granth sahib, a book which has verses from gurus.It includes verses from other religious saints also. Sikhs all over the world consider Guru Granth Sahib ji as their living guru as it contains the path to follow for a sikh.It is enshrined within a gurudwara with all due respect.

Sikhs are willing to lay down their lives for the living guru.The best recent example was reported during the Catrina huricane in New Orleans. In the deluge, devotees risked their lives to save the living guru from being caught in the deluge.

Believers of all faiths can visit a gurudwara provided that they cover their heaads by a scarff.
Harimandir sahib ji ( Photo) at Amritsar, India is the main Gurudwara of sikhs all over the world

Woud you like to visit a Guru Dwara and see its lay out?????

Just log on to

Friday, May 26, 2006


This is reproduced from the " SRI GURU NANAK DEV JI " available in ALL ABOUT SIKHS .YOUR GATEWAY TO SIKHISM at

From Puri the Guru went to Gantur of present Andhra Pradesh district, Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai and Tiruchchirupalli. All these places have Gurdwaras to mark the visit of the Guru. From Tiruchchirupalli he sailed down to Kaveri river and reached Nagapatnam, a very old port of south India. From there he proceeded to Sangladeep ( should be SINGHALADEEPA) (Ceylon) and Betticola( Currently BATTICALOA) was the first place of his stay in the island. He went to Matiakalam (now known as Matalai) ( is this Matale or any other place in a tamil Hindu area??) which was the capital of Sangladeep under Raja Shiv Nabh( What should be the Singhala name of this king).

Bhai Mansukh, a trader from Punjab and a disciple of the Guru, had been to Sangladeep in connection with his business long before the Guru's visit to the island. By reason of his trade, Bhai Mansukh had access to Raja Shiv Nabh and thus he had told the Raja all about Guru Nanak. The Raja inquired how he could meet the Guru. Mansukh told him,"Rise early in the morning and recite Moolmantar. If you earnestly pray, the Guru will respond to your prayers."
Every morning Raja Shiv Nabh meditated and prayed for the holy sight (darshan) of the Guru. Time passed on but the Guru did not appear. Many persons came and claimed to be the Guru but all were found to be the fake claimants. One day news was brought to the Raja that a holy man, with a rare glory beaming on his face (spiritual aura), had arrived in the old neglected garden, and as soon as he set his foot in the garden, the withered trees sprouted into green foliage.

Due to the previous fake claimants, the Raja devised a plan to test the visitors before he could bow his head to any one of them. The Raja, therefore, sent beautiful girls to seduce the new- comer with their beauty and charm. The report was sent to the Raja that the girls not only failed to seduce the visitor, but they themselves had been transformed under his spell. Hearing this, the Raja hurriedly came to see the holy Master. Spontaneously he fell at the feet of the Guru. The Guru placed his hand on his head and blessed him. Who could describe the ecstatic joy that had dawned upon Raja.

The whole city rushed to the garden to have holy sight of the Master. A dharamsala, a religious common place, was built where the Guru held daily religious congregations and preached his divine doctrine. People were enlightened with God's Name and they became Guru's followers.

After staying there for some time the Guru started in the southerly direction and reached Katargama. Then he reached Sita Eliya, ( it is beleived that there should have been a Gurudwara) a place where Sita spent her period of captivity. At the time of Guru Nanak's visit, this place was in the Kotte kingdom of Raja Dharma Prakarma. The inscription discovered by Dr. KarunaRatna and Parana Vitana in the famous museum of Anurodh Pura ( ANURADHAPURA), furnishes a brief account of the encounter of Jnanakacharya (Nanak) with the Buddhist Bhikshu, Dharma Kirt-sthavira( DhramaKirthi Sthavira) . This inscription also informs that the Raja Dharma Prkramabahu had promised to embrace Guru Nanak's creed if he won in the debate. Guru Nanak won. But before he could embrace the Guru's creed, the Brahmans very cleverly arranged another public debate, this time between the Guru and Dharma Dvajapandita and maneuvered the result in favor of the latter. In this way they did not let the ruler fall under the influence of the Guru
To read accademic analysis on Guru Dev Ji's visit, please read

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Dear friends.Here is a message from our very own Mr Sikhnet.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!
Greetings from SikhNet headquarters in sunny Espanola New Mexico where we are all very excited about the first ever online Sikh Youth Film Festival competition which is launching right now. The goal of this friendly competition is to support our Sikh Youth all over the world and to encourage and inspire them to get involved in media and film and use their creativity to produce interesting and educational pieces designed to spread the spirit of Sikhi, into our spirit, values and culture.
We are writing to you to personally ask for your help in letting everyone know about this very special event.
First, go to the Youth Film Festival page for more information about the event.
Second, please print out some Film Festival Flyers and post on your Gurdwara and Langar Hall bulletin boards. Also talk to your local Gurdwara management about announcing the project to your sangat. Nothing works better than actually talking to people about it.

Third, Forward this email around to friends or family that you think might be interested.

Fourth, If you have a website we have also created a few different small images which you can post on your website to help promote the youth film festival.

Fifth, If you would like to become a sponsor and support the Youth Film festival and SikhNet, please let me know.

However creative you can be, please spread the word about this event within your local community.
Now is the time! The deadline for entries is August 31st and the winners will be announced in September. In addition to significant cash prizes totaling $2,600 US Dollars, all winners and honorable mentions will receive official Film Festival award certificates from SikhNet.

This is a great summer project for any student and our expectation is that student entrants will be able to bring their summer film project back to school in the Fall for extra credit.

If you are a parent, encourage your children to get involved and create a video for the competition. No previous video experience required! We have created a special page to help you get started. Don't be shy, just do it, and have fun!
Thank you for your help in getting the word out!

Gurumustuk Singh KhalsaSikhNet Webmaster

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Historical evidences indicate that Guru ji resided in Sri lanka(Ceylon). Ceylon visit has been useful for him in his spiritual conquest. Not only that he managed to convince king Shivnabh , he compiled Pransangali during his stay in Ceylon. Inscriptions in Anuradhapura museum leads to the fact that Nanakacharya( Janakacharya) was in the court of Siri perakumba in jayawardanepura of Kotte kingdom. He even won a spiritual debate and impressed the king.
This is how Guru ji's visit is described in the book :

The Sikh Religion, Volume 1
by Max Arthur MacAuliffe [1842-1913]
Oxford University Press [1909]
Life of Guru Nanak - chapter 13 .

The Guru then turned his thoughts towards Ceylon, and succeeded in reaching that country, where he took his seat in Raja Shivnabh's garden.
[1. Sri Rag, Ashtapadi.]
{p. 155}
At that time it was barren, but it is said to have become green on the Guru's arrival. The gardener requested the king to go and see the faqir who had caused the withered garden to bloom anew. The king sent beautiful damsels to dance before the Guru and tempt him with their charms. The Guru, wrapped up in his own thoughts, neither spoke to them nor noticed them.
The king came and inquired his name, caste, and whether he was a Jogi. The Guru replied as follows:--

The Jogi who is associated with the Name and is pure, hath not a particle of uncleanness.He who keepeth with him the name of the Beloved, which is ever true, hath escaped birth and death.
The king asked if he were a Brahman. The Guru replied:--

He is a Brahman who hath divine knowledge for his ablutions, and God's praises for the leaves' of his worship.There is but One Name, One God, One Light in the three worlds.
The king asked if he were a shopkeeper. The Guru replied:--

Make thy heart the scale, thy tongue the beam, and weigh the inestimable Name.There is but one shop, one Merchant above all; the dealers are many.
The king again inquired if he were a Hindu or a Muhammadan. The Guru continued his enigmatical replies:--

The True Guru hath solved the problem of the two ways.It is he who fixeth attention on the One God, and whose mind wavereth not, who can understand it.
[1. Brâhmans use sweet basil and bel (Aegle Marmelos) leaves in their worship, the former in the worship of Vishnu and the latter in the worship of Shiv.]
{p. 156}
He who abideth in the Word and ever worshippeth day and night, hath ended his doubts.
The king then asked if he were Gorakhnath. The Guru showed no inclination to directly gratify his curiosity.

Above us is the sky, Gorakh is above the sky; His inaccessible form dwelleth there;By the favour of the Guru, whether I am abroad or at home is the same to me; Nanak hath become such an anchoret.[1]

When the Guru had ended, the king invited him to go to his palace and see his queen. He gave him an opportunity of expounding his doctrines to her.

It was during Guru Nanak's visit to Ceylon that he composed the Pransangali, which contained an account of the silent palace of God, the manner of meditating on Him, the private utterances of the Guru, and the nature of the soul and body.
The following are its opening verses:--
The supreme state is altogether a void,[2] all people say;In the supreme state there is no rejoicing or mourning;In the supreme state there are felt no hopes or desires;In the supreme state are seen no castes or caste-marks;In the supreme state are no sermons or singing of hymns;In the supreme state abideth heavenly meditation;In the supreme state are those who know themselves.[3]Nanak, my mind is satisfied with the supreme state.
Saido and Gheho subsequently wrote out the Pransangali from memory.
[1. Mâru.
2. The Greek {Greek koi^lon}, the Latin caelum, heaven.
3. The meaning of this expression is totally different from that of {Greek gnw^ði seauton}. To know oneself, in the Sikh sacred writings, means to know God who is within one.]
{p. 157}

For accademic work on Guru ji's visit
SGPC site on Guru Nanak

Monday, May 22, 2006


A non sikh and non indian person researching is always confused with the large amount of suffix "SINGH" present in Guyana and Trinidad. The reason is as simple as the origin of east indians in carribean. A great majority of them were descendents of people from UP, BIHAR and Rajasthan . Hindus from these areas have names ending with SINGH while in Sikhs " SINGH" comes before their surname. Another difference is while hindu ladies also use SINGH, the initiated(baptised) sikh females use KAUR . This question was once raised by a gentleman in Stabroek News".
Let me quote it from the news paper
Dear Editor, There appears to be no shortage of religious historians in Guyana, and my colleagues and I are frequently regaled by their debating in your readers' letters pages. However, I am writing not to join any of these interesting polemics but to ask, as a genuine seeker of knowledge, whether any of these erudite persons could provide the solution to a matter which has long puzzled me. Throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and North America the surname 'Singh' (more correctly a title, meaning Lion) and for ladies 'Kaur' (Princess) indicates almost infallibly that its owner is of the Sikh faith. Why is it then that in Guyana and Trinidad (I can't speak for Suriname) Singh is usually regarded as a Hindu name and is in use by males and females alike - even when prefixed by other traditionally Sikh combinations of 'Lal', 'Brij', 'Mohan', 'Bahadur,' etc? It does not need such a scholar to explain how the name is now commonly in use with biblical forenames (Mike, for example!), but can someone please reveal why Guyana, a land of many Singhs, has so few Sikhs?
Yours faithfully, William Mann
Editor's note: 'Singh' is a name that is as much North Indian Hindu as it is Sikh. It is generally an upper-caste name (when in non-Sikh usage) and is common among people of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. 'Kaur', on the other hand, is almost exclusively Sikh. The fact that many Guyanese have the name 'Singh' and are not Sikh is probably due to their origins in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where the surname can still be commonly encountered today. The confusion probably arises from the fact that while almost all Sikh men have 'Singh' in their name, not all North Indian Hindu men do.
There were sikhs among migrants to Guyana.However, with the time they were assimilated in to the mainstream Hindu Indians.M Seenarine writes in the accademic work titled "recasting indian women in colonial guyana: gender, labor and caste in the lives of indentured and free laborers"
"One group of upper class/caste hindu women, including Nalini Singh and Alice B. Singh, were active from 1929 to 1947 in the british guiana Dramatic Society (BGDS). This was an offshoot of the british guiana east indian association (BGEIA), which was "the only authorized body to make capable representation in the interest of Indians in the colony."The BGEIA was a major influence on the homogenization process and served to create an indian power structure or hierarchy through the promotion of ‘traditional’ north indian culture, performing artists, political leaders and business elite in its newsletter the Indian Opinion. BGEIA also had a cricket club and indian literary society.
101. The Singh family, and others, were former sikhs who became part of mainstream Hindu society in the absence of sikh cultural practices in guyana."

Saturday, May 20, 2006


During discussions among members of our forum , we opined that there were Punjabi sikhs among Jahajees. The best oral evidence appeared from Varuna.I have included his verabtim in the previous post. So hypothetically " There were sikhs but gradually they were absorbed into mainstream hindu community of indentured labourers in Guyana and Trinidad while in smaller communities they were converted to christianity and gradually absorbed into the community of african descent".We need evidence to prove that it happened so.In the process of gathering these evidences, I found this interesting information in the article dedicated to Dr Gideon Cordice an outstanding Vincentian of East Indian heritage.
This is how the article reports about his ancestors.
" Doc’s paternal grandfather John Balusingh came to St. Vincent from the North Punjab area of India during indentureship. Balusingh lived at Lot 14, a village just beyond the Rabacca River on the Windward Side of the island. Dr. Cordice recalls that his grandfather Balusingh was well-off, and his wife wore jewelry “from her armpits to her fingertips.” Balusingh was able to accumulate much of his wealth because of his close relationship with the army colonel stationed in that area".
Today there are a lot of singhs among jahajee descendents as they were mainly from Bihar and UP. It was very common to bear the name SINGH by these hindus. However in this case, having come from Punjab directs us to believe that Mr Balusingh was likely to be a sikh.
Then someone might ask the question as to how one got anglican names.Like what they did to african slaves, Britishers assigned anglicised names to their indentured labourers before sending to estates. Later, their off springs were given anglicised names by the authorities.A special tribute should be made to Guyanese, trinidadians and Surinamese who aginst all mountimg pressure to date name their off springs in Sanskritsed names.
The difficulties faced by the indian community in maintaining their cultural heritage is described in the article
"One of Balusingh’s sons was named John Fordyce, another Bhudu Richards. Fordyce and Richards were brothers by both mother and father, but each carried the surname of his Godfather, as was the practice. This was so because of the difficulty experienced locally in spelling the Indian names. Over the years, the name Fordyce got corrupted and became Cordice. John Fordyce (Cordice) was Doc’s father."
Thus, it is evident with the passage of the time , sikhs and Indians of all faiths lost their religous and cultural identity in islands where they( all indian labourers) were in minority.
When one reads the story about this great St Vincentian, It demonstrates the ample evidence of his possible sikh spirit reflected in love and compassion for humanity.The success of Mr Balusingh in accumulating wealth is also peculiar to many sikhs( and of course indians in general) who worked hard in new worlds they went in search of better future.
I am quite sure in our journey for lost trails of sikhs in carribean we will find more and more such incredible stories of individuals who nearly a centuary ago followed the doctrine of Guru Nanak strengthened by warrior saint Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
( picture from search light newspaper)
Read about Dr Cordice in SEARCH LIGHT NEWSPAPER

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Varuna has sent me another interesting story that helps my search for sikhs among indentured labourers.His naration is fascinating.As suggested to him, he has the quality of being a great writer in the calibre of Sir Vidia Naipaul from carribean . By the way , daispora has a talented bunch of writers. Just read this piece from varuna. This is really necessary for me to go ahead with the work .

This piece also emphasises the importance of the tradition of transfering the family history from generation to generation. Varuna needs to record it for the benefit of future generations. Jean and Cheddi's blogs are extrodinary in this respect.They do a great service to keep the history of indo carribeans alive for generations to live.If you like to read these facinating blogs, just log on to and


My great grandfather , Jagjit Jeewan Singh , who hailed from northern Indian near the Afghan Borders, left India with one surviving 3 year old son , Burkurn Singh , in 1873 for Guyana . He was married to an Afghan Moslem woman and had many many kids . he also had many brothers . There is an oral family history passed down to generations that Jagjit used to supply horses to Sikh and Afghan Rebels who were fighting the british and that his brothers were all part of a " rebel " group which harrassed british supply lines . The story goes that his family as well as many members of his village, tribe and rebel groups were executed by the British between 1870 and 1873 . Jagjit's wife and kids with the exception of Burkurn , my grandfather ( aja) were all executed by the British and Jagjit shaved his head clean , changed his identity and took his only surviving 3 year old son to Calcutta where he signed up for Indentureship and was sent to Guyana .

My aja was brought to Guyana in 1873 at age 3 , by his father Jagjit , and was sent to Leonora Estate where Jagjit took several wives who bore him many kids because he was a lone man with a 3 year old son . My father , Harnandan , was not born until 1925 , when his father , Burkurn , was already 55 years old . My dad's eldest brother was 23 years old when he was born . The story has been passed down that many Sikhs who were wanted by the british for rebel activties saw Indentureship as an escape . I recall my nana , Dr. J.B.Singh , telling us about the Indian rebels of Northern India working with the Afghans and Nepalese to harrass and frustrate the British up north.

Having traversed Guyana as a lad and adult and meeting so many Indians I was latter convinced that Guyana was host to many of these Punjabi rebels .My mother . Rajkumari Singh's poetry and plays are rife with militant behavior from these sikhs who came to Guyana . I was told by Sir David Rose, whose family were very close with my grandmother , that many incidents on estates where Punjabis had beaten and killed White Overseers were hushed to avoid the spread of such militant behavior .

Varuna Singh

Monday, May 15, 2006


These are feed backs from carribean regarding the topic. There could be certain things which need further clarifications and related to mistaken identity of other SINGHS for amritdharis. I will consider all of these when I prepare the final report

This is what my firend Lloyd Harradan writes from Trinidad

"There is only one family that I know of, that is the Hardit Singhs inTunapuna. They are famous for making... Turban Brand curry powder.Some of the grandsons were at Hillview in the 60's, one was in my class.Their Sikhism must have been very low-keyed. I for one never knew about it.Years later we got this information from one of the grandsons, Kenrick.He told us the Gurudwara is on the Eastern Main Road in Tunapuna, not far from the curry factory. I passed it a few thousand times and never noticed."

As reported in my friend Jean's website , TURBAN brand curry powders were very popular among Trinidadians including Afro Trinidadians. According to the web note, he was one of the very few sikhs to protect his religious identity in Carribean.

This piece of information sent to me by Lloyd is also quite interesting
Namaskaar.A warm welcome to Dr. Vijay Singh.
There is at least one GURUDWARA in Trinidad - in Tunapuna, just before El Dorado. Jahajee SIKHS blended into the main Hindu community. Generally speaking, in the Caribbean diaspora the indentured immigrants fused into a generic Indian lifestyle - predominantly mainstream Hindu. There were, and still are, different sects and castes, e.g maharaj brahmins ( many are 'boat' brahmins, changing their surnames to maharaj in the new land; it is a well-known secret that many prominent maharajs in caribbean society adopted their surname .... ), then there are the so-called lower castes : oghar and chamar etc. In the main, Jahajee SIKHS 'lost' their religious and cultural identities. I know many 'SINGHS' - including several cousins, in Trinidad and the US. All are mainstream Hindus, but they, and all Punjabis, are not hesitant to refer to the fierce and brave military and physical prowess of their ancestors. Ganga Singh is an MP in Trinidad, feisty chap. Robin Singh played cricket for Trinidad then migrated to India, made the Indian Test and ODI teams and coached a national squad ( not Test ).I have seen many SIKHS in Trinidad, of course much more in New York, New Jersey, California and the rest of the US; ate at a few SIKH restaurants in Queens and the city, and in California. Not all SIKHS in Trinidad wear the turban but they maintain their traditions, I have read of many SIKH events in the newspapers, there are several prominent SIKH businessmen. Generally, Indians from India (there are several thousands here in Trinidad - doctors, engineers, academia) keep a low profile. In this tense racially-divided nation one would not be surprised if many SIKHS leave the turban at home. Like many other Indians, SIKHS and Punjabis go about their business in a discreet manner, out of the limelight, as much as one can when wearing a turban. Except maybe at cricket: they will be out in fill force at the upcoming India vs West Indies Tests and ODIs, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean next year. Someone came up with the brilliant idea for Trinidad - with over 40% Indian population - to host the preliminary matches with India.... we expect Indians from the whole world, particularly the US and Canada to be in Trinidad to support the team. Opposition parties wouldn't mind if a few thousands extended their stay and participate in the elections scheduled for late 2007.
This from the NET:Gurdwara Name: Gurdwara sabib of Trinidad and Tobago Street Address: Tunapuna Country: Trinidad and Tobago Phone: 6635892 E-mail #1:
"....World reaction to Singh’s appointment as Prime Minister was swift and positive, even here in T&T where an estimated 100 Sikhs live. “We’re all very delighted,” said Jasbir Bhogal, the Indian-born Sikh wife of architect Jaspal Singh Bhogal, who designed the Sikhs’ gurdwara in Tunapuna. “It shows democracy in action. Our President is a Muslim, our Prime Minister is a Sikh and the power behind it all is a Catholic, Sonia Gandhi......” NOTE: 100 SIKHS? No way, there are many more ....~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sikh Temple Groundbreaking, May/June, 2001 Construction of the new $300,000 gurdwara saheb of Trinidad and Tobago commenced with an official groundbreaking ceremony on November 12, 2000, in the town of Tunapuna, Trinidad. The date of the grand event coincided with the 531st birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, according to a report from Paras Ramoutar. To mark the occasion, the Saheb elected an interim committee to facilitate its incorporation as a legal body in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Devendra Singh Duggal, president of that committee explained that the new gurdwara (temple/cultural center) was much needed in Trinidad to accommodate the expanding Sikh community there. Completion is expected by December 200

Sunday, May 14, 2006


I have a great respect for the jahajis and their descendents in Carribean.Their struggle to protect their identity against all odds is enormous. Under various pressures, Indo west Indians have lost their language and in smaller communities like St vincent, they have lost their Sanskritised surnames to anglicised names and traditional religions to christianity.

But Trinis, Guyanese, Surinamese have struggled hard and kept the jahaji legacies alive. Let me bow my head to all jahajis who toiled hard in cane fields in carribean in enormous hardships. The interest in jahajis and indo communities was arousen in me by people like Kanhai,Kalicharan, Bacchus, SonnyRamdeen etc. That is how I researched into this indo community in Carribean.Thanks to being a member of a group researching Jahaji past , geneology etc. , I have been able to learn a lot regarding this community

A long felt task in my mind was to research in to sikhs among jahaji's. There could have been a few Punjabis who migrated to carribean as indentured labourers. many have been absorbed into the mainstream hindu community there.Some might have been converted to christianity by missionaries who used various means to convert indentured people as it happened in Carribean, Fiji, South Africa,Ceylon etc.

So, I started this project writing to my friends in the forum. Let us see what they have got to say

Namaste , Sat Sri Akal, Assalam allaikum dear all
Are there sikhs in the carribean originating from Jahajees( I am not refering to later migrations)? I have heard that there is a gurudwara in Trini. There were quite a few punjabis who migrated early in the indentureship. Have they lost their cultural identity and got absorbed to the mainstream indian community. will one of you enlighten me on this ?

There are Sikhs in the Caribbean now, even a Doctor and his family have been iin Dominica for quite some years. Otherwise many names end with Singh amon the indentured descendents... will they have been Sikhs? My father's mothe as raised by a Latxhman Singh... Another interesting suject is the indianorigin of the . Was it influenced by the iindian turban? JS Sahai

Sahai ji
All singhs cannot be sikhs. Singh suffix is added to the names after the amrit initiation ceremony which is equivalent to baptism in christianity. There could be sikhs without SINGH as they are not given AMRIT ( NECTAR).
There could be a lot of singhs in carribean as they are mainly descended from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.Those Singhs if they have Punjabi roots then they may be sikhs.For an example Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indian cricket team is from Jharkhand North India but not a sikh.
But, I have read that in Trini there were sikhs and Gurudwara( equivalent of mandhir or church) of Jahaji descent and not late migrants.
Turban also may not be specific to sikhs . In India it was worn by many and it was considered as regal to have a turban for so called high castes. Introduction of turban as a mandatory article of faith was intentional as it equalled all beings of all castes. As there could not be a significant influence of sikhs among jahajis, creole cofei" may not be an influence of sikhs . But it could well be an influence of Indians who came from UP and Bihar and Rajastan.

Hello Vijay

You have a famous Namesake who is also a Son of Indenture, the Golfer Vijay Singh whose Grandfather came from India to Fiji in the early 20th Century, i have been to Vijay's home town of Nadi.

Vijay Singh the Golfer isn't Sikh and neither are many with the Name Singh, it is a Name shared by Sikhs and Hindus.

Sikhs have the Name Singh as it was adopted by Guru Nanak ( this should be guru Gobind Singh Ji) as a Surname for all Sikhs, the Name means "Lion".

There are also a few Sikhs who are not Named Singh, Females are Surnamed and others have other Names such as Bamra or Sharma for instance.

Most of the Singhs in the Caribbean are predominately Hindu but there are a small number who have their roots in the Punjab although most have became absorbed into the Hindu Community but there is a few who have retained their Sikh roots.

The Turban is not unique to Sikhs and was also worn by Hindus and Muslims, it had a more practical significance than a Religious one but Sikhs do not cut their hair so it is worn to keep it in place.

Many Jahajis wore Turbans in the Canefields to shield their heads from the blistering sun.

The Creole headware may have had African origins just as much as Indian origins.



Saturday, May 13, 2006






from Guardian,,1774581,00.html
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Saturday, May 06, 2006


Last week was a shining day for people of sub continent origin in South Africa. Hashim Amla the religious muslim cricketer from Natal had a wonderful second birth in tests having scored a briliant 149 against Kiwis. In the same match, Kiwi of Indian descent, Jeetan Patel made an impressive debut.
In the WI, against oll odds prevailing for an Indo carribean to be an established player, Ganga, Sarwan and Ramdin's names were in fore front for the captains berth after shivnaraine chanderpaul resigned from the exalted position.
Our very own Monty is a house hold name in England. A lot of players of Pakistani descent are in line for recognition in England. England's lost glory was achieved under Indian born Nasser Hussain.
Indian communities are excelling in almost all spheres in countries they have settled in. Carribean was the worst place for many as having originated from Jahajis. They were in between the racial divide of both white and black rulers. Today they are comming forward in large numbers.
World's best off spinner Murali is descendent of indentured labourers in SL. It is a pleasure to see them all shining. This idea generated in me after reading this emailed article of Peter Roebuke on Indian diaspora cricketers.Just read it and enjoy.
Indian crick is rising to glory
•Sat, 6 May 2006By Peter Roebuck
Members of the Indian cricket communities around the cricketing world continue to press ahead. India has been mad on the game ever since cravat-clad soldiers and toupeed traders from the old country first started playing cover drives on the maidans of Bombay and Calcutta. India embraced the culture of the game, with its white clothes and codes and clapping, and did not let its enthusiasm wane even during the sieges and mutual massacres that marked the fight for independence. Sooner or later Indian settlers were bound to start making their mark. After all they brought cricket with them across the oceans, alongside samosas, shawls and shrill songs. For an unconscionable time the communities were held back by their positions as indentured labour and so forth. After all they had travelled to find work in the fields and had little time for niceties such as games. Sensing hostility, too, the various groupings of Indian origin retreated into their own families and areas. Not for several generations did the settlers leave these shelters with the boldness and numbers needed to make their world pay attention. Large self-supporting communities developed in countries like England and South Africa, and they remained hidden. Happily the current generation (and therefore also their parents because Indians listen to their progenitors, and sometimes even like them, in a way unfashionable elsewhere) has found the confidence needed to step out. As might have been expected, KwaZulu-Natal and England have been the main beneficiaries of this surge in self-esteem. Arguably the West Indies ought by now to have appointed Indians as their captain and vice-captain. Starting at home, it has obviously been a satisfactory week for the Amlas. Displaying the calmness that eludes fellow believers as they seek to replace humour and debate with their own grimness, Hashim took his chance and deserves a long run in the side. Watching the ball closely, resembling one of those Victorian cricketers in whose beards birds used to nest and playing mostly off the back foot, the capable 23-year-old constructed a convincing innings and New Zealand found him hard to remove. Clearly the selectors deserve praise for their boldness in replacing older hands with youngsters with some petrol in the tank. Previously inclined towards the exotic, Amla has tightened his game and improved his footwork. Above all he has a discerning mind and can concentrate. Cricketers must focus on the next ball. It is not as easy as it sounds. Meanwhile, the KZN Dolphins named his brother Ahmed as their next captain. Admittedly our provincial outfit gets through captains at a rate others reserve for lightbulbs. Nevertheless it is a significant appointment for a rising player widely regarded as talented but tentative. By all accounts Ahmed is a genial cove, more likely than his younger brother to be heard singing along to Mr Eminem’s latest outpouring. Captaincy may be the making of him. At last, too, the Indian communities in the north and midlands of England are putting their turbans into the ring. Previously their contribution was limited to guest appearances from Anglo-Indians and occasional exotics, like Ranjtsinjhi, his ill-fated nephew Duleepsinjhi and the elder Nawab of Pataudi (who did not think much of bodyline). Now Monty Panaseer, Vikram Solanki, Kabir Ali and others have secured places in the side. Moreover, the rising “ Indian” contingent includes batsmen, spinners and pacemen. Injuries to numerous fast bowlers has opened the door even wider and a chap called Saiid Mohammed is under consideration for the forthcoming encounter with Sri Lanka. A scan of the county scores reveals more regional names. These days an emerging batsman is as likely to be called Alok Mankad as Brian Bolus. These players must feel as comfortable in English cricket as black Africans in Premier Division soccer. Numbers have a power of their own. Now it is West Indies’ turn to make the most of the great cricketing gift bestowed by the subcontinent. Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s inevitable resignation as captain of a team he could not control paved the way for the appointment of Ramnaresh Sarwan with the impressive young keeper/batsman Dinesh Ramdin as his deputy. Instead the West Indian Board returned to Brian Lara for a third time which, as someone said of second marriages, was “a triumph of hope over experience”. Presumably Lara was chosen with the World Cup in mind. His nomination has been earned more by words than deeds. After staging their World Cup in 2007, West Indies will need to take a leap that has proved difficult in many places, not least Fiji, of empowering an immigrant community. Radio commentator Fazir Mohammed says that Trinidad politics is not conducted along ethnic lines. That Tony Cosier and Ian Bishop remain respected voices in West Indian cricket is also encouraging. But it is a long and rocky road. Evidently progress has been made among cricket’s Indian communities. Turning their backs on the politicking and racism that marked previous generations, the current crop are showing the combination of determination and audacity needed to take their gift to its fulfilment. Long may it last. •

International cricket columnist PETER ROEBUCK is based in the KZN midlands 6 May 2006

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Nearly a month ago, a doctor from Sri Lanka who I had never known before, had sent me a project proposal prepared to be submitted for approval for his masters degree. A professor had instructed him to contact me as I also embarked on a project on communty pharmaceutical use for my doctroal thesis. Without knowing that I was abroad, he e-mailed his objectives and methodology for my comments.
As I was busy with my accademic schedule, it took me a while to review the protocol. However, within two weeks period, I was able to submit my comments. I took my own pecious time and comprehensively reviewed it with posible alterations to look it more attractive and rational.However, the board has not accepted on the ground that my thesis was also on the same topic and therefore repetition of it or similar aspects had no meaning.
However, my point does not lie there. A few days later, I did recieve a letter from the doctor of concern thanking me for the work. He was astonoshed by the fact that I had gone out of my way to review his project comprehensively. He was surprised that a man who had never known him was of such use and helpful.
It was manifestation of my sikhiness. It is my firm belief that our life is impermanant. It may stop at any time at any place. Keeping the knowledge to your self, not being helpful to others will not helf ourselves as life may cease to function at any moment. As guru's point out our life is to help each other. May be a day, the person who you help may be superior to you. But, you have done your duty by helping a fellow being
Another reason for my helping students is the way we suffered at the hands of supervisors and experts. Having taken appointments, I used to wait them and even after meeting them, they were just pretending to be super humans rather than pointing out the sectons which needed focussed attention or modification. So that is the point where my philosophy took a u turn to tell myself that when I will be in a position to help students , I will go out of my way to impart the little knowledge that I have to others.
Last few months, I helped a lot of advanced students doing research. They were very happy at the end praising me . I was very pleased because I have done my duty. I percieve it to be a " KAR SEWA". In return it helps me also to improve my teaching skills.
Many individuals among us believe that they are immortalised. The knowledegable thinks that the knowledge that they have is hard earned. As such, it is not to be imparted to. If imparted to, it is to a limited degree at a high cost with limitations.
Isn't this the manifestation of ego of intellectual man
The blind self-willed manmukh acts blindly, and earns only poison in this world. Enticed by Maya, he suffers in constant pain, without the most Beloved Guru. 2 He alone is a selfless servant, who serves the True Guru, and walks in harmony with the True Guru's Will. The True Shabad, the Word of God, is the True Praise of God; enshrine the True Lord within your mind. The Gurmukh speaks the True Word of Gurbani, and egotism departs from within. He Himself is the Giver, and True are His actions. He proclaims the True Word of the Shabad. 3 The Gurmukh works, and the Gurmukh earns; the Gurmukh inspires others to chant the Naam. He is forever unattached, imbued with the Love of the True Lord, intuitively in harmony with the Guru. The self-willed manmukh always tells lies; he plants the seeds of poison, and eats only poison. He is bound and gagged by the Messenger of Death, and burnt in the fire of desire; who can save him, except the Guru? 4
Page 753 Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji

Monday, May 01, 2006


As I see, two great eastern religions stand out from the rest in terms of compassion, social justice and gender equity. Buddhism and Sikhism are those two. In terms of ensuring social justice, Sikhism is further ahead as sikhi have been guided by gurus with examples of sacrifice or being martyrs to protect downtrodden and helpless masses. Kirpan meant being a protection to those needed to be protected.

The social milieu prevailing in India under the Brahmin hegemony forced revolutionary movements within the society to spring up. Siddharth Gautam or Buddha, Mahavir of Jain fame were earlier revolutionaries. Then, with the invasion of Moguls, two suppressions were in operation in the society; Mogal and Hindu Brahmin hegemony. But movements of social justice erupted within both Muslim and Hindu communities. Sufi saints, Kabir panak , Guru nanak, are consequential products of this oppression. Their thoughts were powerful and relevant and that is the reason why we find them in Guru Granth sahib ji.

Sikhism was outstanding among global religions as it gave prominence to the gender equity. Biological dominance experienced by men and the lower status given to women in Hindu society were trampled upon by gurus. Guru’s highlighting of the fact that great warriors were created inside the womb of women are testimony to the fact that women were equal to men. They needed to be treated in exalted position Removal of furdah from among Punjabi sikhi women is yet another positive aspect of Sikh gurus. Guru Amardas introduced marital ceremony ( Anand karaj) rituals laying aside Hindu rituals that had been for centuries. Marriage was made an eternal bond thorough which bride e and bridegroom were attached to the Wahi Guru. As this bond was eternal, separation was not supposed to be and divorce was not promoted. Nor there was a need as sikhis were taught to respect their wives as they do love their mothers. Extreme oppression as found in some other religions was not propagated . Instead, the value of females was highlighted. All these thought sprang within my self as a response to an e mail titled “ What Are We Fighting For? found in my e mail box By Kamalla Rose Kaur.
She questions “Gender equality within Sikhi was lost. Many reverted to practicing caste [un-Sikh practices] , and Sikhs even stopped playing music with anyone who doesn't wear a Sikh turban. Poor Guru Nanak and poor Guru Amar Das and poor Guru Gobind Singh. What were Sikhs fighting for anyway?

I adore Buddhism and Sikhism as they are the religion which attacked caste system propagated by Hinduism. It has been mentioned that Darbar sahib ji’s four entrances symbolise four castes. It is a testimony to the shedding away of castes and embracing the equity of man. Sikhi had followers from all walk of life. Buddha also had the same in his sanghat. They practically showed us the truth that development is impossible with division. As a part of a research on Hinduism and it’s revival in Caribbean, I found that among indentured labourers ( jahji’s) cast system had to be ignored as Christian missionaries used this tool too convert Jahajis. The outcome was the total ignorance of casts in Indo Caribbean society in contrast to other Hindu societies. Arya Samaj influence was responsible for this movement according to Carribean Historians . But what do we find in India ? . In SL, casts were based on certain occupations . But, today it is only confined to marriages. The great majority of the new generation doesn’t consider an iota of the caste factor

Sikhsm’s greatness lies in love and compassion for mankind . It’s social value is in its social and gender equity. Sikhism is a force of unification rather than separation of man into several sub groups. Missionaries have intruded in to the cradle of Sikhism. According to reports from Punjab, Sikhs are converted to other faiths from a faith that is a way of living. Drug addiction is in the rise. Youths are moving away from religion. Don’t we need a relevant strategy to fight for keeping our religion alive so that it continues to transfer valuable aspects of life to the future generation. Your comments?
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