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  1. SOURCE: MELBOURNE – Federation Square became a spectacle of colour as over five thousand Sikhs flocked together to the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi on Sunday, 30th April. The event featured Turban tying stalls, Sikh exhibitions, Gatka (Sikh Martial Arts), Musical performances, kids area and over 25 local community organisations sharing their projects with the wider community of Australia. During the event, volunteers lined to hand out food and drink to crowds gathered to witness the Khalsayee event. The event started with the Sikh procession lead by Panj Singhs followed by Ardas ceremony. Various interfaith group leaders attended the event and shared their prayers to congratulate Sikh community for celebrating Vaisakhi. It was the first time that Sikh Flags (Nishan Sahibs) were rising high in the heart of Melbourne city centre. In addition to the day guests in attendance included Hon. MP Andrew Giles, Member of Scullin, Hon MP Dee Ryall, Member of Ringwood, Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp, Victoria Police. There was a one minute silence observed during the event to pay tribute to the victims of Bourke st. incident. The Vaisakhi festival bears a great significance for Sikhs due to the fact that on the Vaisakhi Day in the year 1699, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, laid down the foundation of the Khalsa Panth – the “Order of the Pure Ones”. Victorian Sikh Gurduaras Council President Harshminder Singh in a message thanked all Gurdwaras and local organisations in making the event successful and said, Event Coordinator Gurinder Kaur said that It is significant to organise Sikh Festivals with wider communities because there is an identity crisis, in terms of people thinking Sikhs are part of other communities, but they are completely separate. Vaisakhi at Federation Square is a unique event to celebrate the contributions and aspirations of Sikh community in Australia and develop a greater understanding and appreciation for a rich, unique and diverse heritage. There were Sikh members of defence and Victoria Police who were educating the wider community about Sikh contributions in Australia. This was Melbourne’s first celebration of Vaisakhi at Federation Square and it was amazing to see the love and passion of the community for their culture & heritage.
  2. SOURCE: THE Sikh community will celebrate the first ever celebration of Vaisakhi Khalsa Day with traditional colours and culture at Federation Square on Sunday, 30th April 2017. For Victorians, the event will be the first of its kind celebrating Sikh heritage, history and culture. Celebrated across the northern Indian subcontinent, especially in the Punjab region, the festival marks the founding of Khalsa, or the Sikh community, 318 years ago. April 14 was the day the Khalsa was born and Sikhs were given a clear identity and code of conduct to live by when the first five Sikhs were baptised in 1699. Around the world at Vaisakhi time, Sikhs reflect on the values taught to them by their Gurus and celebrate the birth of the Khalsa. The event is being organised by Victorian Sikh Gurduaras Council (VSGC) & Khalsa Education Society Inc. in collaboration with more than 25 other Australian organisations. Project Coordinator Gurinder Kaur said the Vaisakhi Mela Festival was one of the biggest in the Sikh calendar. The day will be marked by live Kirtan (spiritual singing) performances, Gatka displays, Sikh Heritage exhibitions showcasing Sikh culture, Turban tying stalls, Sikh literature stalls, and kids’ activity area. The event will commence with an entry by panj payre (Five beloveds) followed by an Ardas ceremony. Hon. MP Dee Ryall, Member of Ringwood and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Andrew Crisp will be joining the event along with other dignitaries. The festivities run from 11am to 6pm on Sunday, April 6 at Federation Square. It’s a completely free non-alcoholic and family event and there will be lots of free food available.
  3. SOURCE: Ludhiana: Tragedy struck former president of Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Avtar Singh Makkar following death of his son Manvinder Singh Makkar. Manvinder Pal Singh died of heart attack in DMC Hospital Ludhiana. He was 47 years old. He was Councillor of MC Ludhiana. Cremation will be held at Model Town Extension cremation ground at 12 noon on Friday. ALSO READ: SGPC chief Makkar’s son dies at PGI Manvinder Singh Makkar was Municipal Councilor from ward No. 48. His cremation will be held at Model Town cremation ground on Friday. Manvinder Singh was also member of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD). His sudden demise has shocked SAD leaders. It may be recalled that the younger son of Jathedar Makkar, Tejinderpal Singh had expired some time back. READ FULL:
  5. FULL NEWS: A live TV fundraiser for the Amritsar Visitor Centre, a project by Basics of Sikhi, saw a remarkable £110,000 donated in under three hours. Aired on 22nd January 2017 on the Sikh Channel in the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA, the fundraiser was done in support of Jagraj Singh, the Basics of Sikhi founder and the visionary behind the Amritsar Visitor Centre project, who is currently battling stage four cancer. The aim was to bring in enough money to buy a site in Amritsar next to Harmandir Sahib, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, where visitors can learn about the Sikh faith and the history of the area.
  6. SOURCE: MELBOURNE – A five-year-old Sikh boy has been denied school admission in Australia for wearing patka (small turban) as it does not align with its uniform policy, despite a landmark ruling in 2008 against a private institution on the issue. “It is disappointing that my son has been forced to abandon his religious practices and identity to access to an education in Melbourne’s Melton Christian College (MCC),” Sagardeep Singh Arora was quoted as saying by the SBS Radio. “We have lodged a claim with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC).” “I believe having a common school uniform is important in promoting school identity and integration,” Arora said. “Students should be able to wear their significant religious symbols and articles of faith. It’s immoral for a school to not allow students to practice their beliefs.” “We were in discussions regarding the importance of hair & turban in Sikhism and acceptance of turban as uniform by different organisations (like schools, army, and police) in Australia and the other countries,” says Arora. “Yet, the college has refused to review their uniform policy.” Given the long history of the Sikh community in Australia, Arora says it’s disappointing that they still struggle with issues such as this. “While practising our religious beliefs, we wish to show an expression of solidarity with the wider Australian community,” he added. MCC has provided a written response to the VEOHRC in which the school refused to include any additional items amid the existing permitted uniform protocol, the report said. “Our college’s history represents over thirty years of inclusive religious tolerance. For thirty years our children have been in classrooms and playgrounds, learning, growing, and playing side by side wonderfully oblivious to their families’ extensive religious diversities. We are proud of that heritage of inclusiveness. “We acknowledge the disappointment that Sagardeep and his family feel. We respectfully recognise his disappointment that the uniform protocol of this school mean that non prescribed items are not permitted to be worn in addition to the school uniform. The result is that we have agreed that college uniform will be maintained as it is, without permitting additional items.” Sikhism is a small but growing minority religion in Australia that can trace its origins in the nation to the 1830s. Australia is home to more than 72,000 Sikh, a population that is expected to rise in this year’s census. In a landmark case in September 2008, a Brisbane private school was forced to back down on a strict uniform policy that would have forced a Sikh boy to cut his hair and remove his turban.
  7. In a boost to Aam Aadmi Party, Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, former general secretary of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) tonight joined AAP with his supporters in presence of its national Convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal announced appointment of Jathedar Bhaur as Senior Vice President of Aam Aadmi Party. Addressing a gathering of Bhaur’s supporters at his residence at Banga, 22 kms from Phagwara, Kejriwal welcomed him into party fold and declared his appointment as state’s senior vice president of AAP. ALSO READ: Big jolt to Akali Dal Badal as Amritsar district chief resigns Kejriwal promised the state’s people to take action against those guilty of desecrating the Sikh holy book- Guru Granth Sahib at various places in Punjab, particularly at Bargari, if elected to power in the February 4 Assembly polls. He also assured them to rid the state of drug menance. Jathedar Bhaur, who had remained SGPC general secretary for sixteen terms as well as its acting president thrice, said he had quit SAD and SGPC because of desecration issue, failure of the ruling Akali Dal to arrest the culprits, killings of two innocent youths in Bargari firing by police and the malaise of family rule. SOURCE:
  8. Ardas imitation row: Sri Akal Takht declares SAD minister Maluka ‘tankhaiya’, hands out punishment ਸਿਕੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਮਲੂਕਾ ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹੀਆ ਕਰਾਰ, 'ਜਥੇਦਾਰ' ਨੇ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਬੇਅਦਬੀ ਮਾਮਲੇ 'ਚ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਠਹਿਰਾਇਆ
  9. SOURCE: The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the sacking of a Muslim Air Force personnel for sporting a long beard and confirmed that except Sikhs, No Indian Air Force Man Can Keep Beard. The panel remarked that armed forces’ regulations are meant to ensure discipline and uniformity. The apex court ruled that unless keeping a beard was an integral part of one’s religion, as it is must in the Sikh community, no personnel can be allowed to grow a beard. Moving the Supreme Court against an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which upheld the Air Force’s August 2005 decision to discharge him for his ‘defiance of IAF rules’, Airman Mohammad Zubair had asserted his right to retain a beard as a ‘facet of his fundamental right to freedom of religion’. He moved the Supreme Court asserting that keeping a beard was his fundamental right to freedom of religion and demanded equal rights as Sikhs who were in fact given permission to sport unshorn hair and turban. The current Defence Ministry policy of ‘hair, beard and wearing turbans’ as notified in 2003, allow only those Muslim personnel to keep a beard, who had kept beard along with moustache at the time of joining/enrollment prior to January 1, 2002. Those who have grown a beard after joining service must shave it off.
  10. The Sarbat Khalsa scheduled to be held at Talwandi Sabo (Bathinda) on November 10 has been postponed indefinitely. The decision to postpone the Sarbat Khalsa came hours after Simranjeet Singh Mann withdrew petition against denial of permission to hold the congregation. The organisers alleged that the State Government was hell bent on not allowing Sarbat Khalsa to be held. The organisers of the congregation, including the parallel Takht “Jathedars” and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) led by Simranjit Singh Mann, took this decision at an undisclosed location in Haryana late this evening. The decision was announced by the organisers by issues a ‘hand-written’ press statement in Punjabi on the letter head of ‘parallel’ Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo. It read that the Sarbat Khalsa programme stands postponed, and no new date has been announced as yet. The statement was signed by signed by Baba Baljit Singh Daduwal, who was appointed Takht Damdama Sahib jathedar by the previous Sarbat Khalsa. To decide the next course of action, a meeting of the panthic representatives of the organisers has been called on November 10, which will be held at Gurdwara Baba Budha Johar in Rajasthan at 12 noon. SOURCE:
  11. Just 4 days before the announced Sarbat Khalsa, The Punjab Government today denied permission for organising the second ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ at Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda on November 10. In a related development, it intensified crackdown against the organisers by taking 190 persons in preventive custody, while detaining hundreds of others. FULL NEWS:
  12. SOURCE: Three Nihangs were killed and seven injured in firing between two factions of the Shiromani Panth Akali Baba Budha Dal over the control of a gurdwara at Mallan village in Muktsar district on Wednesday. The two groups exchanged at least 70 gunshots and torched two vehicles during the clash that lasted for around 45 minutes at Gurdwara Sri Ramsar Sahib. Four policemen present at the spot failed to avert the incident. The deceased have been identified as Naib Singh, 65, his grandson Ranjit Singh, 27, and Amritpal Singh, 37, all belonging to the Shiromani Panth Akali Baba Budha Dal faction headed by Balbir Singh. The clash took place when Makhan Singh, belonging to the rival faction headed by Joginder Singh, reached the gurdwara along with his supporters to wrest its control on Wednesday morning. Makhan Singh, who had been overseeing the gurdwara affairs for the past several years, was allegedly threatened and thrown out of the premises by Naib Singh and his aides the previous night. The gurdwara owns six acres of land in Mallan and three acres in Rammania village. As Makhan Singh’s group wielding arms and sharp-edged weapons attacked the rival group around 10am, Naib Singh and his men tried to take shelter inside the gurdwara premises, but three of them were killed, while six others received multiple bullet injuries. Muktsar senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Gill said a cop present at the spot managed to lock the main gate, but the attackers scaled the boundary wall and entered the gurdwara premises. By the time additional police force reached the gurdwara, the assailants managed to flee. Cops, however, were able to recover weapons used in the crime. “We are probing the matter. There is no previous record of any conflict between the two factions over the control of the gurdwara. We are still verifying the facts,” said Gill. No case had been registered till the filing of this report.
  13. Amritsar – After nearly one year, prominent kathavachak Bhai Pinderpal Singh has been invited to resume katha at Manji Sahib, Amritsar. Last year, Bhai Sahib’s katha diwaans were cancelled after he requested sangat to attend Shaahedi Samagam being held in the remembrance of two Sikhs who were killed by Punjab Government & his recent involvement in protests in Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s sacrilege cases, SGPC has cancelled his scheduled diwans. Bhai Pinderpal Singh will start katha as of 21st October at Diwan Manji Sahib hall in Darbar Sahib complex, Amritsar. Source:
  14. Chandigarh – As per the directions of Jathedar Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara, Five Singhs under the leadership of Bhai Satnam Singh Khandewala, held a meeting with representatives of various jathebandis at Gurdwara Sahib (Shahpur) in Sector 38B, Chandigarh, on October 18 to plan for the proposed Sarbat Khalsa at Talwandi Sabo on November 10. Prominent Jathebandis which took part included the Akhand Kirtani Jatha, HSGPC, Dal Khalsa, Shiromani Akali Dal 1920, Singh Sabhas, Gurdwara Parmeshar Dwar, Panthik Talmel Sangathan, Akali Dal Delhi, United Sikhs, Missionary colleges and seva societies. Several Sikh scholars and panthic leaders, including Giani Kewal Singh and Balwant Singh Nandgarh, both former jathedars of Takht Damdama Sahib; Bibi Jagdish Kaur, 1984 victim, Paramjit Singh Sarna, former president of former Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, and Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, SGPC, General secretary, also took part in this meeting. More...
  15. So far in Punjabi film industry, this is the best ever teaser released. No doubt its a Hollywood level of movie. Worldwide release on 15th July. WATCH NOW -