Consistent Efforts Can Move Mountains!

I and Singh and Kaur of my age belonging to Generation Y and The inspirations who have been born since ages always work on a positive note that gives inspiration always – To Keep Faith in The Moment Now!

A recent example I have recently came across is the efforts being put in by The Kalgidhar Trust – Baru Sahib who have been standing steady still against all odds being faced by Sikh Players in the FIBA Basketball team!  The International Basketball Federation Is Forcing Sikhs To Take Their Turbans Off and there was no other way to oppose them than to stand strong against all odd together!

Moments before the beginning of the Asia Cup’s India vs. Japan game that day, referees told Indian players Amrit Pal Singh and Amjyot Singh that they were violating Article 4.4.2 of FIBA’s official rules, which states that “Players shall not wear equipment (objects) that may cause injury to other players.”

Amrit Pal and Amjyot are both followers of Sikhism. The dangerous, injurious “objects” in question here were their turbans.

Rather than being deterred from playing for their teams, instead, the two stepped away from the court to unwrap their turbans and fasten their hair using elastic bands, then joined the game two minutes into play.

This incident is reminiscent of FIBA’s 2013 under-18 3-on-3 tournament during which members of the Maldives team were similarly disallowed from playing while donning hijabs (Muslim head scarves). In that case, the team forfeited. The Sikh turban or dastar is worn as an expression of faith, both by men and women. It is an outward manifestation of Sikhism’s central values of service and integrity. It is also a pragmatic way for Sikhs to care for their long hair, uncut as per Sikh tradition.

The petition started by Mr. Ravinderpal Singh Kohli has gained the momentum ever since it started on July 24th 2014, has gained a lot of momentum ever since. The total signatures have now crossed 10,000 odd supporters and have bagged a lot of appreciations from renowned personalities across the world like Milkha Singh – The Flying Sikh, Bishan Singh Bedi – Master Spinner, Honey Singh – International Rapper, Devenderpal Singh – Indian Idol Winner and has been viral on Twitter with celebrities like Gul Panag showing her support with a retweet urging her followers to support the cause, Diljit Dosanjh, Profile PhotoJaaved Jaffrey, Nick Duggal, Gurdass Maan, Honey Singh, Sikh Coalition, Valarie Kaur and Harshdeep Kaur have their support with the cause! 

Not impressed yet? Digest this – This is the first ever over performing Sikh related petition ever took up until now by A Sikh for a Sikh Cause!

Show your support. Sign the Petition here – http://goo.gl/JXeY0u

It’s not one man’s responsibility to fight the odd, It has to be a collective effort from all of us!

Also Watch –

– DEEKSHA SINGH

FIBA OP 2

MunnaBhaiFaSSAI –Elephant in the hands of Blind Men!

Food Safety of Indian Street Food is of utmost concern yet FSSAI the regulators have ignored this and chose to persecute Imported Food from developed countries

Jalebi

The Old Delhi neighborhood is specked with thousands of small stalls. In a corner, Rahul churns out sizzling jalebis, on a black sooty pan, in which he keeps on adding more vanaspati with sparky droplets of sweat sizzling in the pan. Kaka ji beckons you with his grimy Chicken Biryaniunder the pipaltree, obviously garnishing the fare with bird droppings. Fighting for space is Ajay Rehriwala, with his ChawalRajmathat carries instances of Delhi’s pollution, dust and weather. SeekhKababsmarinated with whatnots and black dust, hang in Delhi’s wild west. In India, traditional home-grown delicacies are served everywhere from 5-Star hotels to roadside stalls. Millions of us survive on small street carts dishing out cheap meals. In the midst of this cacophony, Food Safety – FSSAI was created to sniff into everything that you eat. To improve food safety on farms and on our plates, FSSAI was given the mandate to make eating safer. And is it a coincidence that trade calls it FaSSAI, hindi for trapped?

As awide-eyed intern, I was obviously flabbergasted after digging deep into the plate.The promise, pains and the problems of the street food tradition are on full display in India. Sid Khullar, a food commentator and founder of the blog ChefAtLarge says “I don’t think there’s any kind of checking happening there and it’s possibly one of the filthiest places to eat at. Street food would go down a lot easier, if there were more stringent checks of quality and hygiene to make sure it’s safe to eat.”FSSAI had plans to do to just that but sadly they are driving down a different highway altogether.

Every school-child knows about the adulteration in milk, mustard oil, pulses,paneer, Desi Ghee, Haldi, Spices, etc. but somehow all that MunnaBhaiFaSSAI does, is to turn a blind eye to this all. I almost puked when a Maharaj(cook) at my friend’s place told me that GolGappa sellers spike the KhattaPaani with a capful of Toilet cleaning Acid. eeeks!

Savvy SoumyaMisra, a specialist in food safety at the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhisays”In India you take the Indian consumer for granted, but you go out of your way to ensure that whatever you’re exporting is absolutely world class. So it has to be understood, that whatever Indians are consuming also should be good standard food and not just any food.”

Roaming around, meeting people from trade and industry, I realized that FSSAI is like a joke imposed on us. A visit to YojanaBhawan that houses the Health Ministry, gives you a picture of the intent and thought of the people behind Food Safety. ArunPandey, runs a ChholeyKulchestall on his rickety thelawith a large monstrous brass pot carrying his daily inventory, wrapped in a red lungi cloth. The Kulchas come out of a plastic sheet and he heats them on an inverted tawa marinated with the dust & flies again. The Babu from the Health Ministry nonchalantly chomps off his chickpea lunch, and growls at Ajay with his mouthful for a piece of harimirch laden with Argemone oil. Obviously, I got the message, loud and clear at this point. MunnaBhaiFaSSAI is just taking us for a ride.

A call to Food Safety did not materialize since Madam ji was busy. On enquiring further I realized that Madam ji, DrSandhyaKabra, ex-NACO was a ferocious lady with frizzled hair who is known in the department as the one who shoots off her mouth. She has been the draconian face of FSSAI for quite some time now and has been reprimanded by the Delhi High Court recently. A producer of namkeen on conditions of anonymity says “you have to talk to madam ji once, to know what FSSAI is all about. She is like a terrorist in the garb of a woman and can out-shout everybody in every meeting with fistfuls of expletives thrown in.” She is ably supported by a DrPandian, who is a veterinary medical professional(sic). Imagine, the country’s Food Safety for humans, being decided by a veterinarian.

 And finally when I prepare to submit this piece, I read in today’s Times of India about Wines, Chocolates, Cheese, Olives, Canola oil and Apples being stopped on some pretext or other by MunnaBhai. Maybe FaSSAI should know that imported food products undergo stringest tests and scrutiny in one of the best factoriesacross the world. At the breakfast table, I silently ate my favouriteWashington Apple,the crunchiest bread pakoras fried in Canola oil and threw in a big chunk of dark chocolate in my mouth, thinking about life without them. I rushed to office to file my story,“Kal ho naa ho!”

– Sakshi

Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s – Blue Horse / Neela Ghora!

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Guru Gobind Singh Ji was famed for his blue colored horse, in fact Guru Sahib Ji is sometimes known as ‘Neelay ghoray whalla’ or the owner of the blue horse and many a folk songs and vars sing the exploits of ‘Neelay Ghoray Te Swaar’ the rider of the blue horse.

Just as his grandfather Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, Guru Gobind Singh instructed his Sikhs to make offerings of arms and horses in readiness for the turbulent times ahead. In anticipation of this Guru Gobind Singh Ji learnt the art of horsemanship from an early age under the guidance of his maternal uncle Bhai Kirpal Chand.

A Painting of Guru Gobind Singh JiAs Guru Sahib Ji grew up he became an accomplished horseman and would spend time travelling the country side on horseback blessing his people who would inevitably gather wherever he went.

It is not clear where the blue horse, affectionately known as Neela, was acquired from, it may have been a gift from a royal dignitary or from a devotee. Even today the lineage of the stallions continues at Hazoor Sahib, Nanded. The horses are kept in stables and are bred from the original stallion belonging to Guru Sahib Ji, although over time the blue colour has been diluted down to a grey white. No one is allowed to ride the horses as a mark of respect and they are brought out on the festival of Holla Mahalla or gurpurbs when they are beautifully decorated with tassels and riding gear. On occasions, especially on the festival of Holla Mahalla, it has been said that the horse will get extremely sweaty and agitated, as if it is being ridden.

GuruHBlue3  It is difficult to get information about Guru Sahib Ji’s horse, even more so about a blue horse. These horses are very rare and many people are sceptical that such horses exist. Well, blue horses do exist. The colour is officially known as Blue Roan.

Roan horses have solid coloured coats, but with white hairs interspersed (roaning). The white hairs are not actual spots, but single white hairs mixed with the darker coat colour. These horses have a specific colour gene and this roan gene can be applied to any colour of horse. The most common are Red Roans and Bay Roans. There are also Palomino Roans, Red Dun Roans, Dun Roans, Buckskin Roans and the Blue Roan. The roan gene adds white hairs into the body of the horse. Roan is a stable colouration throughout life, whereas Grey and Varnish Appaloosa are progressive.

roan_stallion 3roan_stallion

The legs and occasionally the head are not affected and will remain darker then the body (note in the above painting, Guru Sahib Ji’s horse is shown as blue, but not the legs).The mane and tail are usually not affected, but some may have some white hairs mixed in. A Blue Roan is a dark coloured horse with the roan gene.The roan gene gives the horse interspersed white hairs on his body and this gives a general blue hue or sheen to the horse. Blue Corn is a variation of Blue Roan, in which speckles and spots of the base colour (black) appear, making a mottled appearance.

The gurdwara at Putthi Sahib (Punjab) commemorates the incident when Guru Gobind Singh Ji arrived at this place from a long journey on their way back to Anandpur Sahib. They say a man working at a furnace (putthi) baking bricks. Upon enquiring from the local artisan if there was a place to rest, the local gestured at his furnace and said mockingly “If you call yourself Guru why don’t you rest here in the furnace?” This posed a direct challenge to the Guruship, and whereas Guru Sahib Ji would much rather have not revealed the full extent of the divine seat of Guru Nanak in this case there was no option. Guru Ji ushered Neela forward who trampled on the mud surrounding the furnace and put one of his hooves on the side of the furnace. Whereas a furnace would normally take a week or so to cool down the furnace became instantly cool. Guru Ji demounted Neela and rested for the night in the furnace. The gurdwara that now stands there has been built around the now solidified mud which still has the impressions of Neela’s hooves.

Gurus Horse.

A descendant of Guru Sahib Ji’s horse at Anandpur Sahib!

Source – http://www.info-sikh.com/

More Rooms for Akhand Path in Golden Temple!

To overcome the shortage of rooms for ‘Akhand Path’ by individual devotees or families, six more rooms have been made available in the Golden Temple Complex.

The rooms have been constructed in the vicinity of the historic ‘Dukhbhajani Beri’.

These were built through ‘Kar Sewa’ by Baba Kashmir Singh Bhuriwale.

A brief religious ceremony was organised as these were handed over to the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Comittee (SGPC). Akal Takhat Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh was present on the occasion.

– HT Media Ltd.

 Amritsar - Golden Temple

Satinder Sartaaj To Play Maharaja Dalip Singh In New Hollywood Film!

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Satinder Sartaaj To Play Maharaja Dalip Singh In New Hollywood Film!

 

Based on the real life story of the last King of Punjab, the project will be directed by Kavi Raz and features the acting debut of acclaimed singer-poet Satinder Sartaaj.

Brillstein Entertainment Partners executive Jai Khanna will co-produce The Black Prince, described as the tragic yet fascinating story about the last king of the state of Punjab (in north India), Maharaja Duleep Singh. Written and to be directed by L.A.-based Indian filmmaker Kavi Raz, Prince will feature the acting debut of one of Punjab’s most acclaimed singer-poets, Satinder Sartaaj.

The bilingual English-Hindi project is budgeted at about $5 million and is out to potential producing partners in India. Set in India and the U.K., Prince is eyeing a late September start date. Brillstein will help shepherd the various international cast, crew and production logistics, as well as begin to secure international sales.

Sikh24 Announces Partnership With Sikh Seva Organizations!

SAN FRANCISCO, California, USA (June 30, 2014)—California based Sikh charity, Khalis Foundation is announcing strategic partnerships with UK based Khalsa Foundation, and Sikh24 News International—a growing online outlet of Sikh news and editorials.

Khalis Foundation, best known for apps such as Sundar Gutka and the Keertan.net website, has agreed to provide Khalsa Foundation and Sikh24 with technical infrastructure and development support, along with fiscal sponsorship for Sikh24 for gurmat education and media. Khalsa Foundation will provide fiscal sponsorship for UK and Europe based Khalis Foundation projects in the near term. The three seva organizations hope to expand their relationship further in the future.

khalis4-300x117

Khalis Foundation works with various Sikh organizations on a consulting basis to help with application development, infrastructure, and other technology decisions. Currently they are providing website support to a number of gurdwaras and other Sikh institutions around the world.

Khalis Foundation CEO, Manjot Singh said, “We are hoping our relationships with Gurdwaras and other Sikh organizations grows from this. We are looking forward to providing website and streaming support to Gurdwaras worldwide as well as more Sikh based apps to make the lives of Sikhs better.”

Sikh24 Chief Editor, Jasmeet Kaur said, “We hope that Khalis Foundation will help us with apps and website design that is sorely needed. We are a non-profit as well and have created this site as seva for the Sikh Nation. We also need financial backing from Sikh organizations and businesses.”

Navroop Kaur from Khalsa Foundation said, “Three international organisations working together helping each other is a keystone to future projects. It will help us develop providing more services for the community efficiently and sooner being able to pool our resources. Each organisation provides unique services to the Sikh community and working together will compliment work others are currently doing as well as implementation of future plans.”

If you are involved in a Sikh organization or Gurdwara and are looking for technical expertise or advice, please contact Khalis Foundation at KhalisFoundation.org

 Courtesy – sikh24.com

Today in Sikh History – 10th July

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1620

Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji (1595-1644) had to marry Mata Mehrai Ji despite his refusal.
This was an unfortunate upshot of the jubilation in Sikh community caused by Guru Sahib’s release from seven years of incarceration. Within a few months two brides were pledged to him by their parents.

Under the customs prevalent at that time, on Guru Hargobind’s refusal, those girls would have remained unmarried throughout their life. So he had to marry Nanaki on March 28, 1620, and Mehrai also called Marwahi & Mahadevi on July 10, 1620. The first incident occurred too close to his release. Taken aback at the second incident, he announced that no one should pledge his daughter to him in future.

1923

Akali leadership formally took up the question of the restoration of Maharaja of Nabha. However, they waited for the completion of SGPC elections before proceeding this case vigorously. This culminated into what is known as the Nabha agitation.
-Source The Sikhs in History, by Sangat Singh, 1995.

1985

Indian government honors its forces for attacking Sri Darbar Sahib and Sri Akal Takhat. Zail Singh, then President of India, bestowed the honors.

1991

Ranjit Singh (s/o S. Swaran Singh from Bhamri, near Khmano Dist Fatehgarh Sahib), Vijaypal Singh (s/o Gurbachan Singh from Lidarh) and Gurdial Singh (s/o S/ Mahinder Singh from Lalpura, Tarn Taran) were killed in fake encounters by Punjab Police.

1992

Avtar Singh (s/o S. Sadhu Singh from Tarsika), Balraj Singh (s/o S. Narinder Singh from Bissoha), Sawaran Singh samma Sarhali, Gurdarshan Singh Bitta, Sukhdev Singh Kukku, Avtar Singh, Balraj Singh and More Sikhs were killed in diff-diff fake encounters by Punjab Police.

1993

Sarabjeet Singh (s/o S. Balbeer Singh from Bhadarwaah, Dist Sangroor) was killed in a fake encounter by Punjan Police.

-Ref “Sikh Twaarekh” by Harjinder Singh Dilgeer

 

2003

Akhauti Parcharak Gurbaksh Kala Afghana suspended from Khalsa Panth by Shri Akal Takht Sahib Ji.

 

~ Source – centralsikhmuseum.com/

Photos show Indian soldiers’ lives behind World War I Trenches!

How the son of an American minister ended up photographing the Indian Army in France and the United Kingdom.By – Mridula Chari
1
In 1915, as World War I lurched into its second year, the British government’s India Office reluctantly allowed an American photographer to accompany two infantry units, Lahore and Meerut and the first and second Indian Cavalry Divisions, to the war in France.The son of an American minister from Ontario, HD Girdwood was something of a veteran India hand. He had first visited the country in 1903 for the Delhi Durbar and returned several times afterwards for more photo assignments. He was in India when the war broke out.After he pestered officials and promised to contribute his photographs for propaganda, the India Office allowed him to travel to France. He arrived in France on July 22, 1915, having received permission to shoot only for 15 days. He later got permission to photograph Indian soldiers as they recovered from injuries at Bournemouth and Brighton.

Popular cinema suggests that World War I had nothing but a continuous series of soldiers lying in sodden trenches crawling with leeches and lice, who from time to time emerged to shell opposing trenches. This is partly true. Both the Allied Powers’ and Central Powers’ soldiers had begun to entrench themselves as early as September 1914, just two months after the war began, and the last trenches were cleared only after the war ended in 1918.

But soldiers did not spend all their time in the trenches. They regularly retired from the front lines to rest at more securely held ground behind.

The India Office restricted Girdwood to the rear, which is why so many of his photographs depict soldiers at leisure. They cook, wrestle, play music or football. While it later emerged that several of his combat photographs were staged, we don’t know whether this was true of the rest of his images. The deceptive tranquility of some of these images might have something do to their eventual use for propaganda. Several of the photographs have extensive captions, written in blandly optimistic tones. These, presumably, were meant to keep spirits up.

This April, the British Library digitised their Girdwood Collection. This is a selection from their archive, along with the original captions.

Indian cavalry playing football at the front, Estrée Blanche, France. July 25, 1915

Some Indian cavalry troopers preparing a meal, Estrée Blanche, France. July 25, 1915

Gurkhas wrestling on the regimental transport mules, Le Sart, France. July 24, 1915

 

A hero – Bal Bahadur, Brighton, England. 1915

Text beneath image: “A hero – Bhaz Gul of the 59th Sinde Rifles, who was promoted in the field for gallantry at Neuve Chapelle. The story of his gallant exploit is as follows. With an officer and two other men he was in a captured German trench at Neuve Chapelle, when volunteers were called for to rescue some wounded men who were in front of the trench. He volunteered and although exposed to a heavy fire, succeeded in rescuing one man, and went back again to rescue a second, when he was hit by a German bullet, and severely wounded.”

Indian infantry in the trenches, prepared against a gas attack, Fauquissart, France. August 9, 1915

Indian Corps Signal Section putting up a telegraph line, Merville, France. August 5, 1915

 

Card parties of wounded Indians at Brighton. 1915

“Scattered about the spacious grounds on a sunny day maybe found many parties of our brave fellows playing cards, quoits, smoking, etc in the finest spirit of good comradeship with their white medical orderlies.”

The four worst cases in the Brighton hospital. 1915

“The sepoy on the extreme left, in the chair is the most severe case in the whole hospital, but is now well on the way to recover. The sepoy smoking has a fractured arm and elbow, caused by an explosive German bullet, while the two Gurkhas on the right were both wounded by a German shell, one losing his leg and the other an arm and had his leg shattered.”

The X-ray room at the Kitchener Hospital, Brighton, England. 1915

“The X Ray room at the Kitchener Hospital. Modern science is being utilized to the greatest possibly extent in relieving the sufferings of our Indian wounded. In this room by means of the apparatus at the left, and also by the camera box which the officer is holding in his had experts are enabled to detect the exact location of a bullet, or a [fractured] bone, and also are able to watch the progress of the bone […] together.”

Source – scroll.in