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About

Our Mission Statement

SikhNet is a global virtual community for Sikhs and all those interested in the Sikh way of life. We provide news, educational services, and educational materials on Sikhism. SikhNet also broadcasts temple services and devotional music over our Internet-based streaming services. We do this by providing spiritual education and resources in a non-judgmental, neutral environment intended to inspire and uplift all those who participate in it. SikhNet is a tax exempt 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation in the USA operating exclusively for religious, charitable and educational purposes.

SikhNet's leadership

Our policy for the SikhNet News is "good news, good will". We avoid posting political news or news that's negative in nature, rather we focus on what can inspire and inform. SikhNet is not funded by, nor does it represent, 3HO or any other sect, or organization. We do our part to create unity instead of division, we do not take sides and we do not promote or condemn any Sikh group. Our ideals are to be universal, uniting, inspirational, uplifting and neutral, and that's why we focus more on what can inspire us to be more spiritual human beings rather than on controversy and politics. 

How SikhNet is funded

SikhNet is not funded by any other organizations, and relies on funding from users, sponsors and grantors. SikhNet uses these funds to employ five full-time staff and three part time staff members, to pay for office expenses, Internet hosting expenses, and to pay for contract labor for special projects, programming, graphics, bookkeeping, system administration etc. 

What SikhNet does

SikhNet is the largest Sikh website, receiving over 800,000 visits per month. The most popular feature is the Daily Hukamnama followed by many other services such as the daily SikhNet News, SikhNet radio, the Gurbani Archive, Childrens Stories, Inspirational Videos, Sikhiwiki, discussion forums, Youth Q&A, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib online and our downloads (Bani files, kirtan audios, Gurmukhi Fonts etc.). Explore the World of SikhNet.

The SikhNet staff do web development, programming, news editing, customer service, fundraising/networking, content creation (such as articles and videos) coordinating initiatives like the Sikh Youth Film Festival and events like the Shabad Guru course, and Camp Miri Piri.

It is the policy of SikhNet to provide equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws, and to make employment decisions consistent with the principles of equal opportunity.

SikhNet expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, genetic information, disability or veteran status.

At SikhNet we couldn't do it without volunteers. The SikhNet staff and the international "cybersangat" deeply appreciate the discussion moderators, the English Hukamnama translators and transcribers, the Sikhiwiki article contributors, the Youth Q&A moderators, the GurSikh Speed Meeting organizer, the video interviewees, stories for children narrators, and  the many members of the SikhNet family who send us news articles, comments and feedback. We are grateful to Art of Punjab for exchanging your beautiful artwork which has and continues to visually brand our new website. Thank you so much to our donors who make this all possible. Donate Now!

Before the World Wide Web 

SikhNet is truly a labor of love.  In the early personal computer days, in 1983, Long before the world wide web or the internet as we know it, The first incarnation of SikhNet was a Bulletin Board system (BBS) started by Guruka Singh, as the first computer presence for Sikh Dharma. Some of us used clunky Teletype terminals that printed slowly - we had no computer screens to look at. Others used early computers like the Kaypro (anyone remember CPM?). The whole thing was run on a server through GEnie and we connected at 300 baud! Harbhajan Kaur and Mahan Singh in Millis Massachusetts were the coordinators. The technology we used then seems primitive now, but at the time it was very exciting to us cyber-pioneers. 

From February 1986 until October of 1994, SikhNet was online as a computer bulletin board system (BBS) running on a 10 Mhz IBM XT clone computer with a 1200 baud (later 9600 baud) modem. I used an early version of open-source BBS software (RBBS v.15) which I had hacked severely to customize it for SikhNet. We had about 100 users, 20 of whom were quite active. The logon screen consisted of a large kanda done in ASCII art.

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Ravi Har Singh stayed up late many a night, with his recently broken leg propped up on cushions, writing a dedicated Clipper progam for accessing SikhNet. It was called "SikhNet-Zapper". We didn't have "live chat" at that time, but we had an early discussion forum and announcements from 3HO & Sikh Dharma International were posted for all to read. We could download files and transcripts of the Siri Singh Sahib's talks all over the world, and each day a new quote from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, or the lectures of Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan greeted each member who logged on to the system. These were simpler days before the internet, and required a sepparate physical phone line for each user to "dial in", so wasn't yet as interactive as what we are used to in today's internet.

During this time, SikhNet's host computer moved from Columbus, Ohio to Yosemite, California to Espanola, New Mexico as I and my family moved from place to place.

For ten years, SikhNet was up and online 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, but it finally stopped in October 1994 when I was no longer able to serve as the Sysop (System Operator) and it was taken offline.

The Birth of the SikhNet website

The website and organization that you now know of as "SikhNet" was founded by Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa and launched on the internet on Vaisakhi day (April 15th) in 1996.  The chosen name of "SikhNet" was inspired by the BBS system that Guruka Singh had pioneered and run from 1983-1994.

In his early 20’s, Gurumustuk Singh had a fascination with Internet technology. He built the original HTML SikhNet website pages intending to establish an online platform where Sikh youth from around the world could connect, support and dialogue with each other.

From its inception, SikhNet.com provided an educational environment where its audience could learn about the Sikh faith, ask hard questions and engage in a new kind of community experience: one that brought Sikhs from different countries in contact with each other, outside of the traditional family and Gurdwara structures.

As the years unfolded and its audience grew, SikhNet had to continually re-invent itself, responding to the changing educational needs of its audience. When Sikh youth got married and had children of their own, for instance, new services were born, like the SikhNet Children’s Audio stories. (www.sikhnet.com/stories). Through the years, SikhNet’s longevity as a “cyber sangat” owed much to its ability to adapt itself to the ever-shifting realm of cyberspace.

 With Guru's blessing, this Web site, and all of SikhNet's many services, will continue to serve us all and give us all an opportunity to connect and grow. 


 

 

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Sikhnet - 1995

1986 (BBS System)

1995

Sikhnet - 1996

Sikhnet - 1997

1996

1997

Sikhnet - 1998 - NOW

1998

1999

2001

Surf Sikhnet in the Past using the "Wayback Machine"

Make a contribution to Sikhnet

 


Our SikhNet Staff

Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa - Chief Executive Officer
Gurumustuk Singh founded the SikhNet website, From a hobby into a non-profit organization. He lives with his wife, daughter, and son in Espanola, New Mexico and continues to develop the SikhNet website with the rest of the SikhNet team. You can read his Blog at www.MrSikhNet.com Gurumustuk Singh’s tasks include system administration, video creation, fundraising concepts, business networking, programming and application development, project management, and innovation.

 

Siri Radha  – SikhNet Learning Center Manager

Harijot Singh Khalsa – News Editor and Children's Stories Manager
Harijot Singh started doing contract work with the Children's Stories for Sikhnet in Nov. 2008 and became an official part-time staff member in Dec. 2009. He gets volunteers to narrate the stories, do character voices, and illustrations. If volunteers aren't available he does much of that himself as well as the sound editing. Harijot also is the SikhNet News supervisor and Social Media Coordinator. Harijot Singh and Gurujot Singh are identical twins.

Coco Singh - SikhNet News Editor
Coco Singh works from his home in Mumbai where he edits the SikhNet news and assists SikhNet with other tasks as needed.

Darshan Jessop - Development Director and Operations
Darshan Jessop is a professional fundraiser who lives in Santa Fe. She has been working with SikhNet as a consultant for two years and, more recently, joined our staff as Development Director. Darshan is a writer, visionary and German-certified naturopath, who is passionate about making sure people get enough to eat.

Kaylee Spinhirn - Financial Manager
Kaylee is our newest employee starting in 2017 working from her home in Reno, NV. She is our Director of Finance, she ensures we are GAAP compliant and has a broad knowledge of all accounting, financial and business principles. She is a strategic thinker who can help us make the most profitable decisions and the goal is to guide SikhNet towards long-term success. Her passion is Accounting, and it shows!

Jagjeevan Singh - Gurbani Media Center Content Manager
Jagjeevan has worked on different Content Management Systems during his previous work journey. He looks after publishing and managing content in GMC on website and apps, monitoring live radio channels, digitizing old Gurbani and many more areas of GMC. He is passionate and determined at work.

Hargobind Singh Khalsa - Website Developer
Hargobind works for SikhNet as a computer programmer to build website features and services. He has been involved with SikhNet since the late 1990's, and continues today to serve the technology needs of SikhNet's various website projects. He traveled as a digital nomad for many years, but now lives in Austin, TX.

Manraj Singh Hallan - App Developer
Manraj Singh lives in Calgary, Canada with his wife Neelam and kids Baani Kaur, Guruki Kaur and Tegh Singh. After working for the University of Calgary for 10 years I joined the SikhNet family as an app developer. My background is a full stack developer and my passion is to use technology to solve problems. Aside from IT, I really love listening to and performing Kirtan.

 

Here are the SikhNet Annual Reports

 

2019 Annual Report
2018 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report
2016 Annual Report
2015 Annual Report
2014 Annual Report
2013 Annual Report
2011 Annual Report (pdf)
2008 Annual Report (HTML)
2007 Annual Report (pdf)
2006 Annual Report (pdf)