Global Sikh Meet at Kuala Lumpur - An introspection

Conference of Gobal Sikhs hosted by Malaysian Gurdwara Council, Kuala Lumpur

An annual conference of Gobal Sikhs was hosted by Malaysian Gurdwara Council at Vistana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from March 24 to 26th March 2017 to project the voice of the Sikhs worldwide. Objective of the meeting was to have discussions with an open mind, giving opportunity to each member to share their opinions without any distinctions and reach consensus decisions on items brought on the floor.

The global representation was ensured through the leading members of Sikh community from USA (S. Gulbarg Singh Basi, S. Gurpreet Singh, Surinder Singh, S. S S Nijjar), UK (Lady Kanwaljit Kaur, S. Satnam Singh Punia), Canada, Australia (S. Bawa Singh), Switzerland (S. Gurdeep Singh Kunden TN), India (Col. Dr. Dalvinder Singh Grewal, Col Manmohan Singh, S. Balwinder Singh, Amritpal Singh and Gurbans Singh Punjab, S. Balbir Singh, S.Surjit Singh Madan from TN, S. Paramjit Singh Mumbai, S. Harcharan Singh Pondicherry) Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia (S. Jagir Singh, S. Tarsem Singh, S. Arjan Singh treasurer, S. Hardev Singh, S. Harcharan Singh and Dr SS Sidhu) Indonesia. (S. Ratan Singh Narang, S. Balwant Singh Jakarta, Java S. Deep Raj Singh, Medan, Sumatra and S. Prem Singh, Medan, Sumatra; all Indonesia), Thailand (Balbir Singh Sachdev); the countries where Sikhs are in large numbers.

On 24th March 2017, the meeting was arranged at the residence of S. Jagir Singh Chairman Malaysian Sikh Council at 6 PM where all the members gave their brief introduction along with the organization which he represented followed by a sumptuous dinner kind courtesy S. Jagir Singh. During lunch participants were encouraged to have group discussions table wise on the topics to be presented in next day's conference and other topics which the Sikhs needed attention. The members were forthcoming and vocal during group discussions and it set the ball for the next day's conference.

On 25th March 2017, the conference started at 9 AM with the meeting chaired by S Jagir Singh along with S. Gulbarg Singh Bassi and Lady Kanwaljit Kaur w/o Lord Inderpal Singh UK. S. S Jagir Singh welcomed the guests with a brief speech and S. Gulbarg Singh Bassi initiated the discussion briefly introducing ground rules and agenda. The agenda included papers and discussions on the topics of 'Ardas', 'Continued distortion of Gurbani Message and efforts to undermine Sikh Philosophy' and 'Step Forwad from Distortion', by Col Manmohan Singh; 'Guru in Sikhi' and 'Pronunciation of Sikhi Logo' by Dr Devinder Singh Chahal, Attacks on Sikhi Logo by S. Gurbans Singh; Sikhi inclusive or exclusive by S S Sidhu; SGPC: its actual and assumed role' by S. Gurpreet Singh; History, Authority and Subjugation of Takhats' by S. Jagir Singh; Role of Sikh Organisations by S. Gurdeep Singh; 'Streamlining Gurmat Parchar System' . Balwinder Singh Sagar and 'Sikhism and its Propagation as future World Religion' (Click here for the speech) by Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal (the author of this report). After all presentation, there was an open forum was for questions, answers and statements and conclusion to be drawn before leaving for dinner. Agenda was quite heavy for the day.

Sr Jagir Singh mentioned that concept of Granth-Panth and Reht Maryada are most sacred for the Sikhs hence must be followed as such. Sovereignty of Sikh institutions have been compromised which must be restored. S. Gulbarg Singh gave a call for unity of global Sikhs and to avoid internal divisions. Attack on Gurbani philosophy from outside must be defended and distortions in Gurbani must be weeded out by a group of acknowledged Sikh scholars. Sikhs and even Non-Sikhs must be educated on the fundamentals of SGGS.

Most of the papers except the last two were critical of the existing Sikh systems i.e., Jathedars, SGPC, Reht Maryada, Ardas contents, Sikhi Logo 'Ik Ongkaar' and Gurbani Distortions. Last two papers dwelt on the positive side of Sikhi; one suggesting the measures to improve propagation of Sikhism by appointing effective preachers and Ganthis by paying them honourably and training them for Sikh Historical research and highest Sikh Values and the last paper recommending measures to ensure global supremacy of Sikhs in future. It stressed that Sikhs may not have physical supremacy because of their numbers but it must have the supremacy of character and development of brotherhood among masses. It also must become an effective medium between the two warring civilizations by creating and mediating in a meaningful dialogue process, so that differences between the two civilizations are ironed out; the two come closer and peace is established.

S. Ramesh Singh Member Paliament Punjab Pakistan reiterated that Sikhs in Pakistan are very conscious of their Sikh identity and are firm on their Sikh fundamentals and have firm faith in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Akal Takhat and Sikh Reht Maryada. They only request for a common agreed Sikh calendar so that all global Sikhs celebrate all Sikh Gurpurabs on the same dates.

Lady Kanwaljit Kaur stressed the need of unity and standing united for sorting out global Sikh problems for which central Sikh body capable of getting the problems of Sikhs in other countries sorted out.

On 26th March S Gulbarg Singh gave the progress on projects taken in previous years and the progress. Elections for forming the new committee were also held where Lady Kanwaljit Kaur from UK was unanimously elected as the new president, S Gurdeep Singh Switzerland as General Secretary.

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