IN MEMORIAM | S. Gajinder Singh

Sardar Gajinder Singh, Afghan Sikh MP, passes away in London

It is with deep sorrow and pain that we inform you about the death of former Afghan Sikh MP, Sardar Gajinder Singh in London.

محترم سردار گجندر سینگ وکیل اسبق شورای ملی( ولسی جرگه ) افغانستان از سال ۱۳۶۷ الی۱۳۷۱ بتاریخ ۲۰/۰۱/۱۲ در شهر لندن چشم از جهان پوشید

Gajinder Singh was a member of Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) representing the Afghan Hindu and Sikh community and till 1988 he was a member of Legislative assembly. He was elected as a Member of Parliament of Afghanistan from 1988 to 1992.

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Mr Gajindar Singh was born in Kabul, Afghanistan on 25th December 1950 and passed away on 12th January 2020 in London, UK. He started primary school when he was six and graduated from Habibya High school, Kabul in 1969. During this period he also attended Khalsa school to learn Punjabi and Gurbani, and can speak 6 different languages.

After school he started helping his father in business and few years later started his own import/ export business. Part of his business involved visiting a number of different countries which helped him understand different cultures and backgrounds, and turn him into an active member of the society keeping different cultures and backgrounds together.

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He was appointed as the official speaker of Gurdwara Guru Har Rai Sahib, Kabul in 1969 and through his speeches he used to encourage the Hindu and Sikh communities to educate their children so that they could integrate in the mainstream society and be united.

Being part of a minority community in Afghanistan he was the frontline speaker and used to give interviews to different media sources such as Radio, TV, and newspapers to bring awareness and unity in the community. He always encouraged Hindu and Sikh communities to come forward in the mainstream social and cultural activities.

Gajinder Singh was a member of Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) representing the Afghan Hindu and Sikh community and till 1988 he was a member of Legislative assembly. He was elected as a Member of Parliament and served the nation as an MP from 1988 to 1992.

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Serving the nation was his passion and he was a great help to the community solving all sorts of social and community issues. He was instrumental in abolishing the introduction of Day & Night military service for Hindu and Sikhs. Several meetings were held with community leaders and the military authorities, and then with the Home Minister and the Prime Minister until a new Law was passed to exempt Hindus and Sikhs from Day and Night military service.

Due to risk of persecution and religious intolerance he had to leave Afghanistan in 1992 and moved to the UK. He still had the same passion for serving his community and joined the Afghan Ekta Cultural society in the UK. Gajinder Singh has a very likeable and heart-touching way of public speaking who has always supported unity amongs all Afghans.

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This film focuses on the Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities, but this time through the lens of Afghan immigrants to the UK, particularly Southall in London. Strongly reflecting Afghan pride
and ancestry, the documentary is primarily filmed in Dari/ Farsi with English narration. ‘Hindu
Kush to Thames' is filmed and directed by Ariadne Bechthold with support of the Gharghasht Gharghakht, Afghan Voice Radio (UK), in collaboration with Pritpal Singh (TheDutchSikh),
Ajmeet Singh (Flo Studio) and Harkiran Kaur.
Sikhs have been a vital part of the Afghan community. With interjections by historian Harbans
Singh Handa, the audience learns of the various political positions held by Sikhs over the years
in Afghanistan, even visiting the British home of the 3rd Sikh MP of Afghanistan: Gajender Singh. Other prominent personalities such as Inder Geet Singh are also introduced alongside second generation British-Afghans.

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