Sikh Inspiration 2017: Year In Review

Here is some inspiration advances that have happened in 2017

2017 has turned out to be quite a year! Here is our list of inspirations and achievements (though by no means is this definitive!) for Sikhs this last year: 

Notable Sikhs:

    Bhapu Surat Singh Khalsa Hunger Strike has almost reached 3 Years. The 84 year old resolute human rights activist is currently the oldest person on hunger strike having started on Jan 16th 2015.


      Bhai Jagraj Singh the modern visionary youth leader, most known for his 'street parchar' on 'Basics of Sikhi' YouTube channel, passed away on July 20th 2017. In a few short years he left a working, living legacy behind that carries on the work of spreading Guru's teachings to a new generation. His memory will live long in the hearts of many throughout the world. 

        Fauja Singh the 'Turbaned Tornado' dedicated his 106th birthday, April 1st 2017, with a langar campaign to help end world hunger


          Jasleen Josan, from Haryana, is charted to go to mars! She has been selected for the 2030 NASA mission. She is a research scientist and is the main investigator for the mission and says this is, "the beginning of a new life."   


            Manmeet Bhullar passed away in Nov of 2015 while helping a motorist on the side of the road. In the memory of this stand up leader Calgary school has been named 'Manmeet Singh Bhullar School'

            Police and Military

              In Jan and Feb of 2017 8 more Sikhs have been allowed to serve in the US army with turbans and beards. This comes after the pentagon released a more relaxed policy on uniforms to accommodate minorities.


                Commissioner Amar Singh is the police chief in Kuala Lampur, the top Sikh Policeman in Malaysia, receives a prestigious police award from Malaysian federal ruler in Dec 2017. 


                  After a Houston sheriff made a policy change Navdeep Nijjer was not only a new recruit to the police department but the first to come on with a turban and beard.  


                    New York (City) Police Department made a new allowance, changing decades long policy, for turbans and beards. 



                      The Australian state of Victoria's police department proudly featured Senior Constable Taqdir Singh Doel on the Cultural Diversity week in late March 2017. 


                        These teenage American athletes are paving the way for diversity in sports: Samrath Singh, 17, varsity baseball. Harkaran Sodhi, 17, high school football. Monty Khela, 19, college basketball 


                          Pro-cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur smashes career best and gives an encouraging message to aspiring female athletes. 


                            Sukhneet Singh is a Canadian Amritdhari college football player, the only one he knows of. 


                              FIBA reverses long-standing rule against turbans and hijabs allowing adhering Sikhs and Muslims to play internationally. 

                              Moving Up:

                                Jagmeet Singh is a charismatic lawyer turned politician from Ontario Canada. He has made a historic win on his bid to become the head of one of Canada's main three political parties. This makes him the first nonwhite political party leader of the country but more profoundly this means that he will face off with Justin Trudea to become the next Prime Minister of Canada. 

                                  As of Nov 27th 2017 small kirpans are now allowed on most flights out of Canada.  


                                    Ravi Bhalla becomes the 1st Sikh Mayor of Hoboken New Jersey. He went on to make his first executive order announcing the city as "fair and welcoming". 


                                      Preet Kaur Didbal became the 1st Sikh woman in the U.S. to become a city mayor. She is a single mother and rape survivor who seeks to inspire strength in young women


                                        Gurbir Singh Grewal becomes the 1st Sikh Attorney General in the U.S.


                                          Nov 2017 Manka Kaur Dhingra became the 1st Sikh to assume the position of state senator in U.S. history winning over her opponent in the 45th district in Washington.


                                            Palbinder Kaur Shergill became the the 1st turbaned Sikh judge in Canadian Supreme Court. She is also a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for community service. 


                                            History made as the UK elects is 1st female Sikh MP and 1st turbaned Sikh MP


                                            2 Sikhs were among the 3 Indian origin leaders elected to New Zealand's parliament: Kanwaljeet Singh Bakshi and Dr. Paramjeet Kaur Parmar.


                                            Rupi Kaur became the #1 author from Canada and is on track to become one of the most popular authors in the world. Her 1st book was on NYT best seller list for 77 weeks straight (even hit the #1 spot on January 15, 2017). Her 2nd book became No. #2 on Amazon's worldwide bestseller list. 

                                            State of Indiana declares April as "National Sikh Heritage Month" and April 14th as "National Sikh Day".


                                            Inderpal Singh becomes 1st Sikh Chaplain to the Peel Regional Police (Mississauga Canada). 


                                            Malaysian born Inderjeet Singh is the 1st Canadian Sikh Chaplain (University of British Columbia).  
                                            Awards & Accolades 

                                            World champion Man Kaur is now 101. This April 2017 she brought home more gold medals and broke more records being a heart warming inspiration all along the way. 


                                            Singer Gurujas Kaur Khalsa wins a grammy for 'Best New Age Album' with 'White Sun II' (along with Harijiwan Singh Khalsa and composer Adam Berry) 


                                            Gurmeher Kaur named as next generation leaders by Time Magazine for her challenge to Dehli University campus violence.


                                            Sikh cab driver, Satbir Singh, receives a certificate of outstanding achievement for his actions and is hailed as a hero after he saved a schoolgirl from a paedophile armed with knives, tape and sleeping pills. 

                                            Fresno California names park after legendary human rights advocate Jaswant Singh Khalra 


                                            December 2017: Onkardeep Singh is one of the youngest people in the world of South Asian heritage to be awarded an MBE for his interfaith work.


                                            Jasvir Singh becomes the youngest Sikh to receive OBE (Order of British Empire) for his interfaith work. 


                                            KP Singh awarded Hon. Doc. of Humane Letters for his interfaith work. 


                                            Social Presence & Media 

                                            One of the most endearing American Television game shows 'Jeapardy' featured a new category: 'Sikhs'


                                            In April, The National Sikh Campaign (NSC) launched 'We Are Sikhs', an initiative to improve awareness of Sikh Americans. This ad campaign reached 92 million impressions and had a measurably positive impact on Americans view of Sikhs

                                            Whoopi Goldberg, a host of the talk show 'The View', decided to educate her audience on what is Sikhism after this 2017's diverse candidate elections. 


                                            What Would You Do? is a reality show which tests public with uncomfortable situations. In this episode a racist clothing store salesman refuses to sell to a Sikh man. Several customers stand up for our Sikh actor and refuse to shop at the store where such behaviour occurs.


                                            Jagmeet Singh goes viral on the internet during his NDP leadership campaign when he graciously responded to an irate protester who accused him of being a fanatic Muslim. 

                                            The fourth annual 'langar on the hill' took place in July 2017. This event further educates America's political Mecca about the spirit of what Sikhs stand for.


                                            NHL teams have been hosting 'Sikh Heritage Nights' which highlight Sikh talent during the half time. The San Jose Sharks, hosting their first of such events, coined their night as "Kaurs Singhs and Sharks". The march event was sold out.


                                            Maritime Bhangra group goes viral with several dance videos, including in Canadian Ministers offices. The group raised $300,000 for charity.  

                                            These ones made us feel good:

                                            Video of Sikhs putting their lives on line to save Mosque's holy books goes viral. 


                                            10 year old Tanvir Sarao initiated a school wide fund raiser (raising nearly $15k) for the medical costs of a child he'd never met who lost her family and was severely burned in a house fire. 

                                            When you add it up 2017 has been spectacular!

                                            Here's to another great year for Sikhs on the world stage.


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