A Sikh Barack Obama?

I was waiting until after the election to write this post as I didn’t want my personal thoughts to be in anyway seen as promotion or endorsement.bains.jpeg

I have been a fan of Navdeep Singh Bains for many years now. I still remember his victory into the Canadian parliament as the first Amritdhari Sikh 4 years ago and I believe the youngest elected Liberal MP (26 years old) at that time. My respect for him grew, in what I believe, was his principled opposition to an overstretching then-Jathedar Vedanti on the issue of same-sex marriages.

Vedanti said he was dismayed that one MP, Ontario Liberal rookie Navdeep Bains, argued against him, but said the others listened respectfully.

“The Sikh religion would never accept such MPs,” said Vedanti. “Nobody would support such a person having such dirty thoughts in their mind because it is against the Sikh religion and the Sikh code of conduct and totally against the laws of nature.” [link]

Well many Sikhs as well as many others Canadians in the Mississauga-Brampton South riding, continue to support and ‘accept’ Navdeep. Just this month he successfully won his third term. (Vedanti on the other hand has come and gone [I have noted my criticism of the present Jathedar-obsession in a previous post])

I entered politics because I love my country, he said. This country gave me immense opportunity to succeed and so Im indebted to this country, so I will work day and night to serve (this riding).[link]

Despite the Conservative Party in Canadas continued ascendance and stronger showing in this election (certain recounts are still occurring, but the Conservative Party has 143 of the 308, still short of the 155 needed to form a majority government), the 3 Sikh Liberal MPs of the Toronto area all maintained their seats Navdeep Bains, Ruby Dhalla (beat Conservative Parm Gill by a narrow 718 votes), and Gurbax Malhi. In all, the Sikh-Canadians, increased their contingents from 7 to 8 MPs after this election. (Navdeep Bains, Ruby Dhalla, Gurbax Malhi, Ujjal Dosanjh, Sukh Dhaliwal, Nina Grewal, and newly-elected Devinder Shory and Tim Uppal). Tim Singh Uppal is from Calgary Edmonton (thanks Phulkari). Uppal is a member of the Conservate Party, is the third turbaned Sikh Member of Parliament, and the second Amritdhari after Navdeep. He also has a very nice kulhi dhari.

Also of significant note, Vancouver Souths Ujjal Dosanjh squeaked a victory in his riding, after an automatic recount, winning by only 22 votes. Dosanjh seems now to have his sights on the race to become leader of the Liberal Party. Still many are critical of Dosanjhs inability to speak French as a detriment to such aspirations.

Navdeep Bains, however, seems to be his way to learning French. He has spent recent time studying French in Montreal. Such a skill may serve him well in the future. Although the Liberals will still have to wait for some time for improved election results, some senior Liberal party members see him as having the potential, as one stated,

to be the first Canadian prime minister in a turban.[link]

Sikhdom will be hoping and waiting.

Still I can’t help but leave you all with one possible musing: when we look at the way that many Americans have rallied behind their perception of Barack Obama as a symbol of ‘change’ and a changing America, could Navdeep Singh Bains play this same role in a future Canada?…..yes, I know the PM is not an elected position.


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25 Responses to “A Sikh Barack Obama?”

  1. Harpreet Singh says:

    Liked the articled very much.

  2. Harpreet Singh says:

    Liked the articled very much.

  3. Singh says:

    Ujjal Dosanjh is not a member of the Sikh community. He is an atheist and communist, and an activist against many of the interests of the Sikh community.

  4. Singh says:

    Ujjal Dosanjh is not a member of the Sikh community. He is an atheist and communist, and an activist against many of the interests of the Sikh community.

  5. Sonu Singh says:

    I respect Mr. Bains. And also to comment on the whole Ujjal Dosanjh situation I have to agree with 'Singh' that he is NOT a member of the Sikh community and against many of the interests of the Sikhs.

  6. Sonu Singh says:

    I respect Mr. Bains. And also to comment on the whole Ujjal Dosanjh situation I have to agree with ‘Singh’ that he is NOT a member of the Sikh community and against many of the interests of the Sikhs.

  7. Michael Dubb says:

    [Deleted by Admin Kaur…. We don't care for any type of profanity on this blog]

  8. Michael Dubb says:

    [Deleted by Admin Kaur…. We don’t care for any type of profanity on this blog]

  9. Prem says:

    Navdeep Singh Bains is a man I really admire, even though, as a British Sikh, I view him from afar. His decision to support gay rights on the basis that all minorities deserve to be treated equally, and that Sikhs who are a minority and have their rights protected by the same principles should never seek to marginalise any other group of people, was a sign of a truly progressive, modern and sophisticated ethical and political mind. That he did so in the light of attempts to intimidate him by hypocritical and reactionary elements within the Sikh community makes him stand even higher in my esteem.

    Also, I don't agree with anyone who takes it upon themselves to declare who is and who isn't a Sikh just because they hold a different view or perspective on things. Ujjal Dosanjh is part of the broad Sikh community, which is inclusive, not exclusivist in its nature. Just as Canada is a plural society, so is the Sikh community a plural one, with different opinions and stances on different issues and ways of life. Long may tolerance of difference and inclusiveness reign. Navdeep Singh Bains is a shining example of this principle.

  10. Prem says:

    Navdeep Singh Bains is a man I really admire, even though, as a British Sikh, I view him from afar. His decision to support gay rights on the basis that all minorities deserve to be treated equally, and that Sikhs who are a minority and have their rights protected by the same principles should never seek to marginalise any other group of people, was a sign of a truly progressive, modern and sophisticated ethical and political mind. That he did so in the light of attempts to intimidate him by hypocritical and reactionary elements within the Sikh community makes him stand even higher in my esteem.

    Also, I don’t agree with anyone who takes it upon themselves to declare who is and who isn’t a Sikh just because they hold a different view or perspective on things. Ujjal Dosanjh is part of the broad Sikh community, which is inclusive, not exclusivist in its nature. Just as Canada is a plural society, so is the Sikh community a plural one, with different opinions and stances on different issues and ways of life. Long may tolerance of difference and inclusiveness reign. Navdeep Singh Bains is a shining example of this principle.

  11. Kaptaan says:

    The facts speak for themselves… Ujjie himself is quoted as saying he isn't religious when asked if he believes in God, coupled with the fact that his family line has been shown to have been active communists, what evidence do you have Prem, that he is a Sikh? Perhaps you should talk to people from his ancestral village in the Punjab to find out what role his family has played with the Communists in Dosangh Kalan village.

    I'd also like to know on what basis Jodha has included that character as a Sikh? Just because the guy is brown or Punjabi doesn't mean he is a Sikh. What facts were you using Jodha? or were you just making stuff up?

  12. Kaptaan says:

    The facts speak for themselves… Ujjie himself is quoted as saying he isn’t religious when asked if he believes in God, coupled with the fact that his family line has been shown to have been active communists, what evidence do you have Prem, that he is a Sikh? Perhaps you should talk to people from his ancestral village in the Punjab to find out what role his family has played with the Communists in Dosangh Kalan village.

    I’d also like to know on what basis Jodha has included that character as a Sikh? Just because the guy is brown or Punjabi doesn’t mean he is a Sikh. What facts were you using Jodha? or were you just making stuff up?

  13. Prem says:

    Kaptaan, even if his family in his ancestral village were communist, so what? Are you saying that an individual is not capable of being different from, and holding different views from his ancestors?

    And if he is a communist, why is he a member of the Liberal Party, and not the Communist Party of Canada? Has he declared that he believes in the Communist Manifesto? Is he a follower of Karl Marx? Does he believe society should be organised on the lines of a Soviet system? Does he believe in a command economy? Is he a secret communist using entryist tactics to become leader of the Liberal Party and one day spring a Trotskyite revolution in Canada?

    Stalin had this thing he used to love doing. He identified people who he declared were enemies of the proletariat. In particular he identified a class of people known as the Kulaks. These were landowing famers, and were declared by the Marxist-Leninists of being class enemies of the peasents. They became a useful target for ostracism and ultimately persecution. The methodology was simple. Identify individuals with who you disagree as being traitorous, evil, basically, as scum. Delegitimise them, demonise them, cast them out, make them a focus of your hatred and fury. Then attack them, imprison them, torture them, and ultimately, eliminate them. The Kulaks formed the beginning of the impulse towards the gulags and the great horrors of the Communist Russian system.

  14. Prem says:

    Kaptaan, even if his family in his ancestral village were communist, so what? Are you saying that an individual is not capable of being different from, and holding different views from his ancestors?

    And if he is a communist, why is he a member of the Liberal Party, and not the Communist Party of Canada? Has he declared that he believes in the Communist Manifesto? Is he a follower of Karl Marx? Does he believe society should be organised on the lines of a Soviet system? Does he believe in a command economy? Is he a secret communist using entryist tactics to become leader of the Liberal Party and one day spring a Trotskyite revolution in Canada?

    Stalin had this thing he used to love doing. He identified people who he declared were enemies of the proletariat. In particular he identified a class of people known as the Kulaks. These were landowing famers, and were declared by the Marxist-Leninists of being class enemies of the peasents. They became a useful target for ostracism and ultimately persecution. The methodology was simple. Identify individuals with who you disagree as being traitorous, evil, basically, as scum. Delegitimise them, demonise them, cast them out, make them a focus of your hatred and fury. Then attack them, imprison them, torture them, and ultimately, eliminate them. The Kulaks formed the beginning of the impulse towards the gulags and the great horrors of the Communist Russian system.

  15. Prem says:

    Ujjie himself is quoted as saying he isn’t religious when asked if he believes in God

    Saying that you're not religious does not nessecarily mean that you don't believe in God. It just means that you don't presently engage in a deep level of religious observance and practise. That is a personal issue, isn't it? And isn't the level of observance between you, God, your conscience, and your own stage of evolution towards the practise of whatever religion you belong to?

    Are we to have a secret police of captains to decide who passes a test of religion, like they had during the Spanish Inquisition?

  16. Prem says:

    Ujjie himself is quoted as saying he isnt religious when asked if he believes in God

    Saying that you’re not religious does not nessecarily mean that you don’t believe in God. It just means that you don’t presently engage in a deep level of religious observance and practise. That is a personal issue, isn’t it? And isn’t the level of observance between you, God, your conscience, and your own stage of evolution towards the practise of whatever religion you belong to?

    Are we to have a secret police of captains to decide who passes a test of religion, like they had during the Spanish Inquisition?

  17. Rajinder says:

    I find this a huge problem with the sikh community. WE get excited when we see one of us prospering, but dont look at the road to that prosperity. Navdeep bains, although inspiring, is also a person who is very conterversial and has done many things in parliament that raise questions about his character.

    He was accussed of corruption and being involved with the sponsorship scandal. He is a man who attend the vaishaki day parade when youth's put bhindranwale and other khalistani idiots on the floats and decided not to comment. A photo on the float was the greastest mass murderer in Canadian history, the man responsible for the air india bombing ( i read soft target its [deleted] watch the language rajinder….Admin Singh).

    ALthough as a Canadian I am proud that we have reached the level we have, its ignorant to think we should accept all of these Mp's as people who are representative of the sikh community.

    Be cautious and be aware, as canadians we have the right to be critical of anyone especially our own.

  18. Rajinder says:

    I find this a huge problem with the sikh community. WE get excited when we see one of us prospering, but dont look at the road to that prosperity. Navdeep bains, although inspiring, is also a person who is very conterversial and has done many things in parliament that raise questions about his character.

    He was accussed of corruption and being involved with the sponsorship scandal. He is a man who attend the vaishaki day parade when youth’s put bhindranwale and other khalistani idiots on the floats and decided not to comment. A photo on the float was the greastest mass murderer in Canadian history, the man responsible for the air india bombing ( i read soft target its [deleted] watch the language rajinder….Admin Singh).

    ALthough as a Canadian I am proud that we have reached the level we have, its ignorant to think we should accept all of these Mp’s as people who are representative of the sikh community.

    Be cautious and be aware, as canadians we have the right to be critical of anyone especially our own.

  19. whahut says:

    who said tim uppal is amritdhari?!?!?!?!?!?!

  20. whahut says:

    who said tim uppal is amritdhari?!?!?!?!?!?!

  21. Gerry says:

    Davinder shory belongs to respected Brahmin family from Barnala,he is Hindu ,not sikh as stated in original article.

  22. Gerry says:

    Davinder shory belongs to respected Brahmin family from Barnala,he is Hindu ,not sikh as stated in original article.

  23. […] the way out/On their way in – Navdeep Singh Bains, previously covered and once seen as a rising star, lost to Eve Adams. Gurbax Malhi, who had been an MP since 1993, lost to Bal Gosal. Ruby […]

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