The First Global Sikh Civil Rights Conference?

unitedsikhs.jpgTo my surprise, I came across a news article with the headline, “Sikhs Agree on a Global Civil Rights Agenda.” When did we do that??

It turns out that the United Sikhs — a non-profit organization that addresses various civil rights issues on behalf of Sikhs, especially and including the French ban on conspicuous articles of faith — issued a press release indicating that the group held the First Global Sikh Civil Rights Conference at which the First Global Sikh Civil Rights Report was presented and adopted.

At the outset, I should note that I respect the United Sikhs’ work, most notably its humanitarian efforts. I also appreciate its interest in developing a set of broad Sikh civil rights issues and recommendations on how to tackle those very issues. The Report itself contains a wealth of information on the Sikh experience in many different countries, most of which are often overlooked in discussions of the Sikh diaspora. The breadth of the report is impressive; a lot of effort seems to have been put into its publication.

That said, the United Sikhs’ characterizations of the conference and report are troublesome in at least several respects — its factually inaccurate, grossly misleading, and plainly self-serving.

The conference, which purportedly addressed Sikh civil rights issues in numerous countries, took place for all of six hours and was attended by 170 people. There is no indication from the press release or the report that any of the major Sikh civil rights organizations in North America, such as the Sikh Coalition and the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, were in attendance or even invited. Any legitimate conference or attendant report purporting to represent the global Sikh civil rights community should, at a minimum, include these groups. Their absence negates any suggestion that the conference and the report speak for the global Sikhs civil rights community. It also indicates that the report was the product not of a broad consensus of relevant stakeholders, but rather of a very limited subset of Sikhs. It is therefore inaccurate to state that the “Sikhs” have agreed on an international civil rights platform.

For the same reasons, it is misleading to attempt to inform the general public through the press release (which was picked up by the non-Sikh news, see here for example) that the Sikhs as a whole have formulated an international civil rights agenda.

Not only were the conference’s declarations and recommendations the product of a limited and incomplete group of Sikhs, but it appears the declarations and recommendations themselves were not the result of pure collective decision-making. Instead, United Sikhs’ director presented the attendees with the declarations and recommendations that were then passed.

Coincidentally, a recommendation is to “[c]reate a global grassroots media, educational, legal and political forum for the upliftment and empowerment of the Sikh community and others.” Now, I wonder what organization that could be!

It is ironic, given that Sikhs espouse principles of humility and modesty, that an initiative purporting to represent Sikh interests has itself been tainted by characteristics at the opposite end of the moral spectrum — it seems that the United Sikhs has made misrepresentations and exaggerated claims for the purpose of having the conference and report look better, and has generated artificial credibility and legitimacy to a purely self-serving recommendation.

If anyone has clarifying information on the nature of this event, please feel free to share in the comments.


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104 Responses to “The First Global Sikh Civil Rights Conference?”

  1. sizzle says:

    wow – amazing how this has turned into such a pissing contest between different organizations that all purport to strive for the same goals.

    publius – this post jumps the gun and is just ridiculous. your outrage is overstated. "OH THE GALL!" that the United Sikhs would issue a press release demonstrating a sense of unity or action on the behalf of Sikhs after having reached out to the other serious national organizations and putting together a conference no one else has managed to put together. btw – have you seen the press releases for the Coaltion of SALDEF? while they may not be so sweeping, they constantly purport to speak for the Sikh Community as a whole.

    as others have pointed out, i know for a fact that Amardeep Singh of Sikh Coalition was invited, attended and spoke. i am not formally involved with any Sikh organization and yet still received a personal call from one of United Sikhs' heads encouraging me to attend and try to offer perspective. i know they reached out to many other Sikh professionals. i wasn't able to attend because of work commitments, but if i did, they would have been up to 171!

    so….half of your post is wrong off the bat. good job, guy.

    there is a line between constructive or analytical criticism and hating. you crossed the line into the latter when you offered us this post without checking facts and without any real analysis or sourcing for your broad brush critiques and conclusions, as best demonstrated in the second to last para, starting "It is ironic…."

    united sikhs may damn well deserve criticism. this is just the the lamest "analysis" i have read to support the criticism. and if you expected the discussion to be fleshed out in the comments section, a strategy often employed by the bloggers of The Langar Hall…well, as i stated for the outset, good job getting a pissing war going. having just read through all of the comments, i can honestly say i came away with absolutely nothing but a sense of how much people hate on others. it is sad.

  2. sizzle says:

    wow – amazing how this has turned into such a pissing contest between different organizations that all purport to strive for the same goals.

    publius – this post jumps the gun and is just ridiculous. your outrage is overstated. “OH THE GALL!” that the United Sikhs would issue a press release demonstrating a sense of unity or action on the behalf of Sikhs after having reached out to the other serious national organizations and putting together a conference no one else has managed to put together. btw – have you seen the press releases for the Coaltion of SALDEF? while they may not be so sweeping, they constantly purport to speak for the Sikh Community as a whole.

    as others have pointed out, i know for a fact that Amardeep Singh of Sikh Coalition was invited, attended and spoke. i am not formally involved with any Sikh organization and yet still received a personal call from one of United Sikhs’ heads encouraging me to attend and try to offer perspective. i know they reached out to many other Sikh professionals. i wasn’t able to attend because of work commitments, but if i did, they would have been up to 171!

    so….half of your post is wrong off the bat. good job, guy.

    there is a line between constructive or analytical criticism and hating. you crossed the line into the latter when you offered us this post without checking facts and without any real analysis or sourcing for your broad brush critiques and conclusions, as best demonstrated in the second to last para, starting “It is ironic….”

    united sikhs may damn well deserve criticism. this is just the the lamest “analysis” i have read to support the criticism. and if you expected the discussion to be fleshed out in the comments section, a strategy often employed by the bloggers of The Langar Hall…well, as i stated for the outset, good job getting a pissing war going. having just read through all of the comments, i can honestly say i came away with absolutely nothing but a sense of how much people hate on others. it is sad.

  3. loverboy says:

    we should get off our armchairs and commend, not condemn, the various groups for their selfless work on behalf of the sikhs.

  4. loverboy says:

    we should get off our armchairs and commend, not condemn, the various groups for their selfless work on behalf of the sikhs.

  5. Harpreet Singh says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Gururoop Khalsa Jio

    It’s both surprising and painful to read a lot of comments on this page about the work being done by UNITED SIKHS.

    I won’t have time or energy to go to into great details but would like to add some of my personal experience with UNITED SIKHS.

    I have been actively involved in the community work in the Sikh community in Ireland for over 7 years now. Daas did the seva as Mukh Sevadaar of Irish Sikh Council for over 3 years. My first involvement with UNITED SIKHS came through the very famous banning of Turban in the Irish Police force.

    The very first email of support from anywhere around the world on this issue came directly from UNITED SIKHS. Following on from this I received hundreds if not thousands of emails from around the world that included individuals, small voluntary organizations and big names in the Sikh nation.

    While the responses and support in form of emails, phone calls from individuals were great, it is very important for the sangat to know that the only real support in terms of concrete actions to assist us in this came from UNITED SIKHS and a very few other major organizations. I am not going to name them as I am not here to form a fan group of my most liked organizations. But I thought it was important for sangat to know that the real support that we received from any organization except UNITED SIKHS and a very few others was NIL. Majority of the others were more interested in lip service with no actions.

    The main thing we all need to look at while condemning the work of any Sikh organization is to see how much positive and negative impact it had on the panth. I don’t see a single negative. UNITED SIKHS is not involved in day to day propagation; confusion creation and creating infighting amongst Sikh masses by raising issues on typical rehat maryada, typical pendu sikh politics. This organization has focused itself on the very concrete principles of selfless seva in form of humanitarian relief work, defending the Sikh rights through all modal of redresses available to us and empowering the Sikhs around the globe through education and leadership qualities.

    How many Sikh organizations have managed to connect so many organizations including SGPC, DGMC and lot others on one platform before? The words if any should commend the work done by UNITED SIKHS volunteers and yes criticism will only strengthen the sevadaars to do more so that the panth is proud of this organization.

    Daas believes that it is not time to break but join. Sikh panth needs to unite and together in one voice fight for our survival and fight to root out the evils that have entered this house of Guru Nanak. It was nothing but happiness on my face seeing Bhai Dabinderjit Singh from Sikh Federation and many others from similar organizations around the globe sitting alongside UNITED SIKHS members at the conference and trying to come up with a plan that will allow our coming generations to breathe an air of freedom in their lives. Those who posted Sikh Federation/Sikh Colatiion/SALDEF or others don’t want to work with bhenji Mejinderpal Kaur, please check the event pictures once more. Your questions will be answered.

    Hoping that my fellow Gurikh brothers and sisters will realize and follow this hukam from my beloved Guru sahib:

    Hoye ikkatar milho mere bhai|| Dubidha door karo livlaye||

    Har name ke hovo jodi Gurmukh betho safaa vichaaye||

    Daasan daas

    Harpreet Singh

    Dublin

    Ireland

  6. Harpreet Singh says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Gururoop Khalsa Jio

    Its both surprising and painful to read a lot of comments on this page about the work being done by UNITED SIKHS.

    I wont have time or energy to go to into great details but would like to add some of my personal experience with UNITED SIKHS.

    I have been actively involved in the community work in the Sikh community in Ireland for over 7 years now. Daas did the seva as Mukh Sevadaar of Irish Sikh Council for over 3 years. My first involvement with UNITED SIKHS came through the very famous banning of Turban in the Irish Police force.

    The very first email of support from anywhere around the world on this issue came directly from UNITED SIKHS. Following on from this I received hundreds if not thousands of emails from around the world that included individuals, small voluntary organizations and big names in the Sikh nation.

    While the responses and support in form of emails, phone calls from individuals were great, it is very important for the sangat to know that the only real support in terms of concrete actions to assist us in this came from UNITED SIKHS and a very few other major organizations. I am not going to name them as I am not here to form a fan group of my most liked organizations. But I thought it was important for sangat to know that the real support that we received from any organization except UNITED SIKHS and a very few others was NIL. Majority of the others were more interested in lip service with no actions.

    The main thing we all need to look at while condemning the work of any Sikh organization is to see how much positive and negative impact it had on the panth. I dont see a single negative. UNITED SIKHS is not involved in day to day propagation; confusion creation and creating infighting amongst Sikh masses by raising issues on typical rehat maryada, typical pendu sikh politics. This organization has focused itself on the very concrete principles of selfless seva in form of humanitarian relief work, defending the Sikh rights through all modal of redresses available to us and empowering the Sikhs around the globe through education and leadership qualities.

    How many Sikh organizations have managed to connect so many organizations including SGPC, DGMC and lot others on one platform before? The words if any should commend the work done by UNITED SIKHS volunteers and yes criticism will only strengthen the sevadaars to do more so that the panth is proud of this organization.

    Daas believes that it is not time to break but join. Sikh panth needs to unite and together in one voice fight for our survival and fight to root out the evils that have entered this house of Guru Nanak. It was nothing but happiness on my face seeing Bhai Dabinderjit Singh from Sikh Federation and many others from similar organizations around the globe sitting alongside UNITED SIKHS members at the conference and trying to come up with a plan that will allow our coming generations to breathe an air of freedom in their lives. Those who posted Sikh Federation/Sikh Colatiion/SALDEF or others dont want to work with bhenji Mejinderpal Kaur, please check the event pictures once more. Your questions will be answered.

    Hoping that my fellow Gurikh brothers and sisters will realize and follow this hukam from my beloved Guru sahib:

    Hoye ikkatar milho mere bhai|| Dubidha door karo livlaye||
    Har name ke hovo jodi Gurmukh betho safaa vichaaye||

    Daasan daas

    Harpreet Singh
    Dublin
    Ireland

  7. dissapointed at publ says:

    Publius,

    Thank you for failing us. Performing little or no research and then stirring up all this controversy through blogging is irresponsible. You wasted the time and energy of so many that rightfully felt the need to defend themselves because of the irresponsible fire you ignited (and i'm not just talking about united sikhs). It's not fruitful to respond to any of the comments at this point because the source of the comments should be blamed.

    Accusation #1 made by Publius: Sikh colaiton and saldef were not invited

    Do some research to find out if sikh coalition, saldef were invited or attended the event before saying they weren't.

    Additionally, you tied their "supposed absence" to the reason why this event cannot be considered a "global" event. Both sikh coalition and saldef are local to the north america so their presence would NOT qualify the event as global. Global means north america, europe, asia… Does it not? There was representation from those places. I've never seen, witnessed or heard of such wide representation at a panthic event previously. You completely dropped the ball there.

    Accusation #2 made by Publius: declarations and adoptions themselves were not the result of pure collective decision-making

    If you were there or had done some reserach (as should be done by anyone making accusations) the declarations and adoptions that were presented were submitted in written form by attendees at the conference.

    Accusation #3 made by Publius: the creation of a forum is self-serving

    A forum is different from an organization. It is structured differently and operationally runs differently. A forum by it's definition means membership from various different organizations. Any meaningful forum would provide seats for different organizations that can contribute and the tone that was set at the conference was consistent with this definition.

    Please be responsible when you resort to such criticism next time. To make a negative accusation takes 10 seconds, but to erase the effects of an un-truthful negative accusation takes years to undo. For this reason, please think a dozen times and then once more before resorting to negativity.

    I have lost much respect for this site and this author after this stunt.

  8. dissapointed at publius/tlh says:

    Publius,

    Thank you for failing us. Performing little or no research and then stirring up all this controversy through blogging is irresponsible. You wasted the time and energy of so many that rightfully felt the need to defend themselves because of the irresponsible fire you ignited (and i’m not just talking about united sikhs). It’s not fruitful to respond to any of the comments at this point because the source of the comments should be blamed.

    Accusation #1 made by Publius: Sikh colaiton and saldef were not invited

    Do some research to find out if sikh coalition, saldef were invited or attended the event before saying they weren’t.

    Additionally, you tied their “supposed absence” to the reason why this event cannot be considered a “global” event. Both sikh coalition and saldef are local to the north america so their presence would NOT qualify the event as global. Global means north america, europe, asia… Does it not? There was representation from those places. I’ve never seen, witnessed or heard of such wide representation at a panthic event previously. You completely dropped the ball there.

    Accusation #2 made by Publius: declarations and adoptions themselves were not the result of pure collective decision-making

    If you were there or had done some reserach (as should be done by anyone making accusations) the declarations and adoptions that were presented were submitted in written form by attendees at the conference.

    Accusation #3 made by Publius: the creation of a forum is self-serving

    A forum is different from an organization. It is structured differently and operationally runs differently. A forum by it’s definition means membership from various different organizations. Any meaningful forum would provide seats for different organizations that can contribute and the tone that was set at the conference was consistent with this definition.

    Please be responsible when you resort to such criticism next time. To make a negative accusation takes 10 seconds, but to erase the effects of an un-truthful negative accusation takes years to undo. For this reason, please think a dozen times and then once more before resorting to negativity.

    I have lost much respect for this site and this author after this stunt.

  9. sizzle says:

    amen to the last post.

    the more i think about this and look over the original post and subsequent comments, the more annoyed i become.

    i'd advocate erasing the original post, because it is so ASININE (i use that word very deliberately, Publius), but the subsequent conversation may be worth saving.

  10. sizzle says:

    amen to the last post.

    the more i think about this and look over the original post and subsequent comments, the more annoyed i become.

    i’d advocate erasing the original post, because it is so ASININE (i use that word very deliberately, Publius), but the subsequent conversation may be worth saving.

  11. Kuldip Singh says:

    I diagree. I don't know the author nor any of the folks commenting here.

    The problem is with the way in which the event was organized. United Sikhs did not inform any of the organizations in North America until a week before the event. The agenda was set unilaterally and the report it released had already been published. It is disingenuous to claim that this final report is a product of deliberations at the event.

    So to rectify the assertsions above:

    1. North American organizations were invited but not as active partners but as spectators.

    2. Declaration were result of impromptu decision-making of the gathering but the so-called global agenda was produced even before the conference started.

    3. Whether this forum was self-serving is an open question and each person would have to make that call based on his or her history of interaction with United Sikhs.

    Based on these points Publius has done a fine job in starting the discussion and has enabling us to seek clarifications from United Sikhs through this forum; whether the organization furnished these clarifications successfully is a question that can be left with the readers of the forum to answer.

  12. Kuldip Singh says:

    I diagree. I don’t know the author nor any of the folks commenting here.

    The problem is with the way in which the event was organized. United Sikhs did not inform any of the organizations in North America until a week before the event. The agenda was set unilaterally and the report it released had already been published. It is disingenuous to claim that this final report is a product of deliberations at the event.

    So to rectify the assertsions above:

    1. North American organizations were invited but not as active partners but as spectators.

    2. Declaration were result of impromptu decision-making of the gathering but the so-called global agenda was produced even before the conference started.

    3. Whether this forum was self-serving is an open question and each person would have to make that call based on his or her history of interaction with United Sikhs.

    Based on these points Publius has done a fine job in starting the discussion and has enabling us to seek clarifications from United Sikhs through this forum; whether the organization furnished these clarifications successfully is a question that can be left with the readers of the forum to answer.

  13. Mewa Singh says:

    I do appreciate your words Kuldip Singh.

    As a member of an organization that was invited by United Sikhs to the confernece, I know that our organization was only notified 4 days before the event. Other organizations have discussed with me that such was their invitation as well. Such a last-minute invitation just seems like a second thought rather than any true partnership.

    However, as I have observed, Kuldip Singh, you have been extremely respectful throughout this engagement and I have been definitely become more informed and more astute through some of your questions.

    I do thank you, Publius, Mejinderpal Kaur, and others that engaged in this discussion.

  14. Mewa Singh says:

    I do appreciate your words Kuldip Singh.

    As a member of an organization that was invited by United Sikhs to the confernece, I know that our organization was only notified 4 days before the event. Other organizations have discussed with me that such was their invitation as well. Such a last-minute invitation just seems like a second thought rather than any true partnership.

    However, as I have observed, Kuldip Singh, you have been extremely respectful throughout this engagement and I have been definitely become more informed and more astute through some of your questions.

    I do thank you, Publius, Mejinderpal Kaur, and others that engaged in this discussion.

  15. Jasmit Singh says:

    I would like to say a few things. What we are looking for in any organization is the following:

    1) Be very specific about what you do and do it well! You can not be all things to all people!

    2) Accountability. I would like ALL SIKH ORGANIZATIONS to have all of their books YEARLY to be INDEPENDENTLY AUDITED. The only Sikh organization that I know that currently does that is Sikh Coalition. What are the other Sikh organizations hiding?

    3) Have documents that go out from your organization to be true! I was shocked to see that Mejinderpal herself admit that the reports sent out are no necessarily accurate because they are written by members themselves! She specifically accounted for situations in which members wrote they were getting certain things accomplished when they later decided not to do them!

    4) What is your organizational structure and have it on the website.

    The above is what we should look at when we determine whether an organization really should be seen as a Sikh organization!

  16. Jasmit Singh says:

    I would like to say a few things. What we are looking for in any organization is the following:

    1) Be very specific about what you do and do it well! You can not be all things to all people!

    2) Accountability. I would like ALL SIKH ORGANIZATIONS to have all of their books YEARLY to be INDEPENDENTLY AUDITED. The only Sikh organization that I know that currently does that is Sikh Coalition. What are the other Sikh organizations hiding?

    3) Have documents that go out from your organization to be true! I was shocked to see that Mejinderpal herself admit that the reports sent out are no necessarily accurate because they are written by members themselves! She specifically accounted for situations in which members wrote they were getting certain things accomplished when they later decided not to do them!

    4) What is your organizational structure and have it on the website.

    The above is what we should look at when we determine whether an organization really should be seen as a Sikh organization!

  17. Admin Singh says:

    Earlier we had written that pov was Mejinderpal Kaur. This was not the case and the misunderstanding has been cleared.

    However, we do wish to state while we invite everyone to participate in The Langar Hall, we have strict rules with regards to issues of abuse such as 'sock-puppeting'. 'Sock-puppeting' is the usage of multiple handles/identities in a single post and is NOT allowed in The Langar Hall. It is a weak attempt to try to pretend to have more/less support and as a way to talk about oneself.

    First you will be issued a warning; a repeat offense will have you banned.

    ——————————————————–

    Dear Admin Singh,

    I realized that you have added a warning onto my post mentioning that "pov" and "Mejindarpal Kaur" are the same person. I usually comment as "pov" and have commented on previous topics on thelangarhall starting several months back under the same name consistently.

    I'm probably not as techy as you are, but I think you flagged the post as "sock-puppeting" becuase we came from the same IP address. That day, Mejindarpal Kaur was at my house. We do not discuss what each of us is writing before writing the post. But, it now makes sense why the two posts were flagged as such.

    For full disclosure – I am NOT a director with United Sikhs, I am a non-staff (non-payed) volunteer with them.

    I would like to see this get resolved peacefully. If you feel it would be better served to post this request publicly as a comment I can do so (minus my personal number) as well.

    thanks for providing a forum.

    Regards,

    pov

  18. Admin Singh says:

    Earlier we had written that pov was Mejinderpal Kaur. This was not the case and the misunderstanding has been cleared.

    However, we do wish to state while we invite everyone to participate in The Langar Hall, we have strict rules with regards to issues of abuse such as ‘sock-puppeting’. ‘Sock-puppeting’ is the usage of multiple handles/identities in a single post and is NOT allowed in The Langar Hall. It is a weak attempt to try to pretend to have more/less support and as a way to talk about oneself.

    First you will be issued a warning; a repeat offense will have you banned.

    ——————————————————–
    Dear Admin Singh,

    I realized that you have added a warning onto my post mentioning that “pov” and “Mejindarpal Kaur” are the same person. I usually comment as “pov” and have commented on previous topics on thelangarhall starting several months back under the same name consistently.

    I’m probably not as techy as you are, but I think you flagged the post as “sock-puppeting” becuase we came from the same IP address. That day, Mejindarpal Kaur was at my house. We do not discuss what each of us is writing before writing the post. But, it now makes sense why the two posts were flagged as such.

    For full disclosure – I am NOT a director with United Sikhs, I am a non-staff (non-payed) volunteer with them.

    I would like to see this get resolved peacefully. If you feel it would be better served to post this request publicly as a comment I can do so (minus my personal number) as well.

    thanks for providing a forum.

    Regards,
    pov

  19. AGill says:

    Hello Kuldip and others of your ilk,

    I'm one of the reps of the Sikh Council of California (14 Gurudwaras). Both Fremont Gurudwara in California and the Council were contacted a month ago for this. I don't know what your intention is and really doubt the credibiltiy of Publius's post. In fact it has put the credibility of langarhall in doubt and clearly establishes Sikh Coalition's bias against other organizations. Sikh sangat's will have to start thinking of whether to fund Sikh Coalition or not, if they undertake such steps.

  20. AGill says:

    Hello Kuldip and others of your ilk,

    I’m one of the reps of the Sikh Council of California (14 Gurudwaras). Both Fremont Gurudwara in California and the Council were contacted a month ago for this. I don’t know what your intention is and really doubt the credibiltiy of Publius’s post. In fact it has put the credibility of langarhall in doubt and clearly establishes Sikh Coalition’s bias against other organizations. Sikh sangat’s will have to start thinking of whether to fund Sikh Coalition or not, if they undertake such steps.

  21. Apple says:

    Interesting, but usual =)

  22. Apple says:

    Interesting, but usual =)

  23. RAVI SINGH says:

    RAVI SINGH OF KHALSA AID RESPONDS TO MAJINDERPAL KAUR OF UNITED SIKHS

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

    Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh !

    Dear Sangat Ji,

    I have recently come across Langar Hall and seen the article written by Majinderpal Kaur of United Sikhs in Dec last year about myself and Khalsa Aid.

    I cant write as well as Majinderpal but i like to ask her once again, what did United Sikhs build or provide in the Andaman Islands after the Tsunami?

    Yes, they put out fancy press releases with fanciful ideas to do so many things with the tens of thousands ok UK pounds they collected from the Sangat but actually didnt do much at all.When i questioned them about their antics i was threatened with legal action ( please see the e mail below from Majinderpal )

    I was also said to be upset because United Sikhs started their own relief agency, this is far from the truth as i had no personal gain from the Sangats donations.

    I stand by my comments in the Sikhtimes in 2006. United Sikhs collected funds on back of "proposals of relief machinery and other materials" for the Sikhs in Campbell Bay but not much materilsed.

    Majinderpal has given many reasons for not providing the relief materials which United Sikhs had proposed but failed to inform the Sangat at the time about this.The Sangat donated to United Sikhs after reading their proposals but if the proposals were not delivered then the Sangat should have been informed and not continually asked for further donations.

    I was in Chennai and Andaman islands at the time and i am sad to say the Sikhs on Campbell Bay lost out on a lot of relief from Khalsa Aid due to the "proposals" made to them by United Sikhs.

    I have worked with many Sikh organisations and admire their dedication and passion but i will always steer clear of United Sikhs.

    THE E MAIL BELOW WAS SENT TO ME BY MAJINDERPAL ON 25TH JAN 2006:

    Dear Ravi Singh ji

    Gurfateh

    You are making serious allegations for which I would advise you and the Sikh Discussion Group owners to be aware that we will not be able to continue to ignore the legal implications of the defamatory remarks you have been making and the Group has been publishing about the probity of UNITED SIKHS, its officers , volunteers and members. We are accountable to the public and the institutions that govern us and we will have safeguard our duty as a public body.

    I find it my panthic duty to not allow anyone to destroy a panthic organisation because he is upset that UNITED SIKHS started its own relief work, instead of joining Khalsa Aid. In another breath you were saying that I was browbeating Khalsa Aid to work with UNITED SIKHS.

    I would therefore ask you to subtstantiate each of your claims in the email below when you said we issued Press Releases to get donations for specific projects which we did not deliver. The dates on the Press Releases on our website dont coincide with the dates you have stated in your email. I cannot find Press Releases, which relate to the matters that you say UNITED SIKHS sidelined but collected funds for.

    I would ask you to concentrate on what you have accused us of in the last email when you said "Here is the list work which United Sikhs "sidelined " since last January but collected funds for."

    I have a friendly piece of advice for you Ravi Singh Ji. Dont let your anger destroy you, your organisation or any other person along the way.

    Mejindarpal Kaur

    RAVIS[email protected] wrote:

    The following are press releases by United Sikhs at the beggining of last year,THESE WERE THE PRESS RELEASES GIVEN OUT TO THE SANGAT TO GET THEIR DONATIONS.I have just spoke to the Tara Singh of Campbell Bay who has told me that he was reluctingly made a Director of United Sikhs on the islands (United Sikhs do this a lot) ,which he has no interest and wanted to resign.Please read his comments further down the page.Here is the list work which United Sikhs "sidelined " since last Januarybut collected funds for.

    Jan 16th : To build a retaining wall around the Gurdwara on Campbell Bay—-NO WALL HAS BEEN BUILT

    JANUARY 31ST : Tractor and Trailor to be sent to Campbell Bay—-NO TRACTOR OR TRAILOR SENT

    FEB 5-6 :To build 10 toilets and washrooms on Campbell Bay—–NO TOILETS OR WASHROOMS BEEN BUILT

    FEB 5-6 : Will procure 5000 gas cylinders for the Langar on Campbell Bay———-NO GAS CYLINDERS DELIVERED

    FEB 13TH : To build a community centre on Campbell Bay at a cost of $56000 ….NO COMMUNITY CENTRE BUILT

    Tara Singhs exact words "they were (United Sikhs ) were taking a lot of photos and continously making movies,I have seen their website and it shows a lot of their workers and people.They were building castles out of air.!"

    To collect funds from the Sangat by big proposals but then not to spend that money on the projects is not ethical,but then when i raise this issue i get called a liar.Yes, United Sikhs have set up a computer centre on the island but does that justify the $100000S they have collected!

    For all those who sent e mail to call me a liar or unpanthic i like to say that United Sikhs knew of Khalsa Aid but instead of supporting Khalsa Aid they went into Gurdwaras in a very aggressive manner to raise funds to set their own charity and yet they call themselves UNITED Sikhs.

    I have been called a liar by Majinderpal about many things one of them was that she only visited or contacted a couple of Gurdwaras for the Donations for the Tsunami Relief.She contacted almost all Gurdwaras who collected funds from the Sangat.

    She also denied that she told the Gurdwaras that Khalsa Aid wasnt even present on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and it was only United Sikhs who were doing the work.I had a call on my UK phone from a Singh from Woverhampton Gurdwara while i was in Port Blair asking me if Khalsa Aid was doing any work on the islands and when i informed him that i was on the islands as he spoke to me he was very surprised as his been told otherwise!

    Its very easy to raise funds but to spend them the right way is a massive responsibilty.I have no ambition or fancy offices or title but i do have the passion and the eyes to see how they promoted themselves very heavily yet did very little.I also keep hearing the United Sikhs reprsentative on the Islands Baba Esher Singh got to the islands all on his own,the guy had no idea about where he was ,it was our India partners, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle,Mumbai, that organised all his initial flights.

    The Sangat was treated in a very fraudlent manner in the 80s by many groups collecting funds for the Shaheed s families,for the Sikh struggle etc etc.I am ready to be called a liar or whatever but if anybody is collecting from the Sanagt then they have to be ready to answer questions and not hide behind the words "Panthic,liar etc."

    I always encourage Gurdwaras not to give funds to any organization but to go out there and spend it themselves,Khalsa Aid will be very happy to assist them all the way.

    Ravinder Singh

  24. RAVI SINGH says:

    RAVI SINGH OF KHALSA AID RESPONDS TO MAJINDERPAL KAUR OF UNITED SIKHS

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
    Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh !

    Dear Sangat Ji,
    I have recently come across Langar Hall and seen the article written by Majinderpal Kaur of United Sikhs in Dec last year about myself and Khalsa Aid.
    I cant write as well as Majinderpal but i like to ask her once again, what did United Sikhs build or provide in the Andaman Islands after the Tsunami?
    Yes, they put out fancy press releases with fanciful ideas to do so many things with the tens of thousands ok UK pounds they collected from the Sangat but actually didnt do much at all.When i questioned them about their antics i was threatened with legal action ( please see the e mail below from Majinderpal )

    I was also said to be upset because United Sikhs started their own relief agency, this is far from the truth as i had no personal gain from the Sangats donations.

    I stand by my comments in the Sikhtimes in 2006. United Sikhs collected funds on back of “proposals of relief machinery and other materials” for the Sikhs in Campbell Bay but not much materilsed.
    Majinderpal has given many reasons for not providing the relief materials which United Sikhs had proposed but failed to inform the Sangat at the time about this.The Sangat donated to United Sikhs after reading their proposals but if the proposals were not delivered then the Sangat should have been informed and not continually asked for further donations.
    I was in Chennai and Andaman islands at the time and i am sad to say the Sikhs on Campbell Bay lost out on a lot of relief from Khalsa Aid due to the “proposals” made to them by United Sikhs.
    I have worked with many Sikh organisations and admire their dedication and passion but i will always steer clear of United Sikhs.
    THE E MAIL BELOW WAS SENT TO ME BY MAJINDERPAL ON 25TH JAN 2006:

    Dear Ravi Singh ji

    Gurfateh

    You are making serious allegations for which I would advise you and the Sikh Discussion Group owners to be aware that we will not be able to continue to ignore the legal implications of the defamatory remarks you have been making and the Group has been publishing about the probity of UNITED SIKHS, its officers , volunteers and members. We are accountable to the public and the institutions that govern us and we will have safeguard our duty as a public body.

    I find it my panthic duty to not allow anyone to destroy a panthic organisation because he is upset that UNITED SIKHS started its own relief work, instead of joining Khalsa Aid. In another breath you were saying that I was browbeating Khalsa Aid to work with UNITED SIKHS.

    I would therefore ask you to subtstantiate each of your claims in the email below when you said we issued Press Releases to get donations for specific projects which we did not deliver. The dates on the Press Releases on our website dont coincide with the dates you have stated in your email. I cannot find Press Releases, which relate to the matters that you say UNITED SIKHS sidelined but collected funds for.

    I would ask you to concentrate on what you have accused us of in the last email when you said “Here is the list work which United Sikhs “sidelined ” since last January but collected funds for.”

    I have a friendly piece of advice for you Ravi Singh Ji. Dont let your anger destroy you, your organisation or any other person along the way.

    Mejindarpal Kaur

    [email protected] wrote:
    The following are press releases by United Sikhs at the beggining of last year,THESE WERE THE PRESS RELEASES GIVEN OUT TO THE SANGAT TO GET THEIR DONATIONS.I have just spoke to the Tara Singh of Campbell Bay who has told me that he was reluctingly made a Director of United Sikhs on the islands (United Sikhs do this a lot) ,which he has no interest and wanted to resign.Please read his comments further down the page.Here is the list work which United Sikhs “sidelined ” since last Januarybut collected funds for.

    Jan 16th : To build a retaining wall around the Gurdwara on Campbell Bay—-NO WALL HAS BEEN BUILT

    JANUARY 31ST : Tractor and Trailor to be sent to Campbell Bay—-NO TRACTOR OR TRAILOR SENT

    FEB 5-6 :To build 10 toilets and washrooms on Campbell Bay—–NO TOILETS OR WASHROOMS BEEN BUILT

    FEB 5-6 : Will procure 5000 gas cylinders for the Langar on Campbell Bay———-NO GAS CYLINDERS DELIVERED

    FEB 13TH : To build a community centre on Campbell Bay at a cost of $56000 ….NO COMMUNITY CENTRE BUILT

    Tara Singhs exact words “they were (United Sikhs ) were taking a lot of photos and continously making movies,I have seen their website and it shows a lot of their workers and people.They were building castles out of air.!”
    To collect funds from the Sangat by big proposals but then not to spend that money on the projects is not ethical,but then when i raise this issue i get called a liar.Yes, United Sikhs have set up a computer centre on the island but does that justify the $100000S they have collected!

    For all those who sent e mail to call me a liar or unpanthic i like to say that United Sikhs knew of Khalsa Aid but instead of supporting Khalsa Aid they went into Gurdwaras in a very aggressive manner to raise funds to set their own charity and yet they call themselves UNITED Sikhs.

    I have been called a liar by Majinderpal about many things one of them was that she only visited or contacted a couple of Gurdwaras for the Donations for the Tsunami Relief.She contacted almost all Gurdwaras who collected funds from the Sangat.

    She also denied that she told the Gurdwaras that Khalsa Aid wasnt even present on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and it was only United Sikhs who were doing the work.I had a call on my UK phone from a Singh from Woverhampton Gurdwara while i was in Port Blair asking me if Khalsa Aid was doing any work on the islands and when i informed him that i was on the islands as he spoke to me he was very surprised as his been told otherwise!

    Its very easy to raise funds but to spend them the right way is a massive responsibilty.I have no ambition or fancy offices or title but i do have the passion and the eyes to see how they promoted themselves very heavily yet did very little.I also keep hearing the United Sikhs reprsentative on the Islands Baba Esher Singh got to the islands all on his own,the guy had no idea about where he was ,it was our India partners, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle,Mumbai, that organised all his initial flights.

    The Sangat was treated in a very fraudlent manner in the 80s by many groups collecting funds for the Shaheed s families,for the Sikh struggle etc etc.I am ready to be called a liar or whatever but if anybody is collecting from the Sanagt then they have to be ready to answer questions and not hide behind the words “Panthic,liar etc.”

    I always encourage Gurdwaras not to give funds to any organization but to go out there and spend it themselves,Khalsa Aid will be very happy to assist them all the way.

    Ravinder Singh