Expansion of Sikh Orgs – Job Opening at ENSAAF

ensaaf_logo.gifThe second generation (in N. America) of Sikh organizations are beginning to pool their resources and expand their capabilities. Here I feature 2.

Seva Food Bank – earlier this summer, Seva Food Bank of Canada welcomed Michael Brito as their part-time Operations Manager. We look forward to hearing about the meaning of the expansion and the exciting growth this service Sikh-based organization is undergoing.

ENSAAF – One of the premier human rights organizations working on issues related to the Sikhs is hiring a Case Summary Writerto draft case summaries based on interviews of families whose loved ones were unlawfully killed or disappeared by India’s security forces. The job description reads:

As the case summaries will ultimately be used in a variety of advocacy initiatives and reports, this is an important position that will offer someone a chance to help mobilize international stakeholders on the issue of impunity for mass state crimes in Punjab, India.

We hope a number of Sikhs decide to apply and promote the goals of this extremely important cause. You can get more information on the ENSAAF website, here. Please read the job description and apply! If not, at least circulate, forward, post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, and get out the word!

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22 Responses to “Expansion of Sikh Orgs – Job Opening at ENSAAF”

  1. Blighty Singh says:

    "We hope a number of Sikhs decide to apply "
    ^ I would apply…….but I'm unlikely to get the job…as I am of the wrong colour. Just had a look at ensaaf's website. 90% of their staff seem to be white christians. I think it's time some sikhs set up an organisation called unensaaf to look into human rights abuses (discrimination) within 'ensaaf'. Although it is Sikhs themselves that donate the money that pays for the running of ensaaf the vast number of paid salaries there are going to non-sikh caucasions. The people at ensaaf clearly don't like hiring sikhs. It is clearly just a platform for some of the sikhs there toenhance their own career by adding to their curriculum vitai. For so caled 'legal experts' they clearly lack research skills also. For example, why have they not targetted UK sikhs for this position ?……given the fact that 75% of sikh Law graduates in the UK are still searching for a training contract…..and never will get a training contract. (In the UK….you can study law for a 100 years and pass every exam there is but you still can't become a lawyer. To become a lawyer…..after completing your LLB and then LPC, you have find yourself a 2 year training contract with a firm if you wish to qualify as a lawyer. The number of training contracts are kept to a minimum. Overall, there are some 2000 Law graduates competing for every 1 training contract on offer. Qualifying as a lawyer here is like winning the lottery. Put racism into the equation too and the odds arestacked even more against the Sikh Law graduate)
    So………..thousands of Sikh Law graduates highly skilled in writing case reports and case summaries, in the UK unemployed signing on the dole…..or working in a factory and yet you just watch ensaaf do what they always do : Hire within their cozy little middle class world…..favours for favours…..campus friends helping each other build a good resume.

  2. Sanehval says:

    Blightly, you are clearly unfit for the job if you think that 95% of their staff are white christians. By the looks of it, 75% of their staff are of Punjabi Sikh heritage. The board of directors and board of advisors are immaterial to your point.
    Its not Ensaaf's responsibility to become a charity for unexperienced law graduates who desperately need resume padding so they can move on to their "real" careers to repay their crushing debts. Choosing to go into a field with such terrible job prospects seems like a colossally stupid idea to me if you're not willing to pay the financial and emotional costs. We have a similar problem in the US. A lot of otherwise intelligent people are choosing to get their law degrees. Here's one of several articles in the NYT that examine the law school bubble: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/business/09law….

  3. Ajaib Kaur says:

    Hm, why all the anger Singhs. Just chill, apply for the job if you see yourself fit. They are good folks doing good work. And it was the brave work of a Kaur that lead the way here.

  4. JooKay Singh says:

    Blighty, what are you on about?!

    Jaskaran Kaur is a Harvard Law School grad, i.e. our equivalent of Oxford or Cambridge, and yet how many Oxbridge Sikh Lawyers do I know of who have gone into Human Rights law vs. a job for a Magic Circle firm working in Corporate Finance or the like? The answer is 100% the latter. To suggest she is doing this for CV points, given she could be earning well into seven figures as a partner at some hotshot law firm with her academic credentials, is insulting.

  5. Blighty Singh says:

    "Blighty, what are you on about?"
    ^ Jookay, you have friends that went to Oxbridge…….I have friends that went to Wormwood Scrubs for a free stay at one of her majesty's hotels. We come from very different worlds. One of the few things we have in common is that we can come here and ask each other : "what are you on about?"
    Now………lets start with a confession. Yes I am a Law graduate (with an upper 2:1) and No…i was not able to get a training contract……and yes i am working class……and no i was not priveledged enough or rich or middle class enough to be able to attend the top universities…..and yes tearing down discriminatory policies in relation to both race and class is a passion of mine. I do it with a vengence.
    Now…..I'm glad you mentioned the magic circle law firms. for years they, and the top american firms in London have only been hiring people from the priveledged 1% of british society that were rich enough to be able to afford private education. This created a amost completely white face of the law in London. Whilst thousands upon thousands of brown law graduates like myself couldn't get a look in. After years of pressure and anger they started a process of having a loads and loads of brown faces in traning contracts. This got the critics off their backs. But……these brown faces are not people like me, you, Sanjay Patel from wembley or Amjad Khan from Bradford. These brown faces are from the top elite private law colleges in India. In other words,,,,,they responded to criticise of only picking from the rich 1% in the UK by tying up with priveledged colleges in India and hiring those from the priveledged 0.01 % in India. Us British south asians still don't get a look in. You have no idea how angry it then makes me feel to see sikh legal organisations doing exactly the same thing and only hiring their friends from college….who also happen to be white.
    I work in the voluntary sector….for very little money….and I use my skills to help my fellow working class people with their working class problems. The 'academic credentials' of the sikhs at ensaaf are no better than mine. They've just been lucky and fortunate……People like that should always be knocked down a peg or two and brought back down to earth.

  6. Ajaib Kaur says:

    Blighty; I think your later comment is on point here, Re: class within some of the major Sikh organizations. By my previous post, did not mean it to be discriminatory when I said if you see yourself fit so apologies for that if it came off as insensitive. But I do feel that Ensaaf is one of the organizations that's been able to work with a strong team of volunteers in Punjab villages that might not have visibility on their website for safety reasons, and have heard some of their staff members say that were it not for folks on the ground helping collect data they could not produce the information they do, i.e. I don't believe their organization soley works w/ pays people of privileged backgrounds, tho, the whole range of people who are involved in the organization may not be captured on their website for reasons of those individuals personal safety.

  7. Sanehval says:

    Blightly, such anger is not going to be productive towards any positive end, especially when directed towards members of your own community who deserve none of the lashes from your keystrokes.
    Firstly, I find it supremely ironic that a descendent of immigrants, who holds a degree in law from a university in a first world country is whining about class and privilege.
    Secondly, and I repeat, maybe you should have scrutinized the legal field more carefully when you chose a career path. Surely your passion for undoing and critiquing bourgeoise privilege would have led you to the conclusion that your university admissions offers would lead you to a degree that would not accord you the kind of salary that you're trying to dream into existence.
    On the "top Indian law graduates". I have absolutely no experience with the Indian education system except knowing that it is broken in Punjab because of the proliferation of the for-profit sector. That said, I would venture to say that in the U.K., those Indians are not getting paid as well as you think, and are working longer and harder hours than their English counterparts to launch into the careers of their own dreamworlds.
    I think the bigger issue at hand is not the legions of overeducated and underemployed brown brothers and sisters listlessly looking for training contracts, but their motivations that had them arrive in such a position in the first place. Was it mommy and daddy? A dream to change the world? If the latter, such a goal is usually not commensurable with a high salary.
    Can you please show me where Ensaaf is only hiring their white friends from college? I can't find anything to substantiate that claim. Actually, I don't think it would hold for the other legally-oriented Sikh organizations in the country, either. To delegitimize the accomplishments of people like Jaskaran Kaur to luck and being fortunate masks the real work that she had to put in to get a good education. Not to mention the discrimination she surely faced, wearing a dastaar (remember, we're still largely invisible to mainstream America). Sure, kids from wealthier families have better resources to get into better universities. But this is still America, and you can still work your way to the top, especially utilizing the public schools in the places where Sikhs are most populous. Jaskaran Kaur's parents could work picking peaches for all you know.

  8. JooKay Singh says:


    We don't come from different worlds, perhaps we think differently though! I'm state school educated from southall – if you think that makes me privileged or 'upper class' (or even middle class!), then there's little point in continuing.

    Let me give you an anecdote to illustrate why Ensaaf likely have a number of non-Sikhs on their staff – and it's not because they don't like brown faces! You know the Sikh QC who just got made a High Court Judge in the UK this week? I'm sure you do, since you're in The Law. Well, he is UK born, a Cambridge Graduate, a very good one at that, and now specialises in Human Rights. You'd think he was a shoe-in to represent Sikhs at the world stage, but no. He has point blank refused to get involved in any of the legitimate issues that need to be addressed. So faced with that sort of response from 'Sikhs', is it any wonder that organisations like Ensaaf will take someone who *is* actually interested in the issues they're covering, regardless of their skin colour? I think you should judge Ensaaf on the results they produce, rather than who works for them – at the end of the day, if they ever succeed in nailing KP Gill et al, will you really still hold a grudge against them?

  9. Surrey Gurdwara has been looking for a Project Coordinator for a long time, please apply!

  10. Blighty Singh says:

    "and nobody other than UK Sikhs will understand this because we're all from the inner city" diatribe from you. And when I gave that example, the only thing you can do is accuse me of being 'fortunate'? Sounds like you just have a chip on your shoulder! "

    ^ Well now, I don't wanna claim to be a prophet Jookay, but as London burns tonight for the 3rd night running my "diatribe" about racial inequality and working class disinfranchisement in inner city england proves it is more than merely a chip on the shoulder on my part. Perhaps Scotland Yard should have spent last week reading my messages here. If they did….they would at least have been more prepared for what was coming. Its gonna be a long hot summer my friend.

  11. Blighty Singh says:

    Sahnewal, I won't answer your question because your questions, being indicitive of langar hall, is completely out of touch with sikh reality on the ground at the moment.
    Its been a crazy crazy night. Perhaps the craziest night of all. In many ways the sikhs learn't the lessons of Delhi 1984 and came out in force last night. Throughout the night Sikhs from all over London made their way to East London to protect very vulnerable Gurdwaras that sit in the very streets where the bulk of rioting has taken place. It mattered not whether it was a Ramgharia gurdwara or a bhatra gurdwara etc……each and every gurdwara was protected throughout the night by gangs of sikh youths. And then here in Southall, when the riot reached its doorstep in ealing…….there was unity between the Sikhs and muslims. At one point, a gang of rioters tried to kick in the window of an Indian jewellers but was chased away by the joint sikh / muslim security patrolling the streets.
    We are at the moment living in a time with absolutely no law. I could pop next door right now and steal my neighbour's TV and no police will come. No police will come because they cannot cope. They've admitted as much. It seems silly at times like this to answer your question about 'Law' when law is clearly non-existent.