On his state visit to India this week, President Barack Obama is not scheduled to make a visit to Harmandir Sahib (aka the Golden Temple), barring any unexpected developments. As he partakes in India’s Republic Day festivities in India’s capital, his itinerary seems to be focused on solidifying the business/political relationship between the US and India. As reported in the Washington Post: Officials said Obama and Modi are expected to conduct talks around the business climate, trade, climate change, Afghanistan and terrorism. […]
As Vice President Joe Biden visits India this week, I was reminded of President Barack Obama’s visit to India in late 2010, in which he avoided visiting the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, Punjab, a site which reportedly draws up to a hundred thousand of visitors per day, not including Presidents of the United States. For a well-known location which has such appeal to Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike and to residents of and visitors to India, it was noteworthy that […]
Categories: 1984, Politics • Tags: 1984, 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Amritsar, anti-Sikh pogroms, Barack Obama, Darbar Sahib, drug trade, drugs, Golden Temple, Harmandir Sahib, Joe Biden, Mahatma Gandhi, November 1984, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, USCIRF, Vice President of the United States
While it is not so uncommon to see Americans write about their first visit to Darbar Sahib (aka the Golden Temple) in Amritsar, India, a recent article in The New York Times by Michael Benanav describes his visit to Hemkund Sahib (a site associated with the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh), a very different Gurdwara located at an altitude of 14,000 feet in the Himalayan mountain range near Tibet: But even to a nonbeliever, the allure of a sacred lake […]
The year 1984 is forever etched into the Sikh psyche after it was added to the long list of atrocities against the Sikh people by rulers of their land. During the first week of June of that year, the Indian Government launched “Operation Blue Star“, an attack on the center of the Sikh faith in Amritsar, India, and invasions of numerous other Gurdwaras (Sikh houses of worship) across Punjab and India, under the pretext of neutralizing militants that had taken […]
Categories: 1984 • Tags: Amritsar, Darbar Sahib, Golden Temple, Gunisha Kaur, Guru Arjan, Guru Arjun, India, Indian Army, National Sikh Youth Federation, NSYF, Operation Blue Star, Punjab, Simran Jeet Singh
In August 2011, the city of Bakersfield, California, announced a “sister-city” association with Amritsar, Punjab, India, the center of the Sikh faith and home to Darbar Sahib (aka the Golden Temple, Sikhism’s central Gurdwara). Recently, the Mayor of Amritsar visited Bakersfield, an unassuming city 100 miles north of Los Angeles that contains a large Sikh population and is economically based on the agricultural industry: Amritsar, Mayor Bakshi Ram Arora told the Hindustan Times, is a far cry from the squeaky […]
Ensaaf (meaning “justice”) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “end impunity and achieve justice for mass state crimes in India, with a focus on Punjab, by documenting abuses, bringing perpetrators to justice, and organizing survivors.” The organization’s work has been mentioned on this blog several times. On Saturday, April 6, Ensaaf is holding a fundraising event in Fremont, California, called “Appear for the Disappeared 5K Walk” in memory of the men and women who disappeared in Punjab, India […]
In December 2012, a competition was held in Amritsar, India called Mr. Singh International 2012 to “generate awareness about Sikhs globally.” While the competition was held last December, I only discovered this today when my friend and colleague Lori Way sent me a link to a photo gallery about the competition which, upon viewing, rendered me entirely speechless.
Having gone to India to release the ashes of Satwant Singh Kaleka, the family of the Oak Creek, Wisconsin shooting victim was honored in Amritsar, India, by Sikh officials from the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, ( “SGPC“, the central Sikh organization in India): Kaleka’s family was honoured for his exemplary courage shown during shoot out incident at Oak Kreek Gurdwara in US on August 5th 2012 where a White supremacist Wade Michael Page who had opened fire in Gurdwara killing […]
Yesterday, Sikhs around the world celebrated the birth anniversary of the fourth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Ram Das (1534-1581). Born in Lahore in present-day Pakistan, Guru Ram Das’ contributions to the Sikh faith are numerous, including founding the city of Ramdaspur, which would later be called Amritsar and become the site of Harmandir Sahib (aka the Golden Temple), constructed by the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan.