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.
Dr. I.J. Singh writes about the case of a Granthi (literally, ‘reader of the Guru Granth Sahib’, these are Sikhs – often from India – who are hired by Gurdwaras to run religious services) in the United States who took his own life in despair: Their language skills are rudimentary; their ability to navigate the cultural landscape of America non-existent. Their skills in music, singing of the liturgy (keertan) and exegesis of Sikh teachings and history are, at best, minimal. […]
The internet is abuzz today with the reports and video of the violence at the Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Sikh Center, a Gurdwara in Queens, New York. The reports of this incident paint a disgusting picture. When Sikhs are dealing with an ignorant public (and I mean “ignorant” in its literal definition and not in a condescending way), these all-too-common conflicts only reinforce the stereotypes that are promoted in the media. However, while there are those who legitimately object to how the violence […]