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Patrons:

Lord Karan Bilimoria
Baroness Sandip Verma

Lord Mohamed Sheikh

Lord Bhikhu Parekh
Mr G. P. Hinduja
Mr J. S. Sangar
Mrs. Jasbir Vohra

 

Advisors:

Dr. Daljit .K Maudgil

Resham.S. Sandhu MBE,DL,FRSA

 

Chairman:

Dr. Rami Ranger CBE, FRSA

Vice Chairmen:
Hardyal S Luther
Dr. Ravi Gidar
Joginder S. Vig

President:

Amarjit S. Dassan

 

Vice Presidents:

Surinder S. Aujla

Surjit S. Pandher
Jasbir S. Johal

 

General Secretary:

Dr. Sukhbir S.Kapoor, OBE

Joint Secretary:
Dr. Peter S. Chadha

Finance Secretary:

Manjit S. Chandhok

 

Joint Finance Secretary:

Hardip Singh

 

PRO:

Satbir S. Bakshi
Dr Atul Pathak OBE

Social Secretary:
Parshotam S. Dhillon

Interfait & Charities Secretary:
Ravel S. Ahuja

Education Secretaries:

Charanjit S. Doogal
Mr.Pritpal Singh

Joint Education Secretaries:
Dr. R S Saluja

Fund raising Sectrtary:
Dr G S Chadha

Joint Fund raising Sectrtary:
John Athwal

Speech by Dr. Rami Ranger MBE, Chairman of the British Sikh Association delivered at the Vaisakhi Dinner on 30th April 2009.

 Your Excellency, Lords, Members of Parliament, Ladies & Gentlemen, it is good to celebrate an event, which changed the course of mankind for ever.

 The creation of the Brotherhood of the Khalsa, by the 10th Guru, Gobind Singh Ji was one of those events which not only changed the lives of so many millions but also gave us the blue print for modern India- secular and democratic.

 Our Gurus never wanted to divide India nor did they want, a Kingdom for themselves. Instead, they created Sikhs, to defend the unity and integrity of Mother India.

 The profound changes, our Gurus brought in the minds of a down trodden community are still being felt in our society today and I dare say will be felt forever.

 This was not an easy task when the oppression was perpetrated by the very powerful ruler of the day. Sikh Gurus paid, the ultimate sacrifices in order to bring an end, to tyranny and injustice faced by the people of the then India. The 10th Guru sacrificed his father his wife 4 children, and eventually himself in order to defeat the powers of darkness. This was the type of atrocity, faced by the people of India at that time, that two of his sons were buried alive at the tender age of 5 and 8 for refusing to convert to the religion of the ruler. This must also shows the strength of character, of the Sikhs.

 It is a fallacy to suggest, that our Gurus were against any particular religion. As a matter of fact our Gurus were against the deeds of the ruler and not against the religion of the ruler. In other words, they were against human oppression by religion or state.

  It is worth remembering, that our Gurus battles were not to spread the Sikh religion. Their battles were to uphold the basic human rights of the people. It just shows that over 3 centuries ago our Gurus were the first to put human rights into practice. Our Gurus were ahead of their times and as a result, Sikhs are the envy of society but never the enemy of society.

  At the G20 conference when leaders of the most powerful economies met in London over a billion Indians were represented by 2 Sikhs The Prime Minister, Dr Mahmohan Singh and Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the Deputy Director Planning.

 The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics shows that the Sikhs are the highest home owners in Britain. 82% of them own their own homes followed by the long established and extremely high achieving Jewish Community. These facts bear testimony of our Guru's teachings that we must never use religion to get something for nothing. Instead, we must always use merit for our achievements.

 Sikhism is the first religion of the world, based purely on the interfaith ideology. Our founder, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, travelled the length and breadth of India and beyond in search of truth. In the end, he came to the conclusion that no one person has a monopoly over truth and as a result, Sikhs have been taught to adopt the teachings of all faiths. Our holy book contains teachings of Muslim and Hindu scholars, as well as teachings of people from higher and lower castes to show that Sikhism is an all inclusive religion. The British Sikh Association in line with the teachings of our Gurus has taken patrons from different faiths. Sikhs believe that all religions are equal and if practiced in their correct spirit can lead to salvation. Our Gurus said that if we fail to respect people of other faiths, then we will be in permanent conflict with them. Great faiths of the world have a great deal in common. We must celebrate what unites us and makes our society worthy of living.

 Equality for women is enshrined in the Sikh religion. Our founder said, Why consider women inferior when they give birth to prophets and kings? 

 We must always practice global values by protecting our core values of hard work, self reliance and sharing our success with the less fortunate. In this ever shrinking world we are increasingly becoming dependent on people of different faiths to lead our lives. Therefore, it is important to make efforts to promote inter-faith dialogue to generate a better understanding amongst us.

 Tonight some of you, from different faiths have come to honour us and by doing so you are honouring your own faith which has taught you to respect that of others.

 Finally, it is our duty to add value to our host country which has given us a place to reside and the opportunity to realize our dreams and ambitions.

 We must feel proud of being Indian, British, Sikh and above all good human beings.

 Thank you and enjoy the rest of the evening.