September 17, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London: The nt35th Annual International Sikh Convention organised by the Sikh Federation (UK), often referred to as the first and only Sikh political party attracted in excess of 10,000 Sikhs at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Willenhall in the West Midlands.
Sikhs from over 100 towns and cities and over 200 UK Gurdwaras were represented yesterday when a number of resolutions relating to Punjab, the Census 2021, an independent public inquiry into UK involvement in the 1984 Sikh Genocide and the immediate release of Jagtar Singh Johal were passed.
Those present heard from an impressive list of Sikh representatives from abroad including Dr Gurtej Singh from Sacramento, USA, Amarjit Singh Mann the Chair of the Ontario Gurdwara Committee and various speakers from France, Germany and other European countries.
Three significant announcements were also made including revealing plans for preparing the next generation for leadership roles.
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) told those gathered that the focus of efforts in the next 3-5 years will be to prepare and promote the next generation for leadership roles and that this will be achieved through the expansion of the Sikh Network concept.
The Sikh Network concept was launched exactly four years ago at this convention and was about bringing talented Sikhs – men, women, young and old together with one clear objective of developing the Sikh Manifesto by 31 January 2015.
For the last three and a half years the Board members of the Sikh Network, including Preet Kaur Gill MP have been focused on delivery, monitoring progress and strategic direction of the Sikh Manifesto.
They also successfully delivered and presented the results of the UK Sikh Survey 2016, the largest survey of its kind and are planning a follow-up survey.
The Sikh Network has been keeping everyone updated through a quarterly newsletter, the 13th issue was released last month and Sikh Network Shows on KTV.
Those at the Convention were told the next phase of the Sikh Network concept was to create a dozen specialist, but autonomous networks from which the future leadership of Sikhs would emerge.
These networks have already started taking shape and the process will be completed within 6 months. For example six of the networks will be as follows:
1) A Network of national Sikh youth organisations – with five national co-ordinators
2) A Network of Sikh political activists linked to the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs – with five Sikhs leading a Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National Party and Green groups
3) A Network of Sikh women activists led by five women activists
4) A Network of Sikh organisations leading on interfaith dialogue
5) A Network of Sikh organisations working in the voluntary/community sector
6) A Network of Sikh lawyers
Six other networks focusing on Sikh researchers and academics, University Sikh Societies, Sikhs working in local and national government, Sikhs working in media, a network Sikh professionals and staff associations and last but be no means least a network linking all Gurdwaras.
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:
“The Sikh Network concept has proved a huge success in the last four years. The time is now right to take this concept to the next level with twelve specialists, but autonomous networks.”
“The networks are at various stages of developments, but we are confident that the future leadership of Sikhs in the UK will emerge from these networks in the next 3-5 years as has already been demonstrated with the likes of Preet Kaur Gill MP.”
Later in the Convention, the Sikh Federation (UK) to set an example announced the name of Jatinder Singh, the current President at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Smethwick to be the next Vice Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK).