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“Sikh 100” terms Indian PM as most powerful Sikhs; Announcement invokes bitter criticism; It’s like a ‘joke’, says Dal Khalsa

November 11, 2013 | By

London/ Ludhiana, UK/ Punjab (November 11, 2013): It is learnt that the first edition of the annual ‘Sikh 100’ published in London by the Sikh Directory (UK) has ranked Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the World’s most powerful, influential and contemporary Sikh.

Parkash Singh Badal (L), Manmohan Singh (C) and Sukhbir Badal (R)

Parkash Singh Badal (L), Manmohan Singh (C) and Sukhbir Badal (R)

According to media reports [w]orld’s first compre- hensive ranking of the most powerful, influential and contemporary Sikhs in the world released by Sikh Directory (UK) says that Manmohan Singh is ‘highly acclaimed as a thinker and a scholar. He is well regarding for his diligence and his academic approach to work, as well as his accessibility and his unassuming demeanour’.

The second place is India’s Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

13 Sikh women have also found place in the list of powerful 100. Prime Minister Singh’s wife, Gursharan Kaur is also there on the list. She ranks 13th in the world order. Ahluwalia’s wife Isher Judge Ahluwalia is ranked ahead than Gursharan Kaur at number 12 in the list.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh is listed third on the list.

Announcements by the Sikh Directory (UK) invokes strong criticism:

The announcement of Indian PM Manmohan Singh as ‘top-Sikh’ has come as a surprise for many Sikhs. The criticism of the decision has already started from many Sikh circles.

“Manmohan Singh is a nominee to the seat of Indian Prime Minister by a party [Congress Party] that had was responsible for killing thousands of innocent Sikhs in November 1984. How he could be regarded as so-called ‘top-Sikh’ by anyone”, said Jaspal Singh Manjhpur, a Ludhaina based Advocate and Press Secretary of the Akali Dal Panch Pardhani.

“While making any decision of the sort, it is important to note that what type of yard-stick was put in use. A successful Sikh is the one who is following the principles of Sikhi and is a companion to the path shown by the Sikh Gurus” said JS Manjhpur, while adding that “Manmohan Singh would figure nowhere when his personality would be judged at the yard-stick of Sikh principles, values and tradition”. “Rather he would be standing in the front-line of those who have played anti-Sikh role in the late 20th and early 21st century”, he said while talking to the Sikh Siyasat News over phone.

He said that the only Sikh who has been so recognized in the recent times was Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale who was declared as the “Great Sikh of 20th Century” by the Sikh nation from Akal Takht Sahib.

“The announcement may be taken as a reflection of a particular group’s approach that may have been influenced by its own motivations; but this does not reflect the approach of the entire Sikh nation” Advocate Manjhpur added.

It sounds like a Joke, Dal Khalsa

Dal Khalsa spokesperson S. Kanwarpal Singh said that declaration of “Sikh 100” by the Sikh Directory (UK) sounds like a joke, as the persons of week stature were labeled as ‘strong’ or ‘powerful’. “It’s being widely said and acknowledged that Manmohan Singh is the weakest ever PM of India and they are declaring him to be the most powerful Sikh” he added.

“These persons are week personalities who were able to hold powerful positions just because of the state” he added.

S. Kanwar Pal Singh said that it’s ridiculous that Giani Gurbachan Singh, who is a known yesman of Punjab’s chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has been placed above Badal in the list. He said that the announcement is not based on ground realities and the criteria adopted seems to be faulty.

Others Listed in the “Sikh 100” by the Sikh Directory (UK):

Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is fourth on the spot while Deputy Chief Minister and Badal Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal is 22nd on the list. Former chief minister and former PPCC chief Captain Amarinder is there in the list ranked 29th.

Cricketer Harbhajan Singh has been ranked 28th on the list. Dr. Inderjit Kaur of Pingalwara is there on the list and number 7.

Ajaypal Singh Banga, president and CEO, MasterCard Worldwide, US, is ranked eighth, while Rabinder Singh, high court judge, Royal Courts of Justice, UK is ninth.

Others figuring on the list are Sir Mota Singh, UK judge (17th), Sant Singh Chatwal, president and CEO, Hampshire Hotels and Resorts (US) (19th), Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, chairman/director, Fortis Healthcare, India (21st) and Khushwant Singh, journalist and novelist (22nd).

Onkar Singh Kanwal, chairman, Apollo Tyres, India (23rd) Bhupinder Singh, managing director, Punjab National Bank (26th), Harbhajan Singh, cricketer (28th), Capt Amarinder Singh, former Punjab chief minister (29th), Lord Indarjit Singh, director, The Network of Sikh Organisations, UK (42nd), Rami Ranger, chairman, Sun Mark Ltd (UK) (48th) and Kartar Singh Lalvani, director, Vitabiotics, UK (52nd), are others on the list.

Gurinder Kaur Chadha, film director/producer, UK (55th), Baroness Sandip Kaur Verma (58th), Kmel Kaur Hothi, business and community director, Lloyds Bank, UK (64th), Flying Sikh Milkha Singh (71st), Paul Singh Uppal, UK MP (76th), Tarlochan Singh, former chairman of the National Commission for Minorities and former Rajya Sabha member (77th), are also on the top-100 list.

What Sikh Directory’s “Top Sikh” had said about his identity?

It may be recalled that in 2009 Manmohan Singh had avoided to declare himself as a Sikh even at a secondary place. Addressing the press at Amritsar a day before last round of Indian Parliamentary elections in 2009 Manmohan Singh had declared that: ‘he was firstly ‘an Indian’ and afterwards ‘anything else’. He was talking about the use of his Sikh image in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Manmohan Singh’s attempts to tarnish the image of Sikh Diaspora:

It is further notable that Manmohan Singh is known among the Sikh diaspora circles for his attempts to tarnish the image of the diaspora Sikh bodies involved in campaign seeking justice for the victims of November 1984 Sikh genocide.

In his meetings with Canadian Prime Minister in the recent years, Indian PM Manmohan Singh had termed the Sikh organizations like Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and Canadian Sikh Coalition (CSC) as Sikh extremist organizations, while seeking strict action against them, as they were raising the issue of denial of justice to the victims of Sikh genocide 1984.

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