Sikh

Sikh

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Sikh'
Start a new discussion about 'Sikh'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
A Sikh (ˈsiːk or ˈsɪk; , ˈsɪkkʰ) is a follower of Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

 region of South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction". A Sikh is a disciple of the Guru
Sikh Gurus
The Sikh Gurus established Sikhism from over the centuries beginning in the year 1469. Sikhism was founded by the first guru, Guru Nanak, and subsequently, all in order were referred to as "Nanak", and as "Lights", making their teachings in the holy scriptures, equivalent...

.

According to Article I of the "Rehat Maryada" (the Sikh code of conduct and conventions), a Sikh is defined as "any human being who faithfully believes in One Immortal Being; ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 to Sri Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

; Sri Guru Granth Sahib; the teachings of the ten Gurus and the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

; and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion". Sikhs believe in the equality of humankind, the concept of universal brotherhood of man and One Supreme God (Ik Onkar).

Sikhs are recognized by their 5 Ks. 1) Kesh, hair 2) Kara, steel bangle 3) Kirpan
Kirpan
The kirpan is a ceremonial sword or dagger carried by orthodox Sikhs. It is a religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar in CE 1699, all baptised Sikhs must wear a kirpan at all times....

, small sword in a gatra strap. 4) Kashera,a type of special shorts that are all white 5) Kanga, comb under turban. These only apply to Baptised Sikhs. Sikhs are recognized by their distinctively wrapped turban, uncut hair (Kesh)
Kesh (Sikhism)
In Sikhism, Kesh is the practice of allowing one's hair to grow naturally as a symbol of respect for the perfection of God's creation. The practice is one of the Five Ks, the outward symbols ordered by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 as a means to profess the Sikh faith...

, beard and moustache, and they are supposed to wear an iron/steel bracelet (kara
Kara (Sikhism)
A kara , is a steel or iron bracelet, worn by both male and female initiated Sikhs. It is one of the five kakars or 5Ks — external articles of faith — that identify a Sikh as dedicated to their religious order. The kara was instituted by the tenth Sikh guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi...

). Most men have Singh
Singh
Also see SinhaSingh is a common title, middle name, or surname in Northern India and South India used by sikhs warriors and kings. eg. Man Singh I, Maharana Pratap Singh. It is derived from the Sanskrit word Siṃha meaning "lion and used by Ahir kings of Nepal". It is also used in Sri Lanka by...

 (lion) and women Kaur
Kaur
Kaur in Sikhism is a mandatory middle name for female Sikhs.-History:Kaur is a name used by Sikh women either as the middle name, or as a last name. It cannot be regarded as a true surname or family name...

 (princess) as their surname.

The greater Punjab region
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

 is the historical homeland of the Sikhs, although significant communities exist around the world.

Philosophy


The basis of the religion is the union of soul with God. A Sikh disciplines his thoughts and actions so that the five obstacles—lust, anger, greed, materialism and ego—are dispelled and the soul is united with God. Sikhs believe that the cycle of reincarnation is escaped by this union.

Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 was the founder of Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

. Guru Nanak summed the basis of Sikh lifestyle as: Naam Japo, Kirat Karni and Wand kay Shako, which means meditate on the holy name (Waheguru
Waheguru
Waheguru is a term most often used in Sikhism to refer to God, the Supreme Being or the creator of all. It means "The Good/Best Teacher" in the Punjabi language. Wahi means "good" and "Guru" is a term denoting "teacher"....

), work diligently and honestly, and share one's fruits.
The guiding principles of the Sikh faith are Truth, Equality, Freedom, Justice, and Karma.

The Sikhs revere Sri Guru Granth Sahib as their supreme teacher. The tenth Guru
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

 appointed Sri Guru Granth Sahib as the final and eternal Guru of the Sikhs. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is revered by Sikhs as their supreme guide. Non-Sikhs can take part fully in Sikh ceremonies, prayer meetings, and social functions. Their daily prayers include the well-being of all of mankind.

Sikhism can be considered one of the more universal religions. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib, in addition to the revelations of the Sikh gurus, contains revelations of various saints and sages of that period. The opening hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

 of the holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib expounds the nature and attributes of God:
Sikhs are not required to renounce the world. They aspire to live the life of a householder. Seva
Selfless Service
Selfless service is a commonly used term to denote a service which is performed without any expectation of result or award for the person performing it.-Religious significance:...

 (selfless service) is an integral part of Sikh worship, very easily observed in the Gurdwara
Gurdwara
A Gurdwara , meaning the Gateway to the Guru, is the place of worship for Sikhs, the followers of Sikhism. A Gurdwara can be identified from a distance by tall flagpoles bearing the Nishan Sahib ....

. Visitors of any religious or socio-economic background are welcomed, where langar (food for all) is always served and is another way to break the caste system (as observed by Hindus) by serving people of all origins the same (vegetarian) food, while sitting together on the same level of the floor.

Protecting the religious and political rights of all people and preventing discrimination is an integral part of the Sikh faith. The 5th Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

 was martyred by the Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 ruler Jahangir
Jahangir
Jahangir was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian جهانگیر,meaning "Conqueror of the World"...

 on 16 May 1606. The martyrdom of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur
Guru Teg Bahadur
Guru Tegh Bahadur became the 9th Guru of Sikhi on 20 March 1665, following in the footsteps of his grand-nephew, Guru Har Krishan. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi....

 Ji 9th Guru
Guru Teg Bahadur
Guru Tegh Bahadur became the 9th Guru of Sikhi on 20 March 1665, following in the footsteps of his grand-nephew, Guru Har Krishan. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi....

 to protect Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s from religious persecution, in Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, on 11 November 1675 AD, is another example of upholding minority religious freedom.He gave his life to protect freedom of worship for all religions mainly Hindu, when Hindu Pandits (priests) came to ask for help

People revered by Sikhs also include:
  • Bhai Mardana
    Bhai Mardana
    Bhai Mardana was the first follower and longtime companion of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism. He was with Nanak in all of his journeys across India and Asia...

    : one of the first followers and lifelong companion of Guru Nanak
  • Bhai Bala
    Bhai Bala
    Bhai Bala , born in Talvandi Rai Bhoi in a Jatt family. He was a supposed childhood friend and all his life a constant companion of Bhai Mardana and Guru Nanak. According to the Bhai Bala Janam Sakhi's. he travelled with Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana on all their great journeys around the world...

    : one of the first followers and lifelong companion of Guru Nanak
  • Baba Buddha: Sikh saint, held the position of high Granthi
    Granthi
    Granthi is any person of either gender, who performs the reading of the Guru Granth Sahib at congregational occasions, however this task can be performed by any individual who is part of the congregation...

     in the Sikh religion, conducted the ceremony of guruship of the second guru up to the sixth guru, oversaw the construction of the Akal Takht
  • Baba Banda Singh Bahadur
    Banda Bahadur
    Banda Singh Bahadur was a Sikh warrior and martyr. He became part of struggle against the Mughal Empire in the early 18th century, after meeting Guru Gobind Singh. Guru Gobind Singh gave him the new name of Banda Singh Bahadur...

    : fought and defeated the Mughal
    Mughal Empire
    The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

     Governor of Punjab, Wazir Khan, and established a Sikh force in Punjab
  • Baba Deep Singh
    Baba Deep Singh
    Baba Deep Singh is revered among Sikhs as one of the most hallowed martyrs in Sikhism and as a highly religious person. He is remembered for his sacrifice and devotion to the teachings of the Sikh Gurus....

    : Sikh saint, defended Golden Temple
    Harmandir Sahib
    The Harmandir Sahib also Darbar Sahib , also referred to as the Golden Temple, is a prominent Sikh gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab . Construction of the gurdwara was begun by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, and completed by his successor, Guru Arjan Dev...

     with his head in his hand, first head of the Damdami Taksal
  • Bhai Mani Singh: Sikh scholar, compiled the Dasam Granth
    Dasam Granth
    Dasven Patshah Da Granth or Dasam Granth , often called Sri Dasam Granth Sahib with respect, is a scripture of Sikhism, containing some of the texts attributed to 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Although the Dasam Granth is commonly confused with the Guru Granth Sahib, there is no overlap in...

  • Bhai Taru Singh
    Bhai Taru Singh
    -Biography:Born in Punjab during the reign of the Mughal Empire, Bhai Taru Singh was raised as a Sikh by his widowed mother. During this time, Sikh revolutionaries were plotting the overthrow of the Zakaria Khan a merciless killer of the sikhs and hindus. Bhai Taru Singh and his sister gave food...

    : a patron of the poor
  • Bhai Gurdas
    Bhai Gurdas
    Bhai Gurdas was a Punjabi Sikh writer, historian, preacher and religious figure. He was the original scribe of the Guru Granth Sahib and a companion of four of the Sikh Gurus.-Early life:...

    : known for his interpretation of Bani and his works (vaars)
  • Bhai Kanhaiya
    Bhai Kanhaiya
    Bhai Kanhaiya , was a Sikh of Guru Tegh Bahadur and was requested to establish the Sevapanthi or Addanshahi order of the Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Bhai Sahib was born in a Dhamman Khatri family of Sodhara near Wazirabad in Sialkot district...

    : known for starting the first action of Red Cross
  • Bhai Mati Das
    Bhai Mati Das
    Bhai Mati Das Bhai Mati Das Bhai Mati Das (Punjabi: ਭਾਈ ਮਤੀ ਦਾਸ, is one of the greatest martyrs in Sikh history. He along with his younger brother Bhai Sati Das and Bhai Dyal Das, all disciples of the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, were executed along with him at the Kotwali(police-station)...

    : known for sacrificing his life for the right of faith
  • Bhai Sati Das
    Bhai Sati Das
    Bhai Sati Das along with his elder brother Bhai Mati Das is one of the greatest martyrs in Sikh history. Bhai Sati Das and his elder brother Bhai Mati Das were followers of ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur...

    : known for sacrificing his life for the right of faith
  • Bhai Dayala
    Bhai Dayala
    Bhai Dyala ji was one of the earliest and great Martyrs to the Sikh faith. Along with his companions Bhai Mati Das and Bhai Sati Das as well as Ninth Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur ji, Bhai Dayala was martyred at Chandni Chowk at Delhi in November 1675 on account of his refusal to barter his...

    : known for sacrificing his life for the right of faith
  • Bhai Bachittar Singh
    Bhai Bachittar Singh
    Bhai Bachittar Singh , often known with the honorific "Shaheed" , was a Minhas Sikh Rajput hero, a warrior under Guru Gobind Singh.-Early Life:...

    : known for sacrificing his life in battle in bravery, by putting a spear through an intoxicated elephant which was covered in armour


Early Sikh scholars included Bhai Santokh Singh, Bhai Vir Singh
Bhai Vir Singh
Vir Singh was a poet, scholar and theologian and a figure in the movement for the revival and renewal of Punjabi literary tradition....

 and Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha
Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha
Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha was a Sikh lexicographer and encyclopedist. His most influential work, Mahan Kosh, inspired generations of scholars after him...

.

(Sant Baba Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale): 14th head of the damdami taksal .

Teachings


Sikhism believes in one supreme being which is real and immanent and only experienceable in this creation, technically there is nothing in this creation which is devoid of it and distinct of it.

It also teaches God's omnipresence
Omnipresence
Omnipresence or ubiquity is the property of being present everywhere. According to eastern theism, God is present everywhere. Divine omnipresence is thus one of the divine attributes, although in western theism it has attracted less philosophical attention than such attributes as omnipotence,...

, transcendence
Transcendence (religion)
In religion transcendence refers to the aspect of God's nature which is wholly independent of the physical universe. This is contrasted with immanence where God is fully present in the physical world and thus accessible to creatures in various ways...

, omnipotence
Omnipotence
Omnipotence is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed...

, and omniscience
Omniscience
Omniscience omniscient point-of-view in writing) is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. In Latin, omnis means "all" and sciens means "knowing"...

. It also revolves around the belief in reincarnation
Reincarnation
Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

. Emphasis is on ethics
Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

, morality
Morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

, and values
Value (personal and cultural)
A personal or cultural value is an absolute or relative ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based...

; the Sikh faith does not accept miracles. The Sikh school of thought believes in a form of reincarnation
Reincarnation
Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

 similar to Karma. The concept of hell and heaven in Sikhism is metaphorical and is said to be experienced by those who chose (or not) to live in the 5 thieves.


As well as believing in an omnipresent Onkar(the one constant in the Universe).

Devout Sikhs are recommended to say 5 prayers in the morning between 1am-6am (the 5 prayers can be said in succession within 1 hour for the well-versed) (Japji, Anand Sahib
Anand Sahib
Anand Sahib: This Bani is part of the Nitnem or prayer which are read by Amritdhari Sikhs in the morning. The Bani was written by Guru Amar Das, the third Guru of the Sikhs and form part of the 5 Banis that are recited daily by baptised Sikhs. The Bani appears on pages 917 to 922 of Guru Granth...

, Jaap Sahib
Jaap Sahib
Jaap Sahib is the morning prayer of the Sikhs. The Prayer or Bani was composed by the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh. This Bani is one of 5 Banis that a Sikh must recite everyday and is recited by the Panj Pyare while preparing Amrit on the occasion of Amrit Sanchar , a ceremony held to admit...

, Tav-Prasad Savaiye
Tav-Prasad Savaiye
Tav-Prasad Savaiye is a short hymn of 10 stanzas. It is a part of Guru Gobind Singh ji's classic composition 'Akal Ustat' which means 'The praise of God'. In the last line of the 9th stanza, Gobind Singh has declared that 'only those who love sincerely and honestly, realise God'...

, Chaupai
Chaupai (Sikhism)
Benti Chaupai is a hymn by Guru Gobind Singh.Benti Chaupai consists of three parts: Kabiyo Bach Benti Chaupai, Arril and Chaupai, and Savaiye and Dohra. Kabiyo Bach Benti Chaupai is normally referred to as Chaupai in short...

 and Ardas
Ardas
The Ardās is a Sikh prayer that is done before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the daily Banis ; or completion of a service like the Paath , kirtan program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating...

), 1 prayer in evening from 5-7pm (Rehras
Rehras
The rehras sahib is the evening prayer of the Sikhs. It is recited at the end of a working day. Its purpose is to add energy to one's being and living environments...

 and Ardas
Ardas
The Ardās is a Sikh prayer that is done before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the daily Banis ; or completion of a service like the Paath , kirtan program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating...

) and 1 before sleeping, around 8-10pm (Kirtan Sohila
Kirtan Sohila
Kirtan Sohila: Three Gurus – Guru Nanak, Guru Ram Das and Guru Arjan - contributed five shabads on the pain of separation and celebrating the bliss of union. The first three Shabads were uttered by Guru Nanak, the fourth by Guru Ram Das and the fifth by Guru Arjan Dev. This is the night prayer said...

 and Ardas
Ardas
The Ardās is a Sikh prayer that is done before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the daily Banis ; or completion of a service like the Paath , kirtan program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating...

).

Sikh scriptures teach the concept of moderation
Moderation
Moderation is the process of eliminating or lessening extremes. It is used to ensure normality throughout the medium on which it is being conducted...

. Sikhism teaches a person to remove (the Five Evils
Five Evils
The Five evils or five thieves are, according to Sikhism, the five major weaknesses of the human personality at variance with its spiritual essence. The common evils far exceed five in number, but a group of five came to be identified because of the obstruction they are believed to cause in man's...

): (kaam
KAAM
KAAM, known as "K-Double-A-M", is an AM radio station broadcasting in the Dallas/Fort Worth "Metroplex" with a format of oldies/standards, and program length commercials...

 (kam
Kam
Kam meaning deep desire, uncontrolled longing, concupiscence, sensuality or lasciviousness is counted among the five cardinal sins or sinful propensities in Sikhism. In common usage, the term stands for excessive passion for sexual pleasure and it is in this sense that it is considered an evil...

) or Lust
Lust
Lust is an emotional force that is directly associated with the thinking or fantasizing about one's desire, usually in a sexual way.-Etymology:The word lust is phonetically similar to the ancient Roman lustrum, which literally meant "purification"...

), krodh
Krodh
Krodh is derived from the Sanskrit word krodha, which means wrath or Rage. This is an emotion recognized in the Sikh system as a spring of desire and is as such counted as one of the Five Evils....

 or wrath, lobh
Lobh
Lobh is a Gurmukhi word which translates in English to greed; it is a strong desire for worldly possessions and a constant focus on possessing material items, especially the urge to possess what rightfully belongs to others. According to Sikhism, it makes an individual selfish and self-centred. It...

 or greed
Greed
Greed is an excessive desire to possess wealth, goods, or abstract things of value with the intention to keep it for one's self. Greed is inappropriate expectation...

, moh
Moh
Moh stands in ancient texts for perplexity or confusion as also for the cause of confusion, that is, avidya or ajnana ....

 or materialism
Materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

 and ahankar
Ahankar
Hankār is the Gurmukhi word originated from a Sanskrit word Ahankāra which translates to mean ego or excessive pride due to one's possessions, material wealth, intelligence or powers. It gives an individual the feeling that he is superior to others and therefore they are at a lower level than he is...

 or egotism
Ego (religion)
In psychology, 'Ego' is presumed as one of the three parts of psychic apparatus defined by Sigmund Freud's structural model. It is also defined by various religions across the world where slight differences also occur in their conceptions...

), and to oppose hedonism
Hedonism
Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure .-Etymology:The name derives from the Greek word for "delight" ....

.

Guru Nanak sought to improve the status of women by spreading this message: "From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married. Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come. When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound. So why call her bad? when she gives rise to nobility. From woman, woman is born; without woman, there would be no one at all. O Nanak, only the True Lord is without a woman." (page 473). In so doing, he promoted women's rights and equality, a remarkable stance in the 15th century which was actually brought into practice by Guru Nanak and following 9 Gurus.

Sikhism professes democratic institutions such as Guru Paanth (literally the teachers followers), and decisions about the community are made collectively by the Guru Paanth.

Sikhism teaches that all of humanity was created by the Onkar, which is addressed by many names and understood differently. Sikhism teaches to respect all other religions (tolerance
Toleration
Toleration is "the practice of deliberately allowing or permitting a thing of which one disapproves. One can meaningfully speak of tolerating, ie of allowing or permitting, only if one is in a position to disallow”. It has also been defined as "to bear or endure" or "to nourish, sustain or preserve"...

) and that one should defend the rights of not just one's own religion, but the religion and faith of others, as a human right. At the end of every Sikh prayer is a supplication for the welfare of all of humanity.

Sikhism believes in the concept of a human Soul (Self (spirituality)
Self (spirituality)
Religious views on the self vary widely. The self is a complex and core subject in many forms of spirituality. Two types of self are commonly considered - the self that is the ego, also called the learned, superficial self of mind and body, "false self", an egoic creation, and the Self which is...

 or consciousness
Consciousness
Consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind...

 or spirit
Spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

 or astral body
Astral body
The astral body is a subtle body posited by many religious philosophers, intermediate between the intelligent soul and the physical body, composed of a subtle material. The concept ultimately derives from the philosophy of Plato: it is related to an astral plane, which consists of the planetary...

). Sikhs believe they can unite and become one with God in this life (Gurmukh), as the consciousness merges with God (Supreme Consciousness) through truthful living and actions and is only a matter of realization. Sikhs always greet each other with the words "Sat Sri Akaal" which literally means "Truth is Time-less being". Truth, truthful living, equality, freedom and justice are the core principles of Sikh philosophy.

Guru Gobind Singh infused a new spirit into the community by creating the Khalsa brotherhood – or the "pure brotherhood". Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 Sikhs do not cut their hair kes
Kesh (Sikhism)
In Sikhism, Kesh is the practice of allowing one's hair to grow naturally as a symbol of respect for the perfection of God's creation. The practice is one of the Five Ks, the outward symbols ordered by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 as a means to profess the Sikh faith...

, this being covered with a turban
Turban
In English, Turban refers to several types of headwear popularly worn in the Middle East, North Africa, Punjab, Jamaica and Southwest Asia. A commonly used synonym is Pagri, the Indian word for turban.-Styles:...

: the idea is that humans are made in the image of God, to honor God. Thus a person's intact hair is a symbol of honor, warriorhood, saintliness and radiance/aura
Aura (paranormal)
In parapsychology and many forms of spiritual practice, an aura is a field of subtle, luminous radiation surrounding a person or object . The depiction of such an aura often connotes a person of particular power or holiness. Sometimes, however, it is said that all living things and all objects...

 and an acceptance of the natural form of our bodies, allowing believers to be at peace with themselves at all times and to get rid of vanity relating to outward appearance.

Wearing a turban and a distinct identity also made the Sikhs very easily recognizable. Sikh history is built on examples of brave men and women who defended an ideology built on the fundamentals of human rights and equality of all human beings. This belief often led to conflict with oppresive authorities. For more than 300 years the Sikhs were persecuted endlessly. The Sikh human rights struggle morphed into a political struggle which was one of the dominant causes of the fall of the Mughal empire in India and led to the formation of the strongest kingdom in India before being annexed by the British in 1849. Yet at the peak of their political power the Sikhs under the great Maharaja Ranjit Singh had a large powerful kingdom centered in Lahore which was also secular and egalitarian.

An example of Sikhism's commitment to tolerance is the fact that the foundation stone of the holiest shrine of the Sikhs—Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar also known as the Golden Temple—was laid not by the many eminent Sikh leaders or the 4th Sikh Guru Ramdas who was the leader of the Sikhs at that time, but by a Sufi by the name of Sain Mian Mir.

Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 code of conduct strictly forbids the use of intoxicants, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, narcotics and any other foreign substance which disrupts the body, sexual relationship out of marriage, consuming sacrificial meat (Kutha meat
Kutha meat
Kutha meat is defined as "meat of animal or fowl slaughtered slowly as prescribed by Islamic law.". It has been more broadly defined as "killing an animal with a prayer" or "a sacrifice to God" or meat prepared through "unnecessary ritualism"....

), cutting of hairs.

The Sikh religion also teaches human life is very valuable, described as more precious than a diamond which comes after great spiritual deeds and merits are done, to have gone through 8.4 million life cycle of incarnations before human life was attained. Therefore the meaning of life from Sikh teachings is to unite with the supreme Truth referred to as Onkar.

Five Ks



The Five Ks, or panj kakaar/kakke, are five articles of faith that all baptized Sikhs (also called Khalsa Sikhs) are typically obliged to wear at all times, as commanded by the tenth Sikh Guru
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

, who so ordered on the day of Baisakhi Amrit Sanskar
Amrit Sanskar
Amrit Sanchar or the Amrit ceremony is the Sikh ceremony of initiation or baptism. This practice has been in existence since the times of Guru Nanak Dev . During that time-period, this ceremony was known as Charan Amrit or Charan Pahul or the Pag Pahul, the words Charan and Pag both signifying the...

 in 1699. The symbols are worn for identification and representation of the ideals of Sikhism, such as honesty, equality, fidelity, militarism, meditating on God, and never bowing to tyranny.
The five symbols are:
  • Kesh
    Kesh (Sikhism)
    In Sikhism, Kesh is the practice of allowing one's hair to grow naturally as a symbol of respect for the perfection of God's creation. The practice is one of the Five Ks, the outward symbols ordered by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 as a means to profess the Sikh faith...

     (uncut hair, usually tied and wrapped in the Sikh Turban, Dastar.)
  • Kanga (wooden comb, usually worn under the Dastar.)
  • Katchera (specially made cotton underwear as a reminder of the commitment to purity.)
  • Kara
    Kara (Sikhism)
    A kara , is a steel or iron bracelet, worn by both male and female initiated Sikhs. It is one of the five kakars or 5Ks — external articles of faith — that identify a Sikh as dedicated to their religious order. The kara was instituted by the tenth Sikh guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi...

     (iron bracelet, which is a symbol of eternity.)
  • Kirpan
    Kirpan
    The kirpan is a ceremonial sword or dagger carried by orthodox Sikhs. It is a religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar in CE 1699, all baptised Sikhs must wear a kirpan at all times....

     (curved sword, comes in different sizes, for example in the UK Sikhs would wear a small sharp dagger whereas in the Punjab
    Punjab region
    The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

     Sikhs would wear the traditional curved sword, from one to three feet in length.)

History






Sikh history, with respect to Sikhism as a distinct political body, can be said to have begun with the death of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev in 1606. Sikh distinction was further enhanced by the establishment of the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 (ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ), by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699. The evolution of Sikhism began with the emergence of Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 as a religious leader and a social reformer during the 15th century in Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

. The religious practice was formalized by Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

 on 30 March 1699. The latter baptised five people from different social backgrounds to form Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

. The first five, Pure Ones
Panj Piare
The Panj Piare , name given to the five Sikhs, Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Sahib Singh, who were so designated by Guru Gobind Singh at the historic divan at Anandpur Sahib on 30 March 1699 and who formed the nucleus of the Khalsa as the first...

, then baptized Gobind Singh into the Khalsa fold. This gives Sikhism, as an organized grouping, a religious history of around 400 years.

Generally Sikhism has had amicable relations with other religions. However, during the Mughal rule of India (1556–1707), the emerging religion had strained relations with the ruling Mughals. Hindu Hill rajahs fought frequent battles against Guru Gobind Singh because they were largely opposed to Guru Gobind Singh's casteless principles of religion. Prominent Sikh Gurus
Sikh Gurus
The Sikh Gurus established Sikhism from over the centuries beginning in the year 1469. Sikhism was founded by the first guru, Guru Nanak, and subsequently, all in order were referred to as "Nanak", and as "Lights", making their teachings in the holy scriptures, equivalent...

 were killed by Mughals for opposing Mughal persecution of minority religious communities. Subsequently, Sikhism militarized to oppose Mughal hegemony. The emergence of the Sikh Empire
Sikh Confederacy
The Sikh Empire was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The empire, based around the Punjab region, existed from 1799 to 1849. It was forged, on the foundations of the Khalsa, under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh from a collection of autonomous Punjabi Misls...

 under reign of the Maharajah Ranjit Singh
Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.-Early life:...

 was characterized by religious tolerance and pluralism
Religious pluralism
Religious pluralism is a loosely defined expression concerning acceptance of various religions, and is used in a number of related ways:* As the name of the worldview according to which one's religion is not the sole and exclusive source of truth, and thus that at least some truths and true values...

 with Christians, Muslims and Hindus in positions of power. The establishment of the Sikh Empire
Sikh Confederacy
The Sikh Empire was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The empire, based around the Punjab region, existed from 1799 to 1849. It was forged, on the foundations of the Khalsa, under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh from a collection of autonomous Punjabi Misls...

 is commonly considered the zenith of Sikhism at political level, during this time the Sikh Empire
Sikh Confederacy
The Sikh Empire was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The empire, based around the Punjab region, existed from 1799 to 1849. It was forged, on the foundations of the Khalsa, under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh from a collection of autonomous Punjabi Misls...

 came to include Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

, Ladakh
Ladakh
Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of the Republic of India. It lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent...

, and Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

. Hari Singh Nalwa
Hari Singh Nalwa
Hari Singh Nalwa was Commander-in-chief of the Khalsa, the army of the Sikh Empire. He is known for his role in the conquests of Kasur, Sialkot, Multan, Kashmir, Attock, and Peshawar. He led the Sikh Army in freeing Shah Shuja from Kashmir and secured the Koh-i-Nor diamond for Maharaja Ranjit Singh...

, the Commander-in-chief of the Sikh army along the North West Frontier, took the boundary of the Sikh Empire to the very mouth of the Khyber Pass
Khyber Pass
The Khyber Pass, is a mountain pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.The Pass was an integral part of the ancient Silk Road. It is mentioned in the Bible as the "Pesh Habor," and it is one of the oldest known passes in the world....

. The Empire's
Sikh Confederacy
The Sikh Empire was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The empire, based around the Punjab region, existed from 1799 to 1849. It was forged, on the foundations of the Khalsa, under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh from a collection of autonomous Punjabi Misls...

 secular administration integrated innovative military, economic and governmental reforms.

The months leading up to the partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 in 1947, were marked by heavy conflict in the Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

 between Sikh and Muslims. The effect was the religious migration of Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus from West Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

, mirroring a similar religious migration of Punjabi Muslims in East Punjab
Punjab (India)
Punjab ) is a state in the northwest of the Republic of India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. The state is bordered by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest as well as the Pakistani province of Punjab to the...

.

The 1960s saw growing animosity and rioting between Sikhs and Hindus in India, as the Sikhs agitated for the creation of a Punjab state based on a linguistic basis similar to that by which other states in India had been created. This had also been promised to the Sikh leader Master Tara Singh
Master Tara Singh
Master Tara Singh Malhotra was a prominent Sikh political and religious leader in the first half of the 20th century...

 by Nehru in return for Sikh political support during the negotiations for Indian Independence. Sikhs obtained the Punjab but not without losing some Punjabi speaking areas to Himachal Pradesh and Harayana and worst of all Chandigarh was made Union Territory and joint capital of Haryana & Punjab. Punjab
Punjab (India)
Punjab ) is a state in the northwest of the Republic of India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. The state is bordered by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest as well as the Pakistani province of Punjab to the...

 on 1 November 1966.

Communal tensions arose again in the late 1970s, fueled by Sikh claims of discrimination and marginalization by the Hindu dominated Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

 ruling party and the "dictatorial" tactics adopted the then Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

. Frank argues that Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

's assumption of emergency powers in 1975 resulted in the weakening of the "legitimate and impartial machinery of government" and her increasing "paranoia" of opposing political groups led her to instigate a "despotic policy of playing castes, religions and political groups against each other for political advantage". As a reaction against these actions came the emergence of the Sikh leader Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale who vocalized Sikh sentiment for justice and advocated the creation of a Sikh homeland, Khalistan
Khalistan
Khalistan refers to a global political secessionist movement to create a separate Sikh state, called Khālistān , carved out of parts mostly consisting of the Punjab region of India, depending on definition....

. This accelerated Punjab into a state of communal violence. Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

's 1984 action to defeat Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale led to the attack of the Golden Temple
Harmandir Sahib
The Harmandir Sahib also Darbar Sahib , also referred to as the Golden Temple, is a prominent Sikh gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab . Construction of the gurdwara was begun by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, and completed by his successor, Guru Arjan Dev...

 in Operation Bluestar and ultimately led to Gandhi's assassination by her Sikh bodyguards. This resulted in an explosion of violence against the Sikh community in the anti-Sikh riots which resulted in the massacre of thousands of Sikhs throughout India; Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh is a prominent Indian novelist and journalist. Singh's weekly column, "With Malice towards One and All", carried by several Indian newspapers, is among the most widely-read columns in the country....

 described the actions as being a Sikh pogrom
Pogrom
A pogrom is a form of violent riot, a mob attack directed against a minority group, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centres...

 in which he "felt like a refugee in my country. In fact, I felt like a Jew in Nazi Germany". Since 1984, relations between Sikhs and Hindus have reached a rapprochement
Rapprochement
In international relations, a rapprochement, which comes from the French word rapprocher , is a re-establishment of cordial relations, as between two countries...

 helped by growing economic prosperity; however in 2002 the claims of the popular right-wing Hindu organization the RSS
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or National Patriotic Organization), also known the Sangh, is a right-wing Hindu nationalist, paramilitary, volunteer, and allegedly militant organization for Hindu males in India...

 (which has long played a significant role in protecting Sikhs during riots), that "Sikhs are Hindus" angered Sikh sensibilities. Many Sikhs still are campaigning for justice for victims of the violence and the political and economic needs of the Punjab espoused in the Khalistan movement
Khalistan movement
Khalistan refers to a global political secessionist movement to create a separate Sikh state, called Khālistān , carved out of parts mostly consisting of the Punjab region of India, depending on definition....

.

In 1996 the Special Rapporteur
Special Rapporteur
Special Rapporteur is a title given to individuals working on behalf of the United Nations within the scope of "Special Procedures" mechanisms who bear a specific mandate from the United Nations Human Rights Council....

 for the Commission on Human Rights on freedom of religion or belief, Abdelfattah Amor (Tunisia, 1993–2004), visited India in order to compose a report on religious discrimination. In 1997, Amor concluded, "it appears that the situation of the Sikhs in the religious field is satisfactory, but that difficulties are arising in the political (foreign interference, terrorism, etc.), economic (in particular with regard to sharing of water supplies) and even occupational fields. Information received from nongovernment (sic) sources indicates that discrimination does exist in certain sectors of the public administration; examples include the decline in the number of Sikhs in the police force and the military, and the absence of Sikhs in personal bodyguard units since the murder of Indira Gandhi".

Sikh music and instruments


Sikhs have developed their own instruments: Rabab, Dilruba, Taus
Taus (instrument)
The taus is a bowed string instrument from the north and central India, as well as from the Punjab. Taus was the work of Sri Guru Hargobind Ji . From this instrument originates the lighter dilruba. It has a peacock body sound box and a neck with 20 heavy metal frets...

, Jori and the Sarinda
Sarinda
A sarinda is a stringed Indian folk musical instrument similar to lutes or fiddles. It is played with a bow and has three strings. The bottom part of the front of its hollow wooden soundbox is covered with animal skin...

. The Sarangi
Sarangi
The Sārangī is a bowed, short-necked string instrument of India which is originated from Rajasthani folk instruments. It plays an important role in India's Hindustani classical music tradition...

 was also encouraged by Guru Har Gobind
Guru Har Gobind
Guru Hargobind Sahib, also Saccha Badshah was the sixth of the Sikh gurus and became Guru on 25 May 1606 following in the footsteps of his father Guru Arjan Dev. He was not, perhaps, more than eleven at his father's execution...

. The Rabaab was first used by Bhai Mardana, as he accompanied Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 on his journeys. Jori and Sarinda
Sarinda
A sarinda is a stringed Indian folk musical instrument similar to lutes or fiddles. It is played with a bow and has three strings. The bottom part of the front of its hollow wooden soundbox is covered with animal skin...

 were both designed by Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

. The Taus
Taus (instrument)
The taus is a bowed string instrument from the north and central India, as well as from the Punjab. Taus was the work of Sri Guru Hargobind Ji . From this instrument originates the lighter dilruba. It has a peacock body sound box and a neck with 20 heavy metal frets...

 was made by Guru Har Gobind
Guru Har Gobind
Guru Hargobind Sahib, also Saccha Badshah was the sixth of the Sikh gurus and became Guru on 25 May 1606 following in the footsteps of his father Guru Arjan Dev. He was not, perhaps, more than eleven at his father's execution...

, it is said that he heard a peacock singing and wished to create such an instrument that could mimic it sounds, Taus
Taus (instrument)
The taus is a bowed string instrument from the north and central India, as well as from the Punjab. Taus was the work of Sri Guru Hargobind Ji . From this instrument originates the lighter dilruba. It has a peacock body sound box and a neck with 20 heavy metal frets...

 is the Persian word for peacock. The Dilruba was made by Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

 at the request of his Sikhs. They wished for a smaller instrument as the Taus
Taus (instrument)
The taus is a bowed string instrument from the north and central India, as well as from the Punjab. Taus was the work of Sri Guru Hargobind Ji . From this instrument originates the lighter dilruba. It has a peacock body sound box and a neck with 20 heavy metal frets...

 was hard to carry and maintain, due to constant battles.
After Japji Sahib
Japji Sahib
Japji is a universal song of God composed by Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith.Japji Sahib consists of the Mool Mantra as the beginning followed by 38 hymns and a final Salok at the end of this composition. The Japji appears at the very beginning of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Book...

 all of the shabd
Shabd
' is the Sanskrit for "sound, speech"In Sanskrit grammar, the term refers to an utterance in the sense of linguistic performance.-In Indian linguistics:...

 in the Guru Granth Sahib
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

 are written in raag
Raga
A raga is one of the melodic modes used in Indian classical music.It is a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is made...

. The shabd
Shabd
' is the Sanskrit for "sound, speech"In Sanskrit grammar, the term refers to an utterance in the sense of linguistic performance.-In Indian linguistics:...

 is typically played in accordance with that particular raag
Raga
A raga is one of the melodic modes used in Indian classical music.It is a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is made...

. This style of singing is known as Gurmat Sangeet
Gurmat Sangeet
Gurmat Sangeet is the art and science of singing and playing the hymns of the sacred scripture Siri Guru Granth Sahib in the prescribed Rāga, and with the original string instruments created and promoted by the Sikh Gurus in the historic times. These instruments are: Rabaab, Saranda, Jori, Sarangi,...

.

When marching into battle, the Sikhs would use drumming to boost their morale and become excited. This was called the Ranjit Nagara (Drum of Victory). Nagaras are large war drums, making a thundering sound and measuring about 2 to 3 feet in diameter, played with two sticks. The special or original Ranjit Nagara, used in past battles, are up to 5 feet across.
The beat of the large drums usually meant that the army was marching into battle. It was also taken into the battle sometimes, the Sikhs would raise the Nishan Sahib
Nishan Sahib
The Nishan Sahib is a Sikh holy triangular flag made of cotton or silk cloth, with a tassel at its end. The word, Nishan means symbol, and the flag is hoisted on a tall flagpole, outside most Gurudwaras. The flagpole itself covered with fabric, ends with a two-edged dagger on top...

 high, the opposing forces would know the Singhs were coming. While the Sikhs spirit was boosting, the opposing forces would be losing morale.

Distribution




Numbering approximately 27 million worldwide, Sikhs make up 0.39% of the world population, of which approximately 83% live in India. Approximately 76% of all Sikhs live in the northern Indian State of Punjab
Punjab (India)
Punjab ) is a state in the northwest of the Republic of India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. The state is bordered by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest as well as the Pakistani province of Punjab to the...

, where they form a majority (about two thirds) of the population. Substantial communities of Sikhs, i.e. greater than 200,000, live in the Indian States/Union territories of Haryana
Haryana
Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

, Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, , is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert , which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with...

, Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

, Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

, Uttaranchal, Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

 and the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

.

Sikh migration from the then British India began in earnest from the 2nd half of the 19th century when the British had completed their annexation of the Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

. The British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 preferentially recruited Sikhs in the Indian Civil Service and, in particular, the British Indian Army
British Indian Army
The British Indian Army, officially simply the Indian Army, was the principal army of the British Raj in India before the partition of India in 1947...

, which led to migration of Sikhs to different parts of British India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. During the era of the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

, semiskilled Sikh artisans were also transported from the Punjab to British East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

 to help in the building of railways. After World War II, Sikhs emigrated from both India and Pakistan, most going to the United Kingdom but many also headed for North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

. Some of the Sikhs who had settled in eastern Africa were expelled by Ugandan dictator Idi Amin
Idi Amin
Idi Amin Dada was a military leader and President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King's African Rifles in 1946. Eventually he held the rank of Major General in the post-colonial Ugandan Army and became its Commander before seizing power in the military...

 in 1972. Subsequently the main 'push' factor for Sikh migration has been economic with significant Sikh communities now being found in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Malaysia, East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

, Australia
Sikhism in Australia
Sikhism is a small but growing minority religion in Australia, that can trace its origins in the nation to the 1830s. The Sikhs form one of the largest subgroups of Indian Australians with 26,500 adherents according to the 2006 census, having grown from 17,000 in 2001 and 12,000 in 1996...

 and Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

.

While the rate of Sikh migration from the Punjab
Punjab (India)
Punjab ) is a state in the northwest of the Republic of India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. The state is bordered by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest as well as the Pakistani province of Punjab to the...

 has remained high, traditional patterns of Sikh migration, that favored English speaking countries, particularly the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 has changed in the past decade due to factors such as stricter immigration procedures. Moliner (2006) states that as a consequence of the 'fact' that Sikh migration to the UK had "become virtually impossible since the late 1970s", Sikh migration patterns altered to continental Europe. Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 has now emerged as a fast growing area for Sikh migration, with Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia is an affluent city in northern Italy, in the Emilia-Romagna region. It has about 170,000 inhabitants and is the main comune of the Province of Reggio Emilia....

 and the Vicenza
Vicenza
Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...

 province being areas of significant Sikh population clusters. The Italian Sikhs are generally involved in areas of agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, agro-processing, machine tools and horticulture
Horticulture
Horticulture is the industry and science of plant cultivation including the process of preparing soil for the planting of seeds, tubers, or cuttings. Horticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of plant propagation and cultivation, crop production, plant breeding and genetic...

.

Due primarily to socio-economic reasons, Indian Sikhs have the lowest adjusted decadal growth rate of any major religious group in India, at 16.9% per decade (est. 1991–2001). Johnson and Barrett(2004) estimate that the global Sikh population increases annually by 392,633 Sikhs, i.e. by 1.7% p.a. on 2004 figures, this growth rate takes into account factors such as births, deaths and conversions.

Representation


Sikhs are represented in Indian politics, by the current Indian Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh is the 13th and current Prime Minister of India. He is the only Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a full five-year term. A Sikh, he is the first non-Hindu to occupy the office. Singh is also the 7th Prime Minister belonging to the Indian...

 who is the head of the government (the nominal head is the President of India)and wields the supreme authority, including the nuclear button, and the Deputy Chairman of the Indian Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia
Montek Singh Ahluwalia
Montek Singh Ahluwalia is an Indian economist and civil servant. He is currently the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of the Republic of India. He was previously the first Director of the Independent Evaluation Office at the International Monetary Fund.-Early life and education:Montek...

. The current Chief-minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal, is a Sikh. Past Sikh politicians in India have included former President Giani Zail Singh, India's first Foreign Minister Sardar Swaran Singh
Sardar Swaran Singh
Sardar Swaran Singh was an Indian politician. He was India's longest serving union cabinet minister.- Early life :Saradar Swaran Singh was born on 19th August 1907 in Shankar Village in Jallandhar District of Punjab. He was born into an agricultural family....

, the former President of India
President of India
The President of India is the head of state and first citizen of India, as well as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. President of India is also the formal head of all the three branches of Indian Democracy - Legislature, Executive and Judiciary...

, Dr. Gurdial Singh Dhillon
Gurdial Singh Dhillon
Dr. Gurdial Singh Dhillon was a Punjabi politician in the Indian National Congress party. He was President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Indian High Commissioner to Canada .-Early life:...

, Speaker of the Parliament of India
Parliament of India
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body in India. Founded in 1919, the Parliament alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all political bodies in India. The Parliament of India comprises the President and the two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha...

. Pratap Singh Kairon
Pratap Singh Kairon
Pratap Singh Kairon was the Chief Minister of the Punjab province , and is widely acknowledged to be the architect of post-Independence Punjab Province. Moreover, he was an Indian independence movement leader...

, Union minister, Sikh Indian independence movement
Indian independence movement
The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

 leader and former Chief-minister of Punjab (India).

Prominent politicians of the Sikh Diaspora include the first Asian American
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

 to be elected as a Member of United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 Dalip Singh Saund
Dalip Singh Saund
Dalip Singh Saund was a member of the United States House of Representatives. He served the 29th District of California from January 3, 1957–January 3, 1963. He was the first Asian American, Indian American and Sikh member of the United States Congress...

, the former mayoress of Dunedin Sukhi Turner
Sukhi Turner
Dame Sukhinder "Sukhi" Kaur Gill Turner, DNZM was the Mayor of Dunedin, New Zealand, from 1995 until her retirement from the position in 2004. She was notable as the first Green Party mayor in New Zealand...

, the current UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Parmjit Dhanda
Parmjit Dhanda
Parmjit Singh Dhanda is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament for Gloucester from 2001 to 2010, succeeding Tess Kingham as the Labour MP for the seat...

 MP and the first couple to ever sit together in any parliament in the history of commonwealth countries Gurmant Grewal
Gurmant Grewal
Gurmant Singh Grewal, is a Canadian politician and former Conservative Party of Canada Member of Parliament. Gurmant and his wife, Nina Grewal, were the first married couple to serve in the Canadian House of Commons at the same time...

 and Nina Grewal
Nina Grewal
Narinder Kaur Grewal, MP , is a Canadian politician of the Conservative Party. She was elected in the general election of June 2004 to represent the constituency of Fleetwood—Port Kells, British Columbia....

, who sought apology by the Canadian Government for the historical Komagata Maru incident, and the Canadian Shadow Social Development Minister Ruby Dhalla
Ruby Dhalla
Ruby Dhalla is a Canadian politician. She represented the riding of Brampton—Springdale in the Canadian House of Commons from 2004 to 2011 as a member of the Liberal Party...

 MP. Vic Dhillon
Vic Dhillon
Vic Dhillon is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, representing the constituency of Brampton West for the Ontario Liberal Party. Dhillon is one of the three Sikh Members of the Legislature, all of whom are members of the Liberal Party.-Early...

, is a Sikh Canadian politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 and current member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario , is the legislature of the Canadian province of Ontario, and is the second largest provincial legislature of Canada...

. Ujjal Dosanjh
Ujjal Dosanjh
Ujjal Dev Singh Dosanjh, PC, QC, is a Sikh Canadian lawyer and politician. He served as 33rd Premier of British Columbia from 2000 to 2001 and as a Liberal Party of Canada Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2011 including a stint as Minister of Health from 2004 until 2006 when the party lost...

 was the New Democratic Party
New Democratic Party
The New Democratic Party , commonly referred to as the NDP, is a federal social-democratic political party in Canada. The interim leader of the NDP is Nycole Turmel who was appointed to the position due to the illness of Jack Layton, who died on August 22, 2011. The provincial wings of the NDP in...

 Premier
Premier of British Columbia
The Premier of British Columbia is the first minister, head of government, and de facto chief executive for the Canadian province of British Columbia. Until the early 1970s the title Prime Minister of British Columbia was often used...

 of British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 from July 2004 through February 2005, and currently serves as a Liberal
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada , colloquially known as the Grits, is the oldest federally registered party in Canada. In the conventional political spectrum, the party sits between the centre and the centre-left. Historically the Liberal Party has positioned itself to the left of the Conservative...

 frontbench MP in Ottawa. In Malaysia, two Sikhs were elected as MPs during the 2008 general elections; Karpal Singh
Karpal Singh
Karpal Singh is a Malaysian lawyer and politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for the neighbourhood of Bukit Gelugor in the state of Penang since 2004...

 (Bukit Gelugor) and his son Gobind Singh Deo
Gobind Singh Deo
Gobind Singh Deo is a prominent Malaysian lawyer and politician and is the current Member of Parliament representing Puchong. He is also the national legal bureau secretary of the Democratic Action Party...

 (Puchong). Two Sikhs were elected as assemblymen; Jagdeep Singh Deo (Datuk Keramat) and Keshvinder Singh (Malim Nawar).

In the USA, the current Governor of South Carolina is Republican Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley
Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley is the 116th and current Governor of South Carolina. A member of the Republican Party, Haley represented Lexington County in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2010....

, who is of Sikh origin. Haley identifies herself today as a Christian, but also attends both Sikh and Methodist services out of respect for her parents' culture.

Sikhs make up 10–15% of all ranks in the Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

 and 20% of its officers, while Sikhs only forming 1.87% of the Indian population, which makes them over 10 times more likely to be a soldier and officer in the Indian Army than the average Indian. The Sikh Regiment is one of the highest decorated and believed to be the most courageous, powerful and skilled regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 of the Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

, with 73 Battle Honours, 14 Victoria Crosses, 21 first class Indian Order of Merit (equivalent to the Victoria Cross), 15 Theatre Honours
Battle honour
A battle honour is an award of a right by a government or sovereign to a military unit to emblazon the name of a battle or operation on its flags , uniforms or other accessories where ornamentation is possible....

 and 5 COAS Unit Citations besides 2 Param Vir Chakra
Param Vir Chakra
The Param Vir Chakra is India's highest military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. It can be, and often has been, awarded posthumously....

s, 14 Maha Vir Chakra
Maha Vir Chakra
The Maha Vir Chakra is the second highest military decoration in India and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air. It may be awarded posthumously. Literally Maha Veer means extraordinarily brave.-Appearance:The medal is made...

s, 5 Kirti Chakra
Kirti Chakra
The Kirti Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle. It may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, including posthumous awards. It is the peacetime equivalent of the Maha Vir Chakra...

s, 67 Vir Chakra
Vir Chakra
Vir Chakra is an Indian gallantry award presented for acts of bravery in the battlefield. Award of the decoration carried with it the right to use Vr.C. as a postnominal abbreviation Vir Chakra is an Indian gallantry award presented for acts of bravery in the battlefield. Award of the decoration...

s and 1596 other gallantry awards. The highest-ranking General in the history of the Indian Air Force is a Punjabi Sikh Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh
Arjan Singh
Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, DFC is the only officer of the Indian Air Force to be promoted to five-star rank, equal to a Field Marshal, to which he was promoted in 2002. He was born in the Punjab town of Lyallpur, British India, into a Aulakh family...

. Advanced plans by the MOD
Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

 to raise an Infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 UK Sikh Regiment were scrapped in June 2007 to the disappointment of the UK Sikh community and Prince Charles of Britain
Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

.


Historically, most Indians have been farmers and even today 66% (two-thirds) of Indians are farmers. Indian Sikhs are no different and have been predominately employed in the agro-business
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, India's 2001 census found that 39% of the working population of Punjab were employed in this sector (less than the Indian average). The success, in the 1960s, of the Green Revolution
Green Revolution
Green Revolution refers to a series of research, development, and technology transfer initiatives, occurring between the 1940s and the late 1970s, that increased agriculture production around the world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s....

, in which India went from "famine to plenty, from humiliation to dignity", was based in the Sikh majority state of Punjab which became known as "the breadbasket of India". The Sikh majority state of Punjab is also statistically the wealthiest (per capita
Per capita
Per capita is a Latin prepositional phrase: per and capita . The phrase thus means "by heads" or "for each head", i.e. per individual or per person...

)
with the average Punjabi enjoying the highest income in India, 3 times the national Indian average. The Green Revolution centered upon Indian farmers adapting their farming methods to more intensive
Intensive farming
Intensive farming or intensive agriculture is an agricultural production system characterized by the high inputs of capital, labour, or heavy usage of technologies such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers relative to land area....

 and mechanized
Mechanization
Mechanization or mechanisation is providing human operators with machinery that assists them with the muscular requirements of work or displaces muscular work. In some fields, mechanization includes the use of hand tools...

 techniques; note this was aided by the electrification
Electrification
Electrification originally referred to the build out of the electrical generating and distribution systems which occurred in the United States, England and other countries from the mid 1880's until around 1940 and is in progress in developing countries. This also included the change over from line...

 of Punjab, cooperative credit, consolidation of small holdings and the existing British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 developed canal system. Swedish political scientist, Ishtiaq Ahmad, states that a factor in the success of the Indian green revolution transformation was the "Sikh cultivator, often the Jat, whose courage, perseverance, spirit of enterprise and muscle prowess proved crucial". However not all aspects of the green revolution were beneficial, Indian physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

 Vandana Shiva
Vandana Shiva
Vandana Shiva , is a philosopher, environmental activist, and eco feminist. Shiva, currently based in Delhi, has authored more than 20 books and over 500 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. She was trained as a physicist and received her Ph.D...

 argues that the green revolution essentially rendered the "negative and destructive impacts of science [i.e. the green revolution] on nature and society" invisible; thus having been separated from their material and political roots in the science system, when new forms of scarcity and social conflict arose they were linked not to traditional causes but to other social systems e.g. religion. Hence Shiva argues that the green revolution was a catalyst for communal Punjabi Sikh and Hindu tensions; despite the growth in material affluence.

Punjabi Sikhs feature in varied professions such as scientists, engineers and doctors; notable Punjabi Sikhs include nuclear
Nuclear physics
Nuclear physics is the field of physics that studies the building blocks and interactions of atomic nuclei. The most commonly known applications of nuclear physics are nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons technology, but the research has provided application in many fields, including those...

 scientist Professor Piara Singh Gill
Piara Singh Gill
Piara Singh Gill was an Indian nuclear physicist who was a pioneer in cosmic ray nuclear physics and worked on the American Manhattan project. He was the first Director of Central Scientific Instruments Organisation of India. He was research fellow of Chicago University...

 who worked on the Manhattan project
Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

; optics
Optics
Optics is the branch of physics which involves the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behavior of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light...

 scientist ("the father of fibre optics") Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany
Narinder Singh Kapany
Narinder Singh Kapany is an Indian born American physicist known for his work in fiber optics. He was named as one of the seven 'Unsung Heroes' by Fortune magazine in their ‘Businessmen of the Century’ issue ....

; physicist and science writer/broadcaster Simon Singh
Simon Singh
Simon Lehna Singh, MBE is a British author who has specialised in writing about mathematical and scientific topics in an accessible manner....

 and agricultural scientist Professor Baldev Singh Dhillon
Baldev Singh Dhillon
Professor Baldev Singh Dhillon. He is an internationally famous agricultural scientist and former Assistant Director General at ICAR, Director of NBPGR , Director of Research at Punjab Agricultural University and Guru Nanak Dev University...

.

In the sphere of business, the clothing retailers/brands of UK based New Look
New Look (store)
New Look is a British global fashion retailer with a chain of high street shops in Britain, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, Malta, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.-History:...

 and Thai based JASPAL were started by Sikhs. India's largest pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy Laboratories
Ranbaxy Laboratories
Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited is a pharmaceutical company that was incorporated in India in 1961. The company went public in 1973 and Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo gained majority control in 2008...

 is headed by Sikhs. UK Sikhs have the highest percentage of home ownership, at 82%, out of all UK religious communities. UK Sikhs are the 2nd wealthiest (after the Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

) religious community in the UK, with a median total household wealth of £229, 000.
In Singapore, Kartar Singh Thakral has built up his family's trading business, Thakral Holdings/Corp, into a commercial concern with total assets of close to $1.4 billion. Thakral is Singapore's 25th richest person. Bob Singh Dhillon
Bob Singh Dhillon
Bob Singh Dhillon is a Punjabi Indian-Canadian Sikh, property Multi-Millionaire businessman. His family comes from Tallewal in the district of Barnala Punjab, India. His grandfather left for Hong Kong for business reasons and set-up the North China Shipping Company to carry back between Japan. He...

 is the first Indo-Canadian billionaire and a Sikh. Perhaps no Sikh diaspora group has had as much success as those who have migrated to North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

; especially the Sikhs who have migrated to California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

’s fertile Central Valley. The farming skills of the Sikhs and their willingness to work hard ensured that they rose from migrant labourers to become landowners who control much agriculture in California. American Sikh agriculturists such as Harbhajan Singh Samra and Didar Singh Bains dominate Californian agriculture and are known colloquially as the "Okra
Okra
Okra is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins...

" and "Peach
Peach
The peach tree is a deciduous tree growing to tall and 6 in. in diameter, belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach...

" kings respectively.

Prominent Sikh intellectuals, sportsmen and artists include the veteran writer Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh is a prominent Indian novelist and journalist. Singh's weekly column, "With Malice towards One and All", carried by several Indian newspapers, is among the most widely-read columns in the country....

, England cricketer Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar
Mudhsuden Singh Panesar, known as Monty Panesar , is an English cricketer who currently plays for Sussex. A left-arm spinner, Panesar played Test and one-day cricket for England until 2009. In English county cricket he played for Northamptonshire until 2009...

, former 400 m world record holder Milkha Singh
Milkha Singh
Milkha Singh is an Indian athlete, who represented India in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo...

, and Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh Plaha , commonly known as Harbhajan Singh, is an Indian cricketer. A specialist bowler, he has the second-highest number of Test wickets by an off spinner, behind Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan....

, India's most successful off spin
Off spin
Off spin is a type of bowling in the sport of cricket which is bowled by an off spinner, a right-handed spin bowler who uses his or her fingers and/or wrist to spin the ball from a right-handed batsman's off side to the leg side...

 Cricket bowler
Bowling (cricket)
In the sport of cricket, bowling is the action of propelling the ball toward the wicket defended by a batsman. A player skilled at bowling is called a bowler; a bowler who is also a competent batsman is known as an all-rounder...

, actors Parminder Nagra
Parminder Nagra
Parminder Kaur Nagra is an English actress of Indian descent. She came to international prominence in 2002 after starring in Bend It Like Beckham. She starred as Dr. Neela Rasgotra in the Emmy Award-winning American medical drama series ER for six years until the series ended on 2 April 2009...

, Namrata Singh Gujral
Namrata Singh Gujral
Namrata Singh Gujral born 26 February 1976 is an American actress.She is of Sikh faith and Indian as well as Tibetan descent. She was born in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh and is a 1998 graduate from the University of West Florida.-Roles:...

, Archie Panjabi and director Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha , OBE, is a British film director of Indian origin. Most of her films explore the lives of Indians living in the United Kingdom. She is best known for the hit films Bhaji on the Beach , Bend It Like Beckham , Bride and Prejudice and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging...

.

The Sikhs have migrated to most parts of the world and their vocations are as varied as their appearances. The Sikh community of the Indian subcontinent comprises many diverse sets of peoples as the Sikh Gurus preached for ethnic
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 and social harmony
Harmony
In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches , or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic...

. These include different ethnic peoples
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

, tribal and socio-economic groups. Main groupings (i.e. over 1,000 members) include: Ahluwalia, Arain
Arain
The Arain , are a Muslim agricultural caste settled mainly in the Punjab, with significant numbers also in Sindh. They are chiefly associated with farming, traditionally being landlords or zamindars.- Origin :...

, Arora
Arora
Arora is an Indo-Aryan community of the Punjab region. Commentators differ in their opinions regarding the relationship between the Arora and the Khatri community....

, Bhatra, Bairagi
Bairagi
-External links:* * *...

, Bania, Basith, Bawaria, Bazigar
Bazigar
Bazigars are a nomad gipsy-folk of India, found throughout North India. They live a life apart from the surrounding Hindu population, and still preserve a certain ethnical identity, scarcely justified by any indications given by their physique...

, Bhabra
Bhabra
Bhabra is an ancient merchant community from Punjab whose population mainly follows Jainism,.The Bhabra community has had a close historical association with Jainism. It is believed to be connected with the Bhavadar or Bhavada Gachchha to which the legendary Jain Acharya Kalakacharya belonged to....

, Chamar
Chamar
Chamar |tanner]]"; from the Sanskrit Charmakara) is a prominent occupational caste in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Chamar is a Dalit sub-caste mainly found in the northern states, such as Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi and in Nepal at least north to the Himalayas...

, Chhimba, Darzi, Dhobi
Dhobi
The Dhobi are a caste group found in Pakistan and India who specialize in washing clothes. The word Dhobi is derived from Hindi word dhona, which means to wash. They are found throughout North India, Gujarat, Maharashtra as well as the Punjab province of Pakistan, where they are known as Gazar...

, Gujar
Gujjar
The Gurjar are an ethnic group in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Alternative spellings include Gurjara, Gujar, Gurjjara and Gūrjara. The spelling Gurjara or Gurjar is preferable to the rest....

, Jatt
Jat people
The Jat people are a community of traditionally non-elite tillers and herders in Northern India and Pakistan. Originally pastoralists in the lower Indus river-valley of Sindh, Jats migrated north into the Punjab region in late medieval times, and subsequently into the Delhi Territory,...

, Jhinwar
Jhinwar
Bold text°The Jhinwar are a Hindu caste and Sikh caste found in the states of Haryana and Punjab in India. They are also known as Dhimar, Jhimar and Kashyap Rajputs...

, Kahar
Kahar
Kahar is an ancient community of India. They are divided in to Hindu ,Muslim and Sikhs respectively. The muslim kahar chiefly found in Punjab,Haryana and western belt of Uttar Pradesh...

, Kalal, Kamboj
Kamboj
The Kambojs , also Kamboh, are an ethnic community of the Punjab region. They may relate to the Kambojas, an Iranian tribe known to the people of Iron Age India and mentioned in ancient Sanskrit texts and epigraphy. Kamboj is frequently used as a surname in lieu of the sub-caste or the gotra name...

, Khatri
Khatri
Khatri is a caste from the northern Indian subcontinent. Khatris in India are mostly from Punjab, region but later they migrated to regions like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu, Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber...

, Kumhar
Kumhar
Kumhar or Kumbhar ; also known as Prajapati, is a caste or community of India, mainly belonging to the Hindu religion. The word "Kumhar" literally means "potter" in Indian languages, pottery being the traditional occupation of the Kumhars....

, Labana
Labana
Labanas are a Punjabi tribe. The Labanas of Punjab region are mostly Sikhs, with a small minority of Muslims and Hindus.- History:According to British records 33% of the Labana were baptised Sikhs and were found primarily in the Lahore, Gujranwala, and Sialkot areas...

, Lohar
Lohar
Lohar is an ethnic sub-caste found among Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims in Northern India and Northern Pakistan. Originally this community was a warrior tribe living in provinces of Kermanshah in Iran right up to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. In India the Lohars are also known as Vishwakarma, Sharma,...

, Mahtam
Mahtam
Mahatams are a clan found among Punjabis of India and Pakistan . They are Hindus as well as Muslims, and in the 1920s the former were mainly cultivators and the latter were clearers of the jungle....

, Mazhabi
Mazhabi
A Mazhabi Sikh is a member of the Rangretta clans Churas who have embraced the sikh faith who are mainly found in the Punjab region, Kashmir and Rajastan...

, Megh
Meghwal
The Megh , Meghwal or Meghwar people live primarily in northwest India, with a small population in Pakistan. As of 2008, their total population was estimated at 2,807,000, of whom 2,760,000 lived in India...

, Mirasi
Mirasi
The Mirasi are a Muslim or Sikh caste, found in Northern India and Pakistan. They are also known as Pakhwaji, Kalawart and Qawwal.The Mirasi community are the genealogists of a number of communities in Northern India and Pakistan. Most Mirasis are Muslim, but Rababi and Dhadi sub-groups are...

, Mochi
Mochi
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and molded into shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time...

, Nai
Nai (caste)
The word Nai refers to a particular profession, that of cutting hair, running beauty salons, makeup or facelift clinics, beauty parlours, etc. among Hindus, Sikhs or Muslims in India. They are also referred to as Nai and Nai-Thakur, Sains. In Pakistan, the Nai or hairdresser were following it as a...

, Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

, Ramgarhia
Ramgarhia
The Ramgarhia community is an Indo Aryan ethnic tribe of the Punjab region in South Asia. They are named after Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia who was the leader of the Ramgarhia Misl...

, Saini
Saini
Saini is a Rajput descent caste of India. Sainis, also known as Shoorsaini in Puranic literature, are now found by their original name only in Punjab and in the neighboring states of Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh...

, Sarera, Sikligar
Sikligar
The Sikligar are a community found in the states of Gujarat, Haryana and Pinjab in India. They also known as the Mathuria Lohar, Kamgar, Kuchband and Panchal. They are Hindu in Gujarat and Sikh in Punjab, and partly Hindu and partly Sikh in Haryana.- Origin :...

, Sunar
Sunar
Sunar is a Hindu caste in India and Nepal referring to the community of people who work as goldsmiths...

, Sudh, Tarkhan
Tarkhan (Punjab)
The Tarkhan , तरख़ान tarkhān) are considered a Punjabi tribe in Pakistani Punjab while a caste in Indian Punjab. They are carpenters by occupation....

 and Zargar.

In India, the five largest ethnic groups among the Sikh population include:
  • Jatts at a population of 11,855,000
  • Mazhabi
    Mazhabi
    A Mazhabi Sikh is a member of the Rangretta clans Churas who have embraced the sikh faith who are mainly found in the Punjab region, Kashmir and Rajastan...

    s at 2,701,000
  • Tarkhans
    Tarkhan (Punjab)
    The Tarkhan , तरख़ान tarkhān) are considered a Punjabi tribe in Pakistani Punjab while a caste in Indian Punjab. They are carpenters by occupation....

     totaling 1,091,000
  • Rajputs
    Sikh Rajputs
    Sikh Rajputs are the followers of Sikhism belonging to the Rajput Ethnic group. Rajputs are a warrior clan. According to the 1901 British census of India, there were 20,000 Rajput converts to Sikhism....

     numbering 769,000
  • Khatri
    Khatri
    Khatri is a caste from the northern Indian subcontinent. Khatris in India are mostly from Punjab, region but later they migrated to regions like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu, Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber...

    s totalling 290,000.


The Ahluwalias, Gujjar
Gujjar
The Gurjar are an ethnic group in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Alternative spellings include Gurjara, Gujar, Gurjjara and Gūrjara. The spelling Gurjara or Gurjar is preferable to the rest....

s, Jatts, Kamboj
Kamboj
The Kambojs , also Kamboh, are an ethnic community of the Punjab region. They may relate to the Kambojas, an Iranian tribe known to the people of Iron Age India and mentioned in ancient Sanskrit texts and epigraphy. Kamboj is frequently used as a surname in lieu of the sub-caste or the gotra name...

s, Khatri
Khatri
Khatri is a caste from the northern Indian subcontinent. Khatris in India are mostly from Punjab, region but later they migrated to regions like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu, Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber...

s, Lubana
Lubana
Lubāna is a Latvian town situated in the district of Madona by the Aiviekste river. It acquired a town status in 1992, and the current population is 1974...

s, Lohar
Lohar
Lohar is an ethnic sub-caste found among Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims in Northern India and Northern Pakistan. Originally this community was a warrior tribe living in provinces of Kermanshah in Iran right up to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. In India the Lohars are also known as Vishwakarma, Sharma,...

s, Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

s and Ramgarhia
Ramgarhia
The Ramgarhia community is an Indo Aryan ethnic tribe of the Punjab region in South Asia. They are named after Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia who was the leader of the Ramgarhia Misl...

s are related to each other and are of Indo-Scythian origin as well as mythological Aryan race
Aryan race
The Aryan race is a concept historically influential in Western culture in the period of the late 19th century and early 20th century. It derives from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive race or...

 origin.

There has also emerged a specialized group of Punjabi Sikhs calling themselves Akalis
Nihang
Nihang is an armed Sikh order. Early Sikh military history is dominated by the Akali Nihang military order, particularly for many famous military victories won while often heavily outnumbered. The Akali Nihang have historically been held in great affection and respect by Sikhs due the pivotal role...

, which have existed since Maharaja Ranjit Singh's
Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.-Early life:...

 time. Under their leader General Akali Phula Singh, in the early 19th century, they won many battles for the Sikh Empire
Sikh Confederacy
The Sikh Empire was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The empire, based around the Punjab region, existed from 1799 to 1849. It was forged, on the foundations of the Khalsa, under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh from a collection of autonomous Punjabi Misls...

.

Sikh paintings



Sikh painting is a direct offshoot of the Kangra School
Kangra painting
Kangra painting is the pictorial art of Kangra, named after Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, a former princely state, which patronized the art. It became prevalent with the fading of Basohli school of painting in mid-18th century , and soon produced such a magnitude in paintings both in content as well as...

 of painting. In 1810 Maharaja Ranjeet Singh (1780–1839) occupied Kangra Fort and appointed Sardar Desa Singh Majithia as his Governor of the Punjab Hills. In 1813 the Sikh army occupied Haripur Guler and Raja Bhup Singh became a vassal of Sikh Power. With the Sikh Kingdom of Lahore becoming the paramount power, some of the Pahari painters from Guler migrated to Lahore to enjoy the patronage of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh and his Sardars.

The Sikh School of paintings is the adoption of the Kangra Kalam to Sikh needs and ideals. Its main subjects are the ten Sikh gurus and anecdotes from the Janam Sikh. The tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, left a deep impression on the adherents of the new faith because of his reckless bravery and unparalleled sacrifices. Hunting scenes and portraiture are also common in Sikh painting.

Digital library


Launched in 2003 under Nanakshahi Trust, the Panjab Digital Library
Panjab Digital Library
The Panjab Digital Library is a NGO that is digitizing and preserving cultural heritage of Panjab since 2003. There are many historically significant documents stored and made available online. Its scope covers Sikh and Punjabi culture. The library funded by The Nanakshahi Trust was finally...

 was a result of the early phase of the digital revolution in Punjab. While most saw the Nanakshahi as a small digitization organization, or as an assemblage of some unknown youth working towards capturing some manuscripts on their digital cameras, its founders saw it as a cornerstone of a fundamentally new approach to preserving Punjab’s heritage
Cultural heritage
Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations...

 for future generations. In the shadow of search engines, a Semantic Web
Semantic Web
The Semantic Web is a collaborative movement led by the World Wide Web Consortium that promotes common formats for data on the World Wide Web. By encouraging the inclusion of semantic content in web pages, the Semantic Web aims at converting the current web of unstructured documents into a "web of...

 approach thought of in the early 2003 reached maturity in 2006. This was when the organization planned to expand its operations from a mere three employee organization to one of the leading NGO’s working in the field of digital preservation all over India.

Digitized collections include manuscripts held by the Punjab Languages Department, items from the Government Museum and Art Gallery Chandigarh, Chief Khalsa Diwan
Chief Khalsa Diwan
The Chief Khalsa Diwan is a 104-year old Sikh organisation, which is the central Organization of various Singh Sabhas spread across Punjab. Unlike the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, the Diwan is an apolitical body and only concerns itself with religious, educational and cultural...

, SGPC, DSGMC and manuscripts in the Jawahr Lal Nehru Library of Kurukshetra University
Kurukshetra University
Kurukshetra University was established in 1956 in Kurukshetra in Haryana, India, situated 160 km from Delhi, and member of Association of Commonwealth Universities The Kurukshetra University was the dream of the then Punjab Governor, Sir Chandeshwar Prasad Narayan Singh, a great Sanskrit...

. It also include hundreds of personal collections. With over 5 million pages digitized it is the biggest repository of digital data on Punjab.

Sikhs in the Indian and British Armies




By the advent of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Sikhs in the British Indian Army
British Indian Army
The British Indian Army, officially simply the Indian Army, was the principal army of the British Raj in India before the partition of India in 1947...

 totaled over 100,000, i.e. 20% of the British Indian Army
British Indian Army
The British Indian Army, officially simply the Indian Army, was the principal army of the British Raj in India before the partition of India in 1947...

. In the years to 1945, 14 Victoria Crosses were awarded to the Sikhs, a per capita record given the size of the Sikh Regiments. In 2002, the names of all Sikh VC
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

 and George Cross
George Cross
The George Cross is the highest civil decoration of the United Kingdom, and also holds, or has held, that status in many of the other countries of the Commonwealth of Nations...

 winners were inscribed on the pavilion monument of the Memorial Gates
Memorial Gates (Constitution Hill)
The Memorial Gates are a war memorial located at the Hyde Park Corner end of Constitution Hill in London, UK. Also known as the Commonwealth Memorial Gates, they commemorate the armed forces of the British Empire from five regions of the Indian subcontinent , as well as Africa and the Caribbean,...

 on Constitution Hill
Constitution Hill, London
Constitution Hill is a road in the City of Westminster in London. It connects the western end of The Mall with Hyde Park Corner, and is bordered by Buckingham Palace Gardens and Green Park. The term "Hill" is something of a misnomer; there is barely detectable slope but most observers would...

 next to Buckingham palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. Lieutenant Colonel Chanan Singh Dhillon
Chanan Singh Dhillon
Lieutenant-Colonel Chanan Singh Dhillon , is a famous Punjabi Indian Sikh World War II hero and veteran. He fought in world war two in the British Indian army. He was later taken prisoner by the Germans in 1943. He stayed in PoW camps in Italy, France and Germany. In Germany he remained confided...

 was instrumental in campaigning for the memorial building.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Sikh battalions fought in Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Gallipoli
Gallipoli
The Gallipoli peninsula is located in Turkish Thrace , the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles straits to the east. Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek "Καλλίπολις" , meaning "Beautiful City"...

 and France. Six battalions of the Sikh Regiment were raised in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and served at El Alamein
Second Battle of El Alamein
The Second Battle of El Alamein marked a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. The battle took place over 20 days from 23 October – 11 November 1942. The First Battle of El Alamein had stalled the Axis advance. Thereafter, Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery...

 and in Burma
Burma Campaign
The Burma Campaign in the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II was fought primarily between British Commonwealth, Chinese and United States forces against the forces of the Empire of Japan, Thailand, and the Indian National Army. British Commonwealth land forces were drawn primarily from...

, Italy
Italian Campaign (World War II)
The Italian Campaign of World War II was the name of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to the end of the war in Europe. Joint Allied Forces Headquarters AFHQ was operationally responsible for all Allied land forces in the Mediterranean theatre, and it planned and commanded the...

 and Iraq
Anglo-Iraqi War
The Anglo-Iraqi War was the name of the British campaign against the rebel government of Rashid Ali in the Kingdom of Iraq during the Second World War. The war lasted from 2 May to 31 May 1941. The campaign resulted in the re-occupation of Iraq by British armed forces and the return to power of the...

, winning 27 battle honour
Battle honour
A battle honour is an award of a right by a government or sovereign to a military unit to emblazon the name of a battle or operation on its flags , uniforms or other accessories where ornamentation is possible....

s.

Across the world, Sikhs are commemorated in Commonwealth
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is an intergovernmental organisation of six independent member states whose principal function is to mark, record and maintain the graves, and places of commemoration, of Commonwealth of Nations military service members who died in the two World Wars...

 cemeteries.

Sikhism in the Western world




As Sikhs wear turban
Turban
In English, Turban refers to several types of headwear popularly worn in the Middle East, North Africa, Punjab, Jamaica and Southwest Asia. A commonly used synonym is Pagri, the Indian word for turban.-Styles:...

s (although different from Middle Eastern turbans) and due to the relatively small number of Sikhs, there have been incidents of Sikhs in Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 countries being mistaken for Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

ern Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 men. This has led to mistaken attitudes and acts against Sikhs living in the West especially with respect to the 9/11 terrorist attack and recent Iraq War. Sikhs are neither Muslim nor from Middle East. Sikhism is a religion of India.  The roots of Sikhism lie in Punjab (India). Sikhs make 60% to 70% of total population of Punjab, which is the only region in the world where Sikhs are in majority.

After the 11 September 2001 attacks, some people associated Sikhs with terrorists or members of the Taliban. A few days after the attack, Balbir Singh Sodhi
Balbir Singh Sodhi
Balbir Singh Sodhi , a gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona, was murdered in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the first of several cases across the United States that were reported to the police as acts of retaliation for the terrorist attacks...

, a Sikh man, was gunned down by Frank Roque, who thought that the victim had ties to al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

. CNN suggests that there has been an increase in hate crimes against Sikh men in the United States and the UK.

Sikhism has never actively sought converts, thus the Sikhs have remained a relatively ethnically homogeneous group. However, mainly due to the activities of Harbhajan Singh Yogi
Harbhajan Singh Yogi
Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji , also known as Yogi Bhajan and Siri Singh Sahib, was a spiritual leader and entrepreneur who introduced Kundalini Yoga and Sikhism to the United States...

 via his Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini yoga
Kundalini yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline for developing strength, awareness, character, and consciousness. Practitioners call Kundalini yoga the yoga of awareness because it focuses primarily on practices that expand sensory awareness and intuition in order to raise individual...

 focused 3HO
3HO
3HO is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the teachings of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, founder of the group....

 (Happy, Healthy, Holy) Organization, Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

 has witnessed a moderate growth in non-Indian adherents. In 1998 it was estimated that these 3HO Sikhs, known colloquially as ‘gora’ (ਗੋਰਾ) or ‘white’ Sikhs, totaled 7,800 and were mainly centered around Española
Española, New Mexico
Española also known as Espanola , is a city primarily in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, in the United States. A portion of the central and eastern section of the city is in Santa Fe County. Española was founded in 1880 as a railroad village, incorporated as a city in 1925. The city is situated in...

, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 and Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. A law in Oregon was passed banning the wearing of turbans by teachers and government officials. Sikhs and the Council on American-Islamic Relations
Council on American-Islamic Relations
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is America's largest Muslim civil liberties advocacy organization that deals with civil advocacy and promotes human rights...

 worked together in successfully overturning the law.

In an attempt to foster strong Sikh leaders in the Western world, many youth initiatives have been begun by various organizations. For example, the Sikh Youth Alliance of North America annually holds the Sikh Youth Symposium
Sikh youth symposium
The Sikh Youth Symposium is an annual public speaking and debate competition held for the Sikh youth across the United States of America and Canada, encouraging them to reconnect with their cultural foundations and religious roots...

, a public speaking and debate competition held in gurdwaras around America and Canada.

Art and culture




Sikh art and culture is synonymous with that of the Punjab region
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

. The Punjab itself has been called India’s melting pot, due to the confluence of invading cultures, such as Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

, Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 and Persian, that mirrors the confluence of rivers from which the region gets its name. Thus Sikh culture is to a large extent informed by this synthesis of cultures.

Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

 has forged a unique form of architecture
Sikh architecture
Sikh Architecture, is a style of architecture that is characterized with values of progressiveness, exquisite intricacy, austere beauty and logical flowing lines. Due to its progressive style, it is constantly evolving into many newly developing branches with new contemporary styles...

 which Bhatti describes as being "inspired by Guru Nanak’s creative mysticism" such that Sikh architecture
Sikh architecture
Sikh Architecture, is a style of architecture that is characterized with values of progressiveness, exquisite intricacy, austere beauty and logical flowing lines. Due to its progressive style, it is constantly evolving into many newly developing branches with new contemporary styles...

 "is a mute harbinger of holistic humanism based on pragmatic spirituality".
The reign of the Sikh Empire was the single biggest catalyst in creating a uniquely Sikh form of expression, with Maharajah Ranjit Singh
Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.-Early life:...

 patronising the building of forts, palaces, bungas (residential places), colleges, etc that can be said to be of the Sikh Style. Characteristics of Sikh architecture are gilded fluted domes, cupolas, kiosks and stone lanterns with an ornate balustrade on square roofs. The "jewel in the crown" of the Sikh Style is the Harmindar Sahib
Harmandir Sahib
The Harmandir Sahib also Darbar Sahib , also referred to as the Golden Temple, is a prominent Sikh gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab . Construction of the gurdwara was begun by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh Guru, and completed by his successor, Guru Arjan Dev...

.

Sikh culture is heavily influenced by militaristic motifs, with Khanda being the most obvious; the majority of Sikh artifacts, independent of the relics of the Gurus
Sikh Gurus
The Sikh Gurus established Sikhism from over the centuries beginning in the year 1469. Sikhism was founded by the first guru, Guru Nanak, and subsequently, all in order were referred to as "Nanak", and as "Lights", making their teachings in the holy scriptures, equivalent...

, have a military theme. This motif is again evident in the Sikh festivals of Hola Mohalla
Hola Mohalla
Hola Mahalla is a Sikh Olympics event which begins on the first day of the lunar month of Chet in the Nanakshahi calendar. It most often falls in March, and sometimes coincides with the Sikh New Year. The event lasts for a week, and consists of camping out and enjoying various displays of fighting...

 and Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi is an ancient harvest festival celebrated across North Indian states, especially Punjab by all Punjabis regardless of religion. In Sikhism the Khalsa was founded on same day as the Vaisakhi festival, so Sikhs celebrate twice as much....

 which feature marching and practicing displays of valor respectively.

The art and culture of the Sikh diaspora
Sikh diaspora
The Sikh diaspora is a relatively recent term used to describe the phenomenon of Punjabi Sikh migration from the traditional area of the Punjab region. Sikhism is an ethnic religion but welcomes converts, the Punjab region being the historic homeland of Sikhism...

 has been merged with that of other Indo-immigrant groups into categories such as 'British Asian', 'Indo-Canadian' and 'Desi-Culture'; however there has emerged a niche cultural phenomenon that can be described as 'Political Sikh'. The art of prominent diaspora Sikhs
Sikh diaspora
The Sikh diaspora is a relatively recent term used to describe the phenomenon of Punjabi Sikh migration from the traditional area of the Punjab region. Sikhism is an ethnic religion but welcomes converts, the Punjab region being the historic homeland of Sikhism...

 such as Amarjeet Kaur Nandhra & Amrit and Rabindra Kaur Singh ('The Singh Twins'), is informed by their Sikhism and the current affairs of the Punjab.

Bhangra and the Gidha are two forms of indigenous Punjabi folk dancing that have been appropriated, adapted and pioneered by Punjabi Sikhs. The Punjabi Sikhs have championed these forms of expression all over the world, such that Sikh culture has become inextricably linked to Bhangra, even though "Bhangra is not a Sikh institution but a Punjabi one."

Notable Sikhs in the modern era




  • Abhinav Bindra
    Abhinav Bindra
    Abhinav Singh Bindra is an Indian shooter from Zirakpur, Mohali, Punjab and is the current World and Olympic champion in the 10 m Air Rifle event...

     – first Indian to win Olympic Gold medal individually (shooting)
  • Ajit Saini
    Ajit Saini
    Ajit Singh Saini was an eminent and critically acclaimed writer of Punjab . He was associated with the Punjabi daily "Ajit" as its managing editor and columnist. He is remembered in Punjab both as a freedom-figher and an acclaimed writer and columnist. He was an officer in Indian National Army...

     – Punjabi author, journalist, Indian National Army veteran
  • Alexi Singh Grewal
    Alexi Grewal
    Alexi Singh Grewal ' is a Sikh-American Olympic gold medalist and former professional road racing cyclist. At the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Grewal became the first American man to win an Olympic gold medal in road cycling...

     – first American to win an Olympic Gold Medal in cycling
  • Amarinder Singh
    Amarinder Singh
    Captain Amarinder Singh . He served as the Chief Minister of Punjab from 2002 to 2007 and presently serves as the President of Punjab PCC. He currently resides in New Moti Bagh Palace, Patiala.-Personal life:...

     – Punjab congress leader, former Chief Minister of Punjab
  • Amrita Shergil – Eminent Indian painter
  • Angela Saini
    Angela Saini
    Angela Saini is a British science journalist and author. Her first book Geek Nation: How Indian Science is Taking Over the World was published on 3 March 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK, and by Hachette in the Indian sub-continent in April 2011.She has been published in Science, Wired, The...

     – British science journalist and author
  • Ashbeer Saini
    Ashbeer Saini
    Ashbeer Saini is India's number one junior golfer. He is the nephew of Baljit Singh Saini, who is an Olympian and Asian Games gold medalist for India in field hockey. Ashbeer Saini's father, Balwinder Singh Saini, who is also the elder brother of Baljeet Singh Saini has also represented India...

     – Indian junior golfer
  • M S Banga
    M S Banga
    Manvinder Singh Banga is a senior partner at the private equity fund Clayton Dubilier & Rice. He was previously a senior executive at Unilever as the Global President for Foods, Home & Personal Care - running all the categories, and was the lead internal candidate for the CEO position...

    , Ex-CEO – Hindustan Lever, Director on Board- Maruti Suzuki India Limited
  • Ajay Banga
    Ajay Banga
    Ajay Banga is the current president and chief executive officer of MasterCard.MasterCard announced on April 12, 2010 that Ajay Banga, previously MasterCard’s president and chief operating officer, had been named by the Board of Directors to serve as the company’s president and chief executive...

    , President & COO- Mastercard, Ex CEO- Citi Group- Asia Pacific
  • Jessie Singh Saini
    Jessie Singh Saini
    Jessie Singh Saini, full name Jaswinder Singh Saini, is the founder of BJS Electronics and an American industrialist of Indian descent. Jessie is also a well known political donor in California and both Bill Clinton and Al Gore have paid visits to his house during their incumbencies as President...

    , founder of BJS Electronics and notable American industrialist of Indian decent
  • Gurbachan Singh Salaria
    Gurbachan Singh Salaria
    Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria is a military war hero, who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest wartime military award. In the 1988 Television serial Param Vir Chakra by Chetan Anand, Captain G.S...

    , winner of the Param Vir Chakra
    Param Vir Chakra
    The Param Vir Chakra is India's highest military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. It can be, and often has been, awarded posthumously....

  • Arjan Singh
    Arjan Singh
    Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, DFC is the only officer of the Indian Air Force to be promoted to five-star rank, equal to a Field Marshal, to which he was promoted in 2002. He was born in the Punjab town of Lyallpur, British India, into a Aulakh family...

     – Marshal of the Indian Air Force
    Marshal of the Air Force
    Marshal of the Air Force is the English term for the most senior rank in a number of air forces. The ranks described by this term can properly be considered marshal ranks....

    , former Chief of the Air Force Staff
  • Baldev Singh
    Baldev Singh
    Baldev Singh was an Indian Sikh political leader, he was an Indian independence movement leader and the first Defence Minister of India. Moreover, he represented the Punjabi Sikh community in the processes of negotiations that resulted in the independence of India, as well as the Partition of India...

     – Indian independence movement
    Indian independence movement
    The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

     leader, first Defence Minister of India
  • Baltej Singh Dhillon
    Baltej Singh Dhillon
    Baltej Singh Dhillon was the first Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer to be allowed to wear a turban.- Early life :He was born in 1966 in Malaysia and immigrated to Canada with his family in 1982. After graduating from high school, he went on to Kwantlen College to study criminology with hopes...

     – first turbaned member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
    Royal Canadian Mounted Police
    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

  • Baljeet Singh Saini - Indian hockey player and Olympian, Gold Medalist (Asian Games)
  • Balwant (Bal) Singh Saini
    Balwant (Bal) Singh Saini
    Balwant Singh Saini is a former British hockey international of Indian descent. He made his debut for England on 12 March 1977 when he played against West Germany at Lords, London. He scored a spectacular goal on his debut at Lords which is still remembered...

    , British hockey international player
  • Barjinder Singh Hamdard
    Barjinder Singh Hamdard
    Barjinder Singh Hamdard is the managing edior the Punjabi newspaper Daily Ajit. He is also ex-parliamentarian of India's upper house, Rajya Sabha. He is the son of famous Punjabi journalist and writer Sadhu Singh Hamdard.- References :...

     – Editor-in-Chief of newspaper Ajit, novelist, ex-Rajya Sabha member
  • Bhagat Singh – Indian independence movement revolutionary leader and martyr
  • Bishan Singh Bedi
    Bishan Singh Bedi
    Bishan Singh Bedi is a former Indian cricketer who was primarily a slow left-arm orthodox bowler. He played Test cricket for India from 1966 to 1979 and formed part of the famous Indian spin quartet. He also captained the national side in 22 Test matches...

     – former Indian cricket captain
  • Dara Singh
    Dara Singh
    Dara Singh Randhawa is a wrestler and Indian film actor. He was born in a Jat Sikh family of Punjabi background.He was a wrestler before he started acting in Hindi films in 1962....

     – wrestler and Punjabi Bollywood actor
  • Dharam Singh Hayatpur
    Dharam Singh Hayatpur
    Dharam Singh Hayatpur was a prominent member of the Sikh political and religious group the Babbar Akali Movement in India. In 1926 he was sentenced to life imprisonment for his activities by a British imperial Sessions Court but this sentence was raised on appeal by the High Court and he was hanged...

     – prominent member of the Babbar Akali Movement in India
  • Fauja Singh
    Fauja Singh
    Fauja Singh is a British centenarian marathon runner of Indian Sikh origin. He is a world record holder in his age bracket...

     – 100-year-old Sikh marathon runner
  • Gurbaksh Chahal
    Gurbaksh Chahal
    Gurbaksh Singh Chahal is an Indian-American internet entrepreneur and a best-selling author. By the age of 25, he had founded and sold two advertising companies for a total of US$340 million.-Early life:...

     – American Punjabi entrepreneur and world's youngest self-made multimillionaire
  • Gurdas Maan
    Gurdas Maan
    Gurdas Maan is an Indian singer, songwriter, choreographer, and actor. He is considered one of the most notable figures in the world of Punjabi music. He was born on 4 January 1957 in Giddarbaha, Muktsar, Punjab, India...

     – Punjabi writer, singer and actor
  • Gurdial Singh Dhillon
    Gurdial Singh Dhillon
    Dr. Gurdial Singh Dhillon was a Punjabi politician in the Indian National Congress party. He was President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Indian High Commissioner to Canada .-Early life:...

     – Speaker of the Indian Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament)
  • Gurpareet Bains
    Gurpareet Bains
    Gurpareet Bains is an Anglo-Indian chef and Nutritionist.His first book - Indian Superfood - was released in July 2010, published by Absolute Press....

     – chef, food writer, pioneer of the 'Indian Superfood' culinary concept
  • Harchand Singh Longowal – Sikh leader of non-violent movement for human rights and the rights of Punjab in the 1970s and 80s
  • Harbhajan Singh
    Harbhajan Singh
    Harbhajan Singh Plaha , commonly known as Harbhajan Singh, is an Indian cricketer. A specialist bowler, he has the second-highest number of Test wickets by an off spinner, behind Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan....

     – Indian cricketer and India's first hat-trick
    Hat-trick
    A hat-trick or hat trick in sport is the achievement of a positive feat three times during a game, or other achievements based on threes. The term was first used in 1858 in cricket to describe HH Stephenson's feat of taking three wickets in three balls. A collection was held for Stephenson, and he...

     bowler in Test
    Test cricket
    Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

     matches
  • Harbhajan Singh Yogi
    Harbhajan Singh Yogi
    Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji , also known as Yogi Bhajan and Siri Singh Sahib, was a spiritual leader and entrepreneur who introduced Kundalini Yoga and Sikhism to the United States...

     – teacher of the holistic doctrine of Sikh teachings, founder of 3HO
    3HO
    3HO is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the teachings of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, founder of the group....

     Foundation, peace activist
  • Hardeep Singh Kohli
    Hardeep Singh Kohli
    Hardeep Singh Kohli is a British writer and radio and television presenter.-Background:Kohli was born in London and moved to Glasgow in Scotland when he was four. His parents came to the UK from India in the 1960s. The family's roots lie in the Punjab. His mother was a social worker, and his...

     – Sikh writer, broadcaster and presenter from Scotland
  • Indarjit Singh
    Indarjit Singh
    Indarjit Singh, Baron Singh of Wimbledon CBE , sometimes transliterated Inderjit Singh, is a British journalist and broadcaster, a prominent British Asian active in Sikh and interfaith activities, and a member of the House of Lords...

     – British journalist and broadcaster
  • Indu Banga
    Indu Banga
    Indu Banga is an Indian historian who specializes in the history of Punjab. She works at the Department of History of Panjab University, Chandigarh....

     - Historian at Punjab University, Chandigarh
  • Jagjit Singh
    Jagjit Singh (singer)
    Jagjit Singh ; born Jagmohan Singh; was a prominent Indian Ghazal singer, composer, music director, activist and entrepreneur...

     – Indian ghazal
    Ghazal
    The ghazal is a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a refrain, with each line sharing the same meter. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. The form is ancient, originating in 6th century...

     singer
  • Jagjit Singh Taunque
    Jagjit Singh Taunque
    Dr Jagjit Singh Taunque MBE, DL is the Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands. He has represented the Birmingham Inter Faiths Council on the University Court since 1995, becoming an Honorary Life Member of the Court in 1998...

     - Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands
  • Jay Sean (real name: Kamaljit Singh Jhooti) – British singer/songwriter
  • Jeev Milkha Singh
    Jeev Milkha Singh
    Jeev Milkha Singh is the first Indian professional golfer to become a member of the European Tour. He is the highest ranked Indian golfer in the world and first broke into the top 100 in October 2006.-Early life:...

     – golfer and son of Olympian Athlete Milkha Singh
  • Jinder Mahal (real name: Yuvraj Dhesi) – Professional wrestler for WWE
  • Joginder Jaswant Singh
    Joginder Jaswant Singh
    General Joginder Jaswant Singh was the first Sikh chief of army staff of India. He served as chief of army staff from January 31, 2005, to September 30, 2007....

     – Indian Army
    Indian Army
    The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

     Chief of Army Staff
    Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army
    The Chief of the Army Staff is the commander and usually the highest-ranking officer of the Indian Army. The position is abbreviated as COAS in Indian Army cables and communication....

  • Kartar Singh Sarabha – Indian revolutionary
    Revolutionary movement for Indian independence
    The Revolutionary movement for Indian independence is often a less-highlighted aspect of the Indian independence movement -- the underground revolutionary factions. The groups believing in armed revolution against the ruling British fall into this category. The revolutionary groups were...

     executed in November 1915 for his role in the Ghadar Conspiracy
    Ghadar Conspiracy
    The Ghadar Conspiracy was a conspiracy for a pan-Indian mutiny in the British Indian Army in February 1915 formulated by the Ghadar Party...

  • Karpal Singh
    Karpal Singh
    Karpal Singh is a Malaysian lawyer and politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for the neighbourhood of Bukit Gelugor in the state of Penang since 2004...

     – Malaysian prominent opposition leader (Democratic Action Party
    Democratic Action Party
    The Democratic Action Party, or DAP is a secular, multi-racial, social democratic Malaysian political party.The DAP is one of the three major opposition parties in Malaysia, along with the PKR and PAS, that are seen as electable alternatives to the Barisan Nasional coalition of parties...

    )
  • Khushwant Singh
    Khushwant Singh
    Khushwant Singh is a prominent Indian novelist and journalist. Singh's weekly column, "With Malice towards One and All", carried by several Indian newspapers, is among the most widely-read columns in the country....

     – Indian novelist and journalist, Punjabi
  • Kulbir Bhaura
    Kulbir Bhaura
    Kulbir Singh Bhaura is a former field hockey player, who was a member of the gold medal winning British squad at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul...

     - British hockey player, Gold Medalist in Seoul Olympics 1988
  • Manmohan Singh
    Manmohan Singh
    Manmohan Singh is the 13th and current Prime Minister of India. He is the only Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a full five-year term. A Sikh, he is the first non-Hindu to occupy the office. Singh is also the 7th Prime Minister belonging to the Indian...

     – Prime Minister of India
    Prime Minister of India
    The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

     and economist
  • Manjot Singh
    Manjot Singh
    Manjot Singh is a Indian Bollywood actor, most famous for his role in the film Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! as the young Lucky.-Childhood:Manjot Singh was born in a Sikh family. His father is a doctor and mother is in government service.-Debut:...

     – Actor
  • Milkha Singh
    Milkha Singh
    Milkha Singh is an Indian athlete, who represented India in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo...

     ("the flying Sikh") – winner of Padma Shri
    Padma Shri
    Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan...

    , former 400 m track
    Track and field
    Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

     record holder, Gold medal
    Gold medal
    A gold medal is typically the medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture...

     (440 yards) at 1958 Commonwealth Games
    Commonwealth Games
    The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years....

    , Gold medal (200 and 400 m) at 1958 Asian Games
    Asian Games
    The Asian Games, officially known as Asiad, is a multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia. The Games were regulated by the Asian Games Federation from the first Games in New Delhi, India, until the 1978 Games. Since the 1982 Games they have been organised by the...

     and Gold medal (200 m) at 1962 Asian Games
  • Mohan Singh
    Mohan Singh
    Mohan Singh is an Indian politician from the Samajwadi Party. He was elected three times to the Lok Sabha from Deoria in Uttar Pradesh. He is currently the General Secretary of the Samajwadi Party.-Political career:...

     – owner and original franchise owner of Coca Cola, Delhi and builder/contractor
  • Mohan Singh Deb
    Mohan Singh Deb
    Mohan Singh was an Indian Military officer and member of the Indian Independence Movement most famous for his role in organising and leading the First Indian National Army in South East Asia during World War II...

     – founder of Indian National Army
  • Montek Singh Ahluwalia
    Montek Singh Ahluwalia
    Montek Singh Ahluwalia is an Indian economist and civil servant. He is currently the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of the Republic of India. He was previously the first Director of the Independent Evaluation Office at the International Monetary Fund.-Early life and education:Montek...

     – economist, Chairman of Planning Commission, India
  • Monty Panesar
    Monty Panesar
    Mudhsuden Singh Panesar, known as Monty Panesar , is an English cricketer who currently plays for Sussex. A left-arm spinner, Panesar played Test and one-day cricket for England until 2009. In English county cricket he played for Northamptonshire until 2009...

     – English cricketer
  • Narinder Singh Kapany
    Narinder Singh Kapany
    Narinder Singh Kapany is an Indian born American physicist known for his work in fiber optics. He was named as one of the seven 'Unsung Heroes' by Fortune magazine in their ‘Businessmen of the Century’ issue ....

     – optics scientist and philanthropist
  • Neha Dhupia
    Neha Dhupia
    Neha Dhupia is an Indian actress who appears in Bollywood films. She is a former beauty queen and winner of Femina Miss India 2002.-Early life:...

     – Bollywood actress
  • Parkash Singh Badal – Indian politician, current Chief Minister of Punjab
  • Piara Singh Gill
    Piara Singh Gill
    Piara Singh Gill was an Indian nuclear physicist who was a pioneer in cosmic ray nuclear physics and worked on the American Manhattan project. He was the first Director of Central Scientific Instruments Organisation of India. He was research fellow of Chicago University...

     – nuclear scientist
  • Pratap Singh Kairon
    Pratap Singh Kairon
    Pratap Singh Kairon was the Chief Minister of the Punjab province , and is widely acknowledged to be the architect of post-Independence Punjab Province. Moreover, he was an Indian independence movement leader...

     – Sikh and Indian independence movement leader
  • Preet Bharara
    Preet Bharara
    Preetinder S. Bharara , commonly known as Preet Bharara, is U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.-Early life and education:Bharara was born in 1968 in Firozpur, Punjab, India, to a Sikh father and Hindu mother...

    - U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
  • Pritam Saini
    Pritam Saini
    Dr. Pritam Saini was a journalist, literary critic and history scholar of Punjab. He served as Research Fellow at Punjabi University, Patiala in Indian Punjab and was also member of academic bodies such as the Punjab History Conference and Indian History Congress.- Literary and historical works...

     – Punjab historian and journalist
  • Ranj Dhaliwal
    Ranj Dhaliwal
    Ranj Dhaliwal is an Indo-Canadian author, who published the gangster novel Daaku.-Novels:...

     (Randheer Singh Dhaliwal) – crime-fiction author from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • Rabinder Singh
    Rabinder Singh (barrister)
    Sir Rabinder Singh , styled The Hon. Mr Justice Singh, is an English High Court judge of the Queen's Bench Division, formerly a barrister, a founding member of Matrix Chambers and a legal academic.-Early life and education:...

     QC, English Barrister and High Court of Justice Judge
  • Ravi Bopara – English cricketer
  • Sadhu Singh Hamdard
    Sadhu Singh Hamdard
    Sadhu Singh Hamdard was a well-known freedom fighter and journalist of Punjab, excelling in both Urdu and Punjabi and an innovative poet, who carried in his name the psudonym 'Hamdard', "sharing with all the pangs of their hearts," "friendly towards all."...

     – Punjabi journalist, founder of Ajit Group, Padma Shri
  • Sardar Swaran Singh
    Sardar Swaran Singh
    Sardar Swaran Singh was an Indian politician. He was India's longest serving union cabinet minister.- Early life :Saradar Swaran Singh was born on 19th August 1907 in Shankar Village in Jallandhar District of Punjab. He was born into an agricultural family....

     – Indian politician, former cabinet minister
  • Sardar Hukam Singh
    Sardar Hukam Singh
    Sardar Hukam Singh was an Indian politician and the speaker of the Lok Sabha from 1962 to 1967. He was also governor of Rajasthan from 1967 to 1972.-Early life:...

     – former speaker of Lok Sabha
  • Sardul Singh Caveeshar
    Sardul Singh Caveeshar
    Sardul Singh Caveeshar was an Indian newspaper editor, and a major figure in the Indian independence movement. He was born in Amritsar.-Education:...

     – Indian independence movement leader
  • Sardar Ujjal Singh
    Sardar Ujjal Singh
    Sardar Ujjal Singh was an Indian politician who served as the Governor of Punjab , followed by Governor of Tamil Nadu from...

     – Indian politician, Governor of Tamil Nadu (1966–1971)
  • Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
    Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
    Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was the leader of the Damdami Taksal, a Sikh religious group based in India, who supported implementation of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. In 1981, Bhindranwale was arrested for his suspected involvement in the murder of Jagat Narain, the proprietor of the Hind...

     – leader of the Damdami Taksal, a Sikh religious group based in India
  • Satinder Sartaaj
    Satinder Sartaaj
    Satinder Sartaaj , also cited as Satinder Sartaj, is an Indian Punjabi singer and poet. Since then his popularity has seen a constant surge among the Punjabi diaspora with his shows being held in many countries across the world,...

     (Born as Satinder Pal Singh Saini) - Punjabi singer and poet
  • Simon Singh
    Simon Singh
    Simon Lehna Singh, MBE is a British author who has specialised in writing about mathematical and scientific topics in an accessible manner....

     – author who has specialised in writing about mathematical and scientific topics in an accessible manner
  • Snatam Kaur
    Snatam Kaur
    Snatam Kaur Khalsa , is an American singer and songwriter. She lives in Española, New Mexico. Kaur performs Indian devotional music, kirtan, and tours the world as a peace activist. The name "Kaur", meaning "princess", is shared by all female Sikhs....

     – American singer and songwriter
  • Soni Pabla
    Soni Pabla
    Soni Pabla was an Indian-born musician who sang Punjabi songs and is considered one of the best Indo-Canadian singers of all time.Soni Pabla was born and raised in Bilaspur a village near Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India. He belonged to the Saini community of Punjab. Soni Pabla moved to Toronto, Canada...

     - Punjabi singer
  • Sunny Deol
    Sunny Deol
    Sunny Deol often credited as "Action King of Bollywood" is an Indian film actor, producer and director. Deol was born to Bollywood actor Dharmendra. He has won two National Film Awards and two Filmfare Awards. He went to England to study acting...

     – Bollywood actor
  • Sunny Dhoorh
    Sunny Dhoorh
    Sunny Dhoorh is a Humanitarian, self made businessman, Community Organizer and Politician based in Michigan. He currently holds position as the vice president of the Indian National Overseas Congress USA and as President of INOC - State of Michigan. He is the Vice Chairman of The Democrat Party...

     - Indo-American Social Activist
  • Swati Mia Saini
    Swati Mia Saini
    Swati Maria Saini, popularly known as Mia Saini, is a financial journalist and video host who has also interned for CNBC and also worked as a freelance reporter for TheStreet.com...

     – Forbes Video Network anchor/reporter
  • Tara Singh Malhotra – Sikh and Indian independence movement
    Indian independence movement
    The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

     leader in the first half of the 20th century
  • Tarsame Singh Saini - British singer, composer and actor
  • Talvin Singh
    Talvin Singh
    Talvin Singh Matharoo , is a producer and composer and tabla player, known for creating an innovative fusion of Indian classical music and drum and bass...

     – British electronic musician and tabla player
  • Zail Singh
    Zail Singh
    Giani Zail Singh was an Indian politician and member of the Congress Party. He served as the seventh President of India.His term was marked by Operation Blue Star, the assassination of Indira Gandhi, and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. He died of injuries in 1994 after a car accident.-Early Life:He...

     – former Indian President
  • Yuvraj Singh
    Yuvraj Singh
    Yuvraj Singh Bhandal is an Indian cricketer, and the son of former Indian fast bowler and Punjabi movie star Yograj Singh. He has been a member of the Indian cricket team since 2000 and played his first Test match in 2003. He was the vice captain of the ODI team from late-2007 to late-2008...

     - Indian cricket team member

Sikhs in the military



  • Bana Singh
    Bana Singh
    Naib Subedar Bana Singh, PVC was born on 3 January 1949 into a Sikh family, at Kadyal in Jammu and Kashmir. He enrolled in the Indian Army on 6 January 1969 into the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry . He was trained at the High Altitude Warfare School in Gulmarg and also at another school at...

     – awarded the Param Vir Chakra
  • Gian Singh
    Gian Singh
    Naik Gian Singh VC was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Biography:...

     – awarded the Victoria Cross
  • Harbaksh Singh
    Harbaksh Singh
    Lt General Harbaksh Singh was a senior Indian Army officer who played a key role during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Vir Chakra....

     – warrior, saved Srinagar 1947, won the Battle of Khemkaran defying orders from Gen. J. N. Chaudhary, repulsing a major Pakistani attack, 1965 war. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Vir Chakra.
  • Major General Hardev Singh Kler – Indian Army. Was one of few officers directly responsible for Indian victory in liberating Bangladesh.(awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal
    Ati Vishisht Seva Medal
    Ati Vishisht Seva Medal is a military award of India given to recognize "distinguished service of an exceptional order" to all ranks of the armed forces....

     for role in 1965 Indo-Pak war, and then Maha Vir Chakra
    Maha Vir Chakra
    The Maha Vir Chakra is the second highest military decoration in India and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air. It may be awarded posthumously. Literally Maha Veer means extraordinarily brave.-Appearance:The medal is made...

     in 1971 war. Notable for leading the Defence of KamalPur
    Defence of KamalPur
    The Defence of Kamalpur refers to the battle fought at Kamalpur near the border in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and Bangladesh Liberation War. The Defence of Kamalpur, a hamlet on the border, by Captain Ahsan Malik and his 140 men would be an epic in any army's history...

     and the liberation of Jamalpur.
  • Ishar Singh
    Ishar Singh
    Captain Ishar Singh VC OBI was an Indian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces...

     – first Sikh to receive the Victoria Cross
    Victoria Cross
    The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

  • Jagjit Singh Arora – supervised the surrender of more than 90,000 Pakistani personnel in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) during the 1971 India-Pakistan war
  • Gurmukh Singh Saini
    Gurmukh Singh Saini
    Gurmukh Singh Saini , a Sikh soldier from the village Gadram Badi of Ropar in district Ambala of the province of Punjab in British India, won the Indian Order of Merit 1st Class in World War I for splendid courage on the battlefield on the night of March 1, 1916. He was also awarded the Cross of St...

     – awarded the Cross of St. George
    Cross of St. George
    thumb|Original Cross of St. George.Ist and 2nd class were in gold.The Cross of St. George ', or simply the George's Cross, was, until 1913, officially known as the Sign of Distinction of the Military Order of St. George....

  • Joginder Singh Sahnan – awarded Param Vir Chakra
  • Jagindar Singh Saini - Subedar-Major Jagindar Singh Saini, a Sikh officer from the Sappers, received the Indian Order of Merit and the Order of British India
    Order of British India
    The Order of British India was a medal and chivalric order which was bestowed by the East India Company for "long, faithful and honourable service", beginning in 1837. The Company's powers were removed after the Indian Mutiny, and the Order was incorporated into the British honours system in 1859...

     for 'conspicuous bravery' and 'striking leadership'; (See Battle of Loos
    Battle of Loos
    The Battle of Loos was one of the major British offensives mounted on the Western Front in 1915 during World War I. It marked the first time the British used poison gas during the war, and is also famous for the fact that it witnessed the first large-scale use of 'new' or Kitchener's Army...

    )
  • Gurbachan Singh Salaria
    Gurbachan Singh Salaria
    Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria is a military war hero, who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest wartime military award. In the 1988 Television serial Param Vir Chakra by Chetan Anand, Captain G.S...

    , winner of the Param Vir Chakra
    Param Vir Chakra
    The Param Vir Chakra is India's highest military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. It can be, and often has been, awarded posthumously....

  • Karamjeet Singh Judge
    Karamjeet Singh Judge
    Karamjeet Singh Judge VC was an Indian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Details:...

     – awarded the Victoria Cross
  • Karam Singh
    Karam Singh
    Lance Naik Karam Singh MM, a Sikh, was born on 15 September 1915 in Barnala, Punjab . He is an Indian military war hero who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest wartime military award, in 1948....

     – awarded the Military Medal
    Military Medal
    The Military Medal was a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other services, and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land....

     in World War II and awarded the Param Vir Chakra
    Param Vir Chakra
    The Param Vir Chakra is India's highest military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. It can be, and often has been, awarded posthumously....

     (the second person to receive the decoration)
  • Mohan Singh Deb
    Mohan Singh Deb
    Mohan Singh was an Indian Military officer and member of the Indian Independence Movement most famous for his role in organising and leading the First Indian National Army in South East Asia during World War II...

     – founder of the first Indian National Army
    Indian National Army
    The Indian National Army or Azad Hind Fauj was an armed force formed by Indian nationalists in 1942 in Southeast Asia during World War II. The aim of the army was to overthrow the British Raj in colonial India, with Japanese assistance...

     in WW2
  • Nand Singh
    Nand Singh
    Nand Singh VC MVC was an Indian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-World War II:...

     – awarded the Victoria Cross
  • Nanu Singh Saini
    Nanu Singh Saini
    Sardar Nanu Singh Saini was a Sikh army general and a well-known jagirdar in Phulkian riyasat. He was a close associate of Maharaja Ala Singh who founded the Patiala state in 1753 AD....

    , jagirdar and Sikh military commander
  • Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon
    Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon
    Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, PVC was an officer of the Indian Air Force. He was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military decoration, in recognition of his lone defence of Srinagar Air Base against a Pakistani air raid during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971...

     – the only officer of the Indian Air Force
    Indian Air Force
    The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict...

     to be awarded the Param Vir Chakra
    Param Vir Chakra
    The Param Vir Chakra is India's highest military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. It can be, and often has been, awarded posthumously....

  • Parkash Singh
    Parkash Singh
    Havildar Parkash Singh VC was a Sikh recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Biography:...

     – awarded the Victoria Cross
  • Kartar Singh Taunque
    Kartar Singh Taunque
    Wing Commander Kartar Singh Taunque, then Hawai Sepoy 1st Class, became the first ever personnel of Indian Airforce to win a gallantry award. He won this award for a successful bombing raid during "Operations in Waziristan 1937-38". He was mentioned in despatches. Flt.Lt...

     – awarded Distinguished Flying Cross
    Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom)
    The Distinguished Flying Cross is a military decoration awarded to personnel of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and other services, and formerly to officers of other Commonwealth countries, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against...

    , first air man of the Royal Indian Air Force to be decorated for gallantry
  • Uday Singh Taunque
    Uday Singh Taunque
    Sergeant Uday Singh Taunque was the first soldier of Sikh descent to die fighting in the Iraq War as part of the U.S. Army. His death in Iraq was widely reported in the Indian and American media.-Early Years:...

     – awarded Purple Heart
    Purple Heart
    The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York...

     and Bronze Star, first Indian to die in Iraq War as part of the US Army
  • Paul Singh Pabla - In 2006, Sgt. Paul Singh Pabla of Fort Wayne, Indiana, another Sikh soldier serving in US Army laid down his life in Iraq and gained a posthumous Purple Heart
    Purple Heart
    The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York...

    .
  • Kuldip Singh Chandpuri
    Kuldip Singh Chandpuri
    Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri is an Indian Army officer known for his heroic leadership in the famous Battle of Longewala. for which he was awarded Maha Vir Chakra by the Indian Army.Border, a 1997 Bollywood film directed by J.P.Dutta...

    - awarded Maha Vir Chakra
    Maha Vir Chakra
    The Maha Vir Chakra is the second highest military decoration in India and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air. It may be awarded posthumously. Literally Maha Veer means extraordinarily brave.-Appearance:The medal is made...

    for leading his company of consisting only 120 men against a strong 2000+ Pakistani force

Further reading

  • The Sikhs In History: A Millennium Study by Sangat Singh, Noel Quinton King. New York 1995. ISBN 81-900650-2-5
  • A History of the Sikhs: Volume 1: 1469–1838 by Khushwant Singh. Oxford India Paperbacks (13 January 2005). ISBN 0-19-567308-5
  • The Sikhs by Patwant Singh. Image (17 July 2001). ISBN 0-385-50206-0
  • The Sikhs of the Punjab by J. S. Grewal. Published by Cambridge University Press (28 October 1998). ISBN 0-521-63764-3.
  • The Sikhs: History, Religion, and Society by W.H. McLeod. Published by Columbia University Press (15 April 1989). ISBN 0-231-06815-8
  • The Sikh Diaspora: Tradition and Change in an Immigrant Community (Asian Americans — Reconceptualizing Culture, History, Politics) by Michael Angelo. Published by Routledge (1 September 1997). ISBN 0-8153-2985-7

External links