Dear Sadh Sangat ji,

In last two years we have seen Sikh Religious Society (SRS), Palatine, Gurdwara getting transformed into a dera run by inept and corrupt egomaniacs. We saw a pattern of divisive, unethical, and illegal means to retain hold over our institution. We now continue to see the unwinding of Guru’s message and regression towards Brahmanism. Specifically:

  • Bhai Mohinder Singh ji was illegally removed under all trumped up allegations. He was seen as a hindrance to Brahmanical designs and targeted to settle personal vendetta of many in so called Panthic Slate (a.k.a. Sadh Sangat of Greater Chicago)
  • Innumerable constitutional violations that continue even today. Illegally hiding fiscal details from Sangat. Spending money without any accountability. Again, illegally keeping Sangat in the dark by sparsely sending monthly newsletters or financial statements, and deliberately providing misleading information. Last newsletter had 2-line financial statement. What are they hiding?
  • Aiding and abetting the theft of benches for Seniors and constantly ignoring their plight for comfortable seating arrangement
  • Disrupting weekly Naam Simran and youth vichaar, and Sangat Kirtan programs. Thus destroying the very foundation of Sikhism.
  • Inviting and honoring opponents of the panth in the Gurdwara
  • In gross violation of SRS Constitution, membership was granted to out of Illinois individuals and even to those under the age of18.
  • Hundreds were made SRS members even though they paid no membership dues. Who paid for them?
  • Refused to show the receipt books of membership to Sangat members after the membership dead line. What were they hiding?
  • Refused to accept forms and payments from Sangat supporters even for their immediate family members.
  • Changed membership list for voting three times from the original and constitutionally final membership list.
  • On the Election Day, allowed scores of their supporters to vote who were not even registered SRS members.
  • Lots of votes of opponents were fraudulently pre-cast before the actual voters arrived.
  • Casting votes for person(s) who were not even in the country.
  • Chief election official, Mr. Jhaj, and management openly campaigned inside the elections booths. When Sangat candidates objected they called the police on them.
  • When it was clear that the Sangat candidates were winning when 75% of votes were counted, they brought ballot stacks of 30 which started showing 70% to 80% votes in their favor.
  • Jaspreet Atwal, past President, moved to California in Oct of 2009. Mr. Joginder Singh Multani, may Waheguru bless him, has become incapacitated and has not been able to serve since April of 2010. Both of these should be replaced as per SRS Constitution but Jhaj group has no shame or respect for SRS Constitution.
  • Now they have cancelled the membership of dozens of key opponents on cooked up pretexts, like not handing over the records and protesting Bhai Mohinder Singh’s removal.
  • Some of these members whose membership has been cancelled were never elected Trustees, thus not holding any records, but their membership has been cancelled that they didn’t turn over the records. That is sheer mockery and travesty of truth.
  • On the other hand, hundreds of thousands of dollars were collected in 1984. Sangat never got any info or records of these funds.
  • Membership dues collected in 2009 were illegally kept by non elected Trustees and Sangat has never been informed, even now, as to what happened to those funds.

True to their dishonest core, this pattern akin to Mahants continues. Destroying the solid base SRS has built over 3 dacades. Meanwhile, the Sangat has remained disciplined, restrained, and exercised caution, and explored every reasonable alternative to resolve these issues within the four walls of the Gurdwara. It is very obvious to all that we will always be offered a deaf ear and the only recourse left now is to let law of the land take its course.

We know that corrupt SRS management is going to cry foul and shout that Gurughar’s golak is in danger. Sangat knows better. What a better way for a thief to hide than calling their utterance as a divine command and equating their own pocket as Gurugar’s golak. This has always been the modus operendi of Mahants and deradaars.

It is our moral obligation to not let illegality be the norm in Gurughar by fully supporting the legal recourse to help re-establish will of the Sangat through transparent SRS management.

Let us undo the incredible losses SRS and Chicago Sangat has suffered. Be a part of bringing integrity back into SRS by supporting Sikh Sangat Integrity Association.

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Chicago Sikh Sangat, a grass-root community organization of Chicago area Sikhs, had a very well attended wonderful annual picnic last Saturday, on August 14th, 2010. The picnic was held in Deer Grove Forest Preserve, Palatine, Illinois.

This family style picnic was thoroughly enjoyed by attendees of all ages. Everyone relished extremely tasty traditional Punjabi food in relaxing outdoor atmosphere and enhanced by very cooperative weather. A mix of western and traditional cultures was very unique and especially appreciated by all.

Mama Edie, an award winning story teller, was able to grab everyone’s attention by her African style of narration. Punjabi folk songs throughout, hourly raffle drawing, mehndi drawing, face-painting, volley-ball, cake-cutting, and games for kids, youth, and elders were well organized. All of this was topped by ladies’ giddha songs until the very end of the day. Especial thanks to Bhai Mohinder Singh ji for leading the cake cutting ceremony.

S. Thakar Singh Basati led an excellent team of volunteers to put this all together. S. Narinderpal Singh Marwaha and Mrs. Ginny Jolly’s enthusiasm was infectious. S. Bhupinder Singh Hundal, S. Raghuvinder Singh Mahal, S. Baghwan Singh Battu, S. Jasbir Singh Sokhey & Mrs. Ravi Sokhey, S. Inderbir Singh Gill, and countless behind-the-scenes volunteers made it a very successful event. This was also obvious through strong community presence and financial support to continue with this great annual event.

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Few Words…….

Over twenty million Sikhs follow a revealed, distinct, and unique religion born five centuries ago in the Punjab region of northern India. Between 1469 and 1708, ten Gurus preached a simple message of truth, devotion to God, and universal equality. Often mistaken as a combination of Hinduism and Islam, the Sikh religion can be characterized as a completely independent faith:

Sikhism rejects idolatry, the caste system, ritualism, and asceticism. It recognizes the equality between both genders and all religions, prohibits the intake of any intoxicants, and encourages an honest, truthful living. Sikhs have their own holy scripture, Guru Granth Sahib. Written, composed, and compiled by the Sikh Gurus themselves, the Guru Granth Sahib serves as the ultimate source of spiritual guidance for Sikhs. While the Sikhs hold their Gurus in high reverence, they are not to be worshipped; Sikhs may only worship God.

Members of the Sikh community are mainly concentrated in their homeland, Punjab; however, substantial Sikh populations exist throughout the rest of India and the world. Punjabi, a variant of the Hindi language with some Persian influence, is the spoken and written language of the Sikh people. Male members of the Sikh religion use the name, Singh (lion), as their middle or last name, while females use the name, Kaur (princess). Sikhs tend to be industrious and pioneering; this accounts for their general success wherever they live and settle. The hard-working nature of the Sikhs is derived from their religion, which can be best characterized as a faith of unlimited optimism.

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