Recently, I visited Dr, Gurpartap Singh Birk at the U.S. Penitentiary, Lewisburg (Pennsylvania).
Lewisburg, a cultural center of the central Pennsylvania Valley, is the home of the Bucknell University. It is a small town (approx. 140 miles from Philadelphia) located on route 15 and is approx. 13 miles on the south of Interstate Hwy. 80. Lewisburg is a high security prison with 1700 inmates. For the preauthorized visitors, visiting its allowed every day from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in an approximately 25’X.40’ high cealing room.
During the visit, for 2 consecutive days, I found Dr. Birk in good health and Chardhi Kala (high Spirits). His sense of humor was remarkable. While talking about what the Sikhs can do here, he said:
“It is better to work under one Kesri Flag, However, it is not goo to sit idle till that time. It is not important under which name we are serving our Panth. Important, however, is what we do and ‘with how much dedication and sincerity. Wasting efforts in criticising each other on small and local issues is unproductive and must be avoided. True dedication and sincerity in serving the Panth would help in minimizing the ego and consequently would bring us under one Kesri Flag. He said that it is duty of each and every Sikh to develop good public relations in these countries. He liked very much the idea of helping the homeless people in each town”.
On the last day of the visit, I told him that sangat sends regards and best wishes to him and is praying for his Chardhi Kala. He in return, with a long smile on his face, said, “Acha, mere balon bahar sari sangat nu fateh bulauni (Say hellow to all from myside)” and went back his Tap Asthan.
New Orleans, Louisiana
MRS. SANT JARNAIL SINGH KHALSA
(Ref. India Abroad 4291988)
It is really a matter of shame for the Sikhs that Sardarni Pritam Kaur wife of late Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale, should be living in misery and extreme poverty with her brothers, as she did not get proper treatment at her in laws’ place. Neither Baba Joginder Singh, her father-in-law, nor Bhai Jasbir Singh Khalsa can be absolved of this inexcusable negligence. If we cannot give respect and honour that we owe to her and her children, we cannot hope to take care of thousands of others in similar or worse plight.
Notwithstanding high sounding slogans, our immediate concern should be to give Bibi Pritam Kaur a dignified position in the society, which she richly deserves, being a widow of our National Hero. Narendra Singh
Aurora, Co. Dear Editor:
Through your column of “Letter to the Editor”, I like to congratulate S. Sukhbir Singh for his enlightening article titled “Stop Hinduization of Sikh Institutions”. He has revealed the real virtues and practice of Sikh religion. I am looking forward to read future articles in this series.
Guru Granth Sahib and life histories of our Great Gurus teach us to stay away from these rituals. But unfortunately, majority of our preachers make no effort to go deep into our scriptures with the Sikh sangat. These days, an average Sikh is so much deeply involved in acquiring more and more worldly materialistic things that he/she is left with no time to do a deep study of religions scriptures, for which there is ample availability of easy readable and understandable literature. A few writers including late Dr. Kartar Singh have written some books portraying the real essence of our religion, while decrying these rituals.
I also extend my best wishes to your staff for continuing to improve the newspaper so as to bring it to the present standard over a short period.
Inderjit Singh Grewal Visalia, Ca.
Article extracted from this publication >> May 13, 1988