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I.O.S.S. to Launch World Sikh Body


The Tribune, Chandigarh, Nov. 9, 2005

Photo: Daljeet Singh, founder of I.O.S.S.

The International Sikh Confederation (I.S.C.) will be launched here on November 13 at an international Sikh conclave of eminent persons. The conclave will be held at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Kanthala, near the Tribune Chowk.

The conclave is being organised by the Institute of Sikh Studies, an organisation that had mooted the idea of the I.S.C. in November 2003. Dr. Kharak Singh told The Tribune today that the adhoc committee of the confederation would be announced on November 13. The general session of the confederation would be held in April during Baisakhi festival.

It appears that the leadership of the S.G.P.C., which claims to be the apex religious body of the Sikhs, has not agreed to set up such a body. And the S.A.D. leadership headed by Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, has also not endorsed it yet. But several other Panthic organisations have supported the move.

He said that as many as 25 delegates from various countries such as the U.S.A., Canada and Australia would take part in the conclave. Besides, delegates representing various Sikh and Panthic organisations from various parts of India would also participate in the conclave.

'Already lot of discussion had been held on this issue in the last two years. Now time has come to launch it,' said Dr. Kharak Singh, who was a part of the three-member committee set up to prepare the constitution of this worldwide body of the Sikhs.

He clarified that the motive of the confederation was not to replace any Sikh organisation such as the S.G.P.C. or any Panthic political organisation. He said certain vested interests were creating a wrong impression in this regard.

At present, there is no Sikh organisation that represents the Sikhs scattered in various parts of the world. The S.G.P.C. represents a section of Sikhs in the north of India. The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee [D.S.G.M.C.] represents the Sikhs who live in Delhi. There was no representative body for the Sikhs living abroad.

In such circumstances there was a need to launch a confederation that would play the role of an apex body to various panthic organisations to discuss the issues with regard to the Sikhs at a common platform and also decide the strategy to resolve the same.

'We have got tremendous response,' Mr. Gurdev Singh, president of the Institute, said. He said the late Mr. Gurcharan Singh Tohra, who headed the S.G.P.C. for 25 years, had endorsed the concept of the confederation.

Regarding its structure, Mr. Gurdev Singh said there would be a general house of all primary members of the confederation governing council of 200 members. In the governing council, 60 members would be taken from the S.G.P.C., 10 from the D.S.G.M.C., 30 from various states in the country, 45 from the Sikh diaspora all over the world and 50 from various Sikh institutions and five from Sikh Takhts [seats of power]. There would be a 25-member executive committee and five advisory councils of eminent persons to advise on various issues such as education, religious affairs, economic affairs, international and legal affairs, and press and public relations etc.