Friday, December 2, 2005

Sikh Women - The Quiet Force Behind Great Sikh Leaders

Even though in the past there has been very little historical references about Sikh women that have helped shape the Sikh society of yesterday, today, and, are currently on the forefront of building the Sikh men and women leaders of tomorrow. Even in everyday life on several occasions I have encounterd many bright young ordinary girls and women at Khalsa Camps, villages of Punjab, weddings and internet etc.and have been amazed at their artistic skills, intellect, inner strength, leadership qualities and the willpower. It is the quality women like these that are the helping shape great leaders such as Manmohan Singh, Harbhajan Singh Khalsa, Inderjit Kaur (Sikh Dharma) Pooran Singh, Dr. Inderjit Kaur (Pingalwara), I sometimes wonder, what would happen if this energy and ethusiasm is released and let go.

A few years back I met a Sikh gentleman in a local park here , he himself was from Thailand since a lot of Sikhs went to China and Thailand in the 1920-30’s as police and security officers. He told me about his daughter who was in Indian Air Force and would jump from planes with parachutes. The story stuck with me since I had not heard of Sikh women pilots jumping from planes. In 2003, during a trip with my daughter to a village school, this one 12 year old girl from our distant relatives just stood out. The girl just took my daughter all around and spoke Punjabi with so much confidence and with no hesitation with my daughter that my jaws just dropped. There are so many other little stories like this. I would say that girls in Punjabi villages are even more strong willed, confidant and show better leadership and orginality than the ones in big cities that were raised in somewhat western atmosphere. Anyways, I think there are a great number of Sikh girls and women that are currently shaping the societies of Punjab, India and elsewhere in the World. Here are some of the women of recent past and present with impacts on Sikh society:

Rajinder Kaur Bhattal (Fightingfor freedom is in her blood):
http://punjabassembly.nic.in/Members/Detailbio.asp?mlacode=12080
Late Kalpana Chawla (Astronaut):
http://altreligion.about.com/cs/sikh/a/aa020503.htm
Dr. Inderjit Kaur (President - Pingalwara)
http://www.pingalwaraonline.org/about_pingal/organization.htm
Kavita Chibber:
http://www.kavitachhibber.com/biography.html
Valeri Kaur:
http://www.sikhwomen.com/equality/ideology_vs_practice.htm
http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2005/05/28/harvard_abu_ghraib_play/index_np.html Shauna Singh:
http://www.randomhouse.com/boldtype/1199/baldwin/index.html
Bibi Inderjit Kaur (Sikh Dharma)
http://www.sikhcouncilusa.org/article.aspx?article=evtwhitehouse1
Snatan Kaur
Ek Onkar Kaur Khalsa (Song of the Soul)
And Many Many more that I can't even list:
http://www.yourtruehero.org/content/hero/view_hero.asp?4493
http://www.yourtruehero.org/content/hero/view_hero.asp?23476
http://allaboutsikhs.com/women/

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