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Canada Windsor Sikh leaders barred from temple

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, Jul 23, 2010.

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  1. spnadmin

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    WINDSOR, Ont. — Longtime Sikh community leaders have been hit with trespass notices and expulsions from their own society as a feud at the city’s majestic $6.5-million temple degenerates, with allegations of violent threats, disruptions and attempts to overthrow the current leadership.

    “It broke my heart, big time,” said Avtar Singh Kooner, 59, as he described the humiliation suffered since receiving a trespass notice on July 9 from the Sikh Cultural Society of Metropolitan Windsor, a society he presided over for a decade. He owned the land on County Road 42 where the 26,000-square-foot temple, the Gurdwara Khalsa Parkash Windsor, was built 10 years ago. But now he is not allowed past its imposing gates, he can’t bring his 95-year-old mother to religious services and he can’t use it for a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of his father.

    “I’ve been in Windsor since 1975,” said Kooner. “We built this place all together, to go there every Sunday or whenever we feel like it, and now it’s a very big shock to me. Now, everybody knows, all over, this guy was kicked out of the temple.”

    But the current members of the temple’s executive committee — acclaimed at the end of last year after the same group ran it for 16 years — say they’re only trying to stop the defamations, badmouthing, and disruptions of religious ceremonies by disgruntled members who can’t accept they’ve lost power. “We cannot have, every week, a fight within the temple,” said treasurer Gurbax Singh Wahid.

    Secretary Harjinder Singh Kandola said: “Within the temple the situation is very tense, very stressful.”

    Wahid says he was attacked and punched in the driveway of his home the night of July 5 by two white males who fled on foot. Two days later, four bullets were fired into the home Gian Singh Chadan and his wife Pritam Kaur, the committee members say. They don’t know who’s behind the attacks. They say the previous weekend there was a great disturbance in the temple when one disgruntled man attempted to forcefully take control of the podium.

    The animosity started late last year when a new slate of people were acclaimed to the committee, which had been led for many years by Windsor allergist Dr. Sukdev Singh Kooner, who is said to have donated $2 million to construct the new temple.

    When the new group was acclaimed, conflict with the old guard arose almost immediately. The old group attempted to expel president Mohinder Singh Kandola and his son Harjinder from the society, effectively removing them from office. The Kandolas sued, and a judge earlier this year ruled the Kandolas were the legitimate leaders.

    “And now they’re using their newfound authority to keep people away from the temple who they perceive as being not of the same mind as them,” said Patrick Ducharme, who represents Dr. Kooner, Avtar Kooner (they’re very distantly related) and the rest of the deposed Sikhs. “Sadly they’re going to run out of notices of the Trespass to Property Act, because essentially about 75 per cent of the congregation, as I understand it, does not like this (new) group.”

    In April, when the two factions were in court, Dr. Kooner was not allowed into the courthouse after the judge ruled he couldn’t wear his kirpan, the ceremonial dagger worn in devotion to his faith. The Sikh society has about 700 members and the congregation has between 1,000 and 1,100.
    “It’s almost laughable what they’re doing,” Ducharme said. “It would be laughable if it weren’t so serious to the people who simply want to go to their temple to worship.”

    Inderpal Singh Dhanoa, 40, was issued a trespass notice March 31 signed by the elder Kandola, who stated Dhanoa had “threatened to cut off the head” of a fellow member of the congregation.

    Kandola writes that such conduct is “repugnant to Sikh values.”

    Dhanoa said he didn’t mean what he said, and it was not directed at a specific individual. “It’s like an expression in my language, that you’ll stop them using whatever means.” Because of the trespass order, he said he drives to London to attend religious services.

    Windsor police have investigated the threat allegations.

    “And we’ve found no criminal behaviour,” said Deputy Chief Jerome Brannagan. “There are obviously two factions in the temple. Some are getting along, some are not getting along.” But he added that to the best of his knowledge the disputes aren’t religious in nature.

    He said that on occasion Windsor police officers have been hired by the temple Windsor as contract duty officers to keep the peace. Surveillance cameras have also been installed.

    On July 7, vice-president Jasbir Kaur Shokar, had her membership in the society revoked, and hence her vice-presidency, for “provoking the congregation members by making false allegations” against fellow committee members.

    She claims she was only sticking up for the congregation members who were being treated unfairly.

    “I couldn’t take it anymore,” she said. You just can’t ban people from their beloved place of worship because of personal differences, she said. “What are the kids going to learn from this? It’s sad, very sad.”
    The current leaders say the disgruntled members should allow them to serve out their two-year term, then let the voters decide who should be running things. They contend the majority support them.


    Read more: http://www.windsorstar.com/health/W...+from+temple/3306803/story.html#ixzz0uRptPmON
     

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  3. sekhonisewal

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    I think these two guys, especially Avtar Singh Kooner should be banned from participating all the sikh events in windsor. He is threat for peace betwwen sikhs. He is trouble maker everywhere. He try to prove himself as a supporter of Khalistan Movement, but in reality he did nothing for that movement except passing slogans of Khalistan Jindabad on vaisaki. he did nothing on political grounds nor on legal grounds. for other guy, his face tells, sikh without beard, how he can be accepted as sikh leader.:happysingh:
     
  4. spnadmin

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    Sikh temple 'dictators" protested

    Forwarded by Mai Harinder Kaur ji


    About 300 members of the Sikh community protest outside the temple on County Road 42 Sunday.


    The congregation of Gurdwara Khalsa Parkash, Windsor's 26,000-square-foot temple, has been steeped in conflict since the current executive committee was acclaimed in December 2009.

    Hoisting signs reading "religion is a right, not a privilege" and "we need leaders, not dictators," members young and old protested peacefully outside the temple's formidable gates.

    "It's all about our human rights and our freedom of religion," said Satinder Aujla, a 16-year member of the temple.

    She said her main concern is the surveillance cameras that were recently installed throughout the temple, including in the prayer hall.

    "How can you pray and be at peace when you have cameras shooting down at you and recording your prayers?

    "It totally contradicts what you are there to do and praying should be between just you and your God."

    While some protesters chanted "peace not police," inside, members continued to pray in silence without disruption.

    Windsor police stood by during the protest "just in case," but left without incident.

    The current executive committee's secretary Harjinder Singh Kandola said the actions of the protesters are only hurting the already damaged image of Sikhs in the community.

    "We come here to worship and praise God, not to come and start making accusations against people," Kandola said.

    "Since 9-11 things were really different for minorities so we should be working on productive things like promoting Sikh brotherhood, Canadian values and how we can improve our image."

    Kandola said the cameras were installed for security after someone broke into the temple.

    He said cameras are commonly found in temples throughout India as well.

    Two Sikhs have been issued trespass notices by the executive in recent months, accused of causing disruptions in the temple. Another has had her membership in the local Sikh society revoked and another Sikh is facing a membership revocation.

    Windsor allergist Dr. Sukdev Singh Kooner, a former executive committee member, said the exiled Sikhs have followed the outlined procedures to appeal their ousters, but their requests have gone unanswered.

    "More than just surveillance, the issues are that nobody can speak there, people have been given trespass notices and they cannot attend the service," Kooner said.

    For 13-year-old Gurleen Dhaliwal, the temple should be a place of worship, not politics.

    "We come here to pray to God, not somebody else and that's just not happening because of all the drama," said Dhaliwal, who was among the group of protesters.

    "The temple needs to be respected and you shouldn't be able to just change it, it has to stay the way it is."



    Read more: http://www.windsorstar.com/life/Sikh+temple+dictators+protested/3322583/story.html#ixzz0unFDNDar
     
  5. taranprit

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    Sat Shri Akal,
    Sardar Ji, How You can say about those two men that they should be banned. .They r not threat for peace between sikhs but people like u can be .In our gurudwaras there r 4 doors open for every one either they r sikh or not.Sikh without beard can also enter into Gurdwara.And if u want Khalistan goto INDIA. TRY there.
     
  6. ballym

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    Re: Sikh temple 'dictators" protested

    Inadequate info. What was the reason for trespass notice?
     
  7. spnadmin

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  8. sangat bhavni

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    sekhonisewal,I feel pity on your thoughts &status of mind,I hope you know what actually the SIKHI means,If you think a sikh or non sikh can be banned from Guru Granth Sahib's darshan,I think you are not even close to Sikh philosophy,Guru Nanak himself went to Bhooman chor,Sajjan Thag,Kauda rakhas to reform them & people like you still think that you have previlage to ban any one to come into Gurdwara,I think People like you have induced in pakhandis like Sacha sauda baba.
    SHAME on your thoughts........
     
  9. ik-jivan

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    Just wanted to share with you about the recent activities of a friend. It relates to the unrest between Sikhs within Gurdwaras. Please read his story.
    http://www.sikhsailor.com/2010/07/how-i-was-escorted-out-of-a-gurudwara/

    I think we can all sense a change is coming. . . Waheguru will help. . . Waheguru does EVERYTHNG.

    In regard to the Windsor Gurdwara situation, did anyone else write to World Sikh Organization of Canada Members and/or the Khalsa Council?

    I sent them a Call for Inter/National Sikh Dispute Resolution Mechanism. Reads like this:
    =======================================
    RE: Windsor Sikh Leaders Barred from Temple

    Dear Sirs/Madams of the World Sikh Organization of Canada and the Khalsa Council serving the western hemisphere,
    If you have not yet become aware of the recent dispute between Sikh groups within the Sikh Cultural Society of Metropolitan Windsor, please refer your attention to the posting here: http://www.windsorstar.com/health/Windsor Sikh leaders barred from temple/3306803/story.html.

    I wish to draw your attention, not to the dispute itself, but rather to the need for a Sikh Nation dispute resolution mechanism that can be called upon to serve as internal, impartial mediation panel.

    Your membership within Canada and the Americas, as well as your affiliation with Sikh councils world-wide establishes your organizations as ideal bodies for spearheading the creatiion, management and promotion of a fair and democratic panel to support the needs of Sikh communities facing internal disputes.

    Such disputes, within the Sikh nation, are cause for grave concern for the future of Sikhi. Surely, it is recognized that such incidents undermine the foundation principles of inclusively, tolerance and non-violent resolution as first approach to conflict upon which Sikhi was established.

    Please do bring this matter before the the World Sikh Organization of Canada and the Khalsa Council memberships and disseminate to all Sikh governing bodies that you work though and with and prayerfully consider whether you are called to duty to fulfill the objective outlined here.
    =======================================

    Chardi Kala!
     
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  10. spnadmin

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    ik-jivan ji

    Thanks for this interesting information. It is OK to post the section from Sikh Sailor. If you like you can do it or if not I will later tonight.

    More than one person has now called for a body that would stand to mediate and arbitrate gurdwara disputes. This would be much better than going to cour.
     
  11. sekhonisewal

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    Respected both of you my friends,
    i am not against any one entering gurdwara, everyone from any religion is most welcomed to gurdwara, no one can stop them coming to gurdwara, but if a person is not respecting sikh values, sikh sangat he should be banned. So according to you guys no one should be banned, so you guys also must be againt akal takhat. because there are 100's of summons from akal takhat at different time. I never saw you guys with black flags against akal takhat. and you guys also support CEO(mahant) position of Dr sukhdev singh.
    Thanks
     
  12. spnadmin

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    sekhonisewal ji

    Gentle warning:happykaur:

    I am not sure who "you guys" is? Could we stay on the subject of Windsor Gurdwara and leave out issues related to Akal Takht and Dr Sukhdev Singh so the thread doesn't explode?

    sangat bhavni ji A comment like this "People like you have induced in pakhandis like Sacha sauda baba. " doesn't help the discussion along either.

    So far I know as little about the controversy as I did yesterday.

    Debate issues not personalities. And BTW I have enjoyed getting some background on this situation. So the more details we can read about the better.
     
  13. Fateh Singh

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    Wahe guru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ke fateh,
    Sangat Bhavni ji you compared Avtar Singh Kooner and his friend with Bhooman chor,Sajjan Thag. i agree with you. for your king information, Guru Nanak Dev ji went to Bhooman Chor and Sajjan Thag, but they never support there idology.
    would you like to comment on CEO (mahant) position of Kooner. is there any place for mahant system in sikhism as proposed by Kooner sukhdev singh
    same on you people. you people must either support sikh philospy or mahant philospy.
    thankswelcomekaur
     
  14. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Fateh Singh ji

    You may have been posting when I posted the warning just above you. If your question is answered let it be answered with details and facts. Thank you.
     
  15. sangat bhavni

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    Fateh Singh & sekhonisewal,
    Narayanjot kaur has already quoted right,Don't deviate the thread,
    Have guts to admit that NO BODY has authority to ban any one for Guru Granth Sahib's Darshan.
    I think this is the worst than a guy proposing some systems of structured representations of sikhs in United Nations.
    Rather the Windsor committee themselves proved to be MAHANTS & MASANDS by issuing tresspass notices to sangat members.
    By the way FYI: Akal Takht never banned any body for entering Gurdwars or Guru sahib's darshans.
    Thanks to all who support the right of equality of Guru Darshans:khanda3:.
     
  16. sangat bhavni

    sangat bhavni
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    nobody has right to ban guru darshan, the windsor committee has proved to be worst than a sikh who is just proposing a structured systems of sikh representations in united nations,rather i would say the masand system was actual the same replica of a systems where only certain individuals were allowed in guru ghars,which was ulimately a black spot in sikh history,unfortunately the history started repeating here in this case
     
  17. spnadmin

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    Here is my problem. Calling people mahants and massands because of trespass notices recalls our history where on more than one occasion mahants and massands prevented gursikhs from entering Harimandi Sahib. Even locking the doors on our Guru.

    But ....and this is a big QUESTION THAT YOU NEED TO ANSWER if we are to continue calling people mahants and massands.

    Is the management of Windsor Gurdwara barring entry of gursikhs? Are we really talking about a situation that is even close to the examples in history? Are sants and gurus being shut out? If we are not...then it is not helpful to engage in name-calling, mahant-calling or massand-calling. As such that is misleading. And on top of that, no one knows what you are talking about. So far we have very little in the thread in the form of information. Just a lot of talk about mahants and massands.

    Please forgive me. I am not cross or angry. But give some thought to readers who are Sikhs, and who are not Sikhs, who have absolutely no idea what is going on in this thread.
     
  18. kaur_123

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    sekhonisewal:

    Before you judge anyone's character, please keep in mind we are talking about the Gurdwara issues.
    And also, before you raise any fingers at Dr Kooner, don't ignore what he has done for the community and Gurdwara, itself.

    Another comment to your previous post, you were criticizing Inderpal Singh Dhanoa and how he is not a "Sikh"; he is more of a Sikh for standing up against those who were trying to break Maryada...even though he cuts his hair, he is more of a Sikh for standing up for what's right.
    And my point now is; by kicking him out of the Gurdwara, does that encourage him to maintain his Sikhi Saroop, or push him away?
    Is the new committee doing the right thing?
     
  19. kaur_123

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    Windsor sikh's protest gurdwara's ''dictators''

    WINDSOR SIKH'S PROTEST GURDWARA'S "DICTATORS"

    About 300 members of the Sikh community gathered Sunday to protest the current governing of Windsor's Sikh temple.
    The congregation of Gurdwara Khalsa Parkash, Windsor's 26,000-square-foot temple, has been steeped in conflict since the current executive committee was acclaimed in December 2009.
    Hoisting signs reading "religion is a right, not a privilege" and "we need leaders, not dictators," members young and old protested peacefully outside the temple's formidable gates.
    "It's all about our human rights and our freedom of religion," said Satinder Aujla, a 16-year member of the temple.
    She said her main concern is the surveillance cameras that were recently installed throughout the temple, including in the prayer hall.
    "How can you pray and be at peace when you have cameras shooting down at you and recording your prayers?
    "It totally contradicts what you are there to do and praying should be between just you and your God."
    While some protesters chanted "peace not police," inside, members continued to pray in silence without disruption.
    Windsor police stood by during the protest "just in case," but left without incident.
    The current executive committee's secretary Harjinder Singh Kandola said the actions of the protesters are only hurting the already damaged image of Sikhs in the community.
    "We come here to worship and praise God, not to come and start making accusations against people," Kandola said.
    "Since 9-11 things were really different for minorities so we should be working on productive things like promoting Sikh brotherhood, Canadian values and how we can improve our image."
    Kandola said the cameras were installed for security after someone broke into the temple.
    He said cameras are commonly found in temples throughout India as well.
    Two Sikhs have been issued trespass notices by the executive in recent months, accused of causing disruptions in the temple. Another has had her membership in the local Sikh society revoked and another Sikh is facing a membership revocation.
    Windsor allergist Dr. Sukdev Singh Kooner, a former executive committee member, said the exiled Sikhs have followed the outlined procedures to appeal their ousters, but their requests have gone unanswered.
    "More than just surveillance, the issues are that nobody can speak there, people have been given trespass notices and they cannot attend the service," Kooner said.
    For 13-year-old Gurleen Dhaliwal, the temple should be a place of worship, not politics.
    "We come here to pray to God, not somebody else and that's just not happening because of all the drama," said Dhaliwal, who was among the group of protesters.
    "The temple needs to be respected and you shouldn't be able to just change it, it has to stay the way it is."

     
  20. spnadmin

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    Re: Windsor sikh's protest gurdwara's ''dictators''

    kaur_123 ji

    This is a duplicate of an article that was posted earlier in the week. Would you be able to edit this and present the case of your side in your own words. That would be more helpful that posting duplicate information.

    Thank you
     
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  21. ik-jivan

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    Respectfully, I ask all who are not concerned about the questions of how this incident undermines Sikh principals of inclusively and non-violent resolution of disagreements, if you are familiar with the military strategy of ‘divide and conquer’?

    The divisiveness, whether at Gurdwaras or within forums like this one, is destroying Sikhs and Sikhi. Don’t you think it would be more productive to try to understand why and then cooperatively work toward solutions?

    There’s a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle anger here. Where does that come from?. . . And please don’t point a finger at others.

    Whatever we resent and reject, we should monitor our own tone and expression of thoughts, remembering that gossip and negative criticism are also counter to Sikhi.

    Waheguru ji ka khalsa . . .Raj Karega Khalsa . . .Waheguru ji ki fateh . . . Akhee Rehae Naa Koe

    In that order, it’s as much as process as it is a promise. Better get use to the idea of Unity of Diversity, brothers and sisters. . . it’s coming!

    Right now, I’m thinking what Bruce Cockburn might have thought when he wrote "Wondering Where The Lions Are’. (http://cockburnproject.net/songs&music/wwtla.html)

    ikonkaar
    Good night!
     
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