Open Letter to the San Jose Gurdwara Sangat

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh

Dear San Jose Gurdwara Sangat,

Saadh Sangat Ji, your name is being misused.  We hope it's a mistake, but getting answers has been anything but easy.  Those most responsible have not given straight answers, while they have publicly supported a cause that should not be supported.

sj.jpgWe speak of the current campaign of Gurbaksh Chahal.  Gurbaksh Chahal comes from a Sikh family and is well-known due to his success in the tech field.  However, he has gained notoriety for being guilty of domestic violence battery and assaulting his ex-girlfriend.  Unfortunately this was not a lone act and he seems to have a history of repeated abuse against women.  This is something we as a Sikh community organization take very seriously - this month we are recognizing and sharing stories related to Sexual Assault Awareness Month - and something we believe that the Sikh community is beginning to openly discuss and create institutions to fight.

Recently Gurbaksh has launched a campaign against the San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.  Chahal accuses Gascon of being racist.  This may or may not be true.  However, what is troubling is that the San Jose Gurdwara Committee has openly supported his cause without reference to his abuse against women.  Committee Members have openly supported Chahal on television and have repeatedly posted encouragement on the Gurdwara Facebook Page.  While individuals are more than welcome to solicit support from the sangat, what has been lost here is the story of the victim.  Though the US Court of Law are unable to provide justice despite video evidence of the physical assault against a woman, for the Sikh the Guru is the sanctuary of justice ("Poora Niyaao Kareh Karthaar") - and as the Sangat is the embodiment of the True Guru ("Sathsangat Sathgur Paayah"), then it is for the Sangat to hold the perpetrator accountable.

Any Sikh can seek the bakshish (forgiveness) of the Guru and Sangat through humility and authenticity.  Unfortunately, Gurbaksh has yet to do this.  Instead he has forged a "astroturf" campaign over the internet and attempting to bus sangat members from San Jose Gurdwara to San Francisco on Friday for his vendetta against the SF District Attorney.

Screen_Shot_2016-04-21_at_4.25.26_AM.pngIf we remain silent and allow our Gurdwaras to be manipulated and used in such matters, how will we answer our Guru?  If we are silent in the face of oppression, how can we answer Guru Nanak that told us to stand with all those that are oppressed and marginalized (Neechaa andar neech jaath neechee hu ath neech; Nanak thin kai sang saath vadiyaa sio kiaa rees")?  Are we the Sikhs of the same Guru that stood with Bhai Lalo instead of Malik Bhago?  What is the message we are giving to our young sisters, mothers, and future generations of women?

Saadh Sangat Ji, we ask you to sign this petition so that you can make sure your voice is noted.  We will present the will of the sangat to the SJ Gurdwara Committee Members and hope that they change their stance.

In Chardikala (Eternal optimism) of Panth Ki Jeet (Victory to the Panth!),

Jakara Movement Sevadar/nis. 

Who's signing

Jaspreet Singh
Satwant Kaur
Mandeep Dhillon
Harfateh Grewal
Jaspreet Bhamra
Jupp Gill
Harjit Kaur
Surinder Kaur
Karanjit Cheema
Talwinder Singh
Bandana Singh
Ramnik Singh
Eileen Alden
Gagan Singh
Parminder Kaur
Vijay Kandola
Jasjit Singh Dhanoa
Manpreet Kaur
Sakattar Singh
Gursimran Lally
Mandeep Kaur
Jazz Rai
Karen Dhaliwal
Simrat Kaur
Pinder Nahal
Ishmeet Kaur
Amreen Gill
Guneet Kaur
Raj Gill
Mannat Kaur
632 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Jaspreet Singh
    signed 2016-04-21 23:51:36 -0700
  • Satwant Kaur
    signed 2016-04-21 23:49:09 -0700
  • Mandeep Dhillon
    signed via 2016-04-21 23:41:59 -0700
  • Harfateh Grewal
    signed 2016-04-21 23:37:13 -0700
    Our institutions should not blindly take sides in these matters, especially without the consent and knowledge of sangat.
  • Jaspreet Bhamra
    signed 2016-04-21 23:33:30 -0700
  • Jupp Gill
    signed 2016-04-21 23:33:25 -0700
  • Harjit Kaur
    signed 2016-04-21 23:26:57 -0700
    Our Gurudwara Sahibjis were a place where sangat gathered to create revolutions against oppressors; it’s disgusting that these Gurudwara committees are now openly standing with an oppressor who has admittedly beaten at least one woman. When the next victim is your daugther or sister, will you take the same stance?
  • Surinder Kaur
    signed 2016-04-21 23:15:14 -0700
    Surinder Kaur
  • Karanjit Cheema
    signed via 2016-04-21 23:13:39 -0700
  • Talwinder Singh
    signed via 2016-04-21 23:07:50 -0700
  • Bandana Singh
    signed via 2016-04-21 23:05:53 -0700
  • Ramnik Singh
    signed via 2016-04-21 23:01:01 -0700
  • Eileen Alden
    signed via 2016-04-21 22:57:20 -0700
  • Gagan Singh
    signed 2016-04-21 22:40:17 -0700
    Gurbaksh Chahal is a typical bully and is crying wolf. He is using whatever he can manipulate .
  • Parminder Kaur
    signed 2016-04-21 22:28:36 -0700
    Punjaab Kaur Khalsa
  • Vijay Kandola
    signed 2016-04-21 22:18:51 -0700
  • Jasjit Singh Dhanoa
    signed 2016-04-21 22:14:50 -0700
    Great initiative.
  • Manpreet Kaur
    signed 2016-04-21 22:06:32 -0700
    ਭੰਡਿ ਜੰਮੀਐ ਭੰਡਿ ਨਿੰਮੀਐ ਭੰਡਿ ਮੰਗਣੁ ਵੀਆਹੁ ||

    ਭੰਡਹੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਭੰਡਹੁ ਚਲੈ ਰਾਹੁ ||

    ਭੰਡੁ ਮੁਆ ਭੰਡੁ ਭਾਲੀਐ ਭੰਡਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਬੰਧਾਨੁ ||

    ਸੋ ਕਿਉ ਮੰਦਾ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਤੁ ਜੰਮਹਿ ਰਾਜਾਨ ||

    ਭੰਡਹੁ ਹੀ ਭੰਡੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਭੰਡੈ ਬਾਝੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ||

    We are born of woman, we are conceived in the womb of woman, we are engaged and married to woman. We make friendship with woman and the lineage continued because of woman. When one woman dies, we take another one, we are bound with the world through woman. Why should we talk ill of her, who gives birth to kings? From woman,woman is born;without woman,there would be no one.

    — (Guru Nanak Dev, Var Asa, Ang 473)
  • Sakattar Singh
    signed 2016-04-21 22:01:15 -0700
  • Gursimran Lally
    signed 2016-04-21 21:50:17 -0700
  • Mandeep Kaur
    signed 2016-04-21 21:48:54 -0700
  • Jazz Rai
    signed 2016-04-21 21:45:20 -0700
  • Karen Dhaliwal
    signed 2016-04-21 21:34:32 -0700
  • Simrat Kaur
    signed 2016-04-21 21:32:58 -0700
  • Pinder Nahal
    signed 2016-04-21 21:19:03 -0700
    No man puts his hands on a woman, for any reason. Karma is a bitch
  • Ishmeet Kaur
    signed 2016-04-21 20:24:57 -0700
  • Amreen Gill
    signed 2016-04-21 20:00:48 -0700
  • Guneet Kaur
    signed via 2016-04-21 19:48:37 -0700
  • Raj Gill
    signed 2016-04-21 19:19:22 -0700
  • Mannat Kaur
    signed 2016-04-21 19:08:18 -0700

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