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

Komalpreet Nahal
Gurchit Chatha
Preet Atwal
Singh Jagdev
Gurpreet Singh
Pally Singh
Amret Sekhon
Ikagar Bhinder
Gurmeet Kaur
Gurleen Kaur
Taranjeet Singh
Harpreet Kaur Athwal
Gaganpreet Kaur
Gulshanjit Dhaliwal
Charanpreet Johal
Urjit Singh Bhatia
Dilroop Sidhu
Amar Shergill
Jaslin Gosal
Kiren Singh
Henry Samra
Mandeep Singh
Amrit Sahota
Pavan Athwal
Kamal Gill
632 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Komalpreet Nahal
    signed 2016-04-21 18:54:00 -0700
  • Gurchit Chatha
    signed 2016-04-21 18:28:04 -0700
  • Preet Atwal
    signed 2016-04-21 18:21:10 -0700
    Preet Atwal
  • Singh Jagdev
    signed 2016-04-21 17:06:25 -0700
  • Gurpreet Singh
    signed 2016-04-21 16:30:40 -0700
  • Pally Singh
    signed 2016-04-21 16:30:25 -0700
  • Amret Sekhon
    signed 2016-04-21 16:27:33 -0700
    Amret Sekhon
  • Ikagar Bhinder
    signed 2016-04-21 16:22:09 -0700
  • Gurmeet Kaur
    signed 2016-04-21 16:20:14 -0700
  • Gurleen Kaur
    signed 2016-04-21 16:02:13 -0700
  • Taranjeet Singh
    signed 2016-04-21 15:03:24 -0700
    Taranjeet Singh
  • Harpreet Kaur Athwal
    signed 2016-04-21 14:59:41 -0700
  • Gaganpreet Kaur
    signed 2016-04-21 14:53:30 -0700
    Gaganpreet Kaur
  • Gulshanjit Dhaliwal
    signed 2016-04-21 14:52:35 -0700
  • Charanpreet Johal
    signed 2016-04-21 14:06:30 -0700
    Charanpreet S Johal
  • Urjit Singh Bhatia
    signed 2016-04-21 13:53:45 -0700
  • Dilroop Sidhu
    signed 2016-04-21 13:38:02 -0700
  • Amar Shergill
    signed 2016-04-21 13:21:34 -0700
  • Jaslin Gosal
    signed 2016-04-21 13:17:28 -0700
  • Kiren Singh
    signed 2016-04-21 13:12:12 -0700
  • Henry Samra
    signed 2016-04-21 13:11:29 -0700
  • Mandeep Singh
    signed 2016-04-21 13:10:45 -0700
  • Amrit Sahota
    signed 2016-04-21 12:49:21 -0700
  • Pavan Athwal
    signed 2016-04-21 12:14:29 -0700
    The San Jose Gurdwara leadership needs to address Chahal’s history of abuse against women. This kind of behavior cannot go unaddressed by the community, particularly as Chahal seeks San Jose sangat support in his quixotic and self-serving campaign against Gascon.
  • Kamal Gill
    signed 2016-04-21 12:12:49 -0700

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