Tuesday, April 23, 2024
ADVT 
International

Sikh prayer books issued to UK military personnel after 100 yrs

Darpan News Desk IANS, 10 Nov, 2022 11:36 AM
  • Sikh prayer books issued to UK military personnel after 100 yrs

London, Nov 10 (IANS) Daily Sikh prayer books, called the Nitnem Gutka, have been issued to Sikh military personnel in the UK for the first time in 100 years, a media report said on Thursday.

The prayer books have been printed in three languages in durable and waterproof material to withstand the rigours of military life, said the BBC report.

While the British Army Gutka has a camouflage cover, the Royal Navy and RAF Gutka has a navy blue one.

Major Daljinder Singh Virdee, who is in the British Army and has spent two years campaigning for the return of the books, said on Wednesday: "The Army has been providing Christian religious texts for many years and I saw the opportunity there to open the door for the Sikh faith to provide Sikh texts."

The Nitnem Gutkas were printed in Wiltshire and placed on a throne in a purpose-built vehicle for Sikh scriptures.

They were transported to the library of the Central Gurdwara temple in London, where they were officially issued to military personnel on October 28, the BBC reported.

Also the chairperson of the UK Defence Sikh Network, Major Singh Virdee, who uses his Nitnem Gutka three times a day, said: "For Sikh's our scriptures are not just words, they are the living embodiment of our guru. We draw moral strength and physical strength from reading the scriptures every day, it gives us discipline and it grows us spiritually," he said.

Nitnem Gutkas were first issued to military personnel more than a century ago, along with other articles of the Sikh faith including steel daggers, bracelets and wooden combs, but have never been issued again since.

There is an original military-issued Nitnem Gutka in the National Army Museum's archives, in London.

Sikh soldiers were recruited to the British military from the 1840s onwards, reports the BBC.

In response to the development, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said on Wednesday that it hopes to "directly support Sikhs practice a key component of their faith".

"By providing a Nitnem Gutka for serving Sikhs across the UK MOD we hope to directly support Sikhs practice a key component of their faith wherever they travel and work in whatever conditions," the BBC quoted a Ministry spokesman as saying

Photo courtesy of Defence Sikh Network UK via Twitter. 

MORE International ARTICLES

US jewel thief charged with hate crimes for targeting South Asian women

US jewel thief charged with hate crimes for targeting South Asian women
A California man has been charged with hate crimes and robbery after he attacked and robbed 14 South Asian women, mostly wearing sarees and bindis. The estimated worth of all the stolen necklaces is about $35,000.

US jewel thief charged with hate crimes for targeting South Asian women

A person in custody after truck belonging to uncle in California kidnapping of Indian family found on fire

A person in custody after truck belonging to uncle in California kidnapping of Indian family found on fire
Mystery deepened in the case of a kidnapped Indian-origin family in California as officials reported that a person was taken into custody in connection with the case after he attempted suicide and the truck belonging to one of the victims was found burning.  But still missing is the kidnapped family - eight-month-old baby Aroohi Dheri, her parents, Jasleen Kaur, 27, and Jasdeep Singh, 36, and uncle, Amandeep Singh, 39.

A person in custody after truck belonging to uncle in California kidnapping of Indian family found on fire

Trial date set for PIO associates of S.Africa's Gupta brothers

Trial date set for PIO associates of S.Africa's Gupta brothers
The R37.7 million (Rs 17.2 crore) fraud case against two Indian-origin associates of the Gupta brothers has been postponed.  The Estina dairy farm project was reportedly supposed to empower black farmers. But bank statements showed that it was being used to swindle cash, with high-profile government officials. The money was paid into the company's Bank of Baroda account in India.

Trial date set for PIO associates of S.Africa's Gupta brothers

Lawsuit filed against US healthcare companies for firing Sikh paramedic

Lawsuit filed against US healthcare companies for firing Sikh paramedic
The lawsuit has been filed against Colorado-based Global Medical Response (GMR), and companies under it, American Medical Response (AMR) and its subsidiaries, for turning away a qualified paramedic in midst of a global pandemic. In November 2020, AMR dismissed Singh after he requested and was denied personal protective equipment (PPE) that would accommodate his turban and beard.

Lawsuit filed against US healthcare companies for firing Sikh paramedic

Indian-origin couple, infant among four kidnapped in California

Indian-origin couple, infant among four kidnapped in California
Merced County Sheriff's Office on Monday, said in a statement that 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh, 27-year-old Jasleen Kaur, their eight-month-old child and relative 39-year-old Amandeep Singh were taken "against their will from a business." They have asked for public's help in locating the four missing persons.

Indian-origin couple, infant among four kidnapped in California

Century-old ledger on Sikh diaspora found in Australia

Century-old ledger on Sikh diaspora found in Australia
In Dongara, some 351 km northwest of Perth, more than a century-old leather-bound book containing entries written in Gurmukhi - the official script of the Punjabi language - has been found. 

Century-old ledger on Sikh diaspora found in Australia