WASHINGTON—Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman of the Washington based Sikh Council on Religion and Education appealed to all parties in Punjab to select well qualified and spiritually oriented candidates for the elections of Shromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. He said, “The candidates should see this as an opportunity to serve rather than using this position as a stepping stone for political ambition. Some percentage of candidates should come from various fields of education who can guide the community in the future and can contribute based oto their experience.”
Dr. Rajwant Singh added, “It is imperative that these candidates have broader vision and have an inspirational character. This kind of leadership is the need of the time. Sikh Community is facing tremendous challenges in the field of education, environment, health, caste divisions and lack of religious connection among youth in Punjab. Next decades are defining times for the global Sikh community. Elected members of SGPC will have to prepare the Sikh community in Punjab to face the challenges and avail the opportunities in the next century. The steps for brighter future can only be taken if proper candidates run for elections for this august body and Sikh leaders in Punjab have the responsibility to select such candidates.”
He added, “Sikh community in the last two decades have gone fully global and have gurdwaras worldwide. SGPC’s role has become more pivotal in light of these changes. SGPC is a significant instrument for the betterment of the Sikhs in Punjab and abroad and its role should be understood by the candidates so they can make well thought decisions for the future of the Sikhs.”
Dr. Singh added, “We hope that all parties and especially the Shromani Akali Dal will choose candidates who will have following qualifications:
- They should have religious bent of mind and they want to serve the community.
- They should be educated.
- They should come from many different professional backgrounds if possible – Education, Medicine, engineering, Environment, Information technology, Architecture, Real Estate developing, etc. so they are able to give their input on various project and programs run by SGPC.
- They should have management training.
- They should have some experience in community organizing and have contacts with youth. “
“In the last 5 decades, Sikhs have produced many scholars, scientists and high professionals. This was probably due to concerted effort by many Sikh institutions as well as individuals who made education and hard work as their top priority and that made an impact in making Sikhs as a successful community worldwide. Similarly, focusing on key challenging issues, proper mobilization of community resources and channeling the energy of the community for constructive purposes should be the top agenda items of SGPC and its leadership at this time. Sikh youth should be the focus of all efforts and because they are the future.”
Dr.Rajwant Singh is often invited by the White House and various American political and religious leaders for consultations. He works closely with SGPC officials on various issues and he also heads EcoSikh, an organization working on environmental issues globally.