Bi-lingual Sikh Parcharaks (Preachers)
Information about Sikhi (Sikhism) is very limited to the non-Punjabi speaking public even the Punjabi speaking Public. The current parcharaks (preachers) coming from India are focused on making their living and hardly care for instilling Sikhi values in the Sangat. In fact, some of them are only interested in making as much they possibly can; using all kinds of the Brahmanical practices. In addition, they are lacking the skills to communicate with the youth in Diaspora. In general, they also do not speak the language of the land where they are deployed in Diaspora and of course, they are unfamiliar with local culture and social environment.
There are some efforts being made by local and National level organizations to pass on Sikhi values to the next generation but the results are unsatisfactory. The education curriculum is inconsistent. The material available is being copied from those sources that are spreading incorrect information (miracle and made up prophesies, etc. based) Sikh Sakhian (stories) and Sikh History. (The latter is a fact not only abroad but also in Punjab)
As the population of Sikh community is increasing in the West, there is urgent need for preaching and teaching Sikhi in its real perspective for the following two groups:
1) The Sikh youth growing up abroad,
2) The non-Sikh community e.g. Interfaith and education professionals.
To produce bilingual Sikh Preachers/Teachers/Speakers that can fulfill the need of Sikh community in various countries.
Here the bi-lingual implies Punjabi and the language of the land. The language of the land implies the language of the country where the services are being rendered. (English for UK, USA, CANADA …… , German for Germany, French for France, Spanish for Spain and Latin American countries, and ……. )
How would it benefit Members / Sikh community world over?
It will provide Sikh Teachers in gurdwara schools with a uniform message to be passed onto the next generation. It will educate Sikh community in diaspora, especially Sikh Youth in Sikhi philosophy and values, maintain their interest in gurdwaras, and keep them attached to the Sikh peers. It will also help disseminate Sikhi philosophy and values to the local non-Sikh community and help educate the local School administrators and teachers on Sikhi and help minimize bullying of Sikh Children in Schools.
Why Should GSC do it?
This is a common problem of the global Sikh community and is exactly consistent with the objectives of the GSC.
To make bilingual Sikh preachers/teachers who can speak Punjabi and familiar with language and culture of the land.
Scope includes providing a deeper understanding of gurbani to those dedicated Sikhs who are teaching or are willing to teach the Sikh youth in Sunday Classes at the gurdwara Sahibs, the newly retired Sikh professionals, and all those dedicated Sikhs that are currently participating in Interfaith activities in their localities. It may, depending upon resources, also include teaching local language and social etiquette to the willing preachers trained in Punjab and are already abroad.
No other organization is known to be taking this approach or has the interest or the charter except may be for the national level Sikh organizations in specific countries.
Chosen alternative and reason
Most adult Sikhs set in their ways and are hard to re-educate in true Sikhi but the children are lot more open to the logical philosophy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
The alternative chosen to educate the educators of our next generation and those who interact with their local faith based community. The current parharaks (preachrs) in gurdwaras are not considered truly educators in Sikhi since their knowledge is deplorable.
Ritualism is creeping into Sikhi and more and more Sikhs are moving towards ritualism being spread by Babas and Sants. The only true dedicated Sikh educators are the self-motivated Sikh Scholars, the volunteers in gurdwara schools, and the ones active in interfaith activities. The reason for choosing this group of individuals is that their main interest is Sikhi and not making a living. They are likely to support true message of Sikhi even when they have no personal gain whereas current Bhai Ji (care-takers) speak the language of the management of the gurdwara rather than that of Sikhi. More rituals are introduced in Sikh Services with the intent to please some members of the community or some members of gurdwara management.
The approach is to minimize expense and maximize benefit by using modern methodology and technology. Use of media (YouTube etc.) will help make it available to widest audience at minimal cost. All training will be provided online, YouTube videos, special videos, and via teleconferences. The course work will be modular. The first steps will be to develop overall objective of various subjects and modules. The next step will be to develop curriculum for the modules and then the details of modules contents. The course work will be modular,
The required funds must be raised before the project can be initiated. The base modules will be Punjabi which will need to be translated into local languages by the national level organization of that country.
Following steps are proposed and may be modified as the project Progresses.
- Identify qualified Sikhs to serve as Advisory Council to the Project Team, who would develop the objectives for each module and possibly curriculum.
- Identify a team to develop the modules based on objective and curriculum.
- Concurrently with step # 2 develop a network of the current Sunday School Teachers in gurdwaras in each country. This can start with the teachers developing a common curriculum for their schools. Again, this would be modular curriculum and sharing will help everyone.
Passionate Promoter: Gulbarg Singh (Unless someone else volunteers)
Proposed Advisory Council:
Dr. Davinder Singh Chahal, CANADA, Expert in logical and scientific interpretation of bani incorporated in the AGGS.
- Manmohan Singh Scout, Mohali, India
- Gurbans Singh, (Guest Speaker at 2017 C GB meeting in Malaysia)
Additional Names to be suggested by members
There are a few other scholars that could also be contacted for their
Dr Devinder Pal Singh, Canada, Expert in making curriculum
Dr Kulbir Singh Thind, California, USA, expert in teaching the use of searching information on his Web site, www.srigranth.com
Dr Arvinder Singh, Prinicpal, Gurjranwala Khalsa College Ludhiana, India, using his experience in teaching.
S Sohan Singh, UK. Gurbani Expert
S Rawel Singh, India, Gurbani expert
(To be engaged as the funds become available).
- Satnam Singh Ji, Delano, USA.
Others to be
- Salary Program developer: $5000.00/month for how many months
- Salary Program Director: $5000.00/ month for how many months
- Office space rental: $1500 / month
- Technical equipment and setup: $5000.00 one time
Total Cost: $5000 Startup + $11,500/month
Recommended ways to raise funds
- Help from Daswandh (Tith).
- Seek out Sikhs who think this would be worthwhile project.
- Seek funds from Gurdwaras as the classes are to be held in Gurdwaras.