Rebuttal of Guru Nanak Gurudwara (Leicester) Committee’s Official Statement
Jul 15, 2016 — On 9th July 2016, the Guru Nanak Gurudwara committee (committee) posted a statement on the Gurudwara’s Facebook page. The same statement was published on page 52 of the Des Pardes Weekly, dated 22 July 2016 (No.2454)
The committee states:
“Statements and even a video have been uploaded onto the social media which seems to suggest that the Gurdwara seeks to discriminate against certain individuals, either based on colour or otherwise, from partaking in the free Langar provided on our premises”.
That’s incorrect, our Change.org petition title is:
“Ban racist Joginder Singh from Guru Nanak Temple (Leics) for refusing food to Non-Sikhs”
The Youtube video title is:
“Racist ‘Joginder Singh’ refuses food to White Homeless woman at Sikh Temple”
The petition and video titles clearly identify Joginder Singh as the individual who refuses food to Non-Sikhs at the Gurudwara.
We have never suggested that “the Gurudwara” as an entity “seeks to discriminate against certain individuals…”
The committee then states:
“We are of course well aware of the full concept of the Langar provided in all Sikh Gurdwaras are free of charge to be available to ALL those who enter the temple regardless of their background, culture or religious beliefs. Our Gurus have taught us that the Langar should be especially available to the poor, the hungry and the needy. This concept is enshrined in our religion and is sacrosanct”.
We agree with this. The first few paragraphs of our online petition express the same thing. Given that langar is sacrosanct/holy/revered, we are truly disgusted by Joginder’s beadbi of langar, which has taken place over the past 1.5 years
The committee then states:
“Those who know the location of the Gurdwara will be aware that we are the oldest one in Leicester being based very close to the heart of the city centre. We are within a few minutes walking distance from the main city centre shops and there are many bars and clubs on the nearby High Street. Being so close to the centre, whilst being of great benefit generally, also has its downsides and presents us with certain problems and issues we have to deal with.
These are predominantly that the provision of the Langar attracts certain individuals who have no particular knowledge or respect of our Sikh religion but simply come here to partake of the free meal. This in itself is not a problem. The problem occurs when some such individuals enter after having consumed excess amount of alcohol/drugs or possibly a mixture of both. They are often improperly dressed and their attitude and behaviour is not one of courtesy or respect for our religion. They often bring alcohol for consumption on the premises. When challenged our volunteer staff (Sevadars) are verbally abused or threatened with violence. On occasions plates of food are thrown at Sevadars. Some individuals are so intoxicated, they fall asleep and have to be roused and shown the door. Others will wander into unauthorised areas of the Gurdwara. Word has spread amongst the local drinking community that free food is available here and they often arrive late afternoon after having spent all day in the pubs. Staff in the city centre hostels (whether for the homeless or otherwise) also encourage their residents to come here to eat”.
We agree with this. As regular temple-goers, we have personally encountered the unruly behaviour of drunks who have strolled into our temple for free food.
For those of you who don’t know, there are 4 basic rules for being eligible for langar [free food]:
1. You must not be drunk/intoxicated & you should be dressed appropriately.
2. You must have your head covered.
3. You must take your shoes off.
4. You must not be anti-social or disrespect the Sikh faith and/or Sikh temple members in any way.
We the regular Sikh temple members [who have started the online petition and uploaded the video] have personally removed people [mostly Non-Sikhs] who are not eligible to be served food on many occasions, sometimes by force, when that has been necessary, as the Gurudwara is a place of worship and if the above 4 rules are not obeyed, the Gurudwara members/committee/sevadaars have the right to remove temple-goers, whether they are White, Black, Hindu, Muslim OR EVEN Sikh, for that matter. I have personally removed a Sikh man for swearing in the main hall where our Guru Granth Sahib Ji was present at the time. The 4 rules mentioned above apply to ALL temple-goers.
Women, children and the elderly should feel safe at the Gurudwara, hence Gurudwara members are often observant and weary of people who haven’t visited the temple for prayer and worship.
As the committee states:
“There are other problems in that many petty thefts occur in the Gurdwara, mainly of shoes, but also i-phones and other items have disappeared. Recently, our premises were burgled when a considerable amount of damage was caused, money and other items taken including the car especially designed for the purposes of transportation of the Guru Granth Sahib (Holy Book). The suspect, currently on bail for the offences, is a known drugs abuser”.
The committee then expresses:
“Many discussions have taken place between us, the City Council and the Constabulary up to Commander level. We have also taken legal advice. We have been given certain advices from the Police about security issues, which have been acted upon”.
After the recent robbery, the Police have advised the committee to keep the Gurudwara’s back entrance gate closed [committee announced this to the sangat], as that used to be an easy entry point for people who would vandalise and steal from sangat-parked vehicles. We are happy that the committee has decided to keep that gate locked at all times. More can be done. The wire fence between the adjacent car-park is still partially damaged making it easy for anyone to enter the Gurudwara. Hopefully, this will be replaced/repaired.
The committee states:
“We are also advised that the admission to the Gurdwara is not an automatic right conferred upon the general public and that we have every right to restrict, monitor and even refuse entry onto our premises for the provision of free food to those in the eyes of the Committee should not be so allowed. Having taken this advice, we have reluctantly decided to refuse entry to those, in the opinion of the Committee, who have no respect to our religion or culture. Any person who is so refused will have been warned previously with regards to their behaviour and mannerisms. Refusal is only then implemented when such behaviour continues”.
That’s fine. No argument here.
The committee then says:
“Any individual who may have been the subject of the video footage uploaded onto the social media will have been the subject of prior warnings”.
It’s from this point onwards that we don’t agree with the committee, which we will discuss in sufficient detail.
The points made up until this sentence are mostly factual and valid, providing a brief background of the Gurudwara and the challenges faced because of it’s city centre location, but they have very LITTLE to do with that woman in that video, what happened that day and what has been happening to langar-eligible Non-Sikh temple visitors, for approximately 1.5 years, because of Joginder’s racist actions.
So the committee says:
“Any individual who may have been the subject of the video footage uploaded onto the social media will have been the subject of prior warnings”.
Why say “Any individual”?
Why the generic statement?
Lets talk about the White woman in that video.
Was that White woman SPECIFICALLY “the subject of prior warnings”?
The committee can’t just say:
“Oh, so Joginder refused to serve her, called her a “dirty woman” in front of Sikh temple members, told her that he doesn’t respect her, before making her cry? And the video’s been uploaded onto Youtube? Oh, then ummmmmm, yes, she MUST have been the subject of prior warnings”
I ask the committee to clarify if the White woman in the video has SPECIFICALLY been the “subject of prior warnings”.
Please don’t generically state “any individual” in the video MUST have been the subject of prior warnings. That’s such an ambiguous statement.
The White woman clearly wasn’t drunk or intoxicated on that occasion, as she was able to communicate coherently, albeit a bit emotionally because:
1. Joginder refused to serve her, in front of Sikh sangat members.
2. Joginder called her a “dirty woman” in front of Sikh sangat members.
3. Joginder told her that he doesn’t respect her, which made her cry.
The sober White woman was eligible for langar that evening, provided Joginder had told her to cover her head and take her shoes off, when she first approached him.
However, as stated in the Youtube description and the corresponding petition post, when she first approached the serving area, Joginder refused to serve her altogether and told her to get lost. He should have observed that she is sober, after which he should have told her to cover her head and take her shoes off.
Joginder didn’t ask her to cover her head and take her shoes off because he had no intention of serving her, even if she readily agreed, which she would have, as she was completely sober and hungry. Why wouldn’t she have complied, had he asked?
It’s reasonable to conclude that she wasn’t a troublemaker because after everything that happened, her final words in the video were “I respect this place”. A drunken troublemaker wouldn’t likely have made such a positive statement, after being insulted by Joginder. You can tell that she’s sober.
Now, lets assume that she had been the “subject of prior warnings”, as this is what the committee is suggesting.
Lets assume that she had entered the Gurudwara drunk on previous occasions, because of which she had been warned that she isn’t allowed to eat langar anymore.
IF that was the case AND Joginder knew about this, at the most he should have refused food to her and told her to leave [which he actually did, initially].
AFTER the Sikh woman had served the White woman in Joginder’s absence, he had NO right to call her a “dirty woman” and tell her that he doesn’t respect her, which made her cry.
If and when the committee told Joginder that he’s not permitted to serve her langar because she has been “subject to prior warnings”, did they also recommend that he insult her to the point of crying, if someone else manages to serve her?
Why did he do that?
He did that because he’s racist and he was deeply upset that the poor homeless White woman had managed to get a bite to eat and that she wouldn’t sleep on an empty stomach.
Obviously the Sikh woman who served her couldn’t have known that she has been “subject to prior warnings” because she’s not a regular at our Gurudwara.
Upon seeing that the Sikh woman had served the White woman, Joginder should have thought “She shouldn’t have been served, but how could this bibi know that? That’s ok, if this woman enters the temple again, I will escort her out of the Gurudwara to ensure that she isn’t served by someone else because she’s not allowed…”
However, Joginder snapped at the Sikh woman for serving the White woman. THEN, because he was angry for not getting his way, he told the White woman that she’s a “dirty woman” to which she responded “I’m dirty because I live on the streets”.
Joginder had NO reason to stand there and insult her, which he continued to do. Subsequently, just before leaving, the white woman said “I respect this place because you feed everyone, why are you treating me like this?” to which Joginder quickly responded, “I don’t respect you”, which further distressed the homeless woman.
The committee is claiming that this sober White woman was “subject to prior warnings”. That’s fine, but why did Joginder disrespect and insult a sober Non-Sikh to the point of crying at the Gurudwara, without any provocation, in front of Sikh sangat members?
Does the committee support and endorse such behavior? If not, then why is Joginder still working in the langar hall, almost 2 weeks after that incident?
Moreover, when the person recording the incident asks Joginder about why he didn’t serve the White woman, why didn’t he say:
“I didn’t serve her because she has been the “subject of prior warnings” and she is no longer allowed the privilege of langar”.
If THIS were the GENUINE reason for not serving her, it would have been natural for him to say, “She’s not allowed, she often turns up drunk. The committee have told me…”.
But guess what Joginder said in the video?
He said, “Meat walla dabba lay firdi a, ki kariye?” which loosely translated means “She’s carrying a meat box, what to do?”
The box in question can be seen on the kitchen’s metal shelf around 1 minute and 10 seconds into the video. It’s an empty transparent plastic box, which is full of langar food [topped to the brim with daal etc]. The Sikh woman filled this earlier.
How could an empty transparent plastic box have been a “meat walla box”? Can the committee explain this? Have they asked Joginder to clarify this to them?
If it was a cardboard box that had “Southern Fried” chicken printed on the side of it, you could possibly say that. But you can’t call a see-through plastic box “meat walla”.
Of all the things that Joginder could have said, “meat walla box” is the most implausible answer that he could have given.
Plus, why did the Sikh woman fill a “meat walla box”?
If she had seen Chicken/Lamb bones etc in an empty transparent box, surely and rightly she’d have declined to serve the White woman. She didn’t decline because it was an empty transparent plastic box!
Why did Joginder lie?
Why would anyone lie under those circumstances?
It would be unnatural to lie.
A lie would have to be invented.
The truth would automatically roll off one’s tongue.
But how could Joginder tell the truth about why he refused to serve her? [He’s racist].
You can just imagine his thought processes at the time of being asked:
Why did I refuse to serve her? Ummm, I can’t be honest and say because I was being my usual racist self, as there’s already a petition against me for refusing food to Non-Sikhs. Ah yes! Meat isn’t allowed in the Gurudwara, I’ll just say that she bought a meat walla box……………………….……Oh, I shouldn’t have said that, it makes no sense whatsoever. I’ll just hide in the kitchen storage, before I shoot myself in the foot again.
I ask the committee:
If Joginder genuinely believed that this woman is not allowed to have langar because of “prior warnings”, why did he say that he refused to serve her for bringing a meat walla box?
If you’ve bothered to issue a lengthy public statement in reference to that video footage, surely you’d have asked Joginder some questions about what happened that day. What did he say about it being a meat walla box?
Please keep in mind, before making that false [“meat walla box”] statement, Joginder had raced to switch off the lights, close the kitchen door and abruptly lower the shutters.
When asked why he was doing that, he lied and said that its closing time and he has to tidy up. It was 8:10pm and our langar hall doesn’t close until 8:45pm to 9pm. You can actually hear a male sangat member telling Joginder to put the light back on, which Joginder reluctantly does [he has to because it’s not closing time], before lying about it being a “meat walla box”.
Even if it was closing time, who cleans the kitchen area in the dark, with all doors closed, lights off and shutters down?
If you listen carefully, just before Joginder lowers shutters, you can hear the samapti [final ceremony] taking place as instruments are being played.
Which Gurudwara in the world simultaneously closes its kitchen shutters in line with the final samapti ceremony? None.
So many people eat after samapti, plus there was an Akhand Paath ceremony in place, hence it was busier than usual for a Friday at our Gurudwara.
Joginder lied about it being closing time.
Why lie, if you’ve done nothing wrong?
Additionally, please think about the following:
Other Sikh sangat members in the kitchen are also aware that a video is being made, why don’t they rush to switch off lights, lower shutters, close doors and lie about it being closing time?
They don’t do that because unlike Joginder they have nothing to fear.
Unlike Joginder, they haven’t refused langar to an eligible Non-Sikh, who simply had to cover her head and take her shoes off, had someone told her.
Unlike Joginder, they didn’t call the homeless White woman a “dirty woman”.
Unlike Joginder, they didn’t tell her that they don’t respect her, which made her cry.
Other sangat members have nothing to hide; hence they don’t try to switch off lights to hide their faces and to interrupt/cease the recording.
In contrast, Joginder acts like someone who’s been busted and he tries to stop the filming because he KNOWS that he was in the wrong, before he lies about it being closing time and lies about refusing food because it was a “meat walla box”, just before he hides in the kitchen storage room.
So, the committee’s official reason for Joginder not serving the White woman is that she had been previously warned that she isn’t allowed langar, YET, in Joginder’s video recorded response, he clearly says he refused to serve her because it was a “meat walla box”, which it couldn’t have been.
The committee and Joginder aren’t even on the same page!
So whom should we believe?
The committee’s official statement on this matter?
Or, Joginder’s audible words recorded AT the time of the incident?
The committee’s ambiguous statement is contradicted by Joginder’s clear words.
The committee needs to answer 4 simple questions. It can’t wriggle out of this by making the lame excuse “Any individual who may have been the subject of the video footage uploaded onto the social media will have been the subject of prior warnings”.
1. Had the White woman in the video previously been told that she couldn’t have langar?
2. If Joginder was acting on this instruction, why didn’t he say this when asked? Why lie about refusing to serve on the basis of it being a “meat walla box”?
3. Why did Joginder lie about it being closing time, switch off lights, close the kitchen door, lower the shutters, when samapti was heard taking place in the background and it was only 8:10pm? Why lie if he’d done nothing wrong? What was there to hide? Why panic and do that?
4. Given that the Sikh woman had already served the White woman in Joginder’s absence, why did he call her a “dirty woman”, tell her that he doesn’t respect her and make her cry, as witnessed by the Sikh sangat members.
The committee then states:
“The Gurdwara Langar is primarily for the Sangat (Congregation) who come to pray and worship and others who follow and respect our religion. It certainly is not for those who choose to drink all day and then demand free lunch”.
Hold on, we agree that the langar is primarily for the Sikh sangat who come to pray and worship AND secondarily it IS for the needy, hungry and homeless people of Leicester BECAUSE the Gurudwara is listed on the Food Register, meaning Non-Sikhs will likely turn up, as they know that free food is offered by the Gurudwara.
On that day a SOBER homeless Non-Sikh came to have a meal. She was polite and respectful [her last words after being insulted and reduced to tears were “I respect this place”]. You can tell that she had not drunk all day and asked for a free dinner. She was sober, polite, respectful and eligible for langar, provided she covered her head and took her shoes off.
In contrast, Joginder was impolite, anti-social and disrespectful, acting as if he was drunk, by first calling her a “dirty woman” and then telling her that he doesn’t respect her, all without provocation, as witnessed by the Sikh sangat members and the person recording the video.
Can you see the problem?
Do we still have to spell it out for the committee?
Over 300 supporters of our online petition get it, why don’t you, the people in charge of running our Gurudwara (committee)?
Joginder is the one who doesn’t respect our religion. He is rude, arrogant, and anti-social WHILST being completely sober. If drunks can be banned for being unruly, why isn’t Joginder at least removed from the kitchen, where he has a responsible position as a langaria?
He mistreats eligible Non-Sikhs and refuses food without good reason [“meat walla box” in this case] because he is a racist.
He has been doing this for about 1.5 years, but the committee ignores the sangat’s repeat requests to remove him from a job that he is incapable of doing.
This is what the online petition is all about – nothing else.
Had the committee listened to the sangat in April 2016, when we sent the Special Delivery letter and/or started the online petition and had they removed Joginder because of his anti-Sikh actions and for doing beadbi of langar, he wouldn’t have been there on 1st July 2016, doing what he did and then lying and hiding as he visibly did.
Those who drink all day and demand a free lunch are not welcome at ANY Gurudwara. We are NOT petitioning for such people to be served langar.
But those who are sober, needy, homeless and hungry are welcome at all Gurudwaras across the world, provided they meet the eligibility criteria.
Want to know why the Sikh woman had served the homeless White woman, even though her head wasn’t covered and her shoes weren’t off?
She had witnessed Joginder refusing to serve her and telling her to get lost, before he left the kitchen. She knew this was out of order and called the White woman to quickly fill her container before Joginder returned. She must have thought if that rude man returns he won’t let me do it. She was right, when Joginder saw her filling the plastic box, he raced back and barked at her to stop, but she ignored him.
The committee then states:
“We mention the role of the social media. We are aware that there are those in our community who have their own separate agenda against the Committee and the running of the Gurdwara. They seek to discredit the present Committee, some other certain individuals, members of the Sangat or even some Sevadars”.
Please read this carefully.
Joginder has been refusing food to eligible Non-Sikhs for approximately 1.5 years. What credit should the sangat give him for doing this? Shall we present him with a saropa for doing beadbi of langar? He has created countless disturbing scenes like the one in that video. Credit for what?
We told the committee verbally over a 1-year period to stop Joginder from doing beadbi of langar [disgracing the institution of the ‘Free Kitchen’]. They ignored us. Which Gurudwara committee would ignore something so serious over a 1-year period? Had they removed him from the langar hall, we would have no issue with the committee, its as simple as that.
Earlier this year, committee member Amrik Gill witnessed a Hindu Gujarati woman crying because Joginder had refused langar to her, having said that “This isn’t a restaurant”, which made her cry, yet Joginder was still allowed to cook and serve food after that incident, without being disciplined, or more appropriately, removed. That Hindu Gujarati woman NEVER came to the Gurudwara drunk/intoxicated. Her head was always covered, shoes were always off and she’d make it a point to do matha tek and prakarma, before she’d sit and listen to kirtan. What credit should we give to the committee for continuously supporting this racist?
That incident along with other key incidents were mentioned in the Special Delivery letter sent to the committee in April 2016, 2 weeks before all of this was made public via the online petition. The committee ignored the sangat and kept this Guru da doshi. They are entirely responsible for the online petition and for making this ‘easy to resolve’ matter a public embarrassment for the Sikh community. If Joginder had been removed from the kitchen in April 2016, the video couldn’t have been shot on 1st July 2016.
After the online petition started and it was publicly revealed that the committee had hired the illegal immigrant Joginder for cash in hand work to cook at the Gurudwara for 4-5 hours per day, the President of the committee lied to the sangat in hazoori of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, stating that Joginder has never been employed, even though seconds earlier Amrik Gill had just admitted that “Joginder used to work for us…”. Many sangat members have paid Joginder money for his duty as the Gianis ‘night shift assistant’ during their Akhand Paaths [he would wake them up for their shifts] and many sangat members had paid Joginder for his work during their langars. What credit should we give to the President for lying to the sangat in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib Ji? He lied to the sangat, some of whom had handed Joginder cash for his work. We fully credit the President for lying to the sangat in the hazoori of Guru Sahib.
The President of the committee can be seen dancing away at the final Premiership match of Leicester [That video clip was in circulation amongst the Punjabi community in Leicester], where he organised the distribution of 5000+ samosas to Leicester City fans, on behalf of the Gurudwara [Sikh community]. What credit should we give him for distributing 5000+ samosas to mostly drunk football fans, whilst the sober, needy, hungry and homeless eligible Non-Sikhs are refused food and insulted at our Gurudwara by the racist Joginder and made to feel like that White woman in the video? By the way, was it wise to take money from Guru’s golak to feed samosas to drunken fans at the football stadium? Why didn’t it matter then that Guru ka langar [5000+ samosas] was being served to drunken Leicester city fans? There is a news article on this, for anyone who doesn’t know about this ‘samosa seva’.
In June 2016, Joginder teased a Sikh woman and made her cry. Sangat members and a committee member witnessed the row that followed, which lasted 20-30 minutes, as it happened in the evening whilst Panjabi classes were taking place, when the Gurudwara is a very busy place. The Sikh woman accompanied by her husband came to make a formal complaint against Joginder the next morning. Unbelievably, the President said “This is between you and Joginder, we’ve got nothing to do with it and we won’t be taking any action against Joginder…you can talk to the Police if you like”, which infuriated the couple, as the incident took place on Gurudwara premises and the Sikh female was dishonoured in front of a significant number of sangat members. We ask, if Joginder teased the President’s daughter or daughter-in-law, would he have said the same thing to her? “Sorry beta, this is between you and Joginder, go to the Police if you like…” He would never do that. But, in this case because it was JUST a female sangat member, he fobbed her off. What credit should we give to the committee for overlooking this very serious incident, which no Gurudwara committee would have ignored, especially if the perpetrator [Joginder] is a serial troublemaker?
It has been almost 2 weeks since that video was uploaded. The committee knows that Joginder was wrong to call the sober White woman a “dirty woman” and to tell her that he didn’t respect her [as witnessed by sangat members]. They can clearly see that he lies twice in that video and he nervously lowers shutters, switches off lights and hides at the end, YET, as of yesterday [14th July 2016], Joginder was seen freely and confidently cooking and serving food in the langar hall. What credit is due to the committee for ignoring video evidence of that which supports our online petition, started over 2 months ago? The video proves that the sangat has been right about Joginder, all along, but the committee doesn’t want to admit this because they’d have to admit that they were absolutely wrong in supporting him and thereby facilitating the beadbi of langar and the badnaami of the Gurudwara.
The committee states:
“By presenting false or biased statements, video footages on to Facebook or other social media, they seek to foment disharmony, create tensions, disrupt the peace within the Gurdwara”.
Which false or biased statements?
Can you explain which of our statements are false or biased?
Joginder clearly states “its closing time” and “meat walla box” in the video, which are both lies. He is the one who made false statements, but I doubt the committee is talking about him.
In April 2016, we stated in our petition that Joginder refuses food to eligible Non-Sikhs and he disrespects them.
On 1st July 2016 [2 months later], Joginder proved that we are right through HIS words and HIS actions.
Sikh sangat members witnessed that he refused to serve a sober White woman. Sikh sangat members witnessed Joginder calling her a “dirty woman” and telling her that he doesn’t respect her, which made her cry.
The video footage captured Joginder nervously switching off lights, lowering shutters and closing the kitchen door, before he lied twice and hid in the kitchen storage?
How have we been biased in our discussion and analysis of that video footage?
Can the committee provide an unbiased account of what happened BASED on the SAME video footage?
By presenting the video footage onto Facebook and Youtube, we are basically saying:
“Dear Sikhs across the world, please take a sneak peak into what happens at out Gurudwara every week because the committee doesn’t remove a racist illegal immigrant called Joginder, who has been refusing food to eligible Non-Sikhs for about 1.5 years. Before making this public, we gave them a year to sort this out and even wrote a letter, which clearly stated that this issue would be made public if Joginder isn’t stopped from doing beadbi of langar. The committee ignored that letter. They had ignored our online petition with over 240 supporters at the time of the video being filmed. Also, they recently told a Sikh girl whom Joginder teased that they won’t take any action against Joginder, let alone summon Joginder to ask him why he teased her. Why would we go to them with the video footage first? We have no faith in their ability to deal with this, so we’re going to show the public that which routinely occurs at our Gurudwara. Lets see how the Gurudwara committee fob-off the Sikh masses, as they have us”
The committee states:
“They seek to foment disharmony, create tensions, disrupt the peace within the Gurdwara”.
Who created the tension just before the video was shot?
Who disrupted the peace in the langar hall and made a sober White woman cry?
Who teased a Sikh girl last month, made her cry and caused a 20-30 minute scene, fomenting disharmony?
Joginder creates tensions and disrupts the peace, when he refuses food to eligible Non-Sikhs and insults them.
We want to put an end to this, as it’s against our religion and the maryada of langar.
No one is mad at us for starting the online petition. On the contrary, Non-Sikhs have also supported us and commended the Sikh community for taking action against a Sikh who refuses food to eligible Non-Sikhs.
The only people who have a problem with this petition are the committee members and Joginder.
Additionally, as reported in our Petition post on 30th April 2016, the committee members ganged up on the gym members and wrongly harassed them for starting the petition [They didn’t start it]. Please read post: https://www.change.org/p/leicester-sikhs-ban-racist-joginder-singh-from-guru-nanak-temple-leics-for-refusing-langar-to-non-sikhs/u/16415684
In truth, the committee is responsible for fomenting disharmony, creating tensions and disrupting the peace within the Gurudwara.
Sikhs across the world have been disgusted by that video.
Because its disturbing to see a sober White woman being mistreated in a Gurudwara of all places. They’ve only seen that one disturbing video. We see this kind of thing on a weekly basis because of Joginder and the committee’s impotence in doing the right thing.
The committee is responsible for what happened that day. Had they listened to the sangat and removed Joginder, that video couldn’t have been filmed.
After ignoring that video and after ignoring a Sikh woman’s recent complaint about Joginder teasing her, the committee has angered the sangat. They themselves have created the atmosphere of disharmony, which their statement talks about.
The committee states:
Indeed, we believe that innocent members of the public have been ‘set up’ to cause problems we have mentioned. It is not without coincidence that someone is at hand to shoot videos of scenes in the Langar Hall shown recently on the social media.
This didn’t happen in 1985, where someone ‘happened’ to record this on a 1kg VHS Camcorder, which may not have been affordable for the masses back then.
Now, that would be a coincidence. “So, what was the guy doing having langar with his VHS Camcorder on standby, conveniently, before the White woman asks Joginder ‘so you don’t respect us’?”
Most people I know have smart phones, which have pretty decent cameras and one can start recording video footage even without entering the password/pin, in many cases. Its not complicated. Most people reading this text can start a video recording within the next 5-10 seconds.
I guess what you’re trying to say is that the person who recorded the video was trying to ‘set Joginder up’.
Lets examine that proposition.
If someone really wanted to set Joginder up properly and had ‘hired’ a White actress to play the role of a homeless woman and enter the temple and approach Joginder for langar, they’d probably have equipped her clothing with video cameras to ensure that everything was captured properly. This didn’t happen.
They wouldn’t have ‘hired’ a genuine homeless person like the one in the video footage, as it would have been difficult to train her to deliver an Oscar winning performance. Anyone can see that the woman is not acting, it’s all natural. The conversation isn’t led in any way and its not like Joginder was told by the person recording the video “Joginder now go and suspiciously switch off the lights, close shutters and lie about it being closing time and then give an impossible reason for refusing to serve her to make you look like the guilty party – action!”
The person who filmed the video had seen and heard Joginder call this homeless White woman a “dirty woman”, to which she replied “I’m dirty because I live on the streets”, but he didn’t intervene at that point because he thought at least she’s been served. Why wasn’t he on hand to film that, if it was all pre-planned?
To put it simply, even if someone were to hire an actress and ‘set up’ Joginder, HOW COULD WE MAKE JOGINDER:
a. Refuse food to her without any reason and tell her to get lost.
b. Call her a “dirty woman” without any provocation, as witnessed by the Sikh sangat members?
c. Say that he doesn’t respect her, which made her cry?
Even if we had hired that White woman and sent her there, why would Joginder do a-c above, without any provocation?
The Sikh woman who served her, is a family member of the group of families who held the Akhand Paath on that weekend. Was she in on it as well? You can hear her agree with the person filming the video saying “Yeah”, when he says, “Anyone can eat here can’t they?” Then see the expression on her face at 1 minute 30 seconds. Did that family book their Akhand Paath for that particular weekend to collaborate with us sangat members, in an attempt to set Joginder up?
By the way, did the committee just say “we believe that innocent members of the public have been ‘set up’ to cause problems”?
Joginder is the only troublemaker, why say members [plural] have been set up?
A person who did a-c above on that day and has been refusing food to eligible Non-Sikhs as reinforced by the personal observations of petition supporters from Leicester, over the past 2 months, and you’re calling him innocent?
Joginder the innocent illegal immigrant does a-c above and then closes shutters, switches lights off and lies twice, before hiding.
We haven’t set Joginder up in any way.
A sangat member has simply recorded that which unfolded before his eyes.
Evidently, the person recording the video doesn’t manipulate Joginder in any way.
He simply asks:
Why are you closing shutters, its not closing time? – Joginder lies.
Why did you refuse to serve her? – Joginder lies and then hides.
Any reasonable person, who looks at our petition, which was started over 2 months before that video was shot, will likely think:
“So the sangat has been complaining about this Joginder fellow not serving food to eligible Non-Sikhs for about 1.5 years, they start an online petition against him because the committee does nothing AND about 2 months after the petition starts, a video captures a homeless and sober White woman expressing that Joginder said he doesn’t respect her, that he wasn’t even going to feed her and that she feels unwelcome there because of Joginder to whom she points before he switches off lights, closes kitchen door, lowers shutters, lies twice and hides?”
If the committee still believes that Joginder is innocent, please explain this, in light of the above-mentioned points.
The committee then states:
“We would urge these people to desist from using social media in this fashion as ultimately, they not only bring shame and disrepute upon this Gurdwara but also to Sikhism generally”.
If the committee doesn’t listen to us the sangat over a 1.5 year period, by ignoring our verbal complaints, letter and petition and if Joginder is caught in the act, why shouldn’t we use social media in this fashion to show the truth of how langar is being wrongly denied to eligible Non-Sikhs because of racist Joginder and the committee’s lack of desire to do the right thing?
By sharing this video with the public the sangat has proved that we were right about Joginder and that the committee was wrong, as Joginder fearlessly continues to do beadbi of langar, well after the online petition started. People who had signed our petition but had never been to our Gurudwara got to see Joginder lying twice, dodging the camera, lowering shutters, switching lights off and eventually hiding. They’d have realised they did the right thing.
If we didn’t share the video, how would people gain an insight into the disturbing scenes that we have to put up with EVERY week?
We haven’t defamed Sikhs and Sikhism.
The online petition was started by Sikhs.
The video was filmed by a Sikh.
Anyone who reads our petition page will know within 30 seconds that SIKHS have started this petition and uploaded the video because they are against a Sikh man who refuses food to Non-Sikhs at their temple, which is against SIKHISM.
Non-Sikhs can clearly see that us Sikhs are true to our religion, as we practice what we preach.
Sikhs believe in equality and guess what? They’re speaking up against a Sikh man who is refusing food to eligible Non-Sikhs.
How does that defame Sikhs and Sikhism?
People, who understand the petition and why we have uploaded that video, will never conclude that Sikhs are bad people.
If you’re a Sikh and you don’t know what to say about that video, please tell Non-Sikhs proudly:
“We Sikhs are completely against racism. Sikhs started the petition and filmed that video because we will not tolerate racism in our Gurudwaras, as it goes against the institution of Langar and it is against the core teaching of Sikhism. Please support us by signing our petition and sharing that video. We want to put an end to this ASAP by removing that racist Joginder from our langar hall”.
The committee then states:
“They also bring shame upon themselves by behaving in such fashion”.
We have over 300 supporters of our online petition. They have read and understood what this is all about, unlike the committee. In fact, we got more people to sign that petition in the past 2 weeks than we have done in the preceding 4-6 weeks, because of that video.
Sikhs and Non-Sikhs alike are praising what we have done.
As an example, Talha Chwodhury has signed our petition and stated:
“The Sikh community have always been selfless in feeding those that are less fortunate and I'm so proud of you guys for standing up for this woman & others like her that may have been subject to such discrimination by this disgusting individual”.
Her name suggests that she is a Muslim.
In fact, most Sikhs who have seen that video are cursing the committee for allowing a man like Joginder to do the beadbi of langar. Please see the Facebook comments under that video. People are not stupid. They can judge how “innocent” Joginder is, based on his two lies and evasive behaviour.
The committee states:
“If any person has any problems, issues, grievances or complaints to do with the Gurdwara, the door of the Management Committee is always open for discussion in a peaceable and amicable manner”.
If this is true, why did the committee ignore verbal complaints about Joginder over a 1-year period? Most of these complaints were made in a peaceful and amicable manner. As an example, the committee member Amrik Singh Gill witnessed the Hindu Gujarati woman crying after Joginder refused to feed her. He was peacefully told about what Joginder did. What happened after that? Nothing.
The Special Delivery letter gave the Gurudwara 14 days to remove Joginder from the kitchen to stop him from doing beadbi of langar. Why did they ignore that?
After the online petition was started, the committee harassed gym members as mentioned in above linked petition post, why didn’t the committee act in a peaceful and amicable manner then, when they thought gym members had created a problem?
A Sikh woman and her husband went to the committee room, opened the door and complained about Joginder teasing the Sikh woman, why didn’t they discuss this serious issue in an amicable manner? The President coldly expressed that it’s none of his business and told them to go to the Police if they like.
The committee states:
“The taking of photographs and videos in the Gurdwara premises is not allowed, especially of the Sangat and/or the Sevadars. Exceptions are made for special occasions. We reserve the right to ban anyone who transgresses”.
Should the person who shot the video have called a committee member to seek permission to film the incident to prove that Joginder is incapable of serving food to eligible Non-Sikhs?
Would the same committee who supports him to date have granted permission?
The committee states:
“We reserve the right to ban anyone who transgresses”
Oh, so in the future if a sangat member records Joginder refusing food to eligible Non-Sikhs and/or insulting them, the committee will ban such a person for “transgressing”/misbehaving, BUT, it will not remove/ban Joginder for doing the beadbi of langar, for defaming the Gurudwara and for acting in anti-Sikh ways IN A GURUDWARA.
Is such a committee worthy of any credit?
Can the wider Sikh community see why we want them out?
Essentially, the committee states that it will ban sangat members for filming racism that takes place in our Gurudwara because we’re “transgressing”.
Is Joginder not transgressing/misbehaving by refusing food to eligible Non-Sikhs, calling them “dirty”, telling them he doesn’t respect them? Why isn’t he banned for transgressing/misbehaving in ADDITION to doing beadbi of langar and doing the badnaami of Guru Ghar?
Do you realise that the eligible White, Black and Hindu people he refuses to serve and/or insults don’t know Joginder’s name.
However, as they enter the Gurudwara they can clearly see a photo of Guru Nanak Sahib and a huge sign saying “Guru Nanak Gurdwara”.
Who gets defamed because of Joginder’s transgression/misbehaviour?
Our Gurudwara, our Guru’s good name and the institution of langar.
This is unacceptable to us the sangat and Sikhs across the world.
This should bother the committee, but it clearly doesn’t otherwise they’d have done something about this.
Instead of the committee banning a sangat member for highlighting the TRUTH about the beadbi of langar that is taking place in our Gurudwara, wouldn’t it be better if Joginder and the committee members were banned from the Gurudwara, for their joint mission to continue the beadbi of langar?
The committee doesn’t own the Gurudwara, its Guru’s Ghar. As they have demonstrated that they’re incapable of running the Gurudwara, why should they be allowed to continue the beadbi of langar, badnaami of Guru’s name and the teasing of Sikh women?
The committee states:
“We confirm and stress that Langar is served and will continue to be served to ALL persons”.
The sangat confirms that Joginder has been refusing food to eligible Non-Sikhs for 1.5 years and will likely continue until he is removed. This belief has become cemented by the fact that Joginder refused food to that sober White woman and insulted her without provocation on 1st July 2016, which was about 2 months AFTER the online petition against Joginder started, of which Joginder was clearly aware.
The committee finally states:
“Finally, we have issued this statement to provide our version of the discussion generated by the recent events. We will not issue any further such statements and will not enter into any further conversations or discussions in the social media. Our door is always open to anyone who may wish to follow up this statement”.
The committee hasn’t provided their version of the discussion generated by recent events. They have issued a wishy-washy statement in which they’ve used vague and generic terms like “Any individual”. They haven’t discussed that video at all and have probably just ‘put something out’ in English because they’re red-faced about Joginder being exposed and the sangat being right.
The committee has landed itself in it.
If they get rid of Joginder now, they will have to accept that they were wrong, which they’ll never do, otherwise they’ll have to resign for the serious offence of facilitating beadbi of langar at our Gurudwara, defaming the Gurudwara and for ignoring the sangat, who was proven right by that recent video.
If they keep Joginder, we will continue with our petition and ask the wider Sikh community to help us put an end to the beadbi of langar at our Gurudwara. Sikhs will not tolerate the beadbi of Guru’s langar and defamation of Guru Nanak Sahib’s name. The committee will eventually have to surrender to the truth, which they are unwilling to do.
Before starting the online petition, we had asked Guru Sahib if it is the right thing to do by taking a Hukamnama, which was kirpa bhariya “Gur poore kiti pooree”, meaning go ahead.
As Guru Sahib has initiated this whole thing, Guru Sahib made Joginder do what he did on 1st July 2016, after which he behaved evasively, abnormally, suspiciously and lied. Anyone can see he becomes Jhoota and eventually hides because he has been caught out.
Our committee continues to support this Jhootha, by doing which they take the side of Jhoot.
The truth always prevails over falsehood.
We the sangat have NOTHING personal against Joginder.
If he did seva with seva bhavna and if he served eligible Non-Sikhs, why would we want him out?
If he was an honest man and real sevadaar and we were just doing this because of some personal vendetta against him, wouldn’t Guru Sahib punish us for doing the nindiya and chuglee of a true sevadaar?
The sangat would never dare to do such a paap. We don’t go to the Gurudwara to increase our negative karmic burden.
The video reflects what we see regularly in our langar hall because of Joginder.
No one else acts like this at our Gurudwara, hence we have no complaints against anyone else. There are no ‘camps’ and this isn’t about Gurudwara politics at all. Joginder is the only one who does this and he gets away with it because of the committee. If the committee did the right thing over the past 1.5 years, why would we want them out? In contrast, we’d vote for them again, as they’d be worthy of re-election.
Beadbi of Guru Sahib’s Saroop or beadbi of Guru Sahib’s langar are the most serious of offences.
Joginder and the committee are jointly responsible for the beadbi of langar at our Gurudwara. Should we say and do nothing about this? Which true Sikh would do that?
If Joginder had stopped doing all of this after the petition went online, we MAY have withdrawn our petition if he’d changed his behaviour, concluding, “at least the beadbi of langar has come to an end and Joginder has learnt his lesson”. But he’s relentless, thinking “to hell with the sangat, the committee’s on my side”.
Guru Sahib is on the sangat’s side. Joginder has a huge ego [big enough to do what he did on 1st July 2016, over 2 months after the petition against him had started], yet the committee refers to him as an innocent sevadaar. The committee is as guilty as Joginder for the beadbi of langar that has taken place over the past 1.5 years.
If you haven’t already signed our petition, please do so and share it with as many people as possible, Sikhs and Non-Sikhs.
Here’s the link:
For further information, please see our petition posts by scrolling down on the above linked page.
Guru Sahib’s Hukamnama said “Go ahead”, so we will continue as commanded by Guru Sahib.
Any reasonable person will conclude that the balance of probability doesn’t support the committee’s statement [very weak defence] published in the Des Pardes Weekly and posted on the Gurudwara’s Facebook page.
Guru Nanak Gurudwara (Leicester) Sangat
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