The Gurudwara (Guru’s home) is the communal area where Sikhs come to worship, eat food with each other and get married. It is also a lucrative business, as anyone more intimately familiar with the institution will point out. People donate abundant amounts of money without giving much thought to who it goes to or what it’s spent on. Unsurprisingly then, some people get very interested in controlling them. And that is where the trouble starts.
On Sunday, during the annual Vaisakhi celebrations in Birmingham, a huge fight broke out between rival gangs and one man got badly stabbed. The police has since arrested four people. Some say it was a fight between Shere Punjab and Babbar Khalsa. Others link to the control of Smethwick Gurudwara. YouTube has the BBC News and ITV News reports. Laban Tall has some more material, illustrating, if anything, that young British Sikhs can’t spell to save their lives.
Update: Three men have been remanded now (via Laban).
More seriously, in Nov 2005 Jay Singh wrote an article here asking whether mob violence was taking British Sikhs into crisis. With gang-violence constantly flaring up in Birmingham over control of Gurudwaras, could this be a real possibility? And where are the local “community leaders”? Hiding from the issue and pretending that there isn’t a problem with Gurudwara corruption, money laundering to Punjab and complete lack of transparency within management committees.
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Filed in: Organisations,Sikh