Where Unity Is Strength

London: (23nd of Nov 2013) In a debate in the House of Lords earlier this week, Lord Singh, the Director of The Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) talked of the importance in acknowledging and condemning all human rights violations, including those involving foreign friendly states. In his speech, Lord Singh said he hoped Her Majesty’s Government ‘will take the lead in working for a world in which principle always transcends the interests of trade and power-bloc politics.’ Please see full text of speech:

‘My Lords, I am grateful to my friend, the noble Lord, Lord Alton, for securing this important debate. Manipulation of religious sentiment to persecute those of other faiths is a sad feature of human rights abuse in much of the world. I would like to take this opportunity to give a Sikh perspective on possible ways to a fairer and more tolerant society.

When we talk of human rights abuse, we immediately think of countries such as Syria, North Korea and Iran. We rightly condemn their abuses of human rights, but we look more benignly at countries with which we have close political alliances or trade links—as the noble Lord, Lord Parekh, perceptively observed. As the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Derby reminded us, we should look to the mote in our own eye. If we were consistent, the UN report of a government massacre of some 40,000 men, women and children from Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority and evidence of continuing human rights abuses would have led to that country’s immediate suspension from the Commonwealth pending an investigation.

I will give another example of this less than even-handed approach to human rights. Next year sees the 30th anniversary of the Indian army attack on the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar and the subsequent massacre of tens of thousands of Sikhs throughout India. An independent inquiry headed by a former Chief Justice of India found overwhelming evidence of top Congress Party involvement. Yet our Government’s response to this attack on a minority faith was total silence. When I raised the matter with a then Cabinet Minister, I received the reply, “Indarjit, we know exactly what’s going on, but we are walking on a tightrope. We have already lost one important contract”. He was referring to the Westland helicopter contract.

We rightly condemn the use of sarin gas in Syria but were silent over America’s use of Agent Orange in Vietnam—which, even today, is causing horrendous birth defects half a century after its use. The same country’s use of drones to fly over sovereign territory to kill and maim those it does not like and, in the process, kill many innocent civilians sets a dangerous precedent.

I have spoken about our country’s selective approach to human rights only as an example. Other world powers, including India, China, the USA and Russia, behave in exactly the same way, making any co-ordinated approach on human rights virtually impossible. It was the great human rights activist Andrei Sakharov who said that there will be little progress in our universal yearning for peace and justice unless we are even-handed in our approach to human rights.

My hope is that Her Majesty’s Government will take the lead in working for a world in which principle always transcends the interests of trade and power-bloc politics. I firmly believe that our country is best placed to give a lead in this wider view of human rights.’

Notes to Editors.
1.      The Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) is a registered charity that links more than 100 Gurdwaras and other UK Sikh organisations in active cooperation to enhance the image and understanding of Sikhism in the UK.
2.      NSO231113
Hardeep Singh
Press Secretary
The Network of Sikh Organisations

London: (16th of November 2013) Members of the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) are proud to announce the launch of their new website http://nsouk.co.uk/ to coincide with the Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

The newly revamped site includes many new features including video uploads, a media section and an opportunity for people to download the latest edition of the NSO’s quarterly magazine, the Sikh Messenger.

Lord Singh, the NSO’s founder and Director said “Guru Nanak’s uplifting teachings of responsible living and respect for people of all beliefs are positive guidance for the world today. We hope the updated website will provide a useful resource for studying the teachings of Guru Nanak and other Sikh Gurus. It is also intended as a focal point for discussions on current concerns affecting the Sikh community.”

London: (2nd of October 2013) In a keynote address to Transplant Alliance last week at TheDepartment of Health Conference Centre, Skipton House London, Lord Singh talked of the importance of organ donation and the role of religion. Please see full text of speech:

London: (2nd of October 2013) The Director of The Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) Lord Singh was signatory to a letter to The Sunday Telegraph last week, encouraging the government to set a higher rate for planned tax breaks for married couples. The signatories said marriage is a “fundamental building block” for society, highlighting the financial implications of “devastating” family breakdown. The signatories included Rt Rev Peter Forster, the Bishop of Chester, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, President, Oxford centre for training, research and dialogue, Lord Singh Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations, Dr Majid Katme, Muslim member of the Alliance for the Family (and six others; see telegraph.co.uk) The full letter is reproduced below:

London, (22nd of July 2013):  The Same Sex Marriage Bill passed through Royal Assent last week and was enacted. In a final debate in the Lords, Lord Singh, the Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) proposed a referendum, stating that the ‘wider implications’ of the legislation had not yet been fully considered.

Please see full text of Lord Singh’s speech on the 10th of July:

London, Saturday (June 29th 2013): In two separate debates recently, Lord Singh of Wimbledon the Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) gave a Sikh view, during the Committee stage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. Please see text of speech below:


Following on from a series of high profile convictions of predominantly Pakistani men in places like Rochdale, reports including those published by the BBC chose to describe those convicted of sexual grooming as ‘Asian.’ This caused significant disquiet amongst many British Sikhs and Hindus. In 2012 the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) led a campaign challenging the vague description, galvanizing support from both the Hindu Forum and Hindu Council of Britain, who equally expressed concerns.

London, (23rd of April 2013): The House of Lords voted in favour of an amendment to the Equality Bill which will outlaw caste discrimination in Britain. Lord Singh of Wimbledon the Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) contributed to the debate yesterday, challenging previously uninformed views about Sikhism’s position on caste discrimination.

London, [22nd of Dec 2012): Earlier this month, Lord Singh of Wimbledon the Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) contributed to a debate moved by the Lord Bishop of Exeter, regarding the rights of Israeli Arabs in the state of Israel.

The full text is given below:

London, Sunday (25th of Nov 2012): In a debate in the House of Lords earlier this week, the Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations, Lord Singh of Wimbledon spoke passionately on the role of religion in society.

“My Lords, I am grateful for this opportunity to discuss the role of religion in public life.
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