Posted by: Singh Is King | Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gurbani from Harmander Sahib echoes on Malaysian TV

ImageKUALA LUMPUR: Sikhs in Malaysia feel nearer to their roots and religion now since they can tune into the gurbani parwah from Sri Harmander Sahib, Amritsar every morning at 7 am (4:30 am in India) on their TV sets.

The telecast started on Aug 1. For half an hour, they can listen to the recitation of ‘vak’ from Sri Guru Granth Sahib\ and soome kirtan too. For most Sikhs, this is a dream come true. The telecast has been made posssible by Astro and Zee TV.

Malaysia has nearly a 100,000 Sikhs.

Local media has reported the role of Tan Sri Darshan Singh in this venture, who was instrumental in bringing in the programme which has been aired live in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States for years.

Darshan Singh, 59, undertook the move under the umbrella of GerakSikh, the Malaysia National Sikhs Movement aimed at helping the Sikhs and other north Indian communities in socio-cultural matters, and things started moving when Zee TV began operating last year.

He is also grateful to Dr C. Rajamani, the head of Astro Indian programmes, for negotiating the airing of the programme with Zee TV. Thus, it became possible for Sikhs and fellow Punjabis to unofficially declare Saturday Astro’s “Punjabi” day, a day on which Zee makes two slots available for Punjabi speakers — a regular Punjabi movie screened from 11am and a 30-minute cultural show called Shava-Shava from 2pm.

So far, the Punjabis were having to make do with just one Punjabi movie a year on Vaisakhi day; now, they can enjoy one every week.

“My 23-year dream to hear prayers live from the Sri Harmandir Sahib have now been realised,” said former Malay- sian Gurdwara Council secretary-general Hari Singh who first thought of the possibility when in office in 1984. His views were echoed by Khalsa Diwan Malaysia president Santokh Singh who thanked GerakSikh for making it possible for Sikhs to start the day with the special prayer.

Amar Singh Sandhu, Sant Sohan Singh Ji Malacca Memorial Society president, said a new chapter had opened in the lives of Malaysian Sikhs with the advent of the programmes.

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