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I can now wear my Kirpan for my examination this Saturday

“My MP said he could not help me because it was not under his purview and a Sikh Govt Minister said that I should be prepared to take my CFA level 2 examination this Saturday without wearing my Kirpan”, Rattan Deep Singh of New Delhi.


Rattan Deep Singh: “Within four days of taking up the matter, UNITED SIKHS delivered what they had assured me of. The CFA Institute have been kind enough to reconsider their decision and allow me to wear the kirpan during my exam on Saturday.”

Dear Friends
Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh!

Today, first thing in the morning, I saw a message from Mejindarpal Kaur of UNITED SIKHS and I almost sprang out of my bed. It was a head over heels moment for me. It read, “CFA Institute has allowed you to wear the kirpan. Check your mail. Vaheguroo.”

Delighted, elated, overwhelmed, excited, thrilled, ecstatic were some of the few emotions that I went through at that time.

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute is a prestigious USA-based global association of more than 120,000 investment professionals, and I had been preparing to sit for their level 2 exams so I could be a charter holder in the near future. But last week I was informed by the CFA Institute that I would have to sit for my exams without wearing my kirpan, a mandatory Sikh kakaar (article of faith) that I have been wearing since I took amrit (became an initiated Sikh) in April. They said that under the ‘Institute’s exam security policy, knives of any type including box cutters, swords, or any other object that could be used as a weapon is not permitted.’

It all started on May 20th this year. I was preparing for my CFA Level 2 exams when I read a news article that a Sikh student in Haryana (India) was barred from entering the examination hall to do the engineering entrance exam. He took a brave step of taking a stand and was denied entry and lost out on 40 precious minutes of his exam time.

That incident incredulously involved an Indian examination authority. My exam however is conducted by a Virginia (USA) based institute, in over 150 countries, and was scheduled for June 4 in the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. To avoid any last moment complications, I wrote an email to the CFA Institute asking them to confirm that I would not face any problem wearing a kirpan during the examination. But to my shock, they said I could not wear my kirpan. According to their mail dated 25th May, the CFA Institute said that they respected my religious beliefs but that their exam security policy excluded the carrying of knives of any type including box cutters, swords, or any other object that could be used as a weapon.

Weapon! It just struck me. An article of faith that bore the qualities of mercy (kripa) and self-respect (aan) is today perceived by the world as just another knife or weapon? It didn’t go down well. I was given this kirpan by Guru Gobind Singh Ji (the 10th Sikh Guru) himself through the Punj Pyare (5 Beloved Ones) who initiated me on April 13 of this year. Guru Sahib made me wait for a good 26 years of my life before bestowing me with this kirpan; before giving me the ambrosial nectar (amrit); before making me a part of his army, his panth – the Khalsa (the sovereign). How can I remove my kirpan for the sake of an exam? My forefathers include martyrs Baba Deep Singh, Bhai Taru Singh, Bhai Mani Singh, my brothers – the Sahibzada’s, they all put their blood into the roots of this plant called Sikhi. I am blessed to be reborn in the family whose history comprise of valiant warriors fighting for the sake of righteousness, be it for others (kirpa) or themselves (aan).

I, therefore, decided not to be a part of a course or an institute that doesn’t respect my religion. I decided to quit! This is exactly when Guru Gobind Singh Ji called upon me to say, “Khalsa so, jo kare nitt Jung” (He is a Khalsa, who does battle every day).

Hence, it was decided. Quitting is not an option for a member of this family for whom “Rann tatta dekh soore chit ullaas”, who actually feel joyous in the midst of a raging war. To shriek away, to cower, to quit is never taught to us. We would rather prefer to die fighting than live as a quitter. “Jab aav ki oudh nidhaan bane, Att he rann me tab joojh maro”! Then so be it! I was determined that whatsoever happens in this case, no other person of Sikh brotherhood shall be subject to such discrimination, especially by premier educational institutions.

It was time that the world realized that this so called weapon was bestowed by the Gurus not just as a mark of power but with an obligation also, “Choo kar az huma heelate darguzasht, Halaal-ast burdan b-shamsheer dast” – in order to stop evil from running through, use all possible strategies and resources available; and when you are left with no other option, then to fight oppression it would be apt for you to pick up the sword!

On 26th May I sent the CFA Institute an email explaining my legal rights to wear the kirpan, under the Indian Constitution, and the stand taken by various governments worldwide in accommodating the kirpan, including the European Parliament, the Canadian Parliament, Australia, the UK, amongst others. Meanwhile, I sought help from various organizations who protect and uphold human rights around the world. After getting a cold reply from a couple of them and no reply from the majority, one Mejindarpal Kaur of UNITED SIKHS came forward to help.

Till that time, I didn’t know who the UNITED SIKHS people were or what they do as an organization. All I knew was that my Guru is on my side at all times, “Guru mere sang sada hai naale”.

Mejindarpal Kaur, International Legal Director of UNITED SIKHS, took up this matter herself. She herself called me up, heard my side of the story, discussed the case in depth and assured me her best efforts. I didn’t know what was in store for me as the exam was just a week away by then.

Initially, I wasn’t even sure if my case will be taken up seriously or not. What would an organization based in the UK, in the name of charity, do for a person they haven’t ever seen; didn’t know he even existed before that day; who they can never trace if he refused later on? I was skeptical. That’s what an analyst is supposed to be though. So I was trying other options as well. I went to my Member of Parliament who said my case did not fall under his purview even though it involved the violation of my fundamental constitutional right in India (article 25 of Indian Constitution accommodates right of Sikhs to wear a kirpan everywhere, all the time). He referred the case to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee ( DSGMC) as the matter related to the Sikh religion, who referred me further to a Sikh Govt Minister in Uttar Pradesh, where the examination center was located. Incredibly this Minister said that any kirpan or Kakaar doesn’t make one a Sikh. His comments were heart wrecking. Broken that I was to have heard such a thing from a Sikh.

On the other hand, Mejindarpal Kaur blew away all my doubts! She tapped all possible resources and avenues that I didn’t even know existed! All by herself, she reached to the highest level at the CFA Institute, Members of Parliament in India, High Court lawyers, authorities of the venue where the exam was held and many more. Almost single handedly, she shook all the authorities. I didn’t even have to step out of my house (as she said I should study for the examination). She took it upon herself, as if it was her own case; as if her personal right was at stake. And she did all this while her mother was ill in Malaysia! Dhan Guru, Dhan Guru ke Sikh! Maybe that’s why Guru Saab says, “Jo deese Gursikhda tis niv niv laagu paaye jiyo!”

Within four days of taking up the matter, UNITED SIKHS delivered what they had assured me of. The CFA Institute have been kind enough to reconsider their decision and allow me to wear the kirpan during my exam on Saturday. They have also decided to take up UNITED SIKHS offer to help them look at their policy the world over for the accommodation of the kirpan.

I thank Pritham Bhagauti, the Almighty, my Guru Sahib, UNITED SIKHS, Mr. Paul Smith – President and CEO of the CFA Institute for reconsidering their policy for the sake of religious freedom and human rights, Senior Advocate Amarjeet Singh Chandhiok who was ready to offer his pro bono services if needed and Dr. Dharamvira Gandhi MP of Patiala, who was kind enough to write a letter to my MP, the CFA Institute and the exam center authorities. I thank my family – for standing by my decision of not entering the examination hall by removing my kirpan. I thank Rhythm Kaur (my younger sister) who was instrumental in this fight, without whom I might not have been able to carry on due to a shortage of time and the necessity to prepare for the examination, she handled all my communications, etc.

I never thought that there will be someone in another corner of this world who would take up this battle even more seriously and sincerely than myself. I just can’t thank UNITED SIKHS enough! I am a Chartered Accountant by profession and I do hereby pledge my all possible services that UNITED SIKHS feel me worthy of performing.

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa! Waheguru ji ki Fateh! (The Khalsa is The Great Gurus, Victory is the Great Guru’s)

Rattan Deep Singh, New Delhi

*UNITED SIKHS ( is a UN-affiliated civil and human rights advocacy organization that is a registered NGO in 10 countries including India, UK and the USA, which works tirelessly to engage, empower, and safeguard the rights of minority communities worldwide and protecting religious freedoms is a cornerstone of their mandate.

Please watch our videos at UNITEDSIKHSTV and follow us our social media Facebook | Twitter | Blog.and see how your contribution is making a difference. If you have any queries regarding Advocacy and Humanitarian Aid Academy call 1-646-688-3525 or email

Timeline – Sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji – Updated on November 20, 2015

Compiled by UNITED SIKHS

Timeline : Sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Eternal Guru of Sikhs, in Punjab – Updated at 07:30pm IST on November 20, 2015.

  1. June 02, 2015: Saroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji stolen from the Gurdwara Sahib at village Burj Jawahar Singh Wala, district Faridkot.(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is more than just a scripture of the Sikhs, for the Sikhs treat this Granth (holy book) as their living Guru)

  1. September 24, 2015: Posters were pasted on the walls of Baba Dhodha Samadh (ਬਾਬਾ ਢੋਡਾ ਦੀ ਸਮਾਧ), Near Gurdwara Sahib at village Buraj Jawahar Singh Wala on intervening night of 24 and 25 September. This is the same village from where Saroop was stolen. (Verified by Sikh Siyasat News)

Notices found on the Gurudwara walls threatening to disrespect Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. (See second paragraph: )

  1.      October 12, 2013: ‘Angs’ (Pages of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are called ‘angs’ by Sikhs with respect) found torn and thrown in streets at village Bargari near Kotkapura. Sikhs launch protest. Sikh preachers including Bhai Panthpreet Singh Ji and Bhai Ranjit Singh join the protest.

  1.      October 13, 2015: Police lathicharge on protesters demanding action against persons involved in sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji near Moga.  

Sikh congregation hardens stance against sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

  1.      October 14, 2015: Kotkapura tense after police action against Sikh sangat leads to clash.

Firing by Police at Kotkapura kills 2 (Gurjeet Singh and Krishan Avtar Singh, many injured.)

CM announces judicial enquiry, SIT and 1 crore for lead in sacrilege cases.

  1.      October 15, 2015: FIR is lodged against them sikh preachers.

Copy of FIR

Judicial Commission set up to probe sacrilege in Punjab.

  1.      October 16, 2015: Sikh Bodies observe Punjab Bandh over Kotkapura killings.

US bodies condemn handling of Kotkapura incident by Punjab Government.

Sukhbir badal orders withdrawal of cases against Sikh demonstrators.   

Sukhbir badal orders suspension of former Faridkot SSP.

Sikh preachers released by police.

  1.      October 17, 2015: Police never stopped firing even when we picked up dead, eyewitnesses tell media.

Protests across Punjab, Harayana, UP, Rajasthan.

Sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib Ji at Tarn Taran, Kohrian(Faridkot) and Mishriwala (Ferozpur).

  1.      October 18, 2015: Sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji at Ghawaddi in Ludhiana.

Sikh Preachers announce fresh strategy for protest.

  1.      October 19, 2015: Sikh Panelist protests against Sacrilege incidents and Punjab crisis on BBC Live show.

Woman detained in Ludhiana over sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (video).

Pakistani Sikhs protest against sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib Ji in India.

  1. October 20, 2015: CM calls emergency meeting. Paramilitary forces deployed in Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

Sacrilege incident reported near Bathinda.

Sukhbir Badal announces cancellation of Kabaddi World Cup 2015

Two arrested in sacrilege incidents, Police claims in clouds.

[Special Report on the issue:]

  1. October 21, 2015: Police uncovers suspects behind sacrilege, Foreign Hand in the incidents.

Punjab Police Fabricates Case Upon Critically Injured Rupinder Singh in Bargadi Beadbi Case

Global Minorities Alliance Human Rights Group Speaks Up to Support Sikhs in Punjab

World view: India’s Punjab State is ‘on the boil’ over violent Sikh Protest.

  1. October 22, 2015: Sikh leaders consider Police theories in case of Bargari arrests unreliable.

Clarity on claims by Police.

Alleged foreign hand in incident reveals identity, Say they sent money for medical aid.

More details on Rupinder Singh’s case. Truth about the arrested youth. Villagers claim they are innocent.

AAP leaders meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the issue. Called for National Integration Council meeting on the issue.

Bhai Daljit Singh(former president of Sikh Students Federation) refutes police theories behind arresting youth.

FIR registered against Police responsible for opening Gun Fire on Sikhs.

Protest in London in front of Indian High Commision, Turns violent, Police blames protesters.

Canadian Sikhs’ in Toronto to organise Candle Light Vigil and ‘Ros’ March on October 25, 2015 – Decided in a meeting a Gurudwara Guru Nanak Mission Center, Brampton.

  1. October 23, 2015: Protesters continue blockade at Harike Bridge

Behbal Kalan Firing: No FIR uploaded on website

20 Sikh Protesters arrested in London

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders face wrath of youth at Kapurthala Gurudwara, escape barefooted

Kejriwal (Delhi’s CM) to visit families of Kapurthala victims.

Sikh Sangat of Malaysia to submit Memorandum of Punjab Despair to Indian HIgh Commision on October 27, 2015.

  1. October 24, 2015: Arvind Kejriwal visits Punjab; asks Punjab govt. to release protesters falsely charged and arrested in Sacrilege case.

Amritsar district SAD(Badal) head and PEDA chief resign over multiple issues in Punjab.

Akali Dal to face complete boycott at Yuba City Nagar Kirtan 2015

Gurpreet Singh of Hong Kong refutes Police claims in Bargardi arrests.

DGP Sumedh Saini Removed.

  1. October 25, 2015: Antim Ardas of ‘martyrs’ of Bargari incident today. Sikh Organizations to announce new course of action.

News flash at

Zee TV chairman appeals for peace and harmony in Punjab.

Sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji at village Ghurial, Jallandhar. Two culprits caught.

  1. October 26, 2015:

Rupinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh Panjgaraian sent to Faridkot jail.

Bhai Pinderpal Singh’s katha program cancelled by SGPC.

No decoration and crackers at Golden Temple on this Diwali.

  1. October 27, 2015:

Rupinder Singh shifted to PGI Chandigarh.

UK Sikhs announce widespread opposition to visiting Indian PM.

  1. October 28, 2015:

Sikh bodies announce to hold march at Red Fort on November 1, 2015.

  1. October 29, 2015:

Punjab Police seeks lie detection exam in case of Rupinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh, couldn’t produce evidence against them.

World Sikh Summit 2015 on November 01, 2015 in UK.

  1. October 30, 2015:

Police prevents Sikh Preachers from entering Chandigarh.

Lawyers For Human Rights International (LFHRI) releases facts report on accussed brothers.

UK Police issues apology for brutality against Sikhs in Protests.

  1. October 31, 2015:

Sikh Preachers send a bowl of blood to Punjab CM  after negotiations fail.

Lie Detector Test: Rupinder and Jaswinder seek time to respond.

Court dismiss the request of Punjab Police.

  1. November 01, 2015:

Sikhs stand in unity in front of UN in Geneva to address human rights violations against minorities in India.

  1. November 02,2015:

US Sikhs meet US State Department on Punjab crisis.

Faridkot sacrilege case handed over to CBI.

Resolutions passed in North American Sikh Summit. Copy in link below:

Government set to release Panjgaraian brothers.

Panjgaraian Sikh brothers released from jail.

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, MLA Dera Baba Nanak, demands dismissal of cops who falsely framed Panjgaraian brothers.

World Sikh Summit held in UK.

Resolutions passed:

  1. Arrest, prosecution and maximum punishment for those responsible for sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib Ji and innocent sikhs like Rupinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh should be immediately released.
  2. Arrest and prosecution of police officers responsible for the killing and beating of innocent Sikh protesters.
  1. November 03, 2015:

Rupinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh allege torture and intimidation by Punjab Police.

Sikhs hold black flag protest demanding arrest of culprits.

Protesters dump black flags at door of official residence of Jathedar.

Sacrilege of Gutka Sahib in Gurdaspur, SGPC employee held

  1. November 04, 2015:

Desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji reported in village Mall ke of Moga District.

A binding cover of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji found in village Bargari.

  1. November 05, 2015:

Rahul Gandhi reaches KotKapura, meets families of firing victims.

Capt. Amrinder Singh and PPCC President Pratap Singh Bajwa Accompany him.

Sacrilege incident reported at village of Malliya (Tarn Taran)

Unidentified person takes responsibility of beadbi at Mall ke, Moga

  1. November 07, 2015:

Protests after desecration of Gutka Sahib at Jagraon.

  1. November 10, 2010:

Desecration of Gutka Sahib reported at Village Gobindpura in District Mansa.

International Sangat to observe black Diwali.

  1. November 11, 2015:

Black Diwali call receives huge response, several villages observe ‘Black Diwali’.

  1. November 12, 2015

No celebrations, Golden Temple sees high drama

  1. November 15, 2015:

Plans to gherao of ruling party leaders dropped.

Bhai Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale house-arrested.

  1. November 16, 2015:

Sacrilege report to be out in 4 months say Deputy CM.

Dhadrianwale not allowed to attend religious congregation Lehra Gaga.

Punjab Govt helping police personnel in Behbal Kalan police firing case.

  1. November 17, 2015:

Unidentified persons booked for Sacrilege of Sukhmani Sahib Gutka Sahib near Bathinda on Saturday.

Ahead of Sukhbir Badal visit, SGPC hands over 10 Lakh cheque to Behbal Kalan Firing Victims.

Sukhbir Badal visits families of victims killed in Behbal Kalan firing.

Deputy CM offers jobs to one of family members of victims. Community center to be set up in memory of Gurjit Singh.

CBI takes up probe into three sacrilege incidents in Punjab.

  1. November 19, 2015:

Sukhbir says sacrilege incidents are conspiracy to stoke communal fires in Punjab.

Punjab to offer 1.13lakh jobs and double security pensions.

  1. November 20, 2015:

ISI behind sacrilege incidents says Badal.

Punjab cabinet approves life term for acts of sacrilege.