Kids Corner


Harjit Singh Sajjan,
Sant Sipahi, Warrior Saint -
Nation Builder:
The Chic Sikh Of The Year 2015





It gives us great pleasure to announce the selection of Sardar (Lt Col) Harjit Singh Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of National Defence, as The Chic Sikh of the Year 2015.

Nominations received from our readers from around the world have helped a panel of four judges to select them from a long list of worthy men, women, youths, groups and organizations based in a multitude of countries around the world.

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Sant Sipahi, Warrior Saint - Nation Builder

Harjit Singh’s appointment last November by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as Canada’s Minister of National Defence was neither a surprise to those who know him and his life-story, nor by any stretch of the imagination a flash in the pan.

Harjit has proved the adage that for a visible minority member today (just as with women), to reach the pinnacle, one has to be twice as good, and more, than every one else in the field around you. It has been accepted as a given by all and sundry since the announcement of his appointment on November 4, 2015 that all his predecessors pale in comparison when you juxtapose his experience, skills and qualifications with theirs.

Harjit has repeatedly and consistently dazzled all those he has worked with, throughout his life. He has overcome a mountain of challenges, including ignorance and racism, but has brushed them all aside through faith, hard work, commitment, dedication and impeccable integrity.

Harjit Singh Sajjan PC OMM MSM CD MP (born September 6, 1970) is now, in his latest avatar, a Canadian Liberal politician, the current Minister of National Defence and a Member of Parliament representing the riding of Vancouver South. He was first elected during the 2015 federal election, defeating the Conservative incumbent, and was sworn into Justin Trudeau's cabinet as Defence Minister on November 4, 2015.

Before politics, Harjit served as an officer of the Vancouver Police Department for 11 years, including as a detective investigating gangs and organized crime. He joined the Canadian army reserve in 1989 as a trooper and was commissioned in 1991. Later, he became Commander of a Canadian Armed Forces regiment -- The British Columbia Regiment, Duke of Connaught’s Own -- having served with exemplary courage and distinction in the most dangerous war-torn theatres of the time: in Bosnia-Herzegovina and three tours in Afghanistan.

Recipient of a chest-full of honours, medals and awards, he has been described as, inter alia, “nothing short of brilliant”, “fearless, smart and personable”, “with outstanding and rare potential”, “war-hero“, “a soldier’s soldier”! 

Thus, Harjit has indeed made the world a better place as very few get to do or manage to achieve, having blazed a trail which opens doors, and inspires people around the world to excel and to serve humanity.

And he has done it all with humility, compassion and grace ... In accordance with the highest ideals of Sikhi.

A proud Sikh-Canadian, he was born in Bombeli, a village in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. His family immigrated to Canada when he was five years old. He grew up in Vancouver and is married to Kuljit Kaur, a family doctor; they have a son and a daughter.

[You can read more about Harjit Singh Sajjan if you click on the HEROES button on the homepage and look for previous postings on him, including a video of a television interview.]

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This annual honour, announced every New Year’s Day by, is the result of a two-month long poll from its readers worldwide and a final whetting by the four-judge panel.

The criteria for the honour of being selected ‘The Chic Sikh of The Year’ stipulate that a candidate’s actions should constitute public service above and beyond the call of duty; selfless, consistent, ongoing and meticulous service; have a ground-breaking and far-reaching impact; commensurate with the highest Sikh ideals of working towards the welfare of all people; of benefit to people of all faiths and races; have made a mark on society in the year 2015; of a nation-building nature; and deserving wide recognition, encouragement and support.

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This is the eighth year in a row that we have asked our world-wide readers to propose the names of those men, women, children, groups, institutions or corporations - Sikh or non-Sikh - who they feel deserve to be named THE CHIC SIKH(S) OF THE YEAR.

As always, the response from across the diaspora over the course of the last two months has been thoughtful, spirited and enthusiastic. Our judges have struggled during the last few days with the excellent list (see below) of possible awardees, ranging from -- to name but a few -- the lawmaker and community leader from Calgary, Manmeet Singh Bhullar, who was killed in a tragic accident while attempting to help a motorist in distress, to Prakash Kaur and her ‘Unique Home’ in Ludhiana who give succour to orphaned and abandoned girls, to the extraordinary gathering of the Sarbat Khalsa in Punjab in 2015 , to the year-long sacrifice and activism of Bapu Surat Singh.

The selection process this year, as always, has not been easy. The judges have now selected a man who has reminded us of our duty, as citizens no matter where we live, to devote our lives in serving and protecting those who are in need … thus exemplifying the highest of Sikh ideals and values.

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The list of past winners includes Wisconsin Gurdwara hero Lt. Brian Murphy, British Marathoner Fauja Singh, Human Rights Activist Gurbaksh Singh, Harvinder Singh Phoolka (Human Rights Advocate), Jarnail Singh ('The Lion of Delhi'), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, SALDEF, Saran Singh (Editor, The Sikh Review), Waris Singh Ahluwalia, The Sikh Coalition, the Survivors of 1984, and United Sikhs.

The following 29 individuals, institutions or groups were nominated by our readers this year for the honour:

Bravehearts of Punjab
Family of Surat Singh
Bardish Kaur Chagger
Liv Kaur
Parkash Kaur
Pritam Kaur
Arvind Kejriwal
Khalsa Aid
People of Canada
Sangat of Punjab

Sikh Aid
Sikh-Canadian Caucus of 18 Members of Canada’s Parliament
Sikhs of British Columbia
Sikh Seva Organizations
Sikh Shahids
Sikh Soldiers
Sikh Soldiers of The World Wars
Sikh Women of India
Amarjeet Singh Sohi

Harjit Singh Sajjan
Jugraj Singh
Jyotveer Singh
Kanwar Singh Sandhu
Manmeet Singh Bhullar
Navdeep Singh Bains
Surat Singh
Justin Trudeau
Unique Home

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We at join our readers from around the world in congratulating Harjit Singh Sajjan and wishing him all power and strength, success and grace, in his continuing endeavours.

And we wish him and his loved ones every blessing and happiness in the New Year and in the years to come.

January 1, 2016 

Conversation about this article

1: Gursimran Kaur (London, United Kingdom), January 01, 2016, 5:40 AM.

I laud your choice -- you couldn't have chosen a better Chic Sikh! He has done for people of visible minorities belonging to all minority faiths around the world, what Obama did for Blacks in America and worldwide. My heartiest congratulations to Sardar Harjit Singh ... may the New Year bring him ever more blessings.

2: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), January 01, 2016, 7:37 AM.

The exit poll had already given Harjit Singh Sajjan a resounding vote. Well done Hon. Defence Minister ji ... a well deserved honour. "Nischay kar apni jeet karon ..."

3: Ranjit Singh (Burnaby, British Columbia. Canada), January 01, 2016, 8:20 AM.

Excellent choice! Congratulations, Sardar Sahib.

4: Jasmeet Singh (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), January 01, 2016, 12:13 PM.

Congratulations, S. Harjit Singh ji. Wishing you every success in your new responsibilities!

5: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), January 01, 2016, 5:05 PM.

Fantastic choice! He has put the Sikh saroop on the global map.

6: Kulvinder Jit kaur (Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada), January 01, 2016, 7:46 PM.

Congratulations to Sardar Harjit Singh.. His appointment as the Minister of Defence as well as his selection as Chic Sikh of 2015 is a matter of great pride and inspiration for all of us, especially the youth in the western hemisphere.

7: Gurpreet Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), January 01, 2016, 11:00 PM.

Deserving ... but is it consistent with the number of votes for each nominee? [EDITOR: The 'winner' is not selected by the judges by counting 'votes' but by applying the criteria and then selecting one who meets them best.]

8: Aman (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), January 02, 2016, 5:14 PM.

Sardar Harjit Singh was the clear choice. As a Canadian-born Sikh I couldn't be more proud!

9: Gurbachan Singh Sekhon (Iskandar Puteri, Johor, Malaysia), January 03, 2016, 4:15 AM.

Very good choice. Congratulations, Sardar Harjit Singh ji. May Waheguru bless you ... keep up the good work.

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Sant Sipahi, Warrior Saint -
Nation Builder:
The Chic Sikh Of The Year 2015"

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