Kids Corner


Who Is Your Choice For
The Chic Sikh of The Year





Dear Readers:

As we near the end of the year 2016, we turn our minds to the pleasurable task of selecting, once again, THE CHIC SIKH OF THE YEAR.

The choice, of course, is collectively yours. We therefore invite you to post your selection in the COMMENT section below.

Looking at the stories we have covered on this year, and the extraordinary persons and projects we have showcased in our various sections -- including CURRENT EVENTS, PEOPLE, SPORTS, HEROES, to name but a few -- there should be no dearth of possibilities.

This year, too, so many women, men and children -- individually and collectively -- have made an outstanding mark on the local, as well as the world scene, by living up to the highest ideals of Sikhi in helping make the world a better place for all of humanity.

We seek your help in choosing one who you think has best exemplified those ideals within her, his, or its field of endeavour, during the course of this year.

-   Any woman, man, child, group, institution or corporation may be named.

-   The nominee may be a Sikh or a non-Sikh.

-   She, he or it may be based in any part of the world, the achievements being cited can be in any field of endeavour, and the activity being highlighted could be tied to any geographical area.

-   The nominee could be named for one or more achievements, or a life-time of contribution, as long as the primary reason for naming her, him or the entity THE CHIC SIKH OF THE YEAR 2016 is significantly tied to the year 2016.

Please provide, along with the name of your nominee, your reasons -- in brief form -- why you are nominating or voting for the person or entity you've named.

Also, please do not fail to provide in the designated space your FULL name, as well as the name of your CITY and COUNTRY -- it helps readers to fully appreciate the context of your support.

You may nominate more than one choice, but we request that you limit yourself to one nomination in each posting. That is, your multiple nominations should be through separate postings in order to facilitate the selection process.

Please note: The merit of each nominee, not the number of votes in support, will help determine the final choice.

Please also note that no one on the staff or any of the boards that shape and guide is eligible to be selected the winner.

The deadline for all nominations is strictly 9.00 pm (Toronto, Canada time), Monday, December 26, 2016.

All nominations will be posted on

The name of the Winner(s) - who will be selected by a panel of judges - will be announced on Monday, January 2, 2017 on and other media.

The list of past winners includes:

Marathoner Fauja Singh

Human Rights Activist Gurbaksh Singh

Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan

Harvinder Singh Phoolka (Human Rights Advocate)

Jarnail Singh ('The Lion of Delhi')

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Lt Brian Murphy


Saran Singh (Editor, The Sikh Review)

The Sikh Coalition

The Survivors of 1984

United Sikhs

Designer/Actor/Fashion Icon Waris Singh Ahluwalia.

In closing, a suggestion: you may wish to skim over the postings from this year on in its various sections to remind yourself of the rich goings-on during 2016.

We look forward to your participation in this year‘s selection.


November 16, 2016

Conversation about this article

1: Kamal Singh (Mumbai, India), November 17, 2016, 2:03 AM.

My nominations are two artists: BHAGAT SINGH of and KANWAR SINGH of

2: Gurbani Kaur (Leeds, United Kingdom), November 17, 2016, 3:36 AM.

LILLY SINGH - who has taken the world by storm on YouTube, and as a comedian, actress and rapper. She is popularly known as "II Superwoman II".

3: Baljit Kaur (London, United Kingdom), November 17, 2016, 4:35 AM.

Sir MOTA SINGH is easily my choice. A perfect gentleman, a renowned jurist, a leader and an inspiration to generations.

4: Gurmeet Kaur (Atlanta, Georgia, USA), November 17, 2016, 5:46 AM.

RAVI SINGH of Khalsa Aid, based in United Kingdom. I have been following Ravi's work for a long time and just finished watching the following documentary by BBC released on Gurpurab this year. Even though Ravi and his team have been doing humanitarian work for over a decade, the year 2016 has been remarkable as he has traveled multiple times into the ISIS strong hold of Mosul and helped the forgotten Yazidis, where men were killed, women taken as sex slaves, and children were poisoned ... to make examples of. Ravi and his team have epitomized the concept of seva and fearlessness, reaching the most dangerous -- and therefore needy -- places on earth and helping the ones that most aid agencies shiver to even think of daring to help. Please watch:

5: Bikram Singh (Nairobi, Kenya), November 17, 2016, 7:43 AM.

Poet RUPI KAUR. She embodies the message of Guru Nanak, particularly vis-a-vis the empowerment of women. She exudes courage, determination and commitment. And then, she dazzles us with her talent and wisdom which is way beyond her young years, and her power with words and the pencilled line. She has successfully taken on the most powerful and prevailed, and is now a worldwide phenomenon with her impeccable poetry and spoken-word performances. She represents our future like few others do, and teaches us how to wield the modern tools of advocacy -- something we are in dire need of.

6: Onkar Kaur (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), November 17, 2016, 8:59 AM.

Our Canadian Prime Minister JUSTIN TRUDEAU would be my choice. He has lived up to the ideals of Sikhi by upholding equality and dignity of women, reintroducing an agenda which commits itself to addressing climate change, transforming our recent aberrant militaristic approach to the world's trouble-spots to a peacekeeping role, etc. And he has no hesitation in recognizing the nation-building role that Sikh-Canadians play in serving this beautiful nation. He is indeed a role model to the world with respect to what direction political leadership should take in an increasingly troubled world.

7: Preeta Kaur (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), November 17, 2016, 9:19 AM.

RUPI KAUR encapsules our global community's best foot forward. She is the paradigm of the new Sikh Public Intellectual on whose shoulders rests our future.

8: Ari Singh (Sofia, Bulgaria), November 17, 2016, 12:54 PM.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU is a real hero. And he is a great friend of the Sikhs. He's been very courageous in selecting Sikhs and defying anti-Sikh bias, mischief and false propaganda, all of which are being wildly bandied about by our detractors.

9: Jaimal Singh (Ottawa, Canada), November 17, 2016, 2:17 PM.

BARDISH KAUR CHAGGER deserves this honour for her meteoric rise from a community activist to Member of Parliament in Canada, to Cabinet Minister, to Government House Leader. One doesn't do this at such a young age without talent, hard work and integrity.

10: Pritam Singh (Chandigarh, Punjab), November 17, 2016, 2:21 PM.

Sardarni MANN KAUR - a centenarian and a world class athlete who still wins gold medals by the bushel in each year's Masters Games - as she has done again this year.

11: Bakhshish Singh (New Delhi, India), November 18, 2016, 4:03 AM.

GURMEET SINGH of Patna, Bihar has been deservedly lauded as a real-life Messiah. Quietly and without fanfare, he takes off time every day to feed the poor on the streets of his city ... on his own time and dime. "Greater love hath no man than this ..."!

12: Kirpal Singh (Daytona Beach, Florida, USA), November 18, 2016, 7:09 AM.

My choice is EK ONG KAAR KAUR KHALSA, who is one of your columnists, for her thought-provoking articles and beautiful translations of Japji, Anand and Sukhmani Sahib.

13: Bir Kaur (Chicago, Illinois, USA), November 18, 2016, 7:49 AM.

RUPI KAUR: young, intelligent, daring, talented ... leader. Brimming with the promise of youth and fresh ideas and bubbling energy, willing to test and challenge, able to push the envelope, and not afraid to open new doors and explore new horizons. Whatever she says and writes is steeped in pure Sikhi.

14: Bibek Singh (India), November 18, 2016, 8:53 AM.

MasterCard CEO - AJAYPAL SINGH BANGA. The Sikh-American was featured on the Harvard Business Review’s (HBR’s) ‘Best-Performing CEOs in the World’ report. His success is a wake up call to all professionals in the Sikh community who decide to shed their Sikh identity in response to the pressure of blending into the corporate world. Many of these young Sikhs of this next generation have lost confidence or the will to fight for their rights of keeping their Sikh identity. Hopefully, some will learn from Ajaypal's success that one does not have to lose one's stripes to blend in with the herd.

15: Aman Singh (Amritsar, Punjab), November 19, 2016, 5:36 AM.

I would like to nominate JUSTIN TRUDEAU.

16: Brig. Nawab Singh Heer (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), November 19, 2016, 7:06 PM.

My choice is Hon Minister NAVDEEP SINGH BAINS. He is a gursikh, an intellectual, a good human being, a good leader, and a family person. He symbolizes a very good example of an honest leader who can motivate our youngsters to emulate.

17: Jaspreet Singh (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), November 20, 2016, 4:18 PM.

HARNARAYAN SINGH - He does an extraordinary job as a Punjabi language broadcaster on the widely watched and prestigious Hockey Night in Canada. He makes an excellent ambassador with a rich mix of talent, skill and good humour, and is a top-notch bridge between us and the mainstream community, helping the latter to understand us better, and the latter to become better, full-fledged Canadians.

18: Gurpreet Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), November 21, 2016, 1:00 PM.

The everyman/everywoman SINGH and KAUR of the West, Punjab, India and the rest of the world. Professionals across the diaspora are under constant pressure to maintain their identity and have to grapple with bias and prejudice everyday. Each KHALSA, SIKH, SINGH and KAUR is a walking source of inspiration. They, collectively, deserve this honour.

19: Balwant Singh (Mumbai, India), November 21, 2016, 3:34 PM.

I am not sure if you can choose multiple Chic Sikhs in the same year. If you do, I would jointly nominate both RUPI KAUR and LILLY SINGH. They've both broken new ground in their respective fields... and made giant strides in areas which are not only crucial for the growth of a community worldwide, but are also very difficult to penetrate and conquer.

20: Sukhmani Kaur (Los Angeles, USA), November 21, 2016, 4:22 PM.

SHAUNA SINGH BALDWIN is an award winning novelist in English, with her latest collection of essays and stories out earlier this year. Her books -- short-stories as well as novels -- are a delight to read, and insightful as well, especially in presenting our stories to the world. Wish there were many, many more following her footsteps ... we so urgently need good story-tellers who have a love for truth.

21: Himmat Singh (London, United Kingdom), November 23, 2016, 1:23 PM.

I too support the nomination of RUPI KAUR for all of the reasons outlined above.

22: Ajauni Singh (New Jersey, USA), November 23, 2016, 8:31 PM.

Just saw your posting of BBC's "The Selfless Sikh Faith ..." film. My vote for Chic Sikh of The Year 2016 goes to RAVI SINGH and KHALSA AID.

23: Amarjit Singh (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada), November 24, 2016, 4:00 AM.

I note that there's been a complete absence of females in your annual selections so far. I'm sure it's not for lack of trying on the part of your judges ... I can see that each year the competition has been furious. However, this year you have some female candidates who stand out, if not head and shoulders above the rest, at the very least at par with some of the rest: RUPI KAUR and LILLY SINGH come to mind instantly. I would nominate them without hesitation, as I would also the extraordinary Sardar RAVI SINGH and his wonderful team at KHALSA AID.

24: Kanwal Prakash Singh (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA), November 24, 2016, 6:16 AM.

I am proud to nominate the next United States Ambassador to the United Nations, the Honorable South Carolina Governor Nikki Kaur Randhawa Haley as the ChicSikh of the Year. Nikki is a rising star and her selection sends an important signal about the American spirit of honoring people of diverse cultures and faiths, unique talents and the promise is alive and well. All of us have a responsibility to advance in solidarity America's solemn Constitutional promises and build upon America's tradition of discovering blessings through tireless striving and in our collective commitment to shared values, dreams and amazing possibilities. God's grace takes care of undreamed-of rewards. Nikki has provided another living testimony to the world that the impossible is possible here. She is going to need our prayers in this difficult assignment. We can imagine that she will bring her faith, heritage, experience, and her strengths to be the top U.S. diplomat before the world body. We wish her every success and Godspeed.

25: Kevin R. Jackson (Australia), November 25, 2016, 6:40 PM.

I nominate CAROLINE LOUISE PHILLIPs. She is the principal podiatrist at BodyReform Podiatry based at Point Cook, Melbourne, Australia. Caroline is the ultimate professional who seeks to get the best for all patients in Bio Mechanics and in addition helps out the Sikh and Indian communities that have recently relocated to Melbourne. Caroline's expertise goes beyond the norm as a podiatrist and is always sought for advice to remedy past clinician's mishaps. Caroline has also been a post co-chair and secretary of the Pediatric Special Interest Group of the Australian Podiatrist Association and has also lectured and conducted workshops that have enhanced recent under graduates from the medical industry.

26: Jagpal Singh Tiwana (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada), December 01, 2016, 3:07 AM.

I would nominate both Canadian Prime Minister JUSTIN TRUDEAU and Canada's Defence Minister HARJIT SINGH SAJJAN.

27: Gurmail Singh (Liverpool, United Kingdom), December 01, 2016, 10:18 AM.

I'm quite taken by the story of S. AMARJEET SINGH SUDAN, as posted on today. His life story exemplifies the best of Sikhi and is so inspirational. I nominate him for Chic Sikh of the year.

28: Manpreet Singh (Atlanta, U.S.A), December 01, 2016, 2:19 PM.

I know the rules state that “no one on the staff or any of the boards that shape and guide is eligible to be selected the winner.” But I recommend Sardar T. SHER SINGH for this year’s honor. He should be recognized for his contribution to Canada and worldwide in fields such as law, community engagement, media personality and excellent writing, all of which at various times had underlying (implicit and explicit) motivations or implications to the Sikhi way of living. This does not include his contribution to, where, amongst others, his daily fix(es), without being preachy, kept us connected around the globe. Again, as per the rule, Sardar T. Sher Singh may not be considered, but he truly falls under the category of “The Extraordinaries” and is "a" Chic Sikh (if not "the" Chic Sikh), in my humble view. [EDITOR: For reasons outlined in the call for nominations, he cannot be considered.]

29: Japji Kaur (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada), December 02, 2016, 3:47 AM.

Hockey Night Canada's HARNARAYAN SINGH has not only put our community on the cultural map of Canada but has recently broken new, unprecedented and hitherto impregnable ground by becoming a play-by-play announcer in English for the hockey games. You don't get any higher in profile than that, where the general populace is concerned. Such a break in the glass ceiling requires talent, skill, dedication and grace ... all of which Harnarayan has in large doses. He inspires our youth worldwide, and shows us all how to do a proper interface with the community at large, no matter where we live and work and call home in the diaspora.

30: Mehtab Kaur (Punjab), December 02, 2016, 8:31 AM.


31: Arvinder Singh (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada), December 02, 2016, 3:18 PM.

JAGRAJ SINGH of 'Basics of Sikhi'. The Panth prays for his chardi kalaa after his being diagnosed with cancer. He personifies the true spirit of Sikhi .. he has used social media, street parchars and modern tools to spread message of Sikhi far and wide.

32: KAMAL SINGH (Mumbai, India), December 05, 2016, 5:36 AM.

Please also include JAGRAJ SINGH, the CEO of 'Basics of Sikhi'. He deserves to be honoured for his tireless work in spreading knowledge of Sikhi. Even my local gurdwara shows one of their poster/leaflet.

33: Hardev Singh (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada), December 07, 2016, 9:23 AM.

My vote is for JAGRAJ SINGH of 'Basics of Sikhi'.

34: Kulvinder Jit Kaur (Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada), December 08, 2016, 3:44 AM.

Prime Minister JUSTIN TRUDEAU. He represents the Canadian as well as the Sikh spirit of inclusiveness, compassion and service to humanity. He makes us proud as Canadians and Sikhs.

35: Baljit Kaur (Chandigarh, Punjab), December 09, 2016, 10:25 AM.

RUPI KAUR. It's about time we recognized women's achievements in our community, especially those of the intellectuals amongst them. Rupi Kaur stands head and shoulders above all who made their mark this year in any field, if we look at the depth and ambit of what she has achieved and the positive and inspirational impact her work has had around the world.

36: Harkirat Singh (New Jersey, USA), December 09, 2016, 11:32 AM.

Having followed the great coverage you give to Sikh newsmakers all year round, I can't help picking three names from the rich crop from this year: LILLY SINGH, RAVI SINGH and RUPI KAUR. Each has excelled in his/her respective fields not only within the community but also worldwide. Hope you'll consider having multiple winners - as I believe you have sometimes already done in the past.

37: Tarsem Singh (United Kingdom), December 10, 2016, 11:08 AM.

JAGRAJ SINGH of 'Basics of Sikhi'.

38: M Kaur (Canada), December 12, 2016, 6:29 PM.

RAVI SINGH of Khalsa Aid.

39: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), December 13, 2016, 10:49 PM.

Canadian Prime Minister JUSTIN TRUDEAU would be my choice.

40: Upkar Singh (Chicago, Illinois, USA), December 14, 2016, 10:12 AM.

The universal SIKH MOTHER on whose broad shoulders rests the future of Sikhi itself. This year, as well as throughout history, she has remained steadfast in rearing young Sardars and Sardarnis in the face of the most trying challenges and hurdles. Back in Punjab, and here, everywhere, across the length and breadth of the diaspora. I look around me everyday and marvel at how much she has done to keep erect our Nishaan, and how little we have done to honour her.

41: Kirpa Kaur (London, Ontario, Canada ), December 14, 2016, 2:40 PM.

BARDISH KAUR CHAGGER is the Leader of the Government in Canada's House of Commons. She also concurrently holds the post of the country's Minister of Small Business and Tourism. Her well-deserved and much lauded rise in politics has been a game-changer as a splendid role model for our young women who are poised to make career choices in their own lives.

42: Karnail Singh (Birmingham, United Kingdom), December 15, 2016, 2:56 PM.

Though I am a Brit, let's make no bones about it: there is no country in the world like today's Canada. It is open-minded, inclusive, compassionate, progressive, successful, peaceful ... It's big-hearted and sincere welcome to Syrian refugees this year is the latest evidence of it all. Is it surprising that it is the country of choice for all those who feel disgruntled with their homeland, the US being the latest in that category. Moreover, the decency and inclusiveness shown to its Sikh citizens -- even in the face of disapproval and discouragement shown by the morons running India -- makes it all the more special to us Sikhs no matter where we live. I therefore nominate the NATION OF CANADA as my choice. It's people, collectively, have to be the chic-est of Sikhs (actual or honorary) anywhere.

43: Bhai Harbans Lal (Dallas, Texas, USA), December 15, 2016, 10:04 PM.

I nominate Sardar KULVIR SINGH GILL of Toronto, Member, Board of Directors, Sikh Research Institute. Kulvir is a Senior Principal with Clareo Partners, a growth strategy consultancy based in Chicago. Previously, he worked as a management consultant with Oliver Wyman and with Barrick Gold Corporation in their organizational effectiveness practice. Kulvir has been actively involved in the Sikh-Canadian community. He has served in leadership roles with the Sikh Centennial Foundation, Spinning Wheel Film Festival, and Toronto Sikh Youth Retreats. He is a co-founder of Mississauga’s Seva Food Bank and Sikhs Serving Canada. Kulvir also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the William Osler Health System Foundation and is on the board of Habitat for Humanity – Brampton. He was a 2011 Action Canada fellow and is a recent recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He holds a B.Sc. and a B.Comm. from the University of Calgary and currently lives with his family in Brampton.

44: Waryam Singh (Bangkok, Thailand), December 16, 2016, 7:47 AM.

To date, we have done yeoman service in honouring our politicians and soldiers, our professionals and entrepreneurs, and of course our wonderful and selfless sevadars. We have neglected, however -- unwittingly, perhaps -- three groups who have done no less than the others: women, youth and the intellectuals. RUPI KAUR fits within each of three categories. She deserves the honour this year, not as a token from any of these groups but as one who has already taken her art forms to great heights, giving inspiration to not only our own young but to people everywhere. I have looked at all of the nominees to date; Rupi has had an impact not a bit less than any other. Rather, she towers above most of them in how she has re-packaged and presented so simply and beautifully the very quintessence of Sikhi. I hope you will give her due consideration.

45: Sher Singh (Seattle, Washington State, USA), December 16, 2016, 10:48 PM.

JAGRAJ SINGH, CEO of Basics of Sikhi, for reviving the spirit of parchar amongst Sikhs on a mainstream level.

46: Harmanpreet Singh (Chandigarh, Punjab), December 20, 2016, 9:52 PM.

I want to nominate JAGRAJ SINGH of 'Basics of Sikhi'. He has inspired many young Sikhs like me across the world.

47: Jaspal Singh (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), December 24, 2016, 11:53 AM.

JAGRAJ SINGH of Basics of Sikhi - a true inspiration and a much needed fresh outlook for my generation.

48: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), December 25, 2016, 9:48 AM.

Without any doubt the most awesome Sikh we saw this year is HARJIT SINGH SAJJAN, Canada's Minister for Defence! What his posting means for the Sikh identity and awesome unparalleled martial spirit is way beyond imagination in a racist, colour-prejudiced and completely divided world. Harjit Singh with full Sikh identity on the world platform is just pure fantastic.

49: Sharanpal Singh (Singapore), December 26, 2016, 8:47 AM.

Personally for me, it's a tie between RUPI KAUR, RAVI SINGH of Khalsa Aid, AMATJEET SINGH SUDAM and KANWAR SINGH SAINI. Rupi - for breaking new ground and tackling what is considered social taboo. Ravi, Kanwar and Amarjeet for exemplifying the spirit of seva and Sikhi - serving humanity beyond the walls of the gurdwara.

50: Satnam Singh (Canada), December 26, 2016, 1:00 PM.

I nominate Bhai JAGRAJ SINGH Of Basics of Sikhi.

51: Ajitpal Singh Rainaa (Virginia, USA), December 27, 2016, 11:29 AM.

I support the nomination of Bhai JAGRAJ SINGH of Basics of Sikhi. I just saw one of his recent addresses on Youtube; he truly epitomizes the spirit of Chardi Kalaa. Plus, his work speaks for itself.

52: M Kaur (Canada), December 27, 2016, 7:53 PM.

I also nominate Bhai JAGRAJ SINGH of Basics of Sikhi. We need more people like him so we can truly make our mark on the world.

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The Chic Sikh of The Year

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