Sikh-American Cardiologist Donates $1.5 million For Sikh Studies

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LOS ANGELES – An Indo-American cardiologist has donated $1.5 million to the University of California-Irvine to create a Chair for Sikh studies within the school, media reported on Tuesday.

Harvinder Sahota donated the money to the university that will now teach Sikh studies as a regular course. The department will be named after Sahota’s mother, Bibi Dhan Kaur Sahota.

“My mother taught me never to degrade anyone and respect everyone,” Sahota said.

“I still abide by the lessons she taught me as a child. I wanted to honour my mother for the woman she was and the man she helped me turn out to be,” he said. Classes in the department are expected to begin in September, 2016.

It was Sahota’s Dream to honour his mother who looked after him when he was one week old and was sick with double pneumonia. So much so he was declared dead at one stage. And with the Grace of God and with the prayers and care of his mother he  recovered.

It was during this time that his father declared, “That if my this Son survives I will make him a Doctor So that he will help others with  their health suffering.”

The Signing Ceremony  was held on the August 12th.The chair will be teaching all aspects of the Sikh Religion. It will cover Sikhism from (1469 to 2015 and onwards).The First Sikh Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in 1469.In all there are Ten Gurus(teachers). After that Sikhs believe in Sikh Holy Book(Sikh Bible) Guru Granth Sahib which will be the center of teachings.

There are  Five Sikh Tenets(5 k’S) which the  Sikh Observes. Each one starts with the letter K’s  which is  Kesh (Unshorn hair), Kanga(The Wooden Comb),Kara (The Iron Bracelet),Kirpan( The Sword),Kachherra (Breeches) are emblems of Sikhism.

The Chair will hire Tenure Professor of Sikhism, who will arrange  Lectures, Cultural  programs. There will be graduate and undergraduate courses in Sikhism. A Sikh festival will also be celebrated. The students will visits Sikh temples as the part of the study program. At some stage there will be collaboration with Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar. Students and Teachers exchanges and visits will be part of the collaboration.

The professor of Sikhism will do Research, publish books and scholarly Articles related to Sikhism. The Professor will also organize student interest, take them to the places of Historical significance. And at the later stage the chair holder will also be developing online courses in Sikh Studies.

In California Sikhs arrived about Hundred and Twenty Years ago and started farming. S. Dalip Singh Saund became the First Asian American elected to US congress was a Sikh. The Sikhs have contributed a lot in different fields including military in India, UK , Canada and USA and other countries.