Date: 23/11/2019


The BBC stopped Lord Singh from broadcasting his message on the martyrdom of Sikh Guru Tegh Bhadur stating it may offend some.

Lord Hall, Baron Hall of Birkenhead,
Director General of the BBC,
House of Lords
London SW1A OPW

22nd November 2019

Dear Noble Lord,

I am saddened to learn about the decision of the BBC to forbid Lord Singh from broadcasting a message about the martyrdom of the 9th Sikh Guru, Tegh Bhadur.

Guru Tegh Bhadur was beheaded on order of the then Mughal King for upholding religious freedom of Hindus in India. This is a unique example in the world of when a religious leader lays down his life to protect the rights of people of other faiths and not that of his own. Our Guru's sacrifice symbolised respect for other faiths and their right to worship them freely. Our Guru believed in the basic human rights of everyone to connect with their maker as they deemed fit, centuries before the United Nation's charter on human rights came about.

You will agree that if we choose to ignore history, then we will help it to repeat itself. Can we ever deny or forget the holocaust which resulted in the death and destruction of over 6 million innocent Jews, just because of their faith? Similarly, the Sikhs can never forget the legacy of their illustrious Gurus who changed the world by paying supreme sacrifices for mankind.

Let me explain how the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bhadur helped saved the world as we know it today and how the Sikh soldiers have also helped save the British Kingdom and Empire twice in the last century when they came to help in both the Great Wars.

It was because of the martyrdom of the 9th Guru, Tegh Bhadur that his son, the 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh established the Brotherhood of Khalsa (Sikh Warrior Saints) to uphold human freedom and to fight for injustices and oppression unleashed by the then Mughal Emperor on non-Muslims. People were forcibly converted to his religion and their places of worship were desecrated. They were even subjected to Jizyah, a tax imposed upon non-Muslims to practice their own faith. Should we rewrite our history for the sake of political correctness?

It was the Sikhs who first brought an end to the tyrannical rule in India and helped preserve the over 6,000 year old Indian civilisation along with the diversity in India. Needless to say, the huge amount of sacrifices that have been paid by the Sikhs Gurus and their followers to liberate those who were being oppressed and suppressed in the name of religion for centuries, is unpresented. I shudder to think about the history of India today if it wasn’t for the supreme sacrifices and vision of the Sikh Gurus for mankind as a whole.

Incidentally, India is a secular country where religion is not promoted and yet, the Indian government is celebrating the lives and teachings of the Sikh Gurus on an unparalleled scale. Every Diplomatic Indian Mission abroad, in over 100 countries, is celebrating the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith, simply because His teachings are universal and designed to unite rather than divide mankind. The Government of India is establishing Guru Nanak Chairs in Universities across the world so that our future generations can benefit from His teachings for a peaceful coexistence. India's arch rival, Pakistan, a country created on the basis of religion is also establishing a Guru Nanak Dev University. Pakistan has also recently opened a corridor to allow Sikh pilgrims to their shrine in Pakistan. What a tribute to the Sikh faith.

How did the Sikhs help save the British King and Empire twice in the last century?

They came to defend the King and Empire in both the Great Wars and displayed exceptional bravery instilled by their Gurus. Over one million Indian soldiers came twice in the last century to fight alongside the British in both the Great Wars. It is worth remembering that although the Sikhs were less than 2% of the Indian population, they made up over 20% of the soldiers who came to fight with the British. The reason was that the Sikhs were influenced by the virtues of the same Guru whose martyrdom BBC wishes to stop from broadcasting on the publicly funded radio station paid for by UK taxpayers including the Sikhs.
Please watch:

The valour and sacrifices of the Sikh soldiers for the King and Empire is written in British Military history books in gold letters. Over 84,000 (Eighty Four Thousand) Sikh soldiers died and over 90,000 (Ninety Thousand) were injured for the world's freedom. The Sikh Regiment was the most decorated in the entire British empire and won more Victoria Crosses per capita than any other community.

By stopping Lord Singh from remembering a selfless Guru who sacrificed his life for others is not only insult to Sikh worldwide but also to British Sikhs who are punching well above their weight for Britain in every field. The Sikhs are the 2nd most prosperous community in the world and in Britain, 82% of Sikhs own their own home. Those who own their homes claim less benefits and pay higher taxes. 59,000 Sikh Gurudwaras worldwide serve over 6 million free meals daily to anyone who comes through their doors regardless of religion, colour or race. The Sikh religion has incorporated the teachings of other faiths in their holy book as a mark of respect to them. Sikhs believe in gender equality, respect for every faith and above all, hard work and service to mankind.

I would be grateful if an apology is extended to Lord Singh so that he can broadcast his important message to our great nation.

Lord Rami Ranger CBE

Copy to Lord Singh and his PA Hardeep Singh