Harinder Singh is the Senior Fellow at the Sikh Research Institute. He holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Wichita State University, an MS in Engineering Management from the University of Kansas, and an MPhil from Punjab University in the linguistics of the Guru Granth Sahib.
He co-founded the Sikh Research Institute and the Panjab Digital Library, envisioned the Kaur and Singh Academy, and organized the Free Akal Takht campaign.
He appears on radio and television programs and speaks at universities, parliaments, museums, conferences, and civic institutions. He has authored several books and numerous articles integrating the political and the spiritual. He consults on curriculums, exhibitions, and films and is featured in many documentaries on the Sikhs, the Panjab, and South Asian matters.
His current focus is on developing critical thinking for Sikh institutions via the State of the Panth report series and developing open-source decoding of Guru Granth Sahib in contemporary Panjabi and English for a global audience.
He has served on the National Conference on Community and Justice boards, The Fellowship of Activists to Embrace Humanity, The Nanakshahi Trust, among others. He looks for culturally-specific things to experience and a light roast pour-over coffee to sip during travels, reads and binge-watches to stay in touch with what the world is up to, and listens to sabads, poetry, Hir, jazz, and political rap.
Harinder Singh resides with his family in the United States.
The Khalsa inauguration on Vaisakhi day in 1699 infused the Sikhs and gave them a structure of ideas and institutions that continue to shape their lives both individually and collectively. We will discuss Panthic leadership through Sikhi ideals and historical models. We will also explore the current deficits in leadership and their code of conduct. How can Love-drenched & Wisdom-centered impetus revive organic leadership in the vicinity of ideals!
Join Harinder Singh and Jasleen Kaur as they discuss the larger Sikh context around beadbi as a political problem in need of a political solution. What is beadbi? How has it been dealt with historically? What are its Panthic and legal understandings? How does it relate to the reverence Sikhs collectively show to the Guru Granth Sahib? And how, given recent cases in the news, can we understand individual and collective responses given the current realities on the ground?
Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI) has released its eighth report in the State of the Panth series titled Dan: Sikhi & Giving, exploring what it means to give in a Sikh context, how giving is understood throughout Sikh history, and how it is understood by Sikhs today. The report traces conceptions of giving, charity, and philanthropy through their development, institutionalization, and application over a period of 553 years, from the Guru period to the present day.
Sexuality is a confusing and often avoided topic. It is generally relegated to being a "private" matter, and therefore not openly discussed or engaged with, even within close circles and small communities. Due to the taboo of discussing sexuality, many people struggle individually, often turning to religion for guidance or, more concretely, moral pronouncements.
Abortion as defined by the the Oxford dictionary is a “deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.” Abortions have long been performed and long been the subject of considerable debate. Of the many social issues of our time, the issue of abortion is one that is consistently divisive and consistently nuanced. It is also an issue that is seldom talked about, due to its sensitive nature and the taboo that often comes with having undergone the procedure.
Akal Takht Sahib (Timeless Throne Sovereign) commands the worldly moral authority of the Sikhs, functioning as the institutional manifestation of the Miri-Piri (Political-Spiritual) doctrine as envisioned by the Gurus. However, over time Akal Takht Sahib has become occupied by third-party influences, not just in its institutional manifestation but also in the psyche of the Sikhs. A lack of faith in the institution leads to a feeling of disconnect within the Panth (Sikh collective), where Akal Takht Sahib exists more as a symbolic structure instead of functioning as a governance one.
The Gurduara is considered to be the heart of the Sikh community. Throughout all components of the Gurduara, the teachings of the Gurus must be visible in both abstract heights and concrete realities. The goal of each Gurduara must be to impart the Guru’s worldview, articulated in the Miri-Piri (Political-Spiritual) doctrine, through the appropriate mediums for the local Sikh communities they serve. In recent times, there has become a disconnect between the Gurduara governance teams and the local sangat of the Gurduaras.
The Anand Karaj (Sikh marriage ceremony) is one of the life stages outlined with specific sentiments and ceremonies for Sikhs. Its procedures have received increased attention in recent years as a major community issue. These discussions revolve mainly around the right to participate, where inter-caste, inter-race, and sexuality fit into the ceremony.