Articles



Letter to Assembly Woman Brownley (English)
Yuba City - Resolution (English)
SCCC Resolution - Guru Nanak Prakaash Utsav 2009 (English)
Letter to First Lady Maria Shriver for Congressman S. Dalip Singh Saund (English)
Letter to Senator Runner for Congressman S. Dalip Singh Saund (English)
Punjabi Language and Sikhism in the history and education of California (Punjabi)
Brief Sikh History and Vaisakhi Message (English)
New Madera Sikh Temple Dedicated (English)
SCCC member's meeting with Sikh Coalition (English)
California Punjabi Language Effort (Punjabi)
California Sikhs not yet in textbooks (English)
Petition for beginner Punjabi class (English)
Punjabi Language (Punjabi)
Adoption of Recommendations and Declarations (English)
Efforts to save Punjabi Language ( English) (Punjabi)


CALIFORNIA SIKHS NOT YET IN TEXTBOOKS




California’s Public Schools Curriculum for History-Social Science, called History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools (Framework) does not include anything on the Sikhs. As a result, most school textbooks adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) in 2005 have hardly anything about Sikh culture or immigration history. This is in spite of the fact that Sikh immigration to California started in 1890s; a Sikh born in the Punjab (Dalip Singh Saund), was the first Asian American to be elected to the U.S. Congress in 1956 from California, and now over 250,000 Sikhs live in the Golden State. Thus, a 2005 video, Meet the Sikhs, by KVIE Sacramento, a Public TV Station, ends with the remark, “While concentrated in northern California, you will find Sikhs in all walks of life, but their story as American immigrants is left out of most textbooks.” Readers can view this DVD on www.youtube.com. In 2008, KVIE produced another video, Sikhs in America, which includes “Understanding Sikhism” and “Meet the Sikhs.” Readers may like to buy this DVD from www.kvie.org and gift it to schools in their neighborhoods, because school budgets being very tight, very few schools have purchased this SBE-approved Supplemental Instructional Material.

This writer has been submitting his written comments on the Framework since 2007 and making public comments at all the public meetings relating to the Framework. The State Board of Education started the process of updating the Framework (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs/cf) in May 2008, with meetings of the Framework Focus Groups in Sacramento, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego. The writer and Dr. Gurtej Singh Cheema addressed the Sacramento Focus Group. The recommendations of the four Focus Groups were compiled and a 20-member Curriculum Framework & Evaluation Criteria Committee, CFCC) is now working on it. The writer gave public comments at the February meeting. At the March meeting, public comments were made by the writer, Dr Amrik Singh and Dr Jeffrey Brodd of California State University Sacramento, Yvonne Taylor of the Modesto City Schools District, Ravneet Kaur of the Sikh Coalition, Gurprit Singh Hansra of Sacramento and Bhai Ram Singh, Nirvair Singh and Kashmir Singh Shahi of Fremont area. On April 2, three Sikh students (Kalotia brothers and Harjot Hansra) spoke about the unpleasant experiences at school, and three adult Sacramentans (Gurprit Hansra, Harminder Singh Gill and the writer) made public comments for needed changes in the Framework. On April 3, the writer was joined by Ravneet Kaur of the Sikh Coalition and many others (See picture by Harjot Singh).

Mrs. Pushpinder Singh, representing the Sikh Foundation of Palo Alto, made a forceful case for mentioning the Boy with Long Hair under Developing Awareness of Cultural Diversity. Further, she distributed copies of the said resource and of Cultural Safari DVD of the Kaur Foundation to the members of the committee. New persons who came and gave public comments were: three representatives of the Sikh Council of Central California, namely, Pashaura Singh Dhillon of Madera, a retired Landscape Architect; Charanjit Singh Batth of Caruthers, a Director of Raisin Bargaining Association; and Bharpoor Singh Dhaliwal, a former member of the City Council of San Joaquin. Amardeep Singh of SCOPE (Bay Area Sikh Community Organized for Political Education), Mriginder Kaur Pandher of Tracy, Harjit Singh Malhi, and Avtar Singh of Sacramento also gave public comments. The climb is long and steep, and the load is heavy. Readers interested in supporting may contact the writer (Prof. Onkar S. Bindra: 916-858-2650 or osbindra@yahoo.com).
©Jas Singh