Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Is this man the only Sikh in Brighton and Hove?
2:30pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
This man has been left wondering if he is the only Sikh in the city.
Sukhdev Ahluwalia set up a society celebrating the religion shortly after moving to Brighton in 2010.
He put information in local libraries and notifications on listings websites.
But nearly two years on, he hasn’t had a single response.
The 79-year-old said: “I thought in such a big city there would be an active Sikh community. It’s a shame really, it would be nice to meet up with fellow Sikhs.”
A number of national newspapers pointed the finger at Sussex’s invisible Sikh community for not providing support to troubled cricketer Monty Panesar.
The spin bowler has recently been released from Sussex Cricket Club after being fined for urinating on a bouncer while on a night out in Brighton.
The Argus contacted Mr Ahluwalia to find out about the Sikh society in the city.
He said: “You’re my first caller.
“When I arrived I went down to the library to set the group up but I haven’t heard a thing. You can’t have a group with just one man.”
Mr Ahluwalia moved to Britain from his native India in 1958.
He has spent much of his life in London, where he played an active role in the Sikh community, including leading educational school visits.
But he says he has yet to come across a fellow worshipper in the city.
In the First World War, thousands of Sikh soldiers were housed in the Royal Pavilion, which was used as a field hospital. The cremated remains of many of those who died now rest beneath the Chattri Memorial, near Patcham.
The religion has its origins in the 15th Century in the Punjab region of India. It’s the fifth largest religion in the world with an estimated 111,000 followers in the UK.
Mr Ahluwalia said: “It’s a very active religion. We don’t go round preaching like others.
“There is an emphasis on sharing and looking after those who aren’t as fortunate. We also believe in hard work and doing good deeds when we can.
“I would like to share these beliefs with others in Brighton and Hove. In the past I have also visited schools to talk to children about the religion. I think this is very important and would love to do it here.”
As part of the 2011 census, 342 people stated their religion as Sikhism in Brighton and Hove.
He added: “There must be others out there. If so I would urge them to get in touch.”
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Special report: Will your MP take an 11% pay rise?
- Jury continues deliberations in rent boy 'murder'
- Wife of jailed Brighton marine ‘overwhelmed’ by support
- Bird species in sharp decline in Sussex
- Father Scotty McGill tells of horror after being attacked by machete in street
Comments are closed on this article.