Saturday 19 December 2015

About Gurmukh Singh UK

Updated: 19 December 20015 

© Copyright Gurmukh Singh (U.K.)
Please acknowledge quotations from this article. 

For one engaged in community service, there are queries about background and achievements.

Below is a summary from Eastern Media Group archives (updated with photos): 

About Gurmukh Singh:

Gurmukh Singh was born in India (11 September 1938 at Bhuj in Kutch) and received his school education in Malaysia. He arrived in the UK in 1960 and joined the Board of Trade (later Department of Trade and Industry) in December 1962. He achieved four promotions during a changing race relations period, while retaining his full identity as a Sikh.

He held many high profile positions including departmental representation at European forums and the World Trade Organisation (ex-GATT) at First Secretary equivalent position. On promotion to a policy Principal, he served for 9 years and retired in June 1996 from the Aerospace Division of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Following retirement, he has devoted his full time to community service, supporting and advising many nationwide Sikh organisations, local representatives and Members of Parliament. Through his faith advisory services for many groups within the community, he has played a significant catalytic role in keeping UK Sikh affairs on an even keel, while promoting transparency in Sikh-Government interface. He is closely associated with the original open British Sikh Consultative Forum (BSCF) to bring diverse nationwide Sikh organisations around one table on major issues concerning UK Sikhs. As continuation of the open BSCF, he is serving by invitation as Member of the Board of Jathedars, Sikh Council UK. He is Chairperson of the Advisory Board of the Sikh Missionary Society UK

He writes extensively and has produced many publications including Sikh centennial souvenirs and a Sikh Australian publication about Vaisakhi, and numerous articles on topical issues affecting British Sikhs.

He has given frequent talks and media briefings. In recent years, he has interpreted Sikh scriptures in the context of 21st-century issues. The topics include environmental and the Earth Charter topics, Sikh religious view on ageing and care of the elderly, issues concerning advances in science, and many other educational and welfare topics.

He wrote a weekly column in The Sikh Times published by the Eastern Media Group, for a number of years, and now writes a weekly lead column in English "News & Views" in the UK's Panjab Times.

He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ACIS), and Member of the Chartered Management Institute (MCMI).

Honours and awards:
Honoured by the Canadian Sikhs with “Sirdar Kapoor Singh Khalsa Millennium Award" in 2001 in recognition of his scholarly interpretation of Sikh ideology.
Honoured by the Gurmat Gian Missionary College, Ludhiana, India, the Sikh Missionary Society UK and by Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib for his services to the community.
Honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the first Guru Nanak Dev ji's Parkaash (birthday) Gurpurb event at the UK Parliament organised by the All Parties Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs, the Sikh Network and the Sikh Federation (UK).
Appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 New Year Honours.
Honoured by the British Community Honours Awards (BCHA) 2016 at the House of Lords for his work to improve the welfare and integration of minority and ethnic communities.

(see under "Articles on Sikh Ideology & Identity"

Below is an e-mail to the UK based cyber forum, Sikh News Discussion,  from Sardar Kashmir Singh, General secretary of the British Sikh Federation:

To:; IHRO 
Sent: Mon, 22 Nov 2010 21:03
Subject: [sikh_news_discussion] Brilliant Gurmukh Singh

WaheGuru Ji Ka Khalsa, WaheGuru Ji Ke Fateh

Sometimes people do not realise the tremendous ability of fellow Sikhs, who quietly go about their professional activities and provide sewa to the Sikh Qaum (Nation).

A review of Sardar Gurmukh Singh’s background shows many good features. The following are some summary points:-

1. He completed over 33 years service in the UK Government Department of Trade and Industry, covering 11 jobs through 4 grades to policy Principal.

2. Senior Director level Government Officers say he achieved a consistent high level of performance.

3. Government Dept leaders say that he produced high quality work over a wide range of issues, which also resulted in a good spirit in the teams that he led.

4. He was probably the first ethnic minority civil servant to represent the UK abroad when he led UK offical level discussions at Geneva.

5. He made a large number of presentations to the UK chambers of commerce, trade associations and export clubs.

6. Over his last 9 years of a brilliant career, he successfully managed complex budgets – DTI running costs (budget of over £300 million), capital (over £50 million), and a research and technology demonstration programme (£23 million) to within 1% of provision.

7. Following retirement , he has devoted his time to Sikh community service, supporting and advising many nationwide Sikh organisations, local representatives, and Members of Parliament.

8. He was honoured by Canadian Sikhs with Sirdar Kapoor Singh Khalsa Millenium Award in 2001 in recognition of his scholarly interpretation of Sikh ideology.

9. He was born on 11 September 1938 at Bhuj in Kutch, and received his school education in Malaysia. He arrived in the UK in 1960, and joined UK Government service in 1962.

What an amazing person in our midst.

Kashmir Singh LL.B, LL.M, C.Eng, Project Management NVQ; former member of statutory OFWAT water industry customer services committee for England and Wales, IEE Council
General Secretary, British Sikh Federation, PO Box 242, Wolverhampton, WV4 5DH, England, UK

Additional information:

Family background is given by youngest brother Dya Singh of Australia in his article:
"A Sikh Diaspora Story" on this blog (May 2013). 
Copy paste below URL:

The range of hundreds of articles include Guru Nanak's Challenge to terrorism, Sikhism and ageing and Earth Charter and environmental topics. Over the years I have contributed to books by other authors, edited glossy Vaisakhi and Sikh centennial souvenirs, and written a publication covering the most challenging period in the 18th Century as, "Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj Singh Singhania, Lahore.".

Appreciation for long articles has come from scholars like Dr Sangat Singh - some years ago, he sent a most appreciative letter through the Sikh Missionary Society UK about my Autralian booklet, a long essay, "Vaisakhi 1699 The high Point of Sikhism".

 Earlier comparative religious study books by S. Gurbachan Singh Sidhu were comprehensively edited by me at his request, and in "Sikh Religion and Islam" which I co-authored with him, I contributed the Sikh part and rewrote the whole book with the introduction and introductory paragraphs under each chapter to make it easier for the student to understand the essential differences. Editing of his "Challenge to Sikhism" took a similar approach.

I support Sikh charity and heritage organisations. I was invited to become the Patron of "Khalsa Aid", the international Sikh charity,  in August 2013 for about 3 years.

I contributed part of the briefing material for "From Jawans to Generals: Loyal Allies, Proud Britons" exhibition launched by Prince Charles in 2oo2 at Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner, London. I have argued strongly for the retention and preservation of Sikh heritage artefacts in the UK.

The valedictory letter from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) below, gives some idea of the policy positions held. I was the first Sikh to represent United Kingdom at the World Trade Organisation (then called General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade - GATT).

At Geneva 1985/6

Documents & images of interest:

Click on letter and photos below for full image & magnification:

Representing UK at the European Transonic Wind-tunnel Project 

Examples of Departmental acknowledgements of contribution to Government consultations. 

Environment Advisory Group

Sikh heritage items in the UK:

Report in the Indian Express of 18 April 2006 

Some other highlights:

About role in the Sikh Council UK

With Khalsa Aid Chief Executive, Ravi Singh after Somerset Floods.

Presentation to Khalsa Aid's, Langar Aid team
(Langar, community kitchen, is the Sikh institution of providing food for all.)

At Khalsa Aid annual reception 2015

Support for Sikh educational, music, charity & environmental organisations:

Honoured at Gurmat Gian Missionary College, Ludhiana, Panjab.
GGMC a charity, training missionaries who work in rural areas.

Sikh Council UK meeting at the Sikh Missioanry Society UK

After a Sikh meeting with Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London.

At first Sikh radio at Slough.

Then Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti at the Sikh Missionary Society UK with Giani Gurbax Singh Gulshan.

With Lord Slim and late Lord King

With the two Sikh Lords: Lord Suri left and Lord Singh right with their wives

Sikh Manifesto 2015 


 Honoured at Sikh Missionary Society UK

Late Sardar Gurbachan Singh Sidhu: Sikh education and charity work through Sikh Sewak Society in India. I worked closely with him for a number of years. Also Charity support for Guru Nanak Charitable Trust at Mullanpur, Dist. Ludhiana, Punjab.

Honoured by Giani Gurbachan Singh, Jathedar Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Amritsar. 

Discussing environment issues with Punjab press & Sant Balbir Singh Seechewale of Sultanpur, in Jalandhar District

Honoured by Sant Balbir Singh Seechewale (Environment).

Educational seminar at Gravesend Gurdwara

Below photos by Amrik Singh Ahdan of Heston, UK.

Gurmukh Singh and his wife Harpal Kaur

© Copyright Gurmukh Singh (U.K.)
Please acknowledge quotations from articles. 
Articles may be published subject to prior approval by the author.

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