The Sikh Channel – Divide and Conquer?

The Sikh Channel – Divide and Conquer?

Today is Vaisakhi and I feel lucky to have this day as a work holiday. We celebrated Vaisakhi on Sunday so it turns out that this day off from SikhNet work has ended up being a house/spring cleaning day (as you might have gathered from all my twiiter posts on the topic). It seems that I can’t stay off the computer because this is my third blog post of the day.

While I was cleaning the house and listening to banis I started thinking about one particular issue regarding new Sikh Television channels in England (The Sikh Channel). Starting late last year I had many conversations with Charanpreet Singh (UK) regarding the idea of making a dedicated commercial free Sikh channel. He shared his ideas and vision regarding having a very youth oriented channel that really serves the needs of the times. We talked about lots of ideas for programming and how SikhNet could help with this by being involved and providing video content (since we create lots of videos). I thought it was a great idea and we ended up helping them promote this idea on SikhNet through the news and sponsorship banners.

Over the past few months "The Sikh Channel" idea has gotten momentum and support by many people. Then about a month or so ago I heard that the people that run the Brit-Asia channel decided that they were going to start their own dedicated Sikh channel. Guess what name they chose?? The very same name, "The Sikh Channel". So, Charanpreet Singh who was organizing the original registered "Sikh Channel" tried to discuss this with them encourage them to use a different name so as to not confuse people, but apparently they ignored this request.

Now it seems that everyone that I talk to who mentions that they are doing seva for "The Sikh Channel" doesn’t have a clue that there are two efforts for "The Sikh Channel". I ask them is this the BritAsia Sikh Channel or the original one. Everyone that I ask this to didn’t even know that there were two different efforts for Sikh channels. <sigh>

While I think it is great to have lots of options for Sikh media, I don’t like how this was handled. Who knows what the real reasons were, but from my sideline perspective it appears that it is a case of taking advantage of the momentum/ideas created by others to push one’s own personal goals rather than working things out and trying to work together.

It’s the kind of situation where if someone doesn’t agree with someone else that they create their own Gurdwara, website, etc. Everyone likes to have control and do things their own way. I wish that all of us would take more time to WORK TOGETHER. As with any good marriage or relationship, it takes hard work, compromise and good communication. It may be easier to just do your own thing, but one can have much more impact with a unified effort.

The youth of today have to break the cycles that keep happening and find ways to unite. We have to put aside our differences and find the commonality that is in each of us. Why start a new something if someone else has already made a lot of efforts? Why not try to work together. Sure, there may be differences in the vision and objectives, but one should at least try to see if collaboration can work. If not, then good relations should be kept. As individuals we are by ourselves, but as unified sangat we can achieve amazing things!

So, I still support the original vision of The Sikh Channel even though others are doing what they are doing with a duplicate channel of the same name. It’s just sad to see these types of things happen again and again. We waste our time and energy arguing, fighting, boosting our egos, while the youth of today fall asleep and become more and more tired of being involved.

We’ll see how all this Sikh Channel stuff plays out. Just so you know the difference, the ORIGINAL Sikh channel is listed at this website: or on Facebook

The OTHER sikh channel is now at:  (notice the flashing "It’s Seva" with a picture of me as a kid at Harimandir Sahib). I personally would want to hear an explanation from the organizers of this duplicate channel as to why they created this division which is wasting a lot of people’s time, and forcing people to spend time and energy in a wasteful way because of the confusion.

It’s easy to start something, but if the right group of people with the right motives are not behind an effort like this then it will fail. It has to be done for the right reasons. It costs over $30,000 per month just to have the channel air time on the satellite and then you have to create programming for 24 hours. If done hastily then it will just be a waste of money and will have little impact. Trying to launch this channel from start to finish in a month is pretty hasty, whereas I think the original Sikh Channel has a much more long term approach.

If I had a budget of $40,000 per month for SikhNet we could do so many more AMAZING things that would impact hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. So, if Sangat is going to support any of these efforts, I would make sure that it is clear what the outcome is going to be and who is behind the efforts. I don’t look lightly on efforts that cost this much money and have the potential to make little impact on the community if not done right.

So if you are in UK and get asked to help with "The Sikh Channel" ask them which one and at least ask some of these questions yourself and get informed.

May Guru ji give us the wisdom and courage to work through our differences and unite as Sikhs of the Guru.

21 Responses to “The Sikh Channel – Divide and Conquer?”

  1. Kanwar Singh says:

    Great post. This is an epidemic within Sikh society. I have two Gurudwaras that have been “under construction” near my house for almost 10 years. You could (no joke) kick a soccer ball from one construction site to another!!! So you have two groups canvasing the community for donations to achieve the same spiritual objective but just on different intersections. Has our community always been like this? If so, you have to marvel at the obstacles our Gurus battled from within our people as well as threats foreign to forge the Sikh religion. I am really glad that the Sikh faith is spreading in places like South America and Mexico because it will be very revealing to see it blossom without the drag factor of the head -butting Punjabi mentality.

  2. Simran Singh says:

    Gurmustk ji you are 100% right!

    As i live in the UK and found that there was a sikh channel being launced on vaisakhi i got really happy. But as i thought it was the "orignal sikh channel" being launced but found out it was Brit Asia who organsized it it made me really angry!!

    I also looked at the timetable of the orignal sikh channel and found out that brit asia have got the same programes! See the sikh channel made a programe called "SIKHS IN THE 21ST CENTURY" and what do brit asia do go and copy it!

    It is also annoying that the orignal channel has got a great website with sponsers and support and they were really happy that they are launching the first sikh channel, and what dose Brit asia do make a channel with the same name out of the blue!!

    I Think that Brit Asia have done this just for the fact of being the first sikh channel, and that is what the original sikh channel was looking forwards to but what can they do now! i bet like you said these two channels are going to be biggggg rivels and like what most sikhs do is have fights becuase they dont like it in a certian way! which is wrong and we should respect what anybody dose to serve the SIKH PANTH!! and i dare to say it but if this carries on one of them is going to go out of business! which really shouldn't happen as the orignal sikh channel is putting alot of hard work into there channel. so are brit asia but it is still wrong that they have made a channel with the same name and even more the same programes.

    Knowing that having a Sikh Channel is great for the Sikh Panth but if you have two great channels you should join together and make something even better!!

    So Gurmustk Ji i am with you that they should join together and i like the brit asia channel but i still think that what they have done is wrong and i am still suporting the Orignal Sikh Channel like you. and i hope by Gurus Grance they join together and make something mindblowing for our Panth!

    O Yeah Gurmustk ji if you cant see the brit asia channel just to tell you that they are posting the SIKHNET FILM FESTIVAL videos on there!!! now is that good or bad i dont know! lol

    btw happy vaisakhi ( a bit late lol but i hope you, your family and the sikhnet team have a great vaisakhi!)

  3. Jaskooner Singh says:

    These are just sharp underhand business techniques. The market must be very competitive. You will get this everywhere is business.

  4. Leah says:

    Why do some websites say it’s the 13th this year? (Also my friend Simran does as well.)

  5. Ravinder Singh says:

    I don’t get why people do this – especially if it’s Sikh’s doing it to each other. I don’t live in the UK so i can’t access either channel but i truly hope that the Original Sikh Channel makes its mark. What the New Sikh Channel have done is blatant plagarism, i would have been kicked out of uni if i did the same thing – at the end of the day it’s about “RESPECT”. The new channel really should have consulted the Original Sikh Channel producers, i find it disrespectful….

  6. Tarsem Singh says:

    Veer Gurmustuk Singh Jee,
    Ironically we were just talking about that on the phone a couple of days ago! What a shame..

    It is happening in all walks of Sikhi seva. What are your thoughts on us having a “Sikhi Seva Summit” where all parties come together and discuss and agree on a proper vision for all the Panth?

    We set a mission statement for Panthic Seva and all contribute to the same TV Channel, Website, Media database etc.

    Set it up in the UK or USA whatever and call it all the same thing. I am sure we would get all the funding, effort, drive and most of all Guru’s Kirpa by doing this.

    Maybe I am a dreamer though…

    Tarsem Singh

    • Tarsem Singh, I think it is a great idea to have a “Sikhi Seva Summit”, However I do wonder whether or not we are ready and able to have something like this successful. Sikhs have such drastically different perspectives and opinions that it would have to be a very open and communicative group of Sikhs. There would have to be some type of theme or topic that could be VERY focused. When the time is right these types of things will be able to happen.

      Right now I think it is possible to have small working groups of like minded Sikhs who can do something like this together. It doesn’t have to be a HUGE group. I actually find that it’s easier to make decisions and get things done if the “leadership group” is small, and then this group invites in general sangat who wants to take part.

  7. M Singh says:

    This is a disease within our community and its not going to dissapear. We talk about ego in sikhi, some sikhs have egos large enough to move mountains!!

    It’s sad that they could not collaborate and Kanwar Singh, your post sounds all to familiar, in Birmingham, there are probably 7gurudwaras in the space of a mile and it makes you sick to think that our community is amonst the wealthiest but they also love throwing money around to show off but have no real aspiration to do anything for our youth.Why can’t they build free gyms where the sikh youth have a building block to meet and can be the perfect base to learn from each other? Or why not spend the money on real projects with clear goals and objectives?

    I find it funny that the new sikh channel who have copied the original name and programme have pictures of Gurumustuk on their front page and are broadcasting the sikhnet film festival without consent and furthermore going against the original channel which was fully supported by sikhnet!! I love how they copied the colour scheme of the website and logo just to put even more confusion in the minds of people like you and me!

    I just pray the future generations have a little more intelligence and a little less ego!

  8. Indy Singh says:

    Sat sri akal, I agree with you.

    There needs to be missionary work done not deliberately trying to convert people to sikhism but like make people more aware of Sikhism via media and stalls and yes tv channels it can be done easily by web streaming on net. The more Sikhs there is in America the more congregation you have and the more income via charity you will get to fund any programs to benefit the community.

    The Muslims and Christians are good at this, but Sikhs are too slow then wonder why so many ignorant think were Muslim terrorist talibans and attack us for no reason. Their needs to be more awareness more reaching out, even our own Punjabi youth most of them are lost in drinking, drugs and pre-martial sex these days. But slowly they are waking up with active preaching to the people via social networking sites..and backing up arguments via Sikh scriptures and history being drummed into them…

    As for the Sikh channel its a shame there is this division but if one group is being ignorant and egotistical then their should be a central Sikh body that can decide these matters without taking it through the UK legal courts.

    BTW Happy vaisakhi to all brothers and sisters hope you all had a good one.

  9. Jaspal Singh says:

    Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    It is all about money. If Britasia were really doing “seva”, then they would have joined the Original Sikh Channel Team.

    Nowadays, people, especially so called Sikhs who call themselves Khalsa’s, Singhs and Kaurs, all have their own Dera type Baba Agenda. We have dozens of Gurdwarey within a space of mile or two, dozens of radio stations, all claiming the same thing, all to collect money.

    This is nothing more than business setup to make themselves rich.

    In my opinion, these people are not Sikhs.

    Until we fully accept Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as our True Guru and I mean truely realise that it is not just a book, as many people see it, until then, the Panth will not move forward.

    Give it time, there will be plenty of new channels, AKJ Channel, Snatan Sikhi Channel, Nanaksar Channel, Ramgarhria channel..etc.

    All promoting their personal dera baba agenda.

    Gurumustuk Singh Ji, if I was you, I would not allow britasia permission to use any material for their use, especially your pictures.

    But, I guess it is good that I am not you. hehe.

    I get too emotional.

    Forgive me if I have offended any dera people here….but its the truth.

    Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    • Jaspal Singh, Let’s not jump to these conclusions. There are always two sides of the story. There are definitely some issues with how this has played out, but there are lots of genuine people involved with both channel projects that are just there to serve and make things happen.

      Hopefully things can be worked out, and at the very least communication stays open. As soon as you start a “he said..she said” it just turns to a defensive type argument about motives and who did what, when. Ultimately it’s not about any person. It’s for the Sangat, but it DOES matter what the plan is and whether it was thoroughly thought out and planned. Running a 24 hour channel is no small task and will require many full time dedicated individuals to sustain, (not to mention raising the funds to keep it going).

      To start any channel (just like any business) one should have a detailed plan laid out.

      There should be enough programming already produced and ready to go in advance before a channel is started.

      There should be a plan as to who and how content is produced.

      The plan should include lots of programming that is REALLY relevant to Youth. Just posting T-Series Gurbani videos, nitnem and Punjabi Katha is not enough in my opinion. It needs to be fresh and totally new.

  10. Harmeet Singh says:

    There’s a lot of politics that has gone in the background as to who had the original idea for the Sikh Channel. It’s best to stay out of the politics and see the Tamashaa between the two unfold! In the meantime, I’d advise to make content available to both groups!

  11. A. Singh says:


    The ORIGINAL idea for the Sikh Channel has been going since 2006 called the Sikh Channel and it was going to launch this time last year – WAY before Charanpreet Singh started his project for The Sikh Channel…

    Proof :

    Notice how the regestration date reads Feb 2008?

    Please, if you dont know the true facts, dont comment.

  12. Barinder says:

    I watch the BritAsia channel and when the adverts came on for the sikh channel I thought to myself, this is going to be good especially as pictures were shown of some people from the SikhNet website-giving the impression that they were involved in this channel. The channel aired on the 14th and so I had a look at the programme listings for the day. Gurbani explained and Sikhs in the 21st century looked interesting so I watched them. I was really disappointed as nothing was in english. I can speak and understand punjabi but the stuff on this channel is way out of my league. The videos they have on this channel are like home made ones-I don’t really want to see random people sitting in a Gurdwara! I’d much rather just go to my local Gurdwara. From what I’ve seen so far little effort has been put into this channel or maybe the people involved in it don’t really know what they are trying to achieve. It has been rushed.

    Basically this channel is not geared towards the youth at all-more towards people like my mom. I am about to graduate from uni soon (hopefully) and I can tell you that todays sikh youth in the UK are getting out of control. The long term ‘survival’ of Sikhi depends on the youth. This is an important issue that needs to be addressed and the ‘sikh channel’ certainly is not helping. For now, we’ll have to depend on websites such as SikhNet (which is doing a good job by the way-really connects with the youth without the overwhelming punjabi influence).

  13. This is pretty lame. I’m glad Gurumustuk Ji that you were able to present your concerns and inform people about this. And unlike the way so many others (especially online!) handle disputes, you certainly handled this in a mature way, without identifying or personally attacking specific people. Also you offered a solution and a sincere hope that the two can work together.
    My guess is that there are great people involved in both, but there is probably one specific man (less than 1% chance it’s a woman) at the new channel who just has to have the pride of starting the first Sikh channel, and who will vehemently oppose the move to work together. Their lack of creativity and plagiarism is really appalling. I hope there are enough people on the new channel who can be humble and push for a collaborative effort.

  14. EKTA says:

    It’s a shame that such divides exist in the panth, this doesnt just include these particular Sikh Channels, its in our Gurdware (blatently) and within our own communities (you have AKJ lot, Jatt lot, Ramgharia lot, Nanaksariya lot, and too many more to mention in this little space)!

    It’s just plain wrong, have we forgotten the very basic teachings of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, to treat all of humanity as one and we can’t even live the dream of Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji, of eradicating caste and indifferences… sickening to know that much of these divides exist in Sikh people…

    HOWEVER, i have to say with much passion and belief, if we want to tackle these issues in the UK, we need to address them and its GURBAANI that unites us all! Also, if we are to learn anything about Sikhi, we need take a look at how the great Sikhs of New Mexico are living it, how a great saint such as Siri Singh Sahib revived and reminded people of what Sikhi is really about as the Guru’s seen it… So what’s with the punjabi Sikhs? I’m a punjabi Sikh and I believe we can learn a lot from them, for which I believe the actual Sikh Channel that is live now needs their full support on (which they have supported until all this confusion came about)!

    Going back to another post that was made regarding the ‘supposed’ plagarism that has gone on with the LIVE Sikh Channel, it is VERY important to say that if you don’t know the full facts then there really is no need to comment. The original idea was already there way back in 2006 by the same people who now have the Live channel and lets just say that I don’t like to make any judgements so I wont comment on the situation with the supposed ‘original’ Sikh Channel (thesikhchannel not .. confusing, yes indeed! If the ‘original’ person who ‘supposedly’ had better motivations/intentions for the Sikh Channel really believes they can make a difference, I think they NEED to get involved in this collaborative effort….. Wouldnt you agree?

    We can ponder over this situation for many more days, months and years even, it wont make any difference… The difference we can make now, if Sikhs genuinely believe they want to and can, is by taking advanatage of this wonderful opportunity that has been presented to the UK Sikhs and by making whatever contribution to the LIVE Sikh channel that they can…. My belief is, the difference can only be made by promoting Gurbaani to its full and by having insprirational people such as the New Mexico Sikhs on there…. Let’s pull our fingers out and make a difference Sangat Ji!!

    Need to get our facts right about who copied who (not that is actually matters to be fair), the Sikh channel that is Live now is great and there is an IMMENSE amount of effort being put in MANY individuals involved in it and I personnally will support to my fullest, due to the benefits i can see it bringing to our disingrated Sikh Panth, the question is WILL YOU support it (Guru ke Pyare of UK)? Or will you just sit around debating who copied who (which based on the above posts, people have got wrong in the first place, less said about that the better though)?!

    Sincerely, Pul Chuk Maaf!


    P.S. Gurumustak, your hard work for the Panth is truly admirable, you truly are inspirational!

  15. Jeevan Singh says:

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
    Waheguru ji kee Fateh.
    I dont want to sound petty or start an arguement.. but the sikh channels first plans came in 2006. The guy is doing it through true love and sewa.
    We are brothers, lets not fight against each other, lets support each other, make one fantastic channel with each others ideas and support. Im sure there will be others to come, now one has started, like gurudwara. Why not if they are teaching us about sikhi and helping us through sikhi. Please stop the divides in sikhi.

  16. Kuldip Singh says:


    The UK Sikh Channel is not just an example of opportunism by dubious entrepeneurs but also by contributors.

    It is becoming clear everyday that this is just a way for the owners of BritAsia to misuse Sikh sentiments and divert money. Equally the channels is surrounded by psycophants and discredited people. Those same people have over the past 25 years failed and misled the community now use the channel to get exposure. As someone said those that the sangat had expelled from gurudwara stages can now be found on the TV!

    How sad that this marriage of convenience between these opportunists is now portraying itself as the voice of the Panth!

    Beware! Khabardar


    K S

  17. Gur-Jeveen Singh Dhaliwal says:

    What Channel number on SKY can I see the Original Sikh Channel.?

  18. sonia says:

    I only found this article today because my friend told me that both BritAsia and The Sikh
    Channel were in trouble because they'd been asking their viewers for money.

    I should point out that my comment is not about the new Sikh Channel (hadn't even heard of it before today), it's about the old one that is on Sky 830.

    I didn't know that that in itself was illegal if it was done as fundraising because channels like the BBC do that, but then I suppose that money DOES go to charity so unless TSC was set up as a charity then it would be in trouble.

    I think it's disgusting that the guy who owns TSC thinks it is ok to rip his viewers off, I bet a lot of the people who give money are the older/more "innocent" people who think that channel needs it and don't know that the money is going to other sources.

    What really annoys me is how they always have a little picture up saying that their channel has 4/5/6 hours to live and then it's still on TV the next day?!

    I only got suspicious of the money raising thing after watching the channel with my grandparents. The channel needed £10, 000 afloat and they had raised about £4k, I watched it again a bit later on the same day and they had only raised £2k..what's going on there?!