Pat McFadden, MP for Wolverhampton South East, has hailed as a “great success” the first lecture on Sikhi to be held in parliament.
The event took place in the Speaker’s State rooms on the evening of 24th April. It was part of a series of events organised as the first ever Sikh History and Awareness month. It was supported by MPs from across the political parties and attended by an audience of around 60 people.
The lecture was given by Dr Opinderjit Kaur Takhar, director of the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies at the University of Wolverhampton. Dr Takhar's chosen theme was “Guru Nanak and Feminism” and she discussed the commitment to equality in Sikhi and the challenges this posed for the practice of the faith today.
Following her lecture there was a lively and enthusiastic discussion in the question and answer session chaired by journalist, Kamalpreet Kaur.
Mr McFadden said, “We thought it would be a good idea to have a lecture on one of the key beliefs of Sikhi as part of Sikh History and Awareness Month. I was delighted when Dr Opinderjit Takhar agreed to come and give the lecture and her talk was extremely interesting and informative. Having the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies as part of the University of Wolverhampton is a great asset for the university and for our city. It provoked a good debate and the whole event was a great success. I am very pleased we were able to organise an event like this in Parliament and hopefully it is something we can do again in the future.”
Dr Takhar said: “I was very pleased to be asked to give the lecture in Parliament. I think Sikh History and Awareness month is a really good way to teach people more about the main beliefs of Sikhi. The debate about equality in Sikhi has much in common with similar debates that are taking place in other faith communities. This was also a good opportunity to show people in parliament what we are doing in the Centre for Sikh and Punjabi studies here in Wolverhampton.”
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