According to the British Sikh Report:
According to the report, British Sikhs are clear net contributors to the British economy and have a strong entrepreneurial drive, with about one in three British Sikh families (34%) owning a business in the UK. Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Opposition, comments, “The Sikh community is one which has made an immense contribution to British society over many years. I welcome the British Sikh Report 2014 for the insight it helps to provide to the community.” David Cameron, the Prime Minister, comments, “The British Sikh community is one of the most hard-working and successful groups in the UK, contributing so much to our culture, economy and way of life. I commend the British Sikh Report 2014 for its continuing efforts to engage politicians in dialogue on matters concerning the British Sikh community.”
Battle of Saragarhi Bravery During Battles
The Battle of Saragarhi was fought on 12 September 1897 at the North West province of India between twenty-one Sikhs of the 4th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment defending an army post against 10,000 Afghans. All 21 Sikhs fought till the last bullet had been fired against the Afghan army. Twenty one Sikh soldiers then charged with their Kirpans to be eventually cut down to pieces. The easier way out would have been to surrender but the spirit of Sikhs has always made them do what Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru had said, “Grant me this wish, O Sword. I may never fear to stand up for righteousness. I may not fear when I go to war. If my defeat is definitive, I may die fighting in the battlefield for the sake of righteousness”.
“Sikh settlement to Britain can be traced back to
1854 when the 15 year old Maharaja Duleep Singh,
the last King of the Sikh Empire, was brought to
England following the annexation of the Punjab
by the East India Company. Sikhs fought in strong
numbers in the First and Second World Wars, with
83,000 Sikh soldiers giving their lives in service of
the British Army. The Sikh community (collectively
referred to as the Panth) has made a significant and
huge contribution to British Society, both historically
and in the present day.” British Sikh Report
Victoria Crosses via BBC
“Sikhs have played an important role in the British Army for 150 years,” he said.
“In both world wars Sikh regiments fought for the British all over the world, even on the western front in the First World War and they distinguished themselves very well.”
He said Sikh soldiers had won Victoria Crosses.
However, it is a contribution which many Sikhs in the UK believe is largely unrecognised, which is why author Jay Singh Sohal believes events like this are important.
“British Sikhs, third generation, fourth generation can take inspiration from the fact that their forebears fought for Great Britain,” he said.