A bright light in a spiritually dim society

Bhai Manvir Singh, born in 1985 is a chaplain by profession, while being equally engrossed in his efforts to educate young Sikh minds

Religion, historically, has been a controversial topic. The controversy-inducing sectors have always used religion in a manner that gives uprise to anarchy and social disturbances. Very seldom is someone seen trying to bring religion closer to the followers who have wandered away from its path in a streamlined manner. Even though individuals claim to be of a particular faith, it can never be ascertained. Nowadays, religious values are being lost and are no longer mirrored in one's personality. An individual that is doing continuous efforts to bring the Sikhism faith back into the hearts of all its derailed followers is, Bhai Manvir Singh.

Hailing from Oxfordshire, Bhai Manvir Singh was born in 1985. He is by profession a chaplain while being equally engrossed in his efforts to educate young Sikh minds, pursue his research, and be a faith consultant for all Sikh followers. In the past, religion was a major part of one’s personality as it is portrayed in one’s personal beliefs as well as values as a human being. As time progressed, religion gradually digressed, becoming just a minor title an individual was provided with after being born. Active practice for one's religion is becoming less relevant as modern practices and trends gain dominance. This was of alarming concern for Bhai Manvir Singh when he started his difficult journey to bring religion back in the picture for the UK-based Sikh communities.

Recently religion has lost its precedence in its follower's minds because of the growing social pressure that comes with being part of the modern world. Even Bhai Manvir Singh was ignorant of the importance of being religiously devoted in his earlier years. As a child, Manvir, similar to other kids, only cared about having fun, ignoring all religious teachings. As he grew up, he even styled and cut his hair, which violated the Sikhism faith. It was not until he matured a bit more that the importance of embracing Sikhism and abiding by the law of Kesh (unshorn hair) dawned on his mind. It was after this that he got engrossed in becoming more religiously enlightened.

As a part of his religious journey, Manvir decided to choose a more humanitarian and religion-concentrated education. He secured his Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Philosophy from the Associateship of King's College, after which he secured his MPhil in Sikh studies. Currently, he is pursuing an MPA in Faith Leadership. His educational experience gave Manvir extensive insight into Sikh history as a religion and a community. He came to know the shortcomings plaguing the Sikh community and started his endeavors in filling those gaps through personal work.

His first formal written contribution to Sikh Academia was when he published a thesis on 'An ethnographic study of the concept and development of the Gurdwara in the UK. This was an innovative academic study that brought light to the Gurdwaras situated in the UK. This publication brought immense strives in understanding the evolutionary cycle of the British Sikh community. Even Knut A. Jacobson, a renowned scholar of the history of religions and professor at the University of Bergen, appreciated Manvir's thesis. Jacobson has stated that a Gurdwara is a foundation of the Sikh community but still has been given minimal attention. Manvir's thesis intrigued Jacobson and even got Manvir's research a mention as one of the two most praiseworthy studies of the Sikh culture.

Bhai Manvir Singh focused his efforts on the young minds as they were the future of the Sikh community. The main reason religion is vastly lost to the newer generation is that there are no religious authorities to which they can relate. As time passes, new problems and hurdles emerge which hinder the religious growth of young minds. Many religious leaders nowadays only describe how to follow a religion overlooking the new problems that hinder proper practice. This becomes the main reason many of the younger generations become disconnected from their faith and go down a different path the poisonous society lays down for them.

The Sikh scholar, addresses these issues through in-depth guidance and consultation. He does whatever is required to connect with the youth and understand the daily issues faced by them. Only by understanding what ails a patient can the correct prescription be issued. Manvir Singh puts all his concentration in diving deeper into the troubles faced by Sikh youth and gives them religious adequate answers and solutions to those problems.

Only through considerate understanding and relating with the youth can one guide them towards the religious path, and Bhai Manvir Singh is perfectly doing this.

Disclaimer: No Deccan Chronicle journalist was involved in creating this content. The group also takes no responsibility for this content.

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