We are fortunate to have institutions that take care of our community’s interests. Among them is the Young Sikh Association. It not only organises events and spearheads initiatives with the wider Singapore community, but also provides platforms for youth to step up and lead such efforts. Among these efforts is a recently published book Sikh Voices Volume I: Traits of Future Sikh Leaders.
Launched on 11 November 2017 at the Sikh Voices Conference, the book comprises essays written by three generations of Sikhs who share their thoughts on what it would take to be a future leader of the Sikh community in Singapore.
Set to be an annual publication, the inaugural book was edited by Alisha Gill and Malminderjit Singh. The duo built the idea for the book after identifying a gap in thought leadership and strategic analysis on community issues and worked hard to present essays by writers from a variety of backgrounds. One of their aims was to produce a resource for our community to understand the demands and hopes placed on the leaders in our community.
While the book may have focused on leadership traits, the arts and artists were not left out of the mix. Internationally renowned poet and scholar Professor Kirpal Singh shared six traits that he believes are vital for an effective leader (honesty and forthrightness, awareness and courage, knowledge and wisdom). Entrepreneur Harveen Singh Narulla argued that future leaders will need an appreciation of the arts — “the arts give us meaning and context, and provide depth and enjoyment to our lives”. He also reminded readers that the Sikh Gurus were themselves deeply involved in the arts.
We at Afsana are hopeful of our community’s future and of our community’s appreciation and support for the arts. We hope that more members of our community continue to explore the arts and share with us their endeavours to showcase their creative energies for all to benefit!