Akal Takht to honour Dr Bains

He will be the first to be recognised as 'Sikh Scholar of the Computer Age', writes Gurmukh Singh.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 13:31 IST

Dr Rahgbir Bains is on a laurel-winning spree and it looks like there is no stopping him.

It was only a few months ago that this Indo-Canadian was given the 'Order of British Columbia' (OBC) for his contribution to promoting Canadian multiculturalism by propagating Sikhism through multimedia, and for his commendable work on drug abuse in India and Canada.

The Sikh scholar will add yet another feather to his turban on January 10 when the Akal Takht, the highest spiritual and temporal authority of the Sikhs, bestows the title of "Sikh Scholar of Computer Age" on him.

This title is being conferred on any Sikh in the world for the first time. It carries a silver memento, a gold medal, and a citation appreciating his distinguished services.

"I am very happy to become the first Sikh in the world to be given this honour," says Dr Bains.

Hailing Bains for his pioneering work, the jathedar of the Akal Takht says, "During the growth of computer technology, such innovative and visionary people are an asset not only to the Sikh society but also to the entire human race. We welcome his dedication towards spreading Sikh tenets through multimedia technology.

This is a befitting honour for a man who single-handedly put the Sikh religion and its glorious history, customs and traditions on the information super highway when he created the world's first CD-ROM Encyclopaedia on Sikhism in the 1990s.

His devotion to the cause can be gauged from the fact that he had to sell a part of his property in Canada, where he had moved from Punjab in the 1980s, to pay for his travels to about three dozen countries to complete the encyclopaedia.

The Akal Takht at the Golden Temple in Amritsar is the supreme spiritual and temporal authority of the Sikhs all over the world. Since its inauguration by Guru Hargobind, the sixth Guru, the Akal Takht has been shaping the religious, social and political destiny of the Sikhs.

It recognises for the first time ever exceptional individuals or groups who have made efforts to promote the message of the Sikh Gurus in the world by devoting personal resources and time.

After completing the encyclopaedia, Dr Bains undertook work on the world's first 'Multimedia Sikh Museum' at Khadoor Sahib near Amritsar.

"We procuredrobotic technology from NASA in the USA and used the latest Liquid Crystal Display Touch Screen technology to launch this 'talking museum' in three languages - Punjabi, English and Hindi,'' says Dr Bains, who has also authored many books in English and Punjabi.

In Canada, Dr Bains is known as an advocate of inter-race relations. His exemplary work in multimedia has made him a role model for the youth. His long-cherished wish, he says, was to put the Sikhs on top in the list of the latest- technology users in the world. And he has succeeded.

Dr Bains is equally committed in his crusade against drugs, prostitution and AIDS. He has organized and addressed youth camps on drug menace in various countries, starting with Africa where he studied the spread of AIDS.

Bains had recently organised a huge rally against drugs and AIDS from the Akal Takht.

He is the recipient ofthe Order of Khalsa, the Order of Sikh, the Vashesh Sahitya Award, the Bhai Gurdas Award, the Scholar ofSikh Literature Award, the International Dasmesh Award, the Good Citizen of Surrey (Canada), Wisdom of Age Mentorship award, the Information Technology Volunteer Award, and Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal by the Government of Canada.

Born at Manak Dheri, Hoshiarpur, in 1936, Dr Bains is an MA from Punjab University, Chandigarh, and an LLB from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. He has also received a Ph.D on World Religions and World Culture from a university in the US. Further, he is trained as a counsellor on alcohol and drugs from the US and Canada.

First Published: Jan 09, 2006 11:38 IST