Hardy Sikh prayer book revived after 100 years

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Provided by the Defence Sikh Network, the modernised Nitnem Gutka is designed to be hardy so it can cope with use on operations…reports Asian Lite News

Waterproof and tearproof, the Nitnem Gutka (Sikh Daily Prayers) is designed to be used in modern tactical environments. Nitnem translates to Daily Routine, and the collection of Sikh meditations will allow Sikh personnel to practice their faith at 3 different times of the day, wherever they are and in any conditions.

There is a long tradition of Sikhs carrying their religious text with them into conflict. In World Wars 1 and 2, Sikhs made up 20% of the British Indian Army. Over 120,000 Sikhs died and many more were injured from the trenches in France to the Jungles of Burma, and records from the time show Sikh troops with their prayer books in the deserts of Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Provided by the Defence Sikh Network, the modernised Nitnem Gutka is designed to be hardy so it can cope with use on operations.

Maj Daljinder Singh Virdee, who led the project, said, “I was inspired to undertake this initiative when I saw old images of Sikh soldiers conducting their prayers in uniform. It has been a two-year journey to get to this point but makes all the efforts worthwhile knowing that Sikhs in UK Defence no matter where they serve across the world in whatever conditions can connect to their faith and find spiritual support through this Nitnem Gutka, for generations to come”.

The project has opened the door for other faith communities in Defence to create a similar product, such as the Hindu Gita.

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