Sikh Gurus’ Portraits Removed from Los Angeles Bar

UNITED SIKHS International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA) Team received an email confirmation from the Pikey Bar and Café Management detailing that the portraits of the Sikh Guru’s have been removed from the Bar as of October 1st, 2013.

After learning of the portraits, UNITED SIKHS first wrote to the Bar management on August 29th, 2013 expressing deep concern and anguish of the community. We explained to them why this act is so disrespectful, and asked for immediate measures to be taken to address it. Specifically, we requested for removal of the portraits, and offered to have them transported to the nearest gurudwara.

Pikey Bar and Restaurant management responded by removing the pictures of the portraits from their website, but did not acknowledge receipt of our communication. After numerous follow up communications and on being unable to solicit a response, UNITED SIKHS created an online petition on behalf of the Sikh community. The petition requested the Pikey Bar and Restaurant management to respect the religious sentiments of the Sikhs by removing the portraits of the revered Sikh gurus from the Bar. It informed the management that to hang the portraits of the Sikh gurus in an establishment serving alcohol is a sacrilegious act.

A few days after the petition was launched, the Pikey Management contacted UNITED SIKHS Staff Attorney Manmeet Singh and confirmed that the management had decided to take down the pictures. After numerous back and forth communications and much convincing, Singh received a call last night from Mr. Abraham Beltran, Special Projects Manager at Committed Inc., the parent company of Pikey Bar and Restaurant, informing that the portraits had been taken down. In an email sent today, Mr.Beltran summarized our conversation confirming the removal, and shared the attached picture which shows that the portraits are no longer there.

“UNITED SIKHS is humbled to successfully address another issue which had deeply hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs. In future, we hope business establishments will be more considerate of, and sensitive towards religious sentiments of every community” said Manmeet Singh.

We would like to thank Mr.Abraham Beltran and the management of Pikey Bar & Café for understanding the sensitivity of this issue, and taking the right step.

Our heartfelt gratitude to S. Parminder Singh of Buena Park for informing us about this issue, the community and individual activists who have written to and called the Pikey management directly and signed the petition