Caste, Sikhi, and Undelivered Promises: Sikh Research Journal’s Interview of the Poetic Justice Foundation


  • Dr. Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra (Sharn)
  • Meena Hira
  • manmit singh
  • Anita Lal



caste, oppression, discrimination, diaspora, equality, brahmanism, Dalit, Jatt, Chamar


This is the edited transcription of an interview with Anita Lal, Meena Hira, Dr. Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, and manmit singh by Drs. Harleen Kaur and prabhdeep singh kehal (Co-Lead Editors of SRJ) that took place on September 20, 2023. In this conversation, they reflect on caste and caste violence in Punjabi and Sikh spaces by exploring their collective journey towards advocating for caste abolition within the framework of Sikhi. The panelists map out the current movements against caste violence in the diaspora and offer insights based on their current and ongoing organizing efforts to confront the silence of caste in Sikh spaces. The panelists discuss how this issue is crucial because it addresses the persistent yet frequently unacknowledged problem of caste and caste violence within Punjabi and Sikh communities. The panelists believe it is vital to actively challenge and advocate for the abolition of caste discrimination, aligning with the principles of equality and justice in Sikhi. They emphasize the urgency of this discussion in the current context, recognizing a growing awareness and movement against caste violence, particularly in the diaspora. This moment offers a pivotal opportunity to confront these deep-rooted issues and foster a more inclusive and equitable community. The full recording of the interview is accessible through the following link.


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Author Biographies

Dr. Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra (Sharn)

Dr. Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra (Sharn) is a Historian, exhibit curator, storyteller, and founder of Belonging Matters Consulting. She is a passionate activist, building bridges between community and academia through museum work, and has been featured in the Knowledge Network series “B.C: An Untold History,” as well as been featured on local, and international podcasts and media.

Meena Hira

Meena Hira is a fourth-generation settler in Canada, she was born and raised in Victoria, B.C. Meena is a future Clinical Counsellor upon completing her Master’s in Counselling Psychology at Adler University. Meena has many years of experience working as a social worker, mental health support worker, and a mental health advocate. Meena is passionate about mental health, social justice, and healing generational trauma.

manmit singh

manmit singh (they/them) is a student in the Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice PhD program at the University of British Columbia. As a Sikh, their investments are in their Guru Sahib's directive to be a sant sipahi, translating to "saint-soldier" or "sage-warrior," and are also a community organizer committed to both spiritual and political liberation.

Anita Lal

Anita Lal is a fourth-generation settler, born and raised in British Columbia. She is the co-founder of Poetic Justice Foundation, a social justice organization, where she creates impactful and transformative programming to inspire and engage the South Asian community in change-making. Her approach is always inclusive, intersectional and critical; she draws attention to biases, inequalities and oppressive systems of casteism, racism and discrimination.




How to Cite

Sandhra , S., Hira, M., singh, manmit, & Lal, A. (2024). Caste, Sikhi, and Undelivered Promises: Sikh Research Journal’s Interview of the Poetic Justice Foundation. Sikh Research Journal, 8(2), 5–23.