Published On: Fri, Feb 7th, 2014

Some Famous Sikhs

Manmohan-singh3Manmohan Singh

  • The 17th and current Prime Minister of India.
  • Considered to be one of the most qualified and influential figures in India’s recent history, because of the economic liberalization he started in 1991 when he was Finance Minister.
  • The first Sikh to become Prime Minister of India.
  • Manmohan Singh has a doctorate from Oxford University. He is the most educated Indian Prime Minister in history.

Monty Panesar

  • Mudhsuden Singh Panesar, popularly known as Monty Panesar, plays for the England cricket team.
  • He is the first Sikh to represent a nation other than India in cricket.
  • He is a crowd favorite in England, and many English fans have worn patkas and beards while watching Panesar play.
  • Nicknames for Panesar include ‘The Montster’, ‘The Python’ (as in Monty Python), ‘The Beard to be Feared’, or most popular ‘The Turbanator’.

Waris Ahluwalia

  • Actor who has played a number of roles in commercials and Hollywood films, including The Life Aquatic and The Inside Man.
  • Waris is also a popular jewelry designer and owner of the House of Waris jewelry brand.

fauja-singh-famous-sikh-marathon-runner-record-holder_thumbFauja Singh

  • Fauja Singh is an over 90 year old marathon runner.
  • He holds a world record as a runner in his age bracket.
  • In 2004 he was featured in an advertising campaign, ‘Nothing Is Impossible’, for sportswear manufacturer Adidas.
  • While running marathon races in London, New York and Toronto, he raised money for various charities promoting Sikh culture around the world. He has also raised money for a charity dedicated to the care for premature babies.

Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany

  • Widely acknowledged as the father of fiber-optics.
  • Dr. Kapany has over one hundred patents. His research and inventions have encompassed fiber-optics communications, lasers, biomedical instrumentation, solar energy and pollution monitoring.
  • He is a Fellow of numerous scientific societies including the British Royal Academy of Engineering, the Optical Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Named one of seven ‘Unsung Heroes’ by Fortune magazine in their ‘Businessmen of the Century’ issue.

Amrit and Rabindra Kaur

  • Amrit and Rabindra are contemporary British artists of international standing.
  • Their paintings address contemporary subjects in a detailed, decorative style inspired by the tradition of Indian miniature painting.

Rabinder Singh

  • The first judge in the United Kingdom to sit in the high court wearing a turban instead of a wig.
  • Rabinder Singh co-founded the Matrix Human Rights Law Chambers with Cherie Blair, wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair.
  • He holds a Bachelor of Laws with first class honors from the University of Cambridge and a Master of Laws from the University of California (Berkeley).
  • Also thought to be the youngest person to sit as a judge in the U.K. high court.

Baltej Singh Dhillon

  • First Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer allowed to wear a turban and unshorn beard.
  • Graduated from the RCMP training academy in Regina (Saskatchewan, Canada)

Gurbax S. Malhi

  • First turbaned Sikh to be elected to the Canadian parliament, the Canadian House of Commons. He was first elected to parliament in 1993.
  • Canadian law prohibited members of parliament from wearing headgear of any sort in the Commons. Malhi’s insistence on wearing a turban caused the law to be changed shortly after the election.
  • Malhi has introduced numerous Sikh ceremonies to the Canadian Parliament (including an annual Akhand Path and a Diwali celebration).
  • He was also instrumental in having the government of Canada produce a postage stamp bearing the khanda symbol.

Snatam Kaur

  • Snatam Kaur is an American singer and songwriter.
  • She is a popular New Age artist, selling over 70,000 albums a year.
  • Snatam Kaur’s albums have topped New Age Retailer’s Top 20 lists every year since 2004.

Surinder Kaur


  • Surinder Kaur (1929–2006), was an Indian singer and songwriter.
  • She sang mainly Punjabi folk-songs, where she is credited for pioneering and popularising the genre and later was known as the ‘Nightingale of Punjab’
  • Surinder Kaur recorded her first song in 1943, which she sang with her elder sister Prakash Kaur.
  • She recorded more than 2,000 Punjabi songs over her lifetime.

Nuvraj Singh Bassi

  • Nuvraj Singh Bassi is a defensive lineman who plays in the Canadian Football League for the Montreal Alouettes.
  • He made history as the first turbaned Sikh in the league.

Simranpreet Singh Lamba

  • The first Sikh to become a non-medical enlisted U.S. Army soldier since the 1980′s without shedding his turban.
  • Lamba was recruited for his language skills.