Thursday, September 29, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

Wg. Cmdr. Harcharan Singh Mangat

Wg. Cdr Harcharan Singh Mangat was commanding the No.32 "Tiger Sharks" Squadron based at Amritsar, flying the Sukhoi-7 fighter bomber. He flew a number of interdiction and close support missions and also many photographic reconnaissance sorties, without fighter escort, deep into enemy territory. The information brought by him from the reconnaissance sorties was of great value to the Army, and the Air Force in their operational planning

Wg. Cdr. Mangat, led the first strike raid on Sargodha airfield on December 4th. While on a similar strike mission, his Sukhoi aircraft was hit and severely damaged by an Air to Air Missile launched by an enemy aircraft. But he pressed forward until he found that the other aircraft in his formation had also suffered serious damage. Despite this, he extricated his formation from the hazardous situation and led it safely back to base. On landing, it was found that his aircraft was extensively damaged and major portions of the control surface completely shot away. Only superb flying skill and courage of the highest order could have brought such a badly damaged aircraft back to a safe landing.

His leadership of the mission in these circumstances was outstanding. He displayed gallantry, determination and professional skill of the highest order which was recogised with an award of the Maha Vir Chakra.

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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Encyclopedias encapsulate accurate information in a given area of knowledge and have indispensable in an age which the volume and rapidity of social change are making inaccessible much that outside one's immediate domain of concentration.At the time when Sikhism is attracting world wide notice, an online reference work embracing all essential facets of this vibrant faithis a singular contribution to the world of knowledge.
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