Sikhism at a glance: A religion transported

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Pictured on the February 2018 cover of Overdrive is Racchpal Singh Dhillon, one of many Sikh truckers who went to Washington, D.C., to protest the ELD mandate last year. Dhillon came to the United States in 2004 from India and quickly earned his CDL. In 2014, he started his own company, OnTime Trans, based in Noblesville, Indiana. He now owns and

operates 16 trucks. His wife, Nancy, immigrated
from India in 2012 and now handles OnTime’s
accounting, paperwork and management.

Previously in this series: Into the limelight: Sikh truckers in America

The Sikh religion was founded in northern India in the 15th century. Sikh (pronounced “sick”) means “disciple” or “learner.” Traditionally, Sikhs believe in three basic principles: meditating on the name of God, earning a living by honest means and sharing the fruits of one’s labor with others. Sikhism rejects caste and class systems and emphasizes service to humanity.

Initiated Sikhs are required to carry or maintain what they call the Five Ks: Kesh (unshorn hair covered by a turban), Kara (steel bracelet), Kanga (small wooden comb), Kacchera (undershorts) and Kirpan (a tiny ceremonial dagger). The five articles signify commitment to the faith and its ideals of love and service.

Other facts about Sikhism:
• It is the world’s fifth-largest religion, with 25 million adherents globally.
• Sikhs have been in the United States for more than 100 years and now number roughly 700,000.
• Sikhism is a religion distinct from Hinduism and Islam.
• Sikhs believe in one God and freedom of religion.
• Observant Sikhs abstain from meat, alcohol and illegal drugs.
• Sikhs cover their hair with a turban, representing a commitment to equality and justice.
• 99 percent of people wearing turbans in the United States are Sikhs of Indian descent.


Also in this series: 

The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the 2022 edition of Partners in Business.
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