A note on our obituary on Harbinder Singh Rana

Sunny Hundal
2:14pm, 13th January 2019

At the end of 2018, it came to my attention that Harbinder Singh Rana, one of the driving forces behind the respected project 'Anglo Singh Heritage Trail', had passed away.

I didn't know much about him but he sounded like a significant figure so I invited Dr Gurnam Singh to write an obituary for Barfi Culture.

It was published here: http://barficulture.tv/people/428

But I should have done my research properly first, because it seems he has a chequered history. In 1986 he was found guilty of five counts of indecent assault, 11 counts of assault causing actual bodily harm and one count of attempted assault. He served four years in prison.

I generally believe in not speaking ill of the dead and these events took place over 30 years ago.

But many women also say that sexual assault is taken too lightly and frequently brushed under the carpet by desi men, and I agree with that too.

So I can understand some of our disappointed readers, who wrote to say we had glossed over his past. I certainly think the obituary should have done more to mention his past, but I didn't write it. Those are Dr Gurnam Singh's opinions and he has a right to his view.

I wanted to post this note to explain my thought-process and apologise to those who feel we glossed over his past crimes. Sexual assault should be taken seriously and not brushed under the carpet as it frequently is.

So the mistake was mine and I take full responsibility for that. This has been a learning experience.

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Deven Verma
4:04am, 14th January 2019
Too early to write an obituary for barfi culture.

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