He is the first member of the House of Lords to wear a turban.
14th September 2011: Migrants are making it big in the UK. And, the latest to make them feel proud is Dr Indarjit Singh CBE.
Born in Rawalpindi, he came to the UK when he was just a year old. He has now gone on to become the first turbaned Sikh selected to sit in the UK’s House of Lords.
Dr Indarjit Singh says he is in all likelihood to be termed as Lord Singh of Wimbledon. And it is not because of his fondness for tennis, but that is the name of the London suburb he lives in.
Dr Indarjit Singh is a British journalist and broadcaster, a prominent British Asian active in Sikh and interfaith activities. He is also editor of the Sikh Messenger and widely known as a frequent presenter of the "Thought for the Day" segment on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, and BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought.
He also contributes to British and overseas newspapers and journals including The Times, The Guardian and The Independent.
He studied engineering at Birmingham University. Between 1955 and 1975 he worked in mining and civil engineering for the National Coal Board, for construction company Costain as a mine manager in India, and in local government in London.
Since 1993 he has worked for the Sikh community and is probably its best-known representative in Britain. He has advised, or been a member of, official bodies, including the Commission for Racial Equality and the Home Secretary’s Advisory Council on Race Relations.
He is Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations (UK) and regularly represents the Sikh community at civic occasions such as the Commonwealth Service and the Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London.
Prince Charles, Anglican bishops and the Metropolitan police have consulted him. He is prominent in the national and international interfaith movement, a patron of the World Congress of Faiths and an executive committee member of the Inter Faith Network UK.
He was invited to the wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton as a representative for the Sikh faith.
In 1989, he received the Templeton Award for services to spirituality. In 1991, he received the Inter faith Medallion for services to religious broadcasting. In 2004 he joined Benjamin Zephaniah and Peter Donohoe in being awarded an honorary doctorate (Doctor of Laws) from the University of Leicester.
He came second to Bob Geldof in the BBC Radio 4’s 2004 People’s Lord poll. An Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) since June 1996, Singh was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.
On 5 September 2011 it was announced that Dr Singh would be created a non-party political life peer on the recommendation of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.