Sangat TV logo
|Launched||1 September 2010|
|Owned by||Sangat Trust|
|Astra 2F||12522 V 22000 5/6|
|Part of a series on|
Sangat TV is owned by Sangat Trust, a registered charity backed by gurdwaras from the UK and from other individuals. The channel is an open platform for the Sikh sangat to express their views independently. Programming includes educational material on the Sikh gurus and Guru Granth Sahib. The channel originally broadcast on SKY EPG number 847 but was later moved by SKY to 836.
West Midlands riots
Sangat TV came into prominence during the West Midlands riots of August 2011. The presenter Upinder Randhawa notably broadcast live from the streets of Birmingham from the first day of rioting in the area, Monday 8 August 2011, to provide accurate, live information and broadcasts. Coverage was extended to the surrounding areas such as West Bromwich and Wolverhampton the following night. The channel's coverage was used by BBC News, ITN and Sky News as well as international stations such as CNN, Fox News and NDTV 24x7 to show what was happening in the area.
This coverage included sequences of guerrilla journalism, most notably footage of the reporting team transporting a police officer in their vehicle in pursuit of looters while live on air. The popularity of the coverage led to Sangat TV presenter Upinder Randhawa's Twitter following jumping from 600 users to about 4,000 users in one night, as well as having over 4,000 followers to a fan page on Facebook called "Upinder Randhawa from Sangat TV is a Legend". Prime Minister David Cameron hailed Sangat TV's contribution as "an example of a media company's commitment to social responsibility". On 10 August 2011, Ofcom said it had received one complaint about the previous night's coverage of the riots, in relation to alleged incitement to violence over comments urging people to get out on the streets and protect their property.
In 2016, most the staff of Sangat TV had mostly resigned due to the poor treatment, underpay, where the staff were paid as little as £600 a month for doing a 40 hour a week shift. The channel then has lost most of its programming and it ran as a registered charity with Charity Commission of England and Wales with charity number 1139995.
In August 2016, word went round that Sangat TV would be moving it's base from Edgbaston, Birmingham to Southall, London in a bid to get better content and volunteers to run the channel. Sangat TV had been taken off air and moved to London by the Sangat Trust's trustees in November 2016 without the knowledge of staff and staff were then ordered to begin work in London. The only 2 staff had rushed to London to get the channel up and running within 48 hours and then resigned.
Sangat TV's trustees started a £200,000 charity appeal to cover costs in January 2017 from their viewers who had cut their support as Sangat TV lacked quality programming. With difficulty managing to gather £100,000 in March 2017. It is said that the Sangat Trust have not ever been able to manage the Channel properly and have constantly verbally abused the staff and wages have either never been on time or not fully paid. RSA Assosiates, Sangat TV's accountancy firm gave a statement saying that there have been shortages and money flow issues.
Ofcom / Broadcasting Issues
Sangat TV was fined £30,000 over a debate in which guests supported an assassination attempt on a former Indian Army General. Kuldip Singh Brar , who lead the army attack on Akal Takht in Operation Blue Star in June 1984.
In 2015, The Ofcom Broadcasting Code was broken when Sangat TV continuously aired a song hailing 'Sukha Jinda', two criminals who robbed a bank with justification that it was an advert from Dharam Seva Records. The complainant considered that the video glorified the actions of two Sikh nationalists Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha (“Jinda” and “Sukha” respectively). These two men, who were members of the Khalistan Commando Force, were hanged in 1992 for the assassination of General Arun Shridhar Vadiya, the Chief of the Indian Army responsible for Operation Bluestar in 1984. They were also found responsible for the murder of two Indian politicians.
Ofcom upheld a complaint made by Dr Parvinder Singh Garcha. The programme, which aired in September 2014 included a live debate in advance of an election for a new committee to run the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Southall, West London. At the end of the debate two videos were shown. The second video also included the claim that money had been stolen from a donation box in the Gurdwara during a period when the Baaj Group was in control. Ofcom noted that the decision to include the second video was made by the presenter during the course of the programme and that Dr Garcha said that he had left the studio before at the end of the debate (i.e. before the video in question was shown). However, in Ofcom’s view, it is reasonable to expect that before making such a decision, a broadcaster would be familiar with the content of any material it planned to broadcast. Ofcom considered that the Baaj Group was treated unfairly in this respect in the programme as broadcast.
- "Confusion over Sikh religious channel launch". Biz Asia. 1 September 2010.
- Huma Qureshi; Mark Sweney (10 August 2011). "West Midlands riots: Sangat TV gets to the heart of the action". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- "Sangat TV switches to Birmingham riots coverage". Biz Asia. 9 August 2011.
- "UK Riots 2011: Sangat TV Praised for its Heroic Live Coverage". International Business Times, August 11, 2011
- "Should Asian media follow Sangat TV's coverage?". Biz Asia. 10 August 2011.
- Jiten Karia (12 August 2011). "Riots turn Sikh TV channel into global hit". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
- Caroline Gall (12 August 2011). "Sangat TV's guerrilla journalism wins fans amid riots". BBC News. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
- "UK riots: British sikh TV presenter now a Facebook hero". Daily News and Analysis. Indo-Asian News Service. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
- Ashis Ray (13 August 2011). "Live & raw: Sikh TV channel wins kudos for coverage". Times of India. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
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