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Sikh Studies professor left university under cloud of sexual harassment

By Anju Kaur | April 22, 2017

Among the numerous confidential files released in late February and early March by the University of California to the Associated Press and other news organizations was the 2013 investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Gurinder Mann, the Kundan Kaur Kapany Professor of Sikh Studies at UC Santa Barbara.

The university concluded that Mann created a hostile educational environment due to verbal and physical harassment of his female student at his home, and that he had behaved sexually inappropriately with many students for many years with some claiming assault.

Department faculty heads had known about these complaints and did nothing, witnesses said. His students said they were expected to be his chelas, or disciples, and Mann their guru. Mann told university investigators that he also had learned at the feet of his gurus and also sat with them on their beds.

Mann cannot be a Sikh because he followed cult leaders known in India as gurus, sants, babas or yogis.

Mann retired in 2015 and began his own Sikh studies program in New York.