Jasvir Singh CBE
Family law barrister, media commentator, and social activist
Jasvir Singh CBE (History, 2001) is a family law barrister, BBC Radio 4 presenter, and co-founder of South Asian Heritage Month UK.
Singh has been working as a family law barrister since 2006. He first became interested in a law career at the age of eight, when he witnessed a family member experience a difficult divorce.
A practicing Sikh, Singh regularly lends his views to the Thought for the Day segment on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. He is also the chairperson for City Sikhs, a charity representing the interests of progressive Sikhs, and is regarded by many as one of the prominent Sikh voices in British public life. Singh’s experience of being an openly gay Sikh has formed an important part of his journey, and he is a passionate advocate for fellow LGBTQ+ people of faith. He is currently a trustee of Kaleidoscope Trust, a non-profit organisation that campaigns for LGBTQ+ rights across the world.
Singh played a pivotal role in the Grand Trunk Project. Launched in 2017, the project brought together South Asian communities in the UK to mark the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence, the creation of Pakistan, and the partition of Punjab and Bengal. The project also celebrates multi-faith communities, and the coming together of South Asians of different faiths and backgrounds. That same year, Singh was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 New Year Honours for his work in promoting community cohesion. At the age of 36, he was the youngest Sikh to hold that honour at the time.
In 2019, Jasvir Singh co-founded South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) UK. The festival runs from 18th July to 17th August each year; these dates mark pivotal moments in 1947, namely the day on which the Indian Independence Act gained royal assent, through to the announcement of the Radcliffe line which stated where the border would lie between India and Pakistan. SAMH celebrates South Asian culture and identity across the UK, while commemorating the past. In Singh’s own words, the festival helps ‘challenge much of the stereotyping, misogyny, racism and other forms of discrimination which exist within society.' SAMH was officially launched in 2020, in the wake of the first UK lockdown, and in 2023 it reached over 234 million people globally via social media alone. It brings together South Asian communities across the UK and beyond to celebrate their cultural identity and share their stories.
In 2023, Jasvir Singh was awarded a CBE in recognition of his outstanding service to faith communities, charity, and social cohesion across the UK. He was also the well-deserved winner of our ‘Alumnus of the Year’ award at the King’s Distinguished Alumni Awards 2023.