Keeping America Secure
Gurutej Singh Khalsa
Founder Akal Security, Inc
Gurutej Singh Khalsa Founder Akal Security, Inc
In about fifteen minutes the queue had almost become hundred meters long, with men and women holding their plastic plates. A prayer was recited and lunch followed. Post langar, while some of the members of the commune headed for work, some decided to enjoy the afternoon sun in the garden, and some others could be heard making plans to play golf. I headed back to Gurutej’s office to collect my laptop and resume my work, though I was tempted to laze.
Evening caught up fast as I spent some time in the media section of the Akal office, scouting for interesting stories. Dev Dharam Kaur, a charming lady, assisted me in collecting reference material. Though enough newsprint has been dedicated to Akal, two stories in the New York Times remain important in the Akal story. If the front-page story in 1982, with Gurutej’s photograph at the Santa Fe racetrack, had put Akal in the reckoning in the East Coast; the story in 2004 with Daya’s picture had celebrated their success, practically labeling them the best in the business. The New York Times, in its piece by Leslie Wayne mentions how the Akal group has built up trust at the federal level as well as state level over a long period.
When questions were raised about their integrity after Akal landed its first big contract in 1986 to protect the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Senator Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat from New Mexico, had risen to Akal’s defense to say that these people were friends and that ‘they were good Americans doing a good job’. The article also speaks of how Akal has developed a comfortable relationship with leaders of both major political parties. Federal election records also show numerous political contributions to both parties from various Khalsas of Espanola, in amounts ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, along with $14,000 in contributions from late Yogi Bhajan. Donating at the state level, Akal gave $10,539 to Governor Richardson’s 2002 election campaign and thousands more to the New Mexico Democratic and Republican parties.