31 May 2007

March and Rally in Remembrance of Shaheeds

This message is from the comments. We are posting it here because we know that not everyone reads and comments and sometimes, blogger isn't cooperative about displaying them.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Thank you so much for sharing your memories of the time and for helping to inform the world about the atrocities against Sikhs from personal experience.

I know that there are some, including the Indian State and its agents; as demonstrated by the attempts to censor Amu; who would rather that we forget about these and subsequent events.

However, this will not happen due to people like yourself and the increasing awareness of these events. The Sikh Youth of today is increasing becoming aware of the atrocities and they will continue to fight for justice.

Every year the UK sangat has a march and a rally in remembrance of the Shaheeds (http://solarider.org/blog/index.php?s=1984) and this year the main event will be held on the 3rd June 2007.

Posters and details are available on my blog (http://solarider.org/blog)

Ive only just discovered you blog but I have taken the liberty of linking to it from mine and I hope that many many more people get to read your experiences.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Thursday, 31 May, 2007

26 May 2007











“Why should young people know a history that is


buried and forgotten?”

17 May 2007

Respect and Our Gurus


This is an incredibly hard post for us to write. We had agreed among ourselves to stay out of current controversies; the purpose of this blog is to help in the healing and unity of our people after the traumas of 1984. We cannot, however, let this current 'unpleasantness' pass without comment.

I, Mai, tend to be a hothead. Everyone who knows me knows that I prefer direct and immediate action when a problem arises. When I saw that joker impersonating our beloved Guru Gobind Singh Ji, my blood boiled. When I realised he was preparing a phony amrit, I was ready to have another stroke. I got on the Inter net immediately with Suni and Maman.

Cooler spirits prevailed when Maman posed the question, 'How would Guru Ji himself respond to this?'

We're not really sure, but we have trouble seeing him engaged in street brawling and burning of effigies. We just cannot see him as part of a murderous mob. With good reason, we are taught to control our anger.

To us, the most disturbing aspect of this whole situation involves the 'c' word. You know, the one every Guru from Guru Nanak Dev Ji to our current and eternal Guru Ji condemns. The word that keeps cropping up in news accounts. Who are these followers of Dera Sacha Sauda? Over and over, we read that they are LOW CASTE SIKHS. Truthfully, being a hot head, whenever I see 'dalit Sikh,' I want to puke.

Perhaps we need to ask ourselves why some people find this movement so attractive. Might it be that some of us are still practicing castism within our own lives and attitudes? Would this not be hurtful to not only those from 'low castes,' but also to those who commit this wrong? Perhaps this blasphemous religion - I won't call it a sect - would not be such a magnet if all felt really welcome in every gurdwara and in every langar hall. Please check out this link.

For this idiot fool to disrespect our dear father in such a buffoonish way, is one evil thing; for us to disrespect our dear father by practicing this horror of castism is, in our eyes, after much reflection, worse. Let us again be Kaur and Singh, drop the castism that has crept back into Sikhi; become pure Khalsa sisters and brothers, the daughters and sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, children that he will look on with pride.

So what to do? Keep a cool head, certainly boycott everything concerning Dera Sacha Sauda and follow the teachings of our own Khalsa Panth. Our kirpan is a noble and sacred gift to be used as a weapon only in the most extreme of circumstances. Each individual has to answer for her/himself if this is truly such an occasion.

If we are wrong in this, we stand open to correction. And we apologise in advance if we have hurt anyone's sensibilities. We speak only from the love of our Gurus, our faith and our people.

Let us pray for a successful solution to this situation that will preserve and raise the dignity of all of Waheguru's children.

With love,
Vini, Suni and Mai

(Now I hold my breath and push the PUBLISH button.)

11 May 2007


This letter appeared in our in boxes a few minutes ago. I would like to encourage anyone in the New York City area who is able to, please make the effort to go to see this movie on the weekend of May 25. I have read quite a bit about it around the Net, all positive.

'One picture is worth a thousand words' and one movie worth a million, if people actually see it.

I received an email last week where a reader of this blog, a young Indian, who told me that before reading this blog, he only knew that 'some sardars were killed.' Here is a chance to put our story before the world, to be heard and seen and, who knows, maybe understood.

Please, if you can, go to AMU during its opening weekend.


I wanted to introduce myself - my name is Bedabrata Pain (Bedo). I am the
producer of the film called AMU, directed by my wife Shonali Bose. AMU is based
on the 1984 carnage in Delhi. AMU is a product of long years of fight for
justice. What happened in November 1984 was nothing but an act of State
Terrorism - where every single branch of Indian state was involved either in
acts of commission and omission.

AMU will be releasing theatrically in NY on May

Please visit our website http://www.amuthefilm.com/.

I saw on your blogsite that your family was victim of this event. My
condolences with you, and even more my support for your struggles.The genocide
in 1984 certainly set the stage for similar acts of state terrorism to happen
all over India with impunity, but the events of 1984 to this date remain outside
popular consciousness - both in India and the world. And so long events like
this remain hidden, everybody remains vulnerable to this cycle of violence by
the state.

Having carried out protest marches and vigils, having written pamphlets and
leaflets, it has become clear to us that there is no medium larger than a film
to bring this issue to the attention of the world. At least, it gives us a
platform to talk about the issue, which otherwise remains absent. As an
independent film, we rely upon the word of mouth and power of the Internet to
spread the word about this. Additionally, if people
don't come to the theaters in the opening weekend and the theaters aren't full -
the theaters won't keep us running. So,it is extremely important to bring people
to the theaters on the opening weekend itself.

Your assistance in this matter will be greatly appreciated.

If you have any ideas of how to reach out to the community, please let me

If you are interested, I can send you some more materials with the
information on its release in NY.

If you need, I can send you additional information.Best regards,--


Producer, AMU

07 May 2007

KPS Gill Interview

Before beginning this post, I feel the need to apologise for it. To me the subject is even more distasteful than the previous post about torture. However I do believe in the old saying to 'keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.' I believe that this [man] is one of our greatest enemies of recent years. Dare I call him a traitor to the Sikh people?

I refer, of course to 'Kill Punish Strangle' Gill.

'Encounters Should Happen, If Required'

"However, it is not okay to stage encounters. But even they do happen, and should not," says the former Punjab police chief.

Bhavna Vij-Aurora interviews K.P.S. Gill

The man largely credited with crushing militancy in Punjab, K.P.S. Gill is a strong advocate of a proactive role for the police in fighting terrorism and organised crime. During his tenure as the Punjab police chief, his officers and men were given a free hand in cracking down on Sikh militants. He talks to Bhavna Vij-Aurora about encounter killings.


How does one explain encounters?

Police officers become totally cynical. There is a sense of disenchantment since
they get to know so much during the course of their professional work. When the
conduct of judges themselves is questionable, the police officers begin to
think, who will implement the laws, who will protect society....

So, they bump off a 'terrorist' because they think he will not be punished by the country's courts..

.No, I am not saying that.

"Mistakes can happen while fighting terror, organised crime. The officer's
motives must be assessed...."

But the criminal justice system has to be strong, quick and effective to deal
with the people arrested. The primary function of the judicial system is to
protect society, not so much to punish criminals. The latter is only one of the
instruments to achieve the former. Everything
boils down to governance,
which includes an effective justice system. All countries have special
legislations to deal with terrorism, mafia and organised crime. In India,
unfortunately, if you have TADA, it is opposed; if you have POTA, it is opposed.
In the West, terrorism cases are decided in months, or at the most in a year or
two. Here, it took the courts 14 years to start reading the prolonged judgement
of the 1993 Bombay bombings

. Can encounters be discouraged, do cops necessarily have to be trigger-happy?

In my experience in policing, I have not come across any police officer who
is trigger-happy, who will kill just for the sake of it. Encounters should
happen, if required. If a terrorist or a criminal fires at the police, one
cannot expect the police personnel not to respond. There are situations when the
police have to open fire in which people may get killed. However, it is not okay
to stage encounters. But even they do happen, and should not.

Why is it that some police officers come to be known as 'encounter specialists'? Do they get carried away by the hero-like status given to them?

It is only a few states that have seen encounter specialists. Mumbai
Delhi and now Gujarat. I cannot really say why they have come up
only in
these places. Perhaps because of the prevalent situation and nature of
crime. About hero status, the press has a major role in building them up as
iconic figures. The police have to give a correct picture of the encounter,
the press should report it in a responsible manner.How should one deal
mistaken identity encounters where innocent people are killed by the
fighting militancy and organised crime, mistakes are bound to
happen. Take the
(May 1997) shootout case in Delhi's Connaught Place where two
businessmen were
mistakenly killed by the police; the cops are still facing
trial for it. A
similar thing happened in London after the 7/7 bombings,
when an innocent
Brazilian immigrant, Jean Charles de Menezes, was shot by the
police. Nobody
raised a hue and cry over that incident, and the officers
responsible have
subsequently received promotions and there is no stigma
attached to their
action. It's important that the intentions and motives of
the officers are
correctly assessed in such cases.

So how must the authorities act against police officers caught in fake encounters or those of mistaken identity?

The police must be given a free hand to enforce the laws as they stand on
the statute, and should be taken to task if any fake encounters occur. Mistaken
identity encounters are an entirely different matter, and there are laws to deal
with these.

It is important that everything does not get politicised. The police
chief—DG or CP, as the case may be—should be allowed to determine whether the
encounter was fake, staged or real. He should be able to stand by his men when
the action has been taken in good faith. It's only if glaring shortcomings are
found that the government should come into the picture and take the perpetrators to task.

From: Outlook India

03 May 2007

Has the Need For Khalistan Passed?

While I am awaiting the outcome of a brother's biopsy, I have been revisiting somr blogs I haven't read in a while. This is reprinted from The Confused Khalsa Rambles. I have myself briefly been a guest of the Punjabi police, but I have been told that 'it's not like that any more. Do tell.

Is that true and do we need a country for our nation as a place of refuge. I believe this article answers that in a resounding YES.
Be warned: the following pictures are not for young children.

Torture main reason of death in police custody: Study

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 12

Deadly facts about torture during interrogation in Punjab have come alive in a study on custodial deaths by the Institute of Correctional Administration. As many as 50 per cent of the police officials talked to have admitted that third degree methods are used against the suspects due to social and political pressures.

The study, carried out by the institute’s deputy director Dr Upneet Lalli, has further revealed that need for conducting speedy investigation is another reason. “There is a pressure (on the cops) to perform as also pressure to conform”, the report says. For the purpose of the conducting the study, as many as 150 police officials were talked to.
The report adds: Lack of accountability and almost total immunity enjoyed by the police until recently accounts for the fact that 58 per cent of them feel there is no sense of shame in cops accused of torture. Only 27 per cent say their colleagues feel bad about the use of force to effect confession and recovery.

“There seems to be no clear cut message from the top about intolerance to torture as 18 per cent feel their seniors will feel bad. Another 27 per cent have opposite to say,” the report asserts. Just 10 per cent of the police personnel are aware of the guidelines issued by the National Human Rights Commission on custody-related issues. Only 12 per cent are correctly able to specify the Articles of the Constitution dealing with the matter, even though a majority of them are aware of the Supreme Court verdict in D.K. Basu versus State of West Bengal case.

The voluminous 200-page study “Custodial Deaths and Human Rights Commission - an analysis of its role and prevention” has already been submitted to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission. Quoting the contents of the report, the sources in the commission say just one-fourth of the officers talked to admit consultation with their seniors or the relevant rules in case of doubt about their powers.

As many as 90 per cent police personnel from the state and even outside agree to the need for adopting scientific methods of investigations against the hardened criminals. “The main kind of abuse a person faces in police custody has been mentioned as physical (41 per cent) and mental (67 per cent),” it adds. “The main reason behind deaths in police custody has been mentioned as torture, medical negligence and drug addiction”.

Panjab Police - Case Study

Torture of Shaheed Bhai Avtar Singh Ji

Avtar Singh, a candidate for the Punjab Assembly brutally tortured (with hot iron and electric shock) and murdered by the Indian Police.Another example of the barbaric behavior of Indian Security forces.

This is the treatment Sikhs get in the so-called "largest democracy in the world."

Bhai Avatar Singh Ji, pictured below had received the following barbaric treatment for being a Sikh :

His abdomen was burnt by using a hot ironing-press.

His right fore-arm was cut open.

All the major bones in both of his arms were broken.

Hot pinchers were used on his wrists to poke burn his skin.
Hot Steel rods were used to burn the soles of his feet (not shown)

This is just one case, of literally thousands.

Amnesty International and other Human Rights Organizations have been crying out about these abuses for decades, while the Panjabi people like myself are living comfortably and whenever someone mentions a case of torture, or police brutality its taboo. We begin covering our ears, and try changing the subject.

We're basically ignoring a problem, like the ANI propaganda about drug abuses in current day Panjab.

These cases of torture are NOT a thing of the past, you just have to look at two recent detainee's Bhai Panjab Singh (UK) and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara. The only reason we hear about these cases of torture is because these people are 'high profile' Sikhs, many are still in jails since the 1980's WITHOUT TRIAL who are simply forgotten.

Singhs still in prison for 20+ years, and if they are released they're just hounded constantly in their old age. By contrast in Africa,

Nelson Mandela went to prison and became Prime Minister.

Sikh Women have suffered no less.

The only way these things are going to stop, is if we realize as a community, or atleast accept these things are happening. How can a problem be solved, such a huge problem, if we dont even accept it exists?

There have been many recent efforts to promote awareness of female infanticide, a problem rife in Panjab for centuries. It is only after accepting a problem that we can begin to address it.

Wake up, wake your families and friends up.

For you it's a short conversation, for another human being it could be freedom.

Feel free to forward, circulate or cut any part of this post.

2 comments Links to this post

02 May 2007

A Woman of Strength

A woman who is a fellow reader of this blog sent me this poem by an anonymous author. It inspired me and I hope it inspires you, too.

A Strong Woman

A strong woman works out every day
to keep her body in shape...
but a woman of strength
kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape...

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything ...
but a woman of strength
shows courage in the midst of her fear...

A strong woman won't let
anyone get the best of her ...
but a woman of strength
gives the best of herself to everyone...

A strong woman makes mistakes
and avoids the same in the future...
but a woman of strength
realizes life's mistakes can also be God's
blessings and capitalizes on them...

A strong woman walks sure footedly...
but a woman of strength
knows God will catch her when she falls...

A strong woman wears the look of
confidence on her face...
but a woman of strength wears grace...

A strong woman has faith that
she is strong enough for the journey...
but a woman of strength has faith
that it is in the journey that she will become strong...

Author Unknown

(We will joyfully acknowledge the author if we can find out who she is.)

Painting courtesy of Mr. Sikhnet,
through Daughters of the Khalsa
Used with permission