To All my Cyberfriends and Family:
For the next week or so I will be very busy with Bluestar/ Third Gallaghura activities and will not be readily available. If you do not see me online or if you see a 'do not disturb' red ball on chat, do not worry about me; I am fine, just very busy. Please respect the red ball if it is there unless you have a real emergency. Send an email and I will respond as soon as I can.
I am sending this out individually instead of in one mailing as I know many of you prefer to keep your addresses private.
All of you, please take care.
Talk to you later.
Love and hope,
Most of the replies I got were along the line of 'yeah, sure, I understand, no problem.' One I got, however, I found very disturbing:
From: (A 23 year old Hindu man in Amritsar)
This response made me angry and I had no intention of continuing the correspondence. But a few days ago, he sent an e-mail and I decided to let him know that he was out-of-bounds, as he didn't seem to realise he'd done anything wrong. (OK, I do tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I sent him a copy of my note and his response and told him simply that his laughing was highly offensive because 'some things just aren't funny.'
I received this response: (I have changed the form a bit because his style of writing is distinct, and I didn't ask for his permission to reprint it. but it is exactly what he wrote. Highlighting is mine.)
OK, see, this is a very old e-mail, so I don't exactly remember why did I write this...
but maybe because of your obsession with this Bluestar phenomenon...
As such we here [in Amritsar] didn't observe any such day...and you are so far away...not even a citizen of ours considers it important...so I may have laughed...laughed not at the deaths of innocent people...but of your attitude of bringing this thing up every now and then
or maybe I laughed to see that red balls thing you wrote about being busy...
I don't remember...it's got to be one of two reasons...or maybe both...
But as I write I am more convinced it was the former one...
But no offence meant...
Mai, you need a break really about this Bluestar thing...because where it happened...those who suffered...those who were at the forefront... they've forgotten...and moved on...
I saw just today a report on NDTV...couldn't find you a link...They showed how children of former terrorists are becoming doctors and engineers...
Now you take care of your health, OK?
But I meant no offence that day!!...OK, Ji.
Remember, this is a letter from AMRITSAR. Is it really possible to ignore this bloody massacre in our capital city? Have those demons running the Indian government really done their work so well that this young generation can pretend it never happened and believe that the people it happened to have 'forgotten and moved on'?
And this young man hasn't an inkling that his whole response is insulting and condescending and offensive in the extreme.
I am publishing this because I think it is important that we have some understanding of the young Hindus today in the Punjab. This deluded young man thinks he is our friend. He has even sent me snaps of himself with arms draped over the shoulders of his turbaned Sikh friends. If this is the attitude the sympathetic ones, one can only imagine what the majority think.
I am sorry to post something so offensive, but I think we need this kind of information. To anyone I have offended, please accept my apology in advance.