29 August 2007
Growing up in my Dad's family, one of his strictest rules was to look at an issue from at least two, and usually more, viewpoints before taking a stand. This was much practiced at our dinner table when we would be in a hot dispute about something, anything, and Dad would suddenly shout: 'Switch!' That was the signal to start arguing, with equal vigour, the opposing point of view. His theory was that you couldn't really understand anything, if you didn't understand the other side. And who knows, maybe the other guy will turn out to be right. Narrow mindedness is unSikh.
Another of his strict rules involved kindness. There might be times when kindness is uncalled-for - I think of us in Delhi, for example - but in general, you should be kind. Unnecessary unkindness just adds to the pain in the world and accomplishes nothing positive. And is unSikh.
My last post violated both principals. I saw something and reacted - immediately - purely on an emotional level. I felt as if I had been kicked in the stomach, that the dead bodies of my family lying at my feet were being treated as meaningless, in short, I took this whole thing very personally. (If Vini were here, she would never have permitted me to be so harsh.)
Let me be clear: I cannot condone changing one's religion for reasons of expediency, no matter what religion from or to. I think these parents are making a grave mistake. But I do not doubt that their daughter's welfare is their utmost concern. Clearly, she is loved and cherished, as all daughters should be, and her parents are acting from love.
Perhaps their local sangat could send someone who, like myself, survived the tragedy of 1984, who had family members murdered for being Sikh, to talk to them and show them the brilliant jewel that is Sikhi and help them see what it is they are throwing away. These parents need to be taught, not insulted and reviled.
So Mr. B Singh and Mrs. B. Kaur, I apologise for my harsh words. Now please, if you will listen to me, for your own sakes as well as your lovely daughter, reconsider.
To CK, whose comment made me rethink this: I believe that it is very Sikh to stand up and say 'I was wrong.' Thank you for pointing out my misbehaviour. I will be more careful and kind in the future. Mai
(Suni and Vini had nothing to do with that post)
21 August 2007
Is this what our shaheeds, including my family, died for?
From The Daily Mail
20 August 2007
Sikh Girl Will Convert For A Place At Catholic School
By PAUL SIMS - More by this author » Last updated at 23:18pm on 19th August 2007
The parents of a Sikh girl want to convert her to Roman Catholicism to win a place at the school of their choice.
Baljit and Bal Singh say they will change their four-year-old daughter's religion if it means she can attend their favoured school next month.
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Maya Kaur's Sikh parents are considering changing her religion in the hope she may be allowed into the Catholic school
Maya Kaur has been attending a nursery at St Paul's Roman Catholic School in Wolviston, Cleveland, for the past two years.
But her parents have been told there is no place available for her when she starts full-time education in a few weeks.
After losing an appeal, the couple say they are seriously considering changing her religion in the hope she may be allowed into the school, which gives priority to Catholic children.
Mr Singh said: "We think Sikhism is similar to Roman Catholicism so we put her in that school. She's been there for two years, she goes to church with them, she says a prayer before she eats her dinner.
"I'll baptise her as Roman Catholic so she can go to the school."
St Paul's admissions policy gives priority to children who have been baptised Roman Catholic, have been formally received into the Catholic church and live in the catchment area, or who have a sibling at the school. Priority then goes to other Christian denominations before children of other faiths.
The Singhs' extraordinary proposal is likely to be frowned upon within the Sikh religion, which takes some of its identity from ancestors who were persecuted and martyred for refusing to convert to other faiths.
Among the stories taught within the faith is that of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth of the founding gurus of Sikhism who was beheaded in 1675 by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam.
The Singhs insisted that they were doing nothing wrong in trying to get the best for their daughter.
"Two years ago when they took her into the nursery why didn't they say she wouldn't get a place straight away in the primary school?" said Mr Singh.
"I would have got her baptised then - or I'd have put her in another school."
Maya has been offered a place at William Cassidi School, a nearby Church of England school. But her parents claim she is upset and wants to remain with her friends.
Catherine Connelly, head at St Paul's, said the school had received 34 applications this year, compared to the norm of 24. The class size had also been expanded to the legal limit of 30.
"We are proud of our school's inclusive nature and we have children of several different faiths and ethnic groups," she said.
"We allocated the places according to our published admissions criteria which all parents had access to."
I don't know how to tag this: Disrespect, Ingratitude, Stupidity, Ignorance...?
Maybe the parents will come to their senses and quit being pushed around by a four-year-old girl, however pretty and charming. After all, this story is all over the Net today.
Or maybe the Church will refuse to sanction such a fraudulent conversion. Nah, I'm dreaming!
MAYA AND FAMILY: WHY TRY TO FIT IN WHEN YOU WERE BORN TO STAND OUT?
From BBC News, the Catholic Church responds:
A diocesan spokesman said it welcomed adults who wanted to become followers of Christ's teachings, but that children were "another matter".
He said only parents who are themselves Catholic Christians could make such a commitment for their child.
The vice chairman of the UK Sikh Federation, Jagtar Singh, said children should be allowed to choose their own religion when they were old enough.
He said: "When a child is born, the parents try to bring up that child on the basis of what they think is best.
"So if they practice any particular faith they are likely to bring that child up in that faith, knowing the child will make their own decisions when they grow up.
"They may choose to not believe in that faith, move to another faith, and that will be the individual's choice."
18 August 2007
This is not what I usually do, but this time I feel the need.
There is a website that I often visit and have bookmarked on my browser. I have found it both useful and interesting. Last night I tried to access it from this blog while on another computer and discovered, much to my dismay that I had never entered it in the list of links.
So my good young sisters and brothers in British Columbia, I am most sorry for this oversight. Look on the link list. You are now listed!
16 August 2007
Few survivors have written their stories. That's understandable; it's a horrible, painful chapter and to write is to relive.
Here are a couple of links about some others survivors of Delhi '84. The first, by a young man with cerebral palsy is especially moving to me. Revisiting 1984 by Amrit in the Writing Cave
Here are eighteen short eyewitness
accounts. These are brief, but contain a lot of information. Not for the squeamish.
This story is about a reporter who was a witness to Trilokpuri, a poor section of Delhi inhabited at the time by S ikhs, Muslims and Hindus, where some of the worst violence occurred.
This picture of the dog eating the roasted man is from Trilokpuri.
I am adding these gruesome links just as evidence that our stories, while more personally told than most, are not really unusual. I was going to put some more links, but I think this is enough to make my point and, frankly, I've had enough of this for now.
Read and weep.
WHY TRY TO FIT IN WHEN YOU WERE BORN TO STAND OUT?
Reprinted from sometimes - 2
I am also adding a new link to the post: We Will Never Forget What Others Don't Even Know Happened . This includes a rather long article about what happened, from a Sikh newspaper. It's not really our personal stories, but it's well worth your time. If you're just looking for our stories, jump down to #1, below.
Suni and I have wracked our brains trying to decide the exact date we actually fought in Delhi - and we keep being unable to be sure. It must have been Nov. 3 or 4, but it might have been Nov. 2 or 5. It really was that confusing and traumatic to us.
I have, I think, gotten our stories from 1984 in order, so I'll start there.
- The Last Time I Saw Amritsar - Early June, 1984
- Suni's Story - Early November, 1984
- Hindu Gods And Other Things - Early November, 1984
- (Shaheed) Mandeep Singh Khalsa - Mani - Sometime in 1969 - Early November, 1984
- Aftermath - Early November, 1984
- Conclusion - Not a story, but this needs to be here
- Vini Speaks - 1926 - Present
- Suni's Statement - Early November, 1984
- More Mani - April, 1984
- (Shaheed) Sandeep Singh - February 14, 1971 - Early November 1984
- Delhi Again - TWENTY-TWO YEARS AND NO JUSTICE- June, 1985
- A Fairy Tale - Late 1985
- Details - 4 November 1984 - This is a recently written post, in answer to someone who felt the need to know exactly what happened, .that day.
08 August 2007
SIKH PROTEST RALLY 15TH AUGUST 2007 LONDON
On India's 60th Independence Day Sikhs Will Protest Agianst India's Continued Human Rights Abuses Agianst SikhsORGANISED BY FEDERATION OF SIKH ORGANISATIONS- SIKH FEDERATION UK - DAL KHALSA UKPLEASE SPREAD THE WORD TO FRIENDS FAMILY AND OTHER GROUPSATTEND THE RALLY OUTSIDE THE INDIAN EMBASSY ON 15TH AUGUST 2007 FROM 2PM - 4PM
...Please forward to your contacts, websites and blogs...
03 August 2007
I came across this article in The Gurbani Learning Zone, a Yahoo group. We found it very interesting, stating a lot of facts we have seen in different places, all in one article. We trust that people reading a blog called The Road To Khalistan will not find it too very controversial. We hope you find it interesting and informative:
15 August marks India's Independence Day and prolongs the suffering of the Sikhs. We are clear about our nationhood, but it is denied by the Indian State and the Indian political class which are not prepared to allow us basic rights.
Sikh sacrifices for freedom
Prior to independence Sikhs were less than 1.5% of the population, but their contribution to the freedom struggle was immense. 77% of those sent to the gallows were Sikh as were 81% of those sentenced to life imprisonment. During the Quit India Movement many indiscriminate arrests were made and Sikhs contributed 70% of the total Punjabis arrested. More than 60% of the 20,000 who joined the Indian National Army were Sikhs.
100-150 million refugees resulted from partition in August 1947 with 40% of all Sikhs becoming refugees. Partition resulted in up to 2 million people being murdered and another 10-50 million being injured.
Sikhs betrayed and promises broken
India's founding fathers gave numerous solemn promises that the Sikhs freedom and dignity would be safeguarded. Jawaharlal Nehru said that "the brave Sikhs of Punjab are entitled to special consideration. I see nothing wrong in an area set up in the north of India wherein the Sikhs can also experience the glow of freedom". These promises were conveniently forgotten after independence and the Sikhs were dismissively told by the same Nehru that the "circumstances had now changed".
Sikhs have rejected India's Constitution
Mahatma [Mai's note: Can we call him 'Mohandas,' his name, and drop this spurious title?] Gandhi and Nehru gave the Sikhs assurances that after India achieves political freedom no Constitution shall be framed by the majority community unless it is freely acceptable to the Sikhs. This promise was repeated throughout the period up to independence. When the Constitution was produced in 1950 it failed to deliver any safeguards or political rights for the Sikhs as a people or nation. The Sikhs therefore refused to sign the Constitution and have never accepted it. Article 25 even denies Sikhism, the fifth largest faith in the world, separate recognition as a religion – an affront that is widely seen as a deliberate act of suppression of the Sikhs.
Demands for greater autonomy were dismissed
The Indian authorities have systematically discriminated against the Sikhs since 1947 and subverted or suppressed all legitimate political demands for greater autonomy. The Anandpur Sahib Resolution of 1973 set out the basis on which the Sikhs were prepared to accept a political union within India, as a federal state. This demand for internal self-determination was pursued through decades of peaceful protest and attempts at negotiation with the central government. The demands were never seriously considered and given the history of the conflict between the Sikhs and India since 1984, this would now be too little too late.
Gross violation of Sikh human rights
In the last 30 years the Indian authorities have unleashed a rein of terror through gross violation of human rights of Sikhs in an attempt to extinguish the calls for freedom and Sikh independence.
In June 1984 the Indian army attacked the Golden Temple Complex and 125 other Sikh Gurdwaras in Punjab and massacred tens of thousands of innocent Sikh pilgrims. This laid the foundation stone for an independent sovereign Sikh State, Khalistan.
In November 1984 tens of thousands of innocent Sikhs were massacred in Delhi and over 130 other cities throughout India by well-orchestrated mobs under the direct supervision of senior Indian politicians and officials.
Over 250,000 Sikhs have been murdered and disappeared since 1984. Many Sikh political prisoners still languish in Indian jails without charge or trial and others have been falsely charged and sentenced to death by hanging. Illegal detention and torture of Sikhs is common place and well documented by independent human rights organisations.
Sikh nationhood and independence
Sikhs first secured political power in the form of an independent state in 1710, after suffering centuries of foreign invasions and alien domination. The larger sovereign Sikh state was established in 1799 and was recognised by all the world powers. The Sikhs, after the two Anglo-Sikh wars, lost their kingdom and the Punjab came under British rule in 1849. However, in giving up power Sikhs were party to several Treaties with the British.
Sikh Federation (UK)
WHY TRY TO FIT IN WHEN YOU WERE BORN TO STAND OUT?