31 October 2007

My Journal - Part One: Introduction, 29 November - 2 December 1984

Click here to read the whole unexpurgated journal.


Don McLean


This is lyrics from http://www.lyrics007.com/

I've got nothing on my mind: nothing to remember,
Nothing to forget. and I've got nothing to regret,
But I'm all tied up on the inside,
No one knows quite what I've got;
And I know that on the outside
What I used to be, I'm not anymore.

You know I've heard about people like me,
But I never made the connection.
They walk one road to set them free
And find they've gone the wrong direction.

But there's no need for turning back
`cause all roads lead to where I stand.
And I believe I'll walk them all
No matter what I may have planned.

Can you remember who I was? can you still feel it?
Can you find my pain? can you heal it?
Then lay your hands upon me now
And cast this darkness from my soul.
You alone can light my way.
You alone can make me whole once again.

We've walked both sides of every street
Through all kinds of windy weather.
But that was never our defeat
As long as we could walk together.

So there's no need for turning back
`cause all roads lead to where we stand.
And I believe we'll walk them all
No matter what we may have planned.


This is a journal I kept toward the end of 1984.

My nuclear family and I had gotten got in the (choose one or more:)

  1. The Anti-Sikh Riots

  2. The Anti-Sikh Pogroms

  3. The Second Battle of Delhi

  4. The Sikh Genocide of 1984

My husband, son, two brothers, two cousins ant my two unborn daughters were killed. Suni, my sister/cousin, her unborn daughter and I survived.

I was badly beaten and was in a coma for several weeks. When I woke up, I started keeping this journal..For me to journal is as natural as for me to breathe; it has been a part of my life from the time I first learned tom write.

The language and some of the sentiments expressed, especially toward Hindus, are pretty rough. I apologise for neither. Although I rarely use such language and I long ago stopped blaming 'the Hindus' for what happened, given the time and circumstances, I think both are entirely appropriate.

I do blame those who actually did the destruction, as well as those who instigated this bloody massacre, Mr. Jagdish Tytler comes to mind. While I bear no animosity toward those who did not participate, I do still look for justice, a few hangings, starting with the above-mentioned Mr. Tytler.


by Creedence Clearwater Revival

I see a bad moon arising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin.
I see bad times today.

Dont go around tonight,
Well, its bound to take your life,
Theres a bad moon on the rise.

I hear hurricanes ablowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.


Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
Looks like were in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye.


29 NOVEMBER 1984

Alain pretends it's all his fault.
[Expletive Deleted] so smug with his clean white turban, carefully brushed beard...I

want to rip the damned thing off his head, chop off his kesh ... pull the beard out by its roots.

All the pretense.

They have no idea.



You looked so happy.

Sandeep's broken neck bizarre angle

[Religious slur deleted]
Those -expletive deleted] metal bars..heat em red hot...give em a lesson in [expletive deleted]
[Religious slur deleted] on a stick.

Little puppets moving arms and kicking legs , roasting little [religious slur deleted]

[A whole lot of expletives and religious slurs deleted]

30 NOVEMBER 1984

OK, Ms. Mai, now write something rational. How about 3/4; that's rational.

Get control of yourself, lady. Lady? I want my DADDY.
DADDY? Your dead, too.

Dead, dead, all dead.
Alone, alone, all all alone
Alone on a wide,wide sea
And not a saint in heaven took pity on
My soul in agony.

Oh, hi, Daddy, I wanted to talk to you.
--I know, Princess. Is something amiss?
Yes, They've all been murdered. All. singing: Bert Singh and Ed Singh and Bilbar and Mohan, and Mandeep and Sandeep and Kaurs One and Two. I don't understand.
--The Hukam of Waheguru.
A torrent of profanity--Mai wife-widow of Gursikh Mandeep

cusses Waheguru and his [expletive deleted] Hukam --

--Quiet, Harinder, have you gone mad?
Daddy, you didn't see them. All the blood and the [expletive deleted] hit the fan and we fought and they died and I'm still here. Why aren't I with them?
--The Hukam of Waheguru.
I [expletive deleted] hate it.
--I know.
Daddy, I love him and they killed him.
--I know.
Both of them and your dead, too.
You never call me Harinder
--You need to remember who you are.
This is all delusion. I write I talk to ghosts. Why the ghosts of my Mani and our Sandeep. My pure, sweet, innocent son, so loving, so trusting, he really believed everything Mani believed everything. I believed everything. Now? Har. Inder. Too much name. Alone, alone, all, all...
Lilly is staring at me. Stop it, [expletive deleted]! Self-righteous Jain dog[expletive deleted]...you'd just watch em kill everybody, not lift a hand. Can ahimsa win against a mob of [religious slur deleted] eh, Lilly. Quit staring . just sit down and meditate on potatoes.



Today I will write about today.

Al is trying to be in charge. Poor boy just isn't the leader Daddy was. I hope he'll learn.

He apologised to me: 'Little sister, I'm so sorry this happened.'

THIS HAPPENED? THIS HAPPENED? What kind of bloody statement is that! Mani and Sandeep and Ed and Bert and Bilbar and Mohan and Waheguru knows how many more are dead or dying and he says THIS HAPPENED. [Expletive deleted] OK, I promised no profanity today.

Then he says, 'I'll never let this happen to you again.'

I couldn't help myself; I burst out laughing and laughing. Poor Al couldn't figure out why I was laughing, but he started laughing too and then all the others. Others. I'm never alone. People, people, people. Drs, nurses, visitors, long-faced turbans, everybody gotta gawk at me and cheer me up. Hahahahaha.

Suni and Hope. And Lilly. And the nihang over in the corner. They can stay. The rest just GET OUT!! But they don't hear me. I am so pumped full of narcotics that I can't think straight. Or see straight. I can't really see what I'm writing. The nihang is a hallucination. That's OK. He has a friendly look to him.

(Different handwriting: No he's really there. I can see him, too.)

That was Suni. But she is fanciful. She sees a real nihang ghost watching over us. Our guard. I see a narcotic hallucination. Doesn't matter. I like him, but I hate all these drugs. I bet they mixed tranquillisers with the painkillers. It has been over a month, they tell me. So I need neither painkillers nor tranquillisers. I must demand they take me off before I become a junkie. I'm still a Khalsa, eh? No drugs.

(2007:Something I haven't figured out. Yet. Have to keep trying.)

Suni is walking over to the nihang with Hope. I named her. Suni wouldn't let her be named until I regained consciousness. She could have gone nameless. Guru says she's an 'H'. Hope. Not Punjabi, but we need Hope now. They also call her Harjinder. She is talking to him. The nihang. He is smiling at the baby and kissing, yeah, kissing, her hair. That must mean something. A shared hallucination---we've both flipped out.

(This whole page was obviously wet. Tears, I suppose.)


Wonderful day today! Great day! I am now holding in my hand...

Al came in with a bundle. something wrapped in a saffron cloth. He hands it to me. Be careful, though, he says.

I open it. Two cloths, one torn white t-shirt material. one saffron chunni material or maybe turban or a sash. both really bloody. And all wrapped around my beloved H-T!!!. I had thought she was gone forever. Blade bloody, dried blood now.

Al says, We left it uncleaned. Thought you would like to do that.

No, no, no, no!!! No way, Jose! You don't clean your weapon in the middle of a battle. And this isn't over. And H-T is a weapon!!! No pious kirpan, razor sharp deadly...she did her job.

How did they get her?

Al says when the brahmins rescued us. I grasped them, wouldn't let go.

Then I knew the cloths..The white I had cut off the [expletive and religious slur deleted] (choke) gentleman, hahahahaha, I had killed. A lot of blood comes out of a slashed jugular vein. Poor baby. Teach him to go around killing Gursikhs. I soaked it in his blood. I'm not sure why, It was fun, though.

The other was Suni's chunni. I have ripped it off her and cut off a piece and then put it back over her hair.. I used it to wipe blood off Mani's face and my face too while I was talking to him before he died. Then I wiped Sandeep's face with it later. I was going to clean the blood off my hands, too, cause they looked like Lady Macbeth, but Mani said, no, those are the hands of a sant, not a murderer. They got washed off some later when I washed everyone's face.


I still see the Nihang staring at me. What does he want? Suni still insists he's a shaheed guarding us and I still insist he's a shared hallucination...How can we ever know.

They are cutting down on the narcotic because I insisted, but they have to take me off slowly. I've been getting IV drugs for almost a month. At least I can think a little more clearly and I'm not in pain at all. In fact, my whole body feel numb.

Do I need to take Amrit again?

I want to talk to Guru Ji.


See, I told the whole story an only cussed once.


31 October 1984









30 October 2007

Remembrance and Kindness

A Radical Suggestion

A few days ago, this letter came to the Gurmal Learning Zone, a Yahoo! group:

Guru Fateh Khalsa ji,
I am posting this Appeal to all the members in
this forum or group and to all the Sikhs in the World to Come Forward
and Participate in a Kindness Project in the World.
From the Tenth Guru
Nanak Dev ji to Guru Gobind Singh ji,the Life and Blood of Khalsa has
been of Total Kindness till today.

This request is to just let the World know
that Sikhs have been,are and will be in the Forefront when ever
Kindness and Compassion are Spoken of.

Here is a poem summing up Sikhs.
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone...
People,even more than things, have to be restored,
renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed;
never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand,
you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands;
one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Please Copy and Paste this Link in Your Browser:


Thanking You in anticipation.
Guru Fateh.
Harjit Singh Bajwa

That, in and of itself is an interesting and useful idea. Let's be kind!

I would like to expand on it a bit.

This coming week is not an easy one for us Sikhs as we remember the horrors of 23 years ago. When this blog was new, I was surprised that anyone had found it and having found it, actually read it. An anonymous reader left a comment I have never forgotten. In part, it said:

... The Sikh people have a very very fragile, tender, wounded part of their
heart.. labelled "1984." They will always, whether in public or private, want
some answers, or share some stories, to lessen the grief, to get some empathy,
to unite for justice.

I have a suggestion to make this time a little less difficult and painful for us. It is a little bit radical and I hope no one is offended by it. I call on every Sikh in every part of the world from 31 October to 7 November to be kind and considerate of every other Sikh. For these few days, let us drop our differences and our divisions and be a big, kind, loving family among ourselves.

  1. Mr. Singh 1. I am well aware that those fools running the gurdwara are making a mess of things and that Mr. Singh 2 is mismanaging the money, but is it really necessary to pull your kirpan on him?

  2. Nihang Ji, I know those fool Nihangs trying to grab power need to be stopped, but is it really necessary to kill your brothers?

  3. Mr. Singh, I realise your wife is annoying - I am a wife myself and an expert at being an annoyance to my husband, but when you raise your hand to strike Mrs. Kaur, will you notice the kara on your wrist and remember what is means?

  4. Mrs. Kaur, your husband is annoying to you, as well - all husbands are from time to time - but would it really be asking too much to overlook his shortcomings for a week? .

Let us for these eight days have no Sikh commit an act of violence, by word or deed, against another Sikh. Let us have one week of kindness, one to the other. Let this be our remembrance, our gift that we give our beloved family members who achieved shaheedi twenty-three years ago. Let us try this experiment in our homes, in our businesses, in our gurdwaras, in all our dealings for just eight days. Let us see how we react to treating others this way and also being treated with kindness and consideration.

Who are we to make such a suggestion to all Sikhs? We are no official group issuing edicts out of Amritsar. We are just three Kaurs, just three daughters of Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj who love our people, just three Khalsa women. But that's enough, eh?

With love, kindness and gentleness to the Saadh Sangat,

Vini, Suni and Mai,

Dharma Kaur Khalsa

Just one word of caution, if you click on SearchBigDaddy, you will have a 'friend' for life.

This is a really nice presentation of Sikhi to show your nonSikh friends. All the pictures are from this site.


29 October 2007

My Journal - November and December, 1984

This is a rather bizarre article from Time Magazine 12 November 1984. It might be worth your time to look at, although, frankly, it upset my stomach.

Back in July, I received from my eldest brother a journal he had found that I had kept back in 1984 from the time I regained consciousness until the end of the year. At that time, I promised you that I would publish it for you to read inn November. Now it is almost November and I wish I hadn't said that. But since I did, I will keep my promise.

In this blog, I will publish a slightly cleaned up version. In the original, I use quite a lot of filthy language, am occasionally obscene and say a few things about Hindus I really don't want my name attached to. There is no way I can clean up the first couple of entries enough to put them here. The rest of them, however, are doable and, since I promised, I will do.
Go here if you want to read the unexpurgated version.

They journal - except for the last few entries, which I have not yet transcribed - is in a blog that is available to invited readers only. I will invite anyone who sends me a request. My address is in the right hand column. If you send me your e-mail address, I will use it for nothing except to issue your invitation. I believe this will keep the search engines out of it, which is my fervent desire.

So if you want an invitation, let me know and I'll get it out to you as soon as I can. By the way, I have put some thought into the appearance of this blog and am quite happy with the look of it.

24 October 2007


One week from today is 31 October, a significant date for all of us Sikhs. In North America, it is also the date of the second most celebrated holiday (Christmas is first) of the year. I realise that readers inother parts of the world may never have heard of this nightmare holiday, so I will attempt to explain it.

It is Hallowe'en, which is an abbreviation of All Hallows' Eve. All Saints' Day or All Hallows' Day is on 1 November of the Roman Catholic calendar. This is a day set aside to honour all the dead saints. The night before, however, evolved into a time to honour everything evil. I am not going to give a history of Hallowe'en here; if you're interested, here is an excellent website.

I am going to talk about the current celebration. Dressing in costumes is the biggest deal. Traditional costumes are things such as devils, witches, ghosts, skeletons and the like. Modern costumes might be anything - from space aliens to monsters to royalty. Little girls often favour the princess or the ballerina. All dressed up and then what?

Most kids love Hallowe'en.They get to go trick-or-treating, which is simply going from house to house, knocking on the door. When the door is opened, the children shout 'Trick or treat!' The adults are expected to make over the kids, complimenting their costumes and pretending not to know who they are. Then they put candy in the containers the children have brought for that purpose. The name, however, means 'give me a treat or I'll play a trick on you. I don't think that's taken very seriously, though, as I have always ignored Halloween and no one has hassled me.

Parties are also popular for all ages. One traditional Halloween game is dunking for apples. Apples are placed in a tub of water. Hands behind the back, the person is supposed to use their mouth to retrieve an apple.

The haunted house is another Halloween favourite. The point here is to scare people. In a darkened room, a person might put their hand into a bowl of pealed grapes and be told they're human eyeballs. Or long, cooked, oiled pasta might be 'intestines. Human skeletons might jiggle around. Blood-curdling screams are heard. You get the idea.

Often teenagers light firecrackers and smoke bombs boom bombs are much in evidence. Our neighbourhood tends to look, sound and smell like a war zone.

It is also a time when a lot of inhibitions are loosened. Alcohol is consumed in great quantities. Murders, rapes, muggings and other violent crimes abound. Across the street from us lives a 'man' - I call him 'the maggot' - who tried to rape his next-door neighbour girl last summer. He hasn't been around much; everybody knows about it and he isn't safe around here. Nobody, including me, will have anything to do with him. Her brothers beat him up rather thoroughly, but stopped short of killing him. I have no idea how his court case is going, but the charges against him - attempted rape, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, supplying a minor with a controlled substance, supplying alcohol to a minor - are serious enough to send him to prison for many years. I am very apprehensive as to what may happen to his house next Wednesday.

I hate Halloween.

More On Maya - Personal Thoughts

An aside: While looking for pictures I came across something I thought I should alert you to. It is a group of Adventists, evidentally centred in Surrey, British Columbia, who have decided they'd like to convert us to their brand of Christianity. This website post from April this year gives some interesting insights into their methods. You might like to check it out.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Continuing my theme from yesterday.

So what is it that separates me - myself, me personally, I won't try to speak for anyone else - from God? The Five Great Vices, of course. What else? But let me be more specific. Not all are equally troublesome. I will pick the three that give me the most headaches.

EGO. I had thought maybe I had made a little progress here, until I had that stroke in April, 2006. I learned how self-centred and egotistical I really am. For a long time, I was very reluctant to go in public. I look funny and move funny and run into things and PEOPLE STARE AT ME! And the worst is when they talk to me as if I were mentally deficient. ME! GENIUS ME! OK, I have lost my languages and still have a lot of relearning to do, I admit. I am working on that. I am slowly relearning Gurmukhi. (I wonder why that is so difficult for me?) Even now, it is difficult for me to go to gurdwara because it embarrasses me that I can't bow properly and getting up and down on the floor requires assistance. This is just a small thing, I know, but it is a symptom of a much deeper and larger problem. And I am so proud to be able to admit that. Yow, this ego thing is a slippery problem.

ANGER. Yes, I am angry. After all these years, I am still seething with anger. And my anger is completely justified. Everyone I know agrees with that. My family was murdered for no good reason and I was nearly killed, as well. My friends encourage me to hold on to this anger as both natural and righteous. Perhaps. But forgive me if I quote Dr. Phil: 'Would you rather be right or happy?' Certainly, it's hard to be happy even on this earth while weighed down with a load of anger and hatred. And knowing that is separating me from God adds guilt to the load, as well. Am I justified in my anger? Perhaps. But is it useful to me on my journey home? I think not.

ATTACHMENT. This is the real cause of the anger, I think. I am still attached to my dead loved ones. Although I have a loving husband, I still long for the one who is at home and, I'm sure, at peace. I still ache for my son, my perfect young boy man, so much like the best of his father and grandfather, and maybe a little of me in there, too. My two baby daughters. I never even got to hold them, nurse them, find their names. And my brothers, especially Bert; he was my best friend, the person I could talk to, who had always been there for me, who understood me and always took me seriously, even while seeing everything with a sense of humour


There's the list. Ego is slippery and hard to deal with. Anger feels so justified. Attachment is a sort of sweet melancholy. What to do? What to do? I know. I feel my Guru Ji whispering in my ear. Ardaas. Simran. Action. Perseverance. Chardi Kala.

I think this is enough self-reflection for one day. I hope it isn't merely self-indulgence to post it on the Inter net. (Ego again.)


Top- I use a brain to symbolise pride because I have always been proud of my intellect. But this is not just any brain! This is the brain of Albert Einstein.

Middle - I use a nuclear mushroom cloud to symbolise anger. I think this needs no explanation.

Bottom - Anyone recognise what this is? What I use to symbolise attachment is a microscopic view of Velcro being torn apart.


23 October 2007

Reality and Maya

This blog was always meant to be our personal statements. Unfortunately, world events have intervened and I have felt compelled to cover those. I feel the Burmese Uprising in a very personal way. I am deeply moved by the courage and determination of the Burmese people and will continue to support them in any way I can.

Today, however, I am going to be personal. I have had a bad case of insomnia for some years now, about 23 years, to be exact. I often lay awake at night thinking. Last night, I thought about a conversation my Dad and I had had when Sandeep was about four or five. I had never taken Amrit and Mandeep had been on my case about that, much to my annoyance. Of course, I don't really remember our conversation verbatim, but this is how it went.

Query: How is 'Truthful Living' possible, if you can't know what is true?

We were talking about the meaning of 'truthful living.'

I had asked him, what did that really mean, and he answered, 'It can mean a lot of different things, I think, but at its root, it means to live according to what you know within yourself to be true. You have to follow that truth no matter what it is or where it leads you.'

'Something like Shakespeare, "This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false unto any man."?' I asked

'Something like that, but it goes deeper, of course. Shakespeare was quite a wise old guy in his own way.' He smiled at me.

But I wasn't satisfied. 'What if it were to lead me away from Sikhi?'

'His eyes narrowed slightly, but he answered without emotion, 'You have to follow what you know to be true, no matter what. That happened with two of your brothers.'

'Charles and Bobby? Those two don't believe in anything except their own miserable selves!'

'Yes. You never saw me try to force them into my mold, did you?'

'No, of course not. You wouldn't do that.'

'So is your truth leading you away?' He finally brought himself to ask it.

I grinned at him. 'No, my problem is different. Completely. You can't really live truthfully unless you know what is true. We are in Maya. How can anyone KNOW anything in Maya. How can you get beyond belief into knowledge. When you're in Maya, how can you know that you're following truth and not just some idea that appeals to you?'

'In Maya, you can't. The best you can do is to find what you can belief to be true and then follow it completely, with yourw'hole being.'

'So one way of believing is as good as another?'

'Isn't that why we Sikhs don't try to convert the world?' And he continued, 'There is one thing. It is possible to step outside of Maya. But let's be clear. What is Maya?'

I knew how to slightly amuse him. 'If you were a Hindu, you'd say all this is Maya,' I waved my hand, 'it's just illusion, not real. Then I'd slug you in the..you know...and ask, do you really believe that's illusion?'

He giggled. 'But I'm not Hindu. And neither are you. And I don't want to be hit.'I quoted. 'Maya is anything that separates a person from God.'

'Samadhi. Moksha. Mukhti. Satori. Whatever word you want to use.'

'Not necessarily. Those are permanent states, under the individual's control. It is possible to just take a short vacation from Maya. Spend a bit of time not separated from God.'

That was really what I had wanted him to talk about because I had had an experience like that when I was pregnant with Sandeep and still had no idea what to make of it. I knew I wasn't enlightened, but I also knew I had experienced something very real, more real than anything else had ever been or ever could be. I had experienced the reality of Waheguru and a love so great that it was overwhelming, even frightening. A reality I had been totally unprepared for. I had told no one, not even Mani about this experience. Now I tried to tell Dad. He understood. I could tell this had happened to him, as well.

I could see the look of relief on his face. 'So Sandeep decided to give his Mata Ji a prenatal present!'

I had to laugh. 'You think he caused it.'

'Unborn children are very close to God. And your son, even now is closer than most people will ever be.'

That was as good an explanation as anyone ever gave me.

This talk was not at all unusual foir us. My Dad and I hads many such talks about the things that wrre really important to us. I was a very fortunate young woman.

Illustration: Vaheguru
Courtesy of Simmal Tree

22 October 2007


Help the People of Burma -- Post this Meme on Your Blog!
Sep. 30th, 2007 at 12:41 PM

Note: This is a new kind of online protest that uses blogs to spread a petition globally. To participate, just add your blog by following the instructions in this blog post.

These are Burmese Buddhist nuns, called 'The Keepers Of Virtue,' marching for freedom. They have disappeared. No one seems to know what has happened to them.

This not an issue of partisan politics, this is an issue of basic human rights and democracy. Please help to prevent a human tragedy in Burma by adding your blog and asking others to do the same.

By passing this meme on through the blogosphere hopefully we can generate more awareness and avert a serious tragedy. As concerned world-citizens this something we bloggers can do to help.

How to participate:

1. Copy this entire post to your blog, including this special number: 1081081081234

2. After a few days, you can search Google for the number 1081081081234 to find all blogs that are participating in this protest and petition. Note: Google indexes blogs at different rates, so it could take longer for your blog to show up in the results.

3. If you know how to add tags to your blog posts, add the Technorati tag 1081081081234 to your post as well. This will make your post findable sooner in Technorati.


There is no press freedom in Burma and the government has started turning off the Internet and other means of communication, so it is difficult to get news out. Individuals on the ground have been sending their day-by-day reports to the BBC, and they are heartbreaking. I encourage you to read these accounts to see for yourself what is really going on in Burma. Please include this link in your own blog post.

The situation in Burma is increasingly dangerous. Hundreds of thousands of unarmed peaceful protesters, including monks and nuns, are risking their lives to march for democracy against an unpopular but well-armed military dictatorship that will stop at nothing to continue its repressive rule. While the generals in power and their families are literally dripping in gold and diamonds, the people of Burma are impoverished, deprived of basic human rights, cut off from the rest of the world, and increasingly under threat of violence.

This week the people of Burma have risen up collectively in the largest public demonstrations against the ruling Junta in decades. It's an amazing show of bravery, decency, and democracy in action. But although these protests are peaceful, the military rulers are starting to crack down with violence. Already there have been at least several reported deaths, and hundreds of critical injuries from soldiers beating unarmed civilians to the point of death.

The actual fatalities and injuries are probably far worse, but the only news we have is coming from individuals who are sneaking reports past the authorities. Unfortunately it looks like a large-scale blood-bath may ensue -- and the victims will be mostly women, children, the elderly and unarmed monks and nuns.

Contrary to what the Burmese, Chinese and Russian governments have stated, this is not merely a local internal political issue, it is an issue of global importance and it affects the global community. As concerned citizens, we cannot allow any government anywhere in the world to use its military to attack and kill peacefully demonstrating, unarmed citizens.

In this modern day and age violence against unarmed civilians is unacceptable and if it is allowed to happen, without serious consequences for the perpetrators, it creates a precedent for it to happen again somewhere else. If we want a more peaceful world, it is up to each of us to make a personal stand on these fundamental issues whenever they arise.

Please join me in calling on the Burmese government to negotiate peacefully with its citizens, and on China to intervene to prevent further violence. And please help to raise awareness of the developing situation in Burma so that hopefully we can avert a large-scale human disaster there.



20 October 2007

You Are In Lion Country!

I don't usually do this, but this blog has been so unrelentingly grim for the past few posts, and of course, come October 31 and thereafter, we won't have a lot to laugh about for a while, that I have decided to treat you all to this little gem. It's only 14 seconds long, so even on a slow connexion, it doesn't take much time to download. Please watch it! May such be the end of all our enemies, that is, all the evil people in the world!!

19 October 2007


We supporters of Khalistan had nothing to do with the downing of the Air India airplane and we had nothing to do with this act of terrorism in Ludhiana. Although Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) has been blamed for these horrible murders, they deny involvement, saying, truthfully, that 'harming innocent civilians is against the tenets of the Sikh religion.'

India Attempts to Defame Sikhs in Bomb Blasts

Wednesday 17th of October 2007

Ludhiana, Punjab (KP) – A recent bomb blast that took place at the city's Shingar Cinema left six dead and over 30 injured. Immediately, authorities began to point fingers as Sikh organizations without studying the evidence. The bomb blast took place this past Sunday when the cinema hall was packed with mainly poor migrant workers who had come to watch the premier of the latest Bollywood comedy movie.

Forensic Science specialists have confirmed that about 500 grams of RDX was used in the blast. Initially it was held by Punjab Police officials that ammonium nitrate and calcium sulfate could have been used along with RDX, but the specialists have ruled out this speculation.

Although so far no group has come forward to take credit for the blast, the Punjab Police Officials had announced less than 6 hours after the attacks took place that the Sikh freedom groups, Babbar Khalsa International Organization and the Khalsa Commando Force were likely to be behind the attacks. It is also being explained that the Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami (HuJI) organization which has roots in Bangladesh could have collaborated with the Khalistani freedom organizations on the blast.

Where the Punjab Police officials should have been commended for their swift efforts of unraveling the mysterious plot of the blast, they have actually become the subject of much disparagement by the people of Punjab. Panthic organizations too have lashed out at the Punjab Police for not finding any firm proof even though days have passed since the blast took place.

Capt. Amarinder Singh, the former Punjab Chief Minister, suggested that the Punjab Police should do investigation work into finding the actual criminals behind the blast. He held that in the past, the police teams have put the blame on organizations such as the Babbar Khalsa and other organizations without any forethought on the evidence present.

Former Punjab Chief Minister also suggested that Parkash Badal's Government should hold meetings of all party officials to come up with solutions to these problems. He said that ever since the new Government has been formed, the communal harmony of Punjab has been disturbed.

Punjab Police however is swift in its stand of putting the blame on the Babbar Khalsa Organization. Police officials have come forward to accept the latest revelations of the forensic science team and have stated that in the past, Babbar Khalsa has used RDX in many of its operations. The Shingar Cinema incident is also being allegedly linked to the bomb blasts that took place in New Delhi, even though those were shown not to have any links to Sikh groups.

Similar to the "guess and blame" strategy of the Punjab Police, New Delhi also had failed to find any evidence in the tragic bomb blasts and put the blame on Babbar Khalsa International—as during that time, they needed Jagtar Singh Hawara to swear in some court cases that were pending there. Hawara, however, openly condemned the Delhi blasts in the court hearings and held that the Babbar Khalsa Organization was committed to form a separate Sikh Nation but it has never targeted innocents in any of its operations as that is against Sikh ethics.

In recent press reports, the Babbar Khalsa and Dal Khalsa has openly codemned Ludhiana incident and stated that their organizations had nothing to do with the violence. A Babbar Khalsa spokesman stated that harming innocent civilians was against the tenants of the Sikh religion.

Bhai Avtar Singh Babbar (Pehlvan) became associated with Babbar Khalsa International because it was said that this group ran completely according to Sikh principles and the workers are all very dedicated to religious matters. In his earlier life, Bhai Avtar Singh was not firm in his religious beliefs but later, he faced such circumstances that he became ready to sacrifice his all and die for the Sikh faith and Sikh interests.


18 October 2007

Ensaaf and HRW Release Joint Report: Protecting the Killers

This came in my inbox. I think it is important enough to share it with you in its entirety. You can also check out the ENSAAF Website. and also the Human Rights Watch Website.

Here are some useful links:

Report (PDF, 834 kb)
Report with cover (PDF, 1.1 Mb)
Summary and Key Recommendations (English) (PDF, 325 kb)
Summary and Key Recommendations (Punjabi) (PDF, 225 kb)
Press Release (Punjabi) (PDF, 36 kb)

Broadcast-quality video interviews of people featured in report
Photo Essay

Be sure to check out the photo essay.

From: Ensaaf <info@ensaaf.org>
Date: 18 Oct 2007 00:04
Subject: Ensaaf and HRW Release Joint Report: Protecting the Killers
To: simayanan@gmail.com

Ensaaf: End Impunity. Achieve Justice.

India: Time to Deliver Justice for Atrocities in Punjab

Investigate and Prosecute Perpetrators of 'Disappearances' and Killings

(Delhi, October 18, 2007) - The Indian government must take concrete steps to hold accountable members of its security forces who killed, "disappeared," and tortured thousands of Sikhs during its counterinsurgency campaign in Punjab, Human Rights Watch and Ensaaf said in a new report released today.

 In order to end the institutional defects that foster impunity in Punjab and elsewhere in the country, the government should take new legal and practical steps, including the establishment of a commission of inquiry, a special prosecutor's office, and an extensive reparations program.

The 123-page report, "Protecting the Killers: A Policy of Impunity in Punjab, India," examines the challenges faced by victims and their relatives in pursuing legal avenues for accountability for the human rights abuses perpetrated during the government's counterinsurgency campaign. The report describes the impunity enjoyed by officials responsible for violations and the near total failure of India's judicial and state institutions, from the National Human Rights Commission to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to provide justice for victims' families.

Beginning in the 1980s, Sikh separatists in Punjab committed serious human rights abuses, including the massacre of civilians, attacks upon Hindu minorities in the state, and indiscriminate bomb attacks in crowded places. In its counterinsurgency operations in Punjab from 1984 to 1995, Indian security forces committed serious human rights abuses against tens of thousands of Sikhs. None of the key architects of this counterinsurgency strategy who bear substantial responsibility for these atrocities have been brought to justice.

"Impunity in India has been rampant in Punjab, where security forces committed large-scale human rights violations without any accountability," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "No one disputes that the militants were guilty of numerous human rights abuses, but the government should have acted within the law instead of sanctioning the killing, 'disappearance,' and torture of individuals accused of supporting the militants."

A key case discussed in detail in the report is the Punjab "mass cremations case," in which the security services are implicated in thousands of killings and secret cremations throughout Punjab to hide the evidence of wrongdoing. The case is currently before the National Human Rights Commission, a body specially empowered by the Supreme Court to address this case. However, the commission has narrowed its efforts to merely establishing the identity of the individuals who were secretly cremated in three crematoria in just one district of Punjab. It has rejected cases from other districts and has ignored the intentional violations of human rights perpetrated by India's security forces. For more a decade, the commission has failed to independently investigate a single case and explicitly refuses to identify any responsible officials.

"The National Human Rights Commission has inexplicably failed in its duties to investigate and establish exactly what happened in Punjab," said Adams. "We still hold out hope that it will change course and bring justice to victims and their families."

The report discusses the case of Jaswant Singh Khalra, a leading human rights defender in Punjab who was abducted and then murdered in October 1995 by government officials after being held in illegal detention for almost two months. Despite credible eyewitness testimony that police chief KPS Gill was directly involved in interrogating Khalra in illegal detention just days prior to Khalra's murder, the Central Bureau of Investigation has thus far refused to investigate or prosecute Gill. In September 2006, Khalra's widow, Paramjit Kaur, filed a petition in the Punjab & Haryana High Court calling on the CBI to take action against Gill. More than a year later, she is still waiting for a hearing on the merits.

"Delivering justice in Punjab could set precedents throughout India for the redress of mass state crimes and superior responsibility," said Jaskaran Kaur, co-director of Ensaaf. "Indians and the rest of the world are watching to see if the current Indian government can muster the political will to do the right thing. It if fails, then the only conclusion that can be reached is that the state's institutions cannot or will not take on the security establishment. This has grave implications for Indian democracy."

Victims and their families seeking justice face severe challenges, including prolonged trials, biased prosecutors, an unresponsive judiciary, police intimidation and harassment of witnesses, and the failure to charge senior government officials despite evidence of their role in the abuses.

Tarlochan Singh described the hurdles he has faced in his now 18-year struggle before Indian courts for justice for the killing of his son, Kulwinder Singh:

    "I used to receive threatening phone calls. The caller would say that they had killed thousands of boys and thrown them into canals, and they would also do that to Kulwinder Singh's wife, kid, or me and my wife...
    "The trial has been proceeding ... with very little evidence being recorded at each hearing, and with two to three months between hearings. During this time, key witnesses have died."

After Mohinder Singh's son Jugraj Singh was killed in an alleged faked armed encounter between security forces and separatists in January 1995, he pursued numerous avenues of justice. He brought his case before the Punjab & Haryana High Court and the CBI Special Court, but no police officer was charged. A CBI investigation found that Jugraj Singh had been killed and cremated by the police. However, 11 years and a few inquiry reports later, the CBI court ended Mohinder Singh's pursuit for accountability by dismissing his case in 2006. Mohinder Singh described his interactions with the CBI:

    "On one occasion when [the officer] from the CBI came to my house, he told me that I wasn't going to get anything out of this. Not justice and not even compensation. He further said that: 'I see you running around pursuing your case. But you shouldn't get into a confrontation with the police. You have to live here and they can pick you up at any time.' He was indirectly threatening me."

Human Rights Watch and Ensaaf expressed concern that the Indian government continues to cite the counterinsurgency operations in Punjab as a model for preserving national integrity.

"The government's illegal and inhuman policies in the name of security have allowed a culture of impunity to prevail that has brutalized its police and security forces," said Kaur.

The report suggests a comprehensive framework to address the institutionalized impunity that has prevented accountability in Punjab. The detailed recommendations include establishing a commission of inquiry, a special prosecutor's office, and an extensive reparations program.

"The Indian government needs to send a clear message to its security services, courts, prosecutors, and civil servants that it neither tolerates nor condones gross human rights violations under any circumstances," said Adams. "This requires a comprehensive and credible process of accountability that delivers truth, justice, and reparations to its victims, who demand nothing more than their rights guaranteed by India's constitution and international law."

View broadcast-quality video interviews of those featured in the report.
View a photo essay on the report.

The report page also includes links to an English summary, a Punjabi translation of the summary, and the Punjabi translation of the press release.

For more information, please contact:
In California, Jaskaran Kaur, Ensaaf (English, Punjabi): +1-857-205-3849 (mobile)
In Delhi, Meenakshi Ganguly, Human Rights Watch (Bengali, English, Hindi): +91-98-200-36032 (mobile)
In Delhi, Charu Hogg, Human Rights Watch (English, Hindi): +91-98-105-64169 (mobile)
In Washington, DC, Sophie Richardson, Human Rights Watch (English, Mandarin): +1-917-721-7473 (mobile)
In Brussels, Reed Brody, Human Rights Watch (English, French, Portuguese, Spanish): +32-2-737-1489; or +32-498-625786 (mobile)

Ensaaf, a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organization, works to end impunity and achieve justice for mass state crimes in Punjab, India by documenting and exposing human rights violations, bringing perpetrators to justice, and organizing survivors to advocate for their rights.

Our postal address is
PO Box 594
Fremont, California 94537
United States


17 October 2007

Aung San Suu Kyi Named Honorary Canadian

Parliament on Wednesday unanimously passed a motion to designate Burma's democracy advocate, Aung San Suu Kyi, an honorary Canadian citizen.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper presented the motion in the House of Commons, calling her a "symbol of the desire of the Burmese people for political freedom."

Burma's pro-democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, was named an honorary Canadian citizen Wednesday in the House of Commons. Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, has been held under house arrest since 1989 for her political views. Burma's pro-democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, was named an honorary Canadian citizen Wednesday in the House of Commons. Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, has been held under house arrest since 1989 for her political views.
(Canadian Press)

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has been held under house arrest in Burma — also known as Myanmar — for the past 18 years by the military junta governing the impoverished southeast Asian country.

"All Canadians know that what is happening in Burma is an attack on the values we hold dear … and an attack on the values of civilization itself," Harper said, following a standing ovation.

Peaceful anti-government demonstrations in Burma, which were led by the country's revered monks over the last few weeks, were met with violent force from soldiers and riot police.

Pictures and video footage from the country showed monks and protesters being beaten in the streets as part of an effort to crush dissent.

According to the military junta, several demonstrators were also gunned down, and state-controlled media said the country was holding 500 demonstrators in prison.

In the midst of the humanitarian crisis and in spite of being confined to house arrest since 1989, Harper said Suu Kyi has shone as "the embodiment of [democratic] ideals and an inspiration for all of us."

"More than anyone else, she has focused international attention on the plight of her people. This is why we are bestowing honourary citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi," Harper said.

Larry Bagnell, the Liberal MP for the Yukon Territory, recognized Suu Kyi for her "courage to sacrifice her life in order to give life to an entire nation."

Other foreigners who have been granted honorary Canadian citizenship include the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, and Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.


15 October 2007

Update - Ludhiana Blast

By now, I suppose everyone has heard about the deadly bomb blast in the movie theatre in Ludhiana. I suppose, as well, we have all heard Kill-Punish-Strangle Gill accuse us Sikhs of being the perpetrators of this heinous act. I have heard accusations. I have seen no evidence.

When I got up this morning, my inbox was jammed with nasty messages, some even blaming us personally. On behalf of Suni and myself, we completely condemn this act of terrorism. We do not support the murder of innocent people under any circumstances. Such acts are completely against our morals and beliefs as Sikhs and as human beings. We know that Vini joins us in this condemnation, but we have been unable to reach her either by phone or by e-mail. We are quite concerned, but not panicked.

I rarely go to gurdwara in the morning, but we, Suni and Mai, felt the need today. Others, too, felt the necessity for gathering together as Sikhs to give each othere support and encouragement. It is known, of course, which of us are Khalistan supporters and all of us, as one, condemned the attack. None of us believes it has anything to do with Khalistan, whatever our enemies may claim.

The link above, for the Hindustan Times, Chandigarh Edition, has some interesting pictures.

For now, we have nothing more to say except our prayers are with the victims and their families.

I hace decided to add this letter from Gurteg Singh to the Gurmat Learning Zone this morning. What is says is both sensible and true.

Dear Sadh Sangat Ji

Within hours of Ludhiana bomb blast , the entire Hindu
establishment including its cheer leading propaganda arm- The Hindu media in a
well planned and coordinated move started blaming Sikhs for this cowardly act of

Turbaned lap dogs like - the mass murderer KPS Gill on a
cue from his masters has started barking "terrorism.. terrorism"


The entire story has been put on international newswire
and is being reported through out the world. Only an enemy of the Sikhs will do
this and not a friend or a Government which claims to be so called secular and
democratic. A few months ago in Nander, there was bomb blast in a house
belonging to a RSS leader where bombs were being assembled and many Muslim
looking dresses were also found. The entire Hindu media never called these
Hindus terrorist and that news was never advertised, and the investigations have
been suspended or ignored.

We should all be extremely skeptical of any news coming
out New Delhi because it is ruled by a bunch of fascist Hindus thugs which will
do any thing and everything to divide and rule.

Gurteg Singh

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We have gotten in contact with Vini. She is fine. Upset and quite angry, but full of life and unharmed. She joins us in condemning this act, and also in condemning the Indian media's immediate conviction of the Sikh community and Khalistanis.

This update is from the Sikh group, International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO). Evidently, another person has died, bringing the death toll to eight.

8 persons died and 12 have been nabbed for investigation .
There were some statements by semi political persons like Maninder Bita that the explosion was work of some sikh out fits of Punjab .Mr.KPS Gill the ex-DGP also tried to divert the attention of the investgating agencies towards Sikh outfits by joining Bita .
The DIG Ludhiana Range Mr.Ishwar Chander IPS who is closely watching the whole situation has stated that the karvayee of explosion, hints towards some out-fit established in J&K (Chardi Kala). The DGP Pb said that some person placed the Explosive during the Interval and Police is searching the responsible person .
There is no panic in Ludhiana due to this incident , the life is normal and all markets functioned as usual . All markets around Shingar were working normally at the time of explosion and even did not close after the incident . Communal harmony is as usual and no community is in tension .
The CM Punjab was at Ludhiana and stated that this incident should not be regarded as any terrorism setting in, in the State . Govt. also announced a financial aid of Rs.2 lakh each to the victims of the explosion . Ms Bhathal and Sukhbir Badal also condemned Ludhiana incident . A strict red Alert in Punjab has been enforced .
The DIG , DC , and SSP Ludhiana all belong to one community and none of them is Sikh .
Jupinder Singh a tribune news man of Ludhiana explained the chronology of event , live on line , in a Radio Talk show held by Gurpreet Singh a Radio Host of Radio India at Vancouver Canada .


14 October 2007

India's Identity Crisis In Burma

This is the United Nations speaking,
But it might as well be India

No, our dear Sisters and Brothers of the Saadh Sangat, we are not letting up on Burma.

As the time of our remembrance of what is variously called The Anti-Sikh Riots, The Delhi Pogroms and The Second Battle of Delhi approaches, it would dishonour our beloved shaheeds to turn our back on these brave people who so much need our help. Perhaps all we can do is raise a big stink. If that is the case, then raise a big stink we shall. As we say about the massacres of 1984, as was written about the Black American experience,

More on India's complicity in this horror in Burma

WHEN ARGUING for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council or assuring the Bush administration that India can be trusted with American nuclear technology - even though it has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - Indian officials recite the mantra that India is the world's biggest democracy. But India's shameful collaboration with the military junta in Burma that has been arresting and killing Buddhist monks and civilian protesters raises a serious question: Is India betraying its democratic values for the sake of its great-power ambitions?

There is no mystery about the reasons for India's complicity with the Burmese generals. There are purely commercial motives, a thirst for access to Burma's oil and natural gas reserves. There's a desire to gain the junta's cooperation in crushing insurgent groups that have been crossing from Burma into India's northeast to mount guerrilla operations. But above all, India has abandoned solidarity with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her colleagues because Indian policy makers are obsessed by their strategic competition with China.

There is a tragic dimension to India's practice of realpolitik in its contest with China. Domestically, India is the antithesis of China. The communists in Beijing rule a hierarchical one-party state; India's multiparty system accommodates many disparate interests. The regime in Beijing throws reporters in jail for revealing state secrets if they publish news about high-level appointments before those promotions are officially disclosed. India boasts a diverse and cantankerous free press.

But when India sets out to compete with China in a 21st-century version of the Great Game once played by European colonialist powers, India transforms its outward appearance into a mirror image of China. In Burma, India's betrayal of its ownmost national identity has become an embarrassing spectacle.

India had once been Suu Kyi's most ardent supporter. She lived in India for several years with her late husband; her mother once served as Burma's ambassador to India. And of course Buddhism sprang from India.

But when Human Rights Watch called last week for a Security Council arms embargo on the junta, it named India along with China and Russia as "nations supplying Burma with weapons that the military uses to commit human rights abuses." Human Rights Watch described "a vast array of military hardware" India has supplied to the junta, including artillery, aircraft, tanks, and helicopters for use against minority ethnic groups in border areas and citizen protesters.

In other words, India sells some of the world's most vicious dictators weapons to kill people in Burma who yearn for democracy. This is not the behavior of a true democracy.

© Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company


11 October 2007

A Sikh Burmese Protest Leader!

For those who still insist that the Burma uprising is not a Sikh issue, I offer this, from an Australian newspaper, The Age.

I do not know if this gentleman, Surinder Karkar Singh Ji, is a Khalsa, but he looks like one and he acts like one. Until I have information to the contrary, that is enough for me.

We dream of the day when our Khalsa army will be able to ride to the assistance of the oppressed. It seems that at least one individual is not content to just dream, but has taken what action he can.

Can you imagine? He led 100,000 people through the streets of Rangoon protecting at least 5000 monks. It appears the Khalsa spirit is alive and active, after all. We can take great pride in the courageous action of our brother! The least we can do is to sign the petition supporting the monks and the people of Burma. We are posting the link once again in this post.

Burma protest leader blasts UN

Connie Levett
October 11, 2007Protest leader U Pancha is now in exile.

Protest leader U Pancha is now in exile.

An organiser of the protest movement in Rangoon has blasted UN special envoy
Ibrahim Gambari for bowing to the Burmese regime and achieving nothing in his
visit to Burma.

Surinder Karkar Singh, also known as Ayea Myint and U Pancha (the Punjabi),
helped organise the civilian protection circles that ringed the monks as they
marched through the streets of Rangoon for eight days.

"Nothing was achieved. I am fed up," the Sikh Burmese man said.

"He (Mr Gambari) plans to come again in November. Whatever the regime told
him, he did. While he was there, we were being shot, we were being detained.
After he left, there was more rounding up of people.

"He saw Aung San Suu Kyi (the detained pro-democracy leader) but gave no
press conference. He should announce what she said. This regime is full of lies.
Gambari reports to the UN what the regime says, not what Aung San Suu Kyi says."

U Pancha is now in Mae Sot, Thailand, where many Burmese opposition groups in
exile are based. He gave a rare insight into the first days of the protest and
how the organisers responded as the movement grew.

"I participated in 1988, then I retired. I took up the protest again because
prices were rising and people were starving around me," he said. "I was not at
all frightened. I participated in the forefront. I was prepared to die."

He met monks and a few civilians at the Shwedagon pagoda, the most important
Buddhist temple in Rangoon, on September 17 to plan protests.

"The idea was to bring down petrol prices, to get dialogue and an apology for
the way the monks were beaten at Pakokku," U Pancha said.

"There were only about 100 to start with. We let the monks lead. I was in
charge of surrounding the monks for protection.

"On the 18th, we were very anxious, we were worried whether people would
follow us, but from the beginning they joined in. We were very encouraged. That
night we had a hurried meeting because of the support and made three streams of
people to go to different points in the city. On the 19th the groups exceeded

That night, they got word the military had issued a shoot-to-kill edict.
After a heated meeting they elected to proceed.

"In the midst of our marching, Battalion 77 refused to take the order to
shoot to kill," he said.

From September 21 to 25, the protests were peaceful and the crowds increased.
On the night of 25th, the military command changed from 77th battalion to 66th
battalion, he said.

He remembers the 26th and 27th as the most bloody days, with bloodshed on the

"When three monks went to beg them not to use violence, they started beating
the monks and shooting," U Pancha said.

"On the 26th, I led 100,000, with 5000 to 6000 monks. People were not scared.
I thought we were winning. In the midst of flying bullets we were able to march.
We had people in side streets with stones and rocks ready to give protection to
the protesters."

On the 27th, the monks were gone, and the crowd dwindled to 2000 to 3000.

"Many people were scared on 27th," he said. "When the Japanese (photographer)
was shot, they (knew) the Government would shoot even foreigners."

By the 28th, the movement had all but disintegrated.

U Pancha waited in Rangoon, in hiding, until October 4 to see the outcome of
the UN mission. Bitterly disappointed, he fled to Thailand.

He is determined to fight on. "I am still a leader, we have leaders inside
and outside," he said. "We are only pausing, not