29 April 2008


OPP back off!
Free all First Nations Political Prisoners Now!
Hands off Stolen Land: Return the Culbertson Tract to the Mohawks of Tyendinaga!


TOMORROW: Tuesday, April 29th12 noon
Ministry of the Attorney General720 Bay Street(Bay, just north of Gerrard, eastside)

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

For those who may not know, those are the words of the English version of O Canada, the national anthem of Canada.

(It may be interesting to note that there are three official versions of O Canada, in French, English and Inuktitut; and the meaning of the French version is quite different from the English and really not too acceptable to me as a Sikh. Ah, nothing is simple, eh?)

Today, I am looking at one particular line,

God keep our land glorious and free!

A simple line with a clear meaning. But look closely.

God - To me as a Sikh, this is called by the name of Vaheguru, by Muslims Allah, by Christians Jehovah or Yahweh or Jesus Christ, by Jews a name too sacred to be spoken, by Hindus, millions of names, and on and on. I think we can all agree, however, that this refers to our creator, who loves us and whose children we are.

Keep - To keep our land glorious and free implies that our land is already glorious and free. Is it?

Our - And who, pray tell are 'we'? Does this refer only to the settlers, the colonists, those of us from elsewhere? The English, the French, the Punjabis, the Chinese and on and on? Or does it also include those we call by the proud name of First Nations?

Land - The stuff under our feet. The surface of our mother planet from which we have sprung and on which we live. That which is held sacred by many. In the context of this song, I suppose it simply refers to the politoco-geographic mass we call 'Canada.'
Glorious - I had to look this up in the dictionary just to be sure. I first got this:

1. Having or deserving glory; famous.
2. Conferring or advancing glory: a glorious achievement.
3. Characterized by great beauty and splendor; magnificent: a glorious sunset.
4. Delightful; wonderful: had a glorious visit with old friends.

So then to go to glory:

1. Great honor, praise, or distinction accorded by common consent; renown.
2. Something conferring honor or renown.
3. A highly praiseworthy asset: Your wit is your crowning glory.
4. Adoration, praise, and thanksgiving offered in worship.
5. Majestic beauty and splendor; resplendence: The sun set in a blaze of glory.
6. The splendor and bliss of heaven; perfect happiness.
7. A height of achievement, enjoyment, or prosperity: ancient Rome in its greatest glory.
8. A halo, nimbus, or aureole. Also called gloriole .
So I think we can say that in this case, we want the first definition of glorious, leading to the first definition of glory, which, at the very least, must imply a positive sort of morality and honour.

Moving on

And - That is 'in addition to.

Free - Here I stop. What does free mean? Are we talking about political freedom, things guaranteed by the Charter of Rights My dear Canadian sisters and brothers especially, if you have never read it, follow that link; it is not as concise and elegant as the American Bill of Rights, but it is much more specific and clear.

What I am getting to here is that to many of our fellow citizens, Canada has become neither glorious nor free. I am talking about the the Mohawk community in Tyendinaga. Please read the information below and follow the suggestions below in green.

I received this message to the members of The Sikh Activist Network.

Subject: URGENT: Call of Support for Tyendinaga Mohawk Nations

Sadh Sangat Ji,

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

I am writing to you today with a heavy heart and a humble request. Over
the course of the weekend, while we have been enjoying our Vaisakhi
celebrations, the Mohawk community in Tyendinaga have been facing armed
invasions by the OPP, in their struggle for sovereignty.

Confronted by threats from construction firm, Nibourg Developments to
begin clearing land for construction along the Culbertson Tract, a
disputed tract of native land, protestors set up a blockade on Monday to
send a message to any would-be developers that there will be "not
another shovel in the ground". The land that is being contested was
signed to Mohawk nations in 1793. The original deed was for 92,000
acres; however, the actual size of Mohawk territory today is 18,000
(http://www.ocap/. ca/files/ fsb-rgb-final. pdf
t;http://www.ocap/. ca/files/ fsb-rgb-final. pdf> ).

Despite engaging in negotiations with OPP, tension has increased and
police have made 12 arrests, including the arrest of Mohawk leader,
Shawn Brant. The OPP has swarmed Mohawk protestors, with guns pointing
at them from every direction in an attempt to remove them from their
land through intimidation. The Mohawk community is NOT leaving their
land. However, this morning, they are facing armed invasions by the OPP
who are attempting now to physically remove them from their land. As a
result, the Mohawk nation has issued an Emergency call-out to all Allies
to respond in solidarity with their struggle.

This is why I am writing to you today, Sadh Sangat Ji. As a community
who is all too familiar with the colonial struggles that our families
and ancesotrs have faced, I am pleading with you to see the links
between these battles and our own so we can stand in solidarity with
Indigenous communities whose land we reside on. Land is a fundamental
aspect for Aboriginal spirituality. Through the continual loss of their
land, Aboriginal nations will not be able to perform sacred ceremonies
and traditions and will not be able to pass on their spiritual knowledge
to coming generations. As Sikhs, our Gurus have demonstrated the
responsibility we have to protect and defend the freedom of worship for
all peoples, as we would our own.

What you can do:


Please call the premier's office immediately and urge them to:

-Honour Mohawk land, call off the OPP: Do not risk people's lives
for a gravel pit the government has already acknowledged is on Mohawk

-Release all First Nations political prisoners!

Premier Dalton McGuinty: 416-325-1941 (phone)
416-325-3745 (fax)
premier.gov. on.ca
dalton.mcguinty@ premier.gov. on.ca>

2. Call your political allies - please reach out to your MPs and other
political representatives in parliament

3. Attend the Rally:

TOMORROW: Tuesday, April 29th
12 noon

Ministry of the Attorney General
720 Bay Street
(Bay, just north of Gerrard, eastside)

OPP back off!
Free all First Nations Political Prisoners Now!
Hands off Stolen Land: Return the Culbertson Tract to the Mohawks of

I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read this message.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

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

**URGENT** Tyendinaga 9:30 am Monday morning, April 28th

We have just been informed by the Tyendinaga Mohawk community
spokespeople that SWAT teams are amassing now on the Deseronto
and Slash Roads, bordering the Tyendinaga quarry reclamation site.

Community spokesperson Jason Maracle has just been told by the OPP to
pull people out of the quarry because they are going in.

Tyendinaga Support Committee
gmail.com <mailto:support.tmt@ gmail.com>

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
Yesterday's Press Release:


Ontario Jails Five More First Nations People Involved in Land Struggles

(Sunday, April 27, 2008 -Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory) Five men from
Tyendinaga are in jail today bringing the total number of First Nations
people in Ontario jails for defending their land to 12.

Ontario, it appears, has opted for the incarceration of First Nations
people over the resolution of outstanding land issues as their status

As for the Ontario Provincial Police, it appears the adoption of Justice
Linden's Ipperwash Inquiry recommendations is experiencing some delay.
While in custody at the Napanee Detachment several different officers
repeatedly informed Shawn Brant that they were going to "slit his
and that he was a "dead man."

This followed a similarly disturbing incident that occurred on Monday,
April 22nd during the road closures in Deseronto when an officer on the
scene clearly and audibly commented to her colleagues "we should just
shoot them (Mohawks) all."

Meanwhile, road closures continue in Tyendinaga and Six Nations until,
one man said, "We finish the job."

Spokesperson: Jay Maracle: 613-243-4993

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

"Of any religion, caste or race, All I see is God's shining face, His
smiling face, His Gracious face"

- Guru Arjan Dev ji

The flags are those of the Mohawk Nation and of Canada.

Flags: If such things interest you - they do me - you might like to see many tribal flags at Growing Crazy Horse Memorial Flag Collection


26 April 2008

A Letter To A Friend

Dear Bhai Laibar Singh Ji,

Vaheguru ji ka khalsa! Vaheguru ji ki fateh!!

Today is a very special day for me, the perfect occasion for me to write you this letter. Our mutual friend, Bibi Ninder Kaur, has promised me she'll see that you get it.

I am a few years older than you; I hope you won't mind if I talk to you as a slightly older sister. You know, older sisters are a little bossy, tease a little and are filled with love. So I will imagine you are sitting next to me in a big, comfy L-Z-Boy chair, your dastaar neatly tied and a big smile on your face.

When I first heard of your case, I paid little attention. A quadriplegic? Canada is a country with a big heart, filled with human compassion. They won't really try to deport this man. When I was proved to be wrong, I took up your case in this blog and also in my personal blog. (You can check out the 'Laibar Singh' labels in the right-hand column.) I have, through these months never wavered in my support of you. In a way not many can, I understand at least part of what you are going through.

Maybe knowing a little bit about me might clarify things. I am not going to write about my experiences in India in 1984 now; they are irrelevant to my point here. Let me just say that my life has had its share of tragedy.

Instead, I go back two years ago tonight. I died two times and was twice revived. I had a big stroke - major or massive, depending on who is talking. After the second revival, I was breathing and my heart was beating, but I was in a coma.

My husband was told to prepare for my funeral. He was further told that on the chance that I survived, I would be in a 'persistent vegetative state,' a human vegetable.

The doctors were willing to just let me die; they didn't even put me in intensive care. But thanks to excellent, loving care from a group of nurses named Kaur and a determined stubborn husband I survived.

When I woke up and grabbed for my hair, which my lovely nurses had kindly tied on top of my head, and it was clear I was conscious, my husband was told that my intelligence would be very little, in other words, I would be retarded.

When it slowly became clear that I did have both my wits and intelligence about me, we were both told I would never walk or talk again.

Don't believe these negative things you are told. Today I walk, a little wobbly, as I've lost some of my balance. I talk pretty well, although I've lost a couple of languages, French and Punjabi, which I used to know. I have never been able to pronounce the letter 'j,' however, and it still comes out as the French 'zh.' (Growing up, my brothers loved to coerce me into saying things like: Jumping Jiminy, James and John, jam and juicy jelly just jumped.' )

I am still recovering. My left side has little feeling except nerve pain (OUCH!!!). My left hand still clenches into a fist and hurts when I use it. I use it anyway. I have a goal that by the beginning of 2009, I'll be typing with both hands again. My languages remain locked away somewhere out of my reach - for now. And I trip over my own feet every time I try to Bhangra.

Enough about me! Let's talk about you.

Remain in chardi kala, Brother Laibar. Nothing can substitute for that. Nothing. I know sometimes it seems that everything is dark and horrible and you just can't take another second. I know in these past months there must have been times when you've been bored, unable to do what you are used to doing, frightened both of your physical condition and of what the Canadian government might pull next. Let me tell you what my Dad, a grand old Khalsa and a very wise man used to tell us:

When your enemy has his knife at your throat, his gun at your temple and his boot on your face, you laugh at him. 'Ha! You can kill me, but you can never defeat me!' That's chardi kala. That's what it means to be a Sikh.

This is your birthright, please claim it. Never give up and you'll never be defeated. Laugh a little - or a lot! I know I'd get a giggle if I ever saw a blogpost with a ribbon that said 'Save Mai Harinder Kaur!' or even just 'Save Mai.'

I am enjoying writing this, but I suppose it should end. I know many in the Saadh Sangat feel as I do about you; you are our brother and we will not let you down. I have no idea what will happen in your case, only this: Whatever happens will be the Hukam of Vaheguru! There is no way around that. Remembering that has gotten me through many difficult twists and turns in life's path.

I hope some readers will leave you some good wishes in the comments here (hint, hint), but my readers usually say very little, so I can just hope.

Oh, something personal and just friendly. Unless you have some emotional attachment to that black and white blanket, would you please get your friends at the gurdwara to get you something cheerful, maybe bright flowers or butterflies or even a lion? Tell them that Mai asks for that for you. If I could, I would send you the lion from my own bed. Unfortunately, that is my own husband's security blanket and I can't stand to see him cry.

So, my dear friend and brother, I close with the words my friends, I fear, get tired of hearing from me.

Be strong! Be brave! Have courage! Remember who you are and what you are and what you're about! Never give up! Never give in!


Chardi kala!



Your friend and sister,

Mai Harinder Kaur

P. S. - Suni and Vini also send their love!

Note: The photo is from earlier this month, given to me by Ninder Kaur. What a gorgeous beard and dastaar!


20 April 2008

Desecration of the Guru by Our Own Institutions

Desecration of the Guru by Our Own Institutions
Thursday 17th April, 2008
Panthic Weekly News Bureau

Holy Saroops of Guru Granth Sahib Ji stacked in a filthy corner of the complex

Click to View Photograph Galllery of Desecration

Sri Rakabganj Sahib, Delhi (KP) - Thirty years ago, thirteen GurSikhs laid down their lives in the city of Amritsar Sahib when the psuedo-Nirankari heretics began desecrating and insulting Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The Sikh Nation considers Guru Granth Sahib Ji the living embodiment of the ten Gurus. Utmost respect and reverence is given to the sacred Saroops that contain the Holy Bani of our Gurus and Bhagats (saints). Three decades later, our very own institutions, are now the ones who are desecrating the Holy Saroops.

"Interestingly, the Prof. Darshan Singh & Missionary lobby is totally silent about the ongoing disrespect by Sarna and Company. Instead, they are busy criticising the Bani of Dasam Patshah, and internally promoting the likes of Chaman Lal and Hari Ratan Yukta."

Panthic Weekly was given photographic and video evidence by Sewadars of Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Committee (India) and the Shahbaaz Khalsa organization on the reckless beadbi that is occurring at the premises of "Gur Updesh Printers", the official printing establishment of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) under Paramjit Sarna and company.

When the DSGMC found out this evidence was being collected, they quickly confiscated the equipment of the sevadars—but fortunately, other equipment was still in their possession with which they collected this evidence of violations.

Uncovered Guru Granth Sahib Ji stacked like bricks on the ground

Ironically, the DSGMC has a budget of over 1 Billion (100 crore) rupees to manage Delhi based Gurdwaras, Sikh schools, and colleges. The massive complex at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, besides the historic Gurdwara Sahib, contains the well known Lakhi Shah Vanjara Hall, DSGMC offices, and the publishing center known as Gur Updesh Printers.

Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib is the sacred site where Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji's body was cremated by Bhai Lakhi Shah Vanjara in 1675.

As Guru Ji's Saroops are being desecrated, the Siyaasi-masands of the DSGMC enjoy thier luxurious air-conditioned offices in the Gurdwara Rakabganj Sahib complex

Due to mis-management and carelessness, this once serene and sparkling complex is now under the virtual control of the "siyaasi-masands' of the DSGMC.

For the last several years, the committee has been outsourcing Gurdwara seva to non-Sikhs and migrant Biharis. Their presence is known from the never ending line of discarded tobacco-bettle nut packs littering the complex.

Gurdwara Rakabganj Sahib complex littered with discarded tobacco pouches

Click to video of littered tobacco pouches at Gurdwara Complex

In 2005, PW published an article "Bihari migrants desecrate premises of Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib" http://www.panthic.org/news/125/ARTICLE/2097/2005-12-18.html which was an expose done by Shahbaaz Khalsa that illustrated how the Gurdwara Sahib premises was being misused and desecrated by these Bihari migrants (often referred to as 'Bhaeeyas'). These migrants continue to carry and chew tobacco on the premises of the sacred complex.

Per Sikh Maryada (Code of Conduct), alcohol, tobacco, and similar paraphernalia are not to be brought in or consumed on any Gurdwara premises. These same migrants are also in charge of the Langar Halls and other key duties throughout the complex.

Disrespect of Saroops

When visitors at the complex come to get Saroops of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, they are taken to a well kept hall with dozens and dozens of Saroops placed on Sukhasan platforms. Yet undercover footage of the same complex revealed that Bhayeeays strolled through the Sukhasan room without covering their heads. This is a major violation of Sikh Maryada.

Employees walk around with their heads uncovered in the Sukhasan Room for Guru Granth Sahib Ji

Visitors are further shocked to know that on one side, luxurious offices with marble floors, and expensive furniture are provided to Paramjit Sarna and his DSGMC staff, but behind the Sukhasan room, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji's Saroops are being printed in sub-standard unkempt areas littered with rubbish and scrap.

When the sewadars of the Satkar Committee visited the printing areas, they were shocked to see so many uncovered Saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji stacked like bricks. Many of these Saroops were literally touching the ground, with just a thin rumala between them.

"How can this go on in an organization whose budget is in the crores of rupees? "

Although, there was the separate Sukhasan room in the complex, it was not being utilized for these Saroops, nor was it big enough to store all of these Saroops. The Satkar Committee sewadars spent several hours relocating some of the Saroops to the Sukhasam room, so they can be given proper respect, but only so many could be moved.

Stacks of Saroops Everywhere

As the sewadars moved throughout the complex, they saw more and more stacks everywhere, many left uncovered, and others carelessly covered by a single white bed sheet. The sewadars estimated over 300 Saroops in many of these giant stacks. There were dozens of these stacks throughout the hall.

Bhai Balbir Singh of the Satkar Committee estimated that all in all there were several thousand Saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji being stored in that shabby complex, all without proper maryada and respect.

One of the Satkar Committee sevadars exclaimed, "How can this go on in an organization whose budget is in the crores of rupees? If they can afford, luxurious offices for themselves, why can't [they afford] the same for our King of Kings? Why is Guru Maharaj being kept in this condition? This is totally unexcusable!"

Hundereds of Saroops of Guru Granth Sahib Ji stacked like bricks, dozens of such stacks were in the comple

Angs of Guru Granth Sahib tossed in Trash

Another shocking scene the sewadars encountered was that damaged or misprinted angs of Guru Granth Sahib were thrown into rubbish bins, along with normal paper waste. These Angs contained the sacred verses of Gurbani, yet they were being treated like trash.

The sewadars also saw one saroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji that had been parkash on a dirty desk, there were no rumallas or chaur sahib for that open saroop. It was left unattended, with a paper inserted in it as a place holder. Again, another huge violation of Sikh Maryada.

Discarded Angs of Guru Granth Sahib Ji thrown into rubbish bins.

Another violations the sewadars noted was that complete single volume Saroops were being printer in Hindi and Urdu. Sri Akal Takht directive does not allow single volumes of Guru Granth Sahib to be printed in any langauge other than Gurmukhi - only Senchees are allowed.

Sewadars of the Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Committee and the Shahbaaz Khalsa recently held a press conference in which this photographic evidence was handed to the press and then submitted to Sri Akal Takht Sahib so that this beadbi (extreme disrespect) could be stopped as soon as possible. Sadly, neither the appointed Jathedar Vedanti nor the press has taken notice of these violations.

Both organizations have appealed to the Panth at large, that pressure should be put on appointed Jathedar Vedanti to take stern action against the DSGMC executives so that this beadbi in their complex can be stopped.
To the Sikh Nation there is nothing more sacred than our sacred Gurbani, it is the very form of our Guru. That is why even the paper and the ink it is written with is called blessed.

ਧੰਨੁ ਸੁ ਕਾਗਦੁ ਕਲਮ ਧੰਨੁ ਧਨੁ ਭਾਂਡਾ ਧਨੁ ਮਸੁ ॥
Blessed is the paper, blessed is the pen, blessed is the inkwell, and blessed is the ink.
ਧਨੁ ਲੇਖਾਰੀ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਜਿਨਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਲਿਖਾਇਆ ਸਚੁ ॥1॥
Blessed is the writer, O Nanak, who writes the True Name. 1

While there are those who will sacrifice everything for the respect and honor of this Sacred Holy Bani, there are many who will look the other way since it is much easier and fashionable in this day and age.

Historically, it was well known that Sikhs gained their power from the sacred Gurbani. It was so revered that Sikh kings such as Raja Ranjit Singh would always have Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth Sahib on thrones higher than them, generals would take both saroops on elephants into battle as commander-in-chief.

These very detractors of the Panth have attacked not only Sri Dasam Granth Sahib, but are also undermining the reverance and respect accorded to Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The 13 Shaheeds of '78 and others throughout history gave their lives to stop this very type of beadbi happening today. In the future, will there be any Sikhs left that stand up for their Guru's respect?

Click to View Photograph Galllery of Desecration


EVIDENCE - Panthic organizations appalled at the level of disrespect by Delhi Gurdwara Publishers.

I was up late last night looking at these pictures, my heart breaking. I am tempted to post all 33 from this gallery of shame, but it would take too long with my slow connexion and I want to get this up.

Pictures come to mind.

My Dad, at 97, still gracefully anf reverently bowing to Guru Ji.

Suni, clutching Guru Ji to her pregnant body as the fighting and carnage went on around her.

The shaheeds bowing with love and reverence before they left.

Myself, sitting cross-legged, tears on my face, coming home after an absence of 20 years.

Sitting here, typing, my eyes catch the little wooden box that holds the hairs from my combs. I can't help but think how the shed hairs from my head are treated with more respect than our dear Guru Ji.

Please send this link to the article to every Sikh you know. http://www.panthic.org/news/126/ARTICLE/4039/2008-04-17.html

And if they don't have access to the Internet, print it out and give them a copy. This obscenity must end at once!

I first read this article in the blog, The Confused Khalsa Rambles.



Would You Bring Hitler To Justice?

Going through my e-mail, I came upon this editorial from The Panthic Weekly. It contains ideas I have often thought about, so I present it to you.

I noticed that their reference to the [person] generally known as 'KPS Gill' left out the 'S.' At first I thought it was a mistake or a misprint - until I considered that the 'S' stands for 'Singh,' a name Gill has forfeited all rights to. Very good, Panthic Weekly, and thank you!

Thursday 17th April, 2008
Niranjan Singh, Panthic Weekly Commentator

Scene of the recent BC Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan where the Government attempted to censor the photos of Great Sikh Heroes and Shaheeds

If you could go back and Bring Hitler to Justice—before the Holocaust, before Kristallnacht, before any of it—Would you do it? Would it be wrong? Well, Kim Bolan of the Vancouver Sun seems to think it's wrong.

In recent articles by the "reporter" in the Vancouver Sun, she has slated Sikhs, as a community, for respecting those that died to prevent horrific genocide—to stop those that would kill every man, woman and child out of hate for their beliefs or origins.

In the past few years, the Surrey and British Columbia governments have decided that free speech doesn't apply to the Sikhs. They have asked us to stop respecting our heroes, those that died for what they believed in, equality. They have asked us to forget our rich history of sacrifices for righteousness. They have asked us to give up our core beliefs and values because they don't fit in with their politically correct, diplomatic visions. However, this policy of forgetting the past causes many Sikhs to believe that Canada and other Western Nations are more concerned with economic deals with countries like India and China regardless of their human rights records. India: a country where University students admire Adolph Hitler as one of their top three heroes while denying The Holocaust ever happened.

It is well known in India and throughout immigrant communities that Indira Gandhi and her government had a clear cut plan to "unite" India at all costs, including sacrificing civil rights for Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and other minorities. One of the first objectionable actions by the government dates back 30 years when the government openly supported the creation of an anti-Sikh cult, that was guarded by a heavy para-military contingent that marched through the holy city of Amritsar. The march included derogatory words and actions by the cult leader as he openly defamed Sikh Gurus. When the Sikhs peacefully protested for them to stop, they were gunned down—mercilessly slaughtered. Sikhs tried to file police reports regarding the incident and they were turned away; justice denied. Yet Kim Bolan and various authorities seem to want to deny justice again by having us remove and denounce pictures that highlight their sacrifices.

However, what followed has left deeper wounds in the hearts of Sikhs. Operation Blue Star—not just an attack on Amritsar, but a series of simultaneous attacks on DOZENS of historical temples across Punjab—was meant to strike at the very heart, physically and emotionally, of the Sikhs. After that, riots were planned in the streets of major cities, as mobs were given voter rolls to identify Sikh homes and businesses, then more attacks.

In 1984, after witnessing the carnage of government run genocide across their state, targeting their people, "assassins" took it upon themselves to stop what they saw as wrong. Wouldn't any reasonable person when faced with untold numbers of innocent people facing torture and death at the hands of a hateful regime? The justification worked in World War II when The Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy, it's the same justification Bush used for the Iraq war: Stop those that would mercilessly slaughter thousands of innocents on a whim, before they are allowed to carry out their heinous crimes. Israel was created to stop hate against the Jews, Tibet should be free to stop persecution of a people because of their beliefs. Tibet in China is no different than Punjab in India—a people persecuted and oppressed by their own government.

Unfortunately, some of the plans still came to fruition. With the death of Indira as an excuse, the Sikhs faced their very own Kristallnacht. However the history of a people and a religion that has continually faced persecution for hundreds of years seems to be irrelevant to Kim Bolan. They are assassins because they killed someone she admires.

Kim Bolan's allegiances suggest that she doesn't frown on genocide. In fact, one of her known associates in the "Sikh" community is K.P. Gill, the so-called "supercop." She respects him for putting down what she calls "terrorism." What she doesn't seem to care about, is how this so-called terrorism was put down—torture, genocide, murder, mass graves, Gestapo-like tactics. This mass murder is condoned, and even admired by a reporter who doesn't bother to investigate the facts and clearly injects her strong bias and opinions into her articles.

Some may forget that at one time George Washington was a terrorist according to the British. So was Gandhi. In fact, Nelson Mandela famously quoted Gandhi in 2000 stating, "Where choice is set between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence…I prefer to use arms in defense of honor rather than remain the vile witness of dishonor." If standing up for what you believe in, if putting your life on the line to save others, and if asking for human dignity and the right to free speech and freedom of religion is terrorism. Then we are terrorists. Had the Americans lost the Revolutionary War they would've been known in history as assassins and terrorists, but instead they are looked up to across the world as symbols of freedom and liberty. What Kim Bolan doesn't seem to understand is that the majority of the Sikh community worldwide thinks she is a joke. The majority of the Sikh community, unlike the puppets she almost exclusively quotes, understands these issues and why we respect our martyrs.

First it's Jathedars Talwinder Singh and Sukhdev Singh Babbar who fought for the right to exist, then Bhai Fauja Singh who peacefully protested and was shot down, then it's Guru Gobind Singh Jee, who taught us that laying down and allowing oppressors to step all over you is not right and freedom and justice are principles a person can never give up. Will you ban them all?

Kim Bolan described Khalistan as "a mythical nation Sikh separatists want carved from Punjab." Perhaps Khalistan is a state of mind, perhaps it is a myth. Or perhaps it's the Empire built by our forefathers before the British came in and created the "mythical" state of India which later split our kingdom into the "mythical" states of India and Pakistan. Perhaps we just want to be left alone and have the right to self-determination—to exist—the right to free speech and the right to religion. Would you deny us that in your free democracy as well? Fortunately, in the democracy set up in Canada—our country too—even a minority's voice is heard, whether it be Kim Bolan or Sikhs calling for 'Sarbat da Bhalla," peace for the entire world and all who inhabit it.

If you could go back and bring Hitler to Justice—before the Holocaust, before Kristallnacht —Would you do it? Would it be wrong? Kim Bolan of the Vancouver Sun seems to think so. In recent articles by the "reporter", she slated the Sikh Nation for standing up against evil and tyranny.


19 April 2008

An Evocative Blog

I just did something I rarely do. I added a friend's personal blog to our link list. The blog is called evoking and its author is my friend Jasleen Kaur. I would like to invite you to read her blog and get to know her.

Jasleen is a very sweet, strong, devout lady whom Guru Ji called to be a Sikh. She has become a sister to me and I'd like to share her with our readers. Her story of how she came to Sikhi is told in her most recent post. Read it, you'll like it! And you might even learn something. I have become friendly with several bloggers on the list after adding them and , one way or another getting to know each. For some reason few of my friends blog and almost all of my blogging friends aren't Sikh and don't write on Sikh topics and hence don't belong here.

Perhaps I should let you know that Sitemeter, our statistical service lets us know about all the out-clicks from this blog, so we will know how many of you accept this invitation.

I need to write posts about the sentencing of Sukhvir Singh Ji's attacker and also this serious business about the disrespect shown our dhan dhan Guru Ji, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, in Delhi. By the DSGMC. Here is a link for you, if you'd like to read about it.: Desecration of the Guru by Our Own Institutions

But it's Saturday night and I'm tired. Those things will just have to wait.

By the way, I roached the picture here from evoking without Jasleen's permission. Hehehehehehe...

16 April 2008




And I am posting the picture of him recovered because I know I wouldn't - don't - want people to think of me as I looked after a severe beating. A while back, I heard him in a TV interview. I tried to find it to put it in this blog, but unfortunately, I couldn't. I was so impressed with his understanding, love and forgiveness and his statement of the basic Sikh belief - 'We are all one family - the family of God.'

From The Sikh Coalition

To our Sikh supporters in Washington -

Many of you have been following Sukhvir Singh's hate crime case since last December. You probably remember how he was brutally beaten while escorting a man home in his taxi. Tomorrow, his assailant will be sentenced.

We need to fill the courthouse with as many Sikhs as possible because our presence will send a clear message that Sikh community is active, engaged, and organized when we are attacked. We need the Judge to understand that our community expects justice.

We encourage you to email or call as many friends and family members as you can and encourage them to attend this sentencing with you.

What: Sentencing for Sukhvir Singh's Assailant
Friday, April 18th at 3:30 PM
Where: King County Courthouse, Room: West 355
Why: To support Sukhvir Singh during his ordeal and strengthen the law protecting us.

The Sikh Coalition Staff

Tales Of Vaisakhi Past

I have been thinking about the role Vaisakhi has played in my life. Today I want to right something easy and light. I am tired of being so serious, so today, just some light entertainment.


In my family we always jumped at the chance to do two things: throw a party and give each other gifts. The parties tended to be rather large and wild. (Yes, you can have wild parties without booze, drugs, sex or other immorality.) Of Rock 'N' Roll, there was usually plenty. The gifts, tended to be just the opposite, small and personal. After all, we each basically had everything we wanted or could easily get it. Handmade items were highly appreciated, as were things that were personally chosen to the giftees interests. Dad was a great wood carver, among his many talents. Everyone treasured his lovingly carved, perfect in size and shape kanghas. His intricate boxes and bowls were also highly prized.

It seemed each of us had our special collections, too. Additions to those also made fine presents. My collection? A bit eccentric, maybe, but I had - in fact, still have, I suppose - quite an interesting collection of medieval French light weaponry, mostly from The Hundred Years War period. That started with the three swords and dagger of my ancestor, the Lady Helene-Therese, who described herself as 'the mother, the queen and the woman of war.' She did indeed have children and the story of her as a warrior woman will someday be told in sometimes 2. The queen part, as far as I can tell, is pure ego. She was queen in her own mind of something, but I'm not sure what.

However, the collection I am concerned with here belonged to my second brother, Bertram, the civil engineer. He had an unexpected passion for Regency Period (1800-1825) stuff. He had all sorts of trivialities, from clothing to jewelry to books. (Regency to me, mostly conjures up pictures of ladies in high-waisted dresses a la Jane Austen.)

To decide who each of us was to give a gift to, we drew names. I, of course, drew Bert. From a second bag, we drew a condition. This was some condition the gift had to meet. I drew 'completely frivolous, but useful.' Huh? That would take some thought. After wracking my poor 16-year old brain, I came up with an idea. It made me laugh. Finding it would take some luck...

Of all my brothers, I was closest to Bert. He and I were, in many ways, complete opposites, especially, physically. He was the tallest man in a family of tall men while I am too, too short. He was dark; I am fair. He was big and broad and looked hypermasculine; I was tiny and skinny (I really was - back then) and looked very feminine. He was intelligent and funny and very, very devout. His kesh, both his head hairs and beard, was not as long as some of the others, but it was very thick and luxurious. Truth to be told, he was a bit vain of his beard and I thought the style he curled his mustache was a little silly and old-fashioned. Maybe Regency? Lol.

I was lucky. I found exactly what I was looking for, although I had to make a trip to New York City to find it. I remember how he ripped off the wrapping of the box, opened it and looked inside. The box, itself, was a lovely silver with gold inlay Regency box and it was filled with - a complete man's barber set! Frivolous to Bert, useful to most any man not a Sikh. It had all the grooming supplies: scissors, razors, a sharpening strop - and a mirror for the dandy to gaze upon himself. Perhaps it wasn't totally frivolous, though, because there was a second layer neatly filled with combs (metal - can you imagine using metal on a kesh?!), several mustache brushes and a small can labeled 'wax.' I had filled it with mustache wax. After his initial shock of seeing scissors and razors, he laughed and laughed, that full-belly, fill-you-up laugh that I remember so well and miss so much?

And what was my gift? I really don't remember, but I'm sure it was very nice,


The year of my great breakdown. This one is short, but not sweet. Or maybe it is.

My health, both physical and mental, had been deteriorating since my first stroke in 1993. I had reached a low point and had decided I didn't want to bother with all that hair anymore. After all, I wasn't doing anything Sikh, it seemed silly to bother with the physical and social bother of keeping kesh. I was standing in front of a mirror, pulling my hair back to get some idea of how it would look short when the doorbell rang. I looked out the peep-hole and saw a young woman holding a black, leather-bound book; she had the unmistakable, earnest look of a Christian missionary. Well aware of the date, I decided it would be somehow ironically amusing to spend the day listening to a would-be converter, then cutting my hair. As I opened the door, she flashed a big, overly sincere smile at me and extended her hand. 'Hello, neighbour, my name is Mona!' I didn't hear another word she said. And my kesh remained intact.


Last year, Maman, Suni, Mary and I spent Vaisakhi together. It was a special time for me. The year before, after my major stroke, I had been reunited with my family, after an absence of more than 20 years. This was my first Vaisakhi with family. My brothers were unable to be here, but we we women made our own occasion of it. And Maman, who you know as Vini, knows how to do it. I know she is old, but she is lively, imaginative and lots of fun. Also, she has a heart full of love and Sikhi. The perfect mother-in-law. Perhaps the perfect woman.

I had returned to Sikhi, and Mary was just learning it, making good her escape from a life of untruthfulness and hypocrisy with the Jehovah's Witnesses. Her enthusiasm and wonder at everything, actually seeing and participating in what she had only read about gave all of us a fresh perspective on everything. Maman has a unique sense of style to go with her sense of humour. She took it upon herself to dress us all. In what were blue, almost cholas, well, they would have been cholas, but they were a bit longer, as none of us, expect perhaps Mary, cared to show our legs. She decked us out with saffron sashes and gatras, and then tied turbans on all of us, including herself. She did a beautiful job of it. Suni and I hadn't been thus attired since November 1984, a fact of which Maman was well-aware. She saw this as part of our healing process.

For my part, I love wearing a dastaar. It makes me feel like a really Sikh Sikh. Not only does it serve the same purpose as a man's - to hide and protect the kesh - it is also the only real relief I get from this stubborn post-stroke headache. I have actually read there is a scientific basis for a turban giving headache relief. Whatever the reason, the sudden release from pain made me a bit giddy.

Mary, as might be expected, was caught between being very serious and giggling. We were not to carry our usual small kirpans, but full-length, metre-long ones that Maman had brought from Amritsar. In fact, all of our kakkars that day, except our kesh, of course, were from Amritsar. I was, at first, unwilling to quit wearing the kara I had worn since those days in 1984, but, in her gentle, compelling way, she convinced me.

One by one, I picked up each kirpan ans swung it around a bit until I found the one that best suited me. Oh, I was a bit off balance, but I had not held any sword-like item for many years and I enjoyed the feel of it in my hand. None of the other three had studied any sword fighting, a fact that assumed some importance a bit later.

She could convince me to switch the kara, but Maman had the good sense to know that I would flat refuse to go to the large gurdwara in Renton, so we headed to the small one we both like. On the way, we stopped at a convenience store being run by a good-looking keshdhari Singh wearing a red turban and a large kara, high up on his right arm. HE looked at us and couldn't help laughing. 'Ladies, where is your fifth?' Only then did it dawn on any of us that we did look a bit like a Panj Piyare minus one. Maman countered by chastising him for working on Vaisakhi.

'Are you really so poor that you can't close the store for one day?'

'Didi Ji, if I were closed, where would you get your 7-Ups?'

She harrumphed. She really did! "Didi Ji, indeed!' But she was laughing.

We had a sort of adventure in the afternoon. We walked a short distance and ran into a group of Sikh teen aged boys. Several were turbaned, but looked slightly thuggish, nonetheless. One approached us quite rudely. 'Aunties, do any of you know how to use those' - indicating our kirpans - 'or are they just decorations.' I know Maman was about to give them a tongue-lashing about showing respect for our articles of faith, but I forgot the stroke for a moment and remembered only that I had once been very good at fencing.

'Who has a long kirpan and the courage to take me on?'

My companions audibly gasped, as one of the young thugs stepped forward. He was tall and strong and wore a handsomely tied crimson dastaar. His long, sharp kirpan glistened in the afternoon sun, dazzling the eye.

'Sure, Aunty. Let's get it on!'

'Mai, for God's sake,' Suni started, but by that time, it was all over. My kirpan was right up against, actually touching through his clothes, that part of his anatomy that a man - especially, I suppose - a teen-aged boy - values most.

'Don't move a muscle.' I said in my most dangerous voice.

'I surrender. Please don't,' he squeaked.

I didn't move. 'Where's your chardi kala, Khalsa? A Khalsa isn't supposed to surrender, especially not to an "Aunty."'

Still squeaking, 'I'm not Khalsa.'

I lowered my kirpan. 'Oh. OK.'

He obviously knew nothing, absolutely nothing about fencing or sword fighting. A good thing, too, for me. My partially paralysed left side, my lack of balance and my lack of peripheral vision could have proved disastrous. Not to mention that I was taking blood thinners. But I bet he won't be challenging any more 'Aunties' any time soon.

Mary, though, was confused. 'Is this what usually happens on Vaisakhi?'

A loud chorus, all three in unison, 'No!'

I won't guarantee that this last story hasn't been embellished a bit, but just a bit. My challenger was a mousy little kid who really needed someone to teach him to tie a turban. His kirpan was very dull and not really shiny at all. And I doubt he had ever held a sword-length kirpan before in his life.


Please check out this website: Khalsa Kirpans: The Handmade Knives & Swords of Jot Singh Khalsa. They are beautiful. A bit pricy (I noticed one going for $280,000.) But beautiful.

Pictures are some more from the professional photographer, Charles Meacham's series, Being Sikh
Go to the Galleries link on the website and then click on Being Sikh. These are wonderful pictures!

14 April 2008


Canadians - If you have family members abroad who may wish to immigrate to Canada, you must fight against this ugly, racist bill! Budget Bill C-50 sounds innocuous, but it is very dangerous and, if passed, could tear immigrant families apart!

If there is any way you can get there, go to Toronto on Wednesday and participate. Get involved. The family you save will be your own!

From: The Sikh Activist Network (SAN)

Subject: Direct Action- Emergency Rally!!!

Direct Actions-
Emergency Rally

Emergency Rally Wednesday!!!

1. Direct Action --->>>

Please come out....we need numbers to make the message loud and clear....this is a direct threat and attack on the Sikh community as well as all other refugee and migrant communities.


365 Bloor Street East (Bloor and Sherbourne)
Liberal MP, Bob Rae's Constituency Office

No One Is Illegal-Toronto calls on all supporters, allies, students,
trade unions, community members, and organizations, to join us for
a rally and deputation to protest the proposed amendments to the
Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to demand that
Liberals exercise their power to vote to stop these damaging amendments
imbedded in the Budget Bill C-50.

While the Liberal Party has widely declared their opposition to these
regressive immigration amendments they have so far refused to vote
against them. It's time that the Liberals put their vote where their
mouth is.

A new motion to split the budget bill into two bills has been tabled
by NDP Immigration Critic Olivia Chow (Trinity Spadina). This motion
would allow the House of Common's Standing Committee on Finance to
study, alter, or remove the immigration portion of this bill. This
motion is not a confidence motion, which could result in the fall of
the government, unless the Harper Conservatives chose to make it so.
It is scheduled to be voted on this week in Parliament unless the
government uses parliamentary maneuvers to prevent it from moving

Join community groups as we present MP Bob Rae a giant ballot to
demand that he and his fellow Liberal members exercise their power to

The changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) that
Harper 's Conservative government tried to sneak through the House of
Commons via C-50 (the budget implementation act) will give enormous
powers to the Minister to decide which categories of immigration
applications will be processed, and which would be ignored or
discarded. It will also limit several kinds of applicants based on
humanitarian and compassionate grounds that Canadian sponsors can use
to bring their relatives into Canada. The Minister will also gain
extraordinary powers to deny visas to those who meet all the
immigration criteria.

For more info contact No One Is Illegal-Toronto


Maybe it shouldn't, maybe Mai has developed too much attitude (Mother to daughter: 'You'd better change your attitude right this minute, young lady, before I beat you to a bloody pulp!'), maybe she needs to develop more caution, but she came across this just as Vaisakhi was ending - and it made her smile!



4/15/2008 9:16:00 AM

Assasins of Indira Gandhi hailed as martyrs in a Sikh rally in Canada (Picture at left)

In what can be described as a brazen challenge to the rule of law, Pro-Khalistanis held a Baisakhi day rally at the same venue as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. On Monday (April 14) a Sikh rally near Vancouver in Canada to mark Baisakhi, had raised the hackles of the Indian government. That's primarily because, at this gathering of no less than one lakh people, the assassins of Indira Gandhi were hailed as martyrs.

This heightened show of Sikh separatist sentiment prompted an incensed New Delhi to turn to Ottawa for help. But the call for attention from a foreign government seemed all too ironic, when on the same festive day -- Sikh defiance raged in India's own back yard. At thee rallying grounds of Palwandi Sabo in Punjab's Batinda district, imposing images of Khalistan movement founder Jarnal Singh Bhindanwale dominated the scenery. Provocative placards were conveniently ignored by state leaders, who were busy addressing their own gatherings at the same ground.

Leaders like state Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and opposition Chiefs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh were present at the gathering. What also went unnoticed was the hardliner's high-decible attack on the Punjab government for allegedly going soft on this man Dera Sacha Sauda -- Sect leader Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

It was a grouse that was highlighted with a public honouring of the families of nine persons who had died in the anti-Dera riots during the last few months. Bhai Mohkam Singh -- Spokesperson, Khalsa Action Committee said, "In Punjab the Dera's are creating trouble and are robbing and killing people. We will fight against it." Parents of the nine person voiced pride and said, "We are proud to parents of men who tried to do targeted the Dera Sachcha Souda"

While it was a demonstration that didn't incite violence, it was clear attempt to open wounds that have barely healed. But it appears, the Punjab government prefers to remain in a blissful ignorance of these goings on. Sukhbir Singh Badal -- Working President of Akali Dal said, "I am not aware of any of this. We will look into it "

It's clear that the state's administration is following a policy of appeasement to prevent renewed tensions in the state. But this Baisakhi, it was a Sikh New Year resolution that these hardliners are determined to see out and it seems reviving Khalistani sentiment is their means that end.

12 April 2008

A Second Urgent Call To Canadians!


I hope a few of you read this today. I know Vaisakhi Celebrations are in full swing and even here in the States, I had not intended to do any posting today. However, this has come up and, since it is about a gathering tomorrow, I will put it up at once.

I wrote about the proposed revisions to Canadian immigration laws a few days ago. Now, it seems the Conservative Government is determined to go ahead. They must be stopped. This is the notice I got from the Sikh Activist Network a few minutes ago.



In accordance to point #3 of the Sikh Activist Network Platform, which states

"We demand an end to the racist war on immigrants and refugees. We demand an end to the deportations and status for all. No human is illegal."

The Sikh Activist Network urges all Toronto based activists to moblize in effort to stop the racist immigration policies of the Conservative Government.

If you are interested in attending with The Sikh Activist Network, please reply to this msg.


On April 13th, the Punjabi Press Club of Canada will be holding a public meeting to discuss the changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

What: Public Meeting on Changes to Immigration Act
When: April 13th 2008 at 12:30PM
Where: Royal Banquet Hall
185 Statesman Dr., Mississauga
Derry Rd and Hurontario St.
Tel. 905-564-7895

In attendance will at this public meeting will be,

NDP Immigration critic Ms. Olivia Chow MP, Liberal MP Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua, Member of Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, Dr. Ruby Dhala MP, Hon., Harinder Takhar, Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Kuldip Kular MPP, Amrit Mangat MPP and many more...

Community leaders will speak about this change in immigration act and it's impact on Canadian Ethnic Communities.

If you are interested in attending with The Sikh Activist Network, please reply to this msg.



On March 14th 2008, the Conservative government introduced a series of amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act buried in Bill c-50, the ‘budget implementation bill’. This fundamentally undemocratic move sneaks in critical changes to Canada’s immigration policy without proposing any of those changes before Parliament. These sweeping changes will give enormous and arbitrary powers to the Minister around application processing, while perpetuating a racist and anti-poor agenda of setting immigration agendas based on ‘labour market needs’. In respose to an overwhelming negative response to these amendements- including the Canadian Bar Association- the Immigration Minister has recently been forced to attempt to spin these regressive changes as being guided by the principles of ‘fairness’!

To reply to this message, follow the link below:

11 April 2008

A Sikh Dis'Honour' Killing

I seem to recall reading somewhere that among Sikhs both caste and the killing of the daughter are forbidden. Where could that be? Oh, I remember now, The Sikh Rehat Maryada! (Check out Chapter Ten, Part 16 (a) and (l), and Chapter 11, Section 18 (a).)

OK, the article never actually says they were Sikhs...

From the Times of India.

Girl In Love Killed, Cremated Secretly

HOSHIARPUR: Ravinder Kaur, just 18 and in love with Amritpal, hardly got any chance to be with the man she wanted to marry. On Wednesday, when her family left home to attend a neighbour's wedding, she sneaked out and went to meet her 25-year-old lover.

But someone spotted her with Amritpal and the word spread like wildfire in Darga Haeri village, 35 km away from Hoshiarpur. Soon, seething at seeing their Saini girl with a scheduled caste man, Ravinder was dragged home by her relatives and beaten unconscious.

The next day, police sources said, she was "consigned to flames", yet another casualty in Punjab's bloody history of honour killings.

SSP, Hoshiarpur, Sukhchain Singh Gill told the Times of India on Friday that "the body of the deceased had been cremated before the matter came to the notice of the police".

He added, "There were only ashes from the pyre."

A case has been registered under sections 302 (murder), 201 and 120B of IPC at the Tanda police station and police said they were verifying if Ravinder was beaten to death or forced to commit suicide.

The girl's parents, Baljit Kaur and Manohar Singh, are behind bars.


And please check out Aasra Magazine, here or in the new link on the right. It is a local product from here near Seattle. It is bilingual, in both Punjabi and English.


06 April 2008

Remember Du'a Khalid Aswad - murdered 7 April 2007

On April 7, 2007, Du'a Khalid Aswad was brutally murdered - executed by stoning - by the male members of her community. Her crime? Falling in love with the wrong man. An honour - or rather dishonour - killing. I am unable to bring myself to write the details; they are too agonising. Please go to this link if you have the stomach for it.

Here is a slighly less gruesome account that aired on CNN. The unexpurgated version was censored and removed by YouTube.

A final irony to her story is this. The civil authorities dug up her mutilated body from its unmarked grave. An autopsy revealed - among other things - that this filthy slut that had so dishonoured her family and her faith was a virgin.

I know that I can sometimes be a bit preachy, but there will be no preaching today. The facts speak for themselves.

I will note, however, that my Sitemeter informs me that the most used link on this blog is the one on the widget to stop 'honour' killings. If you haven't yet, please look at the 'honour' killing widget off in the right hand column.

I am very happy and pleased that I belong to a religion and a community where our women and girls are valued equally with our men and boys, with all the same rights, obligations and freedoms. I am very happy that none of our children will ever be killed for loving the 'wrong' person.

These photos, as well as the images in the videos were made by witnesses enjoying the spectacle. The large concrete block by Ms. Aswad's head in the bottom picture is the instrument of her death after about a half hour's torture.

04 April 2008

Memories Intruding On The Present

Forty years ago today, I was excitedly planning my sixteenth birthday party.

When I came home from school, though,the house was quiet and subdued, very unusual. In fact, it reminded me only of the day John F. Kennedy was murdered. Unable to stand the quiet, I yelled out, 'Hey, who died?'

My Dad appeared out of nowhere. 'Martin Luther King, Jr., has been assassinated, shot to death.'

I remember how very guilty I felt then. 'Oh. Oops.'

We went to our television room to watch the coverage.

Dad was a great admirer of Dr. King's movement, although he was sceptical of its chance of success. 'These nonviolent types might get the right laws passed, but it'll take people with guns to get them enforced.' Still he he respected Dr. King and was very upset at his murder.

Frankly, I was more concerned with how the Barbarians to the South would react. I expected they would greet the death of Gandhi's nonviolent apostle with their usual violence. Of course they did. And I will be honest. I thought Dr. King's non-violence was naive and ineffective. I believed that equality could not be achieved without much bloodshed. I wish I could look back and say I was wrong. I cannot. And we awaited the next assassination of 1968.

I felt very self-righteously Canadian. That self-righteousness that continued almost to this day. It has been destroyed now by the comments I have read from 'real Canadians' about the Laibar Singh case. I have astounded at the level of prejudice expressed against my community. I am not suggesting that the larger community does not have legitimate concerns. I am suggesting that one can disagree with the actions of some members of the Sikh community - including myself - without vilifying that whole community. You can believe that Laibar Singh Ji should be deported, you can even believe he should betaken out and shot without being prejudiced and without hating us and classifying us as all the same. Each of us is an individual, with our own personal beliefs. I ask that we be treated as individuals, not as an amorphous brown mass. Now I honestly feel unwelcome in my 'home and native land,' having learned about the Barbarians to the North. This hurts.

Back to Dr. King. He had a dream. Has that dream been realised? Of course not! But conditioned have changed, if some hearts have not. The most obvious indication of that has to be the serious candidacy of Barack Obama for President. I admit I am surprised at how far he has come. Let us now see how far he can go.

As my tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, here is his most famous speech.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I Have a Dream"

delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio. (2)]

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. *We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: "For Whites Only."* We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."²

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!³


*Text within asterisks was added on 3/31/06. Credit Randy Mayeux for bringing the omissions to my attention.

¹ Amos 5:24 (rendered precisely in The American Standard Version of the Holy Bible)

² Isaiah 40:4-5 (King James Version of the Holy Bible). Quotation marks are excluded from part of this moment in the text because King's rendering of Isaiah 40:4 does not precisely follow the KJV version from which he quotes (e.g., "hill" and "mountain" are reversed in the KJV). King's rendering of Isaiah 40:5, however, is precisely quoted from the KJV.

³ At: http://www.negrospirituals.com/news-song/free_at_last_from.htm