29 August 2008

The Life And Death Of Ajit Poolha

I have been reading about the murder/execution of Ajit Poohla. Until his death, I really knew nothing of him. Generally speaking, the idea of throwing flammable liquid on a Sikh and setting him alight appalls me, but I sensed something unusual in this case. Then I came across a quote of KP- Gill calling him 'a patriot and a nationalist.' Knowing well KP- Gill's view's.



I reasoned that he was not referring to a patriotic lover of Khalistan. I have done some reading and, thanks to IHRO, have found this rather long article. This creepy person appears to be no more a Nihung than I am Batman. (The burn pictures are from The Panthic News, which is in Punjabi, for those of you more comfortable in that language.) The article is from Sikh The Truth; however that site seems not to be up and running at this time. For anyone interested, the e-mail address is sikhthetruth@yahoo.co.uk


Ajit Poohla

Out of all the Cats hired by the government to malign the Sikh freedom movement and kill the Sikh fighters, Ajit Poohla in the disguise of a Nihung from Majha is the most vicious, corrupt and an unjust person.

Background

Poohla's father's name was Nahar Singh Naamdhari. Poohla's name was Jaswinder Singh. While studying at a government college in Ludhiana, Jaswinder was known as a good fighter and had used his thug tactics in the college to place fear into other students. In 1981, while gambling, his group had a fight over 14,000 rupees. His four mates - Susheel Kumar, Rakaish Kumar, Satpal and Susheel Kumar (another one) - jointly fired bullets at a person named Gurcharan Singh while under the influence of liquor. Gurcharan Singh escaped but a person walking was injured. A case was filed against Jaswinder and his mates. The other three culprits were caught but Jaswinder managed to escape. He was wanted by the police. Jaswinder went to a Kahnay nihung. Other party found out and told the police. However, Kahnay talked to SSP D. R. Bhatti and had the file closed. Jaswinder was now Ajit Poohla or nihung.

During the times when Baba Bishan Singh was the head of Tarna Dal, a corrupt and misbehaved person Kahan Singh, usually referred to as Kahna by the people, was kicked out of the jatha. Kahna moved to Khadur Sahib and established his residence there. Being a corrupt person, he would keep all of the money donated to the Gurdwara Sahib by the public and spend it on his personal errands. One time the donation was so small that he became enraged and blamed Sant Jarnail Singh Ji by making insulting remarks about him. One of close companions of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji, Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sakheera, was present there and engaged in an argument with Kahna. Bhai Sukhdev Singh did not do anything and left but after a few days Kahna was killed. After Kahna's death, Ajit Poohla took over the group and became the next leader.

Beginning of Criminality

In 1985, Poohla and his group first went to a house of Nihung Gajjan Singh, resident of SurSingh. According to the mother of Gajjan Singh, Poohla and his group ate all of their chickens and drank alcohol everyday. They spent so much money on hospitality of Poohla and his group that they almost went bankrupt. Finally, mother of Gajjan Singh asked him to kick out Poohla and his group. Gajjan Singh was afraid of Poohla and could not be straight forward with him. So he advised Poohla to take over the local historic Gurdwara and make it his residence. Poohla liked this advice and soon took over the Gurdwara which was in village Poohla. For this reason Ajit Sinh got the nickname of 'Poohla'. He also threatened the management committee of the Gurdwara to leave. Poohla knew that Gajjan Singh was aware of his activities and what methods he had used to take over the Gurdwara. So to eliminate any evidence against him, Poohla killed Gajjan Singh. Just a few years ago, after two decades, the family of Gajjan Singh started to raise their voice and is now asking for justice. The Gurdwara had 20 acres of land and had large amount of money donated by the people every week. This turned Poohla to a filthy rich man. His group membership increased to 40 and he bought numerous brand new cars and jeeps. To satisfy their greed, this group started to increase their activities in other areas as well.

Recruitment

Poohla frequently visited other Nihung deras and took any useful person with him. He talked nicely and lovingly to persuade people to come with him. Swaranjit Singh's father was a nihung with the Buddha Dal. A nihung named Santokh Singh from Sultanpur Lodhi sang praises of Poohla and influenced Swaranjit Singh to meet Ajit Poohla. Swaranjit Singh lived at a Gurudwara in a village named Kohaarh Kalan with his family. Poohla came to the village one day and stayed overnight. In the early morning, before Sunrise, Poohla woke up and saw Swaranjit Singh doing Paath and Kirtan. Poohla didn't have anyone in his Dal with these capabilities. His Dal was full of people who were drug addicts and didn't follow any part of Sikhism. He convinced Swaranjit Singh and his family to come with him to a Gurudwara located in Sector 39-C in Chandigarh. Swaranjit Singh was very useful to him because he did not take any drugs and was Metric pass in English. Poohla made Swaranjit Singh his personal assistant.

On the other hand when Swaranjit Singh saw Poohla's real image, he was shocked. Poohla drank every-night in the basements of various forts. He drank around one liter of liquor every day. Then he played music on a deck and started dancing. He also brought a eunuch names Lavli with him and made her dance with her. Then after some time, he went behind closed doors with her.

Moral Corruption

Poohla not only committed adultery with eunuchs but he placed his hands on every woman or girl he came into contact with. Swaranjit Singh decided to run away from him but he soon found out that leaving Poohla's gang was as same as calling death. Nihung Thaan Singh, son of Bhai Kapoor Singh, wanted to leave Poohla's group and asked for permission. It is a tradition that Nihungs have to ask their leader before leaving them. When Poohla was asked for permission, Poohla replied, "Ya! He wants to leave, send him to the future".


So Thaan Singh was beaten up and then burned alive at dera Jhootha in Kartarpur. Same thing happened to one of his companions named Savinder Singh. He also wanted to leave Poohla. Savinder Singh, also called Thattha Fauji, was from a village named Reaali Bhangali. A hymn singer named Gurdial Singh was also killed as he was handed over to police officer Paramraj Umranangal.

Joining the Cats

During the government of Barnala in Punjab, Poohla was hired as a Cat under the command of S.S.P. Izhaar Alam and was provided with weapons and security guards. Some of his duties were to harass and terrorize the families of Sikh freedom fighters, challenge the Sikh fighters through the newspapers to fight his group and take over the historic Gurdwaras. The government intended to take over the historic Gurdwaras through Poohla and use them against the Sikh movement. With the support of the government, Poohla became so corrupt and a characterless person that no woman ever dared to leave her house.



To challenge the Sikh fighters, Poohla with the help of Jeevan Umranangal started a new political party called "Jagat Akali Dal" which was named after Lala Jagat Narayan. Lala Jagat Narayan was a fundamentalist Arya Samaji Hindu who spewed poison against the Sikhs in his newspaper for which he was killed later. Umranangal's son Sukhdev was killed by Sikh fighters. After his death, Umranangal's second son, Paramraj was hired as an S.P. of Criminal branch by Ribiero. Through Paramraj, Poohla became friend with many of the corrupt police officers and by using their help, Phoola collected large sum of money from many rich families and shared his wealth with them.

Swaranjit Singh and other witnesses state that police officers Paramraj Umranangal, Sumaid Saini, Ajit Sandhu, Jasminder and some other police officers frequently visited Poohla and they all drank liquor together. Many times police officers asked Poohla to give them some people so they could kill them to show police encounters. Sometimes Poohla sent people from his own gang and other times he sent people from other states to the police officers. People from other states come to Punjab to earn a living. Poohla did this so his police officers friends could get higher ranks and then provide support to Poohla in return. For these favors, Poohla received weapons, tractors, automobiles, jeeps, etc. from police officers. These items were usually the property of innocent people who were killed in fake encounters or were the property of soldiers who died fighting for freedom for the Sikh nation. Poohla even received Nishan Sahibs, which were raised in memory of Sikhs who died for Khalistan, from police officers. Poohla usually sold these items to others. Any illegal drug that was caught was also sent to Poohla in government vehicles.

Taking over Gurdwaras

Phoola had become obsessed with taking over Gurdwaras. First he took over a Gurdwara of village Kartarpur near Gurdaspur. Then in 1989 he forcibly took over an historic Gurdwara Damdama Sahib in Hargobindpur. He physically assaulted the employees of the Gurdwara and had them arrested under the false accusation of sheltering the Sikh freedom fighters. People who protested against Poohla were suppressed by the local police. Then Poohla took over many Gurdwaras in Chandigarh. He took over Gurdwara of Ghuman and 10 acre of land that belonged to the Gurdwara. Furthermore, he took over Gurdwara Hargobindpur Sahib, built in the memory of Guru Hargobind Ji, Gurdwara of Kartarpur and 100 acres of land on which he built his mansion, and Gurdwara Baba Bakala and 12 acres of land on which he built another one of his mansions. Poohla took over Gurdwara of Harchowal and forced the 40 shop owners to pay him the rent which to this day his group has been collecting. Along with the Gurdwaras, Poohla took over 6 shops in Jalandhar and hundreds of acres in village Dhun.

Besides Punjab, Poohla wanted to take over Gurdwaras in other states. He even took over many historic Gurdwaras in Maharashtra and then tried to take over Hazoor Sahib. Coincidentally, group of Bhai Madha Singh Babbar was staying in Hazoor Sahib. They challenged Poohla to face them but Poohla became so scared that he left Hazoor Sahib the same day and did not rest until he reached Punjab where he had the protection of the police and the government. After coming to Punjab, Poohla started to challenge the Sikh fighters. His intent was to bring the Sikh fighters to a pre-determined place and have them surrounded by the government security forces.

Insult of Sikhi


Baba Charan Singh was the care taker of Sikh Gurudwaras. Poohla had Baba Charan Singh killed by S.S.P. Ajit Sandhu. After sharing the wealth of the dera with Ajit Sandhu, Poohla's gang looted everything in the dera. According to Swaranjit Singh, one of Poohla's nakli (fake) nihungs was saying: "athedar Ji! We have taken everything, should I also bring the (Guru) Granth (Sahib Ji) under my arm?"

Swaranjit Singh has told that at one time, Poohla decorated his Svaraj Mazda and placed Guru Granth Sahib Ji in it. This was just a drama as he doesn't have any respect for Guru Granth Sahib Ji. In reality, he uses his Svaraj Mazda for transporting liquor and other drugs. This car was driven by Poohla in the influence of liquor in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Swaranjit Singh also states that one time Poohla went to Darbar Sahib after drinking liquor. At the gate, security official stopped Poohla and told him not to go in. Poohla pushed him and said foul words. He entered with his government weapons and went to Darbar Sahib and Akaal Takht. Whenever Poohla took over a Gurudwara, he turned it into a fort. In the name of taking care of Gurudwara, he stopped buses, trucks, etc. and told the drivers to collect people from villages. In case the drivers decide not to return, he kept their vehicle papers with him. No one was paid for oil or for the work someone did for him at the Gurudwara. No complaints were heard against Poohla as the government machinery was with him. Learning from him, Poohla's brother Malkit also collected some policemen and openly looted many buses but no action was taken against him.

Oppressing the Public

Killing innocent people for no reason had become his habit. The public became more and more terrorized as the oppression of Poohla increased. Slowly Poohla started to build his kingdom by taking over people's property by force. He took over 26 acres of land of his village, and bought 20 acres at a very cheap price. He wanted to take over the 4 acre land that lay beside his 20 acres. He threatened the land owner, 60 years old Anoop Singh to give up the land but he refused to comply. Poolha became so enraged that he dragged Anoop Singh outside of his house and beat him to death in front of the whole village. His family very well knew that Poolha had the support of the police so they gave up the land since filing a case against Poohla was not even an option for them.

On the land he had taken over, he built a big mansion as his residence in which he would torture people, rape women, drink alcohol and watch porn movies. Poolha started to pick up young women, take them back to his place and rape them. Many people complained to the police but no action was taken against Poohla. Some of the security guards of Poolha later revealed that Poohla would pick up men of a particular household and then ask the women of that household to come to his place. When his guards would inform him of incoming of any woman he would pat his thigh firmly, laugh and say "Let her come." According to some of his companions, "It is impossible to count the number of people he has killed, raped and oppressed." People could not do anything except tolerate his misbehavior and his oppression against them.

The tactics Poohla used to torture others were also monstrous. A person was laid belly down and one of Poohla's gang members was told to sit on the hip. Then the feet of the victim were lifted up. Poohla beat up the victim until his feet were huge with soreness.

There was also a member of Poohla's gang named Wassan. He was a native of village Bhumboeee. His method of torture was to tie a person's hands behind his back and then slowly rotated the arms to bring the hands toward the head. The person being tortured cried out loud in pain but no one from the Indian justice system heard the pains.

Dayal Singh, son of Mahil Singh, from the same Bhumboeee village had a mare (female horse) that danced. Wassan told Poohla about this horse. Poohla asked for the mare but the poor man had his daily living from the mare. He told Poohla that the mare belongs to his brother. Hearing this, Poohla decided to teach Dayal Singh a lesson. One day Dayal Singh went to sell his wheat crop to the market and from there Wassan fooled him and took him to Poohla.

Poohla and Amriko ordered him to be laid down for not giving the mare. Poohla's thugs started hitting the poor man with butts to show their loyalty towards Poohla. He was beaten repeatedly and asked if he was going to give the mare. Dayal Singh kept on saying that the horse belonged to his brother. Getting hit with the guns, his head was now open and Poohla then ordered Wassan to play his trap. Unable to take all the torture, Dayal Singh died on the spot. Dayal Singh's dead body was also thrown into the river. Poohla and Amriko ordered this torture and were directly responsible for Dayal's death. Sometimes Poohla repeatedly hit people in the head with the heels of his boots and made their heads bleed.

Rapes

A woman named Amriko from Amarkoat supplied girls to Poohla. She was a well known friend of Poohla. Poohla killed many people for her so she could take over lands of people by force. Poohla used his buddy police officers to get her an honorable prize from the Indian government.

According to Swaranjit Singh, Poohla also placed his hands on wives of people in his gang. No one spoke against him in fear. At the start, Poohla had a hobby of having sexual intercourse with old aged women but then his hobby came to young girls. It was atrocious when this monster criminal picked up a 7 year old daughter of a nihung who had come to his dera. Poohla took her to the basement in his complex in village Poohla and raped her all night. The little girl died screaming and crying in pain. When her father opposed, he was beaten up and was forced to run away. Girl's dead body was cut into small pieces and thrown into the river Beas near Sri Hargobindpur. Everyone whom Poohla killed were usually cut into pieces and thrown into this river by Poohla himself.

A top quality and well known Kavisher, Bhai Joga Singh's, grand-daughter Ratinderbir Kaur was only 16 years old when Poohla kidnapped her and made her an object to fulfill his lust. Poohla forcefully picked her up from her house and did not allow her to go back for 4-5 days. Bhai Joga Singh sent telegrams to high officials, chief minister and the DGP (Direct General of Police). DIG Jasminder and SSP from Majitha just kept quiet. No action was taken against Poohla. Even the so-called Akali ministers Sukha Singh Langah and Seva Singh Saikhvaa didn't do anything against Poohla. At that time, Ratinderbir Kaur hadn't come home for 2 months. When no one in the government listened, Joga Singh went to High Court. High Court asked the relevant police officers for an answer. The police officers went to Poohla and said, "Now we have to give an answer, find a solution."

Poohla contacted his friend advocate Deepinder Dhillon. He created false marriage papers for under-aged Ratinderbir Kaur. A girl has to be at least 18 to marry in India. Poohla's friends sent to letters to High Court stating that the girl had married Poohla under her own will and was living with him under her own will.

After getting away from legal conflicts, he took out his anger at Joga Singh's grand-daughter. He handed her over to his other thug gang members and ordered all of them to rape her. Innocent girl was attacked by these sexual predators all night. Swaranjit Singh is the witness to all of this.

Taking the assaults from Poohla and his gang, Ratinderbir Kaur developed a mental condition. Ratinderbir Kaur is the daughter of a martyr Singh who died for Sikh freedom. People who had fear of Akaal prayed to Akaal so Poohla's pitcher of sins could be broken. People prayed for Poohla to be behind bars or dead. Finally one day, Bhai Joga Singh and some other relatives came and took the mental Ratinderbir Kaur with them. A person who lived with Poohla for a short while and had seen the assaults on Ratinderbir Kaur take place came forward and offered to marry Ratinderbir Kaur. Rising against Poohla's vicious actions, Jathedar Deep Singh and his group members provided protection with their weapons so this wedding could take place. However, Poohla later got this young man entangled in thug brother Malkit's murder. He probably killed him himself.

Activities against Sikh Fighters

S.S.P. Sumedh Saini was a cruel police officer who was known for his brutality against the Sikhs. In Chandigarh his car was blown up by the Sikh fighters but luckily he survived and was admitted to the hospital. The police blamed group of Bhai Balwinder Singh Jatana for this incident. Poohla met Saini in the hospital and then told the news reporters that "The attack on Saini will be avenged." The same night Bhai Balwinder Singh's entire family including children was killed. Only the father survived who later revealed that the killers were dressed as Nihungs. The murder of Bhai Sahib's family was widely discussed in the papers but no action was taken against Poohla. In a similar way, Poohla and his group killed an entire family of Bhai Joga Singh in village Khanpur. Poohla even picked up four students of Damdami Taksal from Gurdwara Gurdarshan Parkash, Mehta, brought them back to his place and killed them all. He killed hundreds of family members of other Sikh fighter but no action was taken against him as he had full support of the government.

Swaranjit Singh Escapes

Swaranjit Singh was now seriously looking for a way out of Poohla's gang. Another way of calling death was leaving Poohla's gang. Swaranjit could no longer watch Poohla commit his vicious crimes. Swaranjit Singh made contacts with Jathedar Deep Singh. Poohla had his suspicions too. To place fear into Swaranjit Singh, Poohla beat him and told SSP Sumaid Saini of Chandigarh to take over Swaranjit Singh's family living in the sector 39-C Gurudwara in Chandigarh. For his family's safety, Swaranjit Singh delayed his leave for a while and started making plans to rescue his family from Poohla's trap.


Also in 1997, Akali government came in power. Even though they were also backing up Poohla, Swaranjit Singh asked Minister Ajit Singh Kohar for help to free his family from Poohla. Ajit Singh met Swaranjit Singh when Swaranjit Singh had gone to court in Chandigarh for a task which Poohla wanted completed. Swaranjit Singh told Ajit Singh Kohar everything and told him that he wanted to be free from Poohla. Ajit Singh Kohar suggested that Swaranjit Singh free his family first. Somehow Ajit Singh Kohar freed his family from Poohla and appointed SSP from Nawashehar to protect Swaranjit Singh's family members. Swaranjit Singh left Poohla and started living in his village. Poohla considered the situation and then sent messages to Swaranjit Singh to come back. Poohla tried to bribe Swaranjit Singh and presented him some offers. He offered him to select a dera and told him that he would become the chief of that dera. However, after living in Poohla's gang for a long time, Swaranjit Singh knew the game which Poohla was trying to play. Poohla wanted him to come so he could kill him too and feed him to the fish in the River Beas. Poohla didn't want anyone from his gang to leave because the person leaving would know all the crimes that he had committed. Fortunately, Swaranjit Singh didn't come fall into his trap again.

After the Movement

After the decline of the Sikh movement, the government stopped supporting the Cats. In many instances, Cats were killed by the government. With the help of police officers, Poohla staged fake attacks on himself. He kidnapped a woman, and beat her unconscious. Then he strapped a time bomb around her waste, and blew her up on a bridge. He complained to the government that the woman was a suicide bomber who had come to kill him. The government bought his lies and provided him with security forces. After that he kept continuing his notorious activities by raping many young girls one of which was grand daughter of famous poet Bhai Joga Singh Jogi. He also picked up a 14 years old girl Jaspreet Kaur, daughter of Subegh Singh and dishonored her. Subegh Singh reported to the police but no action was taken. Then he went to High Court which forwarded the case to I.G. of Criminal branch for investigation. I.G. handed the case to S.P. of the branch who happened to be Paramraj Umranangal, a best friend of Poohla. Paramraj prepared a report stating that Poohla was innocent and the girl was guilty.

Residents of village Poohla wanted to construct a Gurdwara Sahib in the loving memory of Bhai Taru Singh Ji. In 2003, when they started to construct the building, Poohla and his group paraded the village holding their rifles and saying that they will not let the villagers build a second Gurdwara. Poohla picked up construction workers and killed them. The locals filed a case against him. This time the police took initiatives and arrested Poohla but one A.S.I. officer bailed him out. Poohla has his business of growing marijuana in his occupied land. Residents of Poohla complain that the police refuse to take any action against Poohla for growing marijuana in two acres whereas a case was filed against him for the same crime in Chandigarh.

Current Activities and Opposition

Poohla still has support of many police and government officials. In 2004, on death anniversary of Sukhdev Umranangal, Poohla was seen on the stage sitting with many other politicians. He was seen getting drunk and dancing with female dancers on the wedding of son of a congressman, Malkeet Sinh. He has close relations with many of the politicians and their relatives such as Aadesh Kairon, son-in-law of Badal, Balbir Bath, Malkeet Beermi and Partap Henry. Many of the police officers are pressuring Captain Amrinder to not to take any action against Poohla because they fear that exposing Poohla would also put them at the risk since they were directly involved in many of his criminal activities.

The first voice raised against Poohla was from the locals after the incident of building the new Gurdwara Sahib. They started "Stop Poohla Committee" and were joined by people of other areas and revealed their stories. Some complained that Poohla stole their tractor, and animals while others accused him of threatening them for money. Up till now a total of 12 murders have been brought forward by the public and hundreds of more are still buried in the hearts of people. Seeing that people were rising up against him, he started complaining to the government that the people against him were relatives of the terrorists and directly related to those who had escaped from Burail jail (Bhai Jagtar Singh and Bhai Paramjit Singh). He also claims that he has support of Captain Amrinder, Chief Minister of Punjab, which shows that the victims will have to fight not against one person but against the government of Punjab. Many police officers are refusing to register cases against him and claim that there is no evidence against him. Although more and more people are joining the campaign against Poohla but only time will prove for how long the government supports and protects him.

Jatana Family

Bhai Balwinder Singh Jatana was only 25 when he left his family to join the Sikh freedom struggle. From 1987 to 1991 he was very active in his area and had many encounters with the local police. He was so well respected in the area that even Hindus looked up to him for protection and came to him to resolve their matters. Many times, the Indian police had arrested his family members numerous times in order to force him to surrender but it was all in vain. Bhai Sahib had strong determination and never gave up.

The police had tried everything possible to capture Bhai Sahib and was running out of ideas. At last, time of opportunity came to them. S.S.P. Sumedh Saini's, a brutal cop, car was blown up by Sikh fighters in which Sumedh Saini severely became injured and was hospitalized. Police Cat Ajit Phoola met Sumedh Saini at the hospital and a long meeting was held. It is not known what was discussed in the meeting but the outcome became apparent when Phoola announced to the reporters that attack on Sumedh Saini will be avenged. Police quickly held Bhai Balwinder Singh responsible for the incident and set out to "seek revenge".

On the night of 30th August, 1991, Phoola and his group along with the local police went to the house of Bhai Jatana. At this time there were four family members of Bhai Jatana present: Grandmother Dwarkee Kaur (80 years), Aunt Jasmair Kaur (40 years), Cousin Manpreet Kaur (13 years) and Nephew Simranjeet Singh (5 years).

Dwarki Kaur
Jasmair Kaur
Manpreet Kaur
Simranjeet Singh

When the police entered the house all four members were sleeping. Without further due, the police fired upon everyone and killed them while sleeping. A young child of 5 years old was not spared and was shot dead also.

Next day, police sent a team in disguise to investigate if the local villagers knew anything about the perpetrators. One member asked a local villager, "How many were killed?" The villager replied, "Four". The member shockingly said, "But there were supposed to be five." The villager did not understand the implication behind the statement but it was revealed by other villagers later that some policemen had come to the village to find out how many family members of Bhai Jatana were present in the house so that a killing squad could be sent at night. When the police came there were five people in the house. During the turmoil times it was custom to have some members of the family sleep elsewhere. This is why the fifth member, Harpreet Singh, nephew of Bhai Sahib slept at neighbor's house and thus escaped death. It was a clear sign of police brutality against innocent people of Punjab. The police was unable to capture Bhai Sahib so they decided to go after the family and collect money from the government as a reward.

When Bhai Sahib found out about the death of his family members, he kept calm and said, "Their plan is to divert us from the path of freedom. They kill our families and expect us to kill innocent people (Hindus) in return. Sikhs do not kill anyone out of anger. We will be harming the movement by resorting to police's actions." The police knew that Bhai Sahib would come after the killers so they spent night and day looking for him. Raiding multiple places in a day became a common routine for the police. At last, someone in the group betrayed Bhai Sahib and gave his whereabouts to police. When police surrounded him, his companion Bhai Charanjeet Singh was also with him. Both had little to no ammunition at the time so they decided to end their lives by taking a cyanide capsule. No action was taken against the police for killing innocent people. Many like Phoola were rewarded with large sum of money. It was only after the death of Bhai Sahib that the police could sleep peacefully but their terror and oppression continued to haunt the lives of people of Punjab.

Historic Gurdwara freed: Phoola used it as opium hub



Chandigarh, Punjab (KP) - In a shocking development this week, when Majha Ex-servicemen Human Rights Front and a group of local devotees took control of a Historic Shrine related to Baba Sri Chand, son of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, shattered liquor bottles, opium, poppy husk and other drugs were found. The Gurdwara had been seized by the notorious criminal, known as 'Nang' Ajit Phoola for the past years.

Reportedly, he was involved in the cultivation of the poppy husk in a ground near the Sector 39 Gurdwara in Chandigarh. The local police is looking into a complaint seeking reinvestigation of the cultivation matter. Phoola is currently behind bars for his alleged involvement in criminal cases registered by the Punjab police.

Sources in the local police assert that the complaint in this regard was reportedly forwarded by the Chairman of the Majha Ex-servicemen Human Rights Front, Col G.S. Sandhu. They add that the matter is now before Chandigarh's Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), Mr Dinesh Bhatt.

A first information report in the case against Phoola and another accused was registered by the Chandigarh police on March 8 last year under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Colonel Sandhu, who led the campaign against Poolha, said that the nine acres near the gurdwara were being used year after year for growing poppy flowers. Quoting the residents, he told the media persons that Phoola was using his quarters near the gurdwara for selling poppy husk, opium, smack and other drugs.

Col Sandhu claimed that Poolha, however, managed to slip two days before the registration of the case. He added that even at that time Poolha was wanted by the Punjab police in connection with an abduction case.

Meanwhile, a torture cell was discovered by the devotees from the quarters of Ajit Phoola near the Sector 39 gurdwara.

The Sector 39 Gurdwara was freed on June 23, after 15 long years from the alleged possession of Phoola's men. As a result, the devotees from the surrounding areas were finally able to pay obeisance in the gurdawra. Phoola, in charge of the gurdwara until a few months back, is currently behind bars on allegations of being involved in a variety of criminal offences.

Giving details of the operation, Col Sandhu said that devotees from villages surrounding Chandigarh, descended upon the Gurdwara to perform ardas at about 6 am.

Reports recieved by the Panthic Weekly suggest that the local devotees included Nihangs from the Baba Bakala Tarna Dal, who helped Col Sandhu and the Majha Ex-servicemen Human Rights Front in freeing the historic Gurdwara. The Nihangs have been campaigning against Ajit Phoola's gang for several years. Apparently, Phoola was given the name 'Nang' by the real Nihangs, whom he tried to imitate by wearing the traditional Nihang warrior dress.



"After carrying out the ceremony, they entered the premises situated some 50 yards away from the main Gurdwara to find two of Phoola's supporters. They volunteered to leave the place provided they were paid their bus fares. After accepting Rs 150 each, they left the place," he claimed.

Colonel Sandhu also showed the whiskey bottles and other articles, including women's undergarments scattered all over the place. This clearly indicated the evil doings of Phoola and his notorious gang of criminals.

Describing the torture cell as a room with an iron rod fastened to a rope, Col Sandhu said that the victims were beaten after being hung. He also showed pieces of ropes allegedly used for tying the hands of the victims.

Information available to the Panthic Week indicates that Phoola had tortured numbers of Sikh youth during the era of Sikh freedom struggle. It has also been suggested that in that period, the Punjab police gave Phoola's gang 'easy' weapons licenses so that he could continue his campaign against Sikh freedom fighters, as well as innocent villagers who spoke against the tyranny.

Sandhu told media persons that seven continuous Akhand Paths were now being held to restore the Maryada of the shrine built on an old mazar in memory of Baba Siri Chand, son of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji.

He claimed that the Gurdwara was practically in ruins as kar seva was never performed. "Phoolha was primarily concerned about his own comfort, evident from the fact that the complex was air-conditioned," he said.

The devotees, armed with automatic and semi-automatic weapons, said they would look after the gurdwara till a proper arrangement was made for its security. They added that in March last year, a committee was formed and registered to manage the gurdwara.

However, even though Colonel Sandhu and the devotees had freed the shrine from the possession of Phoolha's men, the Chandigarh police registered a case of rioting and trespassing against him and several others.


The pictures:


The Black Cat - From the Janet Jackson album. I chose this because it looks demonic and evil to me.


KP- Gill as a sacred cow - He seems to want to be a Hindu hero, so why not? That's the ugliest, most evil-looking picture of him I could find of him


Ajit Poolha and his Gang - From The Panthic Weekly. This particular article is about one of his more petty crimes, still devestating to the family involved.


Ajit Poolha Dead and Burnt - From Panthic News

27 August 2008

PRISONER'S KESH FORCIBLY CUT - SIGN PETITION!!!!

This just came into my inbox and it needs to be up immediately. This brother's kesh has been forcibly shorn once and is about to be shorn again. Please read this and sign the petition. He needs our help NOW! This case is in America, in the State of Florida, but anyone, anywhere can sign the petition.

THIS IS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO THAT CAN MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE!

FROM UNITED SIKHS:


To Get Involved, Click here and Join UNITED SIKHS

To receive forthcoming bulletins join our UNITED SIKHS Yahoo group

To donate go to www.unitedsikhs.org/donate

This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-27-08-2008-00.htm


Press Release: 27th Aug 2008, Friday 11th Bhadon (Samvat 540 Nanakshahi )

Sikh Prisoner's Hair is Cut

Against His Will! Religious

Rights Severely Violated in

Florida Jail

UNITED SIKHS calls on all individuals and organizations to sign the petition to save Jagmohan Singh from further trauma and humiliation, and to change the discriminatory Florida prison regulations
.


Jacksonville, Florida, USA: On or about July 1, 2008, Sikh prisoner Jagmohan Singh Ahuja suffered an egregious violation of his religious rights when jail officers forcibly cut his hair in Duval County Jail. It is against a Sikh's religious practice to cut his/her hair, as kesh (unshorn hair) covered by a dastaar (Sikh turban) is one of five articles of faith which a Sikh must keep at all times. Jagmohan was recently informed by prison officials that his hair will be cut again, and he immediately contacted UNITED SIKHS to help stop the continued gross violation of his dearly held religious beliefs.

When Jagmohan Singh initially became aware that it was possible his religious rights might be violated, his hair would be forcibly cut by the jail, he requested his public defender to file a motion with the Duval County Circuit Court. In the motion, Jagmohan asked the public defender to present evidence of the significance of kesh (unshorn hair) for Sikhs. The motion was denied by Judge Russell Healey. Jagmohan again protested the cutting of his hair on the day of the incident when the correctional officers at the jail informed him his hair would be cut, by force if necessary. After officers contacted the Circuit Court Clerk for guidance on the matter, Jagmohan's hair was cut.

When Jagmohan Singh initially became aware that it was possible his religious rights might be violated, his hair would be forcibly cut by the jail, he requested his public defender to file a motion with the Duval County Circuit Court. In the motion, Jagmohan asked the public defender to present evidence of the significance of kesh (unshorn hair) for Sikhs. The motion was denied by Judge Russell Healey. Jagmohan again protested the cutting of his hair on the day of the incident when the correctional officers at the jail informed him his hair would be cut, by force if necessary. After officers contacted the Circuit Court Clerk for guidance on the matter, Jagmohan's hair was cut.

Click here to sign the Petition to stop a repeated violation of Jagmohan Singh's religious beliefs and to change prison regulations to stop Florida prisons from violating the rights of Sikh prisoners.
"Despite my opposition, my hair and beard were cut even after I made clear my religious beliefs and traditions. This was very traumatic to me especially because I came to the States in an attempt to avoid religious persecution." - Jagmohan Singh

Jagmohan Singh's mother, who resides in England, contacted UNITED SIKHS office in London about her son's case. She had received correspondence from Jagmohan stating that he had become severely depressed since his hair was cut, and that he did not recognize himself in the mirror. The sad irony about Jagmohan Singh's situation is that he narrowly escaped religious persecution under the Taliban in Afghanistan, where Sikhs were not allowed to practice their religion freely under the tyrannical regime. Jagmohan fled to America in 2001 on the basis of religious persecution, only to have his dearest of religious rights violated while serving a sentence for a misdemeanor offense.

Jagmohan Singh wrote to UNITED SIKHS stating, "Despite my opposition, my hair and beard were cut even after I made clear my religious beliefs and traditions. This has been very traumatic to me especially because I came to the United States in an attempt to avoid religious persecution."

The law in Florida is not favorable to Jagmohan Singh's position. Though the Bureau of Federal Prisons and many states allow the keeping of religiously mandated head-dress, long hair, and beards in prison, current Florida prison regulations allow no such religious exemption or exception on the basis of security concerns. These regulations have been repeatedly upheld by Florida courts.

Commenting on the violation of Jagmohan Singh's religious tenets, UNITED SIKHS Staff Attorney Jaspreet Singh stated, "It is appalling that a Sikh who narrowly escaped religious persecution abroad and immigrated on the basis of religious asylum has suffered the gravest of religious persecution in America, the bastion of religious freedom. In view of federal and other state prison regulations allowing these most basic of religious practices, it is outrageous that Florida regulations do not allow these practices on the basis of security."

UNITED SIKHS' legal team and religious liberties experts are diligently working on this case, but we need your assistance. Your signatures can make the biggest difference to persuade Florida government officials to take action. UNITED SIKHS calls on all concerned individuals and organizations to sign the petition to save Jagmohan Singh from further trauma and humiliation, and to change the discriminatory Florida prison regulations.

Please post the petition at your offices, community centers, Gurdwaras, and other places of worship, and circulate the petition to your friends, family and other people concerned with religious freedom in the United States.

You may read a previous press release on a discrimination case assisted by UNITED SIKHS at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-01-08-2008-00.html

You may sign the petition at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/petitions/jagmohan


Issued By :
Kuldip Singh
International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA)
UNITED SIKHS (UK)
law@unitedsikhs.org
Tel: 646-315-3909
www.unitedsikhs.org




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our Mission

To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.

UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.

UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.

Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.

We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.

21 August 2008

Sikhs And Jews And Sikhtoons

Usually, I try to update my blogs on Fridays. This includes checking out the latest Sikhtoon. (I love Sikhtoons. Don't you?) Today is Thursday and I just felt like not doing my usual Thursday stuff and checked it out early. I found a wonderful 'toon about the first turbaned US commercial pilot - A KAUR! Arpinder Kaur! (See the usual Sikhtoon on the sidebar) This left me overjoyed, of course. I love turbans. I love Kaurs. I really love turbans on Kaurs. And when that Kaur is flying...YIPPEE!!! And getting paid for it...YIPPEE!! YIPPEEEEEEE!!!!!

And a second Sikhtoon talked about Sikhs and Jews.This one:


It contained a link to a story from The Jerusalem Post, The multi-faith contingent, which says, in part,





"People are not sure what a future Sikh state would look like and how religion would be a part of the governance of the state. Jews have already had experience with these issues."

Sikhs harbor an aspiration to build their own state in Punjab, a territory between India and Pakistan, that would have a Sikh majority and be run in accordance with the religion's principles.

Datta said that the Sikhs also shared the modern Jewish state's strong military ethos.

"Sikhs can definitely be considered a martial race. Although we make up about one percent of the population in India, we constitute between 10% and 15% of the standing army. During British rule the numbers were even higher at between 27% and 30%.

"Like the Jewish people we have had to fight to defend ourselves against our Hindu and Muslim neighbors."


Anyone who has done much reading in this blog, such as, for example, noting the blog's name, should have no problem figuring out my stand on the Sikh national self-determination movement. (By the way, Brother Datta Ji, we are not a race, martial or otherwise. We are a religion, first and foremost and, I certainly hope a nation, but not a race.)

I believe that 'India' is an artificial construct thrown together by the British for their own convenience and the rest of the country will eventually follow the example(s) of Pakistan and Bangladesh and simply balkanise, fall apart. When that happens, we Sikhs must be ready to pick up the pieces of Punjab - the 'Indian' portion of which has already been balkanised by 'India.'

My fervent prayer is that when that happens, we do not follow the example of our Israeli sisters and brothers; we must have a nation where the other, nonSikh inhabitants of the land are respected and treated with honour. All the inhabitants of our land have a right to remain there, with their human rights fully protected and respected. May we all live in peace, freedom and prosperity in the Republic of Khalistan. After all, 'are we not all children of the same God?'

UNICEF - GIVE THANKS FOR WHAT WE HAVE

This showed up in my facebook account this morning and it really moved me.

I am no great fan of UNICEF; they can be wasteful and often aid doesn't get to the people who really need it.

But there are so many other ways to help. Some are very easy and may not cost you anything. Start by conserving your fresh water. Did you know that lack of clean drinking water is an even bigger problem throught the world than is lack of food? Take shorter showers. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth. Wash your dishes in a pan instead of under running water. Be aware of your waste and then cut it out.

Food. To begin with, don't waste it. I have heard that enough good, clean food is thrown away every day in the United States of America to feed every hungry person in the whole world an adequate diet. You might cut out meat, as meat production is very wasteful compared to growing vegetation of various sorts for food. I cannot preach about cutting out all animal products; I am not a Vegan. I love my curd (yogurt) and milk and (rennetless) cheese. I'm sorry, the soy substitutes just don't make it. And what about parshad? It cannot be made without desi ghee, can it?

So what about hungry people? I am a great believer in local action. If you have the education and access to use the Internet, I strongly suspect you have at least a little more than you actually need. There are hungry people in your community. Use your imagination as to how to help. Is it bad when hungry people show up for langar? Or is that part of what our Guru Ji/s had in mind?

Where I currently live, in the United States, there are many food banks where hungry individuals and families can get free food. They always need donations of food, money and time.

I am sure my readers, who are intelligent, caring, thinking people can come up with many other ideas. Whatever you come up with, show your gratitude for what you have by sharing with those who do not.

There is enough for everyone. Let's get it out there! Whatever you're doing, please do just a little more. You'll find that it really is true that the greatest joy in having comes from sharing.

19 August 2008

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY


OK, a few days late. I just now ran across this cartoon from Panthic Weekly and find it worth sharing. It's not funny, I know. True, though! Are we going to tolerate another 61 years of this nonsense, my sisters of brothers of the Panth?
TO THE SIKH NATION:



1945 - 2008 : 61 YEARS OF DEATH, TORTURE,

INTIMIDATION AND MURDER

18 August 2008

POKING THE BEAR




Today I am writing about a news story that has nothing to do with Sikhs directly, but about which I am rather puzzled.




As most of you know, I currently reside in The States. There has been quite a lot of news coverage about the current conflict - war - between Russia and Georgia. Here, the coverage on television, from CNN to Faux News, is uniformly antiRussia. I offer this article by Dmitry Rogozin, Russian ambassador to NATO, as a sort of foil to the overwhelmingly antiRussian coverage. Truth or propaganda?


From Pat Oliphant:
So who do I think is right? Russia? Georgia? Both? Neither? I really have no objective information on which to base a judegment. My heart roots for the little guy, but I'm not sure Georgia is 'the little guy' here. Is little Georgia just a puppet state of George II of America? I don't know.

Anyway, here's the article from the Op-Ed page of the International Herald-Tribune:













Monday, August 18, 2008






BRUSSELS: The U.S. administration is trying to stick the label of "bad guy" on Russia for exceeding the peacekeeping mandate and using "disproportionate force" in the peace-enforcement operation in Georgia.




Maybe our American friends have gone blind and deaf at the same time. Mikheil Saakashvili, the president of Georgia, is known as a tough nationalist who didn't hide his intentions of forcing Ossetians and Abkhazians to live in his country.




We were hoping that the U.S. administration, which had displayed so much kindness and touching care for the Georgian leader, would be able to save him from the maniacal desire to deal with the small and disobedient peoples of the Caucasus.




But a terrible thing happened. The dog bit its master. Saakashvili gave an order to wipe Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, from the face of earth.




The Georgian air force and artillery struck the sleeping town at midnight. More than 1,500 civilians perished in the very first hours of the shelling. At the same time, Georgian special forces shot 10 Russian peacekeepers who didn't expect such a betrayal from their Georgian colleagues.




The Kremlin attempted to reach Saakashvili, who was hiding, by phone. All this time the Russian Joint Staff forbid the surviving peacekeepers to open return fire. Finally our patience was exhausted. The Russian forces came to help Tskhinvali and its civilian population.




In reply to the insulting criticism by President Bush that Russia used "disproportionate force," I'd like to cite some legal grounds for our response. Can shooting peacekeepers and the mass extermination of a civilian population - mainly Russian citizens - be regarded as hostile action against a state? Is it ground enough to use armed force in self-defense and to safeguard the security of these citizens?




Tbilisi concealed the scope of the humanitarian catastrophe in South Ossetia. Saakashvili's constant lies about the true state of affairs in Georgia were attempts to lay the fault at somebody else's door.




The Russian response is entirely justified and is consistent with both international law and the humanitarian goals of the peacekeeping operation conducted in South Ossetia. I will try to explain.




The Georgian aggression against South Ossetia, which came as a straightforward, wide-scale attack on the Russian peacekeeping contingent - Russian armed forces legally based on the territory of Georgia - should be classified as an armed attack on the Russian Federation, giving grounds to fulfill the right to self-defense - the right of every state according to Article 51 of the UN Charter.




As for the defense of our citizens outside the country, the use of force to defend one's compatriots is traditionally regarded as a form of self-defense. Countries such as the United States, Britain, France and Israel have at numerous times resorted to the use of armed force to defend their citizens outside national borders.




Such incidents include the armed operation of Belgian paratroopers in 1965 to defend 2,000 foreigners in Zaire; the U.S. military intervention in Grenada in 1983 under the pretext of protecting thousands of American nationals, who found themselves in danger due to a coup d'ĂȘtat in this island state; the sending of American troops to Panama in 1989 to defend, among others, American nationals.




We also have to keep in mind the present-day military interventions by the U.S. and its allies in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan. By the way, the last three cases are examples of tough American interventions when its own citizens did not need direct protection. But in spite of those countries' massive civilian losses at the hands of American soldiers, no one blamed Washington for a "disproportionate use of force."




Of course, the history of international relations is full of abuses committed under the pretext of defending citizens.




In order to draw a clear line between lawful and unlawful use of force, one can single out a number of objective criteria: first, the existence of a real threat to life or systematic and violations of human rights; second, the absence of other, peaceful means of resolving the conflict; third, a humanitarian aim for an armed operation; and four, proportionality - i.e., limitation on the time and means of rescue.




Russia's actions were in full compliance with these criteria. In conducting its military action, Russian troops also strictly observed the requirements of international humanitarian law. The Russian military did not subject civil objects and civilians on the territory of Georgia to deliberate attacks.




It is hard to believe that in such a situation any other country would have remained idle. Let me quote two statements:




One: "We are against cruelty. We are against ethnic cleansing. A right to come back home should be guaranteed to the refugees. We all agree that murders, property destruction, annihilation of culture and religion are not to be tolerated. That is what we are fighting against. Bombardments of the aggressor will be mercilessly intensified."




Two: "We appeal to all free countries to join us but our actions are not determined by others. I will defend the freedom and security of my citizens, whatever actions are needed for it. Our special forces have seized airports and bridges... air forces and missiles have struck essential targets."




Who do you think is the author of these words? Medvedev? Putin? No. The first quote belongs to Bill Clinton, talking about NATO operation against Yugoslavia. The author of the second quote is the current resident of the White House, talking about the U.S. intervention in Iraq.




Does that mean that the United States and NATO can use brute force where they want to, and Russia has to abstain from it even if it has to look at thousands of its own citizens being shot? If it's not hypocrisy, then what IS hypocrisy?




Dmitry Rogozin is Russia's ambassador to NATO.



--
WHY TRY TO FIT IN?
YOU WERE BORN TO STAND OUT!

15 August 2008

WHAT CAN I DO FOR INDIA?

I was going to let Indian Independence Day pass without comment this year; I have been quite ill and didn't really feel I had anything new to say this year. Then, in good ol' IHRO (International Human Rights Organisation), I read this challenge:



Respected Friends,
On this wonderful occassion of 15 August, let us all contemplate
on one question.

"What can I do for India?"

And, then let us start action on those steps.

Continous contemplation on this question, and action, is perhaps
the only way to pay real respect to the soldiers who sacrificed their
families and lives, for us.


Best Wishes
and signed by the author, whose name I am not using, as he probably wouldn't be pleased to see his name here.

I am not one to let a challenge pass unanswered, so here is the answer I posted today on IHRO. (BTW, the last time I posted a letter expressing similar ideas and opinions, it was suggested that I be kidnapped, transported to Mata Bharata and put on trial for treason against the Republic of India, the idea being that I should be awarded capital punishment. Only problem with that is that I have never been a citizen of India, nor have I ever pledged any support for that country. But if that's what it takes...)

Here is my answer:



WHAT CAN I DO FOR INDIA?

I am afraid that Mai is about to jump up on her soapbox and tell the
truth as she sees it.

First, I must make it clear that I speak only for myself. I do not
speak for any group or organisation. These are my own ideas and
opinions. Second, I currently reside in the United States of
America. The ideas I express are perfectly legal, protected speech
here. I am advocating nothing illegal.

I am not an Indian. My family is not Indian. My father was a
Punjabi; never once in his 97 years on this planet did he call
himself or think of himself as an India. To him - and to me - India
is an artificial construct invented by the British for their own
convenience.

I am a Sikh - partially of Punjabi extraction. This country India
has been less than kind to me and my sisters and brothers. As a
group, we agreed to support the Nehru-MK Gandhi Axis in return for an
autonomous or at least semi-autonomous region in Punjab, only to find
that when independence came, we were told that 'the situation has
changed.' We were betrayed both by the Indian government and by our
own 'leadership.' Not only did we not get freedom, our home - our
Punjab - was divided between two warring countries amid
inconceivable bloodshed. Later, of course, our Punjab was further
divided in a futile attempt to weaken and silence our self-
determination movement. This tactic didn't work.

For all the years since then, we have lived under the harsh thumb of
the majority group of this country. When we made a move to regain
what is rightfully ours, circa 1984, the full force of the Nehru-
Gandhi family (different Gandhi, though) was thrust upon us. Each of
us has our own story to tell about this period, mine involves a short
detention and torture during the Bluestar Massacre and then the
murder of my entire immediate family in the Delhi Pogrom following
the execution of Mrs. Gandhi.

Since that time, I have become a bit radicalised - stumbling over the
dead bodies of husband, son, brothers, can have that effect. I have
not returned to 'India.' I will return for only one of two reasons:
to watch the executions of Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and their
cohorts - or to see the flag of Khalistan raised over our beloved
Punjab.

India is not and has never been one country. It is a ragtag
conglomeration of different states, different cultures, different
languages, different values. Like the Soviet Union and the Balkans
before it, it must and it will fall apart by its own weight.

So what can I do for India? I can sit here, half a world away,
unafraid, freely expressing my views, waiting. Waiting...

Chardi kala!

Mai Harinder Kaur

Is Singh Kinngh?

I have three posts to write here today. They might not all get in today, though. This is the easiest and shortest, so it gets to be first.


What is it with this movie? I haven't seen it and don't intend to. I rarely see movies anyway and although sometimes I enjoy the music, most movies out of Bollywood seem to me to be just silly and a waste of time. I have nothing against silliness, mind you, but it needs to be enjoyable silliness, not just silly, stupid, dumb.


All I have seen of this movie is a video someone sent me on my facebook scrapbook. It has a catchy tune, a bunch of sexy gyrating females and a fake Sikh in a fluourescent green turban my Dad would have loved ogling anf gyrating with the aforementioned females.


What's with this movie? I ask again. Maybe these Sikhtoons hint at the answer.



Ah, well. Anyway, I found this parody poster of Sonia and her tame Sikh lapdog amusing. Perhaps you will, too. Or not.

08 August 2008

Whither The Khaliblog?

We have been thinking a lot about which direction this blog is heading.

When we started this blog, the three of us, Vini, Suni and Mai, we were very clear in our own minds what this blog was about. We had scoured the Internet and found a lot of information about the Indian atrocities of 1984, but very few personal stories. The main purpose of this blog was to help rectify this situation. We also hoped to be a platform where others could tell their personal stories.

The first purpose, we think, has been accomplished. Our stories are here; we've put a link to them a the top of the right hand column. Looking at Site Meter, we are pleased that those links are being used and our stories are being read.

We have been much less successful with our second objective. Only a very few have responded with their own stories. There might be several reasons for this. A big one is that many survivors don't have access to the 'Net, and many of those who do are either uncomfortable with English or unable to write in English. Another is that these stories are very difficult - painful - to tell, much less write. We hope that more will come forward. We do hope, as well, that our stories may have provoked discussions across generational lines about survivors' experiences. From e-mails we have received, we know that this is the case.

We would now like to issue an invitation to those who were not there, maybe not even born yet, to tell their own personal stories. Where were you when you first heard the news stories of these events? What was your reaction? Have you spoken to your elders about these things? What were their reactions? We would love to hear any such stories you would care to tell. Just send them to Mai at simayanan@gmail.com. We'll be happy to publish them, with or without your name, that's up to you. (Yes, anywhere on the 'Net you see 'Simayanan' no doubt that's Mai.)

Which brings us to this: For a long time now, Mai has been writing this on her own, with very little input from the rest of us. After some discussion, we feel we should officially turn The Road To Khalistan over to our Mai alone. Her health has improved and she seems able to handle it. We will always be here for backup and we both have her passwords (hehehehe), so we'll still be here in spirit. And if she gets too hot-headed, we'll try to rein her in a little - but only a little - her passion is one of the things we treasure about her.
So we two bow out and turn this over to Mai.



Go to it, Lady Khalsa!

Gurfateh and Chardi Kala to all!

Vini Kaur

Suni Kaur

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

I admit that I'm a bit sad at dissolving our corporate person; at the same time, I am now more free to say what I want without clearing any controversial statements I may wish to make. Now I have complete editorial control, although, of course, my co-authors are always very welcome to contribute. When we started this blog, we were all inexperienced and very naive about the Internet. We didn't understand much about search engines and key words. We all thought that our little blog would be lost among the millions out there in the blogosphere. Little did we realise that putting 'Khalistan' in our title would get us noticed. I think that if we had realised, we would have found another name, something less conspicuous.. None of us wished to draw attention to ourselves and our very personal stories. I am pleased, though, that our stories are out there and being read, not because they are our stories, but because these stories need to be told.

Now it seems that I have a few decisions to make.


First, is there any point in continuing this blog? Yes, I think there is. We have a readership of about 45 each day, mostly from India, Canada, The USA and The UK - in that order. We also have a regular readership in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. There are a few readers from other countries, too, some intrepid person in Oslo, Norway visits often, plus a smattering of readers in the Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan. We have occasional visitors from throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Once in a great while, someone from South America stops in for a visit. There are a couple of maps in the right-hand column that you can check out, if interested.
As long as you keep reading, I'll keep writing. Is that a deal?

Second, what about content? I have pretty much been putting into this blog whatever comes up of a nature that I feel involved in as a Sikh. You'll keep hearing about the continuing saga of Brother Laibar Singh Ji, a person I am strongly committed to. An exception to this policy of covering all interesting things Sikh is that I have avoided involving this blog in the shenanigans of the High Muckety-Mucks in Amritsar. I find their manipulating Machiavellian machinations in Maya to be disgusting. Sikhi is my religion, my way of life, who and what I am. It is the core of my being, my great passion, my way of maneuvering through this life. It causes me great pain to see those who are supposed to be leading us acting like snot-nosed little brats who should be sitting on the 'naughty stool, not holding positions of power affecting all Sikh worldwide. I hate seeing one family set itself up as the Royal Family of Sikhdom - and it hurts me to see others accept their domination. That said, I do not see how my delving into this cesspool of dirty politics and ruthless, filthy ambition will in any way help my dear sisters and brothers, my fellow Sikhs. So I intend to continue to avoid these political issues. But my mind might be changed if it gets too outrageous.

I intend to change my profile picture each month to reflect some current Sikh issue. I might or might not write about it, but it will be there. Last month, I showed the damage caused to a brother's back by a lathi in Mumbai. How deeply we are loved and appreciated by these Indian people whom we have saved numerous times! I guess seeing Sikh blood gives them a feeling of power. Or something.

This month, I am using a portrait by the very talented and equally modest brother simmal tree. Our former header picture, We Are Going To Battle, is also from him..He allows me to freely use his pictures, asking only that I acknowledge Vahe guru. Since anything good we do is really Vaheguru, I love doing that. To see the discussion on this month's painting, go here. I would also suggest that you click on his photostream there and look at some of his own pictures. This portrait, Daughter(s) Of The Khalsa, has several meanings to me. First is the way we Kaurs seem to have no voice. I think we need to find our voice ourselves. This Singhni is not bound or tied. What is stopping her from taking the tape off her own mouth? I also see this as a metaphor for the way the government of India keeps trying to subdue and silence us Sikhs. I have no idea what it will take for them to realise the futility of their tactics.

Another note. According to a poll I took some time ago, the majority of readers of this blog are young men in their twenties, mostly from India. I am aware only a small percentage of readers answer polls, and I think that is probably accurate, although quite a few female readers have comminicated to me privately and I also know of several older people, hurray! I want to assure all of you that I will never let The Khaliblog - my personal name for The Road To Khalistan - degenerate into a feminist rag. There is one very good reason for this. I am not a feminist. I do believe in the equality - or rather the equivalency - of the sexes, as Sikhi clearly teaches. I do not believe one gender ought to dominate. And I do not believe in one of the feminists' key beliefs, abortion on demand, for both moral and practical reasons. And I do have an outrageous sense of humour that has been very unappreciated by the feminists I have known. So, while I will continue to write on women's issues as they arise, I will continue to write on whatever concerns me.

The remaining author, Kamal Kaur, is my dear friend and younger sister. The Internet being what it is, and given the volitile nature of our world, we have thought it prudent to preserve this blog outside of blogger. She is helping with this and needs administrative powers to help me. She has never written here, but I heartily hope she'll one day write about how she first learned about the events of 1984, events that occurred before she was even born. Come on, Kamal, please? I'll even proof read it for you, if you like.

(BTW, I am aware that many of my readers do not have English as their primary language. I promise to try to avoid using expressions like 'manipulating Machiavellian machinations' too often, but I love the English language and can't promise I'll be entirely successful. I have put a dictionary widget in the right hand column. If anyone knows of a widget that will translate English into Punjabi, please let me know. I've installed the one that translates into Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, etc., but I haven't found one for Punjabi.)

So where is this blog headed? The answer is I'm not sure, except that it is running headlong into the Sikh experience in the Twenty-First Century of the Common Era.

There is a saying, if you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else. So let us gather up our chardi kala and stride into that 'somewhere else,' 'the road less traveled by', with our integrity intact, our heads held high, and courage and joy in our hearts.


I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

by Robert Frost
Mai Harinder Kaur

WHY TRY TO FIT IN?
YOU WERE BORN TO STAND OUT!

06 August 2008

"Now The Sun Has Come To Earth... - The Legacy Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki

Crossposted from sometimes - 2

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS A VERY DISTURBING PHOTOGRAPH OF DEAD BODIES FROM THE HIROSHIMA BLAST. IF YOU CAN'T TAKE IT, PLEASE GO READ SOMETHING ELSE. BUT I SINCERELY HOPE THAT YOU LOOK AND SEE AND THINK AND FEEL AND UNDERSTAND. AND WAKE UP.

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


Sixty-three years ago today, the United States of America committed what is arguably the most serious war crime in history:


The sun is burning in the sky
Strands of clouds go slowly drifting by
In the park the lazy breeze
Are joining in the flowers, among the trees
And the sun burns in the sky


Now the sun is in the West
Little kids go home to take their rest
And the couples in the park
Are holdin' hands and waitin' for the dark
And the sun is in the West


Now the sun is sinking low
Children playin' know it's time to go
High above a spot appears
A little blossom blooms and then draws near
And the sun is sinking low

Now the sun has come to Earth
Shrouded in a mushroom cloud of death
Death comes in a blinding flash
Of hellish heat and leaves a smear of ash
And the sun has come to Earth


Now the sun has disappeared
All is darkness, anger, pain and fear
Twisted, sightless wrecks of men
Go groping on their knees and cry in pain
And the sun has disappeared








Recorded by Simon and Garfunkel

Please check out this website: Hiroshima And Nagasaki Remembered

The top picture was taken by my little sister Lindsey Bush before a tornado in Ohio.

The mushroom cloud picture is the actual photograph of the atomic cloud over Nagasaki 9 August 1945.

The final picture is from the Robert L. Capp collection of ten photographs of the immediate aftermath of Hiroshima. For more information go to Atomic Tragedy.


This article from 'tv news lies'








Written by Reggie
Monday, 04 August 2008 14:36
On August 6 and 9, 1945. After six months of intense firebombing of 67 other Japanese cities, the nuclear weapon "Little Boy" was dropped on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945, followed on August 9 by the detonation of the "Fat Man" nuclear bomb over Nagasaki. These are to date the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.

In Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

When the bombs were dropped I was very happy. The war would be over now, they said, and I was very happy. The boys would be coming home very soon they said, and I was very happy. We showed ‘em, they said, and I was very happy. They told us that the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been destroyed, and I was very happy. But in August of 1945 I was only ten years old, and I was very, very happy.

The crew of the B-29 was so young and heroic, and in the photo they also looked very happy. For some reason, I clearly remember the name of the pilot, Paul Tibbets. Of course I remember the name of the plane, the Enola Gay. And oh yes, I remember the name of the bomb. It was called Little Boy. That made me smile.

I was so proud to be an American that day because we had done something so remarkable. They said we were the first. We were Americans. We were powerful. But they didn’t say that Little Boy had killed 66,000 people with its huge fireball that fateful day in August. They didn’t say that Hiroshima was not a military target, but a city filled with men and women and children and animals who had no idea they were about to die so horribly. When you’re ten, they don’t always tell you everything.

I don’t think anyone made as big a fuss over the second plane, or its crew. Are they even in the Smithsonian? Second best doesn’t count, I suppose, but I remember wondering why they had done it again. Wouldn’t the war be over anyway, like they said? Weren’t the boys coming home very soon? Hadn’t they already showed ‘em how strong we were in Hiroshima? So they told me that the second bomb was called Fat Man, and that made me smile.

So I was even prouder to be an American that second day. They said this would be the end for sure, and after all, these people were the enemy and you kill the enemy when you can. But they didn’t tell me that Fat Boy had killed 39,000 human beings with another fireball on another day in August. They didn’t tell me that Nagasaki was not a military target, but a city filled with…well, you know. They didn’t even tell me that there were horses trapped in the flames of Nagasaki, because I loved horses and that would have made me sad. But when you’re ten, they don’t tell you everything.

Today I’m no longer ten, and I am no longer happy when bombs fall. And the names Fat Man and Little Boy no longer make me smile because I now know the devastation and horror of burned bodies and twisted metal that result from the mushroom clouds. And I am ashamed that on this day Americans don’t stop to remember what was done. And I am horrified that my government has just killed thousands of defenseless men and women and children and animals who were not the enemy, and that the silence of America is deafening.

Today, I am so very sad that many young people don’t even know about the Enola Gay and the mission of its crew. And I am so terribly ashamed that the war we have just waged has been so devoid of the reality of death and pain. They haven’t told us about the thousands of civilians they have killed. They haven’t shown us the devastation they have caused. They withhold the true numbers of our own military who die each day. They never mention the hundreds who have been terribly wounded. War is surgical and sanitized, they tell us, and a very effective way to liberate people. They speak to us as if we all were ten.

George W. Bush is not ten. He has announced to the world that he, as the leader of this great nation, has the right to use nuclear weapons once again. This time, he says, he has the right to char men and women and children and animals if he “suspects" their leaders of being a threat to us. He is not ten. He really isn’t. Then why is he so very happy? And why, please tell me, is he still smiling?

SIKH WOMEN AT BRISTOL GURDWARA FIND THEIR VOICE

These women's cry of "We're not going anywhere!" reminds me of an old Bob Dylan song:




Genghis Khan
He could not keep
All his kings
Supplied with sleep
We'll climb that hill no matter how steep
We still ain't goin' no where
Whoo-ee! Ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair!



The Langar Hall, a really great website dedicated to the open discussion of all things Sikh, alerted me to this situation. Here are some Sikh sisters who seem to have found their voice! I do have a question, however. Why were the women late in registering to vote? Were they not allowed to register, did they not realise they needed to register, did they just not bother to register, or was something else going on? I do notice that Jagbir Singh says

"This is the first year we have ever had women voting at the temple ..."

How incredibly shameful for a religion that is proud of its teaching of gender equality.

And what is it with all those mona Sikhs in that picture? I really want to see some turbans.

Clearly the factionalism that is so prevalent in our gurdwaras is at play in this situation. Do we really need to have shouting matches in public? (At least, it's better than those sword fights, a la Punjab.)How does this make us look to the public at large? When will we grow up?

From Mail Online:







Wednesday, August 06 2008
Riot vans sent to Sikh temple after women denied vote
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:18 PM on 04th August 2008


Dozens of police in riot vans were called to a disturbance at a Sikh temple - after women were denied the right to vote.

Trouble flared when 79 women were refused entry to vote in management elections at Bristol Sikh Temple on Sunday morning.

Worshippers began jostling each other and a pack of women surrounded a man's car and attempted to roll it over.


Police in riot vans were called to a disturbance at Bristol Sikh temple - after women were denied the right to vote

Six riot vans were dispatched to close the road in Fishponds, Bristol, and one man was arrested and cautioned for a public order offence during the seven-hour stand-off.


Voting finally finished at 4pm and resulted in three women being voted onto the management committee for the first time in the temple's history.


Shopkeeper Paul Mathew , 52, who runs J and V Fine Foods 50 yards from the temple said: "It was terrifying. There were skirmishes and people pushing each other.


"A man caused trouble inside the temple then it spilled out onto the street.


"Women were blocking his car and trying to push it over while he was still inside clinging to the steering wheel.


"It was very frightening. People were jostling and using threatening words to each other.


"Women were shouting abuse at men and they were retaliating but I couldn't understand it because it was in their own language." The dispute centres on two warring factions in the temple's 650-strong membership over whether women should take part in elections.


The situation came to a head when 79 women turned up to vote on Sunday morning.


Their opponents said they were not entitled to vote because they had not registered in advance.


Voting was due to start at 10am but it was delayed until midday when Chief Inspector Rob Dean of Avon and Somerset police arrived to mediate between the two sides.


One frightened elderly neighbour who watched the drama from her living room window said: "I saw a crowd of mainly women and children stood on one side of the road and men on the other.


"They were fronting each other up and shouting abuse across the road. The women were screaming 'we're not going anywhere'.


"It was really quite heated and there was a big scuffle of people that looked like it was going to turn nasty.


"There have been rows before that have spilled out onto the streets form the temple but never as big as this one."


The fracas ended at around 5.30pm and when votes were counted three female candidates Anita Kaur, Sheila Kaur and Narinder Kaur, were elected to the management committee for the first time.


Temple spokesperson Satjeevan Kaur said the election was an historical moment for Sikh women in Bristol.


She added: "We are going to be equal to men and to make decisions equal to the men.


Jagbir Singh, 51 from Horfield, is a committee member at the temple and has been involved with it since 1977.


He said: "This is the first year we have ever had women voting at the temple but now a lot of extra women have come down at the last moment, after the end of the agreed time period for registration.


"A lot of time and effort has gone into this and it's been done very fairly." Chief Inspector Dean said: "The elections were delayed for a variety of reasons and we have been involved in trying to help both parties through the negotiations.


"There are allegations of malpractice on both sides and our issue is to ensure that it doesn't come to violence.


"There are 650 registered members at the temple and, while this isn't an issue of the community against the police, there are two factions of the community here who can't reconcile their differences."

© 2008 Associated Newspapers Ltd