30 December 2008


A Post from IHRO (International Human Rights Organisation) today. (Note: I did change one word in this story because I wanted to remove what may have been a religious/ethnic slur. In my effort to keep my comments even handed, I changed the word to "Israelis" in paragraph one. If that annoys you, I'll be happy to personally tell you what I changed. The format has also been altered in my copy/paste. Otherwise, this is unedited.)

As most of you know that the Muslims of Gaza are being slaughtred. Universities and even Masjids are being bombed. From they air the Muslims are being bombed by the [Israelis] and from the back they are being shot at by the Egyption soldiers

"Palestinian medical sources say at least 345 Gazans have been killed and another 1,450 wounded in three consecutive days of Israeli bombardment in the heavily-populated territory." - [Al-Jazeera]

"The situation here is very difficult. They are shooting at us from everywhere, at all targets - military or not." - [Amin Asfour, Gaza City, doctor]

"Unfortunately the situation is very bad in Gaza city - the Israeli occupation is striking more and more organisations, more houses and the mosque, and my university was hit last night. - [Majed Badra, 23, Gaza City]




crossposted from sometimes - 2

29 December 2008

AVAAZ Petition Against The Attack of Gaza

This picture from Reuters seems to sum it all up:
By now, we have all heard of Israel's latest attack on the people of Gaza. I do not pretend that the Hamas government is blameless in these attacks. I do say that Israel's response is all out of proportion to the danger Hamas poses to Israel. For those who are into arithmetic, I note that as of this writing, at least 312 Gazans have been killed in this latest offensive. But no matter.

What matters is that again - still - the civilian population of Gaza is suffering. A few pictures from BBC will serve to illustrate what is going on.

AVAAZ, an NGO that I support, has put together a petition calling for an end to the bombardment of the people of Gaza. Please read their letter below and go sign the petition. The children of Gaza continue to die while we do nothing.


Dear friends,

As we watch the Gaza bloodshed with horror, appalled at how the crisis is spiralling further out of control, one thing is clear -- this violence will only lead to further civilian suffering and an escalation of the conflict.

There must be another way. Over 300 are dead and hundreds more injured -- rockets are striking Ashdod deep inside Israel for the very first time, and the sides are mobilising for invasion. A global response has begun, but it'll take more than words -- the immediate violence won't end, nor will wider peace be secured, without firm action from the international community.

Today, we're launching an emergency campaign which will be delivered to the UN Security Council and key world powers, urging them to act to ensure an immediate ceasefire, address the growing humanitarian crisis, and take steps to build real and lasting peace.1 Follow this link now to sign the emergency petition and send it to everyone you know:


After eight or more years of ineffective US and global diplomacy -- and now Gaza's bloodiest day in recent memory -- we must issue a global outcry demanding that world leaders do more than make statements if they're to bring peace to this region. The UN, the European Union, the Arab League and the USA should now act together to ensure a ceasefire – which includes an end to rocket attacks into Israel and opening the checkpoints for fuel, food, medicine and other humanitarian aid deliveries.

With a new US President taking office in less than a month, a real opportunity exists to breathe new life into peace efforts. These latest hostilities require not only an immediate ceasefire but a commitment from Obama and other world leaders that resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the very top of their agendas. As the whole world is impacted by this ongoing conflict - we should demand nothing less.

In 2006 we mobilised for a ceasefire in Lebanon. For years we've worked to encourage a just and lasting peace, taking out billboards and ads across Israel and Palestine. Now as we head into 2009, we need to come together again to demand a peaceful and lasting resolution, instead of a further escalation of violence. Follow this link to put your name forward for peace:


All sides to the conflict will continue to act as they have in the past if they believe that the world will stand by and allow them to do so. 2009 is a year that things can be different. As we face this crisis, and the possibilities of a new year, it's time for us to demand a ceasefire and work together to finally put an end to this cycle of violence.

With hope and determination,

Brett, Ricken, Alice, Ben, Pascal, Paul, Graziela, Paula, Luis, Iain and the whole Avaaz team

Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva. Call us at: +1 888 922 8229 or +55 21 2509 0368

here to learn more about our largest campaigns.

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26 December 2008

Jasbir Singh Testifies to CBI - Part One

I am too exhausted to write today; I did want to put this out to you, though.

More tomorrow, I hope.

Another riots witness names Tytler, Sajjan before CBI
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, December 26
After two days of grilling of Giani Surinder Singh, one of the two
eyewitnesses of the anti-Sikh riots being questioned by the CBI in
the USA, the two-member panel of the investigating agency questioned
the second eyewitness Jasbir Singh at Gaddar Memorial House in San
Francisco for more than four hours today.

The CBI recorded his statement with regard to the alleged role of
Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in the riots. The questioning would
continue tomorrow, revealed Jasbir Singh while talking to The Tribune
on the phone this morning.

He said he had told the CBI officials that 26 of his family members
and relatives were killed in the riots and he saved his life by
hiding himself at the river-bed of Yamuna on November 1 and 2 and in
a High School building near the inter-state bus terminal on November
3 during the riots.

"I have told the CBI that the investigating agency should not term it
as riots because no person from other communities was killed,
therefore, it should be better to term the incident as genocide", he said.

"I have told the CBI very clearly that both Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan
Kumar were directly involved in the large-scale killings of the Sikh
families in Delhi", he said, adding that he had told the CBI
officials that he recognised both leaders.

The CBI has called him again for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, many Sikh organisations gathered outside the Gaddar
Memorial House and demanded justice for the victims of riots. They
also demanded the arrest of all those who were involved in the riots.
They raised slogans against the CBI alleging that they were asking
unnecessary questions to the witnesses.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, New York-based attorney and legal adviser to
the Sikhs For Justice, who accompanied Jasbir from New York to San
Francisco to record his statement, said they believed in the Indian
Constitution and laws but there was a need to formulate a "hate
crime" law in India, providing special prosecutorial procedures and
harsh punishments for crimes targeting religious minorities.

Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad, president of the All-India Sikh Students
Federation, announced that his organisation would file a writ
petitions in all respective state high courts where Sikhs were massacred.

24 December 2008

The Grilling of Giani Surinder Singh

The is a follow-up to yesterday's post about CBI taking statements from these witnesses to Jagdish Tytler's murderous actions during the 1984 antiSikh pogrom in Delhi. It seems that maybe the CBI is more interested in sisrespecting these Sikh brothers and their testimony than in hearing the truth. What a surprise!

CBI grills key witnesses in US
Questioning biased, allege Sikh bodies
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, December 24
Sikh organisations of New York protested outside the office of the Consulate-General of India in Manhattan, alleging that CBI officials had put “unwanted” questions to Giani Surinder Singh, a key-witness in the anti-Sikh riots case, on the second day of the questioning today. They alleged that the investigating agency was trying to protect the Congress leaders involved in the riots of 1984.

A two-member team of the CBI is in the US to record the statements of Giani Surinder Singh and Jasbir Singh, key witnesses in the case.

Giani Surinder Singh had given a statement before the CBI yesterday that senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler was directly responsible for the massacre of three Sikhs in Gurdwara Pulbhangash at Azad Nagar in Delhi on November 1, 1984, during the riots.

Talking to this correspondent on the phone from New York today, Surinder Singh had alleged that the questions asked by the CBI team gave him a feeling that the investigating team was trying to portray him as the killer.

“I have already stated that Tytler led the mob to kill Sikhs, but the CBI team has asked me whether I know or remember the names of people in the mob and what kind of clothes or shoes they were wearing,” he said.

He said: “The CBI team should have rather asked him how, when and where had he seen Jagdish Tytler instigating the mobs? How did the killings of the Sikhs took place?”

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a New York-based attorney and legal adviser of Sikh organisation “Sikhs for Justice”, who accompanied Giani Surinder Singh to the Consulate-General’s office, in an e-mail sent to The Tribune, said Giani Surinder Singh had earlier also recorded his statement in the Chandigarh office of the CBI early this year. As such the question of any pressure from any Sikh organisation did not arise.

The team had not yet recorded the statement of Jasbir Singh and would probably question him tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad, president of the All-India Sikh Students Federation, alleged that the way CBI team had questioned Giani Surinder Singh on the second day, it appeared that the agency was working under the pressure of Congress-led UPA government.

23 December 2008


I know I have been castigating my readers about the evil of female foeticide and the damage it does both physically and spiritually to the Sikh community. Here is an article I have come across about a village that seems to have solved this problem.

From ExpressIndia.com

Ludhiana village values its girl child

*Bijlipur(Ludhiana), October 2 * Even as Punjab has the dubious
distinction of having one of the lowest sex ratios in the country, a village
in Ludhiana district has proved to be a remarkable exception. The average
sex ratio in Bijlipur over the last six years has been recorded at
1800:1000, as opposed to Punjab's overall sex ratio of 874 females per 1000
males according to the last census.

In the period between April 2002- March 2008, the village has seen the birth
of 32 girls and 17 boys. In addition, the village currently has 32 girls
between the ages of 3-6 years. "This is a noteworthy achievement. A special
report is being sent to the higher authorities," said multi purpose health
officer, Jasbir Singh. Surinder Kaur, the local Anganwadi worker revealed
that not a single case of female foeticide had been reported from this
village and attributes it to the high emphasis laid on education. "The
village has only one school. But the people are concerned about the
education of the child. The girls cycle down to the school in the nearby
town of Samrala".

Sarpanch Charanjit Singh informed The Indian Express that 70 per cent of the ,
village's population has passed high school. Citing his personal example he
said, "I have four sisters. All of them have a post graduate degree and are
happily settled." Former panchayat member, Jasbir Kaur encapsulates it
effectively when she says, "It is better to have five girls rather than a
drug addict son. Spoilt sons inevitably take the household to doom".

22 December 2008

Witness Statements Against Tytler.

This is the first time I've posted two posts about the same subject in one day. If you wish to check out today's first post about testimony against Tytler, go here. Evidentally one of brothers Giani Surinder Singh has given his damning testimony against the murderer Jagdish Tytler and how he incited the murder of us back in 1984. The other, Jasbir Singh is scheduled to testify later. Here is the latest story from

Newstrack India:

'84 Sikh riot: CBI records witness statements in US
New Delhi, Tue, 23 Dec 2008 NI Wire

A CBI team recorded witness Giani Surinder Singh’s statement in New York, USA regarding Jagdish Tytler’s role in organising massacre of Sikhs in November 1984. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a New York based attorney and legal advisor “SIKHS FOR JUSTICE” stated in a statement.

The CBI team recorded the statement of Giani Surinder Singh U/S 164 giving details of Jagdish Tytler’s role in leading and inciting mob to kill Sikhs during attack on Guruduwara Pulbhangash.

In this attack three Sikhs: Badal Singh, Thakur Singh an employee of DGPC and a former Delhi Police Inspector and Amarjit Singh were killed. The recording of witness Giani Surinder Singh U/S 164 will continue on December 23, 2008.

Attorney Pannun further stated that the CBI team will also record statement of witness Jasbir Singh regarding Jagdish Tytler’s role in organising massacre of Sikhs in November 1984. Despite initial reluctance by the CBI, it is through the constant efforts of Sikhs for Justice and All India Sikh Student Federation that the CBI finally agreed to record the statement of the witnesses in the United States.

On September 29, 2007, CBI filed a closure report regarding Jagdish Tytler’s role in massacre of Sikhs, stating witness Jasbir Singh cannot be traced and other witness Surinder Singh have refused to record statements.

AISSF and Sikhs For Justice, a US based human rights group produced US based witness Jasbir Singh before media within hours of closure report filed by CBI. Jasbir Singh who is presently living in US gave interviews to the media and showed his continuous willingness to record statement regarding Jagdish Tytler’s role in organising massacre of Sikhs in November 1984.

On December 18, 2007 Sanjiv Jain, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi Court ordered CBI to re-investigate the role of Jagdish Tytler in killing of Sikhs and record the statements of Giani Surinder Singh and Jasbir Singh.

As per attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, starting January 1, 2009 “Sikhs for Justice” in association with All India Sikh Students Federation President Karnail Singh Peermohammad would organise a “Justice Awareness Campaign” in order to reach out to witnesses and victims in 14 states where Sikhs were massacred in November 1984.

Sikhs For Justice, a New York based human rights group is fighting the legal battle in association with All India Sikh Students Organisation, President Karnail Singh Peermohammad to get justice to the victims of November 1984.


This is an update about the Texas Sikh American family that was terrorised by the police after the burglary of their home. Evidentally, there is a new sheriff in town who promises this sort of occurance is a thing of the past. One can only hope.


Harris County Sheriff-Elect and Judge Meet with Houston-Area Sikhs

Houston, Texas: December 22, 2008 – On Sunday, December 14 2008 at the request of SALDEF Regional Director and long-time friend, Bobby Singh, Harris County Texas Sheriff-elect Adrian Garcia met with the Sikh American community at the Sikh Center of Houston, in the aftermath of a recent incident where a Sikh family was allegedly harassed by Harris County officers after calling in a burglary.

The meeting allowed the Sikh American community to voice their concerns directly to the Sheriff-elect and was also an opportunity for the community to hear from local officials at a time when concerns and fear of the local police are high. At the meeting, Sheriff-elect Garcia remarked that the behavior of the Sheriff Deputies in this incident would not be tolerated under his administration, which takes effect on January 2, 2009.

At the meeting, the Sheriff-elect was presented with framed copies of SALDEF’s Sikh Americans and the Kirpan, and Common Sikh American Head Covering posters by the congregation, to be displayed in his office as a reminder of the diversity within his community.

During his comments to the over 200 Sikhs, in attendance Sheriff-elect Garcia committed to instituting “high quality diversity training” for all of his officers – the third largest police force in the United States.

“These meetings are part of SALDEF’s continued efforts to provide long-term and meaningful engagement with government officials in cities across the nation,” said SALDEF Regional Director Bobby Singh. “Both the community and government, must take concrete steps to understand one another, and make sure that incidents like this do not happen again. These meetings are just the beginning of a long-term partnership that SALDEF and the Sikh American community will have with the local officials to ensure open communication and to prevent misunderstandings in the future.”

Through SALDEF’s Law Enforcement Partnership Program, SALDEF previously provided law enforcement training to the City of Houston police department. In the new year, SALDEF plans to work with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to provide a year-long training program to educate the entire force about Sikhs and Sikh Americans.

Earlier this month, in the course of investigating the burglary of a Sikh American home, Harris County police officials made suggestive remarks to the family about Muslims, terrorism and the Mumbai terrorist attacks. When one the officers noticed a family member wearing a kirpan, they pointed a taser gun at her head, and handcuffed multiple family members, including a sixty-year-old grandmother. The only reason for this action was the Sikh family practicing their faith freely in their home.

To read media reports about this incident, click below:
Sikh family accuses deputies of abuse, taunts –
Houston Chronicle 12/5/08
Sheriff-elect reaches out to Harris County Sikhs – Houston Chronicle 12/14/08
Garcia, Sikhs to meet – Houston Chronicle 12/12/08
Interview with Tagore Family – Sach Productions 11/27/08

Is There Still Hope To Put Tytler On Trial?

I haven't heard any news about this for quite a long time. This came across from a Goggle Alert this morning. I do not know if this is true or not, of course. The blue italisized line leaves it open to question. I'll report back if and when I hear more.

From Zeenews.com India Edition

CBI team visits US to question anti-sikh riot witness

New Delhi, Dec 22: A two-member CBI team has left for US to question Jasbir Singh, a key witness in 1984 anti-Sikh riots who alleged that former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler played an active role in instigating the crowd.

Singh, who is reportedly based in California, has filed several affidavits against Tytler, a Congress leader, before various Commissions, saying he was willing to testify before the court and narrate everything provided his and his family's safety was guaranteed.

CBI's move to visit US marked U-turn from its earlier position demanding presence of Singh in India. The team besides recording the Singh's statement is likely to question other 1984 riot witnesses based in the US.

When contacted, CBI spokesperson pleaded ignorance about the development.

CBI, which had on September 29, 2007 filed an affidavit in a court here seeking closure of case against Tytler taking the plea that Singh was untraceable, was directed by a court here to submit the address of Singh, declared as a crucial witness.

The agency had earlier this year issued notices to Singh under section 160 of the CrPC, which empowers the probe agency to seek presence of a witness.

Singh through his lawyers pleaded before Delhi high Court to quash the notice for his presence issued by the probe agency expressing apprehension that there is a danger to his life in case he visits India for recording of his testimon not reside in India.

20 December 2008


We can stop it. In fact we are the only ones who can stop it - since we are the perpetrators. What we are doing to our preborn girl-children is as outrageous, as atrocious as what outsiders are doing to the children of Gaza. I have spent most of my day responding to people who are outraged at the pictures I posted of those dead children in Gaza. I wish I had such graphic pictures of our own murdered children to post. I do not. However, I promise I will find them and post them if this nonsense doesn't stop!

Aren't you yet getting tired of my harping on this subject? I am tired of it. I assure you, I think about it much more often than I write about it. One day, horrible, graphic pictures of dead and bloody children in Gaza. Now today, our own little girls. Again.

And it is us. You and I, the educated Sikhs, the ones who use computers and the Internet. We cannot blame this on illiterate, uneducated villagers who "don't know any better" and who "cannot afford a daughter." No, friends, my sisters and brothers, this is us! While I would not classify myself as affluent in North America, in Punjab, I would be considered both affluent and educated. Let me add that this is not only in Punjab. There are growing gender imbalances among us in Canada, as well. I cannot even begin to express my shame.

Here is my latest up dated picture of Anupreet Kaur, who recently turned 3. She looks deep in thought in this picture. I wonder what she's looking about. What do little, three year old girls think in these odd moments? Who could possibly resist such innocence and purity, such charm? I guess it is us. (I promise, I will continue to show you these delightful pictures if you stop this slaughter.)

There is only one way short of killing me to shut me up.

Here is the story, published in many locations around the Web. How can the world take the much publicised social conscience of us Sikhs seriously, while we continue this slaughter of our own innocent children?

Gender imbalance highest among India's affluent: Harvard study

New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) A baby girl is still unwanted in many Indian homes. What's more, the sex ratio imbalance is highest among the rich and the educated, says a study by the Harvard School of Public Health in the US.

In India, where families have traditionally preferred son, the male-female ratio increases with the level of education. The odds of having a boy compared to a girl is 25 percent higher in houses where the head of the family has completed schooling.

'We found that households where the head of the house has completed schooling had an increased ratio of having a male child compared to houses with heads receiving no formal education,' S.V. Subramanian, lead author of the study released last month, told IANS.

The male-female ratio also increases with income, the study found. Higher income groups are 14 percent more likely to prefer a boy to a girl while in the poorer sections the preference may be just four percent more.

'Urban areas also reported higher sex imbalance as the odds of having a boy are 11 percent higher in cities compared to seven percent in rural areas,' Subramanian said.

The researchers used a nationally representative, population-based sample of household survey data provided by the Indian National Sample Survey Organisation (INSSO) for five recent years: 2004/05, 1999/2000, 1993/94, 1987/88 and 1983. The INSSO survey covered the whole of the India except for a few inaccessible and difficult pockets.

It also reveals that the introduction of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 1994 (PNDT) to check misuse of technology in this field has failed to correct the imbalance in the sex ratio.

'The sex ratio clearly signifies that the PNDT Act failed to check sex imbalance as the odds of having a boy increased to 10 percent in the period following the implementation of the Act. The odds of having a boy were seven percent in the pre-PNDT period,' Subramanian said.

There are notable variations among states. Punjab continues to be the state where the odds of having a boy increased to 37 percent compared to a girl. Karnataka has the lowest percentage with the odds of having a boy one percent higher than a girl.

According to Subramanian, a positive association between socio-economic status and sex imbalance is paradoxical given that the affluent class has been consistently associated with improved health and other well-being outcomes.

'The combined effect of persistent and intense son preference, along with increasing affordability and accessibility to technologies for sex determination, however, makes the concentration of male infants among the rich somewhat counter-intuitive,' the study found.

A higher incidence of giving dowry to the bride in marriage and prevailing inheritance practices favouring sons, both more common among high-income groups, are key motivations for an intense preference for sons among them.

'Meanwhile, a son preference norm could simply be dormant among low income groups, as they do not possess sufficient resources to practise discrimination,' the study said.

'For instance, low-income households, with reduced access to technologies available for foetal sex detection, may be less able to participate in the activities of foetal sex detection followed by selective abortion.'

Posted by Indian Daily News at 3:40

16 December 2008

Back To Reality - Torture and Shoes

Now that we've all had our fun laughing at shoes being thrown at George W. Bush, each of us vicariously enjoying throwing those shoes at him, let us turn our attention to the gentleman who actually did the deed for us! Our hero is not only under arrest, but evidentally has been tortured.

Read on, from al Jazeera Magazine...

"Iraqi reporter al-Zaidi's arm, ribs broken"
16/12/2008 03:10:00 PM GMT

Security agents have broken the arm and ribs of al-Zaidi, a reporter who hurled his shoes at President Bush on Sunday.

Security agents have broken the arm and ribs of al-Zaidi, a reporter who hurled his shoes at Bush during a press conference Sunday in Baghdad.

"He has got a broken arm and ribs, and cuts to his eye and arm," the reporter's brother Durgham told AFP on Tuesday.

"He is being held by forces under the command of Muaffaq al-Rubaie," he added.

According to Durgham, his brother was being held by Iraqi forces in the heavily fortified Green Zone compound in central Baghdad.

His employer, al-Baghdadiya television, also reported that al-Zeidi had been "seriously injured" and called on the government to allow lawyers and Red Crescent representative to visit him.

On Monday, thousands of Iraqis staged a demonstration in Sadr City in Baghdad calling for the release of the journalist. Hundreds of Iraqis demonstrated on Tuesday across the country demanding the release of al-Zaidi.

The 29-year-old Muntadhar al-Zaidi, a correspondent for al-Baghdadiya satellite channel, threw his shoes at the US President George W. Bush during a press conference on Sunday, shouting "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog!"

Bush inked an interim security agreement with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during his farewell visit to Baghdad in a bid to extend the presence of US troops in the war-ravaged country.

© aljazeera.com

15 December 2008

UPDATE - THE GAME! At Last! A Good Use For Shoes

POST 400 In case anyone is counting...

Here is one of the online games chucking shoes at the still-for-about-a-month Prez:

I intensely dislike wearing shoes, uncomfortable beasts at best. Here, however, is a good use for them.

I post this just in case there is even one among my readers who hasn't seen it. I heard on TV this morning that Iraqis are divided 50/50 about this incident. Fifty percent believe the "attacker" was correct to throw the shoes; the other 50% believe he was wrong to embarass the Iraqi Prime Minister.

(After that last post, I'm sure we all need something like this.)

14 December 2008



Frankly, I no longer care who is to blame. We are all responsible!

I have no time to write a good post today, so just look at the pictures. Then write your governmental representatives of your country to put an end to this murder of innocent children! If enough of us insist and don't quit insisting, they will listen. Do it now, this minute! How many will die horribly while you hesitate?

I have come under considerable fire for harping on this horror that is Gaza. No matter. I will continue harping until it is resolved or I am dead!






13 December 2008

The Meanings of SAD

I can think of at least three meanings of SAD off the top of my head. First, there's Seasonal Affective Disorder, which your author fights with some success each winter. There's the Punjabi political party , Shiromani Akali Dal. The bridge between these two is the simple English word "sad," meaning unhappy, sorrowful. Read on...

How to dishonour your turban, a short lesson in one picture.

Ever wonder where Bollywood got the image of us Sikhs as a bunch of buffoons?

A leader puts a crown on the head of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal during a rally at Jaito, Faridkot district, on Saturday. Tribune photo: Kulbir Beera

From: The Tribune OnLine Edition

12 December 2008


I have not written about the terrorist attack on Mumbai for a very good - to me - reason. Fire has been coming out of my mouth and smoke from my ear, from absolutely furious anger. One aspect of this whole affair, as an aspect vital to us Sikhs, seems to have been completely overlooked - or purposely ignored.

I have not trusted myself to say anything reasonable or lucid. So I have been silent.

Now someone else has written what I would like to say. In fact two people have. First, the Sikhtoon, then a link to the blogpost.

I am a regular reader of Sidhusaaheb's blog, I, Me, Myself. He has a incisive political sense (sometimes at odds with my ideas, though), a great sense of humour, and he's a Sikh. What more could anyone ask for?

To read his post, please go to my post about Mumbai on sometimes - 2. It's worth the click, I promise.

The Real Terrorists In Texas

(See the previous post for more information, as well.)

05 December 2008

PETITION UPDATE - Police Brutality on Sikhs - New Blog

Here is a link to The Langar Hall post about how to take action on this disgusting matter.
From that post:

Sign A Sikh Coalition Petition here: Harris County Sheriff-Elect Adrian Garcia is visiting the Sikh Center of Houston on Sunday, December 14, 2008. He will be the new Sheriff for Harris County next year. This petition will be directly handed over to him, so please help us gain as many signatures as possible.

I have signed it. Sisters and Brothers, please do this today. As I write, it is 11 December and this will be given to the new sheriff this Sunday.

I just got an email from the blogmaster at this site. They have put in a link to report instances of brutality. So if you or someone you know has experienced police brutality because you're a Sikh, please go there and report it! I am also to list it in the links in our right hand column. Great work guys!

A new blog, Police Brutality on Sikhs, has surfaced. It describes itself as:

This site is used to document all cases of police brutality towards the Sikhs--anywhere in the world. Take a moment to view each case and TAKE ACTION. If you are ever subjected to racial profiling and violence from the police please take photos, videos, cell phones and document it!! We should not have to live in fear from people we have given authority to protect us.

So far, it has only one story, that of a Sikh family brutally mistreated by the sheriffs in Harris County (Houston), Texas. Here is the story from the blog:

It was Wednesday night November 26th 2008, a day before Thanksgiving when we called the police to report a burglary that took place at our house. Only to be harassed by the very police we called in. This has got to stop! We can't take it anymore.

The misbehavior by Harris County police officers towards my family when only hours before our own home was burglarized in Houston is appalling. The officers' behavior sent a loud message to Sikhs and Muslims that we are second class citizens.

At the beginning of the Thanksgiving weekend, we came home to find a window broken and master bedroom ransacked. When we called 911 to report the crime, Harris County Sheriff's police officers were dispatched to investigate. But instead of pursuing the thieves, the police officers began grilling us. Officers ordered my sister Ms. Kawaljeet Kaur to hand over her kirpan -- a religious article mandated by the Sikh faith -- which she wore over her shoulder. Ms. Kaur offered to leave the room if her kirpan made the officers uncomfortable, but to no avail.

Instead, she, along with me, my mother and cousin, were handcuffed and led into the street. Officers verbally abused us as they searched. An officer applied pressure to my sister's back as she sat on the ground. One officer asked us whether we had "heard about the bombings in Bombay" while another told them that he "knew about Muslims". Why were these comments made by the police??

Hours later, we were released without being arrested or charged.

"How can the police stop us from practicing our religion in our own home?" asked Ms. Kaur. "We called the police to help us. Instead, they humiliated and harassed us. They handcuffed my 60-year-old mother in front of my 8-year-old niece. They think they can get away with it because we look different."

"What happened at the Tagore home was shameful," said Amardeep Singh, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition. "Through a combination of violence, racial prejudice and intimidation, the Harris County police turned innocent victims into perpetrators."

We ask the Harris County to terminate four police officers involved in the incident and issue a formal apology to us while ensuring proper training is provided to all police personnel

I think this blog is a great idea. Brutality toward us does occur in many locales and it would be good to have a central place to report. I do not see any way to contact anyone to post here, however. I have left a comment, asking the blogmaster to contact me. As soon as I get a contact, I'll add this blog to our links. I'll let you know if anything comes of this. (Done. See above.)

Hurray For Humour

If you have been reading this blog for any time at all, you've probably gotten some idea of what I'm like. I hope you've learned that I

  1. am passionate about informing the world about the Sikh history of 1984
  2. love Sikhi and associated topics
  3. care deeply about the injustices and pain of people around the world
  4. will speak up about anything I think needs speaking about
  5. have a sense of humour.

This post is about the last. First, the current Sikhtoon:

This refers to the following three stories, among many more:

  1. US Airways Pilot Refuses To Fly With Three Turbanws Sikhs Onboard
  2. Project Aims To Protect Sikh Cab Drivers
  3. New York Sikh Angered By Terror Suspicions Over Turban

I like humour. I like to laugh. I enjoy Sikhtoons. Did you know that they have a contest.?All you have to do is put the best caption in the bubble and win. This is the third contest. I entered the first two and did not win. I can blame this only on the fact that the winning captions were better than my submissions. However, hope springs eternal...

If you would like to try your hand at this, here's the cartoon:

Enter the winning caption and get published on Sikhtoons.com

(and the winner gets a framed 8" X 10" version of the winning cartoon autographed with a personal message from creator of Sikhtoons.com)


Its Quite Simple!
Come up with an economic rescue plan or message from President-Elect Obama's imaginary Sikh economic advisor!
Keep it short, funny, sarcastic or ironic whichever suits your style.
The winning entry will be selected by the creator of Sikhtoons.com and published on the site after the submission deadline.
Go here to enter!

Interested in the original painting, The Scream by Ed. Here's The Scream!

And here is part of what Mr. Munsch says about it:
I was walking along a path with two friends—the sun was setting—suddenly
the sky turned blood red—I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the
fence—there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the
city—my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety—and I sensed
an infinite scream passing through nature.

BTW, I just noticed that we are coming up on the 400th post in this blog. And we'll go on and on and on...