22 July 2010


I generally am not a fan of rap, but I like this.  Please listen and then go to the donation page of the Save The Gurudwara site. 

Before the music, some pictures of what we are saving:

Now the music.  Sing along with the hook:

They Cant tear it down
Its the only one left standing in that town
they cant tear it down
they trynna bulldoze the shrine
We need ta fight back, its about time..

All the lyrics:

They can tear down a building/ but cant knock down our spirits/
they was scared before - but now its time to fear it
Austin Texas / We cant just let them Reck This
Gurujis HOme/ It up to us to protect it

Everybody talking Change/ land of the free
but Its a Damn Shame/ no one doin a damn thang
where da A.K's Lets Jus Reign on they Parade/
They trynna make us fade/ lets go on a crusade/

Christopher Columbus ---------- robbed all the natives/
Declared it his own/ then brought over slave ships/
history repeats/ this is kinda like the same shit
the Couple didnt like it/ tomorrow its the nation/

"Sikhs need get out"... forced assimilation/
we need to fight back/ for our temples salvation/
government racist/ This is discrimination/
i put my hand out/ For your collaboration/

Sikh Activist, we in affliationt
shaheed baba deep singh is my inspiration/
need come together for our generation
They already tried to knock out our popultion

the 50 stars, Blue star operations
they didnt think twice/ no hesitation
skip the starbucks, give that as a donation
before my holy temple comes to termination

Thanks to Young Fateh.

17 July 2010


Imagine that you have no gurudwara in your area to worship in and the sangat uses a makeshift manufactured house as an impromptu gurudwara.  The nearest gurudwara is more than 100 miles (120 km) away.  Then you all get together, raise money and after many difficulties actually get your new gurudwara built.  At last, you have a real, permanent home for Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj Then someone in your town manages to get the government to issue an order to demolish the gurudwara you love and have worked so long and hard to build.  How would you feel?  What would you do?  An small congregation in Austin, Texas, is facing this bleak situation.

Today, I am both sad and angry.  Who would want to tear down the only gurudwara within 100 miles, legally built, unobtrusive?  Evidently some of the good citizens of Austin, Texas, USA.  Jasleen Kaur who was instrumental in getting this gurudwara built sent me an e-mail which says, in part,

We're currently raising money to take this to the state supreme court, but it will be an expensive battle.
it is heart breaking, literally.  all i can do is encourage the sangat to keep us in their ardaas and do as many chaupai sahib paath as they can for our victory.
 Our sisters and brothers in Austin, Texas, USA need our help.  Will we stand with them and help them to overcome this obstacle?  They need our prayers and our donations to fight the legal battle in the Texas Supreme Court.  With the help of the worldwide Saadh Sangat and the kirpaa of Vaheguru, this is a battle that will be won!

Please go to their website  Save The Austin Gurudwara and donate whatever you can.  Please be generous.  

Here is the Austin Gurudwara Sahib as it stands today...

 None of us wants to see this:

The article says:  "Sikhs around the world and shocked, saddened, and flabbergasted by such an unjust ruling."  I would like to amend that to "people of goodwill of any faith - or no faith - around the world..."  I have said that this blog has a world-wide readership.  This would be a good time to speak up.  Even if you cannot send a donation, please send a word of encouragement to AustinGurdwara@gmail.com. 

Here is the article about this from the Free Press:


Austin. July 16, 2010
Sikhs are shocked and outraged at a ruling by a Texas Court of Appeals ordering that the only Sikh Temple (Gurudwara) in Austin, Texas be torn down.

Austin Gurdwara Sahib (AGS), a non-profit, Sikh organization purchased land in West side of the Greater Austin area in 2003 to start the first permanent Gurudwara in the Capital City. For years, religious services were hosted weekly in a manufactured home located on the property. In 2005, to improve the facilities, AGS, with the congregation’s support, decided to build a more contemporary building. In this regard, AGS applied for, and was granted, all the necessary permits from the city. The approval process from the city included meetings with Planning & Zoning committees as well as the City Council at large. AGS also met with and provided full disclosure to the neighborhood association.

The construction commenced in late 2007, and the members of the Austin Sikh community celebrated laying the initial foundation stone of the first Sikh temple of its kind in Austin. However, the festive mood came to an abrupt stop immediately after the foundation had finished in Feb 2008, when the Bolliers filed for an injunction against the construction. John and wife Leslie, who is an attorney, were relative newcomers to the neighborhood arriving about 3 years after AGS had been using its property for religious services. Citing to the deed restrictions, the Bolliers argued vehemently against the construction of the Sikh Temple on the grounds that it would be an eye-sore and a traffic magnate, and would lower their property’s value.
 By agreement, AGS and the Bolliers agreed to cease construction until the issue was resolved by the trial court. In March 2009, the case was heard by Honorable Judge Susan Covington in the 353rd Judicial District in Travis County Texas. Over the course of several days, the court heard evidence presented by both sides, and rendered an informed decision denying Bollier’s request for an injunction and further ordered them to pay 80% of the associated court costs. In fact, the plantiff, Leslie Bollier, was cited for inequitable conduct in connection with the AGS use of the property.

After the trial court’s favorable ruling, AGS proceded to complete the Temple construction over the next few months. Meanwhile, not satisfied with the trial court’s decision, Bolliers filed an appeal. In July 2010, months after the construction of the Temple was complete, the Appellate Court reversed the lower court’s ruling. In fact, it went so far as to order the completed structure to be torn down! Sikhs around the world and shocked, saddened, and flabbergasted by such an unjust ruling.
 The AGS intends to vigorously appeal and ask the court to reconsider its decision. A website www.SaveGurudwara.com is being set up to provide updates on the matter as well as to collect donations for the legal fight.

Press Release issued by: Austin Gurdwara Sahib, 5104 Avispa Way, Austin TX 78738 Email: AustinGurdwara@Gmail.com.

09 July 2010

Flag of Khalistan.

I have been trying to get this to work right.  For your viewing pleasure!

01 July 2010

Not With A Bang...

This is a post I hoped I would never write.  As you, my readers, know, I practice the virtue of chardi kala, translated in many different ways, but all having the meaning of eternal optimism and never giving up.  I am still practicing, but it is hard.

No doubt by now you have heard about the massive oil spill by British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico in the Caribbean Sea, truly a paradise on earth.  Or at least it was until 20 April 2010.  On that day the Deepwater Horizon oil rig - owned and run by British Petroleum - exploded, caught fire and began gushing massive amounts of crude oil into the pristine waters around it.  Eleven were killed and 17 injured.  That was tragic, but it is just the beginning.

The amount of oil gushing into the Gulf is estimated at somewhere between 1,475,000 and 4,200,000 gallons per day ( 5,583,432 and 15,828,729 liters/day).  No one knows how much oil is in this well, how long it can keep gushing.  Years or decades, if it is not somehow stopped.  So far nothing has worked.  In fact, efforts have actually made it worse. 

Here's a nice little widget to help you calculate.

Those are pretty dry figures for most people, so here's a more graphic look.  This is what the spill looks like right now (30 June 2010): 

I realise that most of my readers really can't relate to southern Louisiana, so here is the spill in other locations where I have readers:

If I happened to miss your locale, go to Ifitwasmyhome to move the spill to wherever you live.

Perhaps you'd like to see it as it happens.

If that's not enough to bring it home to you, here are a few oil-soaked pelicans.  I find this horribly painful to look at.

In addition, massive amounts of methane gas has been released into the water.  This may well turn out to be even more dangerous than the oil.  The methane depletes the water of oxygen, leaving all the sea life devoid of the element that is necessary to all life on earth. It is feared that the methane will cause a dead zone where nothing can live, possibly for decades.  Also, scientists believe that a huge methane bubble is forming under the water.  When it bursts, it could release a tsunami of 20-60 ft (6.1-18.3 m), certainly enough to engulf most of the Caribbean islands.  For more information on the gas leak, go here: 
Gas Leak 3000 Times Worse Than Oil

And, by the way, with our current technology we have no way to cap or contain the methane.  

I guess that's not enough bad news.  It is now hurricane season.  (For those of you in Asia, those are typhoons.) There will be hurricanes. In fact, the first one is blowing right now.  Hurricane Alex did not move close to the spill, but there will be another hurricane and another and another.

The next thing to consider is the ocean currents.  The Gulf Stream is an ocean river that runs from the Caribbean to Europe.

Eventually this oil and methane and all their problems will reach Europe.  They will also travel up the Atlantic coast of North America all the way to Canada and all points north. No one knows how much of the ocean will die.  Certainly a large part of the Caribbean Sea will and it will take decades to recover.  In the meantime the many people who make their livings along the Gulf, either fishing or in the tourist trade, have lost their means of livelihood.  It is even possible that the land they live on will become uninhabitable.  Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana has been alerted that a mass evacuation may become necessary, if a hurricane again hits the state.  It is likely that once gone, the people will not be allowed to return due to the toxic oil and gas along the coast.

The earth is one big ecosystem, based primarily on our oceans.  If a large part of one ocean dies, that will have a cascade effect on the rest of the planet.  How far could this go? Worst case scenario:  Bye-bye.  "Not with a bang, but a whimper."  If you don't recognise those lines, they are the conclusion of T. S Eliot's poem, The Hollow Men. To hear the whimper go to Power Without Petroleum and listen hard at 0:25. 

Best case scenario:  the southern coast of the United States becomes uninhabitable for a period of time and much of the sea life in the Gulf of Mexico dies, with devastating consequences to the people who now live there.  As it is impossible that there be no hurricanes in the season, we can be sure that the winds will carry the oil throughout the region,  damaging all it touches.  That damage cannot be estimated at this time, except to say it will be extensive.

This morning (1 July 2010), going through my inbox, I found this article in the daily UN bulletin:  

Biologists find 'dead zones' around BP oil spill in Gulf

Methane at 100,000 times normal levels have been creating oxygen-depleted areas devoid of life near BP's Deepwater Horizon spill, according to two independent scientists

As long as I can remember, the scientists have been screaming "Wolf!" alerting us to this or that which they claim is going to wipe us out. 

As I child I grew up with "nuclear annihilation." 

That was the biggie.  There have been others:  the hole in the ozone layer, swine flu (twice), bird flu, global climate change and I'm sure others that I have forgotten. And it seems, life causes cancer.  There is truth in all  these scientific assertions, but there was also something we could do to stop or at least alleviate the disaster. As I see it, this is different because we are helpless to do anything except pray.  Of course, I am not a scientist, and the only way I see out of this is divine intervention.  Even if the spill can somehow be stopped, we can do nothing about the methane.  This is the time more than ever before that we need to dig deep within ourselves and find the high spirits, the chardi kala, that is a part of us.   It takes courage to look tragedy in the face and carry on without panic or depression.  

And what caused all this?  Of course it was British Petroleum cutting corners on safety to save money and increase profit.  It was Pres. Clinton who authorised the deep sea drilling.  It was Pres. George W. Bush who so favoured the oil interests and permitted a lack of oversight to allow BP not to follow the safety measures.  It was Pres. Obama who did not immediately step in to correct this corruption from the previous administration.  But it was also all of us who are dependent on petroleum, who refuse to cut back on our usage, we who demand more and more.  In the end, if we had not demanded this oil, if we had lost our lust  it, BP wouldn't have been able to make the profit that drove them to build this rickety structure upon the rickety structure of our economy.  So what now?  We have learned why greed is such an evil thing.  Whither our good, green beautiful earth?

I keep thinking about the ending of Dr. Strangelove.  (A great movie.  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you see it while you still can.)

Remain in chardi kala, my dear brothers and sisters! 


the fire - United States Coast Guard (via Wikipedia)
dead fish - Sean Gardner (Reuters)
the pelicans - Charlie Riedel (AP)
the earth - courtesy of NASA