Monday, August 22, 2005

When did VHP and BJP start caring for Sikh rights?

Did I miss something? Did I sleep through the transformation of the Vishav Hindu Parishad becoming the well-wisher of the Sikhs? Since when does the Lion need the these alligators to speak for him?

Thank you Mr. Fernandes and Thank you Mr. Advani, but we don’t need you and we don’t need Mr. Modi to speak for the Sikhs. The general Sikh populace is not as weak as the Akalis to need your support to get our rights.

Remember it was your brother from Kashmir that our 9th Guru gave up his life to protect, those were your daughters and sisters that we brought back many times from Mughal abductors, if today we need anyone to speak for us on 1984 or any other injustice it will not be alligators like you with innocent blood of Gujrati Muslims on their teeth.

It is a great political football for BJP, for Akalis and the rest of the political machine in India, but the common man knows that much like the Democrats and Republican in US, its twiddle dee, twiddle dum in India as well.

Not until you are hurt do you know the pain, so for the love of god stop using this issue for your political gains and start to debate on real solutions. Bring a bill to the Parliament that discusses compensation, that discusses rehabilitation, a bill that recognizes Sikhs as a separate religion.

Then and only then can BJP or Akalis or even Congress can call itself the shubh chintak of the Sikhs.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Hear me once and for all: I am not a Hindu.

Despite what the Supreme Court of India says, Sikhs are not Hindus. Sikhs have their own religious tenets; we have our own identity, our own places of worship and our own culture. The Supreme Court is worried about minority “secular structure and constitutional democracy” as well as they say “We should guard against making our country akin to a theocratic state based on multi-nationalism. Our concept of secularism, to put it in a nutshell, is that the state will have no religion”

Then they go on to show the biggest failure of Indian secularism “The court said in various codified customary laws like the Hindu Marriage Act, the Hindu Succession Act, the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act and other laws of pre and post-Constitution period, definition of “Hindu” included all sects, sub-sects of Hindu religion, including Sikhs and Jains.”

Being so worried about the secular identity of India, why doesn’t the Court change the name of these acts to “Indian Marriage Act” “the Indian Succession Act”, “the Indian Adoption and Maintenance Act” If Indian judicial system is so worried about secularism, why does it not act to correct the mistakes of past and clean up its act.

I am proud to say I live in the most powerful democracy in the world, a secular nation and yet my religion is recognized by these United States of America. Patriot Act of 2001 (HR 3162), section 1002 recognizes Sikhism as a distinct religion. And Sikhs in America do no ask the US government for special protections or privileges that the Supreme Court of India fears… “Such claims to minority status based on religion would increase in the fond hope of various sections of people getting special protections, privileges and treatment as part of constitutional guarantee,” the court said adding “a claim by one group of citizens would lead to a similar claim by another group and conflict and strife would ensue”.

Supreme Court and the rest of India should know that Sikhs have always given way more than they have taken from India. Even today we feed the Billions, despite the debt the farmers in Punjab are suppressed under.

Dear sirs, when you think of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious society think of Salad as an analogy, nothing losses its taste, its color or its look in the Salad, but together they make the bowl that holds them look great. Recognize and reward people for who they are, they will not ask for anything but gladly give even more.

Congress sprinkles Salt on Sikh Wounds again

Another report has come out, from another commission and once again the victims of the largest organized anti-Sikh riots in India are re-living the pain of that dark week. I am a victim of those riots, I spent a week in my uncles’ neighbor’s attic. I remember the noises of the crowd even today; I relive them every time someone talks about those days.

Events like that change your life for ever; it was those nights in the attic that reaffirmed my identity to remain a Sikh, a turbaned Sikh. If Congress, BJP or any one else ever thought or think that putting fear in the heart of Sikhs will make them give up their religious identity, they are sadly mistaken. You can blame the riots of 1984 for reaffirming many Sikhs into their faith, giving voice to the sentiment that was being raised from Punjab for a separate Sikh State.

Every time a new commission comes out and gives a report, the victims relive those days. The findings of the latest, Nanavati commission are not new. The nine commissions before him have named same politician that Justice Nanavati named, there have been commission before that names Police officers… but no justice has been served. The findings of the latest have led to resignations, but what this victim is waiting for justice, file charges against the named in any report by any commission and run a fair trial without scaring away and bribing the witnesses. If the Government in incapable of doing that much do us all a favor and stop putting together any more commissions.

We know who the guilty are; any one else who cares to know can read the reports of the ten commissions. Sikhs are not good are remaining victims of any one or anything. We have always recovered and come up stronger… from the days of Mannu, the Mughal emperor, to present day. Mannu sadi datri, aasi mannu de soe, oh jeon jeon sanu wadh da, aasi dune chaune hoye.

I want to Thank Dr. Manmohan Singh for apologizing for the riots, I know he meant it. I am not sure about the party he represents, as its all politics. Much like Akalis would have us believe they stand with victims of the riots or for Sikh cause… answer one question Mr. Badal, what did you do following the riots to help the victims from your personal wealth? Don’t politicize the wounds of of weeping mothers and widows… maa di haa buree hundi ah badala!