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Singhballer last won the day on August 30 2011

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  1. Bring in Sarna or Badal, their ineptitude toward the betterment of the Panth is the same. Getting a memorial or gallery made is not all that valuable in the face of big problems we're facing. Getting the Nanakshahi calendar removed and installing panthic leaning Kathavachaks in Delhi and Amritsar: The Nanakshahi calendar was removed without any proper consultation, discussion, debate, or agreement in the Panth. Its lunacy to push the change through without taking into account the opinions of the Panth. Thus, all those who have been convinced of the merits of the Nanakshahi calendar have animosity toward Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma and the Sant Samaj for doing it. Even if the Bikrami calendar is the best choice, or maybe a 3rd alternative calendar being better, but to make the decision unilaterally shows that Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma has no meaningful desire to build connections, bridges and unity in the Panth. He follows the same classic Indian strongman move of implementing your full whim and will when you have power while not caring for the affects on others. Getting Panthic kathavachaks back into Delhi and Amritsar is Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma's and others' response to the preaching of left-leaning kathavachacks is fine and dandy, but how does it bring unity? If they were shouting, now we're just shouting back. While presenting your own ideas and interpretations in a sound and ration way without enmity is fine, and I encourage it, Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma and the Sant Samaj has failed to address the actual problem and close the gaping opinionated divide. Again, its the strongman move, we have clout in political circles so let's use it to push our agenda without being principled and trying to foster cooperation and consolidation in the Panth.This shows Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma's lack of strategic acumen, he is unable to properly diagnose the problem and come up with a strategy to tackle it while bringing Sikhs together. Whether its our calendar, maryada, or history/philosophy, no one can unilaterally decide what it correct and what isn't. The Guru gave us the Guru Granth-Guru Panth system, which is a tradition long dead and not up for re-installment by the political overlords. Until such time that the entire Panth can assemble Sarbat Khalsa, create a plan to debate and discuss these issues, and come to a conclusion and consensus, these issues will only fester and grow worse. Shouting back and forth at each other will not unite the Panth on these issues, no matter how true and correct one side might be in the debate. If Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma was truly a visionary, he would see that trying to work within Badal's political setup is futile. You're getting cents on the dollar. Peanuts. The revolutionary change to ideas centuries old is what is needed. Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma knows of our history ten times better than any of us yet fails to see that the only time multiple factions of the Panth were truly largely united was when the Sarbat Khalsa system was in place and operating. Baba Hari Singh Randhawe Wale have said in Katha before that these politicians don't have the Panth's betterment in mind. They say one thing, do another thing. He recounted the many times he approached the former President of the SGPC, Gurcharan Singh Tohra, to resolve the maryada issue and have one Panthic maryada implemented. Tohra would always say they'd take it into consideration and will do something to get the discussions started but never did over all those years of Baba Hari Singh asking. Why not? Unity of the Panth does not align with the values and interests of the political class and they have proven that over the past four decades. Again, it shows lack of clarity in thought and critical thinking on Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma to not be able to see his plan of action is ultimately folly. I do not blame Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma for causation, I said the following in my original post: "Many of the occurrences and facts I have presented above are not caused or created by Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma. However, in being the leader of Dami Dami Taksal and the Sant Samaj, and having such warm and close relations with the Badal family, the SGPC, and Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), he has achieved very little in rectifying or ameliorating any of those issues in any meaningful way. It is treachery and deception with the Panth for Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma to have aligned, supported, and collaborated with the Badal family and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal)" Only 30 seats were allocated to Sant Samaj, out of a grand total of 170! I do not believe there would be any more change than there is now, they would have held 17.64% of the seats of a majority. This was not a coalition where Badal needs the Sant Samaj's votes to pass anything, and as such they hold no leverage over Badal. Do you have any documents or information that gives you a clear picture of what changes Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma and the Sant Samaj were going to bring about and what they're action plan looked like after winning those 30 seats? And did said plan look plausible? The SGPC was put in limbo by the case but has been run by its de-facto leaders since then, the Badals, and all its operation are still ongoing with them at the helm. The Sant Samaj and Badal still have the same supporting relationship, even more so now than in 2011, and thus I believe the political power the Sant Samaj has now is what they would receive even if the new SGPC house had gone into operation. Who do you refer to by "ravan sena"? It would have made people aware of the crimes of the Punjab government, which he orchestrated in part, and aided, abetted, and sheltered from justice the thousands of officers and government officials that were responsible for our genocide. Badal has blood on his hands too, not just CM Beant Singh. You may not be aware, but false encounters in Punjab started under Parkash Badal in the 1970s when he had the Punjab police extra-judicially killing leftist activists and 'comrades'. I can't find a source at the moment but from what I remember, the CBI submitted their report to the Punjab government and the Punjab government under Badal never released the report. But here's something that shows you the counterfeit an insincere concern for the Panthi's issues: -!topic/soc.religion.sikhism/UJ96Dtk4neQ While Badal asked for an investigation when he wasn't in power this was what he said when he got in power on Kaunke's case. "Parkash Singh Badal, now the Chief Minister of Punjab, condemned this action. He was briefly detained for his statement. Yet he has fused to refer this terrible incident for investigation by India's Central bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the flimsy pretext that it would demoralize the murderous, out-of-control Punjab police." See excerpt from my original post above. Sant Jarnail Singh started his own morcha. The Akali Dal wanted to align their morcha with his. They mutually did that for the adoption of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. Sant Jarnail Singh did not support the Shiromani Akali Dal in SGPC election, he supported candidates who stood against them. He did not voice his support for the party or its candidates any election, only collaborated to keep the Panth on one platform for the Dharam Yudh Morcha. He neither trusted, confided, or made himself vulnerable to the Akali politicians. He took his own course and created and arms-length partnership for the morcha. This is a very different political strategy to Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma's of throwing full support behind the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and cozying up to the political elite. The Sant Samaj was in operation long before the 2011 SGPC elections. The Sant Samaj actually fought the 2004 elections under the Panthic Morcha against SAD (Badal). - Those leaders did not leave because they had no desire to involve themselves in politics anymore. That is a fictitious assertion. These leaders had contested the 2004 elections too and stayed united after their loss then. What changed? These leaders left not in 2011 or the following years but in 2016/2017. Why then? That's when the beadbi incidents were happening the the hapless Punjab government and SGPC, both under Badal, did next to nothing constructive to solve the situation and instead used violence against protesters and killed Sikhs. Even after these facts when the many Sant Samaj members were justifiably angry with Badal and wanting to mobilise against him, it was the forever devoted Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma that came out with unwavering support for Badal and his party for the next elections. This was also following the pardon to the Sirsa pakhandi by the Akal Thakht by orders of the Badal family and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal)'s subsequent support from the Sirsa pakhandi - Read the article, the 93 leaders "have distanced themselved from Baba Harnam Singh's announcement to support the Badals" Its Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma's feeble leadership that has fractured the Sant Samaj Those Sikhs who took Nawabis from the Mughals established their autonomous control and helped to grow the Panth and its interests. Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma's strategy gives the Panth no autonomy, no control, and he has not pushed forward the Panth's interests in any worthwhile long-lasting way.
  2. My original post may need more clarity in how I present my ideas; I was not trying to put across the point that Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma must fit the mold of a leader who solves all the Panth's problems and leads us to a future of prosperity and growth. Those are lofty expectations. I do not believe that's the standard Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma should be held to. I was merely trying to question: are the "accomplishments" of Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma significant or are they miniscule and non-impactful for the Panth's future, especially in comparison to the immense challenges and issues we face. People will argue that Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma has used his leadership position in Dam Dami Taksal and the Sant Samaj, as well as, his support of and relationship with the Badal family and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), to make important progress in issues of the Panth. I don't believe he has. I don't believe he has made any significant progress in addressing any of those larger problems of the Panth even whilst having his strong political affiliations. My intention was to point out that: The most dire and severe issues of the Panth have not been addressed in any compelling fashion by Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma over the last decade, at a time when he has cultivated powerful connections with Punjab's political overlords. He is not an individual who possesses necessary skills and character traits, such as long-sightedness, integrity, strategic planning/thinking, principles, conviction, etc., to be a useful, productive, valuable, and helpful leader that can earnestly contribute to the Panth's progression.
  3. I read the following passage in another thread. Instead of going off topic on the original thread, I have created this new one. -------------------------------------------------------------- I disagree that Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma has achieved many things by siding with Parkash Badal and his Dal. What has Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma accomplished in the affairs of the SGPC, Punjab's Government, or Sikh sovereignty since he's headed Dam Dami Taksal Mehta, headed the Sant Samaj, and nurtured such a warm relationship with the Badal family and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) at large? I see a few things that may be seen as accomplishments by Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma The 1984 memorial complex being created The removal of the Nanakshahi calendar Getting approval for Taksal's kathavachaks to do parchar from Manji Sahib A "Martyr's Gallery" at the 1984 memorial ( On a panthic level, can any of the above be termed as any significant achievement or contribution for our nation by a person who heads one of the oldest Sikh schools, an organization of Sants/Vidhvaans, and has relations with influential political leaders? They can not; these are paltry victories in the face of immense issues of our community. The biggest issues of the Panth (including but not limited to): The decline of Sikhi in Punjab Due to things like: Proliferation of drugs, lack of parchaar and spiritual sustenance, government suppression of Sikh movements Lack of justice and healing from 1984 and following genocide Tens of thousands Sikhs killed, tortured, detained, made political prisoners, and continued mass impunity for perpetrators Corruption at the Akal Thakht, SGPC, and Sikh institutions Focussing on the SGPC, has Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma done much of anything to elicit worthwhile change in all the shortcomings, mismanagement, corruption, and overall foolishness of the SGPC? In the video below Jathedar Ranjit Singh outlines many of the ways the Badal family has usurped the Sikhs' sovereign power and misused the Panth's power and wealth for their own benefit. He also talks about many actions of the SGPC that are blatantly corrupt. The Badals more or less ordered the SGPC to hand over the rights to relaying Gurbani from Harmandir Sahib from ETC Punjabi to PTC Punjabi at no charge. While the SGPC was to receive payment from ETC for the deal, the SGPC has received no compensation from the Badal family for the over 1100 Crore Rupees that PTC Punjabi owes as of 2013! Time and time again Baldev Singh Sirsa and Jathedar Ranjit Singh expose scams executed by SGPC officials to enrich themselves at the expense of the Sikh nation's funding. Property Scam - Property Scam - Recruitment Scam - Badal seeking favours from Gurdwara Judicial Panel - You will notice the SGPC always constituting its own "committees" of its own men to investigate. Does anyone think that will ever lead to a credible investigation where the truth and justice is of utmost importance? Nope. When a judicial panel tells the SGPC to have a private firm do an audit, the SGPC just ignores it. Complete disregard. - From the 7:00 mark Jathedar Ranjit Singh goes through the misdeeds of the Badal family and the SGPC. In relation to "2. Lack of Justice and Healing from 1984 and following genocide, What has Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma done with his influence on the Badal family and SGPC in that area? Thousands of Punjab police officers involved in our genocide have roamed with impunity. Badal Dal, while promising over many elections, particularly in the 1990s to punish all the guilty has done the complete opposite. They have sheltered, protected, rewarded, and saluted those same officers, and not just the big boys like Sumedh Saini, Izhar Alam, etc.. Did Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma do anything to use his political influence on the Badals to have impartial investigations, charges, and eventual punish meted down for the guilty? Some may know that the Shiromani Akali Dal used to have a "Shiromani Akali Dal Human Right Wing"; Jaswant Singh Khalra was the General Secretary of it. Why do you think that wing has gone into oblivion? Khalra and others working in that wing investigated and uncovered the crimes of the government. The Badals don't want such crimes to see the light of day and have as such instituted policy not to support human right endeavours in the political party of the Sikhs or the SGPC. Has Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma done anything to get the SGPC or Akali Dal to mobilise their resources toward hiring investigators, former police officers, former judges, or lawyers to research, investigate, and expose to the world, and begin legal proceedings for all those crimes that were committed against the Sikhs? Jathedar Gurdev Singh Kaunke was tortured and murdered by Jagraon Police. A report was conducted by the Punjab government but was never released. Badal promised to release it if it came into power. He never did. What has Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma done to get that report released? Especially since this particul victim was of such high regard from Dam Dami Taksal. In relation to "3. Corruption at the Akal Thakht, SGPC, and Sikh institutions" The Akal Thakht and SGPC has been controlled by the political overlords, whether it was Tohra or Talwandi exerting their influence, or the Badals in the modern day. The "leaders" of our nation in the form of Thakht Jathedars are chosen by the Badals to be "yes men", support the status-quo, and be wielded for political gain. The SGPC president is chosen in this exact way too. What has Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma done to change these political interferences and institute a system by with the nation chooses its leaders? What actions has he taken to ensure leadership at these levels works for the betterment of the community instead of the political betterment of the Badal family? While everyone makes much fuss over the Indian government destroying and stealing our priceless historical artifacts in 1984, the destruction that the SGPC has either directly or indirectly caused to our heritage is spectacular. Dozens if not hundreds of buildings razed or allowed to crumble. The possessions and artifacts of our Guru's and prominent Sikhs decay and turn to dust; this is living history going to waste forever to be inaccessible to our future generations. The SGPC has been aware of all this but this is not a priority for them. I'm sure Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma knows of this too. What has he done to mobilise SGPC resources towards the preservation of our history? I find it ironic that such a learned individual will do katha of and teach katha of Suraj Parkash or Panth Parkash, but that actual history he narrates he doesn't seem to be too bothered about protecting. Uncovered during the Badal's construction of the horrendous plaza outside Harmandir Sahib - Mansion of Mangal Singh Ramgarhia near Harmandir Sahib demolished. SGPC knew and did nothing. Relics of the Guru's decaying - Relics of Guru Arjan Dev Ji decaying going to waste - Finally, while he has been President of the Sant Samaj for a great length of time, the other Vidhvaans of the organization have become disillusioned with his leadership or lack-there-of. Mahapurakhs like Baba Lakhbir Singh Ratwara Sahib, Baba Hari Singh Randhawe wale, Baba Amir Singh Jawaddi Taksal wale, Baba Seva Singh Rampur Khere wale all have left or distanced themselves from the Sant Samaj due to its wayward leadership and direction. - Many of the occurrences and facts I have presented above are not caused or created by Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma. However, in being the leader of Dami Dami Taksal and the Sant Samaj, and having such warm and close relations with the Badal family, the SGPC, and Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), he has achieved very little in rectifying or ameliorating any of those issues in any meaningful way. It is treachery and deception with the Panth for Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma to have aligned, supported, and collaborated with the Badal family and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal); and to think, I haven't even mentioned Badal's and the Shiromani Akali Dal's collusion and cooperation in the June 1984 attack and subsequent smothering of the resistance movement. Have other leaders in the Panth also joined and supported the Badal family? Yes. But, no dharmic leader has been closer or supported the Badals with more zeal than Baba Harnam Singh Dumma. What triumph has he produced from that support? Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma may well have done a lot of things over his lifetime, however, the high position and influence he has been given have gone to waste. He does not seem to to have the wit, vision, strategic acumen, or transparency that Sikhs require from a person in such a position. -------------------------------------------------------------- If there are any mistakes or criticisms of the above analysis please voice them!
  4. One point repeatedly being made by Dhumma to justify the attack is that Dhadrianwale's verbal attack on Dhumma was a direct attack on Dam Dami Taksal. Dhumma asserts that anything said about the leader of an institution is to be taken as it being said about the institution itself. He questions how you can separate the two. This is a very flawed assertion by Dhumma. It is entirely acceptable for a leader or individual to be criticized without an institution that criticism being linked to the institution or organization they represent. This is a poor method for Dhumma to justify the attack. Using Dhumma's logic we would be smearing and disgracing the Akal Takht when we criticize Gurbachan Singh and the other Takht Jathedars for pardoning Ram Rahim and taking orders/directives from the SGPC and Badal government. Another example, Jathedar of the Akal Takht, Aroor Singh, had honoured General Dyer the person responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar. Is what Aroor Singh did not something Sikhs should oppose? Should Aroor Singh not be condemned and criticized for his shameful behaviour? More on Aroor Singh: Not anyone would disagree with condemning Aroor Singh but by Dhumma's argument, we would be denouncing the Akal Takht at the same time. Having had so much Gurmat instruction you would think a person like Dhumma would think his arguments over to determine their sensibility. I guess not.
  5. Another great analysis by Dr. Amarjit Singh from TV84:
  6. Singh559, I like Ajmer Singh's analysis of how Dhumma handled himself in comparison to the Sikh way of dialogue and too don't agree with his opinions on the rift being created on Sri Dasam Granth. I have always enjoyed his rational arguments and ability to look at the bigger picture for specific situations.
  7. A good analysis by Ajmer Singh on the recent attack:
  8. Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma condemns the attack on Baba Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale in the first statement he makes on the subject: Dhumma says: These actions need to be condemned in harsh words. Everyone should speak out against it. Sikh Jathebandis should get together to answer back on these things and need to mobilize themselves to stop such ploys. Then in the following statement, Dhumma's words take a change in direction: Check the Facebook page of the news channel for a better version: Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma claims Baba Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale have been making accusations for over 4 years and has made derogatory comments on Dam Dami Taksal's dastar and reputation. The derogatory comments are claimed to be of the very low and despicable character. I have yet to see evidence of the above claim. Dhumma believes Dhadrianwale should have looked at his own dastaar and realised it has the same honour and respect as someone else's. This is a comical suggestion as Dhumma himself criticized Dhadrianwale for his choice of dastaar style, a useless critique. Dhumma claims in 4 years he never made any derogatory comment against Dhadrianwale. This is proven false by Dhumma's critique a few weeks ago of Dhadrianwale and his dress, deferring to this chola as ghagri and making comments about his dastaar styleDhumma makes a point of Sikhs only supposed to be wearing 4 colours of dastaars. A fair point, but hardly something that warranted negative utterance toward another parcharik. Calling Dhadrianwale up and raising this concern and doing benti to stick to the four colours would have been the better move. Dhumma says that the Singhs that attacked Dhadrianwale wished to get him to stop his derogatory comments about Dam Dami Taksal. They did what they did for the the honour and respect of Dam Dami Taksal. A lot of people's feelings are connected with Dam Dami Taksal and that some can handle someone's attacks while others cannot. I have seen no evidence of Dhadrianwale making any defaming comments about the Dam Dami Taksal While it is a fair statement to say that people's feelings can get hurt and they take matter into their own hands, Dhumma comes across condoning the attack when he should be condemning it. Dhumma originally condemned the murder, but since the perpetrator are the student's and friends of his institution, the attack is now being condoned and justified. Hurt feelings over the alleged bad-mouthing of your institution's leader is not sufficient justification for attacking and attempting to murder someone Dhumma should be vehemently criticizing and denouncing what occured but instead has shifted to defending and tolerating the attack Was the killing of Bhai Bhupinder Singh, who made no utterances toward anybody, not wrong? Should his killing not be condemned? The vehicles being destroyed, while a minor misdeed in comparison to the life lost, is the loss of property funded by the Guru's sangat. Is that not worth expressing regret over? A chabeel was made part of the ruse to trick the targets into the trap. An age old tradition of seva was utilized by the perpetrators to commit murder. People will look toward chabeels with suspicion, the government has outlawed them without prior permission, and beadbi of the tradition has occured. Is that not worth condemnation from Dhumma? Dhumma says he will be supporting and helping those charged with these crimes. While raising concerns about potential police torture and brutality is legitimate, unequivocally supporting those who committed such disgusting acts is lunacy. The following is a news article following Dhumma's press conference on May 23rd, 2016: The article states: Dhumma admits the perpetrators and vehicles used are from Dam Dami Taksal Dhumma states he has no knowledge about the Chabeel being used as a tool in this attack (how is it possible to attempt to even feign ignorance about this). HERE'S A BOMBSHELL: The press note being used during the press conference (which Dhumma read from) was prepared by the media advisor of Punjab cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia and Dhumma read it word for word When the journalists had one on one interviews afterwards (as in the ABP Sanjha video above) what Dhumma read and what he said in those interviews went in opposite directions Questions that need answering: Why are the media advisors of Badal's cabinet ministers helping Dhumma with his press statements? Why is Dhumma putting up a farce in his statements? He is blatantly being deceitful and disingenuous by stating one thing through a press note (probably things he doesn't actually believe) and then airing his real thoughts and feelings in the interviews. Why the two-face bigotry? Overall, Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma has proven that he severely lacks skills in leadership, strategic thinking, conflict/crisis resolution, honesty, and accountability. Operating as the head of Dam Dami Taksal's Mehta faction, his weakness and ineptitude in being a competent leader does a disservice to the entire Dam Dami Taksal. This incident and the subsequent severe mishandling of the response by Dhumma has eroded the reputation and respect for Dam Dami Taksal in the eyes of Sikhs world wide. Those close to Dam Dami Taksal have to deliberate with themselves and ask, is Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma's handling of the situation helping the taksal? Will it help them engage and connect with the hearts of Sikhs? Will it help them prosper and flourish going into the future? If the answer is no, we may have someone in a job way above his skill set. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I did this quick analysis just pouring over the information on the internet. If you find any mistakes, any additional relevant information, or have any analysis of your own to air, I would welcome your feedback and will make any corrections necessary.
  9. What objective proof do you have that "Nanaksar make that photo of the Baba as the representation of God" ? Do all those Singhs at Nanaksar consider such photos as the avatar of God? What proof do you have of the mental thoughts and feelings those Singhs have toward those pictures? Did they verbally tell you they consider those pictures to be the avatar of God? Did you read their minds? At Barsis of various panthic personalities, the pictures of said personalities are brought in the diwan to remind sangat of the physical form of the person they are remembering. Worship is defined as: "the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity". Reverence and adoration can be defined as "a deep respect or love". Deity is defined as "a god or goddess". Do Singhs have a feeling of deep respect for Baba Nand Singh Ji? Almost certainly. Do Singhs consider Baba Nand Singh Ji's picture a representation of "a god"? Highly unlikely. Please provide proof that exhibits Singhs' internal feelings and sentiments that show they consider the picture of Baba Nand Singh Ji to be a representation of God. Unless you've interviewed them, I think you'll be hard-pressed to manifest any such proof.
  10. The need for Khalistan has been poorly articulated by everyone besides Dr. Amarjit Singh of Washington D.C. The case for Khalistan needs to be made by discussing all fronts of how that nation would be different from the current situation in Punjab. An answer on how Khalistan would improve things for Punjabis, in relation to human rights and freedoms, socially, economically, and overall quality of life needs to be clearly given and be openly available. Sikhs do need to raise literacy levels and education within themselves and have a more interconnected community globally. But besides fostering a culture of higher education and pursuit of knowledge, I don't believe there is anything greater Sikhs as a larger community could do. Yes, the people of Punjab are suffering due to changes in the economy and the sub-par effort to adapt effectively with necessary legislative amendments and new policies (current policies and regulations do not entice foreign investment in Punjab). But the responsibility to improve economic conditions in Punjab, to increase foreign direct investment, and to provide the general populace with well paying jobs that grow the economy toward a information based economy is with the Punjab and Indian governments. It doesn't help when your Minister for Education has only passed the 10th grade (Sikander Singh Maluka - Not to mention half of the Punjab cabinet has no post secondary education. The failure of Punjab to adequately adapt to social trends, rapid urbanization, and globalization are failures of the Government. Literacy rates are not high enough and access to credible and relevant information on these precise topics is very poor. It cannot be expected that people can learn how to adjust to a changing world on their own. The sole job of the SGPC is to defend and bolster Sikhi. This encompasses propagation of the Sikh way of life, the protection of Sikh history and its related historical Gurdwaras and artifacts, and providing life's basic necessities (food, shelter, clothes) to humanity. To mold the Sikh populace into productive and nurturing members of Society is under its mandate, however, I fail to see what role the SGPC would have in moving Sikhs toward being any of the occupations you listed. Sikhs in their basic form are saints and soldiers. Why would we want to remove the Sadhu aspect from Sikhi? It should be a part of us but of course not be our sole trait. I highly doubt the assertion that Sikh organizations led by "Babas" are teaching that Sikhs should solely focus on a Sadhu lifestyle. Baba Jagjit Singh of the Harkhowal samparda have many times given guidance to, in addition to living the Sikh lifestyle, have scholastic pursuits and go into honorable professions. There are actually a lot of rituals and prayers that devout Jews preform on a daily basis, and they are not so liberal in their linkage with society as you might think. Many are recluses and focus much of their time on their religion, family, and work. Its hard to contrast Jews being opposite to your view of what Sikhs are apparently doing. In year 70, after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the control of elite Jewish priests, in whom control of religious ceremonies vested, was relinquished. Jews became more widespread after the Roman conquest. Since Jewish life revolved around the Torah, it required all Jewish men to read and study the Torah themselves and no longer reliant on Rabbis. Their children would begin their instruction to do the same from a very young age. Education was compulsory for people of the Jewish faith and this was revolutionary compared to other societies that existed through the first millennium and a half. It gave them an intellectual edge on all other communities as a whole. However, Jews who's livelihoods relied on resource industries, like farming, had a hard choice to make. Do they send their children to learn Hebrew, which is religiously mandated but brings them no economic benefit, or do they become less devout or even convert religions? The bleeding population was one reason Judaism did not flourish in the world as other faiths did. Within devout Jews, education was a basic building block for their families and the community. Because of their early connection to education, Jews were, in large part, ahead of their peers. The culture of educational pursuit and excellence was cultivated through religious necessity and became ingrained in Jews themselves. They all push their children on an individual level to pursue their academic interests and morph into professionals. There is a great parallel with Sikhi. From 1716 to the establishment of the Sikh Misls, Sikhs were displaced with very few substantial and permanent habitations. It required every Sikh to be self-reliant and learn Gurmukhi and keep alive the Sikh way of life. Education was likely more precious during those times. As Sikhs have endured through a century of relative peace, a culture of complacency has festered and Sikhs no longer feel there is a need for that basic understanding of our language, which is the gateway to Sikhi. Most Sikhs living in rural areas in the past 150 years likely saw no economic benefit from education, similar to the thinking of some Jews. If any culture of learning Gurmukhi as a necessity to our way of life existed, it was wiped out by generations of ill opinion toward education. Very few Sikhs send their children to Gurdwaras to learn Gurmukhi, Sikh history, and music, so kids aren't getting an influx of knowledge at a young age like Jewish children have been. Had Sikhs had the long and winding ordeal the Jews had and developed that deep rooted culture of academia over two millenniums, we might also be staunch champions of education too. For the present, we are not. What are your ideas on how to change that? What role to Sikh groups have to play in that? What real world steps and ideas can be implemented to get the change we need? Many would argue institutions like Dam Dami Taksal, Mastuana, Nihang Dals, Harkhowal, and Jawaddi Taksal have been promoting and providing costless learning of languages, history, music, the Sikh way of life, and to some degree for some, the quest for technical and academic knowledge for a long time. Suits may be fancier than Salwars (oh the irony). In all seriousness though, I agree with reaching out to those who aren't living the Sikh way of life and giving them the Guru's message in a medium and channel that is most productive for them. I think Manjit Singh's statements about Sikhi sound great and are good ideas, but they seem to be wide blanketing statements that are far from being a clear direction to a better future. The problems that Sikhs face in India and around the world are well known; having a vision for a better future is a good place to start. Nonetheless, until concrete steps and plans to actually tackle the problem are put into practice, its all just talk, which Punjabis are more than accustomed to hearing. On a side note, most of the immense problems that Sikhs/Punjabis in the west have with Indian and Punjab governments almost entirely have to do with unfair treatment before the law, human rights, and freedoms of the people. They include but are not exclusive to: In no particular order. 1. Being categorized as Hindus in Article 25 of the constitution 2. The leaving out of Punjabi areas from Punjab 3. Punjab river waters being controlled and diverted in violation of international riparian law 4. State sponsored murder of tens of thousands of Sikhs/Punjabis, widespread use of torture, and extra-judicial killings of peoples without fair/due process taking place. 5. State sponsored killings, assaults, rapes, arson, and looting that took place in the Sikh genocide of November 1984. 6. The mass impunity of all those involved in the events listed in 4 & 5 from political leaders, political party workers, para-military & police personnel, and Indian citizens . 8. The needless attack on Harimandar Sahib in June 1984 that killed thousands and saw hundreds of Sikh artifacts destroyed or looted. 7. The rejection by the state to the freedom of speech, freedom of public protest, and freedom of political thought. Promises to address and tackle said problems have been given by all political parties, most of all the Badal Dal. People are well accustomed to political double talk; its hard for many to believe Manjit Singh GK is genuine in his statements knowing he represents the interests of the Badal Dal (A view on GK's statements on Sant Bhindrawale and comparison of Iran to Khalistan - ). That's my take at least, sorry for being all over the place.
  11. Source: The article sheds some light on the dealings of Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism, with the Sikh community. It also gives insight into what Minister Jason Kenney really thinks about the 1984 Sikh Genocide and the Sikh movement for Khalistan. Some parts of the article innacurately describe the details of the Vaisakhi "celebration". There were no people dancing, the "traditional Indian beat" is likely referring to the dhol used for gatka, and there was definitely no chicken present. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Last year, L’actualité, the sister publication to Maclean’s in Quebec, got unprecedented access to Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Chief political reporter Alec Castonguay was given a rare behind-the-scenes look at the man who is arguably most responsible for delivering the Conservatives a majority in the last federal election and who is remaking the nation’s immigration policy. This is an edited, translated version of the story that appeared in the magazine and as a L’actualité ebook. Jason Kenney scans the dense crowd of roughly 20,000 Sikh Canadians in traditional dress and multicoloured turbans here to mark Vaisakhi—the annual celebration commemorating the foundation of this community originally from India’s northeast. Sitting cross-legged on the thin grey carpeting covering the enormous stage, the minister is inwardly cringing. He doesn’t like what he sees. In front of him, a dozen yellow and blue Khalistan flags are splitting the crowd near the podium, held by men fighting the hot early May sun in T-shirts. The man at the mic, speaking Punjabi, suddenly speeds up and radicalizes his tone. He speaks of genocide, of violent clashes and of the independence of Khalistan—a country that a faction of Sikh nationalists would like to carve from India. It’s too much. Kenney, who’s picked up some Punjabi since becoming minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism in 2008, stands mid-sentence, crosses the room and exits as three baffled Conservative MPs look on, unsure whether or not they should follow. At the bottom of the steps, Kenney puts his shoes back on and raises his hand as if to rip off the orange bandana that all visitors wear inside Rexdale’s Sikh Spiritual Centre. He takes a deep breath, and restrains himself. A Sikh organizer approaches, looking contrite. “You are trying to exploit my presence here,” Kenney shouts, his stare fixed on the man in a white turban. “This is not a civilized way to behave. I warned you, and you did it anyway. I am aware that you would like to entertain the Prime Minister next year. You can forget it. He won’t be coming.” The minister makes his way to the exit, the Sikh organizer fast on his heels, apologizing profusely. It had all started so well 25 minutes earlier. The party was in full swing. People sang and danced in all corners to a traditional Indian beat. Hundreds of children played in inflatable games erected along the four-lane street. Smells of spices and roast chicken tickled the nostrils. Kenney took the stage with compliments reserved for a guest of honour. At the microphone he shouted a well-timed greeting: “Bole sonai hai? Sat siri akal!” Thousands of people responded: “Sat siri akal!” (The Sikh greeting roughly translates to: “Who stands up for truth?,” to which the crowd responds, “We stand up for truth, God is the ultimate truth!”) The minister had bragged of the government’s achievements, including the creation, at the heart of the ministry of Foreign Affairs, of an office of religious freedoms to promote and defend all faiths. He highlighted that Vaisakhi is now a Canadian tradition because it is celebrated every year on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. It was after his speech, once he was seated, that the Khalistan flags suddenly appeared. At the entrance, several long minutes pass before the minister’s driver pulls up in his black Nissan SUV. As we sit down, Kenney turns to me. “I am so sorry,” he says in French. He finally pulls off his bandana and explains that Sikh nationalists are now waging their war in Canada. They hope to convince the roughly 450,000 Canadians of Sikh origin, the majority of whom live in the suburbs of Toronto and Vancouver, to put pressure on their families still in India, but also on the Canadian government, to support their demands. They want Ottawa to recognize a genocide in which Sikhs were victims, in 1984 in India. “It was an extremist speech,” he says. “I had to leave the room, otherwise the community would think I endorse such a campaign. Certain groups have sometimes tried to wield my prominence to advance their cause. I have to be vigilant at all times. They shouldn’t be encouraged to reproduce, in Canada, the tensions of their homelands.” It’s a message he reiterates to new immigrants from China and Tibet, Greece and Turkey, Israel and Iran. He glances out the window and sighs. “Welcome to my world.” He could just as easily have said “my worlds,” given how dramatically Canada’s new immigrant and multicultural canvas is growing and diversifying—it now includes almost 200 languages. More than 250,000 new immigrants arrive in Canada every year; in 2010, that number hit 280,000, the equivalent of 0.8 per cent of the population—the highest proportion of any industrialized country, followed by Great Britain and Germany (at 0.7 per cent each). Inevitably, this has brought profound political change. Kenney is at the forefront of these changes. His objective: understanding, seducing and attracting ethnic communities to the Conservative party, an electorate once taken for granted by the Liberal Party of Canada. He has shaken thousands of hands, put away hundreds of very spicy meals and pulled off his shoes an incalculable number of times in entering mosques, temples or integration centres to give speeches. His methods are old school, far removed from social networks, where human contact, proximity and the fight for values undertaken by the Conservative party have gradually won over a large number of new Canadians. In the halls of government, it is plainly acknowledged: Kenney is the architect of the Conservative majority, having worked discreetly, yet tirelessly, for the past five years to build bridges with Canada’s ethnic communities. It’s a success that Britain’s Conservative Party would like to replicate, and that the U.S. Republican party, after its electoral drubbing in November, is cautiously eyeing. It’s meticulous work, long and complex. With the patience of a Buddhist monk, the minister has had to figure out the subtleties of every community and learn its traditions in order to navigate competing demands and interests. It was no accident that after Justin Trudeau formally declared his intention to run for Liberal leader last October, his first destinations were Richmond, B.C., and Mississauga, Ont., two cities with heavy immigrant populations. Both had been Liberal ridings conquered by the Conservatives. In their way, Kenney, 44, and Trudeau, 40, represent the future of their parties. And as they fight on this same battlefield, Kenney is putting everything on the line . He could become the next leader of the Canadian conservative movement. Kenney’s longevity and the scope of his reforms have surprised experts. “Immigration generally gets inherited by a junior minister with no real presence, anxious to trade up for a better cabinet post,” says Stephan Reichhold, director of an immigrant support network in Quebec. “Kenney is practically a deputy prime minister. He has been there for four years and has undertaken an unending number of reforms. Some are good, others are very ideological.” Not bad for a guy who was barely interested in the politics of immigration before 2006 and wanted nothing to do with that role in cabinet. The young Alberta MP had even refused the role of immigration critic when the Tories were in opposition. “I saw the enormous pressure and the very delicate handling of complex politics the job required. Even when we took power, I wanted to run screaming when the Prime Minister talked to me about it,” Kenney recalls. Stephen Harper convinced him with an argument that resonated: the very future of the conservative movement in Canada depended on it. Just before forming his first cabinet in early 2006, Harper met with Kenney in a hotel suite in Ottawa. “Do you remember the conversation we had in October 1994?” he asked. Kenney remembered it perfectly. On that chilly fall day, the Reform party congress had just wrapped up in the capital and Harper, a newly elected MP of just 35, was sipping a beer at the Royal Oak Pub on Bank Street when Kenney went over to him. The two men knew each other because Kenney, despite his 26 years, was already heading the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Kenney laid out his theory: the division of the conservative movement between the Reform party and the Progressive Conservative party wasn’t the right’s only problem. “Even with a united right,” he said, “conservatism has peaked. Votes are becoming stagnant.” Conservatives, he added, would have to cross the “final frontier”: that of immigrants. “Look at demographic trends—it’s the future. Immigrants have the same values as us, we have to talk to them, to convince them.” Harper, skeptical, responded that this very liberal segment of the population would never vote Conservative. Better, in his opinion, to focus on native-born Canadians. When, 12 years later, Harper took power at the helm of a minority government, he proposed that Kenney pursue the mission that he had defined, without quite realizing it, beer in hand, in an Ottawa bar. “Prove to me that I was wrong,” the Prime Minister challenged him. He named him prime minister’s parliamentary secretary and secretary of state for multiculturalism, with a double mandate. The first, more political role requires that he make sure new immigrants integrate well. “People have to be able to conserve their identity as they are becoming integral parts of Canada,” Harper told him. “Multiculturalism cannot lead to the ghettoization of immigrants.” The other mandate is partisan: becoming the link between the government and cultural communities in order to increase the party’s odds of success in the next election. Kenney came to understand the magnitude of the task in March 2006, during one of his first meetings in his new role. A leader from the Korean community of Vancouver, a respected doctor, squarely asked him why Conservatives are racist and anti-immigration. Surprised, Kenney shot back that it was former prime minister John Diefenbaker who eliminated racial discrimination in the selection of immigrants, in 1962. Then he launched into a speech about the values they share: family, a strong work ethic, the fight against criminality. The Korean listened to him for a few minutes, then interrupted him. If the Korean community had voted for the NDP and the Liberals in Vancouver, he said, it was because those MPs helped immigrants settle and find housing. They became the face of Canadian authority. “Elected officials take part in our celebrations, they’re present in our media.” For Kenney, a light went on. “It woke me up,” he says. “I understood that I would have to be everywhere at all times. Personal contact is crucial for new immigrants.” Ever since then, the minister has been on the road three weekends out of four. Some Sundays, in Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal, he takes part in as many as 20 cultural activities, starting at dawn in a temple and ending in darkness at a partisan reception. “In the last election campaign, I’d done so many that I became confused: I bowed to the wrong God in a church. I looked completely ridiculous,” he admits, laughing. He only spends one day a month in his home riding of Calgary Southeast, which he’s represented since 1997. That didn’t stop him from being re-elected in 1997 with 76 per cent of the vote and a crushing lead of 42,000 votes—one of the country’s best results. “My voters understand that I work for the Conservative cause and that I have a full schedule,” Kenney says. It’s a rhythm he manages to maintain, but it doesn’t stop him from bottoming out from time to time. “When I see the weekend arrive with 20 or 25 scheduled events—not counting travel—I sometimes feel a profound fatigue take over. I have to motivate myself by thinking that every gesture will count over the long term,” he says. It’s also a physical challenge. “People from the communities like to touch you, to embrace you, to hug you, and physical contact isn’t my strong suit.” The minister has neither wife nor children. He shares his home in Alberta with his mom, Lynne, and has little time for friends or a love life. Those closest to him, however, don’t describe him as a loner. And he makes it a point to organize one or two receptions per year at his condo in Ottawa for his colleagues in government and Tory staffers. Building a trusting relationship between the government and immigrant communities has fast become Kenney’s priority. Six to 10 times per year, his team organizes “friendship days” on the Hill, where leaders from cultural communities—spiritual leaders, heads of community centres, presidents of ethnic chambers of commerce, etc.—can arrange to meet ministers of their choosing. “It gives a chance for the communities to be heard at the highest level in Ottawa, and they appreciate the gesture,” says Agop Evereklian, who was Kenney’s chief of staff from 2008 to 2010 and, until recently, chief of staff to former Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay. That access, however, makes teeth grind on the Hill. “They receive unfair treatment—effectively unofficial lobbying,” says one civil servant who requested anonymity. The Kenney team has established itself as cabinet’s go-to brain trust on ethnic communities. They coordinate all the Prime Minister’s press releases to highlight different cultural holidays (Diwali, Vaisakhi, Yom Kippur, Chinese New Year). The apology and financial compensation for the Chinese head tax and the official recognition of the Armenian and Ukrainian genocides were also handled by Kenney. “He acts as a conductor to correct historical wrongs,” says Evereklian. “It might not seem important to the majority of the population, but for the concerned communities, it’s huge.” In 2008, Kenney put in place the Community Historical Recognition Program, with a $13.5-million budget to finance commemorative projects and the erection of statues to honour key historical figures. Italian, Jewish, Indian and Chinese communities have all profited abundantly from it. Kenney insisted that all his cabinet colleagues integrate into their inner circles Canadians of immigrant stock. His own staff is one of the most multi-ethnic, with political assistants in all the big cities who make connections with community leaders. It’s a veritable spiderweb that captures information in the field and transmits it to Ottawa every day. The minister follows news first-hand by closely following the ethnic media, which he has translated and reads every morning as he wakes up. “I look at it before I read the national papers,” he says. Kenney flips through a Chinese-Canadian newspaper he bought at a corner store en route to an event in Toronto. He asks his driver, who is of Chinese descent, to translate a few headlines and practises saying in Mandarin: “Hello, I am the minister of immigration.” His driver gives a full-throated laugh and tries to correct the accent of the minister, who is also enjoying himself. “Don’t you go making me look like an <banned word filter activated>,” Kenney says. “I’m counting on you.” The minister’s car stops in front of the Lucky Moose Food Mart on Dundas Street. A two-foot-tall pink moose guards the entrance. In 2009, the store made headlines when its owner, David Chen, took justice into his own hands when he caught a shoplifter red-handed. After a scuffle, he tied him up before calling police. The thief filed assault charges. The NDP and Conservatives took the opportunity to draft a bill to permit store owners to use “reasonable force” against intruders without facing charges. Today, photographers and journalists from the community wait for Kenney. He greets them in Mandarin, and buys a bottle of water and two more Chinese papers. He shakes Chen’s hand. Flashing cameras capture the moment. “We have kept our word,” he says. “We passed your bill into law.” Chen, who speaks broken English, contents himself with a smile. Later, Kenney tells me: “That story made a lot of noise in the Chinese press in Canada. That’s where I first heard about it.” From 2006 to 2011, the number of Canadians who speak Mandarin jumped 51 per cent. There are now three daily papers published in the language in the country, not to mention TV news programs, weekly magazines and websites. There is similar growth with every ethnic community, be they Indian, Korean, Ukrainian or Filipino. “Previously, the Conservative party was completely absent,” Kenney says. He turns the page of the newspaper, where he sees a photo of NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair at an event with the Chinese community in Richmond, in suburban Vancouver. “He seems to understand that this is important,” Kenney notes. In the downtown Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina, with its significant immigrant population, the minister is greeted by honking horns as he walks the sidewalk. People stop to talk to him. A woman in her 20s insists he is as well-known in the Chinese community as Justin Bieber. “I can walk for hours in Calgary without being recognized, but not here,” he says. Olivia Chow, the local New Democrat MP and widow of Jack Layton, admits that Kenney’s work forces MPs from other parties in ridings with sizable immigrant populations to “watch their backs.” “He’s a political animal,” she says. “He’s always there at the right moment, and his photo winds up in the papers.” In Kenney’s office, everything is carefully planned. Less than a month before the last election campaign, his director of multicultural affairs, Kasra Nejatian, sent a letter to MPs and Conservative operatives asking them to quickly collect $200,000 for an ethnic media ad buy. With a total value of $378,000, it had to launch March 20, 2011, the date of the first match in the Cricket World Cup, a popular event in Asia. Attached to the mailout was a 21-page document titled: “Breaking through: Building the Conservative brand in cultural communities.” Aimed at the Chinese, Jewish, Ukrainian and South Asian communities, the document outlined the Conservative strategy. “If Greater Toronto’s South Asians formed their own city, it would be the third-largest city in the country,” it read. The take-away points were neatly summed up: “There are lots of ethnic voters. There will be quite a few more soon. They live where we need to win.” Once charmed, the document added, ethnic communities could stay loyal for a very long time. Ten “very ethnic” ridings—where immigrants represent more than 20 per cent of the population—were targeted in pre-election Conservative advertising: four in Ontario, four in B.C., one in Quebec and one in Manitoba. On election day, May 2, the Conservative party won seven of them. The partisan document was printed on the official letterhead of Kenney’s ministry office—a point that drives New Democrat MP Pat Martin crazy. In this, he sees the perfect example of a government that has forgotten its neutrality and has thrown itself into serving the party’s political machine. “They violated all the rules in using government resources to solicit money for a party campaign,” says Martin. “It’s shocking. The minister should have resigned over it.” Certain colleagues compare Kenney to a beaver, not just because of his slightly round frame or his patriotism but because he never stops working. By the time his assistants get to the office at 7 a.m., the minister is already there. And at 8 p.m., when they head home, Kenney leaves the Hill and heads to Laurier Street in downtown Ottawa, to his second office at the Immigration ministry. He heads to the 21st floor, closes the door, plugs his iPod into the stereo and listens to classical music or Gregorian chants as he reads his files, which are sometimes delicate—notably cases where a person is being deported from the country and he has the power to authorize a reprieve. It’s generally during this second phase of his workday that he receives a call from 24 Sussex Drive. The Prime Minister often takes a few minutes, late in the night, to consult with Kenney (neither man sleeps much). The minister rarely heads home to his condo before midnight. Devoted to his work, at ease with media (he is one of few anglophone ministers to give interviews in French), Kenney has gradually become one of Ottawa’s most influential ministers, along with John Baird at Foreign Affairs and Jim Flaherty at Finance. He sits on the cabinet committee on priorities and planning, the only committee to meet weekly to formulate government strategy. “He is one of very few ministers to command Harper’s total faith,” says a source close to them both. The Toronto Marathon is paralyzing traffic this day, annoying Kenney, who likes to keep his schedule rolling. “Push back all appointments by 20 minutes, otherwise we’ll never make it,” he tells his assistant. The car moves at a snail’s pace as we cross Parkdale-High Park, one of Hogtown’s most important immigrant landing grounds. Through the window, the minister takes the time to show me around the disadvantaged riding represented by New Democrat Peggy Nash. He knows these communities, and their habits, by heart. There, a Vietnamese community centre; here, a Polish Catholic Church; there, two Romas pushing a shopping cart. All along King Street, it’s a Canada belonging to new immigrants and refugees, often disoriented and troubled. He pulls out the previous day’s Globe and Mail, which launched a series on immigration. The article states that Canada should be admitting one million new immigrants per year—four times what it now admits—to fuel economic growth. “That’s insanity,” says Kenney. “You need to allow people time to integrate. They need good salaries, good-quality jobs, not just quantity.” Above all, you need to consider perceptions, he adds, citing a recent Angus Reid poll that showed nearly one Canadian out of two (46 per cent) believes that immigration has a negative effect on the country—a five-point jump in a year. Almost 39 per cent of respondents believe immigration should stay at current levels, and 38 per cent think it should be reduced. “I need to assure myself that Canadians continue to have confidence in the system,” he says. “Immigration is an asset, but prejudices run deep. Opening the floodgates won’t help new Canadians.” Does Kenney have ambitions to succeed Harper? Among Conservative activists and party faithful, there is no doubt: Kenney will be waiting in the wings. His bilingualism and the formidable network he’s built at the heart of ethnic communities will be his greatest assets. Another indication of his intentions: he’s established a vast database to keep in contact with activists. A few times a year, they receive an email from Kenney outlining his achievements. Evereklian wouldn’t be surprised if Kenney took a run at the top job. “But he will never talk about it,” he says. “If anyone brings it up in his presence, he gets angry and puts the person in their place.” In an interview, Kenney carefully qualifies his answer, without closing the door. “I’m too busy to think about it. In Stephen Harper, we have the most efficient leader the conservative movement has ever seen, and he will be there a long time. It’s not possible for me to be good at my work if I think of that.” On a hot afternoon, in an industrial park in Mississauga, Kenney has been listening for more than 30 minutes to a dull speech from a Buddhist priest, sitting on the ground in the tiny Mahadhammika Temple of the Burmese community—which welcomes 500 refugees to Toronto every year. The minister finally gets up, a knowing smile spreading across his face. He starts by highlighting that Canada spent $35 million in 2010 to help Burma rebuild after a horrific typhoon. He repeats that Aung San Suu Kyi, celebrated figure of Burma’s democrats, was named an honorary Canadian by the Harper government. And then he delivers the goods: in his car, on the way to the temple, Kenney approved the refugee status of Burmese opposition leader Ler Wah Lo Bo, who arrived in Canada in 2002, but whose status was uncertain because of his contentious past in Burma. Screams and clapping shake the small prayer room, which is better used to Buddhist calm. Later, back in the car, Kenney notes the Conservatives won 24 of 25 suburban Toronto ridings: “Without the support of the ethnic communities, we could never have done that.” The Conservatives estimate that they captured 42 per cent of the country’s ethnic vote last election—more than 30 per cent of their total vote, and more than any other party. “I have no intention of stopping now.” A source close to the Prime Minister admits that the day after the election, many believed Kenney would change ministries and be given a promotion for his service to the cause. But the idea never crossed Harper’s mind. “He had too many important reforms under way, and the message sent to the cultural communities would be all wrong. After having courted and then obtained their vote, we take away their champion? No.” Although he sometimes wishes for a change of scene and a new challenge, Kenney refuses to complain. The minister feels the Conservative cause needs his efforts. After 15 minutes on the road, the car nears yet another event. Multicoloured turbans are more and more numerous. He starts listing the cities in suburban Toronto and Vancouver: Brampton, Mississauga, Richmond, Surrey, Etobicoke. A big part of the 30 seats that will be added to the House by the next election, in 2015, will come from these rapidly growing, increasingly multi-ethnic regions. He smiles. “It should be very good for us,” he says, taking a step toward the turbans.
  12. I'm surprised a film this well made did not generate more interest here.
  13. Truth is eternal. The times change. Circumstances change. Truth remains enduring, ever applicable.
  14. An old man. A young history. A haunting legacy of the Panjab Police's brutal regime of torture and death. Written & Directed by Deep Hundal His blog:
  15. The original poster is actually trying to learn more about Sikhi and apply it to his life at his own pace. He has actually ceased trimming his beard. He is correct that some so-called Sikhs do bash Sikhs who haven't adopted the physical aspects of Sikhi and shame and embarrass them, not just on a personal level, but also in the public domain. This is plain wrong. Instead of criticizing and demeaning individuals, who associate with Sikhi but have not adopted all its teachings, we should let them live as they choose and not interfere with how the conduct themselves. If they want to seek knowledge about Sikhi then by all means provide that for them in a loving manner. Otherwise, gotta stop the hate that comes from one too many "Sikhs".