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Everything posted by californiasardar1

  1. community

    How embarrassing is it that among the Punjabi film/music industry, you can't find a single sardar with a full beard? We need to stop blaming Bollywood. Even in "Pollywood", where Sikhs theoretically have control, they have not put forward any singhs.
  2. Yes, to justify kesh cutting, the standard argument monay make is something along the lines of "Keeping your dhari and kesh doesn't necessarily make you a good person or a good Sikh. What is on the inside matters a lot too." And then they point to monay (such as Bhagat Singh) who have made the ultimate sacrifice in order to justify such statements. I don't see how anything I've said in this paragraph is controversial or offensive. Maybe I am wrong. What is your justification for cutting your kesh? Perhaps you can enlighten me. Look man, I think monay are great. You people are the future of our quam, so I am glad people like you are here on sikh sangat. I am sorry if my comments came off the wrong way. I am sure you are a much better Sikh than I am (as are most monay). I know of lots of Singhs who are an embarrassment to Sikhi, and lots of monay who are great people. So let me get this disclaimer out of the way. All I am saying is that the popularity of a mona shaheed like Bhagat Singh likely has something to do with the fact that the vast majority of modern Sikhs are monay. It is natural for people to gravitate towards someone who looks like them. Also, the existence of mona shaheeds is a good self-reminder for monay Sikhs that being monay doesn't mean they aren't great people. The "inferiority complex" comment I made could have used some more explanation. I apologize. But whenever anyone mentions kesh (even if it is not to judge others but rather make an observation, like I have here, in observing that Bhagat Singh's popularity is likely due to the high prevalence of monay in our quam), monay tend to have a very strong reaction, and often get upset. That illustrates the "complex" I am talking about, and shows partly why figures such as Bhagat Singh have achieved such prominence.
  3. Bhai Harjinder Singh Jinda became a mona only so that he could punish dushts like General Vaidya. The change in appearance was almost a necessity in order to not arouse suspicion in parts of India where there were very few Sikhs. As for the monay Sikhs doing most of the fighting in the UK in the 80s and 90s. Of course they did. When monay outnumber Singhs 100 to 1 or whatever, it is not a remarkable fact that monay end up doing more of everything. Anyway, you are right there have been some mona shaheeds, especially during the 80s and 90s period. Bhai Dilawar Singh, for example. But let's not revise history and act like 90% of the people on the front lines of the movement in India were monay. All I am saying is that monay want to feel included and it makes them feel good to be able to point to shaheeds who were monay in order to make the same argument you just made: the Khalsa roop alone does not make one a Sikh, what is on the inside counts, etc. These are all valid points. I am merely pointing out that Bhagat Singh's popularity with the modern Sikh quam (the vast majority who are monay) probably has something to do with the fact that he was a mona. Think about it: among thousands of Sikh shaheeds during the colonial period, 99.9% who were Singhs, how does a mona emerge as the most celebrated? People like having someone who looks like them as a "hero" that they can point to. Anyway, I wish everyone would calm down. I'm not saying monay are lesser than anyone. I am sure most monay are much better Sikhs than me. I was just making a point that their prevalence in our quam has something to do with Bhagat Singh's popularity.
  4. The photo of Bhagat Singh sitting in prison with his dhari and kesh intact is from an arrest in 1927, not the days before his execution. I agree that it is in the interest of Hindustanis to minimize the efforts of Sikhs, and propping up an atheist/arya samaji mona like Bhagat Singh as the only kind of acceptable "sikh" freedom fighter is part of that. However, I disagree that they do not have icons of their own to hold up as heros of the struggle (see Rajguru, Sukhdev, Lala Lajpat Rai, for instance). What the Hindus did was not transform a devout Sikh hero to a secular or Hindu one to make up for the lack of a hero of their own. But what they did do was, out of thousands of freedom fighters of Sikh descent, choose to highlight the one "Sikh" hero who was the most secular/Hindu. They did this to portray Sikhs moving in a secular and/or Hindu direction (most importantly, away from Sikhi) as something positive and desirable. On the other hand, their lack of recognition for the thousands of other, more observant Sikh freedom fighters shows their efforts to obscure the role of the Sikh values and spirit in liberating India. The goal of these efforts is to prevent the ascendance of role models for the Sikh youth who might inspire them to move towards Sikhi.
  5. Where are you getting this information? The historical record states otherwise. He died an atheist mona.
  6. Yes, I agree Also, in those days, the division between being a Hindu and Sikh wasn't recognized very much by lots of nominal Sikhs. They still partook in Hindu practices, etc. Bhagat Singh's family was nominally Sikh, but they were in reality more into Arya Samaj practices. Therefore it is not surprising that (to my knowledge) all of Bhagat Singh's brothers became clean shaven. It was highly unusual for Sikhs born in the early 20th century to be monay. Also, one of Bhagat Singh's brothers, Kulbir Singh, was an MLA for the Hindu nationalist Jan Sangh party. So we can see that his family's connection to Sikhi was not very strong. You nailed why Hindustanis celebrate Bhagat Singh, but I will add one reason why "modern" Sikhs celebrate him: became he was a mona. Monay have inferiority complexes and are happy to have their own "shaheed", and to have someone who they can point to in order to justify why killing their kesh does not matter.
  7. I thought this was only common in the Khatri and Arora communities?
  8. What are you talking about? Didn't you see the BBC documentary about Operation Bluestar? You know, the one where we get to follow Sonia Deol's journey from an unpopular girl named Jaswinder Sidhu, to her rise as two-bit radio show host, to her discovery that something happened in Punjab in 1984?
  9. Genie, I agree with the spirit of your suggestions, but I'm afraid the situation for Sikhs in America is much different than it is for Sikhs in England The biggest difference is our population density, and that makes it harder than you might realize to accomplish some of your goals. America has a population that is 6 times as large as the population of England. On the other hand, America has only half as many Sikhs as England. To make matters worse, while Sikhs in England are almost entirely concentrated around the London metropolitan area or the West Midlands (two regions that, by American standards, are very close to each other anyway), Sikhs in America are spread out all over the place. There are only a few places where we have sizable numbers, and even in those cases, it's not remotely close to what you would find in London, Birmingham, Vancouver, Toronto, etc. To put this in perspective, take two places where incidents have occurred: Gresham, Oregon and Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Oregon is on the west coast, so you might think it is close to the Sikh community in California, but it is in fact 1000 miles from where I live in Los Angeles (same distance between London and Madrid). Oak Creek is about 900 miles from New York, and 2000 miles from Los Angeles (greater than the distance between London and Istanbul). So when you ask Sikhs in America what they are going to do about these incidents, and I'm sitting here in Los Angeles, it would sound like me asking Sikhs in London or Birmingham what they are going to do about a random incident that affected the tiny Sikh communities in Madrid, or Athens, or Rome, or Norway, or Belgium. It's hard to respond collectively as a "community" when the community is so thinly dispersed. We just don't have the numbers. I think having a private security force to protect Gurdwaras is a good idea. However, I am not sure how feasible it would be in terms of raising the money required to fund such an operation. Also, I imagine a lot of these Gurdwaras in isolated areas have very few sangat and may only be open irregularly. Does the Sikh community have the resources to provide private security for Gurdwaras in far off places with just a handful of sangat? Moreoever, such a security force would not address issues that take place outside of Gurdwaras. What the Sikh community in America has done is establish organizations such as the Sikh Coalition and SALDEF (Sikh American Legal Defense & Education Fund). These organizations help spread awareness about the Sikh community and provide legal resources to fight for civil rights and fight against hate crimes. I think that is actually the most effective use of the community's resources, given how spread out and small we are. Also, while I share your frustration with Sikhs seemingly fighting for other people's interests and neglecting their own, there is a method to their madness. With how small we are as a community, one of the most effective ways to fight for and ensure our rights and security is to ally with other groups and organizations who are sympathetic to our plight. By banding together with other oppressed groups who face similar challenges, we are stronger. I'll add one thing: I think Sikhs in America should take it upon themselves not to live in the middle of nowhere. We should try to live in metropolitan areas with a relatively large number of Sikhs and a relatively liberal community. It is a shame that we are as spread out as we are.
  10. Do Sikhs in the UK have such a central Sikh body? Do they have a security force stationed in each Gurdwara? Also, while a private security force would help stop such incidents from occurring in Gurdwaras, what would your propose doing to stop the hate crimes that occur outside of Gurdwaras?
  11. What do you propose Sikhs in America should do to deal with all of the issues you highlighted? I'm curious. Btw, where are you from Genie?
  12. Manhattan is extremely safe for a big city. Just use common sense.
  13. Yes, I can agree with this. I don't think it will necessarily help in terms of "defending the community," but it would help to promote exercise and good health. There are too many singhs who are either fat or all skin-and-bones.
  14. 96 crore? 1 crore = 10 million, so 96 crore = 960 million Are you asserting that there are 960 million amritdhari Sikhs? That is beyond ridiculous.
  15. Homosexual? Are you calling me a homosexual?
  16. I don't think it is Sikhi. But if only the people who fully and properly represent Sikhs were to remain as visible (keshadhari, dastar-wearing) Sikhs, our numbers would dwindle to what -- 100? 200? It is helpful to have people in the fold who may not live the way we like but can still be counted as nominally belonging to our community. Numbers matter.
  17. I did not say she is promoting Sikhi. Maybe she is misrepresenting Sikhs, but how many of us fully and properly represent Sikhs? Very few. All I am saying is that whatever nominal allegiance she has towards Sikhi, it is better than nothing. Criticizing people like that usually just results in them moving even further away from Sikhi. It's like seeing sardars drinking. Are they properly representing Sikhi? No. But I would rather have a drinking sardar, with whatever nominal allegiance he openly has towards Sikhi, than a drinking mona. At least with a drinking sardar, our tiny community gets small contribution to our nominal numbers. I'm tired of people arguing for "quality over quantity". For some things, we need more than a tiny, tiny minority. We need to have a large, visible population of nominal adherents.
  18. Are you kidding me? How does Richmond Hill compare to West London or Brampton or Surrey? It's absolutely nothing. You've really got to be joking. lol @ "probably a bunch of other places". That lets me know you don't understand the population distribution here. These "100 year old" communities that you are referring to are all hype. In the early 1900s, a small handful of Sikhs came to California, and 99% of them ended up marrying Mexican women and assimilating into mainstream American culture. Their children and grandchildren have no connection to Sikhi (or even Punjabi culture). For all intents and purposes, the "Sikh community" that existed 100 years ago disappeared. You don't meet anyone here whose family has been here for generations. After the early 1900s community merged into the "mainstream" and disappeared, Sikhs didn't exist in America in sizable numbers until the 1980s. Anyway, if after all I've said, you don't understand how vastly different the situation for Sikhs in America is compared to the situation for Sikhs in England or Canada, I don't know what to tell you.
  19. Let me ask you something dallysingh. Where are you from? From your usage of the word "mate", I presume you are from England. Is that right? Well, in England, you have around 500,000 Sikhs, and 95% of them are concentrated in two areas: the London metropolitan area and the midlands (Birmingham-Wolverhampton-Coventry). Furthermore, within those two regions, you have many areas with relatively large Sikh presences (Southall, Hounslow, Slough, Handsworth, etc.). Am I right? So you people have a population density where you can actually do something if you choose to. You can form little gangs or whatever to protect the community. You actually HAVE a community. You have a critical mass of Sikhs in certain areas and can exert your influence. We don't have that here. I don't think Sikhs in the UK or Canada understand how things are for Sikhs in the US. But for one thing, there is a vast difference in population density. Here, we have a population of maybe 200,000-250,000 Sikhs in a country with a population of about 320 million. Canada has about 500,000 Sikhs in a country with a population of 35 million and England has about 500,000 Sikhs in a country with a population of 53 million. That's a huge difference. To make matters worse, the Sikh community in America is very spread out compared to the community in Canada or England. We aren't concentrated here in two metropolitan regions (like London/Midlands or Toronto/Vancouver). We are spread out all over the country, and most Sikhs in America live in areas where there are relatively few Sikhs. There is no critical mass here (for the most part), and hardly a "community". So it is easy for you to sit there and say that Sikh men in America need to "man up" and protect the community. But here, we are so thinly dispersed and isolated that it is literally every man for himself. We can't band together and help each other or exert any influence on a local level. The best we can do is to try to educate people and spread awareness through the media and through the internet. So Sikhs here make a big effort to publicize hate crimes in order to draw attention to the issue and join with other minority groups and civil rights organizations to combat this. And that leads to tough guys sitting in front of their laptops in England or Canada jumping to conclusions about Sikhs in America getting stomped over and the supposed weakness of Sikh men in America.
  20. I wonder what percentage of women at this retreat are married to monay.
  21. Why don't you guys just lay off her? At least she has some sort of interest in Sikhi and wishes to identify as a Sikh. Would you be happier of she cut her kesh, stopped expressing any sort of allegiance to Sikhi, and became another completely nonreligious punjabi girl? If someone is gravitating towards Sikhi in any way, let's try to encourage that and be inclusive instead of nitpicking and pushing them away. If you don't like the way that she is doing something, show a different/better example yourself.
  22. 1. You are complaining that amritdharis/religious sikhs are failing to do what is necessary to create a "robust fauj." Let me ask you something: in the 1980s, who stepped up and put their lives on the line? It was 90% amritdharis and/or religious, keshadhari singhs. They bled, gave up their lives, had their families subjected to all kinds of atrocities. How much can these people take? 2. Your critique is based on the assumption of what a "robust fauj" is. The world has changed. The Sikh nation is not going to liberated by a few unorganized, rag-tag gangs of 20 year old boys in the Punjab countryside. The Sikh nation is also not going to be liberated by vigilante groups of mundey in Canada or the UK. What we need, what we have been sorely lacking for our entire existence, is a strong group of educated, intelligent, and passionate Sikhs who can formulate nuanced, viable strategies for the quam to meet its challenges, and who have the intelligence, resources, and networks to implement such strategies. With that in mind, I see nothing wrong in amritdhari/religious kids being groomed for success in academics and the professional world. Look at Jews. They are smaller in population than we are, but they are generally very well educated and successful, and, on top of that, help each other out. They wield a tremendous amount of influence and power because they have positioned themselves in such a way. That's the way for us to get ahead and protect our interests in the modern world.
  23. If most of the guys who "step up" in your area are just "standard Punjabi guys," maybe that has something to do with the fact that "standard Punjabi guys" outnumber amritdharis by a ratio of, what, 40 to 1? 50 to 1? 100 to 1?