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Everything posted by californiasardar1

  1. Punjabiyat - An issue for Sikhs

    Ajmer Singh makes many great points in this video:
  2. Punjabiyat - An issue for Sikhs

    This is a great thread. This recent obsession with "Punjabiyat" creates two different problems: 1. It encourages the youth to adopt elements of "Punjabi culture" (whether authentic Punjabi culture or some recent perversion of Punjabi culture) that are not in line with Sikhi 2. It damanges Sikhi by pigeonholing it as a strictly Punjabi phenomenon, and it prevents it from growing into the global religion that it should be.
  3. Yes veerji. Note that in the part of my post that you quoted, I acknowledged the great work that Preet Gill has done in parliament. We must make sure that those who stand with us know that we appreciate their efforts.
  4. Yes, it's great that there are examples such as those that you highlight. But are you not concerned by the large numbers of Sikhs (even those from Gursikh, prominent families such as Preet Gill) are cutting their kesh, marrying others who've done the same, and raising children who will, in all likelihood, also be monay? Sure, I know you and others can point to some examples here and there of people from non-religious families who have embraced Sikhi. But Sikhs who fit the former profile far outnumber those who fit the latter. There are a lot more people "leaving" than "coming". Religious Sikhs are generally dismissive of such concerns and cling to "quality over quantity" platitudes. But a tiny (and rapidly dwindling) population is perhaps the biggest threat to the Sikh quam. Our lack of numbers is why we are a stateless people with little power and little ability to safeguard and pass on our way of life. And considering how many young Sikhs are leaving Sikhi on a daily basis, this problem is only going to get worse. Numbers matter. Our lack of numbers mattered in 1947 when we lost Nankana Sahib, scores of other historical Gurdware, and our best agricultural land. Our lack of numbers mattered during the Punjabi subha movement in the 1960s, resulting in a truncated Punjab state. Our lack of numbers continue to cripple us even after we formed a majority in the truncated Punjab. Unless 85-90% of Sikhs in Punjab get behind one political party (which never happens), we always end up with a party in power that had to pander to anti-Sikh interests to get there. Our lack of numbers mattered in the 1980s when we were getting massacred. Our lack of numbers matter today in the West where we are unable to protect ourselves physically and create a comfortable environment where our religion and way of life can flourish. Sikhs in Canada and the UK who live in places like Surrey and Southall are blind to this reality, but in many other areas, we are impotent. Go talk to some Sikhs from France. In France, Sikhs barely have any numerical strength, and this lack of clout can be seen in France's persisting turban ban.
  5. Yes veerji, I agree with you. It isn't necessarily the beard and hair (look at the far-from-universal, but still substantial popularity of hipsters with beards and man-buns). It isn't even necessarily the turban ("trim singhs" appear to be popular in certain segments of the sikh population). It's the perception that is immediately created when the dhari and kesh and dastar all come together. But it is the circumstances of sabat soorat singhs who always wear dastars who I am concerned with. I'm not going to take off my dastar and start rocking a man-bun (thought I know some singhs are), and I'm not going to trim my beard and become a "trim singh" (as many singhs are). I am going to stick with the traditional Sikhi saroop, and I hope that as many singhs as possible do. So the experiences of those who deviate from this traditional saroop are irrelevant to this discussion.
  6. Anyway, let's look at this situation: Preet Gill's father was an amritdhari singh who was very prominent in the Sikh community. He served as President of the Smethwick Gurdwara for many years, and he did lots of other great sewa in the community, for example, establishing organizations to offer support to youth and to women suffering from abuse. Like their father, Preet Gill's brothers are singhs. Yet, Preet Gill herself cuts her hair and is married to a mona. I wish I could say that I am surprised, but there are numerous examples like this, seemingly everywhere you look. Don't get me wrong. Preet Gill seems to be doing a fine job in parliament. I really respect her work in taking up Sikh issues and especially her efforts to highlight the case of Jaggi Johal and ensure that he is treated fairly. I am sure that she is a much better Sikh than people like me. But the questions remain. If Sikh women like this this become patit, how are we going to preserve Sikhi in future generations? If Sikh women from such a strong Sikh background cut their hair and marry monay, where are singhs supposed to look to find wives? Obviously, Sikh women from clean shaven families will not look twice at a singh, but if women from such strong Sikh background are also looking elsewhere, what will singhs do? Anyway, at least there is a silver lining to this: we now know that Preet Gill's husband is not an amritdhari singh, which means that West London Singh / Legal Singh / Jagsaw Singh will have an easier time sleeping at night, since there is one less case of a rehat-breaking amritdhari/non-amritdhari marriage than he thought there was before reading the latest series of posts in this thread. Instead of marrying an amritdhari singh (or a non-amritdhari singh), Preet Gill married a mona, which is much better.
  7. Are you sure there is a "singh" in his name? I've only seen "Sureash Chopra" written in articles. Anyway, you are right that that is an odd name for a Sikh. "Sureash" sounds like a Hindu name. But from his last name, you can tell that he comes from a Punjabi Khatri background, and the Punjabi Khatri community comprises both Hindus and Sikhs. Hindu and Sikh Khatris often intermarry, and it is not uncommon for Hindu Khatris to go to the Gurdwara and adopt some Sikh practices (and for Sikh Khatris to go to the Mandir and adopt some Hindu practices). It's a very hybrid community, which may explain the odd-sounding name.
  8. That isn't her husband. That is her brother Not only is her husband NOT amritdhari, but he's NOT even a singh. This is her with her husband: No offense to Preet Gill/Shergill. She seems to be doing good work in parliament so far. I just wish people would not spread misinformation.
  9. *best* Country For The Sikhs?

    Would be interesting to hear people's opinions on this now
  10. Hello, I would like to get SikhSangat's observations on the number of dastar-wearing Sikh women compared to the number of dastar-wearing (non-trimming, sabat surat) Sikh men under the age of 40 (I am most interested in the younger generation). It will be very interesting to see what Sikhs who live in the different part of the world have observed. Please state where you live, and whether your observation pertains to your locality, or if you believe it to be global (or over a wider geographic range than the area where you live). Please state your answer in the following format: "My observation is that for every non-trimming young Sikh man who wears a dastar, there are three young Sikh women who wear dastars" or "My observation is that for every young Sikh woman who wears a dastar, there are four non-trimming young Sikh men who wear dastars" You get the idea
  11. I see, I am surprised to hear that, as it is quite different from what I have observed. Thanks for enlightening me! Where in Canada are you from? BC? Or GTA?
  12. Where do you live? And how old are the Kaurs who you are referring to? My observation is that, in the west, a woman wearing a dastar may not necessarily be amritdhari, but if she is amritdhari (and under the age of 40), there is a 99% chance she wears a dastar. Among older women, wearing a dastar appears to be more rare, and my guess is that most amritdhari women who are 50+ years of age do not wear dastars.
  13. British Government Confirms Jagtar Singh Has Been Tortured

    Any updates?
  14. So Jagmeet gets married ....

    You make a great point. I remember when I was a kid. You'd see a clean shaven Sikh uncle, and almost without exception, his wife would still have uncut hair tied in a bun. Almost all the "uncles" in our social circle were monay, but I really cannot recall every seeing an "auntie" type with a haircut. (Perhaps the situation was different in the UK where, by the 80s and 90s, there were already "auntie" types who were born in (or grew up in) the UK and maybe they had haircuts.) In Punjab, certainly, the hair cutting trend among Sikh men started long, long before it picked up among Sikh women. It's shocking just how quickly it has somehow become more prevalent among Sikh women. I blame Sikh parents who take a sexist attitude and focus on their sons and their Sikhi while looking the other way when it comes to their daughters.
  15. So Jagmeet gets married ....

    Veerji, I understand your point of view, and like you and others in this thread, I am disappointed by how Jagmeet chose a moni for a wife and did not adhere to simple, Gursikh standards when it came to wedding celebrations. But what people are overlooking is that: 1. There aren't enough dastar-wearing, amritdhari Sikh women to go around. Young keshdhari Sikh men probably outnumber young keshdhari Sikh women by 3 to 1 or 4 to 1. If all kesdhari Sikh men only married keshdhari Sikh women, either we would end up with a large volume of Singhs who never get married, or Singhs who are unable to find a keshdhari woman would become monay in order to get married. A Singh with a girl who has shed her kesh is not ideal, but I'd rather see that than see a Singh discard his kesh and marry a girl who has also discarded her kesh. 2. If a girl without her kesh marries a mona Sikh, they will almost certainly raise their children as monay. But if a girl without her kesh marries a Singh, at least there is some chance that their children will be raised keshdhari (even if the mother never keeps her kesh). I would rather keshdhari Sikhs marry Sikhs who discard their kesh and at least reproduce rather than have keshdhari Sikhs never marry and never have children. People have to understand, there are already very few keshdhari Sikhs, and a disproportionately large percentage of young keshdhari Sikhs are never marrying and never having children. It's an overall positive thing to see keshdhari Sikhs getting married (even to partners who are not in full Sikhi) and produce children who might carry on our faith. This is a matter of survival.
  16. Justin Trudeau visit to India

    Very interesting! Indeed, the whole Atwal situation seems very fishy. It sure seems like a deliberate attempt to embarrass Trudeau.
  17. Is it mainly Singh's who complain over Jathebandian?

    This whole jathabandi nonsense has had a negative impact on Sikhi, and I wish we would do away with it.
  18. Sikhi in Malwa

    I think Malwa gets more credit for keeping Sikhi alive than it deserves. Malwa is bigger than Majha and Doaba combined (in both land and population). So the contributions its people have made to Sikhi in recent times is a bit distorted (I say "recent times", because before 1947, Majha and Malwa were comparable in terms of land and Sikh population). Malwa is so much bigger that it dominates. It is notable that even though Majha has a much smaller population than Malwa, the vast majority of young Sikhs who took up arms in the 1980s were from Majha. The Majha district (especially what is now Amritsar District and Tarn Taran District) have historically been the strongholds of Sikhi. However, this region was the hardest hit during the dark times of the 1980s and 1990s, and it is perhaps the hardest hit today when it comes to the drug epidemic. Sadly, the Sikh youth in Majha seem to have discarded their kesh, do not follow rehat, and have in many cases succumbed to drugs.
  19. Sikhi in Malwa

    Doaba was the Punjab stronghold of Naxalites (Communists), so that's one reason that Sikhi is weaker in Doaba. Also, Doaba Sikhs were the earliest to migrate from Punjab in large numbers, so Doaba was substantially affected by western values/way of life before the other regions of Punjab. Sikhi is dying across Punjab, but its death is most visible in Doaba. In Malwa, you will still see some young Sikhs wearing turbans. It is largely meaningless in terms of religion, since the turbans are almost always accompanied by trimmed beards. But at least you see the turbans and know that there is some Sikh presence. In Doaba, almost all young sikhs are clean shaven and do not wear turbans.
  20. Sikhi in Malwa

    No. Doaba has been majority Hindu since 1947.
  21. Who Cares ?

    This is said. West London Singh/Jagsaw Singh: do you have any link to this story? We Sikhs do a shamefully poor job at helping our own.
  22. Did Khalistanis kill Chamkila! ?

    I've seen many claims on the internet that Khalistani militants were responsible for Chamkila's murder. Here is one relevant article: http://1984tribute.com/Jhujaroo-Jeevani.php?id=291 "Bhai Neka then made a program to punish the singer who sang dirty songs, Amar Chamkila as he was destroying the Punjabi culture with his filthy songs. The singhs had tried to make him clean himself up, at first Chamkila agreed to make clean songs and at that time he released a religious album. Then after a short while Chamkila's brain messed up again and he once again started singing dirty songs. Any respected person would lower their head with shame after listening to the songs of Chamkila. On 8th March 1988, Amar Chamkila and his female vocalist Amarjot came to Mehsumpur to do a concert. Here Bhai Neka, Bhai Gurdeep Singh Deepa Heranwala and Bhai Paramjit Singh Pamma Bir attacked the duet. Amar Chamkila and Amarjot died on the spot and after this action no one dared to sing dirty songs."
  23. Exactly. I don't think Jagmeet Singh is perfect, and I have a problem with some of the things he has said and done. But if he really would say or do anything for power, like Jagsaw Singh/West London Singh suggests, he would have been a mona. For anyone to overlook how much easier it would have been for him to advance in his career if he was mona (ESPECIALLY in something like politics, which is so dependent on popularity with the masses) is ridiculous.
  24. You said "there is absolutely nothing wrong with any person wishing to cut their hair". No, there is something wrong with that. Obviously, the Khalsa are supposed to uphold certain standards, but that doesn't mean the rehat maryada does not apply to non-Khalsa Sikhs. All Sikhs should strive to live according the rehat maryada as closely as possible. To suggest that certain practices that are forbidden in Sikhi are somehow completely okay as long as they are done by a sehajdhari Sikh who has yet to take amrit is silly.