February 24, 2015 § Leave a comment
Gur Piarey jio,
Ignoring the double negatives, the words above may sound pessimistic or be painful to hear for those seeking this route as a way of getting justice or freedom. However the time to speak the truth is here and has been ever since Akaal Purakh graced planet earth to feel the charan of Guru Nanak Dev ji.
As more and more of us end up with “petition overdose” and become the sort of inactive activists that can hardly spare five mouse clicks, lets do ourselves one favour and start to use our critical thinking.
The UN is not the place for us to seek any sort of justice or redress for the Indian state massacring Sikhs in June and November 1984 (or since then). Yet, every year, without fail, we end up with petitions targeting the UN. Here are some sobre facts to consider.
- North Korea has concentration camps: The UN released a report upon them, condemns them and has continued to do so. Many more than all our shaheeds of 1984 have dies at these camps and yet, they continue to exist. The UN and its (borrowed) army has done nothing about them. The UN continues to pass resolutions and people continue to die.
- Syria and ISIS: This is a much bigger crisis that 1984. Millions of people have been displaced, 10s of thousands killed and the main culprit, Assad, is now unfortunately safe whilst he continues to fight against the new bogeymen, ISIS. The barbarity shown by IS is well known to the Sikhs but has brought about horror in the West. The genocide of the Yazidis is occurring and yet, apart for making recommendations to the Americans, the UN blue helmeted army is nowhere to be seen.
- Boko Haram just killed 5000 people and hardly any news of it came in our western media. Their brazen murders, kidnaps and rape continue and whilst the people talk openly about how the government has failed them, the UN still remains impotent.
Given the world and the crises going on, it is an insult to our own intelligence for us to go around thinking that the UN might actually do something about what happened to a politically divided people 30 years ago. Then why do we buy this false dream?
Firstly, it seems as if we prefer not to think. We’re like those people who come home from work and switch on the TV, in order to switch off their brains. We don’t want to face the facts of the situation as that would mean completely changing our whole strategy.
Secondly, there is an element of us being trained to think this way. Ever since 1850, we have been getting the “white man” to solve our problems. They are the authority figure and we are the humble petitioners. We pride ourselves in our ‘peaceful and reasonable’ behaviour as we bend at the knee and present our case, backing it up with as many signatures as we could emotionally blackmail out of our people. We want to believe the “boss man” cares and if only we presented it in the right way, he’d give us our justice.
Frankly, as a diaspora community we don’t really have a clue what to do if the UN really doesn’t care. But the fact is that the UN really doesn’t care.
So what now? Surely by recognising our worst fears are totally true, we can then go about formulating a strategy that actually works. Instead of sitting around thinking, “Well, you know, what can we do?” we could actually get up and say, “hey man, lets make a list, of actually what we can do and lets do that!”.
Obviously, that would require us to think and then to act. Are we ready for that?
Well, yes and no. If we are to be prepared for that, we have to set a few ground rules.
(1) What is agreement? When we come together to decide what to do, the one thing we cannot do is make a list of “What we want”. That list should never be made. The list that we need to make is, “What is realistic for us to achieve and how”.
Whenever we come together, we end up behaving like a group of siblings who don’t get along too well and decide one year to make a united wish list. They write down everything that each child desires into a unified list. Now, they stand united and proudly present their list to their parents. What does the parent do?
Well, a really truthful parent would burst out laughing and remind the kids about things like budgeting and being realistic. However, the parent we face, ie politicians, are masters of deceipt. So they solemnly accept our “unified lists of demands” and tell us that they will consider them in detail. We get appeased and head abck home patting each other on the back for how well we came together. No one bothers to follow up as what will happen next since deep down, we know that “no one is going to do anything”.
Lets break that pattern. Unity is not achieved in this way. A realistic plan of action, based upon achievable goals (SMART) is what we need. This is true agreement, when we sit down and thrash out our real priorities and assess them in the light of what’s happening in the real world. Compromises will have to be made and not everyone can be pleased. Its harder, it requires maturity and an attitude of “no matter what, we need to come up with a plan” but ultimately, it means that we cease to be a laughing stock and get taken seriously.
Moreover, there need to be specific people who are given the job of carrying out the tasks that we decide need to be done. We can’t just say, “we need to do these things” and then no one is responsible for it. This is what we currently do and that’s why we are currently failing. We need deadlines and pressure, we need disciple and detailed planning, we need ‘doers” and not talkers. These people need to be held publically accountable regarding their seva. If they do well, then they are kept on and if they do not, then more dedicated, resourceful and capable people need to be put in place instead.
When we start every meeting with “What can we realistically achieve here and how will we do this and who specifically will be getting on with the main jobs” then we might be able to get somewhere.
Success in small tasks will build our shattered self-confidence. We will take our destiny back into our hands. This is what they tried to prevent and this what they fear. The top 1% don’t not want the Khalsa to be what Guruji intended. The other 99% however, they need the Khalsa to be exactly what Guruji wanted.
February 20, 2014 § Leave a comment
Guru Piarey Jio,
Our 6th King, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib ji positioned the Akaal Takht in such a way that from the window of the Political Throne of Akaal Takht, they could look out and see the Spiritual Throne of Harimandar Sahib but not vice versa, i.e., in politics we must continually remind ourselves of our Gurus’ spiritual teachings. Have our current political leaders done the same?
The revelations and the report about the British Government’s involvement in the June 1984 attack upon Golden Temple Complex, is one of the first times that young Sikhs have found a ‘sikh’ story to become mainstream news. Its our view that in their excitement, maybe they have applied the old maxim of “act first, think later”. This flies in the face of Gurbani saying that knowledge must first be contemplated upon before we can help others.
Given the last 30 years have been a case of running on the spot (mostly due to not thinking things through) its to be expected that such bad habits have become ingrained in the older generation. However, if progress is to come, it’s not going to come from repeating the same mistakes. Here is our analysis of typical responses.
(1) “I’m so shocked that they hid this from us”
Unfortunately, this person has never given much thought to politics or how the world works. Most governments are involved in extremely shady dealings that they hide by imposing limits of what can be published and what is an official ‘secret’. Of course they would hide this! The documents themselves admit that they wouldn’t wish for this secret to be known.
As our 10th King ordered us, we should study politics. Even a novice student of politics would have be introduced to realpolitics, where “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” is often accompanied by “let’s just keep all this backscratching to ourselves”. When we read in Japji Sahib daily that there are countless sinners, liars, thieves and murderers, why did we expect that the British Government would behave any different? Are they enlightened beings living without ego? This brings us to the next point.
(2) “I cant believe that the British would backstab us like this”
Again, political naivety but also a lack of historical knowledge. Yes, the Sikhs have been loyal soldiers in WW1 and WW2 and won accolades for their bravery. Yet this does not mean the Sikhs and the British have been the best of friends. The Sikhs first encountered the British in the early 1800s, when the Sikh Kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was one of the most prosperous and advanced Kingdoms in India. Through bribery, treachery and warfare, the British destroyed the Sikh Kingdom and took its rightful heir away to the UK. They subsequently ordered that the Khalsa be disarmed or shot. They pushed Christian Missionaries into Punjab and even tried to auction off the very same Golden Temple at the centre of the current controversy. Having killed or pushed out the majority of independent minded Sikhs, they then proceeded to establish controls over Sikh gurdwaras and ensure they were run by people who supported the British Raj. In line with ‘divide and conquer”, they then recruited Sikhs into the British Indian Army and used them to supress the native independence struggles, e.g., the Bengal Mutiny. Was there any loyalty towards the Sikhs during these times?
During 1900-1939, the British clashed with Sikhs a number of times.
• British India worked to crush Ghadar independence movement (started by young Sikhs from America and Canada)
• British policemen mercilessly beat peaceful protestors in the “Gurdwara Reform Movement” as they worked to free Gurdwaras from British control.
• Finally, in the Indian Independence movement, it was the Sikhs who overwhelmingly sacrificed to free India from British colonial rule. The Sikhs did not have a cordial relationship with the British at this time.
Knowledge of the above would amuse a contortionist when observing the Sikhs remind the British of how loyal Sikhs were, and in the next breath, reminding the Indians that they loyally fought the British for Indian Independence.
Yes, but what about from 1939-45? Surely the Sikhs were extremely loyal during WW2? It is true that Sikhs were heavily over-represented in the largest ever volunteer army raised for WW2 (only 2% of India’s population was Sikh. It’s also true that huge sacrifices were made and acts of great bravery were carried out by Sikhs. However the bravery and sacrifices stemmed less from loyalty to the British and more from the Sikh martial culture as inculcated by the Gurus. The numbers of Sikhs that enlisted was also due to the British promising Independence to India if it helped during WW2. Sikhs delivered the brunt of the Indian part of this trade-off.
What is conveniently forgotten is that whilst Field Marshall Slim was praising the bravery of the Sikh soldiers in Burma, the Japanese and German governments had actually sponsored and set up an Indian National Army to fight the British Indian forces. Sikhs made up the majority of the INA and its first commanding officers was Captain Mohan Singh. Complicated? Yes. Brave? Yes.
Bond of Loyalty? On a personal level, Yes, but overall, No.
The problem for Sikhs really came in summer 1947, when the Radcliffe line divided their beloved Punjab in two, with half in the newly created and majority Muslim Pakistan. 60 years later, Sikhs still speak of those dark times of bloodshed and some animosity towards Muslims remains. But what of the fact that Britain chose a civil servant (Radcliffe) who had never been to India before, told him to draw his line in 5 weeks, most of which he spent in his air conditioned office? What of the fact that his pen strokes were responsible for making 40% of all Sikhs into refugees? A million people died. Was this loyalty?
How many of us turn around and say, You betrayed us in 1849, you betrayed us in 1919 and you betrayed us in 1947, and dammit, we should have expected you’d betray us again in 1984. Why are we the ones who are surprised? Why didn’t we expect this?
(3) We’ve been such loyal citizens, we feel betrayed
When working for the British Empire, Sikhs were loyal. Even now, we are the most integrated and law-abiding immigrant community in the UK. But how much of this is because of a ‘special relationship’ with the British? Not much.
It’s more likely because we are generally ‘the good guys’. We’ve been taught by our Gurus to work hard, be honest, share and stand up for others rights. Sikhs make great citizens. It’s more likely that the British recognised this and grudgingly gave into Sikhs demands to wear a turban and carry a kirpan. By doing this, they were able to retain the goodwill of such a valuable immigrant community.
Its not our style to do wrong anyway, and yet instead of seeing ourselves as a valuable community and organising ourselves to take advantage of our value, until the recent scandal, we were still mostly thanking the British for the ‘concessions’ towards the 5ks. Even now, we turn to them with distraught puppy dog eyes betraying our naivety.
Part 2 will deal with the common reactions of
(4) We need to unite and get our demands met.
(5) This is our chance to get out truth about 1984.
And what we could have done..
May those true of faith in the Divine Guru and his Teachings forever be blessed to walk his path on the edge of the sword of Truth
April 15, 2013 § 1 Comment
Guru Piarey jio,
Globally the Panth reacts to the Indian government’s Vaisakhi gift to us, i.e., planned hanging of Professor Bhullar. But are we going about it in the right way??
Currently thousands of Sikhs are gathering in London to join those who have been on a three-day vigil outside 10 Downing Street and together they will be marching to the Indian Embassy. In total, we’d estimate that around 100,000 hours of time and effort of Sikhs has been expended in this initiative. And do we expect it to get any results?
Let’s establish some facts. Firstly, the protest at 10 Downing Street took place at a time when the Prime Minister David Cameron was in Germany with his family. He wasn’t even there. Secondly, David Cameron was recently in India in order to beg India to not just leave Britain by the wayside as it establishes a ‘strategic partnership’ with America. Whilst in India, never did he raise the question of Sikhs on death row. Frankly, we don’t think he cares too much about appeasing British Sikhs, at least not enough to let it interfere with wooing Indian business. Thirdly, the British Parliament doesn’t care. The Kesri Lehar, even after getting over 100,000 signatures, only managed to get about 12 MPs to listen to its tabled debate, around 10 of those were planning to speak on the issue in any case, i.e., 10 people who know about an issue ‘raising’ awareness to 2 people who might also have known about it.
Is there any part of the above that makes you want to scream out and ask “Why are we trying to get Britain (who doesn’t care) to put pressure on India (cares even less) to then order its independent judiciary, i.e., the Supreme Court, to change its entire policies and make a mockery of its previous judgements?
Here’s our considered perspective. All of this is simply a scam. We are being ‘made to’ use up all our energies on totally unrealistic projects.
Why? Well lets look at what happens when we spend so much of our time this way.
(1) We continue thinking of ourselves as the victims. We keep begging for justice. This victim mentality is not the Khalsa mentality and so mentally we are kept as slaves.
(2) We are not inviting any kirpa by Guruji. Guruji never once begged anyone for justice and nor did the Singhs of old. So why would Guruji be impressed with this current display and bless us?? This is actually a disrespect to his royal and sovereign form. We need kirpa to succeed but kirpa only comes when he is pleased with us.
(3) The young and passionate youth, who are prepared to stay up all night, organize etc, this is actually killing their spirit. They will slowly start to see that there are no results and once they are burnt out, they will end up going home and thinking, “Its all useless.” They will never get to experience the joy of actually working on a project that has a chance of success, and then seeing that to fruition, which in turn would fuel them to greater and more successful projects. Success breeds success, but dejections breeds dejected youth.
So who gains from this? Our enemies do of course! They want us to spend all spare time running around being very busy but actually, we’re running on the spot and going nowhere. This ensures that we remain where they want to keep us.
Lets imagine a scenario. There is fire in our house in London, and also a fire our Parents house in India. Now, all our family is running around scared about this fire in our house here and actually the water to put the fire out is just two houses away. But some of our family members here in the UK (the vocal ones) gather us all around and say, listen, our Parents are being burnt right now in India and the Indian Fire Service is not responding. We all need to come together and get the UK fire service to call up the Indian Fire Service to go put out the fire in our house in India. But crucially the phone is in our house, but we cant go inside our house as its burning, so lets all march up to the UK Fire service right now.
Now what would most of us say to the above idea? We personally would suggest that we deal with the fire close at hand, get the water and put it out. Then we use the phone in our house to call the fire services or perhaps even call some friends in India and arrange a personal firefighting team. In any case, we’re going to be homeless and resource-less if we don’t first save our house here.
The maxim is this – pick your battles wisely and fight things that you can win and as you do that, you’ll get strong and more used to winning and then you might be able to fight other bigger battles.
In the words of Stephen Covey (Seven Habits), we have two spheres, a sphere of concern which is very big and a sphere of influence which is much smaller. If we operate within our sphere of Influence, then we will grow that sphere. Operate within the Sphere of concern and we will not be effective.
So what is our home? What battles can we fight and win? What will make us stronger and more confident about achieving bigger things?
The Gurdwara. That’s our root, that our shared home. That’s our community rallying centre, community organizing centre and spiritual guidance centre. what is the situation with our Gurdwaras? Are they on fire?
Sikhi is not being taught there. Gurbani is being sold as a ritual ‘earn karma’. People are reading words they don’t understand to people who understand even less. Kids are being bored to death in Punjabi classes. Food is not fit for Sant Sipahis and is more of a show-off than to feed the needy. Granthees are treated like slaves but come and go anonymously. Committees are full of non-sevadaars., to whom you wouldn’t even entrust your child. There are no professional educational courses in Sikhi. Financial and organizational mis-management is endemic. Youth are rarely involved. Sevadaars are being turned away and dis-illusioned. Money wasted on bigger Gurdwaras with less community spirit. All of this and much much more is commonplace across the world.
But just imagine how many people and the total sum of financial resources that sit in the hands of the UK Sikhs alone. 500,000 people, mostly middle class, with hundreds of buildings and more. We’re sure it’s close to, if not beyond, £1bn sterling. Why is then that we are so dis-organised? Why are we unable to take the problems above and make our Gurudwaras the havens of Sikhi. We’ve already published a post called “Gurudwara Experience”. Why cant the Gurdwaras be more like those than how they are currently?
Our answer is two-fold.
(1) We’ve been made to look elsewhere for the solution. They want to keep us busy running on the spot so not only are we very busy but we never achieve anything.
(2) We ourselves are trying to hide our heads in the sand and not face up to our root problems. Its too difficult to change our Gurdwaras, its ‘Real’ work and involves constant sacrifice. Going on a rally and march is much more entertaining and we know our family and friends will come along.
As a Panth, we’ve become emasculated and un-empowered. We don’t feel we can make a difference in our local gurdwara systems and we feel so frustrated by this that shouting at people who also don’t care actually sounds like a good idea. The people who give us these good ideas like to be at the front on the camera exhorting us to come down in support of our brothers and sisters, a guilt trip that’s always guaranteed to work since we have so much collective guilt about our response to 1984.
So, aren’t we just doing what they want us to do? Run on the spot, stay where we are and never fight the fire in our own house? Some people are fighting the right battle though and we need to learn from them.
Look at the youth in Vancouver, they have taken over their Gurudwaras, they are serving the sangat with true Sikhi. A nine year-old girl there recently finished her own sehat paat of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji. Lots of people turned up for the Bhog ceremony.
Now think if we would do the same if a 9 year old girl in the UK read a 1430 page long English book. Of course not. Why not? Because apparently English is easy but Gurmukhi is hard. But when you teach kids to read Gurmukhi, its much easier for them to learn it as it’s a very phonetic language, as compared to English which is not.
Well you can see our problems, a generations of passionate but un-informed youth, who cant read or understand what they bow down to, don’t know the family tree of the founders, do not have opportunity to do this at their Gurdwaras and are having to scrape by on learning using youtube, mp3s and google.
Where does the solution lie? Right at our very hands, in the places where we go weekly, where Sikhi is very rarely seen. Our Doors to Enlightenment. We need to reform these into spiritual and social educational centres where activism is not just encouraged but organized and delivered. When the fire in these homes gets put out, then we will be able to organize effectively to start fighting the bigger fires.
That’s not to say that we don’t support other organisations doing vital work. A good example of mis-directed resources is the recent “walk for Freedom” organized by Insaaf in both London and California. Here in London, we only had around 20 people turn up and yet as this article is being written, thousands upon thousands of Sikhs are marching to the Indian Embassy in London. Insaaf is actually working to collect data about the aftermath of 1984 in Punjab. It’s vital work shines with the legacy of Jaswant Singh Khalra. How do we think they feel when only 20 UK Sikhs turned up to support them? Probably not great.
There is a sad prediction we can make. Those thousands of Sikhs marching right now will be back again in just 2 months to march at the 29th anniversary of June 1984 and Insaaf and all the other organisations like Khalsa Aid, SOPW, United Sikhs, Seva84, PDL etc is still be woefully underfunded given the mountain they are trying to conquer.
Guru Piare jio, its not enough for us to want to wake up the youth, we need to keep the youth active in relevant and fulfilling seva. Effective Seva. Vital and needed Seva, the seva of reforming our houses, our Guru Ghars, putting out the flames of kaljug that are working to hide the Truth that was revealed to us about how to banish all dis-order and chaos and bring to the forefront something never seen before, an army of saint soldiers desiring only to serve and encourage others to chant the Name of their Creator.
May the King of Kings bless his children on this Vaisakhi that they get back to the sovereign ways he prescribed and start the real fight ahead. With each victory, may he bless his beloved army with more desire to chant his Name and fight the righteous battle ahead.
March 23, 2013 § 1 Comment
The Revolution will not be televised,
Not for armchair warriors, on the streets, LIVE,
Enuff of the censors and the prying eyes,
We here to talk some Real Shit, stuff we realized…
Culture of Hypocrisy has crept into the Pure,
Its institutional yo and we forgot the Cure,
Guru is Crystal clear, but we clouded like vapour,
On white paper with Black Ink,
Guruji gave us everthing!
He said, “I’ve come here to destroy the tyrants”
We chill in arm chairs, setting no precedents!
He said, Be a rebel, I’ll give you my cause,
Sacrifice my family for my Singhs and Kaurs”
Now we looking slick, Bana and Shashter,
Gurdwara run like a business, strength we cannot muster,
“Revolution is too big a word bros, maybe join a committee?”
“They made this Fucking system”…”it will break your Sikhi”
Maybe Sikhi is broken when Sikhs forget to read..
The words of our masters, chasing lust and greed,
“Don’t be so Harsh yo, these are the Good Guys.”
Aren’t we totally fucked then? Do we speak a Lie?
Old Greedy Pendu Bijnizzmen run the Guru’s house…
They succeeded in their mission, we squeak like a Little Mouse,
Khalsa in Name, Sheep with a Lions Mane,
We just love protesting, IT DON’T WORK, lets do it again and again
That my friend, is the dictionary definition of the INSANE.
Sikh Anonymous is opening up now, the grenades start to fly,
No one’s getting spared, though we on the same side,
This is Peace Time, so here is where we train HARD,
The war…they will bring to us…we’ll see who’s a coward,
Like we said, It will not be televised,
You want some..? Gurprasaad is the Prize,
Be warned though, it comes at a price.
Its not for you I think, take our advice,
Stick to your marches and petitions online,
Be Wise…you only got one Life…
Guruji watches you, shaheeds by his side,
Maybe you’ll die old, loved by kids and wife,
Guru ki Fauj’s heading out, lucky to get Five,
So few the Khalsa, Numbers are just lies..
June 4, 2012 § 2 Comments
Guru Piarey Jio,
We’ve had lots of messages recently regarding our post 6/6/12 Occupy our Gurdwaras. Most people have agreed that reform is required and also that more transparency is required. As always in any situation, the suggestions have been varied but what did stand out was the concern that there are some good people in these committees too and why we remain anonymous.
To address the second concern first, as we’ve said to anyone who asked, we are the dogs of the Panth, we are simply barking and fighting outside, we DO NOT want people to follow us. If our ideas or barking resonates, please come outside to join us in the struggle. The other reason is that in this battle, we are fighting with enemies that have vastly more resources at their disposal, so in order to level the playing field, we have to fight smart. If we came out in the public, the internal and external enemies would have a clear target to fire upon.
Now, in terms of not sullying the names of the Good Guys in committees (along with all the bad and inept people), internally our debate led us to start by not immediately naming every single person in the committee, just the obvious ones. Without engaging in slander, surely no Gurdwara ‘should’ mind us sharing very basic information, most of which is available to the Sangat in any case.
(1) The constitution of the Gurdwara
(2) The election manifestos of the Gurdwara committee.
Within just these basic bits of info, we should be able to determine what the Gurdwara was intended to provide, what the present management committee promised, the resources available to them and finally what they achieved. If there are good people on the committees, then this should be all the more reason for them to exercise their influence to get such promises delivered.
Take Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Southall for example. Its irrevelent where we live in the UK, this Gurdwara committee has within its control two of the most iconic gurdwaras in the UK. Every year, we get our cars and drive down to the Nagar kirtans and witness the streets of Southall literally orange and blue. The Gurdwaras have a combined income of around £2.4 million per year, own two massive buildings, have a massive amount of influence in Sikh affairs in the UK and yet like of our Gurdware, they fail to even deliver what they promised. Please find their constitution and the election manifesto of the current ‘Baaj Party’ attached. The main members of the Baaj Party are easily found on the Gurdwaras wikipedia entry or through any google search and actually they themselves publish a photo of each member around their ‘manifesto’. It makes for interesting reading.
What are the main points that come out of this?
The committee promises to immediately deliver…
(1) Financial transparency – Monthly accounts
(2) Youth Stakeholder Group
(3) Dedicated Funding for educational and faith based purposes, including the Sojhi curriculum by Sikh Research Institute
(4) Working with homeless organisations, alcohol and drug rehabilitation and counselling/mediation
(5) Working to visit Sikh prisoners.
Also, the Gurdwara Constitution gives the Main Aims of the Gurdwara to be 8 things (current as from March 2010)
(i) Establish one or more centres for religious worship and associated ancillary education and cultural activities including sports
(ii) Establish a library of books in English or Punjabi concerned with social religious or educational matters
(iii) Offer prizes, awards, scholarships and stipends in connection with Sikh religious studies
(iv) Sponsor and aid the publication of religious literature and the carrying our of religious instruction
(v) Establish nurseries and educational institutions having a connection with the Sikh religion.
(vi) Establish any other project that can aid the community ot promote the Sikh culture
(vii) Provide free board and lodgings to persons in necessitous circumstances provided they do not infringe the sanctity of the Gurdwaras.
(viii) Establish new and up to date facilities, e.g., ICT training (Information, communications and Technology) to promote the Sikh religion and Punjabi language.
Now, we can give our view on these, based on the conversations we’ve had with local sangat there, however, its not really our role to do this, its the sangat of the Gurdwara who must hold their ‘leaders’ to account. Therefore, our only request must be to those good guys in the committee to give their response as to that they have done for each point and also for the sangat there to decide if enough has been done.
In fact, why is it that even a university student society will have elections for each seat where the voters are able to ask questions but ina multi-million pound community thats built around ‘sangat’ we still never get a chance to question our own ‘leaders’.
We would recommend the sangat to read our posts on spring cleaning 1 and spring cleaning, 3, especially 3, to see our view on what a gurdwara committee and the gurdwara experience could be like and what they have now. The rest we leave to Vaheguru.
May 31, 2012 § Leave a comment
Guru Piarey Jio,
Saul Alinsky, in his book “Rules for Radicals” categorises society into two main spheres, the Haves and the Have-Nots. These two are diametrically opposed and it is here that the struggle lies. However a third group, called the Have-a-little want-mores, are where most of the revolutionaries come from. Middle class so to speak. This group is split into the Do-nothings and the Doers. The Do-nothings make a big show and even convince themselves they care about helping the Have-nothings overcome their struggle with the Haves, but ultimately, its never the right time or the right way. The Doers, come up with a plan, the best they can and get on with executing it. The Doers are the ones who make history.
Currently the criticism coming at us seems to have the same Do-Nothings air, ie not just now, not just this way. We are writing for the Doers. If you feel this reform movement is crucial, then get involved brothers and sisters. We are you and you are us.
A final note, we took a hukamnama from Guru sahib before publishing. The key lines that stood out were, “He himself does and himself inspires others to acts” and also “He himself establishes and himself dis-establishes”. Now the Do-Nothings will undoubtedly claim that this just means we should just wait around like the proverbial drowning man who spurns a life-raft cause he’s waiting for God to save him. The Doers amongst us, will see this as Guru tellign us we should get on with it and leave the results in his hands. The Khalsa and the Panth work for Vaheguru and its Vaheguru’s victory, not ours. So leaving the feasibility aside, the need for thousands to join us aside, what each of us now has to think is, do I answer this call or not? If you are a Doer at heart, ask vaheguru to give you the strength to never shirk from righteous actions and DO.
(1) Print the leaflet and plaster the Gurdwaras and the committee rooms
(2) Join us on facebook and show your support. Share the posts and posters to all your friends.
(3) Find the data on your committee and gurdwara and send it to us via facebook. Tomorrow we will be printing the info regarding the Gurdwara first on the list.
May 30, 2012 § 2 Comments
Guru Piarey Jio,
Just like Dhan Guru Hargobind Sahib ji, the destroyer of armies, the warrior Guru, the liberator, carried two swords signifying his total sovereignty over all spiritual and earthly matters, the next battle for our beloved Khalsa Panth will also have two forks. We have to fight the internal enemies and external enemies. These are not enemies we have chosen, (the Panth hates no one), but these people have chosen to be enemies and obstructions in the Khalsa’s mission. Our mission is simple, a Khalsa Raaj dedicated to providing freedom and access to basic provisions to every single person whilst spreading the beauty of our Jagat Guru.
Step one: Fight the current internal and external enemies.
Step two: Start doing the work of the Khalsa, thereby creating even more external enemies who will undoubtedly work to create internal enemies.
Verily did Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Patshah say that the Khalsa are those who will constantly do battle.
Step one then…well, our main external enemies are the 1% of India, who have conspired to subjugate and murder Sikhs in India, quite rightly seeing that the Khalsa will ultimately remove these elitist, nepotistic dynasties from power. What we need is to develop an independent mindset and recognise the real enemy. With that aim in mind and also taking note of the number of positive comments regarding the SICC, then we will do ardaas to Guru sahib to allow us the seva to help bring this to reality. We’ll be keeping you updated wit this.
On the internal side, our previous 3 posts under Spring Cleaning have made clear our views advocating serious reform of our gurdwaras. We must awaken as many of those who enter the Gurudwara and Guru sahib will make them agents for this upcoming Khalsa Raaj. These are not pipedreams, it is our birthright. Changing the Gurudwaras can be delivered now. It’s real change that is in our hands and achievable. And this change is achievable if we have clear rules for Unity and clear objectives. In our view, given the whole system is broken, instead of engaging in it, (ie Gurudwara politics) we need the Sangat, (all of us) to get involved and focus upon deliverables. To use an analogy all sevadaars would understand, we don’t need to argue about who goes on the langar committee, we need to start chopping veggies and making dough.
You’ve seen Occupy Wall Street and you’ve seen the Arab spring. How about a new global movement? So that in one year’s time we can say that we changed the face of the Panth. No more waiting for a better time, the time is now and the Panth is here, this is the time for the Khalsa Spring.
We need to take control of our Sikhi, not to have it led by clueless people. It’s time to Occupy Sikhi, time to Occupy our Gurudwaras. We need to unite as a Panth and get Sikhi, real Sikhi back into our Gurudwaras. We need to do this until as many of the following points on our suggested manifesto have been delivered.
If you believe that the time is now, that change has to come, we ask for your help. On the 6th of June, one week from now, go to your Gurudwara with as many copies of the leaflets above. One side, gives the reality of what Gurudwaras have mostly become, the other side is the manifesto. These should be the minimum demands for every major Gurudwara in our community. Lets put these up in every Gurudwara, give them out to each committee member, tell them that this is what we want, and that they are on notice. Please download and print many copies. You can normally get online printing shops to do this very cheap and post back to you.
Now, before you start thinking “Yeah right, thats going to work”, we’d like to announce our new project to the sangat. We’ve all used WikiPedia and SikhiWiki, and we’ve also heard of WikiLeaks. Well we’d like to introduce the sangat to SikhiLeaks. The concept is very simple, the transparency and accountability we need about our Gurdwaras is unlikely to be given voluntarily and joyfully. So in the absence of a carrot to offer our ‘leaders’ (we don’t think that “the sangat is asking for it” is enough for these guys) we thought a big stick might be in order. On SikhiLeaks, what we will set up is a profile of each Gurudwara, a list of its committee, granthees and their photos, a brief bio if possible, then the constitution of the Gurudwara and its financial situation and finally the election manifesto of each party currently in charge. Then it will simply be a case of knowing who is to blame for the Gurudwara committee not following the constitution and their own election pledges. Now funnily enough, a lot of this information is freely available around election time and also available to monitoring bodies like the charities commission in the UK. Once this information database builds up for each Gurudwara, we think that the committee will no longer be the nice cosy seat that it is at present. Thats good! The harder that seat is and the more uncomfortable, the more likely we are to get real sevadaars. People who do what they say and who have nothing to hide. Isn’t that the real thing at stake here, is what do these people have to hide?
Guru Piarey jio, with Guru’s grace, we will be building this website and working towards the SICC. The first Gurudwara we will tackle will be the biggest and most influential Gurudwara in the UK, where one committee controls two Gurdwaras! Can you guess who it is yet? We’ve got most of the information already but need your help.
How can you get involved? We urge you to rifle through all the papers and documents you have at home, on your email etc and leak them to us via our blog. We don’t want gossip or slander, merely the facts of the case and what these people themselves promised to deliver. We have faith in the sangat and in Vaheguru ji. The power of the people is greater than the people in power. Guru Kirpa kare, this revolution is true to their teachings and that it happens. Dhan Guru Hargobind Sahib bless us with his warrior spirit and the sharpness of two swords.
In the time honoured tradition of warrior ballads, we’d like to introduce our own to Occupy Sikhi and the Khalsa Spring. In Punjabi, Che is Six, and Barah is Twelve, so 6/6/12, is Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
This is the Khalsa Spring,
Open the doors or we’re kicking them in,
The lines have been drawn, the battle has begun,
Sorry we didn’t tell you, We’ve already won.
You’ve got only one choice, Give in, this time you cant win,
This battle is not ours, we fight for the king of kings.
We’re just trying to be Sikhs, Students…wanting to learn more,
Its basic skills that we seek, And this is the Guru’s door.
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Rule No 1,
We dont want your titles or a place on your committee,
That system is broken, or should I say shitty,
We won’t legitimise it or seek your approval,
We’ve got our legitimacy, we are the people.
Rule No 2,
We’re not terrorists or religious fanatics,
Nor misguided youth or crazy drug-addicts,
You will try to incite violence, divide and defame,
We are the sane, the calm, repeating Gods name.
Rule No 3
The Gurudwara is not a country, It doesn’t need a president!
Why are you in charge? You aint setting precedents,
You never taught katha, santhia no kirtan,
Never saw you washing dishes or doing simran,
Never been a punj piara but call yourself a leader,
Its Sardari you want, you aint here to do our seva.
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
This movement has started, you’re warned fair and square,
We’re going to expose you, you thought we wouldn’t dare,
The Sangat will speak up now, we know that you’re scared,
We’re everywhere now, not just those with a beard.
So come on now, lets unite as a Panth,
Occupy our Sikhi, follow the Guru Granth,
This battle has begun, we’ll fight but not revenge,
We’re in Guru’s hands, your time is at an end.
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,