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.