Politics is merely the fight for principle, through thoroughly unprincipled means.
It seems to many that Sikhs in politics is a brand new development a product of the 21st century, with our recent migration to the west. I frankly disagree with that assessment. We are Sikhs, to the word Sikh means to learn, and only the way to learn is to question, to question those in power and their beliefs is very a political act. Sikhism from its very foundation with Guru Nanak in questioned the logic of the caste system when in his eyes all humans were the same, the idea that women are equal and that money should be earned honestly or not at all, ideas radical then and in many ways still are now. These challenges to power formalized after the execution of the Fifth Guru Arjan, his son Guru Hargobind set aside the seli topi (caps of holy men) asked for a sword i and the kalgi of a king instead. He was given one but it was put on the wrong side, so he asked for another as well. Those two swords would represent Miri and Piri, the need to be powerful in the spiritual world so as to know injustice, and the physical world so as to have the means to actively oppose it. With that Sikhism challenged the might of the Mughal empire and opposed the religious intolerance of it. Time and time again our faith challenged those that sought to oppress whether they were the Afghan kings or the British empire. To say being political is in conflict with our beliefs would ignore that long history of active opposition to injustice and oppression. No, to be political is a consequence of who we are, where we come from and what we believe.
I reject the right wing’s idea of patriotism, the flag waving ,military marching kind we see Americans often engage in, the love for symbols. Someone who speaks a different tongue, prays to a different being or calls another nation home these things do not matter. A greater indictment to our society is if someone on our soil is through no fault of their own is made experience poverty and injustice, they are a reflection of our failings, our need to do better by our fellow people. If a person truly loves their nation, that begins and ends with the humanity that inhabits it, to support programs that seek to reduce the divisions between people be they social,legal and economic, so that we not only see each other as different but live as such.
Of course people love rags to riches stories, but like many of the things humanity has claims to love it is a fantasy and a falsehood. It is fantasy that a person has the ability to change their present condition through hard work alone, it is an ideal but not a reality. The far more bitter truth is, that in this era of increasing inequality that people are not as able to change their economic conditions, that if not already, in the coming decades we will come to witness more people that will be born poor, live poor and die poor. That increasingly firmness of economic status and the discrimination based upon it will seem no less unjust as discrimination based upon race or gender. Human Rights as I have studied spoke much of the threat it posed to both political and legal systems and in turn changed them. That was human rights of the past, The human rights of the future will be a threat and bulwark to the economic system. Some would say that such a stance is revolutionary, perhaps it is, for like the sun or the hands of clock, revolutions are inevitable. That is but the nature of progress slow but unstoppable and like a wind when it blows, economic systems have a choice either to be build a windmill or build a wall.
The ironic thing is that it was Trudeau SR. that said about america “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.” yet it his son that is more than any prime minister since the cold war may have to deal with the realities of that statement. These are trying times with rise of xenophobia and how we react now is what is going to define us, as a liberal party, as a nation and as a people for generations to come. I mean politics used to be just a game or just a hobby, but with every passing day it seems that is more and more at stake come 2019 and what kind of people we choose to lead us.
To the Americans that are saying we are gonna move to Canada. Our country isn’t your back up plan or consolation prize. To leave is cowardice and unbecoming of the fine people we share a border with. We are no strangers to your struggles. Ten years under a leader not unlike yours, who thought it was ok to divide us on the basis of our ancestors, on the basis on with which name we address a supreme being. We didn’t leave, we endured and we overcame. We still deal with racism, we still deal with division, but we do not allow it to rule us nor define us. For the many the people with conscience and common love for mankind that I still believe do exist in America, do not despair, hope is not lost your work is not over rather, it has just begun.
Ever since Quebec Charter of Values was thing a while ago. There has been a lot of backlash against religious accommodations for people. A select few people have been complaining that minorities are trying to change this country are “intolerant of us canadians”. Obviously those voices are quickly shut up, and labelled racist. What a lot of people instead adopt instead is the position of oh “Religion has no place in schools and the work place.” I call bullshit on this statement. It fails to convey the racist connotations, but many things as well. Take for the fact why isn’t school and a lot of workplaces open on Saturdays or Sundays. While many would argue that oh we need at least a couple days off of the week. Personally I don’t disagree with that. My problem is the days, in that they fall on Saturday which is shabbat for followers of Judaism and Sunday which is Sabbath for the followers of Christ. Now do I have a problem with that either no. No what I have a problem is the failure of many to recognize that many of society institutions are already religiously accommodating for judeo-christian beliefs. But they are designed so at a time when there wasn’t as much diversity in this country, and it was done subconsciously. There was no religious accomodation back then, the structures were designed around them. Now do we need to declare several new years holidays for various cultures such as chinese people, vaisakhi for sikhs or nowruz for persians? and declare any celebration by any culture or religion a public holiday? No while it would be nice, we wouldn’t get anything done. All that I am asking is people ought to be more tolerant to other groups, especially when they are simply asking for the same things others already have granted to them.
Something thats been on my mind recently and its been bothering me, is the amount of people that talk shit about Brampton. Yeah its not perfect, but is home. The 19 year old me, being young and rebellious also hated it, fuck this place, was my attitude towards Brampton.. So I left for another city. I went to study criminology and then human rights, but what I feel in the 5 years there, the most important thing learned was what separates a place from a home. A place is defined by location, buildings, tangible things that can be measured. A home however is not defined by those things, rather its by feelings and memories, things that cannot be measured, yet real all the same. To me in the end, Brantford became merely a place, Brampton was Home. And it how it could not be? First friends, first love, first jobs, first achievements all happened here, from here. Its not just me, but for a lot of people who grew up up in this city. It is home. This city has a lot of newcomers, filled with hopes and dreams. For some that is a problem, to hell with them. For the immigrants too Brampton, it too will become home, filled with memories and feelings not to unlike us. Many generations from now when places like Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur or Amritsar have long since faded from memory, when people ask our descendents where there their families are from, perhaps they will say Brampton. For them too it was a home. I mean if anyone talks shit about Brampton being in it, its because they see it as a place, not a home.
Time and time and again I railed against the scum some call the conservatives. This backward ass party does what is does best, engage in stupid fuckery create issues where none exist to garner votes. The world has fucking changed, people cannot simply grasp it, kids whether we like it or not are being exposed to sexuality at younger and younger ages than years ago. I am not a parent, but If I were, I would prefer they get their information on sexuality from a responsible and trained educator than risk them develop some baseless ideas based on a porno their friends told them about. The fact is in the age of the internet its a not an “if” children will experience or witness sexual situations online, its a matter of when, I want my children to be properly equipped to handle them when the time comes. I feel the liberal party took an important proactive step in order to prepare the children of the province for such situations. And these conservatives fucks wanna take one huge step backwards from that. Remember this is a party that believes its not important to teach our children safe sex, a party that believes that its ok deny to our women to the right to an abortion when they get pregnant, because they weren’t taught to avoid them. A party that believes when those young mothers give birth to those children and need financial assistance raising them, that its alright to deny them the help they need and along with anyone else vulnerable, because taxes are too high and they wanna help your boss get that fourth or fifth ferrari in their driveway. Is that the future you want for the people of ontario? It will be people give these living breathing of human waste votes and the voice to air such dangerous beliefs.
So I have been perusing facebook recently, I have seen people parading this around like Sikhism has achieved something, like this is something to be proud of.It is not. What I have seen here is not the promotion of our faith, but the prostitution of it. This woman Harmeet Kaur Dhillon has saw fit to whore out our beliefs, whore out words to raise her own profile all for a party.Faith and politics ought to remain separate for the sake religious tolerance.But since she already gone there. I feel it is only right to address the unsuitability of her actions. Our faith has always opposed the tyrant, not crawled into bed with them. She used the words of a faith whose Guru believed it was better to lose his own head than to allow followers of another faith face persecution, and whose son then preceded to wage war on the empire that pursued such police, for the party believes that all Muslims must subject to special restrictions. She used our words for a party that does not believe that women have the ability to control their bodies and supports a leader who has time and time again disparaged women. How can standby when our founder way back 1400’s raised the status of women by saying “from her kings are born”. How dare she claim our ardass for a party that fails to recognize the barbarity and savagery in not allowing free healthcare , to sentence people to death for the crime of not being able to pay. To not allow cheaper education or higher wages so people can lift themselves out of poverty. How exactly is the concept “sarbat the bala” pursued by them? Our gurus opened the 4 doors our of holiest shrines so that all may enter, gave food free of charge so that may none face hunger, broke the caste system so that allow may live free of judgement. We broke barriers between people while the republicans fight to raise them. We bled and died fighting tyranny while they gather to inflict it upon others. This women has made a mockery of Sikhism, and this is not praiseworthy,