Just as a child clings to his parent, it, in fear of the night that dare engulf it, so to will our democracy will cling to education and the educated against the encroaching darkness of hate. For it is the open door of a school that leads to open door of the polling booth. It is imperative that we understand that by empowering the parent, we empower the child.
I remember doing seva in langar as a kid, while doing it the only time you looked at another persons plate was to see if it was if it was empty and if it was you made sure it was filled but if it was filled you never took it away. While I don’t spend as much time there, nor am I as religious that particular concept always resonated with me. That governing belief I have carried throughout of my life in that the only time you should look at others to see if they have enough, if not, see to it they do.
While I am glad I sit in Canada far removed from the Charlottesville protests, one cannot help but look at whats happening. I can sympathize with the white supremacists to a certain extent. I understand times are changing things, things you have enjoyed are being taken away, it would be terrifying no doubt. The sympathy I extend is the same the same sympathy I extend to a child’s terror when a light in a room suddenly shuts off, where it was on. It is your fear, your lack of education or lack of knowledge that provokes my sympathy, not your cause. Yet I find the protest silly, the ideals of equality, tolerance and diversity scare them so much, that it takes so much away from them. Their anger is misdirected why blame the treatment? Blame the disease of racism that requires such a bitter and harsh treatment, if so much was not given earlier on that was not yours to take, not so much would need be given back now. If the attempting to end racism is so brutal bloody then so to was bloody and brutal the process of its unchecked growth on humanity.
Most people speak of the awesome power of love, yet most also know it in limited amounts. Most in their lifetimes eventually to love another, learning to speak to another’s soul perhaps move it. And yet every now and them have come men and women, that learn to not simply love another, but all others as well. In possessing that uncommon love for humanity, they do not speak to nor move just the soul of another, no rather they come to speak and come to shift the very souls of peoples, nations and societies.
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.
I don’t know why some still regard the idea of a decent living wage as radical and revolutionary. It doesn’t take a socialist or communist to realize that if an employer is taking a huge chunk out of someone’s day, the least they should compensate them in a such way that makes the rest of it at least tolerable.
We have the word Mankind. It is an interesting one, in that in referring to our collective being, the powers that be have chosen the word “kind” to come after the word “man”. While in this case the word “kind” primarily refers type of thing, but interestingly the word “kind” can also be take to mean gentle and compassionate.Of all the words that could have been, it was this one. Why? Is it an expression of fact that man in his very basic natural form kind and gentle? Or it is an expression of optimism and hope, that perhaps man is not as such but should aspire to be and hopefully one day will be, embodiment of the word “kind” in this world. But it is a beautiful idea nonetheless regardless of the truth of it, that in merely talking of humanity as a whole we have made the idea of what it means to be a person and the idea of compassion and goodness inseparable.
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,
Normally I have a pretty liberal attitude with how I believe people should worship and stuff, but there is something that has been bothering me of late. What I don’t like these days is the practice of bringing of catering to the Gurudwara or doing special arrangements. I find the practice abhorrent and in congruent with the principles of our faith. Sure it is your big day and everyone wants it to be perfect, but that doesn’t trump the principles of equality we have espoused through out the ages. It is guru ka langar not village of india langar or brar’s langar. It is supposed to be simple food that its very core, an act of bring people of different backgrounds to sit on the floor together as equals, It was Guru Amar Das that made the great Mughal King Abkar sit, before granting him an audience, regarding king and beggar alike. So who are we to challenge that institution when the emperor of India could not. Yeah in the age of social media, with Facebook, Instagram etc. In Brampton especially among Punjabis its become a dumb hedonistic and materialistic competition to one up each other with extravagant weddings all for likes, go ahead do it at the engagement, do it at the reception. But that attitude of one man upmanship has no place in the Gurudwara, and that should be respected.
Its not a question of if Sikhs are going to be political in this nation, that is inevitable, in that being duty bound to be involved with and serve the community, there are going to be some that will see fit to lead it. and they will and they have. Those that do however should not make common cause with conservatives. In doing so he must give up either being a Sikh or give up being conservative, that simply cannot co-exist without a person choosing one or the other. For it does not make sense to sit on the floor among as equals in langar on Sunday, yet sow further division among those same people the other 6 days of the week by cutting public services. Nor can he claim pride in the openness of his golden temple while working to close his nation to those in need of refuge from terror and strife. Nor can he claim to follow great man of past who opposed religious tyranny, yet seek to impose his own views on society, only replacing another’s religious philosophy for his own. Such people will claim their faith and heritage to gain votes, yet such people cannot be trusted for running with so they are either betraying one philosophy or the other.