Throughout human history there is there was an element of untouchability that we applied to our fellow human beings, the belief that certain people were beneath others the fact their mere touch would be polluting. Such a system existed in India through caste, in japan as Burakumin, and often was culturally socially and religiously enforced. While this system was wrong, that is not to say untouchables do not exist. The true untouchable is not born as such, nor made to be. The true untouchable pollutes not with his body but with his mind his surroundings, he who chooses to divide our beautiful humanity, defiles the ideologies of unity to ones of division. The true untouchable is a product of choice, for he who is the one who chooses to hate.
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.
Its not the ability to stand for himself that makes a man a man, most master that ability as children, its rather the ability to stand for something greater than themselves that separates man from child.
There is no joy in revenge, it is but the path of emptiness, the path of utter poverty. In marching down it I have brought my enemy suffering as they did me, yet it is I who feels who wronged, who is being robbed of peace. I traded away the bitter pill of forgiveness for the sweet poison of vengeance.
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.
“knowledge is a burden, curse and a blessing all the same, for knowledge is merely the gift of sight in the darkness of ignorance, we do not dictate what we see, both wonders and horrors witnessed all the same.”
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.
The moment a person publicizes his own good deeds and virtues, he pollutes his own actions, turning something selfless into something self serving.
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.