Thursday, September 21, 2006

From my phone

I had some Toronto picture in my phone. I took them the day I forgot my camera.
I went to an evening program at the Dixie Road Gurdwara (big one) in Toronto. On the right in the foreground I partly got a picture of Jaspaul Singh Ji. Jaspaul Singh Ji is a really nice guy who brought me to the program and showed me around the Gurdwara.
Some of the sangat at the program.
There are multiple Darbar Halls in the Gurdwara. They even have more than one program at a time! I guess I can see how a huge sangat occasionally necessitates that events conflict, such as weddings, akhand paths, bhogs etc. In this case it was two kirtan programs, and I didn't see why they should be separate. It was two different kirtan styles, but can't we take turns? This is the second hall that I visited.
An interesting banner. With the efforts taken to put this up (in the Gurdwara!) somebody could have redirected the effort to make a nicer banner that said something like 'Raj Karega Khalsa!' If the Sikh homeland is Khalistan, why is the banner in a huge Gurdwara in Toronto Canada? What if Khalistan existed? Should the banner be taken down and the Gurdwara abandoned? What about a banner that says "Sikh homeland: Earth." Or another that says "Sarbat Da Bhalla." Living as Khalsa, wherever we are, will establish Khalsa Raj, fighting for physical boundaries will take us no where. Guru Gobind Singh never set his sights so low as a piece of land.
A chandelier in the Gurdwara.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

If somebody torture you to death. Tries to abolish ur identity. Tries to eradicate ur langauge. Disrespect ur gurus and humilate you just for a single reason of being Sikh.Do not pay heed to ur problems and label u as "criminal". Wont u consider fighting and dieing for a peice of land where u can atleast breath freely?
Sikhs do not fight for khalistan just because guru ji told us something on those line. We fight so that we can atleast say that "we are sikhs of the guru" not "hindu sikhs". I think guru ji atleast want their sikhs to say with proud that "they are sikhs".

When nobody listens then u have to do something to make people listen and understand you.

I dont know about "Raj karega khalsa"...but atleast we need some place where people can atleast acknowledge existence of the khalsa. We are labelled as hindus on the very piece of land where guru ji created khalsa.


I think u will agree.

Prabhu Singh said...

I'm well aware of the issues and abuses by the Government of India to the Sikhs.
I live on a piece of land where I say that I'm Khalsa, I have the right to keep and bear arms. My sovereignty is fully recognized by all those who live near me. You can call my home Khalistan if you want. But my efforts in this life will be for Khalsa Raj not Khalistan.
Punjabis need the values of the Khalsa, before they can fight for a piece of land. If the Sikhs of Punjab united as true Khalsa, there would be no stopping them. This has to be done first. If all the farmers got together and said 'we're not selling our grain to the government,' the government of the whole of India would be on it's knees. That requires unity and humility. If one farmer acts out of ego, the whole scheme is ruined. We can't even get those who claim to be Khalsa to get along, so we are miles away from getting recognition and respect from the sovereign nations of the world.

Anonymous said...

Prabhu,
I am an American and do ont understand the intricacies of Indian politics. However if there is a group of people discriminated against and the only way to free them is to grant them a homeland where they might freely practise their religion, I see nothing wrong in it. I have spoken to many Khalistanis and most consider Khalistan a nation for the Sikhs of India and not a Sikh nation. And none have told me about cleaning a Khalistan off its Hindu inhabitants.

Prabhu Singh said...

If there was a 'Sikh' country there are so many issues to consider. You certainly can't push non-Sikhs out of the country, but at the same time you'd have to give them the right to vote. At this point Punjab is just barely a majority of Sikhs, and only a minority of people actually practice the Sikh lifestyle. The only Successful land-locked country in the world is Switzerland and they're successful because they allow all sorts of shady practices with money, including holding of money that nazis took from Jews. Where would the boundaries of Khalistan be? If it's not all of India and all of Pakistan, then I think the boundaries are too small. Who's going to lead the country? Prakash Singh Badal? All the Sikh leadership of Punjab today is astounding (and not in a good way).
I wouldn't stand in the way of a Khalistan, but if I were to put my energies towards helping the people of Punjab, I'd work for faster and easier goals such as more sustainable living and education, which would empower the people so much. India would fall apart if the Sikhs of Punjab stood united with a clear and well thought out plan. The Sikhs of India can't do anything with the pitiful conditions that many live in today. From the caste system, to politics, to the destruction of the environment, to female infanticide, Punjab is rife with problems. There are many problems that can be tackled without a Khalistan, which a Khalistan won't magically fix. If India handed over Khalistan today, I don't even want to think of what kind of disaster would ensue. We can't even manage our Gurdwaray without pulling our kirpans. And we're supposed to get a Khalistan?

Sifar said...

Prabhu Singh jeeoo...

When Britishers left India, there was no guarantee that India will be able to survive as a Nation. But it did, despite of so many corrupt leaders of the past and those are there today. When India was given its independence, it was the same scenario... people would not unite... Different groups fighting for independence had different opinions about how to run the country. Similarly, just because we have curropt Sikh leaders or some Sikhs donot agree with others, saying that if Khalistan is given by India (which is next to impossible), it will not survive.

Bhul Chuk dee Khema....

PS. I used to think on the same tracks and I even wrote a post on similar lines on what you are saying... but we Sikhs will never be ready to be togethers and govern ourselves... but that doesnot menas that we donot deserve a country of our own where we could breathe freely... speak freely....

singhu said...

Waheguru...Waheguru...

So true Khalsa Jee, may waheguru bless us true gursikh leaders and may we respect dhan dhan satguru SGGS Jee as our living Guru.

Waheguru...Waheguru...

Singh said...

"I'm well aware of the issues and abuses by the Government of India to the Sikhs."

I think then u must agree with the idea of having a piece of land where we can atleast practise our religion freely. Thats not too much to ask.

"I live on a piece of land where I say that I'm Khalsa, I have the right to keep and bear arms. My sovereignty is fully recognized by all those who live near me. You can call my home Khalistan if you want. But my efforts in this life will be for Khalsa Raj not Khalistan."

You have everything at ur place where u live. And after that ur efforts are for "Raj Karega Khalsa". Imagine those who doesn't have those rights. Imagine those whose past has been stolen and their history is being written again to demean them. Do u think they can aim for "raj karega khalsa" when even they can't say that they are "khalsa". Nobody recognise them as khalsa. people make fun of them in media. And ofcourse Sikhs did a lot of portest. But indian government showered bullets on them while they were protesting peacefully. There are many instances during akali morchas where hundred of sikhs got killed during peaceful protests. What do u think was the alternative? Punjab police outraged modesty of sikh women openly and shamelessly. Nobody till date even questioned them. India gave them amnesty. What do u think one can do in this situation? Wont u consider either live as a khalsa or die on the battlefield for a tiny space where u can practise Gurumatt.

" If all the farmers got together and said 'we're not selling our grain to the government,' the government of the whole of India would be on it's knees. "

This has been done in 1982-1984. Farmers went to delhi for protests. On their way, Haryana Government knocked off their turbans and humilated them to their limits. Many got injured and killed in the protests. Indian government was not on their knees but they wanted to eradicate a breed called "Sikhs". What would be ur next step if similar thing happens to ur community?


"That requires unity and humility. If one farmer acts out of ego, the whole scheme is ruined. We can't even get those who claim to be Khalsa to get along, so we are miles away from getting recognition and respect from the sovereign nations of the world."

First everybody has to understand the need then they can act accordingly. If somebdy talks about "khalistan" other 'sikhs' label them as "terrorist" or blinded. There needs to be an understanding.If u know yogi bhajan ji then u know that he never cared whether somebdy is with him or not...he just went with the conviction he had.We need that conviction instead of waiting for "unity" among sikhs. People get along if u have courage to do things. Same thing happened at the time of sant jarnail singh ji. He never waited for "unity" but he worked a lot to "unite" people.

Prabhu Singh said...

Singh Ji thanks for your response.
I guess my point is, it's always western Sikhs going on about Khalistan. What does Khalistan have to do with a Gurdwara in Toronto? And why should we say that Khalistan is our homeland, when we belong to the earth. I don't mind if there is a Khalistan, but it's not our only homeland.
I'm not familiar with the protest that felt the wrath of the Haryana Government, but it surely wasn't big enough. If there is widespread education and activism, India will have to listen. India desperately needs the grain from the Sikh farmers of Punjab.
I just think Khalistan is a waste of energy before achieving much easier and much more urgent goals. How about sustainable living, trash and waste management, fair trade? Khalistan will not create a perfect life for Punjabis.
I'm blessed to have a land where I can say I'm Sikh and practice the Sikh Dharma, and I will support that right for Sikhs across the world. I can't focus on Khalistan when I have neighbors who are starving. If your passion is to help just the people and Sikhs of Punjab, how about creating the social changes needed to make a great Khalistan? Staking out boundaries is the last step, and probably unnecessary. If the Sikhs of Punjab are empowered and live as Khalsa, India will have to bow. If you want to call India Khalistan, I don't care.
I'm just tired of seeing people go on and on about Khalistan, without doing anything. How about doing something to help the people of Punjab. The government will take notice of 'Khalistan' activities, but they will be hoodwinked by social activism brought by education and the practice of better social habits amongst the masses.
Will the government take notice if you recycle and create better waste management? Probably not, but the people of Punjab will be a lot healthier (like soldiers). Will the government take notice if a few farmers at a time start to grow organic produce and practice sustainable farming? Probably not, but the land and resources of Punjab won't disappear as fast (like a treasury for a nation). Will the government take notice if you teach personal finance to villagers? Probably not, but the people will have sound economics and thus more time to learn about other things (like how to create Khalistan). By the time the government takes notice of the necesary changes for Khalistan, it will be too late.
Trying to fight the enormous Indian army and go on and on about Khalistan from an emotional state, will get us no where. Why don't we help to implement some simple changes that will drastically improve the life of Punjabis? And then talk about Khalistan or better yet Khalsa Raj.
I appreciate the input of the sangat, but until the focus on Khalistan changes to helping the people of Punjab (in a real and do-able way), then I won't care much for the Khalistan issue. I don't think Khalistanis are fanatic either. When I see the internet sites, read the stories, look at the pictures, watch the videos, a fire lights in my heart. But to go out and fight, before doing preliminary work would be doing less than I feel I am here for. If God blesses me with the chance to help the people of Punjab, I would certainly focus on improving lives first.

reshamsingh said...

GURU GOBIND SINGH JI SAYS
RAAJ BINA NA DHARAM CHALE HAI
DHARAM BINA SAB DALE MALE HAI

WITHOUT YOUR OWN RULE RELIGION CAN NOT RUN NICELY.AND WITHOUT RELIGION PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLAVES AND SHEEPS.

IF SOMEBODY FROM MUSLIM COUNTRY WILL CAPTURE AMERICA WHAT WILL U DO?WILOL U SAY THEM WELLCOME ?OR FACE THEM?TALKING IS VERY NICE BUT BEING SLVE OF OTHER NATION IS VERY DIFFICULT DEAR.WE PUNJABI PEOPLE SAW THE TERROR OF INDIAN GOVERMENT.THEY KILLED INNOCENT PEOPLE IN HARMINDER SHAHIB AND BURN THE HOLY LIBRARY AND BURN SIRIGURU GRANTH SAHIB JI ABOUT 2500 .ALSO KILLED PEOPLE AND BURN THEM IN 1984 IN DELHI AND OTHER PARTS OF INDIA.AND KILLED THE INNOCENT PEOPLE IN FAKE ENCOUNTER IN PUNJAB.THEIR FAMILIES ARE IN BAD CONDITIONS.NO FOOD NO EDUCATION AND NO FUTURE.

NINTH GURU SAYS

JE JIVE PATT LATHEE JAE

SAB HARAM JAITA KICHH KHAEE

IF WE ASK ANY THING FROM INDIA THEY START TO BEAT US OR KILLING OUR INNOCENT PEOPLE.SIKH PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE EITHER ON BORDER OR IN FAKE ENCOUNTER.

KHALSA JI SOME MUSLIM PEOPLE ATTACKED ON TWINN TOWER.THE WHOLE WESTERN COUNTRIES ARE CRYING.WESTERN COUNTRIES COMMITTED SO MUCH CRIME ON IRAQE WITHOUT ANY REASON.MILLION PEOPLE ARE WITHOUT FOOD IN IRAQE.TWINN TOWERS WERE BUISNESS CENTRE NOT RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS.BUT AMERICA DROPPED ATOMIC BOMB ON JAPAAN.MANY INNOCENT PEOPLE DIED..LEARN SIKHISM THEN TALK.

SIKH MEANS NEVER GIVE FEAR NOR TAKE FEAR.BE INDEPENDENT AND LET THEM THE OTHERS..

NEXT TIME BE CAREFULKHALSA JI

WEARING NEW CLOTHES AND LOOKING BETTER IN AMERICA IS VERY EASY
BUT SAILING THE BOAT OF SIKHISM THROUGH STORM IN OCEAN IS NOT A EASY JOB.VISIT TO THOSE FAMILIES WHOSE SONS AND BROTHERS ARE NOT COME BACK.WHOSE TEARS ARE DRIED AND STILL WAITING THEM.IF YOU CANNOT DO ANY THING FOR SIKH PEOPLE DON`T TOUCH OUR WOUNDS.PLZZZZZZZZZZ

WAHEGURU

Prabhu Singh said...

Do I have to write it again:
I know what happened in India!
As far as America's mistakes, I'm not responsible. If you think being a Sikh in America is easy, guess again. We have fought many battles to live comfortably where we live. We have been attacked and we have been shot at. I have faced many dangerous situations in my life. Unless you walk a mile in my shoes you'll never know what I've had to endure. Don't come here accusing me of an easy life when you don't know what I've faced. Don't tell me to learn Sikhism, when I'm talking about SARBAT DA BHALLA. It's the very basics of Sikhism. If you want to react out of emotion that is your choice. Read what I have written above and see if you can stop talking on my blog and start acting on some of those ideas. Khalistan will not fix Punjab, but there are real steps that can be taken before demanding a Khalistan. Demanding Khalistan and directing energy towards that will only continue to upset India. If you actually DO SOMETHING and help the people of Punjab, you will be one step closer to Khalistan. In my brief visits to Punjab, I have reached out to as many Punjabis as I could to let them know a better way of living, in hopes that the micro consciousness will affect the macro consciousness. So that the deeds of a few may permeate to the many. So that social change will bring about a just way of life for the people.
People are talking about Khalistan, making banners, getting emotional, playing politics, letting their egos run wild, the whole spectrum can be witnessed amongst those discussing Khalistan. I have great friends who strongly believe in Khalistan, and that's fine with me. What I'm talking about is nation building. Khalistan is a trigger word for the GOI and the people of India. Why do we want to incur their wrath again? Why not prepare ourselves so that India will never incur their wrath on Sikhs again?
Further, while western Sikhs concentrate on Punjab, what are they doing for the rest of the world, including their current neighbors? Nanak Naam Chardi Kala Teri Bani Sarbat Da Bhalla
Raj Karega Khalsa!

Anonymous said...

y do we always go to different places and pick out everything we see dfferent, y not just accept that that is how it is there...u once said that you too find it offensive when punjabi Sikhs come to espanola and judge the murial or yoga etc

this is the propblem with all Sikhs today, we spend more time criticising and alot less time actually trying to understand y it is that way, fore you know, many people who attend/manage that Gurdwara may have lost loved ones in 84 or may have been tortured as a result etc

i say just let it be...

Anonymous said...

Its hard to forget the past. If somebdy cannot share their (84 victims) grievances, atleast he/she should not make fun of their emotions and beleifs and not judge them as phony.

Prabhu Singh said...

I appologize if I've offended anybody. I think people are taking this the wrong way. All I mean to say is that Khalistan is not the only way, and it is a cause that takes a lot of energy from some people who could be using that energy for something more constructive.
My point isn't to minimize the suffering of victims of '84 atrocities. My point is that we might better concentrate on real and sometimes simple and profound changes that we can make to help the people of Punjab. Rather than going around yelling and fighting and getting emotional and political, we could take a few real steps to gain Sikh sovereignty.
A friend told me today that Jarnail Singh Bindranwale Ji said that we must be Khalsa first before we can be sovereign. Further he never called for a Khalistan, he wanted all people of India to have equal human rights. He had true Sikh ideals.

Sifar said...

I remember his (Khalsa Bhindranwale jee) saying that he is not asking for Khalistan. But he also said that if it was given to us (sikhs) by the government, he will have no objection to it either.... I'll try to find his exact quote on the issue as I have a book on his powerful speeches...

Hari Singh said...

If capturing a piece of land was the solution to the problems highlighted by various posters then wouldn't it have applied to our Guru's as well. In those days, the rights of peoples were non-existent. Many thousands were killed daily for not converting to Islam. I don't think anyone in their right mind could say that that is happening now. However, at no time did the Guru capture and manage territory of any kind. When Guru Gobind Singh won the Battle of Bhangani (see http://www.info-sikh.com/PageG3.html) , he did not "take over" the territories of the defeated enemy and rule over them. Why not?

The aim of the Khalsa Sikh is to protect all of mankind – "Khalsa Akal purakh's key fauj" – Khalsa is not Sikh's army to just protect the Sikhs only. It is important that this message of the Guru is understood clearly – otherwise you will be following your own Manmat. Do you think that the Guru did not know about ruling or was not aware of this concept? Surely they knew but they never even considered it. They had affinity and love for all races and religions of the world. Guru ji even helped a Mughal prince become the emperor of north India!!

Guru Tegh Bahadar sacrificed his life to protect the Kashmiri pundits – he could have turned a "blind eye" to their plight – But did he? Think why he didn't?? – Why did he want to bring a painful death upon himself for a "foreign" people?

What difference will 20 million make to Punjab when we have over 1billion in the area? Considering the corruption and politic of the Punjabi leaders, I think it is better left to others to govern the area. Even a wonderful Maharaj like Ranjit Singh did not have a positive impact on the people long term while the Gurus who did not govern have conquered the peoples of the world with their love and affection.

May peace dwell in the minds of all.

Sifar said...

I believe no one is talking about capturing anybody's land here (to rule). I guess what all are talking about is the "Raj" that belonged to the "Sikhs" that was captured by the British who when left India tossed that huge kingdom of Sikh rulers to what is now India and Pakistan (both of which never existed earlier while Sikhs had their kingdom....

Mohinder Singh said...

Well, well, well,

Well, well, well,

WaheGuru Ji Ka Khalsa
WhaeGuru Ji Ki Fateh||

I agree with both the parties; with one who want Khalistan and the one who say Punjab should be built as with Khalsa way of life in people, before we can demand Khalsa Flag as a Country's flag as well as religion flag. My input to this conversation is that there are very well educated Sikhs in foreign countries who have become polite in dealing with people and performing their jobs with respect. They have gained experience how to deal with people and win their heart. These foreign countries teach us customer service skills, and demand us to show at work on time, and we take it very seriously. These are things Punjabi people need to learn. None of us is willing to move to Punjab, work there and show people what we have learnt when we were away from home. Life is not very comfortable there but we live here with at least 3-4 cars per family. No electricity problem, good food to eat, good water to drink, nice roads, good education, honesty at work and in schools, most of the things are taken care over the phone, credit cards are available to even students. We are living very comfortably. But our Punjab is still burning in the fire of corruption right, left and center. Poor people are getting poorer and rich are getting richer. We are now few millions in foreign countries. Even if one lac of us move back in Punjab and divide our self 1000 per city to perform social work, find jobs there and work, we can change a lot there. Poor people need us. If all Amritdhari and educated people go there and work we can bring back the SIKHI saroop which is missing there, all together. It’s so hard to find youth with turbans. Even if they wear turbans their hair are cut and beard are trimmed down to ground zero. We need honest teachers there, honest government employee, honest politicians, honest police, better roads, shops, above all GARBAGE BINS with bags in them. Are you all getting my point.......? Just like khalsa One in million, Punjab should be One in the whole world.

Sorry for mistakes.

WaheGuru Ji Ka Khalsa
WhaeGuru Ji Ki Fateh||