Media Bias against Sikhs & the need for Social Media vigilance

A couple of hours ago Hindustan Times reported this:

I posted this in the comments:

They change the post to:

Even if it eventually turns out that it was some Sikh Extremist or revenge seeker, the media should not be in the business of speculation & hate mongering.

Here is the original link

Stubbornness of filthy fool

A slightly different translation, when applied to myself all I am left with is the realization of my own pretensions. And an ardaas.

ਸੂਹੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥

ਸੇਵਾ ਥੋਰੀ ਮਾਗਨੁ ਬਹੁਤਾ ॥
ਮਹਲੁ ਨ ਪਾਵੈ ਕਹਤੋ ਪਹੁਤਾ ॥੧॥
ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਿਅ ਮਾਨੇ ਤਿਨ ਕੀ ਰੀਸਾ ॥
ਕੂੜੇ ਮੂਰਖ ਕੀ ਹਾਠੀਸਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਭੇਖ ਦਿਖਾਵੈ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥
ਕਹਤੋ ਮਹਲੀ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥੨॥
ਅਤੀਤੁ ਸਦਾਏ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਮਾਤਾ ॥
ਮਨਿ ਨਹੀ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ਕਹੈ ਮੁਖਿ ਰਾਤਾ ॥੩॥
ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਬਿਨਉ ਸੁਨੀਜੈ ॥
ਕੁਚਲੁ ਕਠੋਰੁ ਕਾਮੀ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਕੀਜੈ ॥੪॥ 

ਦਰਸਨ ਦੇਖੇ ਕੀ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥
ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਸੁਖਦਾਤੇ ਪੁਰਖ ਸੁਭਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ਦੂਜਾ ॥੧॥੭॥

Raag Suhi, the 5th abode of the light of Nanak (Guru Arjan)

 Despite insignificant service, making huge demands.
Not finding (or knowing the path to) the Eternal abode, yet claiming arrival ||1||
Mimicking those who bask in the glory of the beloved.
These (mentioned above & below) are but the stubbornness of a filthy fool (i.e. me)! ||1||Pause||
Displaying guise & garb of truthfulness, but not practicing Truth.
Declaring arrival at the true home, being nowhere near it. ||2||
Enacting a Pretension of unattached, but completely intoxicated & high on Maya*.
Having a heart devoid of love, and yet proclaiming complete to be completely drenched in it. ||3||

Says Nanak, O Prabh*, hear my prayer:
Please liberate this crooked, stubborn and libidinous being (from my crookedness, stubbornness and excessive perversion & libido)! ||4||

Oh! The glory of witnessing your Darshan*,
You are the bestower of Sukh*, all pervasive greatness. ||1||Second Pause||1||7||

*Prabh: Another name for 1 Oankar
*Maya: That which takes us away from seeing the all pervasive 1 Oankar 
*Darshan: Complete presence, complete understanding, Philosophy
*Sukh: joy, benefits. 

Rehras (So Dar)

Found this to the point, direct & hard hitting exposition on So Dar Rehras. Listen with the light of Gurbani as your guide (Bhai saihb here has some bias towards everyone else :) ).

Three things that Sikhs need to think about in the wake of Oak Creek #TempleShooting

A few things I wanted to put on paper as the day’s events are fresh in my mind. They are a  little rough on the edges so bear with me:

Have organized Media Vigilance & a coherent narrative
It was sad to see that even CNN began the events coverage with appallingly little knowledge of sikhs. As the events happened, I saw a disorganized effort from Sikhs (including me) across twitter correcting @cnn & @fox_news. The beauty was, though there was no central direction to the sikh sikh response, we had a coherent narrative:
1. Do not confuse sikhs with – muslims, hindus or anyone else
2. Even if this attack were on a mosque, it would have been equally despicable
3. Feel free to ask us anything about sikhs, we are happy to answer
Good that we have a new generation that is actively engaged on social media. We need to find a way of consolidating our narrative, especially given the fact that we are a minority everywhere- even the land of our birth: Hindustan.

Gun/firearm Ownership
Sikhs have teachings of love & peace but in a very middle-of-the-road way:
“One who does not frighten anyone, and who is not afraid of anyone else – says Nanak, listen, my mind: call him spiritually wise. ||16||”
Since the establishment of the Akal Takhat (Throne beyond Time) in 1606 sikhs have carried weapons, not for self defense: but for the defense of truth, liberty & freedom of the disenfranchised. It becomes a touchy issue in the US. Most Sikhs would rather have stricter controls & checks based on the mental health of a gun buyer/owner.
But, since the gun laws are not going to change anytime soon & Sikhs will always be the most likely target of hate crimes in this country.
Should Sikhs just do the seemingly rational thing: start bearing firearms that the law allows them to?

#Occupy our #Gurdwaras
This is a side note. It might hurt some feelings. But this is what I think:
I went to the Fremont Gurdwara in the evening, expecting that sikhs would have gathered & the Gurdwara leadership would be organizing a response. But sadly, all what was going on was recitation of the Gurmantar.
Gurdwara’s need to once again be a place of learning, organizing & service to the whole community they exist in. Instead they seem to have become insular institutions where we go & practice questionable rituals.
We need to make sure that Sikhs participate more visibly in the greater social story that happened beyond the walls of the Gurdwara, instead of creating an inward community that no one knows of until a monster comes in shooting us with a semi-automatic.


Stay “chardi kala”. (Stay “continually ascendent in positive values”)
No discussion on this point!

Dear sikhs, why don't you forget 1984?

What follows below is just the ramblings of my confused mind... So read them only if want some food for thought on figuring which side we are on "the oppressor or the oppressed".

My friends keep telling me why don't sikhs forget this?

I have no formal answer for them. Since in an ideal world we would not need to remember anything that happened in the past. Every thing would in the moment & good.

But in the world we live in, I think, no one should forget any atrocities committed by the many on the few. As Howard Zinn the historian would say "always stand by the victim", if we want to build a better future.

So this June as we remember the planned genocide by the Indian Army- Let us remember the genocide we Indians are unleashing right now on the original inhabitants (Adivasi's) of middle india by labeling them as separatist Naxal's.  (You can see the difference in the views of oppressing many & the oppressed few in comments & what Arundhati has written) .

And this is just one instance of killing dissent by a country trying to emulate the western distorted version of capitalism- "Growth for growth's sake".

Hopefully we live up to our potential & find the enlightened way to move forward, as we have been known to do from the times of Buddha & Nanak.

**Disclaimer: I do not want to get into the discussion of wether Jarnal Singh was a millitiant etc. etc. If hew was or was not...there were many ways of arresting him. (And he had been previously). Killing thousands of innocents in a planned attack is a different thing. 

Anakh (Respecting oneself)

I saw this on Facebook & immediately felt the need to respond, maybe I should not have:

I think is the fundamental dichotomy between the western (herculean/alexandrical) thought  & eastern (Guru Nanak/Budha) thought.

I think the Sikh way to understand life would be: Do respect yourself enough,  not be served but to serve, not grow but to nurture & not to be happy but spread joy. 

I feel...
If it always about me, the universe will make sure I never feel served, fool myself into believing I am growing & getting happier...

I may be totally wrong, though.

Awwal Allah Noor Upaya

Harsimrat Bhenji, singing after the Veechar at my place last friday...

As a greedy moron, I don't protest. Hoping that I will be spared.

I saw this picture on Facebook. It made me think. (Even if Modi turns out be a genuine pure hearted devta (demi-god). Which I sincerely doubt.) There is something wrong in how most middle class Indians like me think.

Something really wrong.

The current moto of a greedy moron like me seems to be: As long as there is GDP growth, I will turn a blind eye to all injustice. Especially if I am from the majority community with the least chance of being on the receiving end of injustice.

For a while I can keep the point about my morally bankrupt aside.

There are a few logical mistakes even the immoral greedy commoner like me should be aware of, because they could come to bite me:

1. GDP growth is not necessarily Development. For example: More cars do not necessarily mean a healthy living environment for me personally. More high yield cows, does not necessarily mean that hormone laced milk is good for me... I can go on. Growth & development should mean to me, especially if I call my self a citizen of the great India. Just copying US is stupid.

2. When they have killed of the current minority & exhausted their land & resources. They will come for me. I am sure, they can find a way to figure out, how I am anti Indian... maybe my religion, my language, my skin, or maybe just cuz I wrote his blog. This is because the politics of uncivilized capitalism works by living off the blood of the sidelined.

( Kill the Naxals cuz they have the land resources, kill the sikhs cuz the community was getting to powerful in delhi, Kill the muslims cuz that wins ellections....  who will be the next victim.)

And by the way, justice, what is that?

Destiny, free will & all the other good stuff!

Just food for thought. If you u ra busy person, skip this :) .

So, I was reading this article on How the time is right for startups to come and liberate the Hollywood audience, because that industry is dying. Then towards the end I came across this line:
"Whatever people are going to do for fun in 20 years is probably predetermined."
(link to the article)
This line coming from a VC really triggered a light bulb in my mind. Because VCs can be thought of a the very epitome of dog eat dog capitalism. You never associate them with spiritual insights. But I see them as a force fo nature... very much in hukam... especially in tune with how society progresses. So if a VC who takes huge pride in making the right decions, (investing in the right companies.i.e. Free will), can make peace with the the dichotomy of Predetermined & Free will...I have a lot to learn. :)

Sat Kartar.

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