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Clamping down on Udta Punjab is not a solution, it is the problem June 7, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Elections, Punjabi, Punjabis, Sikhism , add a comment
Banning Udta Punjab is a political game plan to control damage done by SAD-BJP government. These ten years of SAD-BJP Government in Punjab have been the worst years Punjab has seen post Khalisatan demand days. Drug abuse is the biggest achievement of this Government, and second best is that each of its MLAs are “rumored” to have over Rs 1,000 crores in personal assets. Richest MLAs of almost a bankrupt state, right?
 
On one side the Badal Family-BJP Government has been most corrupt State Government any Indian state has ever seen and on the other side, Sikhism as a religion has been systematically diluted through free flow of drugs and patronage of Deras and Dera Sants. Sikhs are no longer a majority in the “Sikh state”. Even among those who count themselves as Sikhs, over 50% are opting to go back to caste system, nonacceptance of which is the base line of Sikhism. Yes, base line of Sikhism is not the turban and it was never the turban, turban came much later. Yes, baseline of Khalsa is the turban and has always been. Sikhism is all about simple values and it is not about Kukar-Shukar, Whisky-Shisky and Dope-Shope, which this Government has worked hard to establish. It is about doing good, through every act, all the time. This government in Punjab is the most anti-Sikh government Punjab has ever seen. I would have been happy if it was pro-Punjabi, but this Government is not even that. All its steps are against Punjabi values of being inclusive, this Government is an exclusive club of who you are, whom you know and what is your caste.
 
IMHO banning Udta Punjab is the best thing which has happened to Punjab. This is going to be a major rallying point and in its banning Badal Government has exposed chink in the armor. I will be glad if AAP structures its campaign around restoring Punjabi/ Sikh pride and lowering corruption considerably. Why would I say AAP and not Congress? Congress remains “it is not an option” for India. They have done enough damage.
Clamping down Udta Punjab is not a solution for SAD-BJP, solution would’ve been to come forward and say, we will change it and this is how we will do that and making sure next nine months saw qualitative and quantitative action. For starters each SAD-BJP MLA can do an Amma act, go ahead and distribute at least Rs 100 Crore worth of freebies from their pocket or by begging central government for being even more kinder to the corrupt state. At Center NDA Government must remove Harsimrat Kaur Badal and disassociate itself from its dynasty/ family agenda. For BJP to support SAD is worse than their going and tying up with Laloo Yadav and Mayawati together.  Center shouldn’t have obliged Badals by clipping wings of Udta Punjab, it should have rather started a movement with Navjot Siddhu leading Save Punjab camps in all constituencies, even if it meant withdrawing support.
People would find a way to watch Udta Punjab, even if they don’t, there would be enough written for word to spread around.

Rabbi Shergill and My Love For Music February 28, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Music, Punjabi, Punjabis , add a comment

Not all Punjabis of my age group love Punjabi music first, when we were growing up, Punjabi music was not considered very hep. Very few of us took time out to understand and play Punjabi songs over and above fashionable English songs. Somehow my love for Punjabi songs resulted in my missing out on English music altogether. I do regret it, but for sure I enjoy my love for Punjabi music and over a period of time the evolved vocab.

Among contemporary Punjabi singers, Rabbi Shergill moves me the most. His music touches my soul and shakes me to think. His own renderings, Bulleshah sung by him and Shiv sung by him are my favorite. The original songs have a flavor and then the MTV unplugged has original remixes done by/ consent of Rabbi.  Like all of my generation our first Punjabi songs were of Aasa Singh Mastana, Mohamed Rafi, Parkash Kaur and Surinder Kaur. Brought up on Indian side of Punjab we almost lost out on contemporary and folk Punjabi developing in Pakistan’s side of Punjab.

Youtube and internet has united Music of Punjab once again, singers like Rabbi Shergill from this side of Punjab and Arif Lohar from Pakistan side of Punjab have removed boundaries completely. Original version of Rabbi’s Bulla Ki Jana Main Kaun is my personal favorite and it is closely followed by Arif Lohar’s Jugni. Tere Bin Menu Sonya is another favorite.   What I like best about about rabbi is effortless singing. When he is singing, you don;t feel that he is playing any drama of any sort, his soul, his body and his words all work in sync and music happens.  I am sure he is not fading away quickly, he would be around for a long time and thanks to YouTube he would continue showing up alongside those who make Punjabi music happening.

Punjabi – A Language With Four Scripts January 6, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Language, Punjabi, Punjabis, Script , add a comment

Yes, Punjabi may be the only language in the world to be written in four scripts, Gurmukhi, Shahmukhi, Devnagri and Roman. Punjabi is a language which is owned and disowned on religious grounds and script preferences also. This indeed is very sad as at the end an old historic language suffers and develops complex around its usage.

Here are some observations, as they are all independent and for ease of  punctuation I am numbering them rather than putting them altogether in one knitted article.

  1. Gurmukhi is Gurmukhi where it is a composite word coined from Guru + Mukh, which means a language which is spoken by the Gurus. Gurmukhi script has similarities with Devnagari Script but both scripts are mutually exclusive and knowing one is not at all knowing the other.
  2. Shahmukhi is a script with two more characters than Urdu and largely readable by all Urdu script readers. Urdu incidentally is one of the few languages which are written in script by the same name. Urdu script is derived from Arabic and Shahmukhi and Urdu are both written from left to right.
  3. Punjabi in Gurmukhi Script is an official language of Sikhs worldwide. The holy book Guru Granth Sahib is written in Gurmukhi and everyone is expected to read it in that script for regular/ daily prayers.
  4. Punjabi in Gurmukhi Script has official language and script status in India, Canada, UK and a few other countries.
  5. Punjabi in Shahmukhi Script has official language and script status in Pakistan.
  6. Punjabi written in Gurmukhi script now has an increasing influence of Hindi words and is slowly becoming a different language than Punjabi – Shahmukhi.
  7. Punjabi written in Shahmukhi is getting more closer to Arabic and Urdu with lot of import words from these two languages.
  8. By and large all Punjabi speakers still manage to understand and appreciate different dialects, but universality of the language is suffering.
  9. Punjabi spoken in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh has now a huge degree of import words from local Hindi dialects. Punjabi in written form in these states is largely in Devnagri Script.
  10. On the internet Roman has become preferred script for Punjabi, slowly it is taking a form of universal script and is progressing well. Even the vocab and the dialect used on internet is getting standardized. On the net Punjabi is by and large sans religion. For instance “Kidaan” has become a kind of default equivalent of “How are you” and “Wadiya” has become an acceptable reply for “fine thank you”.  “Kidaan” has pushed “Key Haal Chaal” to the background and “Wadiya” has pushed “Changa” to the background though both are still used interchangeably.  Some would still prefer to use “Key Haal Chaal” instead of Kidaan as Kidaan is still more associated with Jats and rural Punjabi, but differentiation practitioners are  becoming few and far between.
  11. Punjabi songs in Bollywood and as DJ mixes and rap are playing a major role in rejuvenating Punjabi. No Hindi movie is worth its salt if it doesn’t have one or two Punjabi numbers. Punjabi music groups from UK and Canada are also making huge difference in acceptability of the language.
  12. Delhi is the city leading in universal vocab for Punjabi, probably Delhi is also the city with maximum daily Punjabi language users in the world. The Delhi Punjabi is spiked with English and Hindi but still includes lot of Urdu words irrespective of whether they are imports in Hindi or not. For instance Punjabi like Hindi doesn’t have a word for Divorce, so both languages use Talaak, increasingly Divorce is used in Punjabi over Talaak in spoken genre. There are a few Punjabi words which are getting extinct in Delhi, “thale” is now usually replaced with neeche both meaning down and similarly “Udeeq” has completely lost out to wait for the English usage wait. I am waiting for you in Punjabi would almost always be spoken as “Main teri wait kar rahe haan.”  Neither the speaker nor listener would notice the import word.
  13.   There is a need to adopt a standard script for Punjabi and sooner or later that would be Roman, that adaptation would take Punjabi to even much higher usage.

This is a collection of some random thoughts on this subject and over a period of time I will add more to this.

Rab Rakha of course is becoming a universal/ pan religion Goodbye equivalent. So Rab Rakha!

 

Quick Takeaways from Gurbani January 18, 2009

Posted by simarprit in : Golden Temple, Punjabis, Sikhism, Uncategorized , add a comment

Here are some quick takeaways from Gurbani. They all lead to a good life. 

Takeaway:

In the beginning, the Lord created the Divine Light, And all mortals were His creation;
From the Divine Light spawned the universe, so who is good and who is bad?

As in Gurbani: Avval Allah noor upaya, Kudrat ke sab bande;
Ek Noor te sab jag upjaya, kou bhale kou mande.

Takeaway:

The Truth existed in the Beginning, The Truth existed through the Ages;
The Truth exists now, and Nanak says that the Truth will exist in the future.

As in Gurbani:

Aad sach, Jugaad sach; Hai bhi Sach, Nanak hosee bhi Sach.

Takeaway:

Oh Lord! Grant me this boon, that never shall I desist from doing noble deeds;
Nor while fighting the enemy should I ever be afraid, but with a firm resolve achieve victory.

As in Gurbani: Deh hai Shiva var mohe ehe, Shubh karman te kabhoon na taron;
Na daron ar seo jab chahe lado, Nischay kar apni jeet karon.

Teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji November 14, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Punjabis, Sikhism , 17comments

When you are born, and where you are born has a bearing on who you are and what you become.  Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born  in 1469, around that time  – invasions, terror and blood-bath were leading to a large scale unrest in the pious land of five rivers.

Guru Sahib’s inherent nature of not accepting what was told and taught at its face value led him to evolve as an original spiritual thinker. He believed in listening, understanding and having first hand knowledge before expressing or forming his own opinion.

He listened to people of all faith and cultures.

He read extensively about the religion he was born in – Hinduism, and the dominant religion of the region Islam. He also studied Buddhism in depth.

He travelled widely to famed and acclaimed seats of learning of those times. Traveling towards the east he stayed  at Haridwar, Varanasi, Kamrup in Assam and  Jagananth Puri in Orissa  and visited/ camped at many other important towns and schools of thought. His journey towards south of Punjab took him to temples and places of worship spread across the four states in the southern part of India and Sri Lanka. In his jtravels  to north,  north east and west of Punjab he covered the holy lands of Tibet, mainland China, Mecca (Saudi Arabia) and Baghdad (Iraq).

Guru Sahib desired a Sikh  to- (Sikh – origin the Sanskrit word Shishya – Student)

believe in one God

do selfless worship at all times (not only in the time of need)

do service to humanity without any self interest

share and care, especially with those who are in need

earn an honest living by ensuring that no action leads to cheating or exploitation

shed all inequalities, rich – poor, men – women, higher caste – lower caste

be compassionate

be open to the view of others on all matters

practice brotherhood and not be self-centered

be not scared of death

Guru Nanak Dev Ji is also refered to as Baba Nanak or Nanak Shah.  The currency of Empire of The Sikhs established by Maharaja Ranjit Singh was Nanakshahi

Guru Sahib passed away peacefully in 1539 at Kartarpur, his teachings are a way of life to millions of people all over the world.

Abhinav Bindra Wins Gold August 11, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, India, News, News Reaction, Olympics, Punjabis, Sports , 2comments

Thank you Abhinav Bindra, you’ve broken the national record of India, of not winning an Olympic Gold in individualcategory since inception of Olympics. Abhinav Bindra wins gold is a news worth its weight in gold.

Twenty eight years is more than a generation, may be one and a half generation of going gold less in Olympics, somehow as a nation we have come to terms with the fact that “our focus is somewhere else”. Hockey use to be our only hope which got us all the Gold Medals we won at the Olympics till date. It is ironical that these are the first Olympic Games when India is not participating in Hockey as we failed to qualify for the same. So as a nation Abhinav Bindra has done us a big favor of making it less humiliating and making those of us who are still hooked on to Olympics 2008 see reason for the same.

If Abhinav Bindra can do it so can many others. Last Olympics it was Major Rajyavardhan Singh  Rathore who won silver for us in Shooting in the Athens Olympics in 2004, so from Silver in shooting event to Gold medal we have moved ahead. With one Gold Medal in our kitty we are at-least sure that we would not be making the bottom of the medal tally for Beijing Olympics 2008. If we get one or two more medals we may make it to the Top 50 Sporting Nations. The second most populous nation in the world seeing it as an achievement to be in top 50 Sporting Nations of the world is a realistic statement on India’s Sporting focus. For us, as a nation,  sports begin with cricket and end with cricket, and even in that we’ve not won a world cup for last 25 years.

News read at http://www.headlinesindia.com/olympics-news/beijing/abhinav-wins-indias-first-gold-247.html

More to come…