1984 Anti Sikh Pogrom (Riots) and Twitter November 1, 2009Posted by simarprit in Sikhism, Twitter.
Tags: 1984, Being a Sikh, Delhi, India, Sikh, Sikhism, Sikhs, Twitter, Twitterverse
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Twitter is a medium which shows everyone naked, instinctive statements taught a lesson to a host of thought leaders on eating crow. Shashi Tharoor, Barkha Dutt, Vikram Chandra, Pritish Nandy, Rajdeep Sardesai were all stopped in their tracks and requested/asked/ pushed to clarify their statements and use of words. Some like Pritish Nandy were extremely quick in clarifying their views and stating their position where as others like Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai and Shashi Tharoor took a circuitous route to reach the same place. Shashi Tharoor was quickly reminded of his “Cattle Class” misadventure on Twitter and decided to go absolutely silent on this question after making one simple clarifying statement.
The clarification seekers came from all geographies and belonged to all communities, however Sikhs from India, US, UK, Australia and Canada outnumbered everyone else due to obvious reasons. Sikh, Sikhs, Riots, 84 and 1984 remained critical words in all tweets. Rough estimate of number of tweets pertaining to 1984 Anti Sikh Pogrom puts the number close to 100,000. One could see instinctive collaborations happening simultaneously in putting across point and countering thought leaders, in some cases to a great pounding effect.
A random check of profile and age group of those who were actively countering or correcting the “thought leaders” talks a lot about the even spread of community across diverse verticals and 1984 atrocities hurting all age groups. An 80-year-old tweeted about re-living the partition mayhem and a 21-year-old talked about his being brought up listening to first hand stories from elders who faced it all and survived to talk about it.
On Twitter the Sikh community emerged as a Virtual Nation and grieved as one.
The Sikh Look and Feel February 6, 2009Posted by simarprit in Uncategorized.
Tags: Being a Sikh, Guru Gobind Singh, Khalsa, Sikh Turban, Sikhs
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I just got a call from a friend in New York he called up to say – “I am missing your look and feel” as the luck would have it I entered the Gurdwara Sahib immediately after that and Guru Sahib gave me the answer. The Shabad being recited was written by Guru Gobind Singh “Main Hun Param Purukh Ko dasa Dekhan Aayaoo Jagat Tamasha” It means the Tenth Guru says “I am a humble servant of the almighty, I have come to this world to see this massive act (read drama) being played out” The next lines gave me the answer – Jab Lag Khalsa Rahe Nyaara, Tab Lag Tez Dyon Main Sara, Jab Eh Gahe Bipran Ki Reet, Main Na Karu In Ki Parteet – “Till the time Khalsa (All follow Sikhs) supports the defined attire and looks different I will go all out to provide all my support and wisdom – However when the Khalsa (Sikh) becomes one amongst many and can’t be identified as a Khalsa (Sikh) I no longer protect/ represent him.”
Look part is all there, maybe the feel of Simar is different becuase of the Guru’s blessings. May be I think very differntly due to this.
Quick Takeaways from Gurbani January 18, 2009Posted by simarprit in Golden Temple, Punjabis, Sikhism, Uncategorized.
Tags: Being a Sikh, Gurbani, Guru Granth Sahib, Religion, Sikh, Sikhism
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Here are some quick takeaways from Gurbani. They all lead to a good life.
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.
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.
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.
Sikh Turban and Air Travel December 13, 2008Posted by simarprit in Uncategorized.
Tags: Airport Security, Being a Sikh, San Jose Airport, Sikh Turban, Turban, Turban and Air Travel
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I have been flying with my turban since adulthood, enough stories and memoirs – maybe they can fill a book – The Turban Travails. This one just happened.
All set to fly all the way back to New Delhi, I reached the San Jose International Airport. The airport knows me and so does the TSA staff and so does the Chemical Sensing Machine installed there. So today when I said that I will “pat my turban myself”no alarm was raised – they took my carry on luggage and I went to the die, patted my turban and offered my hands for the chemical examination. The filter paper test done, the minute filter paper was put in the machine it raised the alarm. The first alarm from the machine at San Jose Airport installed an year back. May be a false alarm. The supervisor called another “male assist” and got to his job – they gave me full body search and scanned my carry-on fully, I agreed to allow them to pat my turban this time around, of course they found nothing.
I had my task cut, how did it happen?
Ten minutes of thinking through made me laugh. I had dry lips and had applied some lip balm – the habit of moving my moustache away got the balm residue to my right thumb and index finger, adjusting my turban got it spread across my turban. When they told me to pat my turban properly – my both hands got polluted and I tested positive on the Chemical Test Machine.
Lesson learnt, all Sikhs wearing turban should apply Lip Balm after cecurity check.
Teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji November 14, 2008Posted by simarprit in Punjabis, Sikhism.
Tags: Being a Sikh, Guru Nanak, Guru Nanak Dev, Nanak, Punjab, Religion, Sikh, Sikhism, Teachings
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 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.
I am not Osama October 5, 2007Posted by simarprit in Uncategorized.
Tags: Being a Sikh
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Every time I cross the TSA check points at airports, I know I have to prove once again “I am not Osama, or from his clan”, I am a Sikh with unshorn hair and turban intact. The Million Minute question literally is, how to explain to the World or at least this part of the World that more than 10 Million people who wear the turban have notruck with Osama.
I am planning to do special program for TSA in association with Gurdwara Sahibs in US, on ”Visible Identity of Sikh”.
I believe and I follow….
Sikhi Kaisaan Sawasaan naal nibhia, Dharam nahin haraya. Colloquial translation would go something like … (Followed Sikhism in Appearance and spirit. Religious code of conduct is followed”.