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Desperate Housewives, is this where Sikh women have failed...

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Admin Singh, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Desperate Housewives
    by SOUTIK BISWAS

    Turban or no turban, this is where Sikh women have failed ...

    Joining such demonstrations in Indian-administered Kashmir these days is fraught with risks.

    Security forces have often fired on stone-pelting protesters, killing over 50 people, mostly teenagers, in the past two months as the valley has been convulsed by what most locals call a fierce peoples' "uprising" against India.

    So what makes a mother of three hit the angry streets of Kashmir?

    Ms. Farooq's eldest son, Wamiq, was killed in January when a tear gas shell fired by the police exploded on his head.

    The 14-year-old top-of-the-class student, who loved watching cartoons and dreamed of becoming a doctor, had stepped out for a game of cricket.

    The police report describes him as a "miscreant who was part of an unlawful assembly", at which the forces had fired tear gas shells in self-defence.

    Very few - including his neighbours, lawyers and journalists - believe this.
    Subjugation

    Sitting in her home in the crowded old city, Ms. Farooq says she had decided to hit the streets after her son's "murder".

    "Why should I not protest? Why should I not pick up a stone? I am doing this in the honour of my martyred son. I am doing this for azaadi (freedom) from subjugation and repression," she says defiantly.

    Firdousi Farooq is just another addition to the burgeoning army of women who have been taking part in the protests in Kashmir this summer.

    You see them on the streets; you see them in the pictures.

    Young and old, middle-class and poor, mostly dressed in floral tunics, they defy the armed forces, pelting stones at them, shouting slogans and singing anti-India songs. When night falls, some of them even lead protests with their children.

    Out of more than 50 people killed in the latest round of violence, three have been women.

    Yasmeen Jan, 25, was standing near a window inside her house in Batamaloo on July 6, 2010, watching a demonstration wind by when she was hit by a bullet allegedly fired by security forces.

    "Mummy maey aaw heartas fire" (Mummy, my heart has taken fire), she told her mother, turning away from the window, before collapsing on the floor, dead.

    Fifteen-year-old Afroza Teli took a bullet in her head during a protest demonstration in Khrew village in Pulwana district on August 1, 2010. She died later in Srinagar.

    Angry Kashmiris set fire to an irrigation office, a revenue office and a court building after her death. A police station and a police vehicle were also set on fire.

    Aisha Shiekh, a 55-year-old housewife and resident of Srinagar, was allegedly hit by a stone flung from a sling shot by the security forces when she was walking with her granddaughter to buy milk on August 7, 2010. She died from her wounds a day later.

    This is not the first time that women in Kashmir have come out in droves to protest, but their numbers and impact appear to be greater than ever before.

    "This time the intensity of protests by women is more. You can also see more women protesting. Women have borne the brunt of the Kashmir conflict, and it is not surprising that they are at the end of their tether," says Kashmiri journalist Afsana Rashid.
    Rape

    As Bashir Ahmed Dabla, who teaches sociology at Kashmir University says, Kashmir's women have "seen their children, husbands and fathers being killed in the conflict, and routinely humiliated by the security forces".

    Studies have shown there are up to 32,000 widows of the two-decade-long conflict in the Kashmir valley, and nearly 100,000 orphans. Another 10,000 men have allegedly disappeared during the conflict, says a rights group.

    Then there are some 400 "half-widows", whose husbands disappeared in the custody of troops or police. Women have also been the target of rape by the security forces.

    "Women have been compelled to come out and protest because of the injustice and repression," says Professor Dabla.

    Parveena Ahangar, a softly spoken housewife turned feisty activist, has been making a regular trek from her Gangbugh residence to the city's downtown every month, to protest against the disappearances during the conflict.

    Ms Ahangar's son Javed was 16 when he was picked up by security forces in 1990 from the family home. He never returned.

    The indefatigable woman has travelled around the world to highlight her cause, leaving behind her husband, debilitated and out of work after 10 surgeries, and her remaining three children, including a daughter.

    "As long as I am alive, my struggle with go on. I want a simple answer from the authorities: Where did these men go?"

    The coming out of women in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir valley has been helped by the fact that they have been traditionally freer than their counterparts in many parts of the world.

    They have not observed the purdah, or faced religious or cultural segregation from men, say sociologists. Men and women have always worked in the farms together, prayed side by side in mosques and participated in religious congregations.
    Key role

    They have traditionally played an important role in the neighbourhood citizens' committees, preparing food for their protesting menfolk and taking the injured to hospitals.

    The pro-freedom movement has also thrown up a number of women leaders - both fundamentalists and liberals.

    "Kashmiri women are among the most politicised women in the subcontinent," says Professor Dabla.

    Zaitun Khan, a 20-something homemaker, is one of them - she remembers participating in "peaceful" protests when she was in college, but is now determined to hit the streets to demand freedom.

    Her brother, Fayaz Ahmed Wani, who worked as a labourer in the floriculture department of the government, was hit by a bullet fired by the forces and killed while on his way to work on July 6, 2010.

    Mr. Wani was 29, and left behind his wife and two daughters.

    "I will go and join the protests now," says Ms. Khan.

    "He never protested or threw a stone in his life. But he died. How many more men will have to die? I want to go out and protest and demand freedom. Freedom to live."



    [Courtesy: BBC]

    August 17, 2010
     

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  3. spnadmin

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    I am sick of hearing how Sikh women have failed.
     
  4. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Many times truth hurts.Whenever anyone blame sikh women they all start saying that It is just oppression by men that's why they are failing or failed,but the fact is that Women of Other religions of india are facing much more oppression and sikh women enjoy much more liberation than them
     
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  5. spnadmin

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    Do you think that there are "Sikh" women and then there is everyone else? Who are the "Sikh"women who are walking down a crooked path? All Sikh women are doing this? All Sikh women need the guidance of men (and their mothers who are exceptions to all the other Sikh women) so as to be constantly reminded that they are members of a group with deformed and child-like minds?

    Who is this person who knows "the truth" so well that he can feel empowered to tell everyone else what the truth is? When this person dies who will be there to take his place and tell :Sikh" women how to straighten up and fly right?

    The world will definitely grieve the passing of this truth teller, for then who knows what "Sikh" women will do next. LOL
     
  6. Hardip Singh

    Hardip Singh India
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    The whole article is nothing but biased against Sikh women.

    This has been established that all these street skirmishes are handwork of Pak's local men in Indian Kashmir. These have become just routine matters for them. These vested interests are bend upon destablising the already delicate social fabric of kashmir valley. Lets these suffering women first STOP their kids in defying curfew orders / in obeying those secret orders of ISI's hand pick men. Their is no sense in linking Sikh women struggle with these protesting Kashmiri ladies for the sake of their kin.

    Our problem is for the KAUM / SIKH PANTH and not for an individual's killing during skirmishes with police on any street.
     
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  7. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Narayanjot ji

    When we say that sikhmen drink alchohol do we say ALL sikh men drink it?
    When We say Jattsikhs are castist then do we say that ALL jatt sikhs are castist??When we talk about female foeticide among sikhs do we say all are doing this?So I don't understand where the question of All comes

    Now coming to point The writer has made a comparison about how Kashmiri women are facing security forces when there sons ,Husbands are dead.No such thing was done by Sikh women When there sons/husbands vanished.Is he lieing?

    Now wanting to marry turbaned men,truck loads of sikh girls marrying outside sikhism and then raising there children non sikhs ,dropping kaur etc are common things in sikhism where you don't need a truth teller.
     
  8. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Not true this time Kashimiris are rising on their own.Pakistan had provoked them but never got this kind of support which it is getting now.Infact this time Pakistan is severly engaged in its internal problem
     
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  9. findingmyway

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    It goes both ways. There are many of us who want to marry a Gursikh boy with Kesh, Turban and who doesn't drink but are struggling to find. People laugh at me when I say I want a non-drinker as Sikh boys are famous for being alcoholics and get told to stop being so strict but I don't give in like the boys cutting their hair do. Is this the fault of the women? Are men showing himmat in standing up for what they believe in? The blame game should be stopped as all are at fault and we should work together to reduce problems among our community and in the world at large. Keep the discussion constructive and work together as equal partners. Generalisations will get you nowhere. Anyone who takes appropriate action should be commended-male or female.
     
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  10. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Sikh men faces lots criticism too .so many sikh site,forum threads blame sikh men,boys for not standing for sikh faith
    Is there anybody on this site that can say there are no threads on this site Where sikh men are not criticised.Appreciation and criticism are part of life
    One who cannot stand for criticism has no right to ask for being appreciated.
     
  11. findingmyway

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    Dear Kanwardeep Singh Ji,
    I was not asking to be appreciated, I was just trying to say that there are 2 sides to every story. Please forgive me if I came across as being confrontational or accusatory as that was not my intention-I was merely trying to give examples.

    The point I am trying to make (but not very elegantly) is the blame game gets us nowhere. Just like it hurts you when males are attacked, it hurts me when females are attacked. By attacking each other we increase the bad feeling. There are good and bad people on both sides so it is unfair to say that females are responsible for these problems and males are responsible for those problems. As I said above, we are all at fault to some degree. I don't think either sex has caused more problems than the other but each one faces their own problems and prejudices. I'm sure every man has felt injured by a female in some way during his life, and every female has felt injured by a man in some way during her life!

    People who are going to move out the fold simply need an excuse. Unfortunately the excuse often given is that "females don't like such and such a thing" or "men don't like such and such a thing". BOTH men and women need to be strong in their beliefs and do what is right so these things cannot be used ans an excuse. Why are we all so concerned with what other people think (myself included)?

    I strongly believe that rather than slandering each other and making blanket assertions about 50% of the world's population, like minded people should be working together to tackle issues and to persuade people to do the right thing and come back into the fold of Sikhi. There is a lot of evidence of this being done. However, posts like this (I mean the post as a whole and not you in particular) undermine some of that work. It gives the people who are straying more fuel as they can label us as bitchy and hypocritical (whether we are or not).

    Posts in other forums have not achieved anything by accusing men of not doing the right thing. Therefore if any man writes the same about women, how will that make the wrong thing right? Just because there are other posts blaming men, why does that give men the right to slander women here or anywhere else? Equally just because there are posts slandering women, it does not give the right to women to slander men. Whats been said cannot be taken back so lets try and move forward together.

    I've just realised how long this reply has become. I hope it doesn't sound like a lecture-it is merely some of my own thoughts. We are all a sum of our experiences! We are not innocent but neither are you ;) So lets all start taking responsibility for ourselves (myself included)

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
     
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    #10 findingmyway, Aug 19, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  12. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Findingmyway ji

    What I said is not personal about you .Nowhere I said that you are asking for appreciation
    What I was saying is in General.

    Actually I never get hurt when I see legitimate criticism of sikh men or boys.If these days People(men,women,sikh non sikh) say that Young sikh men are alchoholic or They are not brave as their forefathers use to etc because these things are true
     
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  13. findingmyway

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    Wonderful-that means we are on the same way. So lets change this discussion into what can be done about these things.............
    For example how can we stop the rise in alcoholism among Sikhs? Any ideas??
     
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  14. dalbirk

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    Education general & Gurmat is the only answer to this problem . The knowledge of Sikhi amongst Sikhs is abysmally low . Only 1% IMHO can spell out the name of TEN GURUS in sequence & only .001% know the contents of Sikh Rehat Maryada a mere 13 page booklet . Even otherwise also the level of education among Sikhs is very low it needs to be boosted up by any means to amke them the citizens of 21st century .
     
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