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Glorification of Violence a Cause for Sikh Strife: MP

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by spnadmin, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    It may have been Winston Churchill, I could be wrong, who said the Truth is the first victim in the fog of war." Truth was a victim this week as well. The article that follows gives, in my humblest opinion, a good example of how politicians will say anything, and media will report anything, without consideration of the consequences of the power of words.

    Every single paragraph raises questions for me that have gone unasked in the body politic. Segments of the Canadian electorate have been mistreated and badly served, perhaps all of it has been badly served. We even read one politician peddling backward after 2 days of public rhetoric that frayed nerves, and perhaps did irrevocable harm to Sikhi, its history and culture. And of course a media that, since the events of the Sikh Lehar Center, is barely catching up to the learning curve required to capture all sides of these stories to demonstrate even minimal comprehension.


    Or maybe they do what they do on purpose?



    'Glorification of violence' cause for Sikh strife: MP

    http://www.<wbr>nationalpost.com/news/story.<wbr>html?id=2944753
    Sikhs in Canada

    Brian Hutchinson, National Post
    Jenelle Schneider/Canwest News Service - Friday, April 23, 2010

    VANCOUVER-- April is the most important month on the Sikh calendar. In British Columbia, it's a time for celebration and fights.

    It's been no different this year. In B.C.'s lower mainland, home to half of Canada's Sikh population, a traditional harvest and religious festival called Vaisakhi was again marred by factional bickering, threats and finger-pointing inside the Sikh and Indo-Canadian communities. Anger and recrimination spilled into the mainstream as well.

    It's all based on misunderstandings and confusion, say some prominent Sikhs. No, says Ujjal Dosanjh, it's far worse than that. The tumult around the Vaisakhi parade that took place last weekend in Surrey, near Vancouver, sprang from Sikh extremism and a "glorification of violence," insists the Liberal MP for Vancouver South. Mr. Dosanjh blames political correctness and a very Canadian fear of offending others for allowing these elements to flourish. And he says he's sick of it.

    Born in Punjab, India, to Sikh parents, Mr. Dosanjh is now a secular Canadian; as such, he is considered a "sell-out" by some fundamentalist Sikhs in this country and he has been attacked for his mainstream views. In 1985, he was assaulted outside his Vancouver law office by a suspected Sikh extremist. Three months later Air-India Flight 182 was blown up and all 329 people on board died.

    This week, Mr. Dosanjh was slandered and threatened in Facebook entries for denouncing what he labels Sikh extremism. This after the veteran politician was caught up in more religious-based controversy.

    One day before Surrey's Vaisakhi festival, an event organizer singled out Mr. Dosanjh and B.C. MLA Dave Hayer. Declared as undesirables and unwelcome, they would be "responsible for their own safety and security" if they chose to drop in, the organizer told a Punjabi-language radio station.

    Fat chance; neither politician was disposed to show up. In fact, says Mr. Dosanjh, he has never attended a Vaisakhi parade in Surrey. "There is a parade in my home riding in Vancouver and I always try to attend that," he said in an interview yesterday. "I don't want to associate with a parade that carries violent messages."

    Surprisingly, this is atypical. Politicians of all stripes glad-hand at the Surrey celebrations. Last week's event was attended by local Conservative MPs Nina Grewal and Donna Cadman. Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal was front and centre, one point taking centre stage and addressing the throng. There was also "a flood of NDP MLAs" in attendance, according to one Sikh observer.

    But other politicians, including B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, declined to attend, citing the implied threats directed at Mr. Dosanjh and Mr. Hayer.

    The premier has avoided Surrey's Vaisakhi before. Mr. Campbell skipped the parade in 2008, thanks to a deeply troubling incident from the previous year. Parade organizers had presented a float bearing portraits of alleged Sikh terrorists, "martyred" members of a violent faction that advocates the creation of a separate Sikh homeland in India called Khalistan.

    The pro-Khalistan movement is all but dead in India, where Hindus and the Sikh and Muslim minorities are learning to get along, and where a Sikh man is now prime minister. But cells are active in other countries with large Sikh populations, most prominently Canada.

    "It's only in the diaspora where [the pro-Khalistan movement] exists," says Mr. Dosanjh. "That's because we have allowed it, without challenging it. There is a significant minority here that is obsessively focused on it and it's passing down generations, which is something reflected in the Facebook group [that attacked him this week]."

    In Surrey, Sikh extremism is represented in certain temples, and even in schools. Following the 2008 Vaisakhi festival, some 15 Sikh students showed up for classes at Princess Margaret Secondary School in Surrey wearing t-shirts bearing pro-Khalistan images and slogans. The students were told to remove the t-shirts; this stirred cries of "censorship."

    Far more worrisome, say some Sikh moderates, is the blatant pro-Khalistan allegiance demonstrated by the conservative Dasmesh Darbar temple in Surrey. The temple promotes an activist agenda; its own website explains the temple was formed in 1998 "to help combat the growing issues affecting the Sikh community both locally and globally."

    The temple has organized and hosted Surrey's Vaisakhi celebrations since taking over the event from a more moderate Surrey temple a decade ago. It sponsored the contentious 2007 parade float, and it has flown pro-Khalistan banners on its grounds. The Dasmesh Darbar temple was responsible for last week's event. One of its directors made the contentious comments on radio about Mr. Dosanjh and Mr. Hayer.

    No one from the temple returned telephone calls this week; the director, Inderjit Singh Bains, did not respond to an interview request.

    Meanwhile, Surrey mayor Dianne Watts backpedaled from a blistering attack she directed earlier this week at the Dasmesh Darbar directors. Ms. Watts had said she was promised the temple would not fly pro-Khalistan banners and hang martyr portraits on its parade float, and she maintained she'd been betrayed. "It puts a black mark on the city, a black mark on the community, and a black mark on the event, and that's what I'm upset about," Ms. Watts told an Indo-Canadian radio station on Wednesday.

    Yesterday, she said she'd been misinformed, and that, in fact, there were no offensive portraits on the temple float. "I think it's time we moved on," she said in an interview late yesterday. "I think we should focus on what Vaisakhi means." Her new outlook mirrored a press release issued from Surrey city hall. "Vaisakhi is a very important community event,'' it read, "and our goal is to ensure the Vaisakhi celebrations in Surrey are inclusive and welcoming to everybody."

    That's all well and good, says Mr. Dosanjh, but politicians and Sikh leaders have to go further. "We need to have a conversation that is totally free of political correctness,' he says. "We have to be open and blunt about issues around extremism, and about things that have happened in the past and abroad."

    If that doesn't soon happen, he says, the Sikh community in Canada "will continue to tear itself apart." And others will be caught in the fight.
     
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  3. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Re: 'Glorification of violence' cause for Sikh strife: MP

    Narayanjot ji,

    Guru fateh.

    As you have wonderfully expressed your views about the news article before posting it, the same I have been asking from Soul_Jyot. This is only fair to ask and do, otherwise it becomes one sided story which relates to Sikhs and especially when it puts Sikhs in the negative light.

    I thank you for doing that and I hope others who post about Sikh affairs from the news articles do the same, otherwise they will be called for and they should be brave enough to respond.

    Thanks once again for this good starter for others to follow.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  4. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Re: 'Glorification of violence' cause for Sikh strife: MP

    Obviously the MP has not read or listened to the Sikh ARDASS...( he already said he doesnt attend gurdwaras)..or he would seriously OBJECT to...the following...those skinned alive..those mothers who had their toddlers cut up and the cut parts put around their necks. whose milk sucking babies were snatched from their breast... thrown on to spears and pierced to death, the two Young sons of GGS who were Bricked alive...the shaeeds of nankana sahib who were burnt alive hanging up side down from trees, who got beaten badly by police in morchas.....etc etc..ALL this GLORIFIES 'violence"...some misguided Muslims already object to this as "anti-muslim" rhetoric ???..and want sikhs to delete it and forget the past....the Hindus also wnat references to Chandu and Ganggu deleted...in fact every Tom and Harry wants to delete sikh matters...???
     
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  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Re: 'Glorification of violence' cause for Sikh strife: MP

    Yes...this is one of the knotty problems that needs to put out on the table. And a constructive way to rebuild trust and reboot any dialog is for Sikhs to craft a page or two of historical reasons why certain kinds of expression are important, no, more than important. They define our identity.

    Also Gyani ji - Even if MP did attend gurdwara, I don't think he would connect the ardaas to the parade floats. That is something that needs to be laid out for many people, Sikh and non-Sikh alike.
     
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  6. harbansj24

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    What is this "glorification of violence" during Baisakhi celebrations all about? It it the display of martial arts such as gatka? But a similar display known as fencing is recognised as legitimate sport by Olympics. So is boxing and wrestling.

    It is a different matter that some so called Sikhs settled safely in Canada are spreading unSikh like hate and media gleefully picks up isolated incidents and gives it undeserved publicity which further feeds and encourages such insane elements. Innocent Sikhs are then caught in a situation not of their making.
    The same thing happenned in India in late seventies and eighties. And the people who suffered the most had nothing whatsoever do do with Bhindranwale and his cohorts. Very likely they were staunch supporters of Congress party and were leading a life of mere subsistance in resettlement colonies.
     
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