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What I Have Learned From 1984

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by Mai Harinder Kaur, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    What I Have Learned From 1984


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    For those who don't know me, a brief introduction. I am now a 58 year old Internet addict, writer and budding artist, of sorts. Twenty- six years ago, there was no Internet, I wrote occasionally and my artwork was primarily tie-dying my husband's turbans. The events in India radically changed my life.



    My husband, my son and I were visiting there from Canada in the spring and summer into the autumn of 1984. We were "questioned" by the Punjab police in Amritsar during the time of the Bluestar Massacre. They stopped when the word came down from some higher-up to leave the Canadians alone. Of the three of us, I got either the best or worst of it there, depending on how you look at it.


    As it turned out, we were in Delhi when Mrs. Gandhi was executed. We were attacked. We fought. We killed, contrary to the propaganda I have read that no Hindus were killed during the Delhi Pogrom. My two men, along with two brothers and two cousins, achieved shaheedi. I survived. Who got the best or worst of it depends on how you look at it. I and my sister Suni and my mother-in-law Vini, have written what happened in detail. Links to all the posts can be found in the blog, The Road To Khalistan. I do not want to retell it all here; my purpose here is different.



    After 26 years, I think it is time for us to start thinking about what we have learned - or should have learned - from this whole experience. I have a tendency to be personal, a tendency that I will indulge here. I will write what I, Harinder Kaur, called Mai, have learned. I first want to make one thing very clear. I miss my men. I have missed them now for nearly 26 years. It has taken a long time, but I have come to the realisation that, if I grieve, I do not grieve for them. They are fine. They achieved shaheedi in righteous battle. I miss them, but I cannot wish that it happened otherwise. What kind of person would I be to want to deny them the best of all possible deaths? They lived and died "with [their] hearts striving upward." They played the game of life and won. They reached that "far, unattainable sky."



    My greatest regret is that it was the Hukam of Vaheguru that I not share that honour. Which brings me to the most important idea, the Hukam of Vaheguru.


    The knowledge that whatever happens is the Hukam of Vaheguru is what has sustained me, brought me through everything. Everything is perfect. Everything happens exactly the way it needs to. I admit that is often hard to see and, sometimes, hard to remember, and sometimes, even harder to accept. Akaal Purakh doesn't share with me all the reasons for these things. In fact, It doesn't share with me the reasons at all. It has to be enough for me to know that the reasons exist and I can usually find some of them if I look hard enough. I know that others interpret the Hukam of Vaheguru differently. More power to them! This is what it means to me, my interpretation based on my own experiences.



    For me, very bad things are usually learning experiences, unless I refuse to learn. (I am sometimes stubborn. After all, I am half Punjabi.) I hardly recognise the young woman I was on 31 October 1984, even less the person I was on 5 June 1984. She was a sweet young thing who had lived an enchanted, wonderful life. She was happy and pretty and mostly carefree, a good mother, a loving wife, a devout aspiring Khalsa. She had it all. But she lacked depth. As he lay dying, in our last conversation, I asked Mani, my husband, "Has it all been worth it?" He laughed. Honestly, he laughed. "Yes, hell, yes!" He was right. We had lived a life most people would never have dreamed possible. A great chardi kala life. And in a few hours, it was irrevocably destroyed. It was not easy to adjust.



    So how did I do it? One of the unadvertised gifts that Guru Gobind Singh ji gives his kids at Amrit is an infinite well of chardi kala. I admit that sometimes it gets hidden, but it's always there. Even if the kid breaks their Khalsa vows, it is still there. Chardi kala is the most distinctively Sikh of all virtues. It is a natural outcome of knowing that, contrary to appearances, all is as it should be. I know, I know. I have to keep reminding myself of this. I know from my own experience that this works.


    So those are the two main things I have learned personally from the 1984 experience. Hukam of Vaheguru and chardi kala. If I were not to live in chardi kala, acknowledging the Hukam of Vaheguru, my life would be a betrayal of the sacrifice of these two Gursikhs, my husband and my son, and worse, would be a waste of the life left to me here on earth.



    One thing more. I also learned that being a Sikh is the most important thing in my life, in fact, my whole life summarised in one word. Sikh.



    I had intended to also talk about what we as the Panth have learned, but this is getting too long. Perhaps I'll write that in October/November.


    If you like the Bluestar Massacre widget and would like to add it to your blog or website, the html can be grabbed at Bluestar Massacre Widget.
     
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    #1 Mai Harinder Kaur, Jun 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2010
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  3. kulwants

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    :happykaur: Beautiful commnets & very inspiring for us to always remain in "Chardi Kala" and accept "Bhanha of Waheguru"
     
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  4. manbir

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    Learning to Live in His Hukam is The greatest achievement in life. '84 was a big lesson for many of us.
     
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  5. ja58ir

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    I think your title should have been what have we learned form 1984.
    i have been reading a lot about the massacre of 1984 but people have forgotten the loved ones the panth has lost how much have we learned form the massacre has you have seen with your own eyes that Sikhs are have been giving they lives for the good of India And the Hindus but have never got any thing in return so it time to think what do Sikhs want?
     
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  6. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    In fact, that was my original title. I changed it after writing this article because I am talking about what I personally have learned. I do not know what else anyone else might have learned in such an individual way.

    I do have plans to write another article about what I hope the Panth has learned from the events of 1984.
     
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  7. roopsidhu

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    SSA,
    Hats off to all shaheeds and chardi kala, chardi kala , chardi kala Mai ji
    Roopsidhu
     
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  8. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    Or perhaps turbans tied to all shaheeds!? cheerleader

    And, for me, at least, this chardi kala thing made sense once I accepted the Hukam of Vaheguru.
     
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  9. ja58ir

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    Thank you for clearing that i hope the panth has learned something but when you hear about what happened they seem to close they eyes and ears but the people that were crying out murder in the 1984 have now forgotten them they made they monies out of the massacre and are living off well but the panth still have done nothing about the massacre the whole Sikh panth should get together and ask the world have you forgotten the MASSACRE OF 1984?
     
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  10. gurpreet_luton

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    yes we all hope that panth will learn lots but its sad to say that we had learn nothing of it ...... what we had done in favour of 84 s victims every one has release speeches more and more ..... iserile is small country with the few numbers of jews and they had make their position so strong againstt arab league they fought wars with arab league ... you know hows its happens because all jews from world wide are united they always stands united against world
     
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  11. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    My #1 purpose of even being online is to tell the truth of what happened to us Sikhs in 1984. It might surprise you to know that most people outside of India don't have a clue that anything untoward happened to us in 1984. Very few of the survivors are either willing or able to come forward and speak out. This is understandable; it is difficult and painful. Still, we are responsible for preserving our own history and we must do it - or our enemies will tell the tale their own way.

    Good luck on getting the whole Panth to agree on anything, much less take action.
     
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  12. gurpreet_luton

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    like politicians we all are giving speeches over 84 s massacare is it the solution or some will act i think its not enough to remember that days again please say something diffrent do diffrent
     
  13. ja58ir

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    As for yourself i did see what happen in June 1984 as i was they when they were doing the Kara Sawa at the Harminder Sahib. What i saw was that the Indian Army fought a battle with a hand full of brave Sikhs who gave they lives for what they believed in. i was one of the lucky ones as i let India on the 30 November 1984 where all my Sikh brothers and sisters lost they live for the sake of the being SIKHS and we should be remembering them in November so that they are not forgotten as if it was a something that happened. Lets hope the whole panth gets together and remember the Sikhs who gave they live for us so that we can say YES I AM A SIKH AND WILL REMAIN ONE TILL THE DAY I DIE.
     
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  14. otilia

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    I really appreciate you and feel honoured to get to know U Mai Harinder Kaur Ji:happykudi:
    Otilia
     
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  15. sssobti

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    Respected sister,
    Sorry to say that we have neither learnt from our historical shahidis nor from 1984 , thats why we are like scaterred beads revolving around our selfishness,otherwise we would have been a steel garland with ASGGSJ philosphy piercing through our heart & soul.
    GURU RAKHA, & chardi kala,
    Sukhvinder singh
     
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  16. roopsidhu

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    SSA,
    The grievness, the pain and the complain by sssobti is also understandable. We must learn if we have to survive longer being an independent religion.
    Roopsidhu
     
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  17. Harry Rakhraj

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    Mai Harinder Kaur's article, and the fotos, gave me goose bumps, just like participating in a gursangat Ardas always does. As for all Sikhs, this subject is highly emotional for me. I will not call it closure, but I find great solace in Mai's point that "everything is perfect." How can it not be when it's Waheguru's will ?

    It also gratifies me to see that Mai has used the term 'pogrom', unlike the hoardes who have described the '84 massacre as ' The Sikh Riots;' a term I find singularly ineffective, and revolting in describing something akin to the Nazi holocaust.
     
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  18. Charan

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    That's what I have learned as well. Acceptance of His Hukam is the key to happiness.
     
  19. manas_ki_jaat

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    All the religions emphasize on non-violence. Unfortunately, people have learnt nothing from them. They even use religion for personal means. And in this religious war some people lost their happiness, cheerfulness, sweetness of life forever. The people who lost their dear ones in these wars learnt something from it but its unfateful that other who luckily escaped are still doing the same, they learnt nothing and people still blindly believe on fake saints and politicians without thinking that religion is one's personal matter and these fake saints and politicians are playing with their religious feelings and i have fear that if things have not changed 1984 can be repeated.
     
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  20. Charan

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    Reminded me of this quote "People fight for religion, people die for religion but people don't follow religion" (Author unknown)
     
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  21. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    What is it they say. "I never started a fight, but I've ended a few."

    If I am attacked, I will fight, and I will fight to win. I will kill, if I must. If I see an innocent person being attacked, I will defend that person, violently, if necessary. Sikhi teaches me that If all peaceful means fail, it is righteous to draw the sword."
    swordfight

    My born-again, spirit-filled Christian caregiver is aghast that I refuse to ask "God" for forgiveness for killing that attacker in 1984. Not only am I not sorry, I would have committed a great sin had I not fought to the best of my ability. That is one "Hindu" who will never again kill a Sikh. (I saw him kill my son.)

    Of course, non-violence is preferable, but there is a time and place, imo, when violence is necessary and not responding in kind is a sort of condoning of evil. I am a Sikh. I am not a Christian or anything else. When it is righteous, I will draw the sword without guilt.
     

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