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Opinion Haanji's Quick Takes On A Changing World (September 23, 2013)


Sep 23, 2013
Hi everyone! I am Haanji, a 21st Century Sikh, and a citizen of the world. This my very first thread posted for Sikh Philosophy Network. Each week I take a look back on the week that was and share some news briefs that caught my attention. Expect a new thread every week.

Please comment on this thread and even add news briefs that intrigued you. Just keep it short, only one or two paragraphs, from an article with a link to the original article, so that forum members can read more.

The thread will be looking at news categories such as Art, Music, Cinema, Books, Politics, Religion, People in History, Punjab, Society, and even Crazy News. The articles won’t fit exactly with SPN sub-forums, but a Sikh who is watching our complicated and changing world should find them interesting nonetheless.

Eventually Haanji plans to have some thread contests too! Best Video, Best Humor, Best Cartoon - things like that.

Let's roll!

Today's cartoon is from Sikhtoons at Haute & Sikh http://www.sikhtoons.com/haute-and-sikh.html#!prettyPhoto

Haanji's News Pick

Art & Culture

Vincent van Gogh: How two years in the Paris made him into a master

Read more http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-e...the-paris-made-him-into-a-master-8829987.html

Paintings that Van Gogh produced during two years in Paris show how his sombre, early style morphed into the colouristic explosion of his late work

As discoveries of lost masterpieces go, it was a spectacular affair. Earlier this month experts authenticated a painting by Vincent van Gogh that had been languishing in a private collection in Norway for more than a century.

What made it all the more worthy of headlines was that it was a late work, a landscape painted in 1888 during that final flowering of the tragic artist’s life in Arles. It is to this period of vivid colour and piled-on paint that his most celebrated works belong, including Sunflowers in the National Gallery, and Self-Portrait with a Bandaged Ear in the Courtauld collection.

Only a few years earlier Van Gogh had been living in his native Holland and painting sombre pictures of rural life such as the gaunt, hungry-eyed figures in The Potato Eaters. The transition between these two periods in the artist’s work – as if from sepia to Technicolor – has fascinated experts for more than a century: in short, how did the Van Gogh of The Potato Eaters become the Van Gogh of Sunflowers?

Blog of the Week

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Books/Book Reviews

Marriage Material by Satthnam Sanghera

Read more http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-e...m-sanghera-8827914.html?origin=internalSearch

Marriage Material is the story of three generations of a Punjabi Sikh family, set against the backdrop of their Wolverhampton corner shop. Mr Bains arrives in England from the West Punjab in the 1960s with just a shilling in his pocket, from which he builds a thriving business, eventually making enough money to send to India for his wife and two daughters, Kamaljit and Surinder, to join him.

Following his death, the shop is taken over by Kamaljit and her husband Tanvir, before history repeats itself when she outlives him, forcing their only son, 35-year-old graphic designer Arjan, to return home to help her. The setting flits between the 1960s and the present day, but it is through Arjan's eyes that we see the story of his family's history unfold. Following his father's death he experiences an identity crisis that throws his life into disarray – he is torn between the cosmopolitan London life he's built with his white fiancée Freya, and a sudden urge to maintain a link to his family and culture. Discovering that his mother's sister, the aunt he had always been told was dead, is actually still alive, he sets out to find her.

Cinema/DVD releases

Kalki Koechlin praises Tillotama Shome for Qissa

Read more http://articles.timesofindia.indiat...573_1_kalki-koechlin-bengali-actress-sikh-man

Kalki Koechlin is all praises Anup Singh's film Qissa, that recently won the NETPAC award at World or International Asian Film Premiere at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival ....

"Wow, just saw the trailer for Qissa. When do we get to see it?" posted Kalki on twitter, addressing it to Tillotama. The Bengali actress thanked her adding, "Soon soon.hopefully end of this year.but will totally get you in when a screening happens!"

When contacted, Kalki said, "I haven't watched the film, but the trailer looks awesome!"

The film starring Irrfan Khan, Tiska Chopra and Rasika Duggal, co-produced by NFDC, revolves around a Sikh man, who, in the post-partition era, tries to eek out a living for himself and his family by keeping their true identities a secret.

Crazy News

Man mobbed by LA homeless after iPhone queueing scheme turns sour

Read more http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...phone-queueing-scheme-turns-sour-8831355.html
Apple stores surrounded by people camping overnight for the new iPhones witnessed scenes of chaos on Friday morning when two men were arrested for fighting in line and a man's plan to hire homeless people to wait in line for the coveted devices backfired.
Dozens of people recruited at a downtown Los Angeles homeless shelter to purchase iPhones in bulk at a Pasadena store were left unpaid.

In response, they turned angrily on the men who had hired them according to Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson.

One of the homeless men was placed under a 72-hour mental health order after running into the street in an enraged state, Clawson said. Television news footage showed police breaking up several scuffles and calming down furious customers.

Dominoe Moody told the Los Angeles Times he was driven approximately 10 miles from Pasadena with several vanloads of others to que for the phone overnight.

The 43-year-old was promised $40 (£25) but said he wasn't paid because after handing the man an iPhone, he was escorted away by police as the crowd reacted angrily.

"It didn't go right. I stood out here all night," Moody told the newspaper. He said he had no way of returning back to Los Angeles.


Anger is viral: new research shows angry messages influence people online more than any other emotion

Read more http://www.independent.co.uk/life-s...line-more-than-any-other-emotion-8824443.html
If you spend much time browsing online forums or Twitter (or even The Independent’s own comment sections) then it might not surprise you to know that anger is a powerful emotion online.

Now, a group of researchers from China have confirmed that anger is in fact the most influential feeling in the digital world, spreading quickly from user to user and inciting more responses than other emotions.

...The paper, entitled “Anger is More Influential Than Joy: Sentiment Correlation in Weibo”, collected 70 million tweets from more than 200,000 users over a six month period showed that whilst sadness only has a “trivial” effect on others, anger is most influential, even more so than joy.

The paper describes how anger “propagates fast and broadly in the network”, a trait that “could explain why the real-world events about food security, government bribery or demolition scandal are always the hot trend in internet of China”. It seems that the same could be said of any country with a citizenry that are active online.

The paper concludes that "anger plays a non-ignorable role in massive propagations of the negative news about the society". Meaning, if you want be heard online first you've got to get mad.

Music/Music Reviews

Can Music Make You Smarter?


People in History

Return of the Award of Padman Shree: A Letter from Puran Singh

The President of India,
Rashtrpati Bhavan,

Subject: Return of the award of Padam Shree against the in-human army action at Sri Darbar Sahib Sri Amritsar.

Shriman ji,

Sending the armed forces into Sri Darbar Sahib for military action has already produced countless painful results. As a result of this army action the Sikh world has been deeply hurt. You have seen how painful has been the effect of this army action on the Darshani Deodhi and the building of Sri Akal Takhat. Army has perpetrated acts, which you could not have known. Up to September 9, 1984, I have been investigating what I have heard from the people. I have exercised much restraint and have not rushed to conclusions. I will relate some of the happenings (that I have investigated).

1. Army-men arrested a scripture reader of Sri Darbar Sahib along with his family. The entire family was not given either food or water for the whole day. Rifle butts were administered on the scripture reader’s hands the whole day. Another scripture reader of the shrine was given the same treatment until his hands were swollen.

2. The sangat in Darbar Sahib complex consisting of women, men and children has been fired upon (and killed) as the mosquitoes are wiped out with poisonous spray.

3. The pilgrims who had been arrested in Sri Darbar Sahib and Teja Singh Samundari Hall around 12 noon on Tuesday were given water by the Sikh army-men after thirty hours on Wednesday. The children’s eyes were popping out with thirst and their mothers tried to moist their lips with sweat. When some women asked for water for the children the army-men told them that the children would grow up and kill the army-men so why should they be given water? On Tuesday the small quantity of water that was given to the children had cigarettes thrown into it. They were told that this is the prasad of their Guru. Army-men smoked cigarettes in Teja Singh Samundari Hall and kept on blowing the smoke at the Sikhs. The treatment meted out to the Sikhs in the name of army action has deeply hurt the feelings of the Sikh world. Hands of the young pilgrims, arrested from Darbar Sahib, were tied with their turbans, their hair were untied and used to cover their eyes with. They were forced to kneel down on the hot marble floor and to walk around on their knees. Hands of the boys were tied behind them and they were shot through their foreheads.

On the first of June 1984 the CRPF had commenced firing on Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar. On the first of June before the arrival of the army, the CRPF had killed a scripture reader in attendance upon Guru Granth Sahib and the volume itself was shot at. After it was all over, the Sikh Reference Library and the Sikh Museum were set on fire out of enmity and in pursuance of predetermined action. On June 3, 1984, two Sikhs wearing yellow turbans and kirpans got off at Batala bus stand. They were asked by the army-men to take off their turbans. On their refusal to do so they were both shot dead. Another Nihang was shot at and killed near Gumtala jail because he had refused to surrender his kirpan. One Sikh in proper Sikh dress was standing on the roof of his house in an area of Amritsar called Kittas. Army-men killed him because he was wearing a yellow turban.

On the third of July a black turbaned and kirpan-wearing young Sikh of about 25 years of age was walking past the Kitchlew traffic island. The army arrived, handcuffed and arrested him although nothing incriminating was found on his person. When army-men went to arrest the President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Sardar Gurcharan Singh Tohra from Teja Singh Samundari Hall, one of them was smoking a cigarette. When Sardar Tohra asked him not to smoke (in the holy precincts), his reply was, “shut up old-man or I will shoot you dead. Tohra said ‘I am the President of this place’ upon which the army-men became quiet.

Temple servants of Sri Darbar Sahib Muktsar, were made to lie face downwards in the circumambulatory path around the sacred tank and beaten mercilessly. As a result of this one of them died. All those boys who had taken amrit were pulled out of their homes in the villages and were beaten severely.

I am compelled to observe that the army has displayed bankruptcy of character and has acted with hearts full of enmity and in a manner indicating that it wanted to wipe out the Sikhs. Young-men from villages have been troubled much after the army action. Apart from the truth depicted above, I have received information about such shameful incidents, to mention which is to violate the cultural norms.

After hearing of and seeing such happenings, I reject and return to you the award of Padam Shree conferred upon me.

Puran Singh

People & Lifestyle

Beards Keep You Young, Heathy and Handsome

Read more http://worldobserveronline.com/2013/02/26/beards-keep-you-young-healthy-handsome-says-science/
Gentlemen, they’re not just for hipsters and the homeless any more. While both dead sexy and totally awesome, beards are also a boon to your overall health. Researchers discovered that men with beards and moustaches actually enjoy numerous benefits including, but not limited to, instant handsomeness.

A study from the University of Southern Queensland, published in the Radiation Protection Dosimetry journal, found that beards block 90 to 95 percent of UV rays, thereby slowing the aging process and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Got asthma? Pollens and dust simply get stuck in that lustrous facial hair. Additionally, all that hair retains moisture and protects against the wind, keeping you looking young and fresh-faced. What’s more, shaving is usually the cause of ingrown hairs and bacterial infections that lead to acne.

Have you tossed your razor in the trash yet?

To conduct the study, researchers left bearded mannequins, along with less attractive, follically-challenged ones, in the blistering sun of the Australian outback and then compared the amount of radiation absorbed by each.

But don’t forget to take care of those blessed follicles; beards can also spread infection if not properly cared for and make consumption of certain foods (e.g. cheeseburgers, corn on the cob, falafel sandwiches—anything with hummus actually, bagel ‘n’ schmear, syrupy pancakes) rather laborious. Fuzzy-faced men would be wise to take advantage of beard wash and beard oil, essential tools for looking and feeling your beardy best.


Holocausts of the Mind

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/holocausts-of-the-mind/article5023009.ece

Conflicts between people do not last. Sooner or later, they are resolved. Time and people move on. But while a conflict lasts it exacts its toll, disfiguring those feuding from within. When it extends over a prolonged period — and the burden passes through generations, without the subsequent generations being a part of the original feud — a people have been deeply poisoned in their souls, because it means the prejudices have been bequeathed unexamined.

The Indo-Pak feud, now simmering on the back-burner, now boiling and bubbling furiously in open view, has implicated generations of South Asians without their choice. Left unresolved this inheritance will continue to burden those who will come after us. Perhaps they will prove better than our generation at finding ways of resolving it; children today are smarter. But unless we begin to put a premium on the dignity of human life as a people, it will not allow even the consciousness to develop to make it happen, or allow us to comprehend what needs to be fixed when we look at the issue itself. Although it will play a small part, the issue will not be addressed through better economic relations between the two countries: the demands of global commerce will soon force trade through the common border. At issue is how we exist as members of a common society.


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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Haanji is delayed with future installments. He blacked out on the job last Wednesday and spent 2 days in the hospital with a fractured skull. Naturally he needed some time to recuperate. He will be back as soon as he can do it. Thanks for the feedback.

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