Revolutionizing Awareness

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Posts Tagged ‘Sikh’

Rampant Racism Rolling

Posted by Admin on January 21, 2012

by tonysutrisno in Society, January 14, 2012

Rampant Racism Rolling.

A news broke yesteryear,that shook the roots of complacency,that each Indian was so substantially embedded in.It encompassed a fellow Indian,being ruthlessly ravaged,deep down under(Australia).The word was nimble in its course and the whole of India was apprised,in a blink of eye.The country borne witness to boisterous and belligerent protests in the aftermath of the victimized and eventually hospitalized student of Indian origin. For once,we were all united.Before I put forth,the sole intent behind this article,i would like to define ‘Racism’ articulatory.

The lexicon defines ‘Racism’ as-Discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race.As for this article,I will take this very definition to enunciate my hypothesis.Some of the citizenry on hearing sporadic occurrences of racism,get pushed in to delirium,and plunge in to selfish pride about how pious and ‘un’-racist they are.But are they really?Yes, sure we are not racists,we are Indians.We have inherited the regime of ‘All are equal’,which our selfless ancestors so diligently and incessantly worked for.For instance,if we ‘accidentally’ refer an inhabitant of eastern India as ‘Chinky’,it doesn’t make us racists,or ‘hypothetically’ if we advert someone who dwells in southern India as ‘Malli’ or ‘Yangad-Bangad’,it won’t make us racists as we have a constitution that says otherwise.

Even the profane language which we use to cite the scheduled castes nor the address of a ‘Bengali’ as ‘Macchi’,pronounce us as racists,as we are bound to joke,we are not brooding guilty,we are making humour.Our constant utterance to Muslims’ as ‘Katu*s’,is really humourous,isn’t it?I am erupting with laughter,aren’t you?Well I am sure the jokes about those belonging to the ‘Sikh’ community will make you laugh.What a secular country,what an amusing population.We bode our full respect to all religions.We are not racists,we are clowns,we elicit humour.I urge you in strongest words to refute and reprimand anyone and everyone who says we,the Indians are racists,and patronage those who appreciate our humour.

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Diwali Celebrations Around the World

Posted by Admin on October 28, 2011

Though Diwali is an Indian festival, it is not limited to only India.

Various other countries celebrate the festival with equal pomp and gaiety as Indians do. The ultimate essence of Diwali, i.e. the triumph of good over evil, is maintained throughout different places and time zones.

Here are some countries of the world that celebrate Diwali.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World


Mauritius boasts of a staggering 63% of its entire population to be of Indian origin, 80% of which follow Hinduism. Therefore, Diwali is a festival of great significance in the island country. The festival is celebrated around the same time as in India. Beautifully lit earthen lamps are placed around the houses turning the island into a picturesque landscape. Sweets are specially prepared for the occasion and people of other religious and cultural beliefs also join the Hindu counterparts in the celebrations. Diwali also symbolizes the arrival of the summer season in the country.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World


Australia has an estimated population of 100,000 Indians settled there, with the majority of them being Hindus. Diwali is quite a major festival in the country with large scale Diwali events, like carnivals and fairs, organized in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. The events feature fireworks display, food stalls offering Diwali sweets and delicacies, musical performances and also burning the effigy of Ravana.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World


In the land of the rising sun, Diwali signifies progress, happiness, longevity and prosperity. The festival is not celebrated in the same way as in our home country. Instead of lighting their homes up, people go out to gardens and orchards and hang colorful lanterns and paper-made structures on the branches of trees. The places of worship are decorated with wallpapers so as to bring about a festive mood amongst those who celebrate the festival.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World


Despite having only about 8% of its population belonging to Hindu community, Diwali is an important festival in Malaysia. Known as Hari Diwali, it is a public holiday in the country. The traditional ritual of oil bath begins the festival which includes prayers at household altars and visit to temples. Temples are adorned with flowers and oil lamps while parades and concerts are organized in some of the major cities. Firecrackers are, however, banned in this country.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World

South Africa

South Africa, a country which fought a long battle against apartheid, is home to the largest immigrant Indian population in the world. Most of the descendants of the immigrant Indians are settled in the KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng provinces and comprise about 65% of the entire population there. Most of them, reportedly, trace their origins to Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat and the rituals are held in accordance with their communities, and in the same way as in India.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World


Thailand is known to be a culturally rich country, hence a celebration of one of the most important festivals of the Hindus is an integral part of its itinerary. Here, Diwali is likened to ‘Lam Kriyongh’ which is also celebrated around the month of October/November. Here, the diyas are made of banana leaves instead, which hold candles, a coin and incense. The diyas are then set afloat on a river which makes it quite a spectacular sight for the people to witness.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World


In Nepal, Diwali is known as ‘Tihar‘ and is celebrated in a grand manner over a span of 5 days. During these 5 days, animals like cows, dogs and crows are worshipped apart from Goddess Lakshmi. The people of the Nepali community play ‘Deusi’ and ‘Bhailo’ in which boys and girls go singing and dancing to different houses, giving them blessings while the owner of the house gives them either food items or money. The festivities end with ‘Bhai Tika’ where sisters give tika (colored powder applied on the forehead) and a garland of flowers to their brothers, praying for the brother’s long life and prosperity.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World


Singapore’s Diwali celebrations are amongst the brightest in the world, with a spectacular display of lights throughout different cities. Diwali is one festival that is celebrated irrespective of ethnicity or religion, in the country. The place called “Little India” located in Serangoon Road, is fully covered with lights, colorful arches and garlands. Is is a custom to visit the temple to offer prayers and towards the evening, children and other grown ups go to open areas to light sparklers.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World

Trinidad & Tobago

Diwali holds a special place in the hearts of citizens of the Caribbean nation, with 43% of the population being of Indian origin. The day is officially declared as a public holiday and is looked at with much anticipation throughout the year. Celebrations of the festival begin 9 days in advance of the actual event. These 9 days are laced with dance performances, displays by Hindu religious sects, theatre, worship of Goddess Lakshmi and lighting of diyas. Areas having a strong Hindu population are decorated with blinding lights and the last day sees a spectacular display of fireworks.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World


Since Indians are the second largest ethnic minority group in Britain, Diwali is the highlight of the Indian calendar in the country. The festival, though primarily celebrated in much fervor by NRIs, does not remain limited to them. The festive spirit trickles down to people of other cultures and with it being celebrated at the House of Commons, gains even more significance. Leicester city is particularly noted for its major Diwali celebrations as a large number of people gather there to celebrate the Indian festival. (Special Features,

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Operation Blue Star, 27 years on

Posted by Admin on June 5, 2011–27-years-on.html

By Anirban Choudhury | Yahoo! India News – Fri, Jun 3, 2011

It was on this day 27 years ago that Operation Blue Star flushed out Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his separatist followers from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Bhindranwale was using the shrine as a refuge and had piled up weapons for use in hate crimes against non-Sikhs.

But to this day the scars of 1984 are visible. The siege on the temple lasted three days and claimed many innocent lives. Though the operation was the brainchild of prime minister Indira Gandhi, she later regretted it. The military action led to her assignation two months after Operation Blue Star.

Yahoo! India News brings you pages from a violent chapter.

What was Operation Blue Star?

It was a military raid ordered by Indira Gandhi to eliminate separatists who had taken cover in the holiest of Sikh shrines. The operation spanned four days, between June 3 and 6, and was carried out by the Indian Army which laid siege to the temple complex with tanks and armoured vehicles.

The then Vice-Chief of Indian Army SK Sinha was first asked to lead the operation, but he advised against it saying it this would hurt Sikh sentiments. Indira Gandhi replaced him with Lt Gen A S Vaidya, who along with Lt Gen K Sundarji then planned the operation.

The operation kicked-off with a 36-hour curfew on June 3. All communication was suspended in Punjab, cutting off the state from the rest of the world.

The assault on the temple and the timing of it came in for heavy criticism as heavy artillery was used in the congested by lanes of Amritsar which lead to the death of many innocent bystanders. There was a huge uproar in the Sikh community worldwide, which was followed by hate crimes on Sikhs in parts of India.

Who was Bhindranwale?

Born in 1947, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was enrolled in a religious school. Later, he travelled across Punjab to teach and persuade people to live life according to the tenets of Sikhism. He became the new leader of Damdami Taksal,  a 300-year-old educational organisation founded by Guru Gobind Singh, when his guru Kartar Singh died in an accident. That was his first step to power.

Though he was not successful in electoral politics, he wielded a great deal of authority using which he overthrew the authority of the Shiromani Akali Dal. He became so powerful that political leaders in Punjab could not take any major decision without first seeking his assent.

His support for the creation of a Sikh majority nation of Khalistan led to his fall-out with the Indira Gandhi regime. In the early eighties, Sikh extremists who dreamt of carving out an independent nation, had slowly begun to take control of the state by unleashing terror and killing hundreds of non-Sikhs.

Bhindranwale was seen as an inciter, running his bloody campaign from the confines of the Golden Temple. He had turned the holiest shrine of the Sikhs into a safe haven for his followers. He openly defied the centre, but the state police did not dare to take any action against him.

Bhindranwale was suspected to be behind the assassination of Lala Jagat Narain, owner of the Hind Samachar group of newspapers and a Congress leader. He was arrested but was released as no evidence was found against him.

He lived all his life by the principle of hate and spurred the killings of innocent people, and was killed during Operation Blue Star.

What was the problem in Punjab?

In 1947 when India was divided on the basis of religion, Punjab was split between India and Pakistan. Sikhs opposed the partition and felt they were being treated shabbily. When the idea of Pakistan was put forth, Sikhs said they should have a nation for themselves. Thus the idea of Khalistan was born.

The partition of India had left a deep scar in Sikhs as they were forced to abandon their homes and become refugees. The Sikhs were the most affected by the partition as they were torn between two nations and a mass exodus took place during which many Sikhs lost their lives in the carnage that followed.

Punjab in India was a Hindu majority state and the Sikhs felt that they were being discriminated against. Many eminent Sikhs alleged that the Indian government was conspiring to destroy the Sikh community and their culture.

In the 1950-60s, there was an uproar in India when the government declared Hindi as the national language which led to a nationwide movement of linguistic majority groups to seek separate states on the basis of language. This gave the Sikhs a ray of hope for carving out a Punjabi-speaking state, a demand that intensified the tension between Hindus and Sikhs. At that time, Punjab’s capital was Shimla even though the majority of Sikhs lived in Punjab.

The States Reorganisation Commission rejected their demand for a separate state, a move that reinforced the feeling that the Sikhs were being discriminated against.

The Akal Takht played a vital role in organizing Sikhs to campaign for the Punjabi speaking state, during which thousands of Sikhs were arrested. In 1966, Sikh leaders again demanded Punjabi Suba—a Punjabi speaking state—a demand which was later agreed to and led to the trifurcation of East Punjab into three states: Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

Events after partition, some groups convinced many Sikhs that they were being discriminated against. Calls for the creation of Khalistan became violent and anti-Indian.

What happened in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star?

Sikhs across the world were shocked when news poured in that the Golden Temple had been captured by Indian armed forces.

Many Sikhs in prominent administrative positions resigned in protest, and many in the armed forces quit. Sikhs also returned awards and honors they had received from the Indian government, the most prominent being author Khushwant Singh who returned his Padma Bhushan.

The operation also led to the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31. She was gunned down by two of her Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh.

The assassination triggered anti-Sikh riots that went on for four days when Congress supporters went on a rampage killing Sikh men and women, destroying homes, and attacking Gurdwaras.

The worst-hit was Delhi. Sikhs fled the city in huge numbers. Human rights organisations put the death toll at between 10,000 and 17,000. Human Rights Watch says the government has yet to prosecute those responsible for the mass killings. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apologised for the raid two decades after it was conducted.

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