Bhindrawale: an alternative view

‘The Sikhs are the only race, that I know of, who sacrificed their own nationhood in order to free the non-Sikh population of India from more than one thousand years of humiliation, subjugation and occupation at the hands of not just one but two (Semitic) Empires. They did so having fought for and secured their own independence as a nation under Islam rule more than 200 years earlier.’ Avtar

For you to appreciate this hard-hitting essay I need to explore, examine, and briefly lay bare what is a Sikh.

It is a misnomer that being born into a practicing Sikh family makes you a Sikh. Certainly, children practice the rites and ritual of Sikhi. But that is learned behaviour. Even when mimicking their elders, and perhaps even aspiring to be a proper Sikh through such mimicry, children are not Sikh in the metaphysical sense.

A Sikh, as I have written countless times, is a strata above the realm of advanced Sants, Svamis, Sufis, and Saints. A sant is one who has absolute mastery over the psychic realm. A Sikh is responsible for the welfare of the sant realm.

At the times of, and attendant in seva to, the ten Sikh Gurus, (and due to the high originality of advanced innovation), a Sikh was an unbelievably calm pacifist, who, when required, would to lay to rest a repeat killer. The Sikhs of those times never had need to raise their voice. Their psychic bearing and presence was enough.

Bear in mind, in those times artificial voice projecting apparatuses such as the megaphone and later the mic and loudspeaker system, had not yet been developed. So, an orator of that period, regardless of faith, literally had to shout to get his message across. Shouting behaviour has not died, in India at least. People there seem to forget that they are using microphones, and can therefore speak gently. The screaming and shouting automatically raises one’s blood pressure, heightens one’s nervous system activity, and leads to a tensed physiology, which renders one primed for a physical confrontation. The person sounds and behaves assertively.

Another problem of the birth-Sikhs is that they are reared on stories of historical events that highlight bravery, courage, chivalry, and heroism. These are stories of fighting the odds and succeeding, more often than not. However, the Sikh parent imparting such stories is themselves not a Sikh in its full reality, but like their child a Sikh by birth only. And therein lies the problem of Sikhism.

A Sikh is one who, coming from any faith, is the master of, and has hands-on responsibility for, those who are an authority over the so-called spiritual world. That was what separated the Sikhs of the Gurus from the faithful of all other faiths.

Only the best of the best, the most humble of the humble, found a way to be in the seva of the Sikh Gurus. Some attributes of a Sikh:

* An analyser, scrutiniser, and improver…of whatever they may confront

* Addressing every female as ‘Ma’am’ and treating every female with dignity, chivalry, and lack of misogyny

* Studies war tactics and stealth strategy

* Master of hand-arms combat

* Outmanoeuvers opponents strategically

* Sikh men/women are regarded as tender, passionate, sensual lovers by most South Asians

* Remain faithful and loyal to one partner

* Their word is sacrosanct

Only with the above clarity will you be able understand today’s essay.

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale

According to web searches he was born Jarnail Singh Brar on 2nd June 1947, and he died on 6th June 1984 aged 37. Leader of Damdami Taksal, one of the five formal seats of Sikhism, he was an outspoken orator. He voiced the resentment of the ordinary Sikh about their betrayal by the Hindus: leading up to and even after India’s independence, the Hindus had promised a separate Sikh nation; they reneged on this promise.

His popularity stemmed from his insistence that the faithful remain vigilant, and abide by the high requirements of the elite Sikhs, the Khalsa. Like the majority of Sikhs, he saw the events of bygone times through rose-tinted glasses, rather than accepting that society has always been a multi-spectrum of misfits who dally with idealism and bemoan the failures of others.

The majority of Sikh ‘leaders’ increasingly fail to appreciate what it takes to become a Sikh, and that there are unbelievably high standards of advanced knowledge required to progress into the Khalsa realm. The same was true of Bhindranwale, except that in his case his heart was in the right place. Like other leaders, though, he was not advanced enough to recognise the what or the why that makes a Sikh and the Khalsa uniquely responsible and thus special.

An insight: The sublime is experienced by nearly all practicing Sikhs as a faith-right; however, collectively, it remains an unquantifiable realm. They are moved and ‘protected’ by this arena, but they are oblivious as to how best to describe its existence, or the experiences it yields.

He was precisely in the same boat as your average run-of-the-mill Sikh. Like them, he too sensed, but he could not explain the sensation.

He was a doer, a go-getter, one who could not sit still. He readily took a stance against anything or anyone whom he considered to have fallen from the excellence he thought all Sikhs should live by. Drugs, a hedonistic lifestyle, and irreverence for the image of the perceived Sikh status quo rankled him. His generation blamed all society’s ills on the wealth that Panjab enjoyed as the green, agricultural energy-field of India. Panjab literally fed, and to this day feeds, India. This brought prosperity.

Prosperity in tandem with zero pressure of either local wars or impending invasions, led to parents showering their children with monetary gifts hitherto unheard of in India. Sikhs were, and are, massively wealthy compared to the rest of the non-west European world. In fact, when I traveled the countries that were at that time locked behind the iron curtain almost twenty years after leaving Panjab, I was shocked to see those countries suffering from lower, weaker, almost non-existent infrastructure; and the local poverty was breathtakingly shocking even in comparison to the Panjab of twenty years earlier.

So, Panjab was wealthy. Wealthy enough to send members of their family to study abroad, and indeed to live abroad; these members in turn sending remittances back to the family village and home, thereby increasing the family’s earning and power-prestige further.

The handicap of wealth is improved health. Health, married to wealth, automatically childs conceit, self-importance and delusions of the self as an omnipotent being. Sikhs of his time suffered from the same disease of the avant-garde, technicolour palette of romanticism seducing monologue, with philosophies spiced with short-lived interactions with European industrial civilisation.

In a mixture of multi-complex rationales, he laced his oratory skills with the insistence that wealthy Sikhs ought to pressure their children towards the rites normally associated with a Sikh monastic lifestyle. Its conditions are so confusing to an outsider, especially when each male is meant to see each woman as his sister or mother, yet be anxiously prepared to marry one of these very women, and thereafter, to engage in and enjoy a full sexual life with her. It’s a case of heads I win, tails you cannot live a normal lifestyle, unless you marry. These rich kids, emasculated by the parental pressure he advocated, threw tantrums.

He, meanwhile, gained fame and popularity. For he constantly evoked age-old glories of sword-fighting, small hand-arms defence, and overcoming outrageous odds against trained armies of invaders, or indeed against ‘home grown’ newly settled Muslim rulers. He drew crowds. He spoke uncompromisingly, mired in passion as if he had returned fresh from sword-fighting and hand-to-hand combat. Sikhs so love tales of hand-to-hand combat against overwhelming odds…his popularity increased exponentially. However, he had never set a foot on a battlefield, and he had no formal or informal military and tactical training.

He was an orator, one who had the ability to inflame his audience. He evoked passions. His message stirred people. He became an irresistible force. This drew the attention of the politicians. However kitsch he appeared to seasoned politicians nevertheless he commanded a sizeable vote bank that they couldn’t ignore. So, his ego was massaged, and seduction-hypocrisy gained momentum. Everything has a price. He had a price. It was a matter of identifying that price and leveraging him into the politicians’ pocket.

His price?

A date with destiny, a reluctant delusion that he was ‘chosen’ to deliver respect, along with self-determination to Sikhs within the statehood of a collective India.

Expatriate Sikhs stoked, inflamed, and financially supported calls for an independent state named Khalistan (and not Panjab). I truthfully cannot recall him advancing that particular idea, but the theme of self-determination never left his lips. In reality, all he sought – and as is the demand of all Sikhs – was dignity via the fulfillment of a promise; and the honest barter of that promise made to Sikhs by Pandit Nehru and (Mohan Dass Gandhi) Mahatama Gandhi, in the days before India’s independence.

This set him on a collision course. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi stepped into the ring and offered a staged, well-practiced trade-off; stopping short of Sikh demands for the fulfillment of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution.

A dance of Shiva had begun.

Death was on the cards.

Each thought it would be the other’s.

The death drum gathered speed.

And he made one naive mistake after another. He miscalculated the world of politics. In fact, he had zero appreciation of politics. He did not understand that you cut a tree for firewood one day and the next day you stand on its stump delivering a speech pronouncing your credentials as an ecologist.

His lack of military service became evident in his utterances. He took the bait. He prepared to take on the might of the Indian army’s modern weaponry and tactics with his handful of men equipped with small arms weapons. He was neither a politician, nor a strategist or tactician. His popularity was based on his honesty, earnestness and frankness. He lacked guile. He lacked deceit. He lacked hypocrisy. He lacked cunning. What he said was what he meant. Wonderful attributes for a religious orator. But as a politician and military tactician he was a dead duck.

If he had had a cunning mind, then he would and could have instigated a war between Pakistan and India. This would have brought the Sikh regiments stationed far afield from Panjab back to the border with Pakistan, which in the main is shared by Pakistan and Panjab. Simultaneously, he would, on the quiet, have had his own followers present in various cities ready to occupy main-frame buildings; the armed occupation of which would have put him in control of mass broadcast, and of transportation, thereby causing maximum and immediate mayhem among the people. Thereafter, he could have incited the Sikh regiments to support his quest for the negotiation of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution from a position of reasonable strength. Just for the fun of creating discord and facilitating the possible breakup of India, Pakistan would have supported him to the hilt, politically and militarily.

However, he did what no Sikh army had done in Sikh history. He occupied the holy shrine of Amritsar not for its protection from an imminent attack but for sheltering in. After all, prior to his occupation Amritsar was under absolutely no threat from an imminent Indian army attack.

A majority of expatriate Sikhs were against his occupation of Amritsar. Yes, he had supporters, but they were a minority, albeit a vocal one.

The outcome?

A foregone conclusion.

A mere formality.

He totally played into the hands of the politicians.

The rest is history.

I witnessed the events here in the UK, and am shocked by how many of the people who ridiculed him at the time, including his lack of education, now address him as a glorified, proud, fearless Sikh General.

Yes, they call him General!

He was an innocent man, honest and sincere as the day is long. But a General? Are Sikhs really that desperate that they equate his tactics with those of a General? I absolutely will credit him with fearlessness, courage and strength of character. He did not sell himself short. But a General? Come on, please, you Sikhs can do better than that. Give him plaudits, but let us not get carried away with overly emotional praise either.

Having said that, for me as a Sikh, he gave me the one thing no one else had delivered up to that point.

Let me explain.

While traveling Europe I would come across veterans of the first and the second European war (1914-18 and 1939-45) who many a time would present themselves to me as admirers of the Sikh soldiers and battalion, and who would salute me as an orthodox young Sikh. Apart for these European war veterans, everyone else would confuse me for an Arab, Muslim or indeed a Hindu. I was never recognised as a Sikh.

Because of this sincere, honest, earnest Sikh preacher, today I am recognised globally as a Sikh, part of a nation of people who gave up their own kingdom, their country, in order to free India.

My nation, a people I am proud to call my own, the Sikhs, made a selfless sacrifice foregoing their own nation for the sake of securing freedom for what is now more than a billion people in India.

Yes, the ruling classes cheated us out of a promise. But that is the political Hindu for you. The citizen Hindu and Muslim of India, by contrast, categorically maintains that we do deserve our own statehood. I thank them for their support.

Yet in today’s India, the arrogance of some Hindu politicians is leading them to proclaim that all citizens of India are Hindus.

I once again want to remind them that ‘Hindu’ is neither a race nor a religion.

Hindi is a communal language of communication that slowly gathered momentum following its birth just over one hundred and fifty years after the establishment of Sikhism.

Hindi is like the fabled pan-European language Esperanto. Nothing more and nothing less.

And as for Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale: Sikhs, he was a seasoned preacher, a Giani. He was not a Sant in any shape or form. Please, let us not get over emotional about his credentials. Let us be sincere in our evaluation.

As a Giani, what he achieved for Sikhism is that which the best amongst us will never be able to emulate or attain. He gave me global recognition, a global presence. And, no, I do not accept the excuse that globally, in the age of the internet, race Europeans mistake me for a Muslim. The truth is that they hate me because of the colour of my skin – pure and simple. It is race and culture hatred that they exercise. And the easiest way to murder me is to call me a Muslim. Race Europeans are neither that ignorant nor that stupid that they cannot tell me apart from a Muslim. Exactly how many Muslims in the western world walk around with their traditional very loose cloth wound around their heads? I have only ever seen three in all my years of living in race European countries.

So, the fact that the world now views me as a Sikh must be credited entirely to this one, very basically educated, sincere orator/preacher, who merely wanted the dignity and self-esteem of the Sikhs to be respected by the Hindu Government – the very Hindus who until 1946 had been slaves in their own land for just a little over one thousand years.

Sikhs deserve their dignity and self-esteem to be respected by the Hindu Government of India.

And on the anniversary death of this preacher I hope and pray it will begin to accept a world where Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhist, Jains, Christians and Hindus can live in peace with each other in the land we now call India: as autonomous cultures, languages, heritages, and dignities that together protect our collective defence, economy and infrastructure as these exist now.

 

 

Advertisements

Jackals & Tigers

In numerous societies, jackals have betrayed their own kith and kin, allowing outside powers to subjugate their race, culture, language, and heritage.

I am going to use Sikh examples and indicate to others how they may take steps to safeguard their cultural integrity and dignity.

Dr Rami Ranger & Dr Kapoor

Today’s essay endeavours to illustrate the mechanics invoked at a psychic level to hamper the independence of individuals, communities, and societies. I will use two from within the UK Sikh community to make my point. The first person is Dr Rami Ranger and the second Dr S. S. Kapoor.

Backgrounds of the characters

Raminder Singh Ranger, born July 1947, is Chairman and Managing Director of Sea Air and Land Forwarding Ltd, and the winner of a Queens Award for Export. He secured his PhD from the then newly established Khalsa College, Harrow, London, which was run by a Dr S. S. Kapoor, OBE, D.Litt., PhD., M.Comm (Hons), M.A. (Law), FCCA, FCMA CGMA.

I have to own up to the fact I have not read Dr Rami Ranger’s thesis, nor for that matter Dr Kapoor’s. I do, however, have a copy of the latter’s English translation Sukhmani Sahibji (2007).

Sukhmani Sahibji is an elaborate work by the fifth Sikh Guruji, Guru Arjandevji. If Dr Kapoor’s translation is indeed ‘A Dynamic Look into the Meaning and Philosophy of Sukhmani Sahib’, as boldly claimed on the front of the book, then heaven help us. One of Dr Kapoor’s PhD students presented me with the book. If I had received a pre-publication copy for review, then quite frankly I would have dismissed the author as a simpleton who lacks internal awakening, inner growth, and humility. The work reads as the articulation of ideas cobbled together from the internet, and suffers thereby from a lack of philosophical depth and insight.

Dr Kapoor claims he has published fifty books to date. If his translation of one of the cornerstones of Sikh thought, held in unqualified esteem by Sikhs, is an indicator of his philosophical depth and internal awakening, then I feel embarrassed. Based on that book, I would unflinchingly dismiss his entire published oeuvre as asinine and superficial, unequal to the philosophical heights he has set himself, and that Sukhmani Sahibji demands.

Now, if the principal of the college produces such work of staggering ignorance and a regurgitation of others’ work, then what quality and depth can be ascribed to his students’ productions?

To put this into perspective, one of Dr Kapoor’s students who interacted with me to produce their thesis, was repeatedly questioned about the source of their insights, so advanced were they in comparison with any sources Dr Kapoor used. Ofcourse, the student was under strict instructions not to divulge my input to Dr Kapoor or his cohort, and passed their PhD, but not without some interrogation.

Focus of this essay

Dr Ranger and Dr Kapoor are Chairman and General Secretary of the British Sikh Association respectively. Together, they are in the process of raising one million pounds sterling to fund the creation of a Sikh regiment in the British Army. Furthermore, Dr Ranger has stated that he is against the creation of an independent Sikh state, citing the ‘fact’ that the Sikh Gurus themselves never asked for or advanced the idea of such a state.

It is with this statement on the Sikh state, made by Dr Ranger, that I take issue in this essay titled ‘Jackals and Tigers’.

I do so by way of sharing some basic historical facts as well as the precise meanings of (many an) inaccurately translated words.

Misinformation has led ‘Singh’ to be translated as ‘lion’, when in fact it means tiger. A tiger is larger, bigger, stronger, more intelligent, and exemplifies a thoughtful predator, in comparison to a lion.

(Babbar) ‘Sher’, is the word for lion in the north Indian languages. ‘Singh’ refers to a tiger in the same languages. Thus, it is extremely embarrassing to hear ardent forthright no-nonsense Sikhs laying claim to a higher value by proclaiming themselves as ‘(Babbar) Sikhs’. In doing so, they concede to being weaker, less powerful, and less intelligent than the tigers they really are.

The Sikh confederacy following the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was identical to the confused, contradictory, self-indulgent, and obstinate Sikh groups of today (including across the diaspora).

These fragmented and egotistical groups are very easy to manipulate. Praise and aloofness pay dividends in further dividing such groups and, historically, we can see this in the massive Sikh losses during the two Anglo-Sikh wars.

Tigers became jackals, readily accepting praise, gifts, and promises of glory-rule before the Anglo-Saxons first war against them. After that the second Anglo-Sikh war was a foregone conclusion. In-fighting, self-importance, finger-pointing, and a holier-than-thou attitude meant that regardless of all the prayers offered up the Sikhs got their butt smacked.

For many years now, I have been at pains to amalgamate the various Sikhs groups within the UK, and I feel honoured and privileged to see such a configuration finally taking shape. This began with the dismantlement of the Khalistan movement, and then the formation of the Sikh Consultative Forum (now the Sikh Council). The process of getting the Sikhs to operate under one umbrella is organic, but it is slowly taking shape.

I always have to remind myself that Sikhs are not born hypocrites. They are born honest, sincere, and truthful, even when being so is to their own detriment. Thus, diplomacy does not come to them naturally. However, diplomacy is what is needed immediately and urgently.

In the 1970s, when Sikhs sought their own country, I stood on the sidelines and realised that lions were once again about to be betrayed by jackals. Each group within the Khalistani movement was back-biting the other. Each uttered phrases from the Sri Guru Granthsahibji (Sikhism’s living Guru [their holy scriptures]) parrot-fashion, and tried to out-manoeuvre the others. Standing on the sidelines, I could see how easily they were going to be broken apart from within, and betray others.

Ignorance led the movement, arrogance dug the graves, and the naive became the corpses.

As a Sikh, standing on the outside looking at the massacre the Khalistani movement triggered on its own defenseless people in Panjab, there is an immovable pain seated deep in my psyche.

A self-trained army that out-manoeuvred the raider Abdali Shah after he almost decimated them is the legend heard and spoken about as far as Vietnam – whose own forces took sustenance from Sikh valour, and who deployed similar small-group attack tactics in their success against the Americans.

But what happens when Sikhs have to work together as a large unified group?

During the setup of the Sikh Consultative Forum I strenuously indicated that the formula I supported and advocated was one in which there was a formal head (at the time it was my nomination Bhai Mohinder Singhji of Soho Road Gurdwara,) and a figurehead, to whom the former would be answerable. Albeit that the figurehead of the organisation would hold no power within the constitution, the formal head would not be able to deliver the agreed consensus of the Forum without the prior approval of the figurehead.

Sadly, the position of figurehead was never established. But, just as I imagined, and as is the norm with such things, the Forum underwent – and will continue to undergo – reformation and realignment, and of course renaming, I also indicated at the time the Sikh Consultative Forum was established – and still do – that each Sikh who wishes to interact with government must lodge an agenda with the Sikh Consultative Forum and share the outcome of the meeting with it.The Forum must then distribute this information, and all such updates, to each constituent gurdwara. Did this ever happen? Like hell it did. But I live in hope.

If my indications had been followed through with, and such a structure established, then today I would not need to reprimand Dr Ranger and Dr Kapoor.

Admonishment

The United Nations’ definition of a country stipulates that it must have its own currency, language, law, and defence, amongst other things. Twice, once during the time of Guru Arjandevji (the 5th Guruji) and then again during the time of Guru Tegbahadurji (the 9th Guruji), the exact emblems of an independent country were established and flourished for the time.

So, for Dr Rami Ranger to state on his webpage that he does not support a Sikh independent state and that the Sikh Gurus never had or argued for an independent state amounts to rank ignorance masquerading as self-indulgent importance. This is the same Dr Ranger who has a doctorate from Khalsa College, Harrow, under the aegis of Dr Kapoor’s. And let’s not forget that this is the same Dr Kapoor who is the general secretary of the organisation Dr Ranger set up. One does not need an ‘ology’ to evaluate the veracity of the doctorate in question.

If either of the two gentlemen feels I am wrong, then they are welcome to take me to court, and we’ll examine their literature using current anti-plagiarizing software to determine the veracity of their work.

I humbly suggest that Dr Rami Singh Ranger remove the ignorant remarks attributed to the Sikh Gurus and Sikhism’s desire to enjoy self-determination.

And let’s not lose sight of the fact that Indian states are, and to date function as, independent sovereign countries within a federal framework called India.

Dr Rami Singh Ranger’s remarks on his website are more to do with selling himself as a poodle of the British government via whom he receives plaudits and accolades.

Why is it that I as a Sikh do not need a British Empire honour to make me feel a sense of self-worth?

If both gentlemen’s self-worth is only measured by how many accolades they can secure from the British then my best wishes are with them.

However, can they please be kind and considerate enough not to make factually inaccurate statements in order to curry favour with their British masters?

Orphan of shame

I have almost finished my fifth decade of life in the UK.

As a child, my innocence wholeheartedly accepted the Christian hymn-singing and worship each school morning. I embraced the Christian ethos and English life manners. Many of the Christian and Anglo-Saxon quirks I found uncomfortable or considered downright idiotic, but the culture I come from ingrains equal respect to others, their lifestyle and their beliefs.

With crass ignorance, we were forcefully told that we had Christian names, when they meant our first name. We were equally forcefully told that Singh and Kaur were unacceptable as last names, and all kind of threats would rain down on you along with the insistence that you give them the ‘family’ name used before baptism, as that name would be used as your last name.

It took a lot of explaining and needless effort to maintain the irreversibility of a name change, let alone reverting to ones old family name. The point that bapitsed Sikhs would choose death rather than revert to a family name finally seemed to convince the ‘know it all master race’ that perhaps they were not well informed about other cultures. However their last word on the matter would always be. ‘Well, you are in England now. Here we do things differently and if you want to get on you had better fit in’. ‘Fit in’ was a euphemism for ‘mimic our lifestyle’. You could forget about equality right away.

Moving on. I found it shocking that children who had not yet discovered masturbation could answer back a teacher. Furthermore, the outright rudeness, abuse and disrespect by these children who could not yet wipe their own snot, but who could and would publicly scream, shout, and use offensive adult words at their own parents and other elders, disgusted me.

One of the rituals I found offensive was the dishonouring and waste of food at school dinnertime, as if human hunger had been wiped out globally. There was another dinnertime ritual I found baffling – it occurred during my first English summer. Winter and spring had passed. Summer’s arrival saw oranges and apples (bananas were rare in those days). The students relished eating fresh fruit. The shock was that they sprinkled lashings of white sugar on their dissected oranges and apples before eating! What?

On the other two continents I had lived prior to arriving in Europe and the UK, you either ate the fruit straight-up or sprinkled it with salt and/or black pepper, chilli masala. But white sugar?! Yuk. When the other kids saw me use salt and black pepper they collectively laughed, until copying my action they found the fruit tasted not only better but had a kick which enjoined the taste buds to savour the chemical reaction of tangy citrus juice salt/pepper.

But a few days later and despite their obvious enjoyment days earlier, the schoolkids reverted to using white sugar.  When I asked the boy nearest me at the school dinner table, he retorted that ‘we English do not eat foreign muck.’ It was an incident that, though I rarely realised it at the time, came to encapsulate and define the English attitude in virtually every area of my adult life.

The English will willfully dig their heels in as if their ego and esteem were at stake if they employed an idea from Johnny Foreigner. Though even being a foreigner was not simple, was in fact hierarchical. The Scots, Welsh, and Irish were foreigners, but to different degrees. Houses with rooms to let invariably had a sign hanging outside that read ‘No dogs. No Blacks. No Jews. No Wogs. No Irish.’ The Europeans were foreigners in different degrees too (Northern better than Southern and both better than Eastern – unless you were defecting from the Soviet bloc), though in the larger hierarchy they were below the Home Counties’ foreigners and above the non-European ones.

And in all of this the English defended their lifestyle and dietary habits as if their participation and enjoyment of something more enjoyable, maybe even better, than whatever they were used to would somehow dilute the ‘master race’. The cherished ‘master race’ idiotology was nailed to the mast of their mentality. This master race mentality translated in how you, as a foreigner, were not meant to sit on a bus if the available spaces were all next to English passengers; the bus conductor would shout at you to stand instead. Though truth be told, we weren’t all that keen on sitting next to a native anyway – they stank.

We learned that the English didn’t bathe for a week at a time, didn’t change their underclothes or socks either; and then there was the stinking fumes of their breath, on which commingled alcohol, cigarettes and meat. Most repulsive was learning that they smudged their faeces around their bottom using toilet paper when they went to the toilet – instead of washing their bottom – and just as often used the hand they ate with to accomplish this task. And all of this unbreathable stench  was then compound by using cheap, nasty-smelling perfume, though the men invariably didn’t go in for this – master race men smelled like men. You have no idea how nice that was!

And with the arrival of the first ray of sunshine, regardless of the chill-wind factor, the British would remove their shirts and find every excuse to become brown. Then gleefully they would compare their browned skin to ours to see if they had reached parity, their mouths stretched in smiles as wide as the Mississippi river, while never failing to mention that our rich skin – the one they were trying to emulate, the one that acted as natural barrier to the sun’s harmful rays – was dog dirt, and that this meant we were the mess under their shoe. Hence, ‘wog’ as a play on the word ‘bog’. The British government in their radical reappraisal of race relation laws eventually outlawed the term ‘wog’.

While it lasted – well beyond its official lifetime – this derogatory name really infuriated me. As a child, I wished to be a grownup so I could smack the other grownups in the face for calling me such names. An elderly friend of my father explained a very sensible mindset to cope with the derision. He was an authority on the body chakras and mindscapes corresponding to these. He gave a simple explanation: We, he said, from the mature civilisation operate from the heart chakra. Thus, we are hospitable, warm, friendly and thoughtful. Our mature kindness means we turn a blind eye to aggression and aggressive behaviour.

By contrast, hateful people, he went on to explain, suffer with low self esteem, which manifests as a need to be offensive, rude and aggressive, and this mentality operates from the chakra controlling bowel and urine movements. Thus, the English are homing in on their own bowels when they look at us with disdain. If, he added, ones entire thought process is based in the bowel then one is in fact encouraging diseases from that part of the body into the entire body.

This elderly man’s final advice to me was that my best offence was to encourage the master race hate me, because the fact of my skin colour being what it is represents an advanced state of reprisal in itself; and that their race hatred would, over time, build up into a potent disease. So let them hate you. To this day, when I notice race hate attitude and behaviour, however subtle, I do whatever I can to increase this hatred for me as my way of settling a score. It’s quite an English behaviour to manifest, which I learned from the English.

My intermittent ESP informed me that when the master race began enquiring about our caste, certain trouble loomed ahead. With the advent of a European foothold on India’s shores caste in India had become transmogrified as something rigid, degrading and divisive. Wanting and having an attention span for only soundbites, the master race used these soundbites about caste to believe that they had swum the depths of deep knowledge.

The eventual fall of the Roman Empire was predicated on their rulers demanding strict caste division of labour, and the suppression of natural flair and ability to move along the occupational bandwidth. In India, caste was likewise an occupational definition, but ability and talent were respected over things like inheritance, so boundaries were porous. The East India Company, a ragtag of ignorants masquerading haughtily as superiors, demanded rigid occupational boundaries in order to render governance more easy and manageable. Hence, the caste system of today in India.

So, when in my second school term some more Panjabi students joined and our teachers asked about our castes, I intuitively realised trouble was brewing. The teachers grouped us off and tasked a lad from the ‘lower caste’ to be our spokesperson in the event that we faced harassment or violence from other students. Later, when I had a part-time job a colleague from the ‘highest’ caste was named to lead us. It was only then that the penny finally dropped. The chosen one in each case was being singled out from the collective, and acquired a status of superiority vis-à-vis the collective he ostensibly led, which gave him more protection from the management and epitomised the divide-and-rule concept so foundational to European colonial rule. I realised much later how shrewd this was; but at the time – certainly at school, I viewed it as a revelation.

So, what has any of this got to do with being an Indian living in the UK?

Permit me another digression at this moment, which will help explain.

Hinduism is neither a religion nor a race. And Hindi, like English, is a mongrel language. Hindi was created by taking words and syntax from several north Indian languages including Panjabi (which is a sister language to Sanskrit) and was fashioned to bridge communication between the people and legal/business administration, and to create an in-house language for those engaged in law and business. Those officially and incorrectly classified as Hindus by the British are those who have come to rule India.

Their core mentality as a group is identical to that of all Indians – they are a docile and peaceful people; and their default setting is absolute adherence to ‘karma’ (a wholly misunderstood term that I have touched upon in another blog post); they will attempt something once to the best of their ability, and if they fail, they will willingly accept this as ‘god’s will’ and thus as karmic. This once outward-bound adventurous group became an inward-looking group, like the Scandinavians – denouncing conquest, violence, and physical domination, and relying instead on subjective advanced argument and discourse to maintain their authority. They were known by the world of that time as the ‘Noble People’ – in Sanskrit ‘Arya’.

With the invasion of the Moslems, Aryadesh’s people were found to be wanting in war skills, and she was thus easily overcome and ruled. Sindus, later abbreviated to Indus, was the first part of Aryadesh to be conquered. And ‘Hindu’ is a derogatory appellation taken from Sindus/Indus to signify the all-too-easily-conquerable people of Aryadesh, the weak defenceless men unable to prevent the rape and slavery of their women. The Arya people of the time were, like the Buddhists of Tibet, given to a dispassionate mindset and bent on living as pacifists that gave no quarter to mental anger let alone physical violence.

One thousand years of demoralising slavery later, the Hindu has gained power in India. And the flexing of that power now includes the Sikhs as a target for proving Hindu masculinity – the same Sikhs who secured freedom from conversion of ‘Hindus’ to Islam. Act upon act of negatively-induced and –directed violence has been perpetrated by Hindu against Sikh. Sikhs have been languishing in jail for more than twenty-five years for crimes they did not commit – their innocence proven – because of their attachment to being Sikh. I have very little doubt that were they to embrace Hinduism, these jailed Sikhs would be set free before the conversion ceremony was even completed.

In the meantime, Sikhs living in the west are fighting to maintain their own racial, linguistic and cultural heritage. Many formed fanatical groups seeking independence from India. The 1984 debacle was occasioned by one such incident. These radical fanatical fantasists fail to realise the world has moved on – demands mean nothing, unless you are willing to invest two to three centuries’ worth of training in modern warfare and conquer your opponent in the way of such violence – and that simply being a baptised Sikh is not a sufficient enough rationale to demand and have your will be done. They forget that such voice and traction as Sikhs historically enjoyed was located in, and dependent on, their superior warrior skills. And that their ancestral homeland will only be delivered if the world invests in Panjab the same way as it has in Israel – as a proxy war site, armed to the teeth, that acts as a frontier against Islamic nations. The fact is that the Sikhs willingly gave up their kingdom, and now they cannot expect realpolitik to hand it back to them on some long-ago promise.

Meanwhile, the Sikhs of the UK and their disenfranchised, independence-seeking movement, are having the flames of their discontent fanned by the British government, who are openly courting them and giving them carte blanche support to set up broadcast networks. Thus, the old Khalistanis use their newfound global voice to attack and embarrass India into cooperation with Sikh demands. The Kesri Lehar movement is one such demand: it seeks removal of the death penalty from the Indian statute books; but Kesri Lehar plays a double role, in that it represents a skillfully managed British Government project to reinforce Sikhs as a thorn in the eye and mind of the Indian Government.

I stand on the sidelines watching the debacle and am incensed by the government and country I have chosen to call my home using such divisive, underhand means to destabilise India. I am equally disgusted by the Hindu government’s need to pursue self-empowerment and self-esteem by imprisoning innocent non-Hindus, especially Sikhs. This cannot be called an Indian government anymore. It must be called a Hindu government.

The actions of two selfish governments, the British and the Indian, have left me utterly ashamed. Their actions have turned me into an orphan.

I am an orphan of shame.

April 2013. Vaisakhi @ Parliament; Self-Rule (sent to Baba Iqbal Singhji)

Baba Iqbal Singhji

The Kalgidhar Society, Baru Sahib via Rajgarh, Teh: Pachhard, Dist: Sirmore, Himachal Pardesh, 173101, India

Satsiriakal,

Re:  2013 Vasakhi Parliament & Shepherds Bush Feedback 

I hope this communication finds you physically well and emotionally healthy.

The Communiqué: 

 POINT ONE:

As an experienced figurehead, you began life as and have faithfully remained a sevadar, thus I am sure you will receive the following observation with an open mind, using the pointers tabled to improve your delivery and focus a purpose along a set of sensible attainable targets at a personal and communal level.

The Vasakhi television coverage from the UK parliament of your address left an imprint that the leading light of an embryonic education establishment lacked gravity in the opinion expressed. Your address came across as rambling rant. The fault for this is with your minders in the media. However, the saddest part of the Sikh media is that they are woodcutters detailed to produce exquisite fine royal china tableware. Unfortunately they neither have the talent nor the magnanimous nature to realise that they are not professional trained media journalistic quality capable.

However, it is their duty to make sure that you were aware of the question put to you and then your speech carefully chosen and your voice trained for a steady delivery of the rehearsed speech.

How sad.

However, sadness as a noun or sad as an adjective is a condemnation for the grand design a powerless politically naive community can ill afford. I am sorry but this is not good enough. In future, please, have the awareness not to say anything or limit your utterance to a few words only. Please be aware that speaking on a political stage is not the same as an emotional ramble on a gurdwara stage that you are experienced at.

POINT TWO:

I watched the opening of your speech from Sheperds Bush Gurdwara. You stated that the Jews following the second European war of the 20th century (2nd world war) announced that self-rule was an imperative requirement for the survival of their race and community. In fact each and every community-race expresses the same notion and desires self governance. Please talk to the Kurds, the minorities caught in Myanmar, the Coptic communities in Egypt or indeed the Sámi people of the artic region, and finally the Eskimo community-race. In this, let us not leave behind the indigenous races of north and south America or the aborigines of Australia. They all want the same, but why did it work for the Jews?

Traditionally, the Jews are a hated community regardless of which country they operate and flourish. They are always the entrepreneurs, but by default, as mainstream would not give them jobs. Through their enterprising survivalist skills they eventually became moneylenders. And historically have been accused of underhand dealings, which then resulted in their global persecution.

The Jews in Europe interbred with the European races to a point that they have lost their original racial skin colour. The original Jews had rich pigment than the current modern European Jews. The European Jews changed their names, and hidden behind that deceit they automatically attained high prestige office and authority, nevertheless, when their background was uncovered they were despised.

In addition to the skin camouflage, they through cultural dilution adopted the following changes after massive internal hemorrhage: Historically, the Arab dress mimics the traditional Jewish attire. However, the Jews stood out in the new countries of Europe and therefore the men had to copy their clothing to secure basic jobs. This led to them rejecting the skull cap in public. The women lacking self-esteem and personal inferiority complex argued successfully by refusing to wear clothing that looked alien in the new communities. They argued that head scarf could be replaced by wearing a fashionable wig.

Then they argued, as it was the show of the naked skin of the legs that was against their cultural requirement then why could they not wear thick woolen leggings, and also reduce the length of their skirt. After the second European war and the mass availability of nylon stockings and later tights, the Jewish woman rejected the thick leggings also. To this day, the traditional Jewish woman wears a wig when outside the house or when visitors call – hence their natural hair is covered. This change along with the copied accent and the change of name spelling, and its pronunciation, secured empathy within the community they chose to live.

Furthermore, one of the reason that aided their global survival and accomplishment can be seen in practice on the streets of Southall in the manner that the Muslims will only patronize Muslim businesses and the Afghan Sikhs business aid each other as an oath of survival. This collective inter business transaction at the expense of the outsider community eventually tarnished the Jews in the eyes of each and every country they operated.

However, to get rid themselves of the Jews from their midst the Europeans decided to ‘aid’ the formation of an artificial ancestral homeland in Palestine. The Arabs of that area were under British rule. The Arabs were imprisoned for having an offensive weapon. The offensive weapon was no more than household kitchen knife while the European Jews were allowed to carry modern guns. If a Jew killed an Arab, then his word that it was self defence was enough as a mitigating circumstance. However, if an Arab was caught carrying a knife he purchased for his family’s kitchen needs he was jailed without a trial.

The Jewish war of independence was orchestrated by the Europeans, where on one hand the Jews were armed by them and then the British troops made a half hearted attempt to fight and contain them. The British here means regiments of ill armed Arabs led by a British officer who were outgunned and as the Jews had prior knowledge of the defence they were up against – thus the Jews always defeated the British. The British ‘lost’ eventually. Israel was formed. A minority ruled the majority, with a loaded gun at the head of the majority Arabs.

The Europeans succeeded in (hopefully) removing a race they were uncomfortable with and this as a byproduct also has been a boon. In creating Israel, the Europeans have snarled the Arabs in a constant self-defeating war with a community armed to the teeth by the European race. And Israel acts as a proxy army for Race-Europeans interest.

So, Iqbal Singhji, please get your history into perspective before you start announcing half truths as away forward for establishment of a Sikh state.

POINT THREE:

This, the third point is part of the ongoing romantic idealism about Khalistan. Khalistan as a name will never attain statehood. It is not liked and does not carry the same positive vibration and respect as does Panjab. Panjab, as a name has far better chance of attaining statehood. But not Khalistan. In addition, Panjab will only come into fruitition if there are tangle advantage for several world powers in its formation.

In any case, just what is so special about Sikhs that they as a 2% minority should be accorded statehood? What, because they gave their lives? Who asked them for this protection? At that junction were they given cast iron sureties that if they killed themselves defending this that or the other then that would secure statehood? Get real. This is real-time politics and not some village panchayat goodwill gesture being honoured by return. Sikhs got themselves killed on an emotional high, then that was, and to this day is their lookout. Real life politics is clinically hard and emotion-less.

Shocking is it not?

However, let us get back to the drawing board with this demand. Please, secure and read the lengthy document I handed to Jaspal S Bains who is well known figure from Birmingham as the operator owner of a Sikh media paper. That document template is so simple and yet subtle. Sadly the self-delusional Sikh TV owners find me intimidating because I will not tolerate their daft self egotistical nonsense. Yet in me resides a vision that is painful to enact if a formal independent state is required into reality. Whereas they are reenacting 1979 onwards debacle of inciting anger culminating in another iron-fist clampdown in Panjab by India.

The current drugs addiction is not some grand plan by the Delhi seat. It is a direct result of a lost generation  killed in ‘encounters’ who automatically would have chastised, but their small children grew up  discipline-less and then this led to them lacking cohesive knowledge how to bring up their own children, a classic example of weak parenting. Interestingly, the lack of elder authority also witnesses lack of discipline in the young within the animal kingdom too. So let us not blame the Delhi seat for our own failings.

The annoying part is that sitting in the west the 1979 inciters never sent their own sons into the last ‘war of Panjab independence of 1980’s’. Thus, there is no hope of current fathers who are self professed armchair generals inciting independence of Panjab all over again ever going to send their own son’s to a new war in Panjab. Is there?

Harsh realities have to be faced. Hypocrisy has to be jettisoned.

I had the privilage of learning then teaching and guiding Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jewish and Christian communities and general ‘non-aligned’ people about spiritual matters. I also gave political insight at a high level. The thing that stood out as a reality within all these communities was abject divisions and mistrust amongst themselves and yet uniformly they envied the unity they see within the Sikhs overall.  The problem with the Sikhs is that they lack the long enrich privilage that I have had. The problems within the Sikhs are veneer cracks and not the deep chasm of all other faith groups. Please tell the last time you heard, currently or historically, of Sikhs army fighting Sikh army over internal faith agenda? I repeat we Sikhs do not have the anywhere the same problems the other faiths have.

I have written and spoken often about a non-European constitution for all non-European races. Until that is not in place an independent Panjab is a nonentity.

In any case, the idea that utopia awaits Sikhs upon independence is just that. A utopian dream. The reality is the same type of indifference government that has existed in Panjab since independence of India is our future in an independent state. The connected will get off scot free. Uprising against the government will occur, and it too will be put down without remorse nor concern for human rights. So what exactly will change other than Sikhs will persecute Sikhs?

This is kaljug Bhai, this is kaljug. Just accept it. In this ‘age’ dog eats dog. There is no peace either way. Dogs regardless who is in power will still eat dog. And that is a truth humanity cannot and will not escape from…

…A Sikh of Guru’s, I remain a sevadar of the panth.

Satsiriakalji.

Avtar