Festival of Life & Democracy

Nowadays, both the Festival of Life (a period of spiritual introspection for Sikhs), usually celebrated around the 13th April, and Democracy, are a catastrophe crammed into ubiquitous kitsch-deluded masculine grandiosity, positioning so-called virtue. However, both fall well shy of their own original and exacting standards.

Vasaakh:

Is a period within the cycle of a season of a hemisphere. It is the second month of the traditional earth calendar in the northern hemisphere. The first month began around the 12th /13th of March. Traditionally, there were 13 months in one year cycle, where some months had 32 days, and others less than 28 days. These months approximately correspond to what is now known as the astrological calendar. Indeed the astrological calendar also had 13 divisions, of which one was particularly short in duration.

Vasaakh represents the regeneration of the northern hemisphere, as it emerges from its winter hibernation into new life. It indicates the same, at a different point in the calendar, in the southern hemisphere. Vasaakh happens twice on our planet. Once in the northern, and then in the southern, hemisphere.

For Sikhs of the northern hemisphere, Vasaakh at a very rudimentary level refers to introspection, awakening, deeper consciousness, and overall spiritual repose, lived within full secular responsibility. For Sikhs of the southern hemisphere experience this psychic-spiritual sensation, and inner introspective regeneration, the festival of Vasaakh has to take place at the appropriate point in the seasonal cycle. Regeneration on the cusp of autumn/winter would be nonsensical, obviously.

Given the epithet of soldier-saint, circulating since the time of Guru Arjandevji, it is fitting that Vasaakh should also represent a moment of reaffirmation of our secular responsibilities (as much as of spiritual regeneration). In this regard, we pledge anew to be conscientious, trustworthy, reliable, dependable, and accountable through the five Ks; to protect lives, even those of enemies (and especially at the first time of engagement), and including those of every species occupying our own geographical zone (without becoming pedantic about the unseen life form).

Vasaakh is the second month of the Arya calendar. Remember, Sikhs, when they occupied Europe and especially the northern countries of Europe were then also known as Sikhs, Arya and Khalsa (Khalsa is another very ancient name, which at that time meant merging into the One. It retains the same meaning today but is usually confused with a word derived from the Aryan-influenced region north of Persia).

However, for a Sikh who advances and exalts into the Khalsa, the responsibility is even more exhaustive, meticulous, comprehensive, thorough, detailed, and exacting.

For me, at my own personal level, my white turban including the Five K’s represents that I am duty bound to protect the right of my enemy to take my life.

However, as a Khalsa, protection of life is my basic fundamental duty.

Therefore, while my enemy may want to take my life, protecting my own life takes priority for me as well as safeguarding his life. If he persists, then I must (without flinching) put him to rest, and say a prayer prior throughout. And I must bear no hatred towards him or his community for his actions against me. In fact, I must locate his immediate family and offer my on going assistance for the vacuum left by the slain.

As you can see, being a practicing Sikh, and then evolving into the fully fledged Khalsa is not as easy as many Sikhs seem to think. Simply being born into a Sikh family does not mean that you are a Sikh. The fundamental requirements of being a Sikh are a tad difficult; and elevation into Khalsa is well nigh impossible.

The most telling point of Vasaakhi is that Life has to be celebrated. A celebration steeped not in wanton drunkenness or salacious behaviour, but characterized by an inner audit of the preceding year and setting parameters for the coming year. The idea is to protect Life, thus allowing Life to give life to Life.

Hence, Vasaakh, the second month of the earth (northern hemisphere) calendar is the Festival of Life.

Democracy:

Is control and governance of an organisation or country by the majority of its eligible members.

The original idea was to put aside quarrels that escalated from verbal abuse to physical violence, armed attack, ultimately to death. Thus, wise men (no, not women; remember, women were/are inferior and unclean due to their menstruation) devised a holistic means to conduct their tribal clan’s mechanization. This included the involvement of the soothsayers, medicine person (they were both female and male), and then the formal ritual brigade, some of whom evolved into formal religious heads. Religious heads, ritually excellent, and had an intricate understanding of ancient medicine and alchemy, in tandem with psychic ability: this then allowed them hands-on responsibility and a veto in debates about communal care.

Over the past fifty years, political communities in certain cultures have distanced the influence of the religious order, and endeavoured instead to promote an isolationist-secular schema.

Nevertheless, the voting minority still suffers. Seldom was/is a single item of their need addressed. Promises and pledges are seldom kept by those in power.

We have a prime example of the role and fallout of pledges in the blatant lies peddled by politicians in the run-up to Brexit in the United Kingdom. The liars, far from being criminally charged, went on to hold high office, as in the case of Boris Johnson, the British Foreign Secretary.

Interestingly, if a man leads a group of women along a romantic path, while securing large sums of money from them, he is criminally charged. Yet we, the cattle-voting-class, are repeatedly told that politicians cannot be hauled into a criminal court, since they only offered pledges.

Such pledges, to revert again to Brexit in the United Kingdom, included the insistence – nay, assurance – that the monies saved from not being part of Europe would help turn around the failing National Health Service. But neither Boris Jonhson nor Nigel Farage (then leader of UKIP) can be prosecuted for their ‘pledges’ on the matter, because these have since been defended merely as suggestions and not promises to the electorate they deliberately misled.

This, guys, is democracy.

A con-artist who makes pledges to several women, only for the latter to find out they’ve been duped, would feel the full wrath of the law. But in democracy, liars (read: politicians) actually benefit from their lies, amassing financial and political advantage.

Many an English politician is therefore a criminal, as well as a recipient of bribes who then takes full advantage of his political position… as is the standard charge leveled at the average Indian politician. The difference is that in the English political system you ‘donate’ officially in order to buy your MPs support and protection; whereas in the Indian political system the donation is unrecorded. But the same bribery takes place across both systems.

This is democracy.

One example is from the mother of Parliamentary democracy and the other is from the world’s largest democracy.

So, is there a better system?

Yes indeed. And, no, it is not proportional representation.

The first cast-iron surety we need to put in place is that elected officials who lie during election are to be dismissed from office, criminally charged, and their ill-gotten gains confiscated.

Then, to equally reflect the minority racial or a religious group, a consensus of the population establishes in order to attributes a ratio to each voting group. This means that the minority under the ratio formula will have exactly the same power to their vote as the majority. Thus, now we have governance with consent rather than governance of the numerical votes cast. Numerically, the majority will still cast the larger share of the votes cast; however, due to the ratio formula, the minority voter will have an equal say in the actual outcome and politics.

The ratio formula outstrips the dated, inflexible, and unaccountable voting system termed democracy, and the new outcome would in its truer sense be democracy in earnest.

This system would have enormous positive impact globally, especially in many artificially-constructed countries by the Europeans, as in the case of the Ottoman Empire, in Africa, and across each and every country/landmass that came under the race-European empire.

Yes, it is up to us, the voiceless cattle-class-voter, to demand the fairer ratio vote.

And at this junction, just past, namely that of the spring equinox, in alignment with Vasaakh and the ‘Festival of Life’ that is Vasaakhi, why not push for and establish this fair voting system?

Social Responsibility

The Beveridge report recommended comprehensive health and rehabilitation services for the prevention and cure of disease. Additionally, consideration was to be paid to the destitute and vulnerable in society. These led to the establishment of a welfare system in the UK by 1948, which fairly copied Bismarck’s blueprint for reform in Germany.

Back in Emperor Ashoka’s time, Aryadesh (India) also laid down plans catering for the lowly and dispossessed. Its population had a moral responsibility to cook enough to share with those less fortunate themselves. To do otherwise was ethically evil, decreasing the collection of positive points that one could use to barter upon one’s death for a more financially, healthy, peaceful, meaningful and self-aware birth next time around.

If today’s western ‘modern’ mind considers such emotional bargaining for an improved future birth to be a load of claptrap, so be it. But there if we step back and examine the actual effects of the Aryadesh peoples moral and ethical responsibility towards the less advantaged, then it is clear that the whole exercise paid dividends. Scholars of Emperor Ashoka maintain that poverty and hunger did not exist in Aryadesh under his rule – a well-fed populace, they argue, suffered concomitantly fewer health concerns.

Why then, if the concept was so beneficial in practice, and the wider repercussions of a well-fed and healthy population able to work meant increased State revenues, did it cease soon after the end of Emperor Ashoka’ dynasty?

The answer lies in cycles. Life, like this planet and its creation, is cyclic. It has a heartbeat. Creation has a heartbeat. The sun has a heartbeat. Earth has a heartbeat. Everything in creation and nature has a heartbeat. That heartbeat is cyclic. But the heartbeat is not identical across all matter. Each heartbeat differs. Each beat of the drum creates a different vibration, and each vibration creates a different slipstream in its wake.

Everything modulates with the touch of each vibration, its resonance rippling out as it interacts with its surroundings. Like a domino effect, everything in creation changes. What it was, is not what it is now. And what it is now will change too under the sway of the forthcoming beat of the drum.

Vedic knowledge, or Hindu mythology, calls this drumbeat Shiva’s Dance. Many of you will have seen the bronze statue of Shiva dancing in Hindu Mandirs and the homes of devotees. Shiva’s Dance represents the heartbeat of creation. The silent aspect of the heartbeat details non-creation. Non-creation is not silent, however. The reverberation of the preceding heartbeat can still be ‘heard’.

Human affairs are cyclic in much the same way. Caring times follow uncaring times. Welfare follows warfare. Everything has its opposite. Duality. Creation and non-creation is duality at work. And in duality, bad walks hand in hand with good.

It is in forgetting this simple truth that humans foment trouble. The powerful manufacture wars in the arrogant belief that they will prevail. Of the many things that human history teaches us, one is that the powerful always instigate one war too many. That war is their downfall. They become the subjugated; while their formerly weak opponents, their formerly enslaved peoples and nations become the lord and master of global events.

The cycle never stops.

Another thing human history teaches us is that of the once-powerful, those who beguiled their citizens into caring for their fellow human and other animals while powerful are respected and looked up to for guidance and instruction after their downfall.

Aryadesh fell from power a long time ago. Its golden age is but a memory. Nevertheless the India of today is still revered globally for its dharmic, moral and ethical behaviour. This respect and reverence derives from the age of Emperor Ashoka and his law calling upon Aryadesh’s citizens to care in whatever way necessary for those less advantaged than themselves.

Again, the modern western mind from its wonderful position of privilege can assail all of this as claptrap. But without the advantage of the machines they have created to replace human work, would any other civilisation bother to consider the western lifestyle and life pattern worth as one worth emulating? No, it wouldn’t; because other than creating mechanical means to ease the human burden of labour, the western consciousness has added what to human consciousness? Precisely nothing.

Even the welfare system announced and set up in the middle of the last century, with the usual chest-puffed-out bulldog mentality of the English, is being broken apart. It was set up without the powers-that-be realising that they were extending a programme of welfare to a psychically ill people wrapped in negative consciousness, and that the system would end up eking out a miserable existence, defined by extending aid to a number of adults who’ve never worked a day in their lives in any income-generating, tax-paying activity though they are capable of doing so; or who do not consider it their duty to pay tax on their infrequent income. Not all of them, but a number of them.

The Coalition government of 2013 seems to want to cut off its nose to spite its face in dismantling the welfare system. It doesn’t realise it has a golden opportunity to sustain the welfare system, and to take care of rather than vilify the underprivileged. Its members and leaders instead believe that if they are able to create and accumulate untold wealth and riches, then every Joe Bloggs can achieve the same.

What the conservatives forget is that their wealth is founded on the cheap labour of non European peoples who don’t have a welfare system to give their workforce a dignified living standard or dignified existence.

I challenge the UK Conservative-led government to stop all welfare payments and government funding of the NHS with one stroke.

With this move, it will create an untouchable class so impoverished that its members will take any job going in order to feed itself, will work zero-hours with relish, will slave away in sweatshop environments for pittance – and it is on the hard labour of this new indigenous untouchable class, so long chided for being work-shy, that Conservative MPs’ wealth will derive.

The wholesale and immediate removal of the welfare state and of the NHS will also stop immigrants coming to these shores, as well as creating mass employment and rejuvenating the dying manufacturing industry – doing away with the need to import sweatshop-made goods from abroad, when these can so effectively be produced here at the same cost.

Somehow, I can’t see the Conservatives, however much they foam at the mouth about the degeneracy of the work-shy masses – who they conveniently forget are comprised of the indigenous and not immigrant masses – having the balls to go to such extremes

So, what’s the alternative?

Well, we in this country must encourage and bring to bear the Emperor Ashoka model of care and community – in which the well-off share their wealth openheartedly with the less well-off. Let’s position the Little Englander as a beacon of moral and ethical responsibility for other nations’ peoples to emulate.

Prestige, like honour, has to be earned. It cannot be manufactured out of fear for the repercussions of one’s actions. It has to be achieved through earnest goodness.

The question is: Is Conservative wealth ready to move on to the next level of advanced awareness, or will it perish like another bully who died unceremoniously and over whom no tears where shed?