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Solidarity with Oppression? The Danger of a Sikh-Israel Alliance
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A rally in Brooklyn, NY in support of the BDS movement on Monday.

Monday evening in Brooklyn, about 50 people gathered to protest Israeli apartheid and encourage the boycott of Israeli goods, a part of the growing boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. Inspired by the effective use of boycott and divestment tactics in the struggle against South African apartheid decades ago, the BDS movement is growing with recent victories such as the Presbyterian Church (USA) and many colleges and universities deciding to stop investing in companies complicit in the oppression of the Palestinian people.

The mood of Monday’s rally was heavy. What was intended to be a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the BDS movement instead was a mourning of the many Palestinian lives taken in recent days by Israeli soldiers/bombs and civilians/settlers alike. Like Muhammad Abu Kheidr, a 16-year-old who was burned alive last week in what is widely assumed to be a revenge lynching by Israeli settlers after the bodies of three missing Israeli teens were discovered (blamed on Hamas without any evidence). Or Muhammad’s cousin Tareq, a 15-year-old Palestinian American who was badly beaten and detained for being at the wrong place at the wrong time (with the wrong ethnicity) a few days later. Or the 31 people in Gaza killed and countless others injured and displaced by 378 Israeli airstrikes in the last two days of its increasingly devastating “Operation Protective Edge.” Or the 10+ killed and over 360 kidnapped in Israel’s “Operation Brother’s Keeper” a few weeks ago in the West Bank, a form of collective punishment on the entire population after the  disappearance of three Israeli boys.

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Study on Religious Discrimination and Race-Related Stress among North American Sikhs

University of Massachusetts – Boston
Department of Counseling and School Psychology
100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125-3393
University of Massachusetts Boston

Researcher: Dr. Kiran S. K. Arora
Study: Religious Discrimination and Race-Related Stress among North American Sikhs.

We are interested in conducting research with Sikhs living in North America. The purpose of the study is to examine how experiences of religious discrimination and race-related stress may impact the relationships, mental health, and overall well-being of Sikhs. To gather this information, we are looking for individuals over the age of 18, who self-identify as Sikh, and are living in North America, to complete a set of anonymous questionnaires online.

This study hopes to contribute to a dearth of academic literature on Sikhs and their families. Your contribution is valuable, as it would provide insight for family therapists and other mental health professionals working with Sikh families. Your participation is strictly voluntary. Confidentiality is of utmost importance, and measures will be taken to protect your identity.

The purpose of this announcement is to alert you to the research project and invite you to ask any questions you may have about this project. You may contact Dr. Kiran S. K. Arora at [email protected] if you are interested in participating, or learning more about the study. To learn more about the study or participate, you may also go to https://www.psychdata.com/s.asp?SID=153728.

Sikh Women: A Look Back in Time

Co-blogged by Sundari and The Sikh Love Stories Project

Each year, International Women’s Day is celebrated to honor women’s economic, political and social achievements. As individuals around the world celebrate this day – in both big ways and small – I am left to consider how we can work to honor the achievements of Sikh women not only today but on an ongoing basis.  Sikh women have contributed in such meaningful ways, and yet much of that dialogue is often missing from our history.

In this post, we will be sharing some images with you and discuss various ways Sikh women have been witness to and engaged in our history both locally and globally.  We know this post will not be comprehensive – there is much to unearth about Sikh women’s contributions – but we hope it’s a starting point that will encourage us to keep this valuable history in our minds. Many of the following images each depict a different element of Sikh women in history.

Stories often begin with immigration and this first image shows Sikh women pioneers in Canada who were part of an immigrant labor force recruited in the early years of the twentieth century.

1_Three WomenMill Town Pioneers. Most of Canada’s early Sikh immigrants found work in lumber mills throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Canada’s largest mill community, Fraser Mills in New Westminster, BC, had between 200 and 300 Sikhs living and working there in 1925.

In this photograph from that period, three Sikh women stand in front of company houses at the mill. [link]

One of them wears a traditional embroidered shawl called ‘phulkari’. The phulkari played an important role in the lifecycle rituals of women in Punjabi villages at times of birth, marriage and death.

 

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Silent No More: A Sikh Response to the Idle No More Movement

Guest blogged by Santbir Singh

I try to imagine the government coming to my house one morning and taking my five year old daughter and eight year old son away to a boarding school hundreds of kilometres away. I try to imagine that at this school, my children’s hair will be cut, their dastars and kakkars will be removed and they will be forcibly baptized as Christians. I try to imagine that they will be beaten for speaking Panjabi, reading Bani or trying to maintain their religious and cultural traditions. I try to imagine that even their basic health needs will not be looked after and they may well die from treatable infections and diseases. And then, I must admit, I am not able to imagine the rest; I can not bear to imagine them being abused, assaulted, beaten and raped.

That is what occurred in this country for one hundred years as the Canadian government, along with government sanctioned church groups, kidnapped First Nations children from their homes and took them to residential schools where unspeakable horrors were committed on them. Of course the history of colonization in the Americas does not begin with the Residential School system but is in fact a legacy going back centuries. It is estimated that 90 to 95% of all indigenous people living in the Americas were killed by smallpox within the first century after European first contact in the late 1400’s. It is difficult to fathom death at that scale. Those that remained had their land stolen and were forced onto reservations to live as non-citizens in their own lands.

As a nation, Sikhs are extremely proud of our own anti-colonial struggle against the British. Yet we have completely failed to acknowledge that in Canada we have succeeded due to the colonial oppression of other nations. This land where we build our homes and businesses was the land of nations that lived here for tens of thousands of years. Yes, one hundred and seventy years ago the British annexed Panjab and ended Khalsa Raj. But the British did not exile us from our own villages and towns. The British did not take our land and build new cities. The British did not migrate to Panjab and force us to live on inadequate reserves.

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Sikh Women – from Vancouver to Yuba City

This past weekend, I attended the second annual Sikh Feminist Conference at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. A friend posted a concise review of the conference herewhich I would encourage you to read. I’ll just reiterate two points made – the first being the discussion around whether the western concept of Feminism fits within Sikhi. What does it mean to call oneself a Sikh Feminist or even a Male Sikh Feminist? Many participants at the conference felt the words “Sikh” and “Feminist” were redundant and that it was not necessary for us to try to mold to western definitions of feminism when our own faith clearly defines the concept of [gender] equality. On the other hand, others argued that the word is powerful enough to raise and question the issue of patriarchy that continues to exist within the community.The discussion reminded me of a similar conversation that was had at the Faith and Feminismpanel, featuring Sikh women, which took place last year in NYC. About the panel discussion, the author writes,

The core values in Sikhism, particularly the human rights element, were what informed [the panelist’s] views on issues, including womens rights. She has taken the word feminism out of the equation, and transplanted the values of it back into Sikhi, and reminded us that anyone who adheres to the principles of Sikhism and to the words of the Guru Granth Sahib has many labels, feminist, humanist, and activist are just some of them.

The second point is the important link between theory and practice within the Sikh community. I want to highlight this in two ways. The first being that while it has been established that the Gurus emphasized living in an eco-friendly way, it’s clear that as a community we are still working to close the gap – from melas to gurdwaras to within our own homes – our practice of living in an eco-friendly way could use some improvement. EcoSikh sponsored the Sikh Feminist conference and it’s presence was felt very thoughtfully throughout the day (biodegradableutensils, compost, recycling etc!) and it wasinspiringto see our community not just talk about it in theory, but actually put it into practice.

Another discussion was around the concept of izzat or honor, whether it impacts both men and women, how it manifests differently for men and women and why it continues to be a topic of discussion when theoretically, our Gurus gave us the guidance and tools to live in an egalitarian society. The concept itself has been one of discussion on our blog too – particularly around what it means to a family and to a community. We are once again reminded of this issue with the recent news of Baljinder Kaur, a pregnant woman from Yuba City who was arrested over the weekend, just before the Sikh Women’s conference, for apparently killing her mother-in-law.

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How SikhISM became a peaceful Religion

brar.jpegYesterdays news about the attack on KS Brar has excited, angered, inspired, and agitated many Sikhs throughout the world.

Many have questioned the Indian medias initial assumption, before even the facts had arrived. Still others are wondering if the news is even factual. I have seen numerous postings on social media, believing that the attack was just a fabrication in order to make Sikhs appear violent and extreme, especially after the recent goodwill expressed by some channels in the US and abroad after the recent Wisconsin Massacre. Finally, our brothers and sisters at Naujawani have written an intriguing articleasking larger questions about a more sinister timing of all events (though not sure if I agree, well worth a read!).

I believe that the case of Kulbir Singh Barapind and Daljit Singh Bittu is extremely important, but that warrants a separate post. I will return to that issue at a future time.

Personally I am quite surprised that no names have appeared yet, as I figure someone would probably take credit and I wouldnt imagine the names could be held a secret for too long within the community, especially if those that confronted him were young, as the claim is being made. Still I think that I want to take this conversation in a different direction. How do we present SikhISM and its implicationsi?

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Tom Mulcair Responds: Tells India he wont be bullied and stands firm on 1984 Statement

Guest blogged by ResistSingh

amneet_620x270.pngEvery June and November, Sikhs in Canada (and globally) are curious to see what Canadian politicians will say about the tragedies of 1984.

Will they align themselves with the community and provide support and solidarity with the Sikhs as they come together to remember both the invasion and massacre of innocents inside the Darbar Sahib complex during the hot month of June; and then the senseless targeting, butchering, killing and raping of Sikhs during the November Sikh Genocide?

Although the answer is a no brainer to human rights activists, like many social justice issues they seem to be tough political decisions that attract countless discussions and debates amongst politicians and political parties about vote banks, international cooperation, trade relations, development, foreign policy and much more. That is why we have seen sporadic statements from the Liberals and Conservatives for November, rarely if ever for June and a lack of consistency.

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In the Shadow of the Shaheed: Beant and Satwant’s Badla and the JAKARA Album

Co-blogged by JooKay Singh and Jodha

Our fellow langa(w)r-iter – Navdeep Singh highlighted the dominant pop genre of Punjabi music that celebrates nihilism and suicide through political complicity and destitution. Today, we highlight another form of music that has reached new heights in the shadow of the Shaheed.

UK-based producer Tru-Skool’s latest dharmic-track, ‘Beant Satwant Da Badla‘, which will be part of the 10th Shaheedi Immortality album, has topped the BBC Official Asian Download Chart this weekend gone. This isn’t the first time one of the Shaheedi Immorality tracks has been on the BBC Asian Network playlist (Tigerstyle’s Son of a Sardar and Jhooldey Kesri Chande have previously been played by Bobby Friction, Nihal & Adil Ray amongst others), and some would argue this track isn’t pushing the envelope musically or lyrically, since the Immortal Production (IP) collective have been putting out similar tracks for the past 10 years. So, what’s different, and is this a flash-in-the-pan riding on the back of kesri lehar, or is there more?

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Previous IP tracks were given play time on the BBC courtesy of their association with Tigerstyle, who are well respected in the UK as innovative producers, rather than for the tracks themselves; diligent listeners will have noted that the songs were also edited to remove ‘controversial’ lyrics. In Jhooldey Kesri Chandey, for example, the first thirty seconds or so contained part of a speech by Baba Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, and was removed entirely. Beant Satwant Da Badla, by contrast, has received air time by virtue of being the most officially download ‘asian’ track last week in the UK and was played unedited.

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UPDATED: Echoes of New Phases and some Updates

UPDATED: All of a sudden I remembered a video from KPS Gill. Readers on this site are aware of this murderous sadist, but maybe it is still worthwhile to juxtapose his lies with the findings announced this week.

All of our attention shifted towards Punjab last week. There was some interesting developments early this week. One is that Voices for Freedom, a non-government organization, based out of Punjab filed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition against the Sukhbir Badal’s appointee for Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Saini. Saini is a well-known human rights abusers and was involved in the many murders, “disappearances”, and torture during the 1980s and 1990s. From the media reports, while the petition may not go far, hopefully it does center some more attention on just the type of thugs that the the Badal Mafia appoints.

Another note from Punjab came yesterday when the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India announced that they would pay Rs. 175,000 (about $3,500) to 1,500 families in the Amritsar district for the murder of their sons. Of course there is no culpability, just an attempt to buy silence. Well-known human rights lawyer Navkiran Singh of Chandigarh has rightly state:

It is too little too late and why only from Amritsar District? Khalra gave example of Amritsar district, but wanted an inquiry for the whole of Punjab. Imagine we had to pursue the matter in the NHRC for 17 years for this little justice.

UPDATE: I just wanted again to stress the lies that KPS Gill has restated for years. See this interview with an Australian journalist, when asked point-blank about the case of illegal cremations, KPS Gill lies without hesitation. Contrast this where the NHRC admits it occurred and even pays out money to families, though without casting any blame or responsibility. I have yet to see a true Indian journalist expose KPS Gill for his lies. Unfortunately they continue to lionize him, assuring that impunity continues – whether in Punjab, Delhi, Gujarat, Kashmir, and many other regions of South Asia.

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What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?

Author Richard Florida identifies three questions that each of us struggle with over the course of our lives.

1) What do I do with my life?
2) Who do I spend my life with?
3) Where do I want to live?

Obviously, all three are interrelated in many ways but for most of us growing up in North America the first question is the one the one that actually sets up the other two. How I want to spend my life is also a very different question than what kind of job do I want to have. A job or career must be examined in the greater context of one’s purpose in this world. This is even more relevant for practicing Sikhs as our destiny is one of greater purpose. We have been blessed with the awareness that the Creator of this universe resides within each of us and we are here to reconnect with this divinity. To do that, we must live a life of effort, remembrance and service. Yes as Sikhs we are to live in the world as householders, but there something more to life than just going to school, getting a job and raising a family. We are saints and activists, connecting with the Divine and fighting to the death for the rights of all.

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Burqa ban crosses the Atlantic

The legal banning of the burqa and niqab has once again been in the headlines this last week, but this time beyond Europe, in Canada (or as Tanmit from G.N.E. called it last week at Lahir, “America’s pagh”).

Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney, known for his conservative and anti-immigrant policies, announced that new Canadian citizens will now be forced to remove the burqa or niqab while taking their oath of citizenship.

According to the Associated Press,

Jason Kenney said most Canadians have misgivings about Islamic face coverings and said new Canadians should take the oath in view of their fellow citizens…

The Conservative minister called the issue a matter of deep principle that goes to the heart of Canada’s identity and the country’s values of openness and equality. He said women who feel obliged to have their faces covered in public often come from a cultural milieu that treats women as property rather than equal human beings.

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Amrit Bains Tells It Like It Is

Sit down with my cousins in Punjab for more than a few minutes and in-between their reckless driving and ear-pumping tracks of Jazzy B and Gippy Grewal, they will often give their commentary about how Punjabi music is now trash and doesn’t represent the “true” culture. Ask if they enjoy the folk music of Sharif Idu and they’ll ask, “Who?” Push them further and they’ll blame artists like Jasbir Jassi and other hucksters of cheap lyrics and videos. Here comes Amrit Bains of Canada (this video is also EPIC, check out the background dancers!) with a very different thesis, but one that may resonate with a previous conversation we’ve had here in The Langar Hall. It is the music industry’s fault.

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Well, enjoy the video, especially the AMAZING background dancers. Sorry for the language, hope it brings a smile, and have a happy Friday!

UPDATE: Amrit Bains, a long-time bus driver, seems to be following his dreams. Here is a great interview that gives some background of this singer.

Some Notes and Random Musings

295225_10150292952132958_501602957_7814496_8072444_n.jpgGuestblogged byMewa Singh.

Here are some general musings and broader notes/reflections that were sparked by my participation in the camp:

On Parenting One thing I found quite interesting was changes in parenting styles. I dont remember having had many choices as a child, when my parents were going to put their foot down, and it seems my own parents confirm this. With the camp, I noticed we had so many parents expressed their desire for their sons to attend, only to begin avoiding our calls as the date approached and telling us our son doesnt want to go. Many of the same parents often complained our son doesnt listen to us and just watches TV all day. I was left wondering, how do these children have the choice? A parent has the ability to parent and limit the childs television viewing, if they so desire. A parent is not helpless to say our child doesnt listen so we must accept the status quo. Many parents desire to be the friend of their child, or be the good guy/gal and never say no. With so many of my friends young parents, I wonder how they will be setting boundaries.

On Consumerism Now members of our community are part of the broader society and one would hardly expect larger sociological issues such as consumerism to not affect us. Still the degrees seem far more now than in my youth. I remember kids having and even getting beat up and their shoes stolen if they had the latest Jordans. With 13-year olds having iPhones, 16-year olds getting BMWs for their birthdays (Jodha had a reflection on this some time ago), and wardrobe prices that went far beyond our $15 jeans from Marshalls, I wonder what are we teaching our children? Ask parents to send their children to a Sikh workshop or even Punjabi/Khalsa school at their Gurdwara and parents will begin about fees being far too high. What do we actually value and what do we wish to teach our children to value?

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Update on Nuvraj Singh Bassi

nuvraj.jpgSo for this post, I again turn towards Canada, but this time focusing on football (sorry Blighty – let me translate for you – “badibididongbong” or “makubadabuda”, lol).

Back in the day I wrote a post on this budding football player and since that time many thought he dropped off the map. Despite the lapse in time, this now 28 year old, Singh is still trying to fulfill his football dreams.

At 28, most players who have yet to make an impact would have gone on to the next phase of their life. Bassi says he cannot yet because his football career, in a sense, has yet to start.[link]

Now on the practice team of the B.C. Lions, Bassi is still striving for his opportunity. Despite a career that has been so-far plagued by injury, this Singh remains in chardikala (eternal optimism!)

“That’s why I never gave up,” he said after his first formal workout with the Lions after six seasons Monday. “This is a new time in my life and I have an amazing opportunity.”[link]

Whatever the outcome the Sikh community will still continue to root for him.

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Disentangling Sikh Issues

Lets see how this one goes.

Now first off, I love the Sikh Activist Network. On the cutting edge of engagement, culture, and arts, they are one of the most fascinating, experimental, and exciting Sikh organizations. Driven by the youth, they have created venues, places for conversation, and new levels of engagement that have energized the Sikh youth, throughout Canada (especially in the GTA), and have inspired many of us in the US, UK, and beyond. They were part of the leaders in the protests against Kamal Nath, increasing the awareness of the case of Prof. Bhullar, in the push towards the genocide recognition in the Canadian Parliament, and even in exposing politicians that do not serve the community.

So my criticism here is not about the organization or even one of the most exciting events in the diaspora When Lions Roar. These have been featured in The Langar Hall over the years and have generated plenty of praise and enthusiasm. This years third annual WLR was an absolute success, with nearly 4000 attendees. You can read about it at our sister blog Kaurista.

My focus for this post is much more limited. It is on the promo. It is for this reason that I waited well until the program was over to write this post. In some ways the promo provides a springboard for a conversation and a framework for tackling it that is often used in the community, so in that way it is much bigger than the promo. Before reading the rest, watch it here and then continue below the fold.

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What Happens When Lions Roar?

203017_505627674_1913310_n.jpgToronto is abuzz. This weekend the IIFA [International Indian Film Academy]awards are being held in Toronto to many a South Asians delight.We are, however,delighted about Toronto for another reason. This weekend, The Sikh Activist Network will be hosting When Lions Roar 3 a night of hip hop, poetry, R&B and other art to remember the events of 1984.

There is much that can be said about the comparisons between the two events. The IIFA essentially celebrates bollywood an industry that frustrates many conscious Sikhs living in both India and the diaspora. The representation of Sikhs in bollywood films has been an area of discontent with Punjabis and Sikhs being portrayed as hypermasculineand other cringe-worthystereotypical roles [read Navdeeps piece, Media and the Sikhs]. While many applaud the increased presence of Sikh turbans in bollywood films, others may argue that this presence has not necessarily changed thetypical Indians perception of Sikhs in a positive way. For example, in Indian media Sikhs continue to be portrayed with words such as terrorist, extremist and radical [read this inaccurate and uninformed article]. Im not anti-bollywood by any means there are definite exceptions to the bollywood trend of representing Sikhs in a one-dimensional manner. However, I think its important that as a community, we stay informed and expect authentic representation of Sikhs (whether in books or films or other art forms). Bollywood is a huge industry thathas an enormous influence onbuilding or breaking downperceptions of groups and communities. [Side note: its interesting to me that discussions about Sikhs in bollywood never revolve around Punjabi or Sikh women. This may be a good or bad thing, but perhaps its a discussion for another time].

It is clear that the Sikh community cannot rely upon an industry to change overnight instead, we should focus on supporting and celebrating the immense diversity that makes up our community.

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UPDATED: On BC Bud, Cocaine, and Balbir Dhami

UPDATED 5/23/11: This post has garnered renewed attention after the recent murder of Balbir Dhami. The Sacramento police does not believe it is a hate-crime and do to the circumstances, most in the community do not believe so either. I won’t make speculations, but will leave it to the law enforcement officials to sort out the case.

Earlier this week, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) sent their agents to capture an Elk Grove man.

Balbir Dhami truckers.jpg[click on the link to see the news video], the owner of Dhami Trucking Plaza on Stockton Blvd in Elk Grove, was arrested and is accused of being at the center of a drug running business, moving marijuana and cocaine, between Canada, Elk Grove, and Los Angeles.

The news describes Dhami as a prominent Elk Grove business man and leader in the Sikh community. While I dont know if he was a prominent business man or even a leader in the Sikh community, from internet searches, he does seem to have made political overtures as campaign finance records show that he donated to Democrat Dick Gephardts presidential campaign in early 2004.

 

 

His family has denied his involvement:

I know my dad. What he’s being blamed for in the allegations it’s totally against our religion. It’s something he’s against and wouldn’t recommend anyone else to do something like that, explains Aman Dhami [Balbirs son]. [link]

While I cannot speak on Dhamis specific case, I can speak about this being a common problem within the Punjabi Sikh community.

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Canadian Election 2011 Analysis: On Context, Comments, and Critiques

Sikh_Canadians.jpgAnd I was worried that no one was going to read my postJ.

Over the past week, Ive read through all the comments in detail and have had many conversations with people in person. The dialogue has been supportive as well as critical, eye opening, challenging but most importantly always respectful. Its reaffirmed my belief that we Sikhs can openly articulate our differences in a productive way. Heres some additional perspectives that Ill put out there for debate:

Liberals

Of course, Michael Ignatieffs failure to connect with Canadians was a major reason for the collapse of the Liberals. But there are much deeper, systemic issues with the party and for the party to survive, it needs a transformation from top to bottom. This will require a redefinition of what it means to be a Liberal in todays Canada. This also includes reaching out to all those stakeholders to whom they had grown complacent, Sikh-Canadians included.

The Liberal party has done great things for our community over the years, a lot of which falls on deaf ears because it is ancient history to the under-30 generation. These youth only remember sponsorship scandals, Chretien vs Martin and Ignatieffs reluctance to support the 1984 petition. Having said that, the party and its Sikh representatives need to produce much better answers for the questions of what have you done for us lately? and what are you going to do for us going forward?

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UPDATE: Canadian Election 2011 Analysis – Sikhs: Kingmakers in Our Own Mind

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UPDATED: Picture added on bottom.
UPDATED 5/11 – Maple Leaf Sikhs responds! View here!

My fellow Sikh-Canadians, its the morning after the big party. How does it feel? You must be a little hung over? Why wouldnt you be? Youve been drunk on power over the last 5 weeks. Youve had every leader in the country wining and dining you in style. Telling you how great you are, how important you are to him and how he cant live without you. Theyve trotted you out to every event like a prized possession, your dastaar (turban) became the ultimate fashion accessory of the election. No political stage was complete without a token Sardar in his requisite blue, red or orange turban.

You took the leaders everywhere with you. They met your family and friends – heck you even introduced them to your Father Guru and foolishly praised their false kingdoms in the presence of the King of Kings. You invited them to your Khalsas birthday celebrations and if they were able to say the Gurus Fateh, your heart melted because you believed they really loved you. It felt great to be in the spotlight.

After so many years of being insulted and neglected, being seen as an outsider and the Other, you were finally part of the cool kids crowd. You felt like a somebody – recognized on the national stage as a king-maker. Now its the morning after and what do you have to show for it?

The numbers are clear. Not a single Amritdhari left in Parliament. In fact youre down to only one Sardar. 1984 petition supporters Sukh Dhaliwal and Andrew Kania both gone. Gurbax Malhi gone too. ALL defeated largely by Sikhs supporting their opponents. But, boy did it feel good to get rid of Ujjal and Ruby. Except at the end of the day theyre Sikhs too. Sure youve added a few Sikh faces but it remains a question of where their loyalties really lie and if they will fight for our rights.

Congratulations Sikh-Canadians. Youve cut off your nose to spite your face.

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Canadian Election 2011 Results – State of the Sikhs

canada_and_sikhs.jpgAlthough this election season had seen the largest Punjabi field of candidates in Canada’s history, the number of MPs of Sikh background did decline.

The winners: The Tory party had a field night and can now claim an all-out majority in the Canadian parliament. The NDP had a very strong showing becoming the official opposition party.

The losers: The Liberal party suffered a crushing defeat and the individual election results largely followed this trend.

On the way out/On their way in – Navdeep Singh Bains, previously covered and once seen as a rising star, lost to Eve Adams. Gurbax Malhi, who had been an MP since 1993, lost to Bal Gosal. Ruby Dhalla, a friend of murderers and thugs, was kicked out and replaced by Parm Gill. Sukh Dhaliwal, who gained special acclaim for raising the banner the Sikh cause, lost against Jinny Sims. Ujjal Dosanjh, long criticized for his divisive role in the Sikh community, was finally defeated (and hopefully ends his career) by Wai Young. Also, Jasbir Sandhu of the NDP successfully defeated incumbent Dona Cadman (pagh salute to Jagpal Tiwana for making me aware of my omission!)

Stayed safe – Conservative candidates Tim Uppal and Nina Grewal retained their seats.

Of note – Andrew Kania was defeated by Kyle Seeback.

Of interest – Jagmeet Singh of the NDP energized the youth and lost by a mere 500 votes in an election that only a month ago he was thought to be a non-factor. Also one of the most interesting pre-election article I ever saw was on the growing maturity of a Sikh electorate as described by the Toronto Sun’s Raveena Aulakh.

So this is the view from south of Canada’s border. Hoping to have a full-analysis later in the day and hope to hear from our Canadian brothers and sisters about the results and their meanings.

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