The Peddler of (Self)-Promotion: Valarie Kaur

I write this as it is the truth as I see it. Not out of spite or rancor, but out of a desire to caution others and promote the path of critical self-reflection. I write about peddlers of self-promotion.

The topic is hardly new. In fact, Jodha beat me to the punch years ago, but here is my own contribution to the list.

Valarie Kaur. We have all seen her movie..at least a half a dozen times (coming again and again and again and again to a Sikh event near you). We have all heard her speak.my head still reels from the vacuousness. We have read her writings.still hoping for a point beyond her ceaseless self-promotion. We have all heard her heart-wrenching, tormented, and soul-searching story as she climbed out of the pits of hell, all for being namedValarie (shudder!).

I do believe that she created her movie out of earnestness. I believed in it and as a student, even hosted her on my college campus. I am even a subscriber to her newsletter. However, in her last self-promotional newsletter it all made sense. Her movie was never about Sikhs, never about Americans, and worst off never even about Balbir Singh Sodhi. Even Sodhis widow was just a backdrop. The movie is about promoting Valarie Kaur. She has made a career out of it.in fact you can book her for your next corporate talk just go through her publicist Leigh Bureau.

Valarie calls for us to be activists want to know how? Her helpful newsletter gives us the answer:

I’ve launched a brand new website, where you can read my blog, watch my videos, follow me on facebook and twitter, and engage in authentic reflection and discussion, with the hope that in return, you may feel strengthened by a sense of community too. See you there soon.

And so it is, I know this post will also get inundated with complaints and defenders. Once I was amongst you, but the truth has set me free, even if it took me far too long. The larger point remains this when we seem someone who continuously self-promotes him/herself we have to recognize that this contradicts what we are aiming to do as a community. Valarie won’t be the first and she won’t be the last to function within a realm of self-promotion, but we have to be able to call each other out on this.


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99 Responses to “The Peddler of (Self)-Promotion: Valarie Kaur”

  1. randep says:

    The Langar Hall subconscious rises again and remains its own greatest enemy. Lo' and Behold! From the shallow pits of its own think tank, TLH summons the venerable hero Mehmaan! Yes, another great warrior amongst the the usual cast- Jodha, Sundari, and the others just slightly more boring but just as forgettable.

    See how he flash is sword! Ah! He calls her "vacuous"! The flash of his quick wit temporarily stuns us- we shall not notice the blogger's own lack of substance, how he has evaded actual thinking throughout his blogging here. How fanciful and clever he is indeed!

    Ah, see how TLH complains that she has a blog, twitter, facebook, and videos. See how TLH embaresses itself again and again. Has Mehmaan the mighty intellectual giant failed to realize that this very website he is posting on has *gasp* a "Share on Facebook" icon right above the comments? Has he forgotten that The Langar Hall website has its own dedicated facebook fan page of almost 200 people?

    Oh! Yes! Mehmaan gets to conclude with his very fine and delicate moral sensibilities, saying that "Valarie won’t be the first and she won’t be the last to function within a realm of self-promotion, but we have to be able to call each other out on this." Oh, don't forget. He started out this very blog post:

    "I write this as it is the truth as I see it. Not out of spite or rancor, but out of a desire to caution others and promote the path of critical self-reflection. I write about peddlers of self-promotion."

    What marvelous chest-thumping! What majestic self-realization! Mehmaan has arisen and he has come in the name of truth! He comes for self-reflection! Verily, he is the anointed one himself! Of course, he never promotes himself…

    Dear Langar Hall, this post never was about Valerie. It was about yourself. You just didn't know it. Yes, you're vacuous. Yes, you've not taken up the task of actually thinking. Yes, you're frustrated. Yes, you're boring. Life requires hard work. Stop echoing the same tired drivel and start doing hard work. This post is just another example of your utter lethargy, your wallowing in your own humdrum self-titillation.

  2. randep says:

    The Langar Hall subconscious rises again and remains its own greatest enemy. Lo' and Behold! From the shallow pits of its own think tank, TLH summons the venerable hero Mehmaan! Yes, another great warrior amongst the the usual cast- Jodha, Sundari, and the others just slightly more boring but just as forgettable.

    See how he flash is sword! Ah! He calls her "vacuous"! The flash of his quick wit temporarily stuns us- we shall not notice the blogger's own lack of substance, how he has evaded actual thinking throughout his blogging here. How fanciful and clever he is indeed!

    Ah, see how TLH complains that she has a blog, twitter, facebook, and videos. See how TLH embaresses itself again and again. Has Mehmaan the mighty intellectual giant failed to realize that this very website he is posting on has *gasp* a "Share on Facebook" icon right above the comments? Has he forgotten that The Langar Hall website has its own dedicated facebook fan page of almost 200 people?

    Oh! Yes! Mehmaan gets to conclude with his very fine and delicate moral sensibilities, saying that "Valarie won’t be the first and she won’t be the last to function within a realm of self-promotion, but we have to be able to call each other out on this." Oh, don't forget. He started out this very blog post:

    "I write this as it is the truth as I see it. Not out of spite or rancor, but out of a desire to caution others and promote the path of critical self-reflection. I write about peddlers of self-promotion."

    What marvelous chest-thumping! What majestic self-realization! Mehmaan has arisen and he has come in the name of truth! He comes for self-reflection! Verily, he is the anointed one himself! Of course, he never promotes himself…

    Dear Langar Hall, this post never was about Valerie. It was about yourself. You just didn't know it. Yes, you're vacuous. Yes, you've not taken up the task of actually thinking. Yes, you're frustrated. Yes, you're boring. Life requires hard work. Stop echoing the same tired drivel and start doing hard work. This post is just another example of your utter lethargy, your wallowing in your own humdrum self-titillation.

  3. H S says:

    Very exactly captured my thoughts about this one. I too had the same thoughts about her, and a couple of others who use panth for self promotion. It's very easy to identify these kind of characters. Thanks for speaking the truth and not going by the likes of brainless and glamor obsessed Sikhchic.com!

  4. H S says:

    Very exactly captured my thoughts about this one. I too had the same thoughts about her, and a couple of others who use panth for self promotion. It's very easy to identify these kind of characters. Thanks for speaking the truth and not going by the likes of brainless and glamor obsessed Sikhchic.com!

  5. khalsa lakhvir singh says:

    with all due respect, such articles or viewpoints do not befit this forum. this particular article is a baseless and meritless argument because it picks on an individual's personal ambitions, whether we see a common good in it or not. valarie's work has inspired thousands and to belittle that contribution of her professional and personal work is indeed a blow below the belt. my two cents of opinion.

  6. MrSingh says:

    @khalsa lakhvir Singh: "valarie's work has inspired thousands" – how did you come up with this statement?

    I think this article brings into light exactly what is wrong with our community. Individuals who think they are spokesman of our community – if you give yourself that platform to stand on, then be ready to be critiqued.

    Then the comments which come to defend Kaur. Why are we so afraid of growing as a community? Many, many of us in the community are troubled by individuals like Kaur (I could name a handful more) who use the qaum as their puppet to promote their own agenda.

    Kaur is on the right path to being a politician.

  7. khalsa lakhvir singh says:

    with all due respect, such articles or viewpoints do not befit this forum. this particular article is a baseless and meritless argument because it picks on an individual’s personal ambitions, whether we see a common good in it or not. valarie’s work has inspired thousands and to belittle that contribution of her professional and personal work is indeed a blow below the belt. my two cents of opinion.

  8. Harinder says:

    As for criticism Valarie this is the two ways I deal with it. :–

    1) It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

    Theodore Roosevelt

    2) “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

    Winston Churchill

    Good Luck Valarie.

    Wishing that all your "dreams come true".

  9. Harinder says:

    As for criticism Valarie this is the two ways I deal with it. :–

    1) It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

    Theodore Roosevelt

    2) Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

    Winston Churchill

    Good Luck Valarie.

    Wishing that all your “dreams come true”.

  10. D.K. says:

    Although I don't really see the point of this article, especially on this forum, I do have to agree with its evaluation of Valarie's work. The film is ultimately about her own journey of self-discovery – not something to complain about. However, it has been misleadingly marketed as anything but that. It's clear that Valarie has milked this film for all its worth, charging the same audiences again and again to watch it. I hope this encourages Valarie to eschew complacency and strive to work on new projects that benefit who they claim to benefit.

  11. D.K. says:

    Although I don't really see the point of this article, especially on this forum, I do have to agree with its evaluation of Valarie's work. The film is ultimately about her own journey of self-discovery – not something to complain about. However, it has been misleadingly marketed as anything but that. It's clear that Valarie has milked this film for all its worth, charging the same audiences again and again to watch it. I hope this encourages Valarie to eschew complacency and strive to work on new projects that benefit who they claim to benefit.

  12. H S says:

    @RSV: People like you cannot comprehend and decipher. So you don't understand what's wrong and what's not. Your senior KPS Gill have nullified your rational thinking and made you a one track minded creature. You know what I mean.

  13. H S says:

    @RSV: People like you cannot comprehend and decipher. So you don't understand what's wrong and what's not. Your senior KPS Gill have nullified your rational thinking and made you a one track minded creature. You know what I mean.

  14. RajinderSinghVirk says:

    @H S people like me do comprhend and decipher that is why the general population of punjab is sleeping peacefully at night.As for KPS Gill he is one of the finest law enforcement officers,ever to come out of the IPS cadre.He is in same mold of BS Danewalia,J Ribiero,Ashwini Kumar and numerous others,thats why they stand tall and when they speak people listen to them.

  15. RajinderSinghVirk says:

    @H S people like me do comprhend and decipher that is why the general population of punjab is sleeping peacefully at night.As for KPS Gill he is one of the finest law enforcement officers,ever to come out of the IPS cadre.He is in same mold of BS Danewalia,J Ribiero,Ashwini Kumar and numerous others,thats why they stand tall and when they speak people listen to them.

  16. H S says:

    @mrsikhnet: People are not going to change BY THEIR OWN. This world is not as I or you want it to be – FACT!!!!

    I don't mind whatever Valarie Kaur does for her self promotion and marketing until she does it in a manner which doesn't sucks the blood of panth and the sangat. If she's so concerned about what she has done, then why is she selling and marketing herself through her websites etc? Why is she SELLING, literally, the movie based on an idea and resources she stole from panth and the sangat on the pretext that she's doing it for their good. If its really for the good then let her give away her movie for free and not market herself as an advocate of the panth. She's one among many in this Kalyug who are making fool of the gullible by preying on sensitive things. SHE'S NOTHING MORE THAN A SMART WOMAN TRYING TO FURTHER HER CAREER AND ASPIRATIONS IN A DECEITFUL WAY.

    I have never seen her and do not know her personally, yet why would I mind about her? All it takes is observation and research. Just go to her website and you'll know what's the difference between the Valarie Kaur begging for the support and resources of the panth and sangat, and the Valarie Kaur milking money out of the very product and results which she reaped from panth and the sangat.

    PS: I'm just curious what's going on behind your mind that you are so vociferously backing her?

  17. H S says:

    @mrsikhnet: People are not going to change BY THEIR OWN. This world is not as I or you want it to be – FACT!!!!

    I don't mind whatever Valarie Kaur does for her self promotion and marketing until she does it in a manner which doesn't sucks the blood of panth and the sangat. If she's so concerned about what she has done, then why is she selling and marketing herself through her websites etc? Why is she SELLING, literally, the movie based on an idea and resources she stole from panth and the sangat on the pretext that she's doing it for their good. If its really for the good then let her give away her movie for free and not market herself as an advocate of the panth. She's one among many in this Kalyug who are making fool of the gullible by preying on sensitive things. SHE'S NOTHING MORE THAN A SMART WOMAN TRYING TO FURTHER HER CAREER AND ASPIRATIONS IN A DECEITFUL WAY.

    I have never seen her and do not know her personally, yet why would I mind about her? All it takes is observation and research. Just go to her website and you'll know what's the difference between the Valarie Kaur begging for the support and resources of the panth and sangat, and the Valarie Kaur milking money out of the very product and results which she reaped from panth and the sangat.

    PS: I'm just curious what's going on behind your mind that you are so vociferously backing her?

  18. H S says:

    @mrsikhnet: People are not going to change BY THEIR OWN. This world is not as I or you want it to be – FACT!!!!

    I don't mind whatever Valarie Kaur does for her self promotion and marketing until she does it in a manner which doesn't sucks the blood of panth and the sangat. If she's so concerned about what she has done, then why is she selling and marketing herself through her websites etc? Why is she SELLING, literally, the movie based on an idea and resources she stole from panth and the sangat on the pretext that she's doing it for their good. If its really for the good then let her give away her movie for free and not market herself as an advocate of the panth. She's one among many in this Kalyug who are making fool of the gullible by preying on sensitive things. SHE'S NOTHING MORE THAN A SMART WOMAN TRYING TO FURTHER HER CAREER AND ASPIRATIONS IN A DECEITFUL WAY.

    I have never seen her and do not know her personally, yet why would I mind about her? All it takes is observation and research. Just go to her website and you'll know what's the difference between the Valarie Kaur begging for the support and resources of the panth and sangat, and the Valarie Kaur milking money out of the very product and results which she reaped from panth and the sangat.

    PS: I'm just curious what's going on behind your mind that you are so vociferously backing her?

  19. SSingh says:

    Get off your high horse.

  20. i thought i would find objective arguments on thelangarhall blog, but so void it has turned out to be like the other similar blogs. i'm sorry to be here and will no longer participate on this blog because rather than be humble about opinions, some of us just so filled with hate and self-righteousness that i am just wasting my breath here. i suppose the people who frequent the the net with their harsh views about others are just those who have no clue about who they are themselves in the first place, or have nothing better to do than to sit behind a keyboard and incessantly type out mindless words. bhul chukka maaf and khalsa fateh ji.

  21. H S says:

    Is this "http://lakhvir.wordpress.com/2006/08/29/visiting-ragis-%E2%80%93-parchaar-or-business/" not against what you are trying to convince? This is your own post and writing.

  22. Egalitarian says:

    I guess it's a fair comment to say that Valarie promotes her work. Are there activists who are able to sustain their work without trying to convince others it's a good thing? If you don't promote the mission of your work, who will? Anyone who's worked in personal-branding knows this is the case.

    I'm just going to throw this out there and say that this article reeks of sexism. If our guest blogger is not a male, I'd really be shocked. In fact, I'll take it a step further and say that all the people trying to teari her down in the comments are male.

    If Valarie were a male, she would never have to endure this scrutiny. Her 'self-promotion' is nothing compared to many, many males I know in business, the arts or politics. These fellahs are celebrated strong and ambitious. As a female, Valarie gets told to 'know her place'.

    How are we not supporting one our Kaurs who's out there making a difference, raising awareness and fighting for justice? I don't know how you sleep well while you cast cyber-stones at our blossoming sister.

  23. Egalitarian says:

    I guess it's a fair comment to say that Valarie promotes her work. Are there activists who are able to sustain their work without trying to convince others it's a good thing? If you don't promote the mission of your work, who will? Anyone who's worked in personal-branding knows this is the case.

    I'm just going to throw this out there and say that this article reeks of sexism. If our guest blogger is not a male, I'd really be shocked. In fact, I'll take it a step further and say that all the people trying to teari her down in the comments are male.

    If Valarie were a male, she would never have to endure this scrutiny. Her 'self-promotion' is nothing compared to many, many males I know in business, the arts or politics. These fellahs are celebrated strong and ambitious. As a female, Valarie gets told to 'know her place'.

    How are we not supporting one our Kaurs who's out there making a difference, raising awareness and fighting for justice? I don't know how you sleep well while you cast cyber-stones at our blossoming sister.

  24. j.singh says:

    @Mehmaan, It kinda seem like you are just a hater

  25. j.singh says:

    @Mehmaan, It kinda seem like you are just a hater

  26. H S says:

    @ Whoever: Yeah whatever. Your comment said everything about you and your accomplice Valarie!!

    ————————————————————
    You may deceive all the people part of the time, and part of the people all the time, but not all the people all the time.

  27. Harinder says:

    Seeing from the replies I wanna conclude

    You know what gets SIKH men activated and charged up :–

    1) A Pretty woman (Nar)
    2) Who shows them that they are all dumb.

  28. Harinder says:

    Seeing from the replies I wanna conclude

    You know what gets SIKH men activated and charged up :–

    1) A Pretty woman (Nar)
    2) Who shows them that they are all dumb.

  29. k. singh says:

    I don't know Valerie Kaur personally and I have not seen her movie or read her blog extensively. I have nothing to do with her and am not defending her. However, I assume that she has committed no crime greater than Prakash Badal, Sukhbir Badal, KP Gill, Baba Mann Sio Pehowe Wala, or other traitors and snakes in the Sikh community. I have seen very limited coverage of the "Ajmeri Baba" astrologer issue on TLH. I have seen very limited coverage of caste-discrimination issues on TLH. I have seen none of the aforementioned snakes extensively researched and exposed on TLH. Therefore, to see the "exposition" of this Sikh woman – who may or not be guilty of the things mentioned in the article – I am left dumbfounded and confused. Where are our priorities? Sikh women are being raped, abused, and oppressed. Sikhs in Afghanistan and Pakistan are in a mess. Punjabi Sikh farmers are dying. Sikh youth in Punjab are dying of drug addiction. The Delhi SGMC is full of corruption. OK – forget those even – I haven't seen very much discussion on TLH about non-Sikh world humanitarian and environmental crises. I can't even make sense of what kind of logic went into posting this article.

    The Langar Hall has just completely lost all respect and relevance for me. There's no difference between you all and the people fighting in gurdwaras. Whether or not Valerie Kaur is a crook or a self-promoter is secondary. The fact that TLH is focusing on that – while our "house" of a community is on fire – makes me certain that TLH is a waste of my time.

  30. k. singh says:

    I don't know Valerie Kaur personally and I have not seen her movie or read her blog extensively. I have nothing to do with her and am not defending her. However, I assume that she has committed no crime greater than Prakash Badal, Sukhbir Badal, KP Gill, Baba Mann Sio Pehowe Wala, or other traitors and snakes in the Sikh community. I have seen very limited coverage of the "Ajmeri Baba" astrologer issue on TLH. I have seen very limited coverage of caste-discrimination issues on TLH. I have seen none of the aforementioned snakes extensively researched and exposed on TLH. Therefore, to see the "exposition" of this Sikh woman – who may or not be guilty of the things mentioned in the article – I am left dumbfounded and confused. Where are our priorities? Sikh women are being raped, abused, and oppressed. Sikhs in Afghanistan and Pakistan are in a mess. Punjabi Sikh farmers are dying. Sikh youth in Punjab are dying of drug addiction. The Delhi SGMC is full of corruption. OK – forget those even – I haven't seen very much discussion on TLH about non-Sikh world humanitarian and environmental crises. I can't even make sense of what kind of logic went into posting this article.

    The Langar Hall has just completely lost all respect and relevance for me. There's no difference between you all and the people fighting in gurdwaras. Whether or not Valerie Kaur is a crook or a self-promoter is secondary. The fact that TLH is focusing on that – while our "house" of a community is on fire – makes me certain that TLH is a waste of my time.

  31. Dosanjh says:

    "You know what gets SIKH men activated and charged up :–

    1) A Pretty woman (Nar)
    2) Who shows them that they are all dumb."
    —————
    ^ You may be right about point 2 but sorry Harinder. …if you think she's "pretty" I can only conclude that you're married to a right mutley. I think you've got to the stage where all other women start to look pretty.

    As far as this 'Valerie Kaur' (crazy name……crazy gal) is concerned though, I've got some good news and bad news for her. The bad news is that neither I, nor anyone else I know has ever heard of her. In fact when I mentioned the name to people they thought it was some kind of Italian pasta dish.
    The good news is , thanks to this piece on the langar hall, we all now know who she is. Although we're at a loss why someone with a silly name would actually court publicity.

  32. Dosanjh says:

    "You know what gets SIKH men activated and charged up :–

    1) A Pretty woman (Nar)
    2) Who shows them that they are all dumb."
    —————
    ^ You may be right about point 2 but sorry Harinder. …if you think she's "pretty" I can only conclude that you're married to a right mutley. I think you've got to the stage where all other women start to look pretty.

    As far as this 'Valerie Kaur' (crazy name……crazy gal) is concerned though, I've got some good news and bad news for her. The bad news is that neither I, nor anyone else I know has ever heard of her. In fact when I mentioned the name to people they thought it was some kind of Italian pasta dish.
    The good news is , thanks to this piece on the langar hall, we all now know who she is. Although we're at a loss why someone with a silly name would actually court publicity.

  33. Harinder says:

    I have to admit that I have always found women of all shades ,ages ,colour ,races and time period to be attractive.

    As for a name it is different , interesting and attention holding name unlike many of our Girls have like Surinder Kaur ,Jaswant Kaur,Kulwant kaur etc etc .

    Not but he least the cliche still holds true for Valarie "What is in a Name'''a rose'''.

  34. Harinder says:

    I have to admit that I have always found women of all shades ,ages ,colour ,races and time period to be attractive.

    As for a name it is different , interesting and attention holding name unlike many of our Girls have like Surinder Kaur ,Jaswant Kaur,Kulwant kaur etc etc .

    Not but he least the cliche still holds true for Valarie “What is in a Name”’a rose”’.

  35. Harinder says:

    Why do we have to mimick other religion in our in our actions.
    How does keeping names like Khan , Muhammad , John makes them more deeper.
    As for "ROOTS" I have a question
    1) Is name of Individual important defining propert y of "ROOTS" or is it major events of past that define "ROOTS" .
    I feel we still have to make a lot of history on this planet before we can say we too have "ROOTS" .

  36. Harinder says:

    Why do we have to mimick other religion in our in our actions.
    How does keeping names like Khan , Muhammad , John makes them more deeper.
    As for "ROOTS" I have a question
    1) Is name of Individual important defining propert y of "ROOTS" or is it major events of past that define "ROOTS" .
    I feel we still have to make a lot of history on this planet before we can say we too have "ROOTS" .

  37. Harinder says:

    Why do we have to mimick other religion in our in our actions.
    How does keeping names like Khan , Muhammad , John makes them more deeper.
    As for "ROOTS" I have a question
    1) Is name of Individual important defining propert y of "ROOTS" or is it major events of past that define "ROOTS" .
    I feel we still have to make a lot of history on this planet before we can say we too have "ROOTS" .

  38. Dosanjh says:

    "Though I agree there's hardly anything in a name (except sometimes)"

    ——————–

    Harinder and H.S, you guys say that but do you think perhaps there is a different in thought about names depending on whether one lives in the old world (Europe) or the new world (USA, Canada)?

    I say that because I have noticed how in north America those names, which originate in England and other European countries, are just simply 'first names', with no regard to their meanings and origins. As such, it is very common for Sikhs in that continent to have those names. In England and the other European countries however, where those names originally come from, they are known as 'christian' names, denoting that the person with that name is a christian. As such, it is very very uncommon and unusual for a Sikh, Hindu or muslim to have one of those 'christian' names in England.

    You really can't blame a blighty Sikh, such as myself, for finding the name 'valerie kaur' quite bizarre and silly.

  39. Dosanjh says:

    “Though I agree there’s hardly anything in a name (except sometimes)”

    ——————–

    Harinder and H.S, you guys say that but do you think perhaps there is a different in thought about names depending on whether one lives in the old world (Europe) or the new world (USA, Canada)?

    I say that because I have noticed how in north America those names, which originate in England and other European countries, are just simply ‘first names’, with no regard to their meanings and origins. As such, it is very common for Sikhs in that continent to have those names. In England and the other European countries however, where those names originally come from, they are known as ‘christian’ names, denoting that the person with that name is a christian. As such, it is very very uncommon and unusual for a Sikh, Hindu or muslim to have one of those ‘christian’ names in England.

    You really can’t blame a blighty Sikh, such as myself, for finding the name ‘valerie kaur’ quite bizarre and silly.

  40. H S says:

    Mr.Sikhnet has posted two articles, at one go, to publicize Valarie's "I", "me", "my" etc selfish motives.

    @Mr.Sikhnet: I asked you that why are you going out of your way to salvage Valarie, and now even promoting her, given the fact that you hardly discuss even the serious' of matters to Panth on this website? Your not having answered this question leaves a room for some self pondering.

  41. H S says:

    Mr.Sikhnet has posted two articles, at one go, to publicize Valarie's "I", "me", "my" etc selfish motives.

    @Mr.Sikhnet: I asked you that why are you going out of your way to salvage Valarie, and now even promoting her, given the fact that you hardly discuss even the serious' of matters to Panth on this website? Your not having answered this question leaves a room for some self pondering.

  42. tej preet kaur says:

    Dear Mehmaan,

    I appreciate that you have an opinion about people in public spaces in our communities. We all need to continuously improve ourselves and provide feedback to one another. I think if you had delivered your critical feedback with love and respect it would have made more of an impact than how it was done. Although you say you don't write in spite or rancor, it sure didn't feel that way when reading it. And it's catalyzed more hateful feedback, as we've read in the comments.

    And while going on about this trivial topic, we overlooked a critical moment for our Muslim sisters in France. On the day that this article was written, the Senate passed a law that banned all Muslim women from wearing burqas in public. Regardless of people's opinion's about the burqa, the fact remains that people from our communities are facing harsh penalties for practicing their faith. We know that fight all too well and we all will pay for the affects.

    In New York, we are certainly feeling the heat right now; we walk by daily protests of Park 51, attend candlelight vigils for the victims of the violence and listen to stories of our young Sardar brothers having their pughs pulled off while walking down the street. We are all in this together. And Valarie Kaur had it spot on in the title of her film: Divided We Fall. Waheguru.

    With basic human rights being revoked rather than gained, we need to be more united than ever before. We need to cut past the bashing (while still providing constructive feedback) and stand by each other with strength, love and humility. We need to do this not only as Sikhs, but as people who have a stake in humanity.

  43. tej preet kaur says:

    Dear Mehmaan,

    I appreciate that you have an opinion about people in public spaces in our communities. We all need to continuously improve ourselves and provide feedback to one another. I think if you had delivered your critical feedback with love and respect it would have made more of an impact than how it was done. Although you say you don't write in spite or rancor, it sure didn't feel that way when reading it. And it's catalyzed more hateful feedback, as we've read in the comments.

    And while going on about this trivial topic, we overlooked a critical moment for our Muslim sisters in France. On the day that this article was written, the Senate passed a law that banned all Muslim women from wearing burqas in public. Regardless of people's opinion's about the burqa, the fact remains that people from our communities are facing harsh penalties for practicing their faith. We know that fight all too well and we all will pay for the affects.

    In New York, we are certainly feeling the heat right now; we walk by daily protests of Park 51, attend candlelight vigils for the victims of the violence and listen to stories of our young Sardar brothers having their pughs pulled off while walking down the street. We are all in this together. And Valarie Kaur had it spot on in the title of her film: Divided We Fall. Waheguru.

    With basic human rights being revoked rather than gained, we need to be more united than ever before. We need to cut past the bashing (while still providing constructive feedback) and stand by each other with strength, love and humility. We need to do this not only as Sikhs, but as people who have a stake in humanity.

  44. Anonymous says:

    How do you rate these SIKHS :–

    FAMOUS SIKH SCIENTISTS:–

    1) Professor Jim Virdee :– Dr Tejinder Virdee, the leader of the high-profile CMS super-collider experiment at CERN, nicknamed the Big Bang machine contributed to experimental particle physics. Underground search for 'God particle'

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4229545.stm
    2) Simon Singh :—- His written works include Fermat's Last Theorem (in the United States, titled Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem), The Code Book (about cryptography and its history) and Big Bang (about the Big Bang theory and the origins of the universe).

    http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Simon_Singh

    3) Har Gobind Khorana, or Hargobind Khorana (Punjabi: ??? ?????? ?????? , born January 9, 1922) is an Indian American molecular biologist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (shared with Robert W. Holley and Marshall Warren Nirenberg) in 1968 for his work on the interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Har_Gobind_Khorana :-

    4) Narinder Singh Kapany Punjabi: — is an Indian born American physicist and widely acknowledged as the father of optical fiber. He was named as one of the seven 'Unsung Heroes' by Fortune magazine in their ‘Businessmen of the Century’ issue.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narinder_Singh_Kapan

    5) Piara Singh Gill, (28 October 1911 – 23 March 2002) was a nuclear physicist who was a pioneer in cosmic ray nuclear physics and worked on the American Manhattan project.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piara_Singh_Gill

    6) Balbir Brar, Ph.D., 70, of Laguna Hills and cardiologist Harvinder Sahota, M.D., 65, of Seal Beach :—- developed cardiac stnets :–Innovators take aim at clogged hearts

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/drug-42147-bra….

    Certain thngs of lives are a individual journey and community must not frown upon it if a SIKH takes it alone.

    Othe individual activity all SIKH indulges like other homo sapines are

    birth and death .

    bhul Chuk MAF

  45. Anonymous says:

    I have been thinking this for years. Charmed that someone actually posted it.

  46. […] me since September, when I first read about it. [An anonymous]Mehmaan wrote a post titled Valarie Kaur, the peddler of self-promotion. Mehmaans claim is essentially that Valarie Kaur is a big […]

  47. Zach Warren says:

    Dear Guest et al.:

    I'm a non-Sikh (Christian from the mainstream), and Valarie Kaur was my classmate at Harvard. I'd kindly ask that the original author do his research first, before spreading false accusations. It's important to take the truth seriously, particularly since others (including non-Sikhs like me) read blogs.

    If you have a complaint about the fee Valarie Kaur and Director Sharat Raju charge for screenings, blame me. I insisted that they charge a standard professional rate for the film screenings, whereas previously they'd been screening the film to Sikh and non-Sikh communities for close to nothing or for free. The film began as a grassroots student project and what you see today is the product of a large team of volunteers who have been inspired by the cause and by Valarie Kaur.

    Fact. Divided We Fall the film is not a money making scheme. Instead, it carries debts. Every cent earned in the honorariums have gone back to paying off the film's debt — and I invite you to fact check that with the volunteers on DWF, including Kaur's volunteer tour coordinator. I am also familiar with the sacrifices that Valarie, Sharat, their families, and dozens of volunteers have made to make it possible for the film to reach mainstream audiences. These volunteers have stood behind, and stuck with, Valarie Kaur, for good reason — she's not out for herself.

  48. Zach Warren says:

    When I met Valarie and the film's producer six years ago, I noticed that they were not well supported, financially, by the Sikh community. A few families gave contributions, but the contributions were slow and few, so those involved in the project, including Valarie, took out personal loans to continue the work. They maxed out two credit cards (later paid off), and parents, friends, and a grassroots network of supporters like me chipped in. There have been no major grants supporting the work they have done to raise mainstream awareness about Sikh and Muslim experiences post-9/11, no single donor checks to cover the filming, production, post-production and distribution costs. Should they charge a fee that can cover their costs? Yes. Is the cause worth the ticket fee? You're welcome to debate that. Viewers seem to have voted with their feet. Kaur could have been earning a personal income, like many of my classmates; instead, she instead criss-crossed the country, giving 150 screenings to raise awareness about the cause and make the film financially solvent.

    Is Valarie Kaur a self-promoter? I'm personally offended by the suggestion. Fact: the film and subsequent tour was a grassroots project, including volunteers (most non-Sikh), who made personal sacrifices. I contributed to the film financially, as well as my friends and family. We see this film as important for us as members of the mainstream, and not just for the Sikh community. I do not see Valarie as promoting herself at all, and neither does anyone close to her — again, feel free to fact check me. In fact, the director for Divided We Fall originally was planning to focus on the issue of racial profiling without Valarie Kaur's story, but it wasn't as powerful. Audiences want a personal narrative — they want a likeable person as a guide. Valarie was chosen to be that person, both because her story is naturally compelling and she is a talented speaker, humble, thoughtful, and qualified. She'd better stay active on Twitter, facebook, blogs, and so on. Knowing her friends, I know this hasn't been easy to do: it took nine years after the launch of the film to persuade her to enter the 21st century and get a personal website. That's good news; she has a strong voice. The important question is, what are your thoughts on the issues she raises?

  49. Zach Warren says:

    I know Kaur has a broad fan base, but I'm surprised that members of the Sikh community on this forum wouldn't be more proud of what a young Sikh woman has accomplished by bringing Sikh issues to the mainstream. It's really admirable to see a young woman in the Sikh community to speak out against injustice. Knowing her personally, I also know she's modest and humble. On multiple occasions, I've seen her turn down opportunities for personal gain to do what she felt was right, with personal sacrifices. I don't say that lightly. She's put herself on the line advocating for noble causes, and exposing herself to the hearsay (like this blog post) that inevitably comes with outspoken leadership. That she has seen recent success, without making money for herself — this is something to celebrate and stand behind, not to tear down. Wouldn't you agree?

    If anyone is troubled with "thinking this for years," I highly recommend you communicate with Valarie Kaur directly. In every interaction I've had with her over six years, she's been approachable and affable. Her email address? I think it's online – Facebook, website, Twitter. That means there's no excuse for making up hearsay without doing your homework. Have a real conversation with her, or with volunteers who have worked closely with her, and if you still feel the same way, you're always at liberty to write or blog about it. But first, be truthful. Don't make stuff up. I'm also open to sharing my perspective and experiences related to this further with anyone in personal correspondence. My email's listed.

    Respectfully,
    Zach Warren

  50. alfiesaden says:

    hi there – is it just me !! can any one explain why when i type in the bing browser “thelangarhall.com” i get a different site yet whe i type it in google its ok? could this be a bug in my system or is any one else having same probs ?
    alfie saden

  51. PassingThrough says:

    I heard her on NPR today. She impressed me as a liberal Sikh Sarah Palin Kim Kardashian crossover. It's evident to most discriminating listeners — including the interviewer — that she had her own agenda to promote.

    But at least they are interviewing her, and not Palin or Kardashian!

  52. Gurmit says:

    She just studied at Harvard and has a law degree from Yale. She is doing a lot of good for the Sikh community, and that she is a woman is awesome. Her grandpa came here a hundred years ago, and she is still Sikh. I wonder if your grandchildren or greatgrandchildren would still be. That this Sikh blog is making attacks on an individual is entirely disgusting with all the other issues that could be chosen. I'm sure a part of it is due to the fact that she is a woman and the losers who are attacking her being losers.

  53. sant sipahi says:

    personal attacks are just a sign of impotence. they come from people who don't have anything to say themselves, but won't let anyone else speak either. there's nothing more cowardly than an anonymous personal attack on the internet (like "mehmaan's" above). if you don't like what valarie kaur she's saying, then develop your own voice that will compel people to listen. it's as simple as that.

  54. ALHF India says:

    I think this blog post highlights something we all knew but didn't know how to talk about. Thanks for doing that Mehmaan. Whoever Valerie thinks she is, of all the things she is, she is not a representative of the Sikhs and Sikh Americans. A Sikh's daughter must marry a Sikh. How can someone like her represent Sikh Americans ? She's an ugly example for our sisters and daughters. Patronising her is shameful. We maybe tolerant but not spineless.

  55. Noor K. says:

    balerie did most unforgiveable thing as far as Panth is concerned: marrying a hindu – she is traitor to Panth started by beloved Baba Nanak. After 1984 what kind of Sikh would marry hindu? she is unfit to ever be Khalsa of Dhan Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahibji Maharaj. The traitors of Sikhi which includes 3ho fraud bhanjanists are many in number. One day such traitors will be formally expelled from Sikh Panth.