Dont Feel Sorry For Me, I Am The Daughter Of A Shaheed

As the 25th anniversary of 1984 approaches us, TLH posts have covered some activities commemorating this devastating time in our history.

My most vivid memories of “1984” are watching Indira Gandhis funeral on television and the border of photos inside my local Gurdwaras Langar Hall of the men who had been tortuously killed during the Khalistani movement. As I got older, I always wondered how Sikh women were impacted by these events, aside from the infamous photo of a widow crying with her child in her arms.

I read about a woman who was strongly involved in the Sikh student movement in Punjab but now lived on the East Coast (USA). At the Fremont Gurdwara, I remember the single picture of a woman who helped make the border of Shaheeds’ photos hung high in the Langar Hall. I recall the emotional testimonies of widows left deserted by our community and the Indian government in the film, Widow Colony. Most recently, I came across this poem, Dont Feel Sorry For Me, I Am The Daughter Of A Shaheed written by woman who lost her family in the 1984 riots in Delhi.

Dont Feel Sorry For Me, I Am The Daughter Of A Shaheed

I am the daughter of a Shaheed
My dad was a proud Singh
One dark unfortunate night there was a knock on our door
It was a mob of angry people
They all attacked my daddy with sharp weapons
They set him on fire in front of my eyes
My dad is gone, he is a Shaheed
But not to worry, Guru Gobind Singh ji is my father
Don’t feel sorry for me, I am the daughter of a Shaheed

My mum was a proud Singhnee, she taught me sikhi
In broad daylight, she was abducted by the police
The same police that was created to protect us, took away my mummy
That was the last time saw her, no one knows where she is
Will she ever come back?
By not to worry, Mata sahib Kaur ji is my mother
Don’t feel sorry for me, I am the daughter of a Shaheed

My elder brother was a proud Singh
He was also kidnapped by the police, for being a Sikh
But my brother came back
In form of a Shaheed
His body was dumped in a ditch
His beautiful Dastaar and Bana were full of blood
I wiped blood from his face with my chuni
No one knows what they did to him
But not to worry, Singhs in the Khalsa Panth are my brothers
Don’t feel sorry for me, I am the daughter of a Shaheed

Those are my childhood memories, I have grown up now
I am a proud Sikh, just like my mum, dad and brother
I live in this place where they look after children of Shaheeds
I have been to school but cannot study further because it costs too much
I am at a marriageable age but which respectable amritdhari family will have me?
Will I ever have a family of my own where I can live happily ever after?
But not to worry, Guru Khalsa Panth is my family. Don’t feel sorry for me, I am the daughter of a Shaheed.

As we attend concerts, phaths, talks, movie screenings, and kirtans to commemorate the events of 1984; I ask us to reflect on how we will use these activities as sources of motivation to begin healing our community in tangible ways that will have long-term effects? Particularly, how will we help the most vulnerable effected by the devistation- women and children? Where can we hold the Indian government accountable and where is it our responsibility to heal our own?

What do you think?

Please share stories you know of women impacted by the events of 1984.


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42 Responses to “Dont Feel Sorry For Me, I Am The Daughter Of A Shaheed”

  1. Waheguru ji ka Khalsa

    Waheguru ji ki Fateh

    Very moving and inspiring.

    waheguru ji

  2. Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki Fateh
    Very moving and inspiring.
    waheguru ji

  3. Poems: Clash in Hell-Encounter

    Balbir Singh Sooch

    Oh! What a clash in hell?

    Public identify the parties silently to clash

    The clash between the related parties in hell

    Related! Yes!

    Keep their faces apart but hands in glove

    How! The parties reign and the crime World

    Wear different mask but all governing men

    A friendly match to keep public in hell

    Oh! What a clash……………?

    The day sign of interrogation removed

    The glow of humanity to be seen shining

    There won’t be difference in heaven and hell

    The parties reign and the crime fall ashamed

    No difference in mask then in governing men

    Seen honesty sandwiched and crushed in hell

    Cheater yet to cry, mayn’t weep to cry

    But honest to face dishonest laugh

    The day sign of interrogation…..

  4. Poems: Clash in Hell-Encounter
    Balbir Singh Sooch

    Oh! What a clash in hell?
    Public identify the parties silently to clash
    The clash between the related parties in hell
    Related! Yes!
    Keep their faces apart but hands in glove
    How! The parties reign and the crime World
    Wear different mask but all governing men
    A friendly match to keep public in hell
    Oh! What a clash……………?

    The day sign of interrogation removed
    The glow of humanity to be seen shining
    There wont be difference in heaven and hell
    The parties reign and the crime fall ashamed
    No difference in mask then in governing men
    Seen honesty sandwiched and crushed in hell
    Cheater yet to cry, maynt weep to cry
    But honest to face dishonest laugh
    The day sign of interrogation…..

  5. Poem: Act of God

    By Balbir Singh Sooch

    Impersonated atheists or worshippers of God

    They are happened to be more dangerous;

    Than any act (unseen) of God

    To be perfect in faith (Truth) to understand…God

    Be fearless from any act of God

    Human is one of contributions of nature;

    For me it is gift kept under the command of God

    Human sentiments are based on faith and Religion;

    Acquired wisdom leads to perfection as desired by God

    Directly proportional to understanding………. God

    There remains gap between wisdom and God

    That’s unseen act of God

    Is there any need to differentiate?

    Man from one and another?

    And of fear in the name of God

    Safeguard humanity and the World

    From the Egoists and Dealers of God

    Playing the atheists or worshippers of God

    They are happened to be more dangerous

    Than any act of God

  6. Poem: Act of God
    By Balbir Singh Sooch

    Impersonated atheists or worshippers of God

    They are happened to be more dangerous;

    Than any act (unseen) of God

    To be perfect in faith (Truth) to understandGod

    Be fearless from any act of God

    Human is one of contributions of nature;

    For me it is gift kept under the command of God

    Human sentiments are based on faith and Religion;

    Acquired wisdom leads to perfection as desired by God

    Directly proportional to understanding. God

    There remains gap between wisdom and God

    Thats unseen act of God

    Is there any need to differentiate?

    Man from one and another?

    And of fear in the name of God

    Safeguard humanity and the World

    From the Egoists and Dealers of God

    Playing the atheists or worshippers of God

    They are happened to be more dangerous

    Than any act of God

  7. Sorrow

    By Balbir Singh Sooch

    Is Sorrow’s depth a pain or misfortune?

    Or stinging you for respect or for what!

    Differentiate to find sorrow or joy

    You to decide not me

    Don’t regret for the past hardship

    What for to feel sorry

    What for to be apologetic

    What for to be repentant

    What for to feel and be sorry

    Apologetic! What for! For the hardship;

    Misfortune; Pain; Grief; Sorrowfulness; Unhappiness; Trouble; Sadness; Distress; Heartache; Anguish; Angst; Misery; Woe; Depression; Gloom; Despondency; Nuisance; Wretchedness; Ache; Hurting; Hurt; Twinge; Sufferings; Agony; Torture; Torment and what not what???

    Do you think my righteous sanity and truthfulness not anticipated the afflictions all?

    What for, I involved in discontentment; Mourning; Melancholy; Remembrance; Hitch; Snag; Problem; Dilemma; Mess; Danger; Difficulty; Despair; Soreness; Tenderness; Throbbing and plus Stinging; Nervousness; Fear; Worry and Fault-responsibility, liability and burden?

    Because, I, myself voluntarily participated in all.

    It is reality of my life and may be similar of all.

    It is rarely to enjoy and the majority may always regret!

    I don’t regret for the past hardship

    I don’t feel sorry

    What for to be apologetic

    What for to be repentant

    What for to feel and be sorry

    After the righteous use of sanity and truth

    I am able to admit and right only this much

    Consolation: I am not among the mean characters in the sense, when I say, “Whoever opposes corruption in India, he is always targeted in order to harm him by all so-called nationalists and the pro-establishment, mean characters, are encouraged to do so, as being personally experienced almost daily”.

    But rest is in HIS hand and to be satisfied: ‘obey, O Nanak! The pre-ordained order of the Lord of wills i.e. ‘Hukam Rajai Chalna, Nanak Likhia Naal’.

    February 21, 2009

  8. Sorrow
    By Balbir Singh Sooch

    Is Sorrows depth a pain or misfortune?
    Or stinging you for respect or for what!
    Differentiate to find sorrow or joy
    You to decide not me

    Dont regret for the past hardship
    What for to feel sorry
    What for to be apologetic
    What for to be repentant
    What for to feel and be sorry

    Apologetic! What for! For the hardship;
    Misfortune; Pain; Grief; Sorrowfulness; Unhappiness; Trouble; Sadness; Distress; Heartache; Anguish; Angst; Misery; Woe; Depression; Gloom; Despondency; Nuisance; Wretchedness; Ache; Hurting; Hurt; Twinge; Sufferings; Agony; Torture; Torment and what not what???

    Do you think my righteous sanity and truthfulness not anticipated the afflictions all?
    What for, I involved in discontentment; Mourning; Melancholy; Remembrance; Hitch; Snag; Problem; Dilemma; Mess; Danger; Difficulty; Despair; Soreness; Tenderness; Throbbing and plus Stinging; Nervousness; Fear; Worry and Fault-responsibility, liability and burden?

    Because, I, myself voluntarily participated in all.
    It is reality of my life and may be similar of all.
    It is rarely to enjoy and the majority may always regret!

    I dont regret for the past hardship
    I dont feel sorry
    What for to be apologetic
    What for to be repentant
    What for to feel and be sorry

    After the righteous use of sanity and truth
    I am able to admit and right only this much

    Consolation: I am not among the mean characters in the sense, when I say, Whoever opposes corruption in India, he is always targeted in order to harm him by all so-called nationalists and the pro-establishment, mean characters, are encouraged to do so, as being personally experienced almost daily.

    But rest is in HIS hand and to be satisfied: obey, O Nanak! The pre-ordained order of the Lord of wills i.e. Hukam Rajai Chalna, Nanak Likhia Naal.
    February 21, 2009

  9. I read the story at the site where is was posted for the first time. I left a comment to bring up more but nobody responded to it. Hope it won't be so here.

  10. I read the story at the site where is was posted for the first time. I left a comment to bring up more but nobody responded to it. Hope it won’t be so here.

  11. Phulkari says:

    Hey Navjeet,

    Could you send us the URL for where it was posted the first time? It would be nice to check it out and see what comments were made so we can cross-link it for our readers. I came across the poem in a forwarded e-mail with no URL.

    Take Care,

    Phulkari

  12. Phulkari says:

    Hey Navjeet,

    Could you send us the URL for where it was posted the first time? It would be nice to check it out and see what comments were made so we can cross-link it for our readers. I came across the poem in a forwarded e-mail with no URL.

    Take Care,
    Phulkari

  13. Harinder says:

    Woman folks are the worse sufferes in any conflict.

    Men are killed but woman folks have to under go the pain of the wars aftermath.

    Similar episode is described in details by

    http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/events/parti

    I hope someone keeps a record "Book/movies on

    a "SIKH WOMAN TRAVILS" .

  14. Harinder says:

    Woman folks are the worse sufferes in any conflict.
    Men are killed but woman folks have to under go the pain of the wars aftermath.

    Similar episode is described in details by

    http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/events/partition_and_women.html

    I hope someone keeps a record “Book/movies on
    a “SIKH WOMAN TRAVILS” .

  15. Jaswant Singh says:

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa,

    Waheguru ji ki Fateh.

    This poem enhanced my will of getting married to a Singhni from SAHEED'S family.

    Thanks with regards.

  16. Jaswant Singh says:

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa,
    Waheguru ji ki Fateh.

    This poem enhanced my will of getting married to a Singhni from SAHEED’S family.

    Thanks with regards.

  17. Daljit Singh says:

    waheguru ji ka khalsa

    waheguru ji ki fateh

    i am dauther of a shaheed,it is too pain full story for sikh path. we are always with her like a brother as she said all khalsa

    panth is brother of her.So i think Guru Gobind Singh ji will always blessing for her. I would like to say that for our new generation please see her life and try to become like her.

    i am realy proud on my sister. waheguru ji ka khalsa wahe guru ji ki fateh.

  18. Daljit Singh says:

    waheguru ji ka khalsa
    waheguru ji ki fateh

    i am dauther of a shaheed,it is too pain full story for sikh path. we are always with her like a brother as she said all khalsa
    panth is brother of her.So i think Guru Gobind Singh ji will always blessing for her. I would like to say that for our new generation please see her life and try to become like her.
    i am realy proud on my sister. waheguru ji ka khalsa wahe guru ji ki fateh.

  19. Phulkari says:

    Jaswant Singh,

    It is good to read that this powerful poem evoked you to take the action. I hope you two have a wonderful marriage! May Waheguru give you the strength, courage, and love to truly enjoy the happy moments and bind together during times of struggle.

    Daljit Singh,

    I agree, sisters, like the one described in this poem, do have a lot of strength, courage, and faith to fight their circumstances. Ultimately, they remind us to reflect on our commitment to our faith. Their problems are our problems. But we need to think about what kind of actions we are taking to help solve their problems. Problems which arose from a struggle that was for us all.

  20. Phulkari says:

    Jaswant Singh,

    It is good to read that this powerful poem evoked you to take the action. I hope you two have a wonderful marriage! May Waheguru give you the strength, courage, and love to truly enjoy the happy moments and bind together during times of struggle.

    Daljit Singh,

    I agree, sisters, like the one described in this poem, do have a lot of strength, courage, and faith to fight their circumstances. Ultimately, they remind us to reflect on our commitment to our faith. Their problems are our problems. But we need to think about what kind of actions we are taking to help solve their problems. Problems which arose from a struggle that was for us all.

  21. Phulkari:

    Thanks for the poem.

    From your posts, it seems you are very committed for the cause of the Sikhs, and of women. Both of them, for you, seem to be the downtrodden.What would you think if I say you are committed to do something, or at least speak up, for the downtrodden? What is it to stand up for the oppressed ones, the dalits?

    Who wants to speak as a victim? What is really going on here?

    Where did the ideas of "upliftment", or "empowerment" come from? Who can afford time for such things?

    I would be looking forward for your response, because I do not think that you would come up with anything conventional like it is the real message of Sikhi to stand up and speak up etc.

  22. Phulkari:

    Thanks for the poem.

    From your posts, it seems you are very committed for the cause of the Sikhs, and of women. Both of them, for you, seem to be the downtrodden.What would you think if I say you are committed to do something, or at least speak up, for the downtrodden? What is it to stand up for the oppressed ones, the dalits?

    Who wants to speak as a victim? What is really going on here?

    Where did the ideas of “upliftment”, or “empowerment” come from? Who can afford time for such things?

    I would be looking forward for your response, because I do not think that you would come up with anything conventional like it is the real message of Sikhi to stand up and speak up etc.

  23. Poosh Pat says:

    Phulkaari:

    Tum Itna Jo Muskra Rahe Ho

    Kya Gam Jis Keh Shupa Rahe Ho

    Sincerely,

    PP

  24. Poosh Pat says:

    Phulkaari:

    Tum Itna Jo Muskra Rahe Ho
    Kya Gam Jis Keh Shupa Rahe Ho

    Sincerely,
    PP

  25. an Indian Sikh says:

    1984 1984 1984

    can you guys here get over it ? tough that politicians mucked things up … but let's look forward now? we know no one guilty will be charged … but let's move on? let's live in peace now atleast. forgive and forget. make our gurus proud.

  26. an Indian Sikh says:

    1984 1984 1984
    can you guys here get over it ? tough that politicians mucked things up … but let’s look forward now? we know no one guilty will be charged … but let’s move on? let’s live in peace now atleast. forgive and forget. make our gurus proud.

  27. Poosh Pat says:

    Indian Sikh,

    Did you know that Bhappas were mistaken as Sikhs and were killed 1984.

    PP

  28. Poosh Pat says:

    To All,

    Its better to live with Nobility and Honor for a day, rather than living as a coward for 100 years.

    Paraphrased from Sant Bhindran wale.

    PP

  29. Poosh Pat says:

    Indian Sikh,

    Did you know that Bhappas were mistaken as Sikhs and were killed 1984.

    PP

  30. Poosh Pat says:

    To All,

    Its better to live with Nobility and Honor for a day, rather than living as a coward for 100 years.

    Paraphrased from Sant Bhindran wale.

    PP

  31. Karimul Fateh says:

    to Indian Sikh from another Indian Sikh, VeerJi it's very easy to say move forward from 1984 but what about those who has suffered in those days , what about those who commited those atrocities on us? Have the those murderers been brought to justice? Besides that 1984 is our history and a big lesson .It is correctly said "Those Who Forget History Are Doomed to Repeat It"? ,We don't want to repeat it and neither will let it happen again that's why we won't forget it.

    Why does Indian republic display such grand pomp show on 26 Jan to celebrate republic day, we indians have gone republic in 1950 so let's move forward and forgot about it Why we need to celeberate it? Why we celeberate 15 Aug as our Independence day, India has been independent since 1947 and it has been long 62 years so let's move forward and forgot that we Indians were slaves to Britishers?Why we need to remember our Independence day? Probably if you get answers to these question by yourself definitely you'll have our answer to why we don't want to forget 1984?

  32. Jodha says:

    Karimul,

    Thought provoking and warranted. In solidarity.

  33. Karimul Fateh says:

    to Indian Sikh from another Indian Sikh, VeerJi it’s very easy to say move forward from 1984 but what about those who has suffered in those days , what about those who commited those atrocities on us? Have the those murderers been brought to justice? Besides that 1984 is our history and a big lesson .It is correctly said “Those Who Forget History Are Doomed to Repeat It”? ,We don’t want to repeat it and neither will let it happen again that’s why we won’t forget it.
    Why does Indian republic display such grand pomp show on 26 Jan to celebrate republic day, we indians have gone republic in 1950 so let’s move forward and forgot about it Why we need to celeberate it? Why we celeberate 15 Aug as our Independence day, India has been independent since 1947 and it has been long 62 years so let’s move forward and forgot that we Indians were slaves to Britishers?Why we need to remember our Independence day? Probably if you get answers to these question by yourself definitely you’ll have our answer to why we don’t want to forget 1984?

  34. Jodha says:

    Karimul,

    Thought provoking and warranted. In solidarity.

  35. jeena says:

    Ajj lagda ke sari zindgi hi kise daldal wicho bahar aun layi la diti par kamjab ni ho payi. manu maaf karyo waheguru ji.

    i am regreting whatever i have done in past. i am not a real sikh.

  36. jeena says:

    Ajj lagda ke sari zindgi hi kise daldal wicho bahar aun layi la diti par kamjab ni ho payi. manu maaf karyo waheguru ji.
    i am regreting whatever i have done in past. i am not a real sikh.

  37. RAJINDER SINGH says:

    Dear Sister Jeena,

    Do not Despair.

    Worldly happiness and sorrow are gifts from God, over which no one has control.

    If it makes you feel any better, you are not alone. The entire world is stuck in the daldal of Maya, which plays tricks on everyone. Many know that, and many more are in a false sense of security of their worldly support systems. Just like a fish sometimes does not know that there is a net already around it- but is in some false sense of security of other fish around.

    Your situation may not be good, but things can be a lot worse. You feeling like you are not a real sikh in fact make you better than those who falsely feel they are "real Sikhs" (Like myself for example) and know it all.

    Life is short- count all your blessings.

  38. RAJINDER SINGH says:

    Dear Sister Jeena,

    Do not Despair.

    Worldly happiness and sorrow are gifts from God, over which no one has control.

    If it makes you feel any better, you are not alone. The entire world is stuck in the daldal of Maya, which plays tricks on everyone. Many know that, and many more are in a false sense of security of their worldly support systems. Just like a fish sometimes does not know that there is a net already around it- but is in some false sense of security of other fish around.

    Your situation may not be good, but things can be a lot worse. You feeling like you are not a real sikh in fact make you better than those who falsely feel they are “real Sikhs” (Like myself for example) and know it all.

    Life is short- count all your blessings.

  39. jeena says:

    thanks brother rajinder,

    your words give me hope to do something better in life, i will always try to be a good human being and hope baba ji will forgive me.

  40. jeena says:

    thanks brother rajinder,
    your words give me hope to do something better in life, i will always try to be a good human being and hope baba ji will forgive me.

  41. Rajinder Singh says:

    You are bravely moving in the right direction and we are proud of you.

    Being born a human in this universe, and especially in a sikh background is like winning a huge,huge lotto. Gigantic favouritism on Gods part. Given the great advantage you already have, your self esteem ought not be altered by whats goes on in this world.

    Finally about the "Golak"/piggy bank – offering to the Guru. It is a mechanism of returning something to the Guru from what was given to us.

    A person can ONLY offer what he/she has. Please feel free to offer your burdens to the Guru. He will gladly accept them. Dont be stingy (like me, I come up with the same excuse that I dont like the Gurudwara President – but really its my ego that wont let go).

    You can choose to offer 10% (dasvandh) of your burdens at a time, and keep 90% – incase you are attached to them . It will take longer, but it is OK.

    Life is like flying an airplane – better going in the forward direction.

  42. Rajinder Singh says:

    You are bravely moving in the right direction and we are proud of you.

    Being born a human in this universe, and especially in a sikh background is like winning a huge,huge lotto. Gigantic favouritism on Gods part. Given the great advantage you already have, your self esteem ought not be altered by whats goes on in this world.

    Finally about the “Golak”/piggy bank – offering to the Guru. It is a mechanism of returning something to the Guru from what was given to us.

    A person can ONLY offer what he/she has. Please feel free to offer your burdens to the Guru. He will gladly accept them. Dont be stingy (like me, I come up with the same excuse that I dont like the Gurudwara President – but really its my ego that wont let go).

    You can choose to offer 10% (dasvandh) of your burdens at a time, and keep 90% – incase you are attached to them . It will take longer, but it is OK.

    Life is like flying an airplane – better going in the forward direction.

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