Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti Returns with ‘Behud’

Behud2.jpgMany of you will recall the protests which emerged in 2004 when Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti went to stage her second play, Behzti. The play, which covered issues such as rape and violence within the setting of a gurdwara, caused an uproar in the Sikh community in Birmingham and was later canceled. Many community members welcomed the decision to cancel the play, while others argued that limiting the playwright’s free speech was actually detrimental to the Sikh community. It was nicely put in a Guardian article stating that, “The dispute became a classic conflict between the artist’s right to freedom of expression and a community’s wish to have their faith treated with dignity.”

The Rep had taken the unusual step of inviting Sikh community leaders to a private preview to air their concerns, after which they agreed not to oppose the play if the setting was moved to a community centre. Bhatti refused. “I wanted to write a play about religious hypocrisy,” she explains, “for which the setting in a gurdwara was non-negotiable. The attempt to establish a dialogue with the Sikh community was well intentioned, but ultimately misinterpreted as an invitation to rewrite my play.” [link]

Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti later found a card among her Christmas mail that read: “Seasons Greetings. This will be your last Christmas. You are a disgrace to the race. Sending you lots of hate.” Bhatti was forced to go into hiding. Behzti sparked protests and death threats, and now the playwright is attempting to address the controversy in her new play, Behud – which translates colloquiallyas “beyond belief”.

In Behud, a writer struggles to come up with a suitable ending for her play, while trying to meet the demands of incensed community leaders, troubled councillors and an excitable director. The characters mutiny and inform the dramatist that her services are no longer required. Is this a metaphor for the way Behzti got out of hand? “I don’t agree with everything my fictional playwright says,” Bhatti replies. “But I think every dramatist would recognise the point when the director and cast all look at you as if they’d rather you left the room.” [link]

The question now remains whether or not Behud will reignite the same sentiments which came to surface with Behzti. When do we decide to encourage and support artistic expression or fight to protect our faith? It is clear that Sikhi was not going to come to an end with the staging of Behzti so why did theconfidence in our faith falter so easily over a fictional story? An important element of our community’s development is having these very difficult conversations about violence, rape, alcoholism etc. We can hope that our gurdwaras are protected from scenes such as those depicted in Behzti, but avoiding the issue and responding with hatred and threatening another human’s life – i just don’t see the Sikhi in that.


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90 Responses to “Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti Returns with ‘Behud’”

  1. Karan Singh says:

    I highly doubt she received any Christmas Card with a death threat. Its a clear attempt by a writer to gain general public support and ultimately to raise her profile as a writer.

  2. Randep says:

    Sundari,

    The telling hint in your post is found in your statement, " It is clear that Sikhi was not going to come to an end with the staging of Behzti so why did the confidence in our faith falter so easily over a fictional story?" It is a sentence such as this one that best demonstrates the limitations to the narrative you are trying to sell.

    For only one example, you assume that "confidence in _our_ faith falter[ed] over this fictional story," suggesting that _we_ the community became atheistic or something cuz' of that play. That's not only over-simplistic, but it seems obviously plainly wrong. If you meant something else by "the confidence in _our_ faith falter[ing]", what could it be? How can anyone measure the faith of another? Claiming to know who has faith and to what degree is certainly dangerous. We see this with the Conservative Right-wing of the Republican Party here in America, who claim to know all about what faith is what faith isn't.

    Rather, your rhetoric points towards an identity politics that is more about controlling people than about faith. After all, you say, "It is clear that Sikhi was not going to come to an end with the staging of Behzti so…", as if action must be premeditated upon "saving Sikhi". This rhetoric, however, is very problematic. This is the very rhetoric propped up by preachers pressuring kids to keep their kes in order to "save Sikhi" or "preserve _our_ culture". In this way, religion is merely used in order to maintain an identity, or to maintain the political identity of a group of people. This is apparent when you say, "When do we decide to encourage and support artistic expression __or__ fight to protect our faith? [emphasis mine]" Here, you corner the "Sikh community" (whatever that means!) into the same old tired dichotomy between art, aesthetics, beauty, liberty, freedom vs. religion, tradition, customs, faith, etc. What this shows is an unwillingness on the part of the writer, Sundari, in thinking beyond the confines of the same old dogma of religion vs. the secular. Simply, you are pigeonholing "the Sikh community" into the 18th century problems of Religion vs. Secular State/Rights found in Christendom.

    This is only more apparent in your slip-ups. Pay careful attention to your wording, "An important element of our community’s __development__ is having these very difficult conversations about violence, rape, alcoholism etc." I agree that the troubles and woes of violence, rape, alcoholism, etc. indeed require careful and serious addressing. Who can doubt that. It is another to, as you have, imply that "_our_ community" (whatever that means) is not yet developed, as if we must further "develop" in order to be complete or fulfilled. That is a wildly dismissive and condescending attitude that wreaks of the very haughty and arrogant outlook of the colonialist who in _his_ disdain took the non-civilized (in this case immigrants) to be immature, infantile, and unable to think. As if one didn't know that life includes terrible woes and tribulations until you arrived at the scene to decree it so, so that the un-enlightened may be on their way towards properly developing.

    Ultimately, your journalistic entry seems to re-articulate the very problems of the diaspora's group-mentality, which is more centered about an identity politics of controlling the community and its thoughts.

  3. Karan Singh says:

    I highly doubt she received any Christmas Card with a death threat. Its a clear attempt by a writer to gain general public support and ultimately to raise her profile as a writer.

  4. Raven says:

    Hey, good post, Sundari. Whether or not Bhatti received a 'hate Christmas card', there were certainly some ugly scenes outside the UK theatre where the play was eventually called off due to the mob (mostly young men without turbans) threatening violence. I wish they (the mob) would devote as much energy against violence, rape and injustice against women (or whoever) within the 'Sikh community'…

  5. Randep says:

    Sundari,

    The telling hint in your post is found in your statement, " It is clear that Sikhi was not going to come to an end with the staging of Behzti so why did the confidence in our faith falter so easily over a fictional story?" It is a sentence such as this one that best demonstrates the limitations to the narrative you are trying to sell.

    For only one example, you assume that "confidence in _our_ faith falter[ed] over this fictional story," suggesting that _we_ the community became atheistic or something cuz' of that play. That's not only over-simplistic, but it seems obviously plainly wrong. If you meant something else by "the confidence in _our_ faith falter[ing]", what could it be? How can anyone measure the faith of another? Claiming to know who has faith and to what degree is certainly dangerous. We see this with the Conservative Right-wing of the Republican Party here in America, who claim to know all about what faith is what faith isn't.

    Rather, your rhetoric points towards an identity politics that is more about controlling people than about faith. After all, you say, "It is clear that Sikhi was not going to come to an end with the staging of Behzti so…", as if action must be premeditated upon "saving Sikhi". This rhetoric, however, is very problematic. This is the very rhetoric propped up by preachers pressuring kids to keep their kes in order to "save Sikhi" or "preserve _our_ culture". In this way, religion is merely used in order to maintain an identity, or to maintain the political identity of a group of people. This is apparent when you say, "When do we decide to encourage and support artistic expression __or__ fight to protect our faith? [emphasis mine]" Here, you corner the "Sikh community" (whatever that means!) into the same old tired dichotomy between art, aesthetics, beauty, liberty, freedom vs. religion, tradition, customs, faith, etc. What this shows is an unwillingness on the part of the writer, Sundari, in thinking beyond the confines of the same old dogma of religion vs. the secular. Simply, you are pigeonholing "the Sikh community" into the 18th century problems of Religion vs. Secular State/Rights found in Christendom.

    This is only more apparent in your slip-ups. Pay careful attention to your wording, "An important element of our community’s __development__ is having these very difficult conversations about violence, rape, alcoholism etc." I agree that the troubles and woes of violence, rape, alcoholism, etc. indeed require careful and serious addressing. Who can doubt that. It is another to, as you have, imply that "_our_ community" (whatever that means) is not yet developed, as if we must further "develop" in order to be complete or fulfilled. That is a wildly dismissive and condescending attitude that wreaks of the very haughty and arrogant outlook of the colonialist who in _his_ disdain took the non-civilized (in this case immigrants) to be immature, infantile, and unable to think. As if one didn't know that life includes terrible woes and tribulations until you arrived at the scene to decree it so, so that the un-enlightened may be on their way towards properly developing.

    Ultimately, your journalistic entry seems to re-articulate the very problems of the diaspora's group-mentality, which is more centered about an identity politics of controlling the community and its thoughts.

  6. Raven says:

    Hey, good post, Sundari. Whether or not Bhatti received a 'hate Christmas card', there were certainly some ugly scenes outside the UK theatre where the play was eventually called off due to the mob (mostly young men without turbans) threatening violence. I wish they (the mob) would devote as much energy against violence, rape and injustice against women (or whoever) within the 'Sikh community'…

  7. Sewa says:

    Sikhs made the same mistake Muslims did with Salmon Rushdie..by reacting like we did, we made ourselves look as backwards as Muslims..fight fire with fire, water with water and literature with counter literature..Dasmi Pasha said only justifyied to raise the sword when all other means have failed..

    If the protest has been peaceful and logical , the play would have received the critism it derserved, if any..

    Fact is there are bad priests who have done bad things..this is not insulting the Sikhism, but the individual Granthis..a healthy habit the west has, and indeed even we had, take Heer by Waris Shah and how he openly exposes the bad Mullah and Qazi..

    Let's hope this time we counter any concerns we have with rational protest and after actually seeing the play..

  8. bhai says:

    Some of the critique of the idea of development is cogent. My concern is for want of a community play Sikhs in the UK were slandered as baying for a fatwa. Frankly that is a seriously bad outcome that some seem to just move past. Most people do not need education of all the evil peiole can do

  9. Sewa says:

    Sikhs made the same mistake Muslims did with Salmon Rushdie..by reacting like we did, we made ourselves look as backwards as Muslims..fight fire with fire, water with water and literature with counter literature..Dasmi Pasha said only justifyied to raise the sword when all other means have failed..

    If the protest has been peaceful and logical , the play would have received the critism it derserved, if any..

    Fact is there are bad priests who have done bad things..this is not insulting the Sikhism, but the individual Granthis..a healthy habit the west has, and indeed even we had, take Heer by Waris Shah and how he openly exposes the bad Mullah and Qazi..

    Let's hope this time we counter any concerns we have with rational protest and after actually seeing the play..

  10. bhai says:

    Some of the critique of the idea of development is cogent. My concern is for want of a community play Sikhs in the UK were slandered as baying for a fatwa. Frankly that is a seriously bad outcome that some seem to just move past. Most people do not need education of all the evil peiole can do

  11. iSingh says:

    @Sundari

    "fight to protect our faith?"…. "We can hope that our gurdwaras are protected from scenes such as those depicted in Behzti"

    Thanks for bringing the issue to the discussion. But am I the only one who thinks that depiction of rape, an act of violence, is as symbolic as the depiction of police encounters, feticide, consumption of intoxicants etc in a Gurudwara. Apparently the last three would not have drawn ire.

    I understand hows and whys of those who caused demonstrations but don't understand how someone who seems to appreciate artistic expression is buying into their rhetoric. Or do we still evaluate men and women on a different level.

    At least the Taliban's implementation of Sharia law is documented in their spiritual philosophy and religious texts. But the logic behind public acts like these, attempting to uphold religious righteousness are based on individual interpretations and personal whims. This "protection from scenes" smells of the same logic as used by Babri masjid demolishers.

    @Karan Singh
    Your argument is interesting. But it would have more credence if she would have come out with another play sooner.

  12. iSingh says:

    @Sundari

    "fight to protect our faith?"…. "We can hope that our gurdwaras are protected from scenes such as those depicted in Behzti"

    Thanks for bringing the issue to the discussion. But am I the only one who thinks that depiction of rape, an act of violence, is as symbolic as the depiction of police encounters, feticide, consumption of intoxicants etc in a Gurudwara. Apparently the last three would not have drawn ire.

    I understand hows and whys of those who caused demonstrations but don't understand how someone who seems to appreciate artistic expression is buying into their rhetoric. Or do we still evaluate men and women on a different level.

    At least the Taliban's implementation of Sharia law is documented in their spiritual philosophy and religious texts. But the logic behind public acts like these, attempting to uphold religious righteousness are based on individual interpretations and personal whims. This "protection from scenes" smells of the same logic as used by Babri masjid demolishers.

    @Karan Singh
    Your argument is interesting. But it would have more credence if she would have come out with another play sooner.

  13. Harinder says:

    "Religion" and "Rationality "have always been at logger head in all cutures and civilizations.
    In Some civillizations rationality won and in some religion won but the struggle still goes on
    For eg :-

    a) In Western civilzation :– —- Galileo in 1633 was found "vehemently suspect of heresy," namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe .He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.

    who wins : Rationality

    b) In middle eastern civilization :- —–His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), was the centre of The Satanic Verses controversy, with protests from Muslims in several countries. Some of the protests were violent, with Rushdie facing death threats and a fatw? issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, in February 1989.

    Who wins : Religion

  14. Harinder says:

    c ) Indian civlilization : A faith which uniquely does not have any notion of heresy in it–you cannot be a Hindu heretic because there is no standard set of dogmas from which you can …

    Who wins :- Rationality

    d ) SIKH CIVILIZATION :– Behzti (in Punjabi, Dishonour) is a play written by the British Sikh playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti. The play sparked a controversy in the United Kingdom in December 2004. A controversial scene set in a Gurdwara (Sikh temple) included scenes of rape, physical abuse and murder. Some members of the Sikh community found the play deeply offensive to their faith. On the opening night, December 18, 2004, at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The Rep), in Birmingham, England, a protest organized by local Sikh leaders faced violence that erupted among the protesters. Performances of the play at the Rep were cancelled two days later.

    Who wins : Religion

  15. Sewa says:

    in priciple in sikhi women are equal,,but we are punjabis , indians with a male domiated caste based society..a woman is not allowed voice

  16. bhai says:

    It is pretty surprising what I wrote was deleted, especially on a post on free speech. Nothing in what I wrote was written other than in the spirit of engagement on ideas. Will not be writing in the future, but I will continue to read. I do think it is useful to consider the critique of the enlightened liberal position in these contexts

  17. Harinder says:

    "Religion" and "Rationality "have always been at logger head in all cutures and civilizations.
    In Some civillizations rationality won and in some religion won but the struggle still goes on
    For eg :-

    a) In Western civilzation :– —- Galileo in 1633 was found "vehemently suspect of heresy," namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe .He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.

    who wins : Rationality

    b) In middle eastern civilization :- —–His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), was the centre of The Satanic Verses controversy, with protests from Muslims in several countries. Some of the protests were violent, with Rushdie facing death threats and a fatw? issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, in February 1989.

    Who wins : Religion

  18. Harinder says:

    "Religion" and "Rationality "have always been at logger head in all cutures and civilizations.
    In Some civillizations rationality won and in some religion won but the struggle still goes on
    For eg :-

    a) In Western civilzation :– —- Galileo in 1633 was found "vehemently suspect of heresy," namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe .He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.

    who wins : Rationality

    b) In middle eastern civilization :- —–His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), was the centre of The Satanic Verses controversy, with protests from Muslims in several countries. Some of the protests were violent, with Rushdie facing death threats and a fatw? issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, in February 1989.

    Who wins : Religion

  19. Harinder says:

    "Religion" and "Rationality "have always been at logger head in all cutures and civilizations.
    In Some civillizations rationality won and in some religion won but the struggle still goes on
    For eg :-

    a) In Western civilzation :– —- Galileo in 1633 was found "vehemently suspect of heresy," namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe .He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.

    who wins : Rationality

    b) In middle eastern civilization :- —–His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), was the centre of The Satanic Verses controversy, with protests from Muslims in several countries. Some of the protests were violent, with Rushdie facing death threats and a fatw? issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, in February 1989.

    Who wins : Religion

  20. Harinder says:

    c ) Indian civlilization : A faith which uniquely does not have any notion of heresy in it–you cannot be a Hindu heretic because there is no standard set of dogmas from which you can …

    Who wins :- Rationality

    d ) SIKH CIVILIZATION :– Behzti (in Punjabi, Dishonour) is a play written by the British Sikh playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti. The play sparked a controversy in the United Kingdom in December 2004. A controversial scene set in a Gurdwara (Sikh temple) included scenes of rape, physical abuse and murder. Some members of the Sikh community found the play deeply offensive to their faith. On the opening night, December 18, 2004, at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The Rep), in Birmingham, England, a protest organized by local Sikh leaders faced violence that erupted among the protesters. Performances of the play at the Rep were cancelled two days later.

    Who wins : Religion

  21. Sewa says:

    in priciple in sikhi women are equal,,but we are punjabis , indians with a male domiated caste based society..a woman is not allowed voice

  22. bhai says:

    It is pretty surprising what I wrote was deleted, especially on a post on free speech. Nothing in what I wrote was written other than in the spirit of engagement on ideas. Will not be writing in the future, but I will continue to read. I do think it is useful to consider the critique of the enlightened liberal position in these contexts

  23. bhai says:

    No some were just deleted I think. I did post more than once, similar but I thought different ideas. Anyway my contribution is a concern about an enlightened liberal position which continously seeks to educate the rest of the community and serves as a self styled defense against wild fundamentalism. That is a highly problematic construct for our community. Anyway deletion stings an I won't post on other threads, no loss to anyone

  24. Roop Dhillon says:

    Freedom of express in art is all important…it helps us look at the bad in our society and culture as well…as long as it does it respectfully to religion, then it does not have to be win for Rationality or Win for Religion, but can be for both..People did not think, just like the Muslims who burned Satanic Verses without reading it did so. The Playwright critised the Granthi ( a human), in a building of worship ( the Gurdwara) because he was commiting acts there that desecrate the Gurdwara as well as the woman. She did not critise Sikhism.

    We get so worked up about our religion that we fail to make this distinction. Shewas being honest, I know at the time in Erith Kent, Sikh priest did indeed sexually abuse a young Sikh girl o Gurdwara premises, then the child was made out to be wicked. Where were her parents?

    I am a proud Sikh and a prouder Punjabi…but we can not stick our head in the sand. A measured response to play should have been required from Sikh leaders, not a bunch of half educated guys going on national TV and making Sikhs look like Mullah Fanatics

  25. bhai says:

    No some were just deleted I think. I did post more than once, similar but I thought different ideas. Anyway my contribution is a concern about an enlightened liberal position which continously seeks to educate the rest of the community and serves as a self styled defense against wild fundamentalism. That is a highly problematic construct for our community. Anyway deletion stings an I won’t post on other threads, no loss to anyone

  26. Roop Dhillon says:

    Freedom of express in art is all important…it helps us look at the bad in our society and culture as well…as long as it does it respectfully to religion, then it does not have to be win for Rationality or Win for Religion, but can be for both..People did not think, just like the Muslims who burned Satanic Verses without reading it did so. The Playwright critised the Granthi ( a human), in a building of worship ( the Gurdwara) because he was commiting acts there that desecrate the Gurdwara as well as the woman. She did not critise Sikhism.

    We get so worked up about our religion that we fail to make this distinction. Shewas being honest, I know at the time in Erith Kent, Sikh priest did indeed sexually abuse a young Sikh girl o Gurdwara premises, then the child was made out to be wicked. Where were her parents?

    I am a proud Sikh and a prouder Punjabi…but we can not stick our head in the sand. A measured response to play should have been required from Sikh leaders, not a bunch of half educated guys going on national TV and making Sikhs look like Mullah Fanatics

  27. Paramjit Singh says:

    Sikhs are prudes,they deny any kind of erotica within their religion ,church and community.How about dasam granth,or the fact 40% of gurus were polygamous.Last year a sikh girl eloped with her brother-in-law in reno,nv and everybody on this blog was in uproar.Wanna know what happened to her,she is pregnant,as is her sister who was married to her brother-in -law.The dude was deported to india coz he was an inadmmissible for priors.The point in writing this is all characters involved are sikhs however every body have their own interpretation of sikhism or any other theology.Miss Bhatti has done nothing wrong,she should be encouraged and not condemned.In the past this blog has stopped/deleted a lot of people coz they didnot tow the line of the administrators,simply put they were not sycophants,hopefully things have changed.

  28. Roop Dhillon says:

    The original sikhs were bhakti movement influenced and critics of flaws in religion and in those that practised religion…we are now failing to do this and are actually anti- sikh in our behaviour..Sikhism is not set in stone like Islam, it has evolved and changed between Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Ji, then again with the Singh Sabha…this is an advantage which means we can adapt to changing environ without altering the Adi Granth..the whole point of the Rehet…the problem is Punjabi culture is anti-female despite of the religion..I agree with Paramjit

  29. Paramjit Singh says:

    Sikhs are prudes,they deny any kind of erotica within their religion ,church and community.How about dasam granth,or the fact 40% of gurus were polygamous.Last year a sikh girl eloped with her brother-in-law in reno,nv and everybody on this blog was in uproar.Wanna know what happened to her,she is pregnant,as is her sister who was married to her brother-in -law.The dude was deported to india coz he was an inadmmissible for priors.The point in writing this is all characters involved are sikhs however every body have their own interpretation of sikhism or any other theology.Miss Bhatti has done nothing wrong,she should be encouraged and not condemned.In the past this blog has stopped/deleted a lot of people coz they didnot tow the line of the administrators,simply put they were not sycophants,hopefully things have changed.

  30. Roop Dhillon says:

    The original sikhs were bhakti movement influenced and critics of flaws in religion and in those that practised religion…we are now failing to do this and are actually anti- sikh in our behaviour..Sikhism is not set in stone like Islam, it has evolved and changed between Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Ji, then again with the Singh Sabha…this is an advantage which means we can adapt to changing environ without altering the Adi Granth..the whole point of the Rehet…the problem is Punjabi culture is anti-female despite of the religion..I agree with Paramjit

  31. bhai says:

    No I think he had his own thought about the issue and some of that may be in common with Sundari. There is a breezy self assurance here about who is right and who is misguided at best primitive at worst. It is like the kids in class who are used to having the right answer. The teachers might be enlightened liberality?

  32. bhai says:

    No I think he had his own thought about the issue and some of that may be in common with Sundari. There is a breezy self assurance here about who is right and who is misguided at best primitive at worst. It is like the kids in class who are used to having the right answer. The teachers might be enlightened liberality?

  33. bhai says:

    The controversy occurred in the UK where the salman rushdie affair occurred. That informs the reactions to an extent that should be acknowledgmened. I do note there is very little ground here where opponent of some aspect of the enlightened liberal reaction can be considered. The comments here refer to various fundamentalists, and at best they are described as conservative, with all that implies in a forum that describes itself as progressive. It seems there is no other ground to see this than enlightened vs fundamentalist reactionary. That is corrosive for our community

  34. bhai says:

    The controversy occurred in the UK where the salman rushdie affair occurred. That informs the reactions to an extent that should be acknowledgmened. I do note there is very little ground here where opponent of some aspect of the enlightened liberal reaction can be considered. The comments here refer to various fundamentalists, and at best they are described as conservative, with all that implies in a forum that describes itself as progressive. It seems there is no other ground to see this than enlightened vs fundamentalist reactionary. That is corrosive for our community

  35. bhai says:

    And of course the smart people draw the line at the same place, each and everyone. They all went to the right schools and learned the right things. And anyone thinking different either needs education or can not be taught?

  36. bhai says:

    And of course the smart people draw the line at the same place, each and everyone. They all went to the right schools and learned the right things. And anyone thinking different either needs education or can not be taught?

  37. Paramjit Singh says:

    .Evolving communities require patience and understanding of different view points.It doesnot require to accept these differences,but to be tolerant towards them.Sadly that is missing in today's India and especially in Punjab.One has to look at the actions of sikhs,vis-a-vis dera sadhs,christians vis-a-vis the picture of christ,muslims and hindus vis-a-vis women reservations.Many of these people are well meaning,pious and hard working,however majority of them are self-righteous,and they act uncivil towards any one who doesnot agree with them.It is this group that makes things ugly.Live and let live.

  38. Paramjit Singh says:

    .Evolving communities require patience and understanding of different view points.It doesnot require to accept these differences,but to be tolerant towards them.Sadly that is missing in today's India and especially in Punjab.One has to look at the actions of sikhs,vis-a-vis dera sadhs,christians vis-a-vis the picture of christ,muslims and hindus vis-a-vis women reservations.Many of these people are well meaning,pious and hard working,however majority of them are self-righteous,and they act uncivil towards any one who doesnot agree with them.It is this group that makes things ugly.Live and let live.

  39. Bhupi says:

    What if religions were adaptive to current social context ? Then they'll loose the definition hence the structure. With structure comes power. And power is materialistic as per religion.

    Religions can never adapt and that's why new religions are born. The violence around us is another outcome of rigidity of religions.

    My social context – a current 'mona punjabi' who once was a baptized sikh

    Being on the other side
    I reflect on my past and pride
    My mona son, a punjabi
    I killed the sikh in him, alive
    Why do the shabad's and bhangra
    Still move me into a trance and dance
    Then I ask myself who were they (in punjab)
    300 years ago and before
    Human beings who kept on adapting
    The best which came their way

    If I have hurt somebody's feeling, saying 'sorry' won't change much, just temporally satisfy your 'ego' .

  40. Bhupi says:

    What if religions were adaptive to current social context ? Then they'll loose the definition hence the structure. With structure comes power. And power is materialistic as per religion.

    Religions can never adapt and that's why new religions are born. The violence around us is another outcome of rigidity of religions.

    My social context – a current 'mona punjabi' who once was a baptized sikh

    Being on the other side
    I reflect on my past and pride
    My mona son, a punjabi
    I killed the sikh in him, alive
    Why do the shabad's and bhangra
    Still move me into a trance and dance
    Then I ask myself who were they (in punjab)
    300 years ago and before
    Human beings who kept on adapting
    The best which came their way

    If I have hurt somebody's feeling, saying 'sorry' won't change much, just temporally satisfy your 'ego' .

  41. bhai says:

    I think the comment attempting to treat randep is not fair to him and actually pretty bad.

  42. bhai says:

    I think the comment attempting to treat randep is not fair to him and actually pretty bad.

  43. Sewa says:

    This website is coming across like it only has Sikh Extremists on it, from both ends of the scale, either too right wing and inflexible in their view of what Sikhi in the 21st Century should be, or far too libertine and calling themselves Sikhs, when in fact they are not.

    I think most normal Sikhs fall somewhere smack bang in the middle of these two polarised views, and the people here fail to realise that. Truth is that is the case in most societies and religions.

    No one is born a Sikh. One becomes one through actions, faith, practises and following a certain prescribed lifestyle.

    A balanced view would respect the views of Sundari as well as Paramjeet.

    Fact is women in the eyes of the Sikh religion are equal

    But in Punjabi Culture they are not.

    Culture always beats religion (take how in practise we all still follow castes), except when it does not suit, and visa versa.

    Unlike Islam, Sikhism has changed. Look how different the Khalsa Sikh is from Guru Nanak’s time. In the same way in changing circumstances our attitudes need to change. Problem is our Pope and St Peter’s sits in the Akal Takht which is in Punjab, and the guys there are experts in Sikhism, but alas are not taught anything else about the world, so all their decisions and views are Punjabi Centric.

    Like in Christianity, what will happen is that western Sikhs will eventually Reject Punjabi as a foreign Language and hold onto their own version of Sikhism.

    By living in the west we reap the rewards of the liberal culture. We can not have it two ways. We must allow Freedom of Speech as long as it is not Blasmerous to Guru Granth Sahib.

    Scenes of rape in a Gurdwara are not, as that is a building, and sinners are capable of committing sins there.

  44. bhai says:

    Are you suggesting we all use only the liberal tradition as the basis of our thought? To be aware of more than one philosophical tradition is having it both ways? It seems you are proposing that over time the use of Gurubani should fade and we will s be disinclined to use it as s basis of thought. Why do you think this is s good idea?

  45. Sewa says:

    This website is coming across like it only has Sikh Extremists on it, from both ends of the scale, either too right wing and inflexible in their view of what Sikhi in the 21st Century should be, or far too libertine and calling themselves Sikhs, when in fact they are not.

    I think most normal Sikhs fall somewhere smack bang in the middle of these two polarised views, and the people here fail to realise that. Truth is that is the case in most societies and religions.

    No one is born a Sikh. One becomes one through actions, faith, practises and following a certain prescribed lifestyle.

    A balanced view would respect the views of Sundari as well as Paramjeet.

    Fact is women in the eyes of the Sikh religion are equal
    But in Punjabi Culture they are not.

    Culture always beats religion (take how in practise we all still follow castes), except when it does not suit, and visa versa.

    Unlike Islam, Sikhism has changed. Look how different the Khalsa Sikh is from Guru Nanaks time. In the same way in changing circumstances our attitudes need to change. Problem is our Pope and St Peters sits in the Akal Takht which is in Punjab, and the guys there are experts in Sikhism, but alas are not taught anything else about the world, so all their decisions and views are Punjabi Centric.

    Like in Christianity, what will happen is that western Sikhs will eventually Reject Punjabi as a foreign Language and hold onto their own version of Sikhism.

    By living in the west we reap the rewards of the liberal culture. We can not have it two ways. We must allow Freedom of Speech as long as it is not Blasmerous to Guru Granth Sahib.

    Scenes of rape in a Gurdwara are not, as that is a building, and sinners are capable of committing sins there.

  46. bhai says:

    Are you suggesting we all use only the liberal tradition as the basis of our thought? To be aware of more than one philosophical tradition is having it both ways? It seems you are proposing that over time the use of Gurubani should fade and we will s be disinclined to use it as s basis of thought. Why do you think this is s good idea?

  47. TOBI says:

    It looks like she in all probability is making up the story of the so called Christmas card to become some kind of Salman Rushdie to cash on her notriety. Off course the English media needs controversy and hyped up violence threats to make story headline for creating a heroine. This little no one has unnecessarily received too much attention .

  48. TOBI says:

    It looks like she in all probability is making up the story of the so called Christmas card to become some kind of Salman Rushdie to cash on her notriety. Off course the English media needs controversy and hyped up violence threats to make story headline for creating a heroine. This little no one has unnecessarily received too much attention .

  49. Harinder says:

    Let her have her play and way.

    She will try to show that "SIKHS" are a bad lot of people who do all kind of wrong things in Gurdwaras .

    We all Know what we do in our GURUDWARAS.

  50. Harinder says:

    Let her have her play and way.
    She will try to show that “SIKHS” are a bad lot of people who do all kind of wrong things in Gurdwaras .
    We all Know what we do in our GURUDWARAS.