Reconsidering our ‘Heroes’

Yesterday, October 12th, was “Columbus Day” – a day where the United States government honors and celebrates the achievements of Christopher Columbus. For some in the United States, Columbus Day is just another holiday. However, for many individuals and communities – it is a painful reminder that history has forgotten the facts. Christopher Columbus was ahero to some and a villain to others. What his true legacy in the Americas is and to whose expense we celebrate his “discovery” has been called into question. In fact, this notable video below asks us to reconsider why we celebrate Columbus Day and not Indigenous People’s Day.

YouTube Preview Image

As you listen to the voices in this video – you may relate to the emotions and words used. As Sikhs, we also won’t allow individuals such as KPS Gill to be named a hero and as humanitarians we won’t perpetuate the heroic notions of Gandhi. Heinous crimes were committed and rights were violated and yet these individuals are still celebrated for their achievements. ”With all due respect,” while India [or the U.S.] goes on remembering these so-called heroes, voices in the diaspora ask you to reconsider. It is important that we stand side by side with our sisters and brothers in other communities to pay homage to their history. We must rebuild our global community together.


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15 Responses to “Reconsidering our ‘Heroes’”

  1. British Sikh says:

    Interesting article!

    Sundri you wrote "and as humanitarians we won’t perpetuate the heroic notions of Gandhi."

    Is this in reference to Mohandas Gandhi or Indira Gandhi? If it is reference to Mohandas Gandhi, it would be very good to read a well referenced/documented opinion of him from a Sikh perspective, whether pro or anti Gandhi.

    Thanks

  2. British Sikh says:

    Interesting article!

    Sundri you wrote "and as humanitarians we won’t perpetuate the heroic notions of Gandhi."

    Is this in reference to Mohandas Gandhi or Indira Gandhi? If it is reference to Mohandas Gandhi, it would be very good to read a well referenced/documented opinion of him from a Sikh perspective, whether pro or anti Gandhi.

    Thanks

  3. Rajinder Singh says:

    The article raises an important problem in developmental economics. The same sort of things have happened in rural areas/adivasi regions of India. For example – A big city needs electricity, so their planners destroy the way of life of a people who really do not care about electricity.

    To be fair, Columbus was more of an explorer/adventurer/risk taker. His three little boats cannot be held responsible for all that followed, IMHV (in my humble view ).

    We are the ones who are enjoying benefits of sacrifices of all those who came before us, and need to do our share for a better planet.

  4. Rajinder Singh says:

    The article raises an important problem in developmental economics. The same sort of things have happened in rural areas/adivasi regions of India. For example – A big city needs electricity, so their planners destroy the way of life of a people who really do not care about electricity.

    To be fair, Columbus was more of an explorer/adventurer/risk taker. His three little boats cannot be held responsible for all that followed, IMHV (in my humble view ).

    We are the ones who are enjoying benefits of sacrifices of all those who came before us, and need to do our share for a better planet.

  5. sonny says:

    thanks for this post! it's definitely high time we start celebrating indigenous people's resistance and right to sovereignty, from the americas to palestine. left turn's last issue focused on indigenous movements in latin america…lots to be inspired by: http://www.leftturn.org/?q=node/1320

  6. Ravinder Singh says:

    Did you know there's a peace award named after Indira Gandhi? Isn't it ironic & sad…
    Indira Gandhi Peace Prize – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indira_Gandhi_Prize

    Imagine if there was:
    Adolf Hitler International Airport
    Hitler Peace Prize

    I just don't get it…

  7. sonny says:

    thanks for this post! it's definitely high time we start celebrating indigenous people's resistance and right to sovereignty, from the americas to palestine. left turn's last issue focused on indigenous movements in latin america…lots to be inspired by: http://www.leftturn.org/?q=node/1320

  8. Ravinder Singh says:

    Did you know there's a peace award named after Indira Gandhi? Isn't it ironic & sad…
    Indira Gandhi Peace Prize – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indira_Gandhi_Prize

    Imagine if there was:
    Adolf Hitler International Airport
    Hitler Peace Prize

    I just don't get it…

  9. K Kaur says:

    Sundari

    A good book on Gandhi which challenges the PR machine around him is "Gandhi: Behind the Mask of Divinity" by G.B.Singh, who was a Colonel in the AMERICAN ARMY. He spent 20 years researching Gandhi and goes directly to the primary source which are Gandhi's writing. Well worth looking at.

  10. K Kaur says:

    Sundari

    A good book on Gandhi which challenges the PR machine around him is "Gandhi: Behind the Mask of Divinity" by G.B.Singh, who was a Colonel in the AMERICAN ARMY. He spent 20 years researching Gandhi and goes directly to the primary source which are Gandhi's writing. Well worth looking at.

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