Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reply to Times of India Article on Sikhs

Sharing my feedback on an article that came today in Times of India written by Divya A. In Black is the article and in red is my comment and view on the written piece as my feedback to Ms Divya.


In an attempt to tell their side of the story, NRI Sikhs have undertaken an interesting exercise – they’re making films about their faith and their community and screening them at festivals they organize for the purpose in various parts of the world.

The trigger, it seems, is the community’s collective angst over developments such as the Army operation at the Golden Temple in 1984, the riots that followed Indira Gandhi’s assassination and the recent turban ban in France.

When you are talking about angst of our community over things happened in 1984 and riots that followed Mrs Indira Gandhi's assassination and turban ban, first two and the turban ban have difference of 20 years in between and there has been no account anywhere what sikhs did during this time. Turban ban is completely different issue, non violent, something about our principles and faith. Not saying we are not trying, but we have been too dependent on diplomacies and politics happening on it. The movies on 1984 have no links with other issues in sikhism and as they say 'jis tan laage so tan jaane' the pain is felt only by those who have been affected by this tragic incident of 1984.

Just last week, the Sikh Art and Film Foundation (SAFF) in New York organized the Annual Sikh Film Festival, which acquired especially grand tones for the first time in its 10-year history. There was a red carpet and it was attended by more than 1,000 people. Meanwhile, Visions of Truth, a two-month-long traveling film festival with movies about 1984, was on in California. It was organized by Jakara, a California Sikhs’ club. In addition, Sikhnet, a website dedicated to building bridges between Sikhs abroad, announced its 2009 Youth Online Film Festival, inviting Sikh youth to share videos about “being a Sikh”.

If you would have done your research well, you would have seen that SAFF had two movies on backdrop of 1984 and one on turban ban issues among so many others which were portraying other historical times in sikhism timeline which looks fair to me considering the fact that every dark moment of history also is moulded to cinema. There have been so many movies made on unfortunate events in other religions and have been screened in international film festivals.

Talking of Sikhnet Youth Online Film Festival, its completely *out of 1984 and turban* model and asks for videos from anyone and everyone on topic like 'Being a Sikh','Learning from Sikhism' and anything you think needs attention. Never ever i have seen any normal sikhism website provoking the community to revolt and show anger on 1984. There are extremists and always will be but we can’t take opinion of 100 people as opinion of whole community.

But how healthy is it for a community to focus on a painful past and present itself to the world as a suffering and wronged people?

Exactly,I would like to know the answer to fact on your article, how healthy is for a community to read such an article which has no factual information but acts as ghee to reignite the fire ???

Why ever not, retorts Rajya Sabha MP Tarlochan Singh. “There are 25 million Sikhs worldwide, with more than a million in America and Canada, and about half a million in UK. An acute identity crisis in the post 9/11 world has compelled them to tell people that there is a difference between a Sikh and an Iranian or the Taliban.”

Prof S P Singh, former VC of Amritsar’s Guru Nanak Dev University, explains it as a consequence of “the wounds inflicted on the collective Sikh psyche (which) have not been addressed so far. Time doesn’t heal the injury that hasn’t been redressed. Otherwise, Udham Singh wouldn’t have avenged Jallianwala Bagh massacre 25 years later!”

Perhaps. The film Storming the Temple, part of Visions of Truth, lays out the events that ended in the Army entering the Temple; Reaching for Home is a fictional account around the incident and Amu addresses issues of identity with 1984 as the backdrop.

So too the New York film festival, which kicked off with 1984 and the Via Dolorosa, an attempt to portray Sikh suffering in the context of the Christian belief in the pain Christ suffered while carrying the cross.

So, does the community collectively alternate between self-congratulation and suffering then? On the phone from New York, SAFF president Tejinder Singh Bindra explains, “We celebrate the heritage of Sikhs and their immigrant experience and promote Sikhism in a land where people persecuted us in the wake of 9/11.”

Gurumustak Singh Khalsa, an American Sikh, who founded SikhNet told STOI from New Mexico that it would be wrong to see the festivals as navel-gazing hype. “Most people don’t have a clue who Sikhs are. The genesis of the festival came from the proliferation of short videos on websites and enabled us to reach out to more people.”

These are quoted personal opinions and after I read, I see no good point in quoting them in article since they are out of topic and just general opinions and can be made asking for any general issue on Sikhs.

But isn’t it maudlin for Sikhs to focus so acutely on 1984? S P Singh says there may be another angle to this. He says that playing up the 1984 imagery serves the vested interests of those who sought political asylum abroad in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star. “If the movement dies down, all facilities and aid extended to them will be terminated.”

Wish you would have done some work looking for a good topic than finding a good English word (ref:maudlin) to use in article :-/ if you wish , I can share some good books on 1984 Operation Blue Star which can first guide you to events that happened and if the revolt was justified. Why muslims felt agitated on demolition of babri masjid, why were hindus angry after godhra and why is Sikh community angry over anyone on entering with tanks in golden temple complex which is considered as abode of god for everyone.

It is good to write sensational article which ignites thoughts of people but writing without proper facts and just quoting others doesn’t always counts as a good write.

Link to the Article :

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Twitterville - talking about my twitter world !!

This is my first post on twitter junta i follow. i always wanted to write about some of fantastic people i have met/interacted over this social network site. Twitter - for me it has been nice experience so far.. have won some contests , met loads of different people, shared thoughts, interacted with celebrities, shared customer feedback directly with companies and got quick answers to all my queries. #followfriday / #ff a routine trend in which every friday i share my choice of people to follow coz of one or the other reason but some people on twitter are regular feature so i thought why not dedicate a post to them so that i just share this link and you get the names and reasons to follow them.

i've mentioned reasons why i follow them and the choice is yours

People who can be recommended anyday everyday :

1. @ujj - Ujjwal was one of the first people i followed. met him in bangalore last year april and thats when i came to know something like twitter existed. he tweets less but whenever he tweets, am either laughing loud or retweeting to share with all. For cricket, randomness , office culture, tempostand, bangalore stuff , everyday follow recommendation :)

2. @poojaganeriwala - A true MICA stuff.randomness is the word i learnt from her and shez awesome twitterer.. you never know whats coming outta her world.. ahmedabad, food, travel, photography, writing anything n everything coming.. shez friend in offline world as well so i normally dnt keep track much of her tweets :D heh..

3. @krist0ph3r - Totally Random Stuff from this guy, one of my favourite people on twitter world. you can expect loads of amazing stuff coming.. sarcasm included..cubiculture rides n all the life keeps on rolling as his twitter timeline shows.

4. @rehabc - if you like to read and you aren't following her.. you are missing a comment/reply on all your literary tweets. awesome shawsome person to talk to.if u ever meet, u ll know how to laugh and smile at same time.. hehe.. have to definitely escape from her 360 degree spy eyes on me. good buddy online... but follow her .. you ll enjoy..

5. @JasleenArora - i like her because i hate her and she likes me because she hates me..we know each other for like ages but twitter has been medium for leg puling all the time n everytime. she tweets poetry, random stuff, about her college life and abt place where she stays.. nice person to argue with.. strong points and wastage of time n energy my side..

6. @ashumittal - my DM buddy :p amazing photographer. expect loads of tweets from her on trending topics which are fun, photography, quotes, adobe, flickr, lightroom etc :-)

and to add to the six above, I follow so many other amazing people and can definitely recommend you following them when you talk of certain topics:

When you talk of

1. Photography = follow @suddentwilight (Paromita's Flickr),@tarunchandel (Tarun's PhotoBlog), @twilightfairy (Priyanka's Flickr) ,@poojaganeriwala (Pooja's Flickr),@ashumittal (Ashu's Flickr)

2. Blogging = follow @realin (Digimantra), @praval (MediaRedefined) , @mayank (Blog Design Studio),@labnol (Digital Inspiration),@pchere (Quick Online Tips), @abhishek (Technix Update, @blogadda (BlogAdda) , @nixxin (MediaNama)

3. Ladies *special quota* - follow @nomadwanderer, @shaaqT, @suddentwilight

4. Cartoons -oh no no.. what you think is wrong,they are not cartoons.. but they make cartoons,doodles and spread message through creative way.. follow @meerasapra (her work), @keeda (work),@tantanoo (work)

5. Microsofties - all your queries on windows, microsoft can be directed towards them - follow @baxiabhishek , @hardik, @manan ,@MicrosoftIndia

6. Corporates - follow @90di, @cleartrip, @flykingfisher , @Samsung_Mobiles, @keralatourism, @infosys, @followtcs, @accenture,@naukri

7 Channels - follow @channelvindia,@colorstv, @mtvindia

8 News - follow @ndtv, @httweets,@bbcworld,@bbctech,@cnnbrk

9 Celebrities - loads of them on twitter but i follow @gulpanag, @priyankachopra, @celinajaitly, @pritishnandy, @sanjaysuri ,@nikhilchinapa, @bani_j, @duttalara, @sonamakapoor, @chetan_bhagat, @1mrankhan, @shreyaghoshal, @ayushmannk , @duttalara, @lisaraniray, @v1sh4l (music Director Vishal), @devikamathur ,@ShashiTharoor

Bas Naam hi kaafi hai, for all of them. Best way to know about them - :)

10 Random-

a) They are my gurgaon meet-up gang so keep meeting them all.. fun people.. can bore you in a minute and make you laugh real hard the next minute - @prolificd,@omgsweet,@sloth13, @simple_sy, baxiabhishek,@mekkanikal

b) I've met them in mumbai nagariyaa... so regular interaction and all fun people to follow and you never know you might learn something from them - @punkpolkdots, @unitechy, @annkur, @mokshjuneja, @netra, @harishk, @shadez ,@hardik, @asfaq, @urmiraj14, @rashmibansal, @3heelshigh, @chicalit , @piyushgupta, @netra

c) @thecomicproject ,@amitvarma,@harry_jerry, @sakhi_ , @_atikin , @anaggh , @smilinggal , @neobluepanther ,@streetanchor , @teatattler, @oldmonkmgm, @greenrains, @rwac84, @sm63, @maheshmurthy, @masarat - yet to meet them in real life but all nice people to follow. regular interaction with all of them on twitter and something to learn as well.

11. Sikhism - follow @Amritsarovar, @singhlions ,@mrSikhnet,@taranjs

12. News Anchors - all of them tweet about their shows, current news and views and its fun sharing our point of view on their shows and news. - @bdutt (barkha dutt), @sardesairajdeep (rajdeep sardesai) , @sonalipds (Sonia Singh) ,@abhonsle (Anubha Bhonsle) ,@suhasinih (Suhasini Haider) , @sagarikaghose (Sagarika Ghose), @virsanghvi (Vir Sanghvi) , @rajeevmasand (Rajeev Masand) , @ankitv (Ankit Venguralikar)

13. Punjab Quota *reserved* - anytime you feel like talking in punjabi tweet them.. have fun interacting with them in punjabi :) - @themonsoonkid ,@simarp ,@preetchandhoke ,@simarp, @harleenkaurs, @param188, @kulpreetsingh ,@rajbir, @purplebeing, @jasdeep,@sepiaverse

This has been the the largest follow friday recommendation i've made and i know i have missed many known-unknown people in it but yea.. i will keep on adding people as and when i feel they are missing in this list of mine. :-) . Happy Following.

Just for records i follow 499 people/brands/celebrities/rssfeeds all including and i'm 517 days old here. :)

Oh i missed mentioning my twitter handle na.. its @s4sukhdeep . :-) tada..

Sunday, September 06, 2009

As I Move On..

As I move forward in life..Ithink of the gains and losses i went through while passing different phases of it the super exciting phase of achieving something different, or sharing the wonderful moments with friends or be it staying out of touch with everyone or be it the feeling of loneliness or dejection during recent few months..and this time i come to the conclusion and gains are all mine and losses are all theirs who lost me :)

when i look back at my life many people came [read girls] n life and went but i certainly believe that each one of them was a pleasure to be friends with and you won't find better teacher than them who would give you something to learn after practically experiencing it.

Some of them which i think definitely added to my learnings tab would include the following..!!

1. Not all that glitters is gold.A beautiful look might give you an illusion of beautiful heart inside but its not always true.. and same hold true for the opposite..a beautiful heart or a beautiful mind may not always be portrayed by a beautiful you should be smart enough to understand the person..i guess my mistakes in understanding this phrase has made me a better human.

2. Friendship is not love - Thats one thing that i dont think i learnt but definitely learnt that you should be friends and should care for each other but not turn so good friends that the other person starts thinking that you are in love wid him/ brings in very difficult situation and the position where making a choice b/w frenship n relationship comes up....understand ur limits.. or be very clear about these things at every step.

3. I may be wrong here but i always feel while moving away from anyone, you are answerable to some of basic questions one wud have while you are going.. and you should nice enough to atleast clear all those doubts . I've some questions to ask to some of my 'Friends' [atleast from my side]and they still are unanswered..!!

4. Believe in God - A complete rockstar he is.I dont understand how he manages my life atleast.. he ll bring all the people in my life one by one.. and second one wud only enter once first one is taking time to leave....! awesome.. i feel who so ever comes in my life gives me some of the wonderful moments to cherish and some of not so good moments.. which make me more stronger for the next time..!!

having true friends on whom you can rely on anytime/everytime is sitting in a comfort zone and that feeling is awesome..!! i can count my comfort zone on one finger.. and i am not naming anyone here.. but i guess having that circle of 2-3 friends is more than enough for me in today's state. a post dedicated to my real life friends and my twitter aka online circle coming soon on that note :D

Long times this post rested in my drafts but finally i post it.. :)

happy reading..

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A Birthday Wish

I got this lovely picture as a birthday wish in orkut scrapbook from one of my gursikh friends and simply loved the concept