Monthly Archives: April 2014

Gandhi tho :/

Ya girl ain’t got a whole lot of love for “the father of India.”

 

 

I’ve had this post in mind for a long time, literally years, but I know a lot of people look up to Gandhi, and if you’re one of those people, reading this won’t be that fun of a time. But so much about Gandhi that really irks me is never talked about, and I feel like it really should be. So here goes.

For one thing, he was racist.

Which makes it particularly annoying when people compare him to Nelson Mandela.

Gandhi regularly used the term “Kaffirs” when referring to black people, which is essentially as disrespectful as using the n-word. Additionally, on the status of Indians in South Africa, he is quoted as saying,”the Indian is being dragged down to the position of the raw Kaffir(…)whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a number of cattle to buy a wife, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.” Also, “We could understand not being classed with whites, but to be placed on the same level as the Natives seemed too much to put up with. Kaffirs are as a rule uncivilized — the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live like animals.”

…..

……..

so….yeah. There’s that.

And I know a lot of people society tends to look up to are nowhere near perfect, but for someone put on SUCH an incredibly high pedestal, we certainly don’t talk about how racist Gandhi was enough. Like, it’s not like he committed arson as a kid, or had a drug addiction, or anything like that. He had a deep-seated, inexpiable hatred of black people. This wasn’t a mistake he made, or anything in the realm of things that could be forgiven, you know? Like Michael Jackson. Did he get plastic surgery? Yeah. Did he get more than he admitted? It’s possible. But does that discredit everything he did? Not at all. But Gandhi is known for his advocacy of nonviolence, which implies an appreciation for life. And so his racism is in complete contradiction of what he stands for in society’s eyes.

 

 

 

And the second reason I don’t look up to Gandhi is because of his view of Sikhs.

 

If you look, you can find positive statements Gandhi made about Sikhs. However, many people of prominence during Gandhi’s time were making positive statements about Sikhs, because, like how Muslims were given Pakistan when the British left India, the Sikhs were very close to being given their own state, Khalistan. Seeing this, and fearing the loss of land, Indian officials spoke favorably of Sikhs, to convince them that they did not need Khalistan. Promises were made to Sikhs, and ultimately, we decided we did not need a Khalistan. However, after we turned down the offer and decided to stay in India, the promises made to us were broken. You can gather Gandhi’s true opinion of Sikhs in statements he made more privately–

 

For one thing, he tried to devalue the Sikh identity–

“I read your Granth Sahib. But I do not do so to please you. Nor shall I seek your permission to do so. But the Guru has not said anywhere that you must grow your beards, carry kirpans (swords) and so on”

It is very clear to Sikhs that we have been commanded to maintain our identity, which includes unshorn hair and carrying kirpans. Like, we have a whole holiday dedicated to the anniversary of the day that our prophet made this commandment. If Gandhi felt that we do so unnecessarily, fine. That’s not what bothers me so much. It’s his almost hostile tone in the above quote that really gets me, when he feels the need to state he read the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, but not to please Sikhs. Like why you gotta add that last part? C’mon. Gandhi has also been recorded as saying that he does not acknowledge Sikhism as a religion. Which, as a Sikh myself, is pretty insulting. The man who people refer to as the father of India did not acknowledge Sikhs. He would not have acknowledge me.

I think Sikhs in general don’t have a whole lot of love for Gandhi, given the above paragraph. Growing up, I was never taught about Gandhi by adults in my community. The only thing I ever heard about him was that he called Sikhism’s 10th prophet a mountain rat. I haven’t been able to find this quote, but I wouldn’t really be surprised if I did.

 

I did learn about Shaheed Bhagat Singh, though. He was an atheist who was born into a Sikh family. Like Gandhi, he was pro-independence, and he made contributions to the independence movement. He even fasted in protest of the British government, just like Gandhi did. But it seems no one remembers Shaheed Bhagat Singh, at least not to the extent that they remember Gandhi. Shaheed Bhagat Singh was eventually killed in his fight for independence, and yet he is not seen the way Gandhi is seen, not by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe it’s because he was not against the use of violence, the way Gandhi was. Or maybe it’s because of his family line linking him to Sikhism, and what people like Gandhi have done to make sure that people in this category are seen in a different light in India.

 

 

So…I didn’t write this post to offend anyone. I just wanted to offer a fuller picture of Gandhi’s beliefs to those who might not know about all of them. Whether or not this has changed your view of him, if you ever come across someone who does not appreciate Gandhi as much as most people seem to, perhaps you will have a little more understanding as to where he/she is coming from.

Thoughts?

-M

 

 

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HELLO

Listen, it’s been a week. I’m sure it’s been some form of a week for you too. So let’s do something fun this post. Let’s just chat. No. Even Better. Let’s chaat.

File:Dahi Puri (cropped).JPG

Anyone? Anyone? (K DO ME A QUICK FAVOR AND PLS TYPE “ANYONE” AND SEE IF YOU SPELL IT “ANYWONE” BC I DID IT LIKE 5 TIMES.)

 

Speaking of chaat…I miss food in India. And I miss how often people eat in India. When we were there, skipping meals was totally out of the question. In fact it was more acceptable to have 2 dinners in one night than no dinner. And I’m a 2 dinner type of girl NOMSAYN.

 

 

Oooh has anyone seen Disco Singh?

 

 

 

 

 

For those who don’t know, its a Panjabi movie that was just released and it’s said to be REALLY good, as it has a super talented cast and crew. I can’t wait to watch it, but until then I will be patiently waiting. Here in America…in the Bible Belt. Yeah it might be a while.

 

OH YEAH AND ALSO

HAPPY VAISAKHI GURPURAB EVERYONE!

Vaisakhi is a festival marking the beginning of the harvest season in Northern areas of the Indian subcontinent, celebrated by many religions–

 

 

 

But for Sikhs it’s also a religious holiday, because on Vaisakhi of 1699, our tenth prophet, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, gave Sikhs their identity (uncut hair, karas, kirpans, etc.) and established the warrior-mentality that Sikhs would use to fight injustice and violations of human rights. Jusreign explains it pretty well–

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHvZeo057jc

 

ANYWAYS. Yeah. That’s about…all I got? Idk. Listen guys. I have a lot of stuff I want to post about. Like deep stuff you know. BUT I JUST DON’T KNOW. I DON’T KNOW HOW IT’S GON GO. But obviously I have to because the posts tend to be dull these days, because I’m not talking about what’s on my mind–which is always when the interesting posts happen. So okay. This is my promise to you. Next Monday, I’m going to talk about something big. Something that’s been irking me. I don’t know what it’ll be, but it’ll be good.

 

See you then?

-M 🙂

 

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AFGHANS PULL THROUGH, MAINTAIN REPUTATION OF UNFATHOMABLE BRAVERY. INSPIRE ME TO DO BRAVE THINGS LIKE GET RID OF THE SPIDER IN MY BATHROOM.

Alright guys, I don’t really have time for a long post today D:

BUT I HAD TO TELL YOU.

AFGHANISTAN, RIGHT?

They had their elections this week and it was so beautiful. Yes, yes, democracy at work and all that jazz, but I’m talking about the beautiful people of Afghanistan. You see, for a while now, the Taliban have been threatening to disrupt the election process as much as possible, and they have. There have been multiple attacks on government locations by the Taliban in protest of the elections, and many Afghans have been killed. And it’s not a secret, you know? It’s not like the people don’t know that taking part in the election in any way could easily get them killed. But there were some early signs that the people were willing to risk their lives to take part in the election. Large numbers of people registered to vote, for example, showing that they were eager to take part in the bettering of their country. But attacks continued. Voting day grew nearer, weather worsened, and attacks continued. And yet…

 

afghansflocktopolls

Dang, they came out in such big numbers, it was on my Yahoo homepage?

Millions of Afghans voted on polling day.

Millions of people willing put their lives at risk and waited for hours to make their voice heard, for their country, their families, and themselves.

 

The Afghan people have been through so much over the past few decades. The people who voted this week are people who have endured some of  the worst things the world has to offer: war, poverty, oppression, and failing health care and education. It would have been so easy for Afghanistan to have sat at home on polling day. What does voting mean to a people  who have lived through brutal Taliban rule? Who have lost loved ones and nearly been lost themselves? In a country with a history of corruption and fraud anyways, what does voting even mean to the people?

 

This week, Afghans across the country proved that voting meant something to them. Afghans are some of the strongest, most resilient people in the world. This week, they proved they they’ve still got it.

I’m honored to share this world with these brave Afghan people.

 

-M

 

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