MALERKOTLA

I told you I’d be back soon :)))

You guys, I have to tell you about this city I found out about, OMG. 

It’s in Panjab, India. 

 

 

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It’s called Malerkotla.

 

Katrina Kaif and Saif Ali Khan were there once. 

 

And it’s just your average, Panjabi city. 

 

 

…EXCEPT IT’S  REALLY NOT. 

Malerkotla has a Muslim majority, unlike the Sikh majority in the rest of Panjab (India side), and the Hindu majority of most other Indian states. Before 1947, this would not be unusual. But after the Partition, many India-side Muslims moved to newly-created Pakistan. But Malerkotla Muslims? They were basically like, nahh, we’re good here. While the rest of India and Pakistan was suffering from a crazy amount of rapes and murders, apparently nothing happened in Malerkotla. If this isn’t suprising enough, wait untill you hear why this was. 

 

In 1705, the 7 and 9 year old sons of the 10th Prophet of Sikhism were sentanced to death by being bricked alive (???) by a powerful Mughal, Wazir Khan. Eventually, the sons, Fateh Singh and Zorowar Singh, were actually bricked alive, and to this day, Sikhs everywhere remember their martyrdom yearly. Growing up, I learned about this event. But what I did not learn about was the protest to the sentencing by Sher Mohammad Khan. He was the Nawab of Malerkotla, and argued with Wazir Khan, saying that the act to be committed was against Islam, and was inhumane. When his protests weren’t heard, he walked out of the court. After the 10th Prophet’s sons were killed, the Prophet himself approached Sher Mohammad Khan, and thanked him for his protest. He also gifted him with one of his own swords. So, beautiful story, right? DID I MENTION. MOHAMMAD KHAN WAS WAZIR KHAN’S BROTHER? That’s right. He went against his own bro to try and save people of a different faith. And so Malerkotla has continued to reference this strange, heroic yet tragic, event, when it comes to inter-religion dealings. During the Partition of India, they were basically like, “Should we move to Pakistan? Ehh, remember that time our guy tried to save your guys? That was nice. Let’s just stay here then.” Even during the Sikh genocide of the 1980s, it seems that literally nothing happened in Malerkotla. 

 

Not to mention, it has some really beautiful architecture.

 

 

 

 

 I think another reason I love this city so much is that it gives me a glimpse of what Sikh-Muslim relations must have been like before the Partition. When the Partition happened, my family in Pakistan had no intention of moving to India. It was only after they saw the violence that they decided that moving to India might be safer than staying (which ended up not really being true.) But I think it’s pretty cool that even though they knew that they would be living in a Muslim-majority country, they did not want to leave. I guess the way they saw it was, they weren’t Muslims, but they weren’t Hindus either. So why move, only to be in another country where they’d still be a minority? They might as well stay in the home they know, with the people they know. I can’t help but wish they had indeed stayed, especially if the result would have been more cities like Malerkotla.

I mean, not that Sikh-Muslim relations are bad now, I don’t think. I know that there’s a bunch of Sikhs in Kashmir, and they’re tight with the Muslims there too. Also Iran. 

 

ANYWAYS.

If you’re interested, check out these videos on Malerkotla. Also do it if you’re not interested. Like, I put them there, you know? It’s just common courtesy. 

 😉

 

M’kay. See you next time 🙂

-M

 

P.S–You guys, I like this. Instead of weekly posts, I’ll post anytime I have something really cool to talk about. I feel like this is better for everyone? Maybe I’ll actually post more this way? Also, quality of quantity? Question mARKS???

 

 

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…Hey.

IDK. 

IDK WHAT HAPPENED, OK? 

I JUST STOPPED BLOGGING. 

Have I had blogger’s-block before? Yes. Have I always soldiered through it? Yes! But this time, I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t. I decided that when I really wanted to blog, I would do it. And for some reason, today was the day. Interestingly enough, it’s actually been a month since my last post that wasn’t really a post. 

 

Basically, I don’t know why I stopped blogging, but I think I know what I’m going to do to make sure I don’t feel like stopping again….

nomondayposts

 

….

…..

……..

 

M, WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?

Aww, Voice of Reason, I missed you!

FIRSTLY, I DID NOT MISS YOU. SECONDLY, YOU’RE GETTING RID OF WEEKLY POSTS???!?!?!?!? ARE YOU CRAY CRAY? HAVE YOU GONE OFF THE DEEP END? HAVE YOU BOARDED THE CU-CU-CHOO-CHOO?

Yes, Voice of Reason. I have done all of those things. But I also just have a feeling that my *ahem* leave of absense, had something to do with the weekly schedule. Possibly. But it also might not have. So that’s why we’re going to give it a try. Ok?

No. This is not ok. Do you think I can just be available whenever??

Well…

I’m going to my room. 

WHAT NOW?

Nothing! It’s just…Voice of Reason…we both know you don’t have a room. 

Oh I think I do. 

I think you don’–*sigh.* Okay, go to your room then. 

 

Well, what Voice of Reason thinks is not important. It’s what you all think!

 

Excuse me??

…I thought you were in your room?

….I was. I was just on my way. 

Okay. So like I was saying, I hope all of my 2 readers are okay with the new schedule. Or lack of one. (Speaking of 2 readers, I actually don’t think there are 500 of you, as previously stated. I think, because my Facebook and Twitter are connected to the blog, WordPress was counting my FB friends and Twitter followers as my blog followers? Like, what? Facebook friends, really? Half of my Facebook friends aren’t even my friends! Nonetheless my blog followers! I’m imagining saying all of this in a whisper, so that WordPress doesn’t hear me complaining. Anyways, not counting non-followers, we’re down to about -3 followers. It’s fine though, we’re fine.)

 

Alright, well. I guess that’s the end. Of this. Just this post, not, like, the blog. Again. I’ll be back soon, okay? I PROMISE.  Man….I feel so guilty right now. Like, this level of guilt:

… I wasn’t with my side-blog this past month, I promise! 

-M

I don’t really know what to blog about right now…

hmmm….

*looks at you significantly, hoping you get the cue to comment and make suggestions*

White Privilege

 

Earlier this week, my mom was standing in a line, waiting to be called. She waited and waited, watching as people from other lines got called. Eventually, she turned to the man behind her and said, “Stand in front of me. Maybe if they see a tall white man here, they’ll start calling our line.” He took her place, and was called in less than 10 seconds.

Also earlier this week, this article was sent to me: https://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/princeton-student-s-essay-on-white-male-privilege-stirs-controversy-182554683.html

It discusses a Princeton student, Tal Fortgang, who essentially argues that the concept of white privilege reduces the value of his accomplishments in an unfair way. White privlege is generally defined as  “the set of societal privileges that white people benefit from beyond those commonly experienced by people of color in the same social, political, or economic spaces.”

Fortgang argues that his ancestors lived very hard times, and that he has worked hard to achieve everything he has. I have no doubt that either of these statements are true. However, that is not to say he has not benefited from being white. One of Tal’s arguments in the article is that his family has seen many struggles–his grandfather fled Nazis in Poland, and came to America. However, as also mentioned in the article, his grandfather, if he came to America before 1952, would not have even been allowed to come here become a citizen unless he was white. Which he was.

This is the thing I really want to put out there–White people should not be afraid of the concept of white privilege. Well, we should all be afraid of it. But they shouldn’t feel afraid for themselves. If you are white, you are a product of white privilege, to some extent. This is not to say you have lived an easy life, or that you don’t work hard, or that you are in anyway a bad person. It simply acknowledges that there are some things that people of color have to endure that you likely do not. Hate crimes, for example. Random searches by police and security, discrimination when applying for jobs, under-representation in the media. These are not things white people have to be worry about for themselves. But they are a daily reality for many people of color.

Say a white guy and a black guy are both born into impoverished families. Their lives are identical, except for their races. Will the white guy still face difficulties in life? Of course. Would I call his life easy? Not at all. But would he have to worry about being the victim of a racially-fueled hate crime? Probably not. And that’s really all that the concept of white privilege is saying. It does not determine the kind of life–easy or hard–white people will lead. It just acknowledges that, in today’s society, white people are viewed in a different way than non white people. This is just undeniable.






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-M

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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.

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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…

 

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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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