Monday, December 27, 2010

The blue print of World Sikh Representative Panthic Council

Sharomani Gurdawawara Parbandhik Committee (SGPC) has asked the central amend Sikh Gurdawaras act to enable it to co-opt few persons from foreign  countries.There is no likelihood for the acceptance of such a request.Moreover such co-option of a few persons of its choice by the party in power in SGPC, who so ever it might be can not make it a representative party of Sikhs world over. The need today is the formation of world Sikh representative body who should take the decisions of Sikh panth issues,to be binding on all the Sikhs world over.sgpc should play the leading role for the formation of such a panthic representative body in co ordination of the other Sikh organisations, which can also deal with the Sikh problems world over as united Sikh force.

SGPC is an elected committee under the Sikh Gurdawaras act 1925 and only the Sikhs residing in punjab can be its voters.It has to function under that law to manage the historical Gurdawaras in punjab.Merely co-opting some members from out side punjab and even from out side India if allowed,of its own choice,it can not become a representative body of the Sikhs world over.It should discharge its own functions with honesty of purpose and to preach Sikh religion in punjab,wherein the Sikhs and particularly younger Sikh generation including the children of some Sikh leaders are openly drifting away from Sikh code of conduct and this trend is increasing day by day.
If it succeeds to restore Sikh code of conduct in Sikhs in punjab,then certainly it can further make efforts to preach Sikh religion out side.Punjab,which is mentioned as homeland of Sikhs must be given first priority by sgpc,being in the dangerous zone to day.For this purpose SGPC must have honest,capable with commitment to Sikh religion,its members and office holders beyond any political pressure and party factionalism.The present set up has failed so far to show good results.

 In fact Sikh concept of Guru Granth and Guru Panth needs to be revived,so that Sikhs world over can take the decision on Sikh issues through their representatives.Though it is a difficult task to select or elect the representatives of Sikhs world over,but not impossible.A Sikh commission may be set up for this purpose consisting of suitable and capable Sikhs.

Guru Gobind Singh,tenth Sikh Guru completed the final phase of Sikh religion,which had been founded by Guru Nanak Dev and developed by the second to ninth Sikh Gurus.All the Sikh Gurus had the same Divine Spirit and their Divine teachings are to be obeyed by the Sikhs without any reservations.

Three very important injunctions were issued by the tenth Sikh Guru to complete the final phase of Sikh religion,which made Sikh religion to be an independent world religion, to be so soon included in the list of the first five religions of the world and the Sikhs to be a separate nation,by setting up its own Sikh empire through out north India,with whom Britishers had to come in to agreement,after establishing their rule in rest of India,not to interfere in the territories of each other.

The first was to prescribe the Sikh initiation of Amrit-khande de pahul and Sikh emblems and the Sikh code of conduct in that respect,on Baisakhi of 1699,which provided the separate Sikh identity and the procedure to become and act as Sikhs.The tenth Sikh Guru prepared the Amrit himself and administered it to panj piaras-five beloved ones,with five Sikh emblems,and their names sufixed with Singhs,who were prepared for the supreme sacrifices and who were made the Sikh leaders.Then the Guru himself took the Amtit from them in that very manner and gave the authority to five such Sikhs to administer it to other Sikhs.History records that over twenty thousand Sikhs took the Amrit on that day,which is more than sufficient to establish that it was made mandatory for all the Sikhs to become and act as Sikhs.

The second was to make Guru Granth Sahib as the eternal Sikh Guru in perpetuity,being the Divine Spirit of Sikh Gurus and to always remain under its Divine guidance.The tenth Guru just before his heavenly abode made Guru Granth Sahib as his successor,instead of any other living Guru,and commanded the Sikhs that Sikh panth was established as directed by Akal purakh and they should accept Guru Granth Sahib as their Guru and take its Divine guidance with purity of heart.

The third was the concept of Guru Granth and Guru panth,that all the Sikhs having taken the Sikh initiation and observing the uniform Sikh code of conduct as prescribed by him, called Guru panth,should take the Sikh panth decisions themselves through their own representatives in the presence of and under the guidance of Guru Granth Sahib,which should be acceptable to all the Sikhs and binding upon them.This was the only way to keep the entire Sikh panth united.

In the post ten Sikh Guru's period,the Sikhs remained in struggle against the mughal empire and Afgan invadors, for their sovereignty and freedom of religion,for about a century and they followed the Sikh concept of Guru Granth and Guru Panth.They took Sikh initiation and observed Sikh emblems and code of conduct as prescribed.They took the Sikh panth decisions through their representatives acting as Guru Panth,in the presence of and under the Divine guidanance of Guru Granth Sahib,mostly at Akal Takhat Sahib,which remained acceptable to them and binding upon them.They established their Sikh empire by ousting the mighty mughals and Afgans.

Even in Singh Sabha movement and Akali movement Sikhs had been taking some decisions on Sikh panthic issues through their representatives.The decision to set up Sharomani Gurdawawara Parbandhik Committee in 1920 for the management of Sikh Gurdawaras was taken at Akal Takhat by the representatives of the Sikhs as Guru Panth,for whom the pre-requisite was the Sikh initiation and strict observance of Sikh code of conduct.They were successful to get the enactment of Sikh Gurdawaras act 1925 from British administration.

However this concept of Guru Granth and Guru Panth stands over looked for several decades,which has incapacitated the Sikh to take decisions over the Sikh panth issues.which needs to be revived without any further delay.Sikhs are now spread over through out the world and their representative body to act as Guru Panth needs to be formed, so as to involve them all for such decisions on Sikh issues.

Some persons hold the views that SGPC should be elected by the Sikhs world over.It can not be so done under law relating to it. SGPC is elected under the provisions of Sikh Gurdawaras act 1925 and only those Sikhs who reside in punjab can contest the elections to be its members and become the voters as well to elect them.It is for the management of historical Sikh Gurdawaras in punjab.In 1947 west punjab went to pakistan and so its jurisdiction was curtailed to east punjab which is in India.The Sikhs world over have to form their representative organization, being the need of the day, which should consist of the Sikhs of high standared of commitment and of
honesty ,integrity,capability and dedication to Sikh religion and Sikh cause.

The concept of Guru Granth-Guru panth, as ordained by Guru Gobind Singh, be revived, the over looking, of which for a long time has incapacitated the Sikhs to take the correct and the collective decisions as to the Sikh panthic affairs. It has been reiterated in Sikh  rehat maryada as well, that all the decisions affecting the Sikh panth should be taken by the panthic committee and the accredited representatives of the panth,  form a meeting of the
panth,  and their decision is called Gurmatta, to be taken in the presence and Divine guidance of Guru Granth Sahib, on the subjects which are calculated to clarify and support the fundamental principles of Sikh religion, such as safeguarding the position of Sikh Gurus and the holy Guru Granth Sahib, the purity of the ritual and the panthic organization. The decisions of the panth are to be invoiable and binding on all Sikhs.

These should not violate the Divine teachings of Sikh Gurus and the Divine thought of Guru Granth Sahib and the established Sikh traditions of Sikh religion, which are binding upon Sikhs. The Sikh panthic decisions were taken in this manner at Akal Takhat by the Sikhs during the Sikh struggle in 18th century and they became victorious to wipe out the mughals and Afgan invaders and to establish Sikh empire.

Sikhs are now spread world over and there is now the need of a world Sikh representation of Sikhs, may be named as, Sharomani Sikh Panthic Council,  as the Sikh interests are the same every where. It can effectively solve the  problems of the Sikhs world over. It can preach Sikh religion in the world, with the co-ordination of all the Sikhs and Sikh organizations, for which Sikhs are being accused not to have discharged their duty to bring the message of Sikh religion, of love and peace, to the notice of the world, needed today. It can make the Sikhs to live in Sikh code of conduct and Sikh way of life, from which they are now drifting away, particularly the Sikh younger 
generation. It can take the decisions on Sikh affairs unitedly as the involvement of all the Sikh is a must to make the decisions to be acceptable to all Sikhs, in accordance with the Sikh concept of Guru Granth-Guru panth, which are being brought under disputes, day by day.

SGPC, is the creation of Sikh Gurdawaras act 1925, to manage historical Sikh Gurdawaras in punjab, and to preach Sikh religion. It has to function under the provisions of that law. No one can contest its election, who is not a resident of punjab, under the act. Its representation in the world panthic council will be very effective, being the main Sikh representative body, to do the constructive work for the solution of the Sikh problems and to
preach Sikh religion in Sikhs and in the world.

Akali Dal, which was the exclusive punjab Sikh political party,  has now virtually become the punjab regional political party, with the Hindus and muslims,  as its members, to give it a secular out look, to meet the requirements of election laws,  to contest the assembly and parliamentary elections. It may do so with the Sikh support, as the political Sikh power is only concerned with punjab, where the Sikhs are in majority and that too with the tinge of secularism,  as the election laws demand.

Thus there has to be a World Sikh Representative Panthic Council ,which will be of great help also to the political Sikh power in punjab, to deal with their issues with the needed courage, capability and honesty of purpose, to achieve Sikh religious and political aims. Delhi Gurdawaras management committee is for historical Gurdawaras at Delhi. Similarly ,are the management committees of Takhats, Hazur Sahib and patna Sahib  for those Takhts. These Sikh organizations should take active part in setting up of the world Sikh panth council, without any fear psychosis, which will be of no interference in their functions.

The blue print of the world Sikh panth council, at present, may be,  to take the representatives of the organizations, elected by the Sikhs, just as SGPC,  management committees of,  Delhi Sikh Gurdawaras, Sikh Takhats at Hazoor Sahib, Patna Sahib, other traditional Sikh organizations, world Sikh Gurdawaras management committees, to be divided in,  6 or 7 zones,  world over, to represent on the basis of population and any other such Sikh organization elected by the Sikhs. The number  of representatives of these organizations may be fixed according to the number of Sikhs, they represent. These representatives may co-opt the distinguished Sikhs known for their services to Sikh panth as fixed, world over, to make it truly representative.

This panthic representative council of the Sikhs world over should hold its, periodic meetings, Sikh congregations and other functions at Akal Takhat , Amritsar  and have its secretariate in that complex,while some sub offices in sother coutries as deemed proper. The Akal Takhat Jathedar, should be its spokesman and to ensure the
compliance of its decisions, to be nominated by it. The authority of Akal Takhat, which is now being eroded, will be restored and its sanctity maintained. It may make the rules and regulations for the appointment, qualifications and powers of jathedar Akal Takhat and of the jathedars of other Sikh Takhats for their smooth working without any overlapping of their functions interse without any dispute between them,which surfaced in the recent past,being not in Sikh interests. A commission may be set up to sort out the procedural matters and to
select this panthic council,which may consist of retired Sikh judges,and Sikh scholars,which may take the views of the Sikhs and Sikh organisations world over to make it acceptable to them.

Mewa Singh (U.S.A.)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Remembering Munir Niazi- A Romantic Rebel

Munir Ahmad, better known as Munir NiaziSI (1928–2006) was one of the best-known and admired Urdu poets from Pakistan who also produced good poetry in the Punjabi language.
Courtesy:Urdu Pages
Niazi was born in Khanpur on 19 April 1928, a village near Hoshiarpur, India. He hails from the famous Niazi tribe. He was initially educated at Khanpur and after the partition of India he  migrated to newly independent Pakistan and settled in Sahiwal, where he passed his matriculation. He earned an intermediate degree from S.E. College, Bahawalpur and a B.A. from Diyal Singh College in Lahore, Pakistan.
Munir Niazi launched a weekly, Saat Rang, from Sahiwal in 1949. He wrote numerous songs for films and made his name as the foremost movie song writer of Pakistan. He also wrote for newspapers, magazines and radio. In 1960 he established a publication institute, Al-Misal. Lately he was associated with Lahore Television and lived in Lahore till his death.

Taiz Hawa Aur Tanha Phool, Jungle mein Dhanak, Dushmanoon Kai Darmiyan Sham and Mah-e-Munir are his popular Urdu publications. In Punjabi he has published Safar di Raat, Char Chup Cheezan and Rasta Dasan Walay Tarey. His effective imagery conveys pictures in few words. He has experimented with poetic forms and has tried to create a new style, rhythm and diction in Urdu poetry. Innocence, mythology, nostalgia, dreams, eroticism, and romance are some of his most common themes. 
Courtesy:Pakistan Film Magazine
Munir Niazi died of respiratory illness on 26 December 2006 in Lahore.
I have written about him and his poetry earlier (wondering whether it was him in the wonderful re-making of Mehdi Hasan’s ‘yeh watan tumhara hai‘; in thinking about song and poetry; and in terms of his literary rivalry with Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, who died just a few months before him). We will, no doubt, write about it again later.
His ‘mohabbat abb nahiN ho gi, yeh kuch din baad meiN ho gi’ and ‘humaisha dair kar daita houN meiN’ are especially poignant and I find his following Punjabi qata so often relevant to my own travails:
kujh unj we raawaN aukhiaN sann
kujh gall icch gham da tauq ve see
kujh shehr dey louk ve zalim sann
kujh sanouN marran da souq ve see

Yes, the path I chose was hard
Yes, there was the noose of grief around my neck
Yes, the citizenry was also so cruel
But, ultimately, we too wanted to get killed

(coloquial for the last line: ‘we were suckers for punishment’; this is NOT a translation, just conveying the essential meaning) 
Another favorite of mine is the following:
Kisee ko apnay amal ka jawab kiya daytay,
Swal saray ghalat thay jawab kiya daytay

      -By Iftikhar Chaudri of  Lovers of Fine/ performing Arts,Poetry,Literature& Music of Sub-Continent

Friday, December 24, 2010


Sardar Hargunpreet Singh shared an informative research work on facebook. We are sharing this article here with all readers of Seven Seas, The Eagle Eye News, The Spis News  and  Punjab Screen etc. and hope you all will gain from it...Rector Kathuria 
It is clear that in modern society most people cut their hair because they feel that to be the norm and no one questions this very wide-spread custom. However, read the following and find out the significance of hair of the human body, mind and spirit:
Historical significance:
The history of hair goes back to the times of the Bible and beyond. The Bible talks of a man called Samson who obtained supernatural powers through his long hair. His hair was later cut and consequently he lost his powers.
G.A. Gaskell writes,‘Hair of the head is a symbol of faith, intuition of truth, or the highest qualities of the mind.’
 Dictionary of all Scriptures
 Bhagwan Shiv also had long hair and Hindus bathing in sacred Ganga is produced through these long hairs. Even Brahma, Vishnu and other deities also have long hairs.
Prophet Mohammad and other prophets in Muslims also have long hairs and beard also.
Zorothustra of Zorrostrians also have long hair and beard also.
Even Jesus Christ had long hair and a beard.
Hargunpreet Singh
The 10 Gurus of Sikhism all kept their hair uncut .
Even Sidhs and Jogis in Hindism keep hair uncut. You can see qazis and peers in Islam who also wear long hair.
Everybody believe God to be a perfect creator. It therefore follows that whatever He creates is perfect. The keeping of uncut hair is therefore, recognition of God’s perfection and the submission of a Sikh to the Will of God. (Hukam)FunctionMost Sikhs regard hair as a gift from God. But what does this gift actually do for us? Well, the functions of hair can be divided into 5 sub categories. These include an ornamental function, physical function, psychological function, Sikh specific function and a spiritual function.
Ornamental functionNature has decorated a man with a beard and a moustache to differentiate between a male and a female. A good example from the animal kingdom is a lion with its majestic mane.
Physical function:Just like the skin, the hair helps to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight. It also helps to supply the pituitary gland (located in the head) with phosphorous. Phosphorous is an element which is used in meditation by the aforesaid gland. The hair on our body regulates body temperature and our eye lashes, nostril hairs and ear hairs help to keep out fine dust particles.
Psychological functionThis is by far, is one of the most important functions of hair. People cut their hair to look good for other people, and although everyone wants to look sexy and cool, a Sikh is encouraged to impress God and not bother so much about the opinions of everyone else. Keeping hair therefore encourages us to become less vain and more God orientated.
Sikh specific function:Uncut hair is a mark of Sikh identity. The 10th Sikh Guru instructed all his Sikhs to come before him with long hair and weapons. Long hair also represents sacrifice, because there have been many Sikhs like Bhai Taru Singh, who preferred to have their scalp removed instead of their hair cut.
Spiritual function
Hair enhances the ability of a human being to experience God. This can be explained by understanding the workings of electromagnets. An electromagnet consists of an iron rod with a coil of wire wrapped around it. The strength of an electromagnet can be increased by increasing the number of coils. Now in a human being, there are nine visible inlets/outlets (2 nostrils, 2 ear holes, 1 mouth, 2 eyes, 2 below the waistline). And the 10th inlet is located in the head and is invisible. It is called the Dasam Dawar. This is where we experience the reality of God and we can consider this to be the iron rod. Hairs are like coils of wire which amplify spiritual energy at the 10th inlet. A greater quantity of head hair will lead to more coils in the (Joora) knot and therefore a higher concentration of spiritual energy. Of course, it is possible to experience God without any head hair like Buddhists. However anything that helps us to experience God more easily should be welcomed. Hair is essentially a spiritual technology that makes it easier to connect with God.
In the religious literature of the world there is much evidence which suggest that God has created humans with great interest. The earthly material used for this purpose was kept kneaded for two centuries. (It is just an assumption and has no relevance with modern calendar system) and then another hypothetical period of 280 years was spent on giving shape to this creation so that the humans thus created should look the most lovable in all respects. Everything was done with much enthusiasm and conscious efforts. The Jewish and Christian churches also contain evidence to this effect that God created man in His own image and put His own particle as soul within him. On the basis of all this, it can be easily presumed that God did not add anything, including hair, to human body which could be termed as superfluous. Thus, trimming the hair amounts not only declining the gift given by God but also disfiguring the shape given to man by Akal Purakh i.e. Lord God. In other words, it can also be taken to mean that by so doing man takes pleasure in finding faults in the blue print prepared by God and thus showing off himself as better qualified and more competent than the creator Lord. to sum up, this amount to endeavours equalling Him and even excelling Him by trying to improve upon His work. Ironically, the creation is getting zealous to override the Creator, thereby allowing ungratefulness to predominate. The only point of consolation in this regard is that this blunder of cutting and disowning hair has not been made by man since the times of Adam, but the same is in practice only since the last few centuries.
Scientific Research on the Hair
The Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries in the West provided increased avenues of employment, but at the same time lack of security measures in the factories led to several fatal accidents caused by long hair. To avoid such accidents, the workers started, though unwillingly and with a heavy heart trimming their long hair.
Consequently, the number of people with long hair like that of Shakespeare decreased and with the passage of time such a breed became almost extinct. But inspire of all this one positive development that had taken place there, was a lot of good and deep research on the hair. They wanted to ascertain the benefits of keeping hair and also to find out the changes they effect in human body and temperament. The research carried out with this end in view has highlighted the fact that the hair serves as a factory providing Vitamin D for the body. Vitamin D protects a person against the fatal disease like Tuberculosis and is an essential element for bones, teeth and the nervous system. This is an item that is becoming scarce today. The reason behind its scarcity is that Vitamin D in vegetables is missing to a great extent as a result of the insecticides being sprayed for the protection of vegetable crops from certain diseases.
Consequently, the lackness of Vitamin D is being felt throughout the world. The developed countries have realized this and keeping in view the grave scarcity of Vitamin D, have started producing synthetic Vitamin D. They add this vitamin to the food of the children so that they must not grow up physically weak and mentally tense persons. As against these developed and affluent nations, the poor countries can easily get precious Vitamin D for their children free from the open Sun through their long hair. The significant research has also revealed that longer the hair the more will be the production of Vitamin D through the interaction of Sun heat with the oil in the hair. Thus all this shows that keeping hair is very important for one's physical as well as mental well-being. It has also been proved on the basis of experiments that the hair tied in the form of a knot on the top of the head are capable of attracting the maximum heat energy of Sun just as the television antenna has the capacity to hold photo waves from the atmosphere. (According to Tessitas, the ancient Germans also used to tie their long hair into a knot on the top of their heads. May be, they did so with a view to obtaining the above mentioned benefits). If the rare of Vitamin D can be obtained free from Nature only by keeping long hair, health wise also it becomes imperative for human beings to keep long hair.
Harms of Trimming Hair:
If the hair are not trimmed, their length, growth stops automatically after reaching a certain length. In this situation, hardly 0.5% of the protein that we take in with our daily diet, is spent on their upkeep. On the other hand, the trimmed hair consumes much more protein because this has to be spent on the re-growth of the hair. Had the hair stopped re-growing after having been trimmed once, there would have been no extra expense of protein. However, keeping in view the multidimensional usefulness of the hair for human body, Nature has created within the human body an interesting mechanism to help continuous growth of the hair. This mechanism continues being operational till one breaths one's last. Thus, this mechanism goes on spending more protein on the re-growth of the hair after a person shaves them off or trims them. Nature does this so as not to deny a person the varied benefits of hair. It seems modern man is busy in shaving off the hair under a sort of atheistic culture whereas God is ever involved in their growth. God is quite serious about the hair, whereas man is equally careless. Let us wait and watch the final outcome. Meanwhile, we can only say there is a sort of deadlock as under:
He won't change His habits,Why should we change ours?
Unfortunately, God's Will shall prevail on the long run because He knows the mystery and significance of the hair, whereas modern fashionable man on the other hand knowing the importance of hair tends to be careless, But we must at least think in the light of this fact that hand, foot or any other organ of the body if once get chopped off, does not sprout again, but on the contrary if we trim or shave off the hair, they grow up again soon except in very old age. It must be presumed from this fact that importance of the hair can be more, and certainly not less than hands, feet or other organs of human body.
It is generally observed that the Hindus perform the first mundane (shaving off hair of the head) of their children at the age of 2 or 3 years. On this occasion, the head is completely shaved off. On this shaven head, the hair grows up to half centimeter within one month. The hair grows more rapidly in the case of youth vis-à-vis the small children. In the case of the former, the hair grows 1/8th of an inch in just three days. Nevertheless let us make the case of 2-3 year old child the basis of our contention: his hair grows half centimeter in one month. On average, every person has 85,000 to 1,25,000 hairs on his head. If we take the child to have one lac (hundred thousand) hair on his head, we shall find that such a child spends energy from his body to grow one hair up to the length of 50,000 centimeters or 500 meters if his total growth is computed on a one single hair. If he is in the habit of getting his hair regularly trimmed throughout his life, we can well imagine the amount of energy he might use to grow up the hair again and again. Thus valuable energy and minerals are wasted just for nothing. There should be limit to one's ignorance, but as Ghalib has said 'Who can instruct the already learned.' Man by trimming his hair, is harming himself in many ways.
Another harm that trimming of hair causes is, that
The hair have been the means of receiving energy for brain from the sun, but by trimming then we destroy to great extent that system and there by render the mechanism almost inert.
It does not imply that social classes prone to trimming hair, lack intellectual level even without keeping full hair, they could have accomplished much better had they kept hair intact. Thus we do feel sad that they unwittingly make those means inoperative, which has to supply large quantity of energy to human organism. If we take into account the cumulative loss suffered generations after generations, it seems certain that trimming of hair is certainly an impediment in the way of realizing the aim of perfect human intellect. It thus is certainly a great disadvantage for entire mankind.
Who will consider it wise to continue the trade causing continuous loss? Think and be watchful. This is the need and the expectation of time.
Nature of the Hair:
After their comprehensive research, the scientists have reached the conclusion that the hair stop growing having achieved the level of optimum growth. They remain alive for two to six years. They play their active role during this period and then getting weak, fall off as we comb them. This is called the death of the hair. There is no use keeping the dead hair. However, keeping in view the utmost importance of hair for human being, Nature is ever ready to replenish these dead hair by sprouting new ones in their place. The importance of the hair can also be gauged from the fact that the operation of replacing the dead hair with the new ones gets started immediately and forcefully so that body does not suffer because of their lack. This also shows that new and healthy hair on the head is needed throughout life. That is why God has created such a wonderful mechanism as a result of which person continues to be bestowed with healthy hair for long years of his/her life. The fact that the hair grows rapidly even after their regular trimming, also implies that God does not approve of the human action of shaving off or trimming their hair. In spite of that, God has not yet got annoyed with him. As a proof of this, we find that the new born baby in any family or tradition in the world is blessed with beautiful hair. These hairs are the gift, which God bestows upon him while sending him on to this earth. It is another matter that except Sikhs nobody else endeavors to learn and abide by this will of Almighty. They also do not seem to be in a mood to value this precious Divine gift as much as they ought to. Man considers himself highly cultured. A follower of the Sikh faith does realize that God has blessed him with the sacred hair from his very birth, and these remain with him till his death. Thus, a true Sikh of the Guru neither comes nor goes naked from this world as all parts of this body are covered with the precious gift of hair. Thus, belief in the sanctity of hair saves him from the sense of duality. If we look from the point of view of the naturalists we see that they believe the existence of two ways to live life. One is to live in conformity with nature and the other is to live in conflict with it. The first is the way of harmony and the second is the way of a conqueror who wishes to subjugate and dominate leading to personal and public nuisances. The Gurmat or the Sikh way is one which accepts no dichotomy between man and nature as is enjoined upon Sikhs by Guru Nanak in Bara Maha and Guru Gobind Singh in Akal Ustat and both these Banis serve as the foundation of the Sikh oral and orational practices. 'Hair Power' is the out come of the first attitude and as such is ever charged energizing battery for the human machine.   (SikhiWiki)..........

Thursday, December 23, 2010

MTV College Network Names Gates 'Man of the Year'

Thu, 23 Dec 2010 10:07:00 -0600
By Elaine Wilson of American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, MTV's college network bypassed a plethora of pop, rock and movie stars, and bestowed a top honor on a man they call a "true role model": Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.
The mtvU network yesterday named Gates its inaugural 2010 Man of the Year.
"College students inherently believe that they have the power and ability to change the system," Stephen Friedman, general manager of MTV, said yesterday in an mTVU news release. "mtvU is proud to honor Secretary Gates because he stood up for what was right, and made historic changes to the system by focusing on the issues at hand rather than partisan rhetoric."
The network cited Gates for making "bold, reasoned" choices on issues such as gender bias, fiscal restraint, military modernization and the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. Gates has been a long-time proponent of repealing the law, which bars gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military. Yesterday, President Barack Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 into law.
The network praised Gates for keeping the focus on servicemembers even as he dealt with two "controversial and difficult" wars.
"Although young people are sharply divided on the war, Secretary Gates and this generation are completely aligned in their unwavering support of the troops," Friedman said.
The network posted an online video yesterday that features Gates speaking on key issues interspersed with praise for the defense secretary's service to the nation.
"Secretary Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal and has twice received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal," the release said. "Now, in 2010, for consistently focusing on solutions for today so they're not problems for tomorrow, and for rational and reasoned discussion instead of polarizing sound bites -- he can add 'mtvU Man of the Year' to his list of accomplishments."
The network's Woman of the Year was hip hop artist Nicki Minaj.
The mtvU network is broadcast to more than 750 college campuses and via cable distributors in 700 college communities nationwide, according to its website, and reaches nearly 9 million U.S. college students. 
Related Sites:
mtvU video featuring Robert M. Gates 

Abductions, “Disappearances” and Illegal Detention Escalating in Ivory Coast, Amnesty International Reports, Based on Eyewitness Accounts

Posted on Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 9:57 PM
Reports of Opposition Supporters Kidnapped from their Homes, “Disappeared” or Killed; Bodies Found in Morgues or in Streets

New York: Eyewitnesses have told Amnesty International that abductions, “disappearances” and physical violence by security forces are rising as the Ivory Coast’s post-election crisis deepens. 

Amnesty International has received a growing number of reports of people being arrested or abducted at home or on the streets, often by unidentified armed attackers accompanied by elements of the Defense and Security Forces and militia groups.   
Gendarmes and police officials are accused of attacking a mosque in Grand-Bassam, using live ammunition on crowds and of beating and groping female protestors. 

Amnesty International  was told of numerous cases of people arrested by security forces or militiamen loyal to Laurent Gbagbo. The bodies of some have been found either in morgues or on the streets. The whereabouts of many others remain unknown. 
“It is clear that more and more people are being illegally detained by security forces or armed militiamen and we fear that many of them may have been killed or have disappeared,” said Salvatore SaguèsAmnesty International’s West Africa researcher. 

Amnesty International has received reports of constant harassment from people in Abidjan identified as real or alleged supporters of the RHDP [Rally of Houphouëtists for Democracy and Peace], the coalition party that supported Alassane Ouattara in the presidential election.  “We don’t sleep at nights. We are always watching and when we see armed people in uniform or in plainclothes, we make noise with saucepans in order to alert our neighbors and to deter them,” many residents living in the neighborhoods of Abobo, Adjame, Treichville and Yopougon told Amnesty International. 

On the evening of Thursday, December 16, a few hours after a march organized by supporters of Alassane Ouattara was violently suppressed by security forces, eyewitnesses saw Drissa Yahou Ali and Konan Rochlin kidnapped from their homes in the area called Avocatiers, in Abobo, a neighborhood of Abidjan. An eyewitness told Amnesty International : “Around 7 pm, a black Mercedes stopped in front of our compound. People wearing black T-shirts and military pants entered into the courtyard and asked for Drissa. They took him and Rochlin and went away.” Their bodies were found two days later in the Yopougon morgue. 

On Saturday, December 18, Brahima Ouattara and Abdoulaye Coulibaly, members of an organization called Alliance pour le changement (APC) were arrested nearby a chemist shop in Angré, in the area of Cocody, a neighborhood of Abidjan. An eyewitness told Amnesty International : “A car of the Republican Guard stopped by. They asked all the people around to lie on the ground and they picked up the two members of the APC. No one has seen them since then.” 

The violence and ill-treatment has not been confined to Abidjan. 

On Friday afternoon, December 17, in Grand-Bassam, about 25 miles east of Abidjan, approximately 100 gendarmes and police officials surrounded a mosque and threw tear gas grenades. An eyewitness toldAmnesty International  “It was around 1 pm. We were listening to the preaching of the imam when we saw gendarmes and policemen around the mosque. Some of our young people went to protest and they threw tear gas grenades at us so we had to flee.” 

The following morning, Saturday, gendarmes arrested people in a private house. An eyewitness toldAmnesty International : “They took three young men and beat them. They were also looking for other people and we all fled so they fired at us with live bullets.” 

A few hours later, more than 300  women marched in front of the police station demanding the release of those being held. One of these women told Amnesty International : “They beat us. They tore our underwear. They put their hands in our vagina and touched our breasts.” 

On Sunday, December 19, Laurent Gbagbo issued a demand for the United Nations mission in Ivory Coast and the French operation mission to withdraw from the country. 

The U.N. refused, saying that Laurent Gbagbo is not recognized by the international community and does not have the right to call for the departure of its peacekeeping forces. On Monday, the U.N. Security Council extended the peacekeeping mandate for an additional six months and the French government said its 900-plus force would remain. 

In a separate statement, the Security Council warned that anyone responsible for attacks on civilians or peacekeepers could be brought before an international tribunal. 

A peacekeeping official in New York said U.N. troops were ready to open fire in self-defense and to defend their mandate, which includes the protection of civilians. 

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said that more than 50 people had been killed in the past three days with more than 200 wounded. 

“In a situation where the security forces are collaborating in the commission of serious human rights violations, the international community must act to ensure that violations are halted immediately,” said Saguès. 
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Note:  Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. 

"People everywhere need to be continually reminded that violations of human rights, whether arbitrary arrest and detention, unjust imprisonment, torture, or political assassination, are threats to world peace."
--Mumtaz Soysal
Nobel Peace Prize lecture