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Fighting Racism in Life


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I found an amazing article on sikhnet- "Fighting Racism in life"

Racism exists in every part of the world. In fact it is more of human attitude rather than specific to any culture or religion. The proportion varies from person to person. But despite all this we have to be successful in life.

During my teenage years I use to listen to a song from a Bollywood Film released in 1974 IMTEAAN (Examination) “ROOK JAANA NAHI TU KABHI HAAR KE, KAANTON PE CHALKE MILENGE SAAYE BAHAR KE”. It means never give up even if you are defeated, one gets success only after facing difficulties. This is the key to success in life. I recommend to every youngster should see this film once.


During my jobs I came across many superiors and subordinates who were racist. Initially when one is inexperienced, patience, patience is that comes to one’s rescue. The racist in such situation is more powerful due to his/her advanced experience and training at the job. In order to fight the racism at job, one has to perform better at job than the racist by learning from the racist’s positive qualities (knowledge & training) than pondering over the discrimination. Even if one decides to quit and look for other opportunity; it may turn out to be worst than the previous one. It is so true that a person who meets the challenge of racism at job becomes a better person/worker than the racist as Gurbani says - DUKH DAARU SUKH ROG BHAYAA -- ( PG: 469 )

In other words problems exist everywhere, one has to manage the show within the framework of the given situation.

Success doesn’t come over night. It calls for years of hard work and consistency by concentrating on a set goal. The moment we achieve success the ones passing racist remarks start favouring you. The famous words of Jesse Ovens from Ohio when he achieved the world record for 100m sprinting in 1931, “Suddenly the whole world was at my door”.


Even though the Gurus condemned the caste system; but it is prevailing (let us face it) even amongst Sikhs viz. Khatri (Bhape), Ramgaria, Jat, Arora, etc. Majority Sikhs accuse the business community (Bhape) for having partial and biased attitudes in Gurudwaras. But there is one thing appreciating about them is that they maintain Sikhi, what ever the situation may be. The ones who criticize them are responsible for promoting monasim. Most of the Khatri marriages I attend, I don’t see a single mona. This is because they maintain the religious discipline right from childhood. Myself a Ramgaria, I learnt a lot by observing them, which encouraged me to live as a Sikh, since majority Ramgarias in Bombay are with cut hair.

Similarly when spouses are from different castes then also there are problems. When parents do not agree then children move out to other beliefs. Initially I too faced some opposition from my parents since my fiance is a Khatri.As Gurbani clearly tells us – “JAAT JANAM NEH PUCHIYEH SACH GHAR LEH BATAE, SA JAAT SA PAT HAI JEHAI KARAM KAMAI (PG-1330)

We are not to ask anybody's caste. Man's caste is not by birth, but by the deeds he does. “

Another great quality about the business community is their internal support systems are just excellent.

To describe about their support systems I will mention a few words referring to one the speeches delivered by Narayan Murthy, Chairman, Infosys Technologies.

The word community joins two Latin words com ("together" or "with") and unus ("one"). A community, then, is both one and many. It is a unified multitude and not a mere group of people. As it is said in the Vedas: Man can live individually, but can survive only collectively. Hence, the challenge is to form a progressive community by balancing the interests of the individual and that of the society. To meet this, we need to develop a value system where people accept modest sacrifices for the common good.

What is a value system? It is the protocol for behaviour that enhances the trust, confidence and commitment of members of the community. It goes beyond the domain of legality - it is about decent and desirable behaviour. Further, it includes putting the community interests ahead of your own. Thus, our collective survival and progress is predicated on sound values. There are two pillars of the cultural value system - loyalty to family and loyalty to community. One should not be in isolation to the other, because, successful societies are those which combine both harmoniously.


This happens when one achieves success after a long struggle or perhaps for the first time in life. Success goes in your head, you are not able to maintain the same consistency and your down fall begins.


If you think that you are the most intelligent then you are heading for a disaster or you think that you have conquered the greatness battles then there will be a greater battle waiting for you in future.


Presently we live an arrogant and ignorant world, where people trouble others for their own survival. This happens in jobs also. There was a time when the world use to judge you for your abilities, now you have to tell the world of your abilities and prove your worth everywhere. You may be good in your job but if you lack the ability to present yourself then just forget getting a good job.

Similar is the case with our community also. We are progressive we have the abilities to do any thing, but we are victims of wrong propaganda by the media which is resulting in many abandoning the Sikh belief. The world misunderstands us as Arabs, Films also projects us as villains and comic characters.

This attitude is very common among youngsters. If your talk about religion they just ignore you.


In other words if we take our own initiatives the Lord helps accordingly.


We love all, whether with hair and cut hair, that is why we should leave no stone unturned to continuously innovate new ideas to encourage all to live under Sikhi. Hope the ones with cut hair understand this.

Similarly we should help the people of Punjab who have always been denied benefits and sidelined since independence. A few months back I came across an article of NRIs bringing fortune to Punjab in India Today.


Hoping to see more NRIs taking such initiatives. We being a global community can do wonders if we all come together and give a serious view to our own problems. We can at least very well sponsor deserving children for professional education ones who cannot afford.

Regarding wrong media propaganda, I decided lets do something. A year ago I took script writing as a hobby. I write on a Sikh as a common man and the interaction with other cultures. Later I realized that it is an art, which demands full time devotion. It calls for a very detailed study and observation even if we are working on a particular topic and trying to put ideas in a sequence of events. It also helped in knowing myself and the importance of being a Sikh. If given a serious thought we can introduce an entirely a new concept in filmmaking. Unlike other cultures we as a culture are unique. Hence I feel that we should encourage art from the very childhood and organise plays in theatres on Sikh history. By acting in plays we can revise our history the best.

Even the Americans support this theory. Most of the age old steam locomotives are still serving the American Railways. One such steam locomotive built in 1941 known as ‘The Challenger’ (Nick Name THE BIG BOY) pulls a train 5 km long at 120 Miles/hour when operated to full throttle. It is the world’s largest steam loco. The theory is that if we have to maintain these old heritage steam locos, we have to keep them operational. Hence these locos were moved out from the railway museums and made operational by railway volunteers. Around 4 to 5 such BIG BOYs still operate with the American Railways. There are many older versions built in 1875 still operational not for commercial use.

Courtesy: Extreme Machines, Discovery Channel.


Most parents always talk of past glory, especially fathers. The most common comments are, I was the university topper, I was the gold medallist, I used to study under the street lamp, etc. Son today despite having every thing you are useless.

People from different generations have to face different set of problems. Today children despite getting a high percentage of marks do not get their real worth. In jobs there is tough competition, it’s survival for the fittest. But ignorant fathers still talk of past glory. In their time very few were educated.

Today despite being capable still your child fears being sacked any moment. Most companies in present scenario follow the ‘Hire & Fire’ policy for survival. Every day your child has to update knowledge and think of new strategies for survival. But ignorant fathers still talk of past glory.

Your child wants to share knowledge with you on his/her achievements. You say I am the gold medallist, how can my child know more than me.


All past achievements and events become a dream one day. This is the law of nature. William Shakespeare states, “The World is a stage and we all are the actors. We come play our roles and go”. Similarly all your medals, degrees and achievements will go in dust one day, only your love will be remembered.

A concept very well explained in the film AMERICAN DESI. It shows an arrogant and ignorant Sikh father who never recognises his son’s talents and potential for which the world applauds him. All parents should see this film and learn to appreciate the wonderful gifts (Children) that God has given them.

Apart from fathers I believe that mothers are no less. In the present times both the spouses have to work to run a house. In a place like Bombay many leave their children in a crèche, because ignorant mother in laws are not ready to take care of their grand children, since their mother in laws never did so. In their time single person salary could feed everyone from the family, but it is vice versa in present times to maintain a minimum possible living standard. Not many mother in laws understand this. In fact parents should consider themselves lucky if their children stay with them. The more the people around them the safer they are. In a place like Bombay many old age parents staying alone become victims of thefts & murders by domestic servants, strangers, etc.


Most of the youngsters today consider their role models as actors like Arnold Schwerznegger, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, etc.

Referring to one of the interviews of Arnold Schwerznegger.

He narrated, I decided to become the world’s strongest man, everyone laughed at me. I became Mr. Universe.

I decided to go to America, they laughed even louder.

I decided to become an actor in Hollywood, this time they laughed so loud that they fell out of their chairs.

Today no one is laughing because I am laughing.

Elected the Governor of California recently, he has all right to cheer.


In other words when the world makes fun of you then it is for your good. Just move ahead you will reach your destination. It is not that only the minority community faces racism but the ones from major religions are also victims of racism.


Some thing which happens with all successful people, because very few in this world are happy with the success of others. This is because where were you go, a set of people will always be there to prove to wrong despite your incredible feats. Perhaps one can call it survival in the wrong way or right way. There are situations where suddenly the whole world is against you and despite all this one has to stick to his/her guns and fight back to retain his/her identity.


Honour and Insult are different phases of life.

The famous Hollywood film FACE OFF explains the concept very well. A scientific experimental secret going in wrong hands make the good individuals suffer. Finally the good fight back to regain their lost identity.

Acquire Knowledge not wealth. Many of the occasions in jobs we are forced to handle junctions, which are totally different from our field of specialisation. This may happen due to favouritism to certain vested interests. Initially we all face criticism and opposition in such situations. This is where our overall experience comes into picture. If we are knowledgeable handling the toughest the situation becomes a cakewalk. Knowledge in any form is never a waste and is the most effective tool to handle any problem.


We all have friends. We stand by each other good in bad times. Perhaps not always. Many occasions we help people and expect the same from them in our bad times. No one helps you when you reality needed help in your tough times. But the one who helps you can be a stranger or the most disliked person also.


Reliance on mortals is in vain - know this well. The Great Giver is the One Lord.

The famous Hollywood film PRETTY WOMAN released in 1990, explains the concept very well. A ten-year-old friendship comes to an end within no time and the most dislike lady is honoured in the end and becomes a soul mate.


Union with Him, and separation from Him, come by His Will. We come to receive what is written in our destiny.


Something, which the ones with cut hair often comment. I will explain a theory, which will prove that only a person with Kesh is a Sikh.

There are two persons one believes that if one knows his job then degree is not necessary. The other one has a degree but technically totally illiterate. In that words like the other person he practically doesn’t know any thing. So the other person always makes fun him. This person doesn’t have practical knowledge but is good at something else. He knows how to deal with people, he knows how to present himself, how to face the media, what to speak and where to speak and in how much proportion. He becomes the company CEO one day. He moves in a Mercedes Benz along with gunmen. The world salutes him where were he goes. It is true handling machines and systems is much simpler than humans, because machines & systems work on predefined logic but not human minds. In the today’s world if someone is good at man management he is the King. This is where the person who made fun of him realizes that I wish I had a degree with me, not a CEO but could have at least been the head of technical dept. of the company. No wonder people call me a skilled worker not an engineer or an expert.

So Kesh is the degree for a Sikh, which is primary. Your knowledge of the Sikh faith is a secondary issue. We spend our entire lives learning but still feel we know very little.


Many NRIs make racist remarks about India, calling a democracy of bananas but fail to realize that majority Sikhs stay in India. Despite being a democracy of bananas still majority Sikhs prosper and maintain excellent relations with people of all cultures. It is these NRIs to take Sikh women for a ride in Punjab. The worst thing is after getting married within in or two months they have fun, make them pregnant and run away along with their dowry. The child grows up and asking for his/her father. The difficulties the women go through bring up such children with no money in hand, it is just heart breaking. 75 % of NRI marriages in Punjab are a failure. In one such case I saw the bride being married to the photograph of the NRI groom. The groom never turns up. All this was shown in the program ‘The Inside Story’ on Zee TV recently. It is the greed for dollars where parents are totally ignorant and are prepared to put their daughters at such a high risk without having any information about the groom. The result of which many boys staying in India face problems in finding soul mates for themselves.


Some thing which many comment, why Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, etc. I believe this is some thing, which only God can answer better.


Nothing is in the hands of man, every thing in this world happens with the will of the Lord. If the Lord has chosen us live as a Sikh then lets be bounded by the faith without any argument.

I will refer you to a scene for a Bolloywood film YATEEM (Orphan) that I saw during my graduation days in 1989. It doesn’t co-relate to be above theory directly. It shows an encounter of police and dacoits near a Dargah. Among the dacoits are parents along with a one-year-old child. All get killed except the child. The police officer carries the kid and doesn’t know what to do. A Muslim Fakir comes out of the Dargah and states, “The Lord knows His affairs better, His games are very unique. In this world Saints are born among dacoits and dacoits among saints”. The police officer adopts the child and brings him up as a police officer.


Especially for Sikh women who are in love with Non Sikh guys and many occasions land in trouble, because your Non-Sikh lover thinks that he has conquered and defeated Sikh faith.


When your dear parents who are next to God, the people of the community who brought you up with love and care and today when there Sikh men waiting to welcome you with open arms to give you the same love and affection, you try to seek love else where then how can you live in peace.

A Sikh comes to you with a desire to become your soul mate. Forget respecting a Sikh who loves from the heart, you make fun of his turban calling him Osama Bin Laden. His heart is broken; he says this is the price I pay for being a Sikh. The Lord is angry, how dare you call my Sikh like this, come I will show you Osama Bin Laden.

Your soul mate says I love you, I am M S Gill, I cut my hairs due to Sept 11 attacks but I wear the Kadaa. So foolish and ignorant are you that you never bothered to find out what does M S really stand for. Is it Mohinder Singh or Mohd Sayeed? By the time you realize it is too late.


Then you write such poems in solitude, but unfortunately there is no one to listen to your pain.



You have no one to blame but only your self.

To make things worst there are few films in line to be released showing Sikh women and Muslim Boys relationships. One mistake for yours makes the entire community laughing lot.

Few are lucky to start a new life from scratch and later find a good soul mate by the grace of the Lord, perhaps not all.


One can understand the concept of Kesh made compulsory by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Sikh women giving preference to cut hair find themselves in trouble.


We always thing that the grass on the other side is always green. It’s like I wish I was a millionaire. I wish I had so much money than there is no need for me to work through out life. Many college students in major cities in India are involved in crime in order to get more pocket money, which their parents cannot afford. Boys involved in shot outs, drug trafficking, etc. and girls in sex rackets & scandals. Whether we live our life as a poor person, middle class person or a rich person, we all have a set of problems to face.


The Hollywood film MR DESTINY explains this particular theory very well. It shows God changes a man’s destiny for some time. Initially he enjoys his new life, later finds himself in a scandal, police comes to arrest him. He returns back to his previous life thanking God for what ever he gave him.


Associate your self with the Lord and do what you feel is right as the situation demands.


Some thing, which is very much applicable to people of western countries who do incredible and impossible things with perfection despite facing extreme climatic conditions and difficulties.

As long as the Lord is there, you have nothing to fear. Just keep moving ahead.

Before going repeating once again "ROOK JAANA NAHI TU KABHI HAAR KE, KAANTON PE CHALKE MILENGE SAAYE BAHAR KE". Never give up even if you are defeated, one gets success only after facing difficulties.

I apologize to all the readers with cut hair in case if they feel offended. My aim is to make Sikhi interesting for you so that tomorrow I see you all with Kesh and Turban. Such efforts will continue in future also.

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  • 1 month later...

Very True My dear friend I M fully appriciate UR views. But all we (A single person) is not responsible for such a situation. This is our sociaty, our atmosphare our culture which fed us this type of thinking in ours. I mean to say we can change all the secenario if we all decide to do so. Here is an example in form of a story.....

We All Need Someone Who Understands.......

A store owner was tacking a sign above his door that read: "Puppies For Sale". Signs like that have a way of attracting small children and sure enough, a little boy appeared under the store owner's sign.

"How much are you going to sell the puppies for?" he asked.

The store owner replied, "Anywhere from $30 to $50."

The little boy reached in his pocket and pulled out some change.

"I have $2.37," he said. "Can I please look at them?"

The store owner smiled and whistled and out of the kennel came Lady, who ran out in the aisle of his store followed by five teeny, tiny balls of fur. One puppy was lagging considerably behind.

Immediately the little boy singled out the lagging, limping puppy and said, "What's wrong with that little dog?"

The store owner explained that the veterinarian had examined the little puppy and had discovered it didn't have a hip socket. It would always be lame.

The little boy became excited. "That is the puppy that I want to buy."

The store owner said, "No, you don't want to buy that little dog. If you really want him, I'll just give him to you."

The little boy got quite upset. He looked straight into the store owner's eyes, pointing his finger, and said, "I don't want you to give him to me. That little dog is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs and I'll pay full price. In fact, I'll give you $2.37 now, and 50 cents a month until I have him paid for."

The store owner countered, "You really don't want to buy this little dog. He is never going to be able to run and jump and play with you like the other puppies."

To his surprise, the little boy reached down and rolled up his pant leg to reveal a badly twisted, crippled left leg supported by a big metal brace. He looked up at the store owner and softly replied, "Well, I don't run so well myself, and the little puppy will need someone who understands."

Don't we all need someone who understands?

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