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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mission Impossible

The juice of this blog ultimately lies in the turban debate. The relevance of the turban in the new world and the changing attitude of the Sikh youth towards it. I understand that we have had a lively debate going on these issues. A lot of times,however, this debate seems to have an unlikely resemblance to the Pak-India talks where people will talk about everything except the crux of the issue. There is a thin line between impassioned debating and bickering and it seems like that we occasionally cross that line very easily. First of all, this blog is not against women, least of all Sikh women. I have had the utmost respect for women. Men spend half of their lives pinning for women and the other half complaining about them. Their lives revolve around the fairer sex. I and a lot of other people are not any different. I think any efforts to educate me regarding the importance of women in our society and our lives are redundant because I already have profound appreciation for women. I also celebrate women' right to equality and freedom of speech although I do feel sometimes in an overzealous bid to exercise those rights, some people forget about decency and common courtesies, which are equally important.

To continue on this rhetorical note, I will also like to point out that this blog is not about race either. I think the debate about white vs non-white women is futile too and perhaps belongs to another blog.

I appreciate those women readers who have professed a personal fondness for the turban or at least stated that turbans don't turn them off. What I don't completely understand is the utter denial that is coming across. None of the women readers have acknowledged that a lot of their sahelis are not cool with turbaned Sikhs. As far as I am concerned, that attitude is rampant among Sikh women. It seems like a mission impossible to get people to admit that. I will change my opinion when I see a change. Again, I would urge people to not behave like dinosaurs who remained oblivious to the changing climate around them and when they figured out what was going on, they were already extinct! Also, to those of you who are in the Social Sciences, may I suggest for you to do a study looking at the scope of the changing attitudes among Sikh women towards turbaned Sikh men using both the data from online matrimonial sites as well as population based surveys. I think that would establish scientifically what we already know is true anecdotally. "Hath kangan ko aarsi kya, padhe likhe ko farsi kya"

Maybe I am taking this too far. Maybe I should just shut up and let things take their own course. After all, I am no longer personally affected by all this. Maybe I should join the hordes of fellow Punjabis who shrug their shoulders and say "Mainu ki" and "Sanu ki" everytime they are asked tough questions about religion and their personal preferences. But for some reason, I can't. I am not going to change my opinion to earn brownie points or to look good. My opinions are based on my life experiences and are my version of reality. It may not appear to be accurate to you but nonetheless it does to me.

On a differnt note, I can't believe that I have written over fifty posts for this blog. What started out on a whim has turned out to be a very interesting journey. I thank all of you for your coments and for keeping the discussion lively.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How are you and C doing?

5:01 PM, May 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re the turban debate: we accept Amrit b/c it is the Guru's hukum, and b/c without Amrit we DO NOT have a Guru. Without a Guru we cannot reach sachkhand; we cannot do bhagti; we miss out on numerous benefits. This is written in Gurbani in more than one place. It is also written in Bhai Gurdass ji's Vars, which the 5th
Guru labelled teh 'keys to understanding the Guru Granth Sahib ji' (and which are also Gurbani). We get a Guru, but in return we must keep our part of the contract, the 5 ks and the turban are a part and parcel of the conditions for Amrit.

Those who refuse to accept this either don't know, or lack the faith to accept the Guru's words and instead are making changes to the dharm that Akaal Purkh created.

If you wish to learn the truth, I suggest you search through Gurbani, particularly the Vaars.

By the way veer ji, I fully agree that many "sikh" girls do not accept or like the turban. But then again, many "sikh" girls are not Sikhs. Dharm is not passed on through the genes. The Gurus called all races equal. If white girls called themselves Sikh yet behaved the way these punjabi "sikh" girls do who are often mentioned in your blog, I don't think that many of these same "sikh" girls would accept them as Sikhs. That's not evidence for my POV, just an interesting point.

bhul chuk maaf.
-Sundeep Singh

5:52 PM, May 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read a commentary on the mahabharat a long time ago. Yudhisthir asks some rishi why he (yudhishtir) is worried so much.

I am not a very good writer, so I cannot translate the beautiful prose here. Here it is in devnagri script, I hope you understand the script and the language. It fits perfectly to this situation. Maybe it will help you a bit.

युधिश्ठिर-'महर्षि! इस भौतिक शरीर के रहते, कभी चिंताओं का अंत हो सकता है?'
ऋषि हंस पड़े-' चिंता तो एक मानसिक स्थिति है। मेरा प्रश्न यह है की तुम्हारा मन यह क्यों नहीं मानता कि शरीर की कुछ आवश्यकताएँ तो होंगी ही। यह शरीर जिस परिवेश में रहेगा, उसमें किसी-न-किसी प्रकार का संघर्ष तो चलेगा ही। फिर उन आवश्यकताओं और उन संघर्षों से चिंतित क्यों होना? चिन्ता तो एक प्रकार के भय क बाह्म रूप है। और भय, व्यक्ति के शरीर का अनवरत रक्तपान करता है। यदि तुम चिंतित हो, तो तुम भयभीत भी हो। निरंतर भयभीत रहकर क्या जीवन चल सकता है पुत्र?'
'सूर्यास्त होने पर यदि जीव यह सोचकर भयभीत होता रहे, कि जाने कल सूर्योदय होगा या नहीं, तो वह जीवित रह सकता है क्या? मनुष्य तो तभी जीवित रह सकता है, जब वह यह मान ले कि सूर्योदय और सूर्यास्त, प्रकृति का नियम है। वह ईश्वर के निर्देश पर होता है। उसका दायित्व मनुष्य पर नहीं है, जो उसकी चिंता करे। इसी प्रकार वह प्रकृति के नियमों को जितना स्वीकार करेगा, उतना ही ईश्वर को स्वीकार करता चलेगा। जितना वह ईश्वर को स्वीकार करेगा, उतना ही उसका भय कम होगा। भय कम होगा, तो चिंता भी कम होगी।'

7:03 PM, May 07, 2006  
Anonymous Puja said...

very intersting blog !!

8:17 PM, May 07, 2006  
Blogger Harkiran Kaur said...

When people don't know the real value of what they got from their fore-father, they often don't care or make mockery of it. Your blog, though haven't read every post, just read it couple of days ago, revolves around you not finding a woman because of how you look or your own issues.
I am sorry to say, but in this world you will find many places that will weaken you or your principles, but you will find very few that will inspire you and make you grow. Your blog doesn't create any positivity or inspire people to grow. Its disheartening to see, that the heritage that is full of sacrifices of Gurus and his Sikh, have been totally forgotten.

Anyways, bhul chuk maaf,

May Guru gives you the ability to think beyond your own difficulties and you become a chardikala singh some day!

8:47 PM, May 07, 2006  
Blogger Prabhu Singh said...

I just read too much of this blog!
There are a lot of stereotypes on this blog. Of all the stereotypes I've read I don't feel like I fit into any of them, despite belonging to several of the groups.
There are thousands of women out there who like turbaned Sikh men. Starting when I was in college, women (Sikh and non-Sikh) started to pay a lot more attention to me. I had self-esteem issues from being made fun of my whole childhood, and I really liked getting positive attention for the first time in my life.
You can't base your self-worth on the perspectives of others. I so much enjoyed getting attention from girls, I would totally indulge in it. A lot of time the attention was because I found people with open minds who liked to discuss ideas. Though there were times when the attention came because there was physical attraction. I would recognize when nothing meaningful was being shared and still I enjoyed the interactions. It's a boost to the ego and a theft of the spirit.
I've grown a lot since then. I'm AmritDhari now and consider meditation to be more enjoyable than anything else (especially meaningless interactions). It was a learning experience and I think it helped me. Now I know what it's like to be considered the worst and considered the best, but neither help me. None of what other people think of me should affect me. I am the son of Guru Gobind Singh, I don't need approval or disapproval from anybody.
I respect Harry's process, I know it can be rough. I know that seeking a marriage partner can be really tough, so I've changed my approach to that of Sukh-Sehaj, effortlessly and peacefully I'll allow God to do the work that God does anyway. It's only natural that I'll be married in time. God knows my prayer, I want to marry a strong Sikh woman who wears a turban and has complete love and devotion to the Guru, and is willing to devote her life with me in service to humanity.
It's now just a matter of waiting.

10:43 AM, May 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harry Ji
I respect you opinion and I agree you are entitled to your opinion. On same note, everyone else is entitled to disagree with your opinions. You mentioned something about conducting a survey ( about Turban preference by majority of women) on Sikhnet and other sites to prove your theory. I am sure somebody is going to look into it. Why don't you start the process? Let us start with you.
Is it possible that in one of your posts you can mention how many girls you contacted and than they rejected you because you wear turban. I am just curious to look at numbers. I personally think Turban and Sikh religion don't go in hand and hand. Khalsa indeed is real deal. However, we can't confuse Khalsa with turban. See KPS Gill wears turban and I am sure he is very proud of his turban. Does he live with Sikh principals? I don't know.
Also, in rural Punjab most women don't have problem with Turban. Usually it is a arrange marriage and I am not sure if anybody asks the woman about her preference. In Punjab (especially in rural areas) young men are also moving away from Turban, and youth is getting is drugs and drinking. So can you say these young men are not inclined to wear turban because women in Punjab don't find it appealing. I personally knew so many men who wore their turban with great pride. However, at same time they were into drinking, drugs and harassing women in buses or near bus stops. I still remember police men with their turbans ogling at women and girls (mostly teenagers) and passing nasty remarks. It still is a problem in Punjab. I personally feel more comfortable discussing social issues than just concentrating on turban. I am confused about what Turban stands for? You may want to enlighten me more on this issue. Of course! I want more than just - Turban stood against Tyranny. Please understand I am not judging you or anybody else. Also, I am not saying all men who wear turban are not nice. In every spectrum of our life or existence there is a gray area. I am just referring to that area. I am not a perfect person and usually it is through my interaction with other people I become more aware of my own faults. So I am just asking questions and seeking answers.

bhul chuk maaf.
Kewal Kaur

11:34 AM, May 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A problem is the disturbing male to female ratio in sikhs. Even though sikhism claims to give equal rights to women, female feoticide is largest among our community.

This is esp true in the doaba region, which is largely populated with jatts. So if you are a jatt, you are in serious trouble.

9:32 AM, May 09, 2006  
Anonymous Jotroop Kaur said...

Gur Fateh.
Hari Singh, I have read many, but not all of your posts. I am honored that you have chosen to share your plight with us. People can argue at you all they want, but it seems that you embody the struggle of many Singhs today and give them a voice. You have inspired my latest posts and inspired me to really look at our sangat as a whole. I, like many of the women who comment on your blog, appreciate men who wear turban, but then I also wear it. I may be a woman, but I share your troubles. Although I don't feel that it is a problem. I am a "converted" sikh and was very aware of the difference of how people saw me before and after the turban. I began to wear it once in a while, and then more and more often. I knew very well that I got a lot more looks from men when I wasn't wearing the turban. Struggling with my ego and self image, it hurt. But after certain events, that I care not to share, I realized that this was quite a wonderful thing. When I wear a turban I am not objectified, I am seen a real person. If someone isn't willing to see past the turban, then they won't talk to me, is that so bad? Also I was frustrated that I was always having to explain my religion to people, because, obviously, people ask alll the time. When I was complaining, a dear paaji of mine told me that he loves it when people ask. How blessed it is that people ask him about his Guru and he gets to tell them about our wonderful religion!
Some have already said that you can't expect those who are "born sikhs" to appreciate turban. Guru did not give us an easy lifestyle, he gave us one that demands a lot of our hearts and minds. I know that it is frustrating and sometimes lonely, but I hope that you never forget that the thing on your head is a crown.

7:50 PM, May 09, 2006  
Anonymous Jotroop said...

Gur Fateh.
One more thing... I'm surprised these comments havn't been mentioned already (or at least I think they havn't..). Sure, I will tag along and say, sikh (by birth) women are appreciating men who wear turbans less. But isn't it really the community as a whole? Perhaps this is not a gender issue at all. More and more men say that turban just isn't accepted these days (which if you remember back to our beloved gurus, turban for sikhs was never popular) and are shaven their beards.
And is it not a complete double standard to complain that sikh women don't appreciate men in turban, when women wearing turban has never been popular? Your complaint seems to be that non-turbaned sikh women usually won't choose turbaned men. But would you ever even imagine a non turbaned man marrying a turbaned woman? And it even seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong) that many men who wear turban respect women who wear turban, but probably wouldn't marry one.
Anyways, keep truckin dear Harry Singh.

6:56 PM, May 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"None of the women readers have acknowledged that a lot of their sahelis are not cool with turbaned Sikhs. As far as I am concerned, that attitude is rampant among Sikh women. "

All right! I acknowledge that lot of my sahelis are not cool with turbaned Sikhs. Now let us figure out why they are not cool with it.


9:12 PM, May 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears this blog is actually run by a non-Sikh. I am from Houston and there is no one in Houston of this person's description.

2:36 PM, May 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didnt find thing that i need... :-(

11:35 PM, November 24, 2006  

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