I was in Hayes, Southall and Hounslow from 25 January till 4 January. I met with Mohan Singh of the Hounslow Gurdwara and he invited me to a domestic violence mock-trial in the Hounslow civic centre.
The mock-trial was to start at 10.00 but I was early and we could not enter the hall as those-in-charge were still busy organising things. Outside the hall were tables for various organisations presenting literature and manned by their staff or volunteers to answer questions. One table had no literature and no staff.
I am good at walking and good at cycling, but standing tires me out more quickly, so I decided to sit behind the unmanned table. A lady organiser of the bossy type who was not willing (able?) to listen to my explanation told me not to sit on the chair behind the table. I decided to ignore here.
Next a high ranking police officer in mufti appeared on the scene, told me that I was aggressive, that I was pointing at him and that he would have me arrested if I did not leave the area outside the hall.
I was upset, not aggressive and I gesticulate when I speak but most definitely did not point my finger at him. And I did not think that he had any real power to arrest me for sitting (very peacefully) on the wrong chair.
But I do at times attract this kind of difficulties because I do not like people who want to exert an authority that they do not really have. This is part of my Dutch heritage, after all there would be no Kingdom of the Netherlands if there had been no insurrection against the King in Spain and the Pope in Rome.
My mother was from Amsterdam and I lived there for about 25 years, and the Amsterdam lot is more rebellious than the rest of the ‘Netherlanders’.
But if I just had gotten up from my seat it would have saved me from a stupid conversation with a high ranking policeman. If I had gotten up from my seat I could have attended the domestic violence mock-trial, which would have been interesting and would have been relevant for our community.
Does Guru teach us to be meek or should we stand up for our rights, not be daunted by bossy organisers and high ranking policemen ? In Panjab I was told to be meek, but I soon found out that I had to speak up, otherwise my fellow Sikhs would walk all over me.
And finally …
I had no intention to be naughty, I just wanted to rest my legs and as soon as people or literature would have arrived I would have stood up, making excuses.