The Asian Age – Mehbooba Mufti takes swipe at Arun Jaitley’s ‘separatist psyche’ comment

Mufti was reacting to Jaitley’s remarks on mainstream parties in Kashmir create ‘separatist psyche’ and were ‘not acceptable to new India’.

Srinagar – Jammu & Kashmir – India, 03 April 2019. A ‘new India’ where those who kill and lynch in the name of religion are feted and garlanded is “unacceptable”, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Wednesday.

The PDP president was reacting to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s remarks that statements of mainstream parties in Kashmir create “separatist psyche” and were “not acceptable to new India”.

Mehbooba Mufti, in a tweet, said if standing up for the people made her a separatist and anti-national, she would wear such a badge with honour.

“Unacceptable is a new India where those who kill and lynch in the name of religion are feted and garlanded. If standing up for my people makes me a separatist and anti-national, then its a badge I will wear with honour,” she said.

Taking on National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, Jaitley on Monday said his demand for revival of the post of prime minister and president in Jammu and Kashmir was intended to create a “separatist psyche” and asserted that new India would never allow any government to commit such blunders.

The Tribune – In neglect, Jallianwala Bagh to be spruced up post centenary

G S Paul, Tribune News Service

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 02 April 2019. Even as the Centre and the state government are gearing up to observe the centenary of Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the plan to revamp the dilapidated infrastructure of the historic spot is yet to see the light.

In the presence of Vice President Vankaiah Naidu, homage will be paid to martyrs on April 13 in an hour-long programme of the Centre. A candle march will be carried out a day before.

While the dusty paths and heaps of garbage point towards lack of maintenance, the light and sound show with Amitabh Bachchan’s voiceover of the massacre episode has been lying defunct for more than four years.

Similarly, the 18-minute documentary, which was shown through a projector daily in seven shows at a 50-seat hall at the park, too has been discontinued.

The century-old structures that share boundary wall with Jallianwala Bagh are on the verge of collapse.

MP Shwait Malik, who is also one of the members of Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust, admitted the delay in sprucing up the memorial. He said, “It shows a lapse on the part of the Congressmen who ran the Trust for decades. We became members in May last year and furnished the tenders to renovate the memorial.”

Malik said a plan had been conceptualised to overhaul the infrastructure. Tenders worth Rs 19.36 crore have been furnished and would be finalised on April 10 for the first phase of the project.

There is also a proposal to fix a dome-shaped unbreakable glass or see-through fibre canopy over the outer area of the martyrs’ well to offer a better view inside the well from where 120 bodies were recovered.

“A new light and sound show will be installed. We have planned to keep the memorial open till 9 pm. In the second phase, we have planned to acquire public properties around it to transform the surrounds as a ‘galliara’,” he said. About the centenary preparations, Malik said a commemorative postal stamp and a coin would be released on the occasion.

ASI team at memorial

A team from the Archaeological Survey of India, led by Director General Usha Sharma, besides BSF IG Mahipal Yadav, BSF DiG JS Oberoi, DC Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon and other officials on Tuesday visited the memorial to take stock of the preparations.

“The ASI team visited the memorial for renovation. From state’s side, only two programmes have been approved by the EC, which included wreath laying ceremony by the CM. On April 12, a candle march will be carried out from Jallianwala to the Town Hall,” the DC said.

Hoepertingen Gurdwara

Hoepertingen Gurdwara
26 March 2019

This part of the Gurdwara will be demolished

The new wing, now housing the divan hall

Informative notice next to the front door

Tenth Guru, his father, mother and four sons
All lost their lives  in the struggle against oppression

My friend Granthi Baljit Singh and a visiting student

Divan Hall
Guru Granth Sahib sitting on the palki

Guru Ram Dass Sikh Study & Cultural Centre
Smisstraat 8
B-3840 Borgloon

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

CBC News – Iconic Sikh photo recreated in downtown Winnipeg

Manitoba’s first Sikh Heritage Month looks to connect the past to the present

Trevor Dineen

Winnipeg – Manitoba – Canada, 02 April 2019. When you look at the photo above, what do you see?

The streetcars stand out pretty quickly. So does the architecture of the early 1900s.

Your eye may be drawn to how well everyone is dressed or even the horse in the background.

But for generations of Sikhs in Manitoba and across Canada, they see something more.

They see pioneers.

They see perseverance.

But most of all, they see pride.

And that is why a group of Winnipeg Sikhs have re-imagined this iconic photo more than 100 years later, with the intent of connecting the past to the present during Manitoba’s first Sikh Heritage Month.

A bit of Sikh history

“The four men in the right of the photograph probably didn’t know they were going to be a part of Sikh heritage down the road,” says Imreet Kaur, the government relations and creative director for Sikh Heritage Manitoba, with a bit of a laugh.

And it’s true.

The photo Sikhs in Canada was taken by Vancouver street photographer Phillip Tim in 1908 after the four gentleman just happened to walk into the frame.

Even though it was an accident, it forever immortalized a significant moment in time for Sikh Canadians.

“The photo captures resilience, strangely enough,” said Parminder Singh Gill, who works for Sikh Heritage Manitoba and was also one of the directors of the updated photo.

“I mean, they’re just walking in an intersection, conducting their business, but when I think of 1908, I think of a far more unfriendly period of time, especially for folks who are walking around in their turbans and are so clearly different from every other folk walking on that street.”

In the early 1900s, racism against Sikh men was at an all-time high, so in the Gurdwara, a law was passed that all Sikhs had to “present the best version of themselves,” Kaur said.

“So just to be walking, with their shoulders spread out in a fashion that doesn’t seem weighed down by what we know society was like for a Sikh back then, shows defiance, and that’s why 111 years later, we still feel something when we look at it.”

The updated photo was taken on a freezing cold day at Hargrave Street and Cumberland Avenue in downtown Winnipeg. (Sandeep Singh)

It’s one thing to feel strongly about a photo; it’s another to want to recreate it, especially when it’s –37 outside.

But Kaur was passionate about making this photo happen.

“When we talked to the youth in our communities, we saw this lack of heritage content pertaining to Sikhs in Manitoba,” she said. “We said we wanted to embark on this journey where we are able to produce stories of Sikh heritage, so young Sikhs of future generations could feel that this is their story as well.”

One major part of the story was missing from the original photo: Sikh women.

Until 1918, only Sikh men were allowed to come to Canada, which makes updating the photo even more powerful for Kaur, who is in it.

“It’s really disheartening to see that when a female is looking at that original photo, we are absent from that pioneer journey. We have to look at different ways of capturing these images and stories, and now when we look at the photo we created, we wanted to add the contribution of Sikh women because it’s so important to have that perspective as well.”

The new photo was unveiled at the Manitoba Legislature at noon on Monday as part of Sikh Heritage Month, which has both Gill and Kaur beaming with pride.

“I think we reproduced the photo in such a fun way that those very populations that didn’t even know they had an interest in engaging in the heritage of Sikh Canadians will all of a sudden realize how cool it is!” Gill said.

To see both the original and the updated picture click on the below link:

The Hindu – More than 200 writers appeal to citizens against hate politics

Here is the full text of a statement issued by over 200 writers as an appeal to citizens to vote against hate politics.

Op/Ed, 01 April 2019. The upcoming election finds our country at the crossroads. Our Constitution guarantees all its citizens equal rights, the freedom to eat, pray and live as they choose, freedom of expression and the right to dissent.

But in the last few years, we have seen citizens being lynched or assaulted or discriminated against because of their community, caste, gender, or the region they come from. Hate politics has been used to divide the country; create fear; and exclude more and more people from living as full-fledged citizens.

Writers, artists, filmmakers, musicians and other cultural practitioners have been hounded, intimidated, and censored. Anyone who questions the powers-that-be is in danger of being harassed or arrested on false and ridiculous charges.

All of us want this to change. We don’t want rationalists, writers and activists to be hounded or assassinated. We want stern measures against violence in word or deed against women, dalits, adivasis and minority communities.

We want resources and measures for jobs, education, research, healthcare and equal opportunities for all. Most of all, we want to safeguard our diversity and let democracy flourish.

How do we do this? How do we bring about the change we need so urgently? There are many things we need to do and can do. But there is a critical first step.

The first step, the one we can take soon, is to vote out hate politics. Vote out the division of our people; vote out inequality; vote against violence, intimidation and censorship.

This is the only way we can vote for an India that renews the promises made by our Constitution. This is why we appeal to all citizens to vote for a diverse and equal India.

Click on the link below to see the names of all the people who support this statement