Tuesday, February 7, 2006

How would Sikhs react to a depiction similar to Islamic cartoons in Europe?

With the recent wave of Muslim reaction to cartoons of prophet of Islam, I am wondering what the Sikh reaction would be if a similar thing were to happen in future to our community. I hope for it to not happen, but there are always people (both Sikhs and non-Sikhs) out there, that would want to start all kinds of controversies in the World for personal or political gains or may be just by their own ignorance and hatred. So far, our community has been pretty much blessed without a major incident of this sort except of some books, movies like So Bole So Nihal and plays like Behzati that have offended Sikhs. My personal feeling is that even though almost all of us would be offended depending upon the seriousness of the depiction and follow up reaction (apologies etc.) of the person responsible, the first or a second reaction of our community would be a little bit more tolerant than the Islamic reaction since history of our community has been of tolerance and giving peace a chance as taught by all of our Gurus. Another reason that we will prevail peacefully is that Sikhs have had so much experience with people that have tried to distort and misuse our rich Sikh history and tradition, starting with the Moslem, then the British and then the Hindu Governments of the past, that nothing else would phase us anymore. This kind of makes me even more proud of how tolerant we have been in the past 300-400 years. We have had a so many people (both Sikhs and non-Sikhs) who have analyzed, hypothesized, researched and criticized our Gurus teachings within the last 150 years, but the eternal nature of Guru Granth Sahib has always prevailed. This tells me that the next 300, 400 or infinite number of years will pass by, but the greatness of the light of Truth that Sikh Gurus shine upon us, will never be diminished. "Aad sach jugad sach, hai bhee sach Nanak, hosee bhee sach". What is your take on all this?
http://www.ndtv.com/morenews/showmorestory.asp?category=National&slug=Cartoon+protests+bring+Islam+in+focus+&id=84564

8 Comments:

Blogger Shinda said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:56 AM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger Shinda said...

I agree with you about tolerance being a part of Sikhi and a reason as to why we don't over react.

But thats not to say that there are not many other reasons, such as ignorance on the part of our people. (I.E we don't know when to feel offended) as being another attribute to why we dont react.

9:59 AM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger Prabhu Singh said...

In response to the article:
It looks like the Indian media just loves to propogate the idea that Sikhs would bomb a theater in response to a movie. They said the protests ended in a bombing, but didn't say from Sikhs, they just implied it. The first news reports after the bombing reported that it was an attempt to make our community look bad.
As far as reactions:
I worry about Sikh reactions sometimes, because the Behzti thing was definitely out of hand. The western media also enjoyed making our community look bad.

Sikhs cannot be brought under the control of any 'human' authority we belong to the immortal and that will never change. As a result those who feel inferior (governments, media, other religious fanatics) have tried to destroy us or slander us throughout our history and still do. We look real bad when we play into the hands of the devious people who do these bad deeds.

10:19 AM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger SikhsRus said...

I agree with Prabhu Singh about Behzti on media making us look bad and the over-reaction of some Sikhs. Shinda, I wish there were more educators of real Sikhi so people don't play into the hands. Our own media like Sikhnet.com and other famous websites can definitely play a major lead part in bringing uniformity to Sikh reaction.

9:36 PM, February 08, 2006  
Blogger msingh said...

Amardeep Singh did a post about this on his blog. This was my comment:

I haven't seen the cartoons, nor do the feel the need to. This whole affair raises a number of questions for me:

* What is the role news media in the work they do? Do they have any responsibility for the betterment of the country / world, or are they just driven by the need to stay alive and make profits?

* Even allowing for freedom of speech, should there not be some agreed standards to prevent news media from generalising and painting entire nations / peoples with the same brush? And does freedom of speech mean the media are free to jeopardise any attempts being made to solve world problems differences between people?

* Should the mantra of “constructive criticism” not apply to the news media?

Presenting a case with facts and figures is one thing, but saying that an entire group of people are terrorists, albeit by depicting their prophet as a terrorist is not a very adult, sensible or correct thing to do. Newspapers should give more thought to the repercussions of what they print. At the end of the day I suppose we also have the freedom to choose whether we bother to read newspapers (and which one).

2:32 PM, February 11, 2006  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

About that implication with minimal facts as referred by Prabhu Singh ji, makes so much sense. And it is something so easily overlooked...you won't blv i too took the implication as is :( Feels horrible and so darn ignorant.

And what about this play you guys are talking about? Behzti? I tired to google it but didn't find anything...it'll be nice to get a little heads up of what is being talked about..

4:42 PM, February 15, 2006  
Blogger SikhsRus said...

In a nut shell, this is what I know. Behzti was a play that was written and choreographed in U.K by a so called Sikh woman last year. The play had a rape scene happening in a Gurudwara which was very controversial. Some Sikhs compalined and put death threats against the writer which is the other extreme of things. I myself was equally offended about the controversy, but I would not put a death threat. If you go to www.snn.com (sikh news network), a site search may get you the news story about it.

8:20 PM, February 17, 2006  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

SikhRUs ji, snn.com gives me some summerhome news network. But anywyas, I kinda get the grasp of the issue. There is so much to say and yet hard to say antything at all. This is tough.

9:48 AM, February 18, 2006  

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