Tuesday, September 5, 2006

What is lacking in Sikh community?

After recent hate crime against a Sikh and an African American gentlemen, there have been a number of community forums held in the Santa Clara County on intercultural acceptance. I just happen to attend one such Public Forum last Thursday night in the City of Milpitas after work. It saddened me to find out that I was the only Sikh among 40-50 people and I don't even live in the county of Santa Clara. The attendees included Supervisor Pete McHugh, Congressman Mike Honda and other representatives from Police, District Attorney, media etc. I would have thought with such a large community in San Jose area, I would find a lot more Sikh representation (men or women). Anyways, it was a great forum, a lot of issues came up such as how to educate, and bring awareness, role models in Police force especially Sikhs. The Chief of Police of city of Milpitas asked me that if I knew of Sikhs, he would be willing to make exceptions on facial hair and articles of faith to hire them. I was really delighted and encouraged by such commitments. If you are local, please pass the word on to other Sikhs in our community. Hope more Sikhs will voice their opinions at forums like these. There is also an entity called "Santa Clara County Network for a hate free community". Their phone number is (408) 279-0111.

As I read the news story below

and one of my recent experiences above, I am trying to figure out why is there a lack of cohesiveness among Sikhs?

1) Because the community is poor and lacks resources, funding for education and bringing Sikh awareness
2) Because the community lacks will and commitment to help itself
3) Because the community lacks ability to organize itself
4) Because community lacks compassion for itself and others
5) Because community lacks a united vision
6) Waiting for a recognition from majority community

it could be some other reason or combination of the above. I wish I knew and could change.


Blogger Sifar said...

Manjeet jee,

What I believe is that our community is very closely knitted within itself. Our community is like a frog in the well. They feel happy to interact with other members of the community but are not open to other communities. If this was not the case then what happened after 9/11 would have been a lot different. Why the community had to go out and reach the Americans to tell them who we are. If our community would have networked with other communities prior to 9/11 (and I mean like years earlier) a lot more would have known about Sikhs and what our faith is. It is like when you are thirsty, start digging the well to get some water. Sikhs thought that there is no point to interact with other communities prior to 9/11 as they thought that there was nothing in it for them. But 9/11 changed their perspective. It is very important that the society we live in, we should be really social so that we are accepted the members of the same society and thus help minimize the hate crimes like aftermath of 9/11 if not eradicated it (hate crimes) altogether.

Bhul Chuk Dee Khema….

6:25 AM, September 06, 2006  
Blogger SikhsRus said...

Sifar Ji,

You point has validity to a certain extent, but what about the article on Kambadi Kalai, the movie? Why doesn't Sikh community support its own Sikh directors, producers, actors, companies, businesses etc. that can make a big impact thru media and bringign awareness. I like how Gurumustuk started the Film competition for Sikh youth. It is so poitive and it would definitely make a great difference in the long run. Boy, there are some really creative Sikh kids and adults out there!

9:59 AM, September 06, 2006  

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