Thursday, March 29, 2007

How OFAC (Only Few Acting out of Control) can affect Sikhs, Punjabis, and others also?

When I read the following news story on Sikhnet, it kind of left a little sour taste about how this War on Terrorism is being taken to all kinds of directions. Some people may think it is just a little story, but it could have enormous effect on a particular community, whether Sikh, Hindu or Muslim or Christian. I was glad that it is being posted on Sikhnet but I wish a forum was allowed to have a meaningful discussion and further exploration on the issue within the community. By this I don't mean, we should all pick up a banner and start protesting in front of the White House about how this could affect Sikhs. But, it could have a impact on Sikhs, Hindus and others as well in future or even now, depending upon what the OFAC defines terrorism as and who is on the list. The whole thing about denying people credit, loans, apartments, cars etc. is just plain absurd not that activities of terrorits, drugg traffickers etc are not any less absurd. But, lets say, somewhere in the World, a misguided individual (or a group of them) calling herself or himself as Sikh is involved in a drug trafficking activity or is involved in terrorism or is mislabelled by a government as a terrorist. The possibility that his or her name would have a "Singh or a Kaur or a Khalsa" is very high. Now, almost all of the 20+ million Sikhs would be in danger of missing out on credit, loans, benefits, and other opportunities and being harrassed during travel because of the action of a one ( or a few) misguided individual or because of the equally misguided action of OFAC in the U.S. Government (or some agency in some other governement). Same could be said about a Christian name, lets say "John Doe Smith" or a Hindu Name, lets say "Kumar" or "Kumari" or "Dev" or "Devi". I just hope, all Sikhs (or Hindus or Muslims or Christians) for that matter start to realize as to how the action of one or a few individuals whether in Government or in ordinary public affect the lives of others even if they have no blood relation, political view point connection, social connection and even if they are living thousands of miles apart from each other. Hope and pray that the day never comes. Waheguru Bless!


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