Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Divided, Weaker and Sinking India! Why the Hindu Caste System is like a National Cancer?

How do Rajputs, Mazbis, Jatts, Chamars, Gujjars, Meenas, Brahmans, Khatris, Marasis, Tarkhans, Lohars, Scheduled Castes (SCs), Vaishwas, Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and all other classes, castes and distinctions of Hindu Hierarchical Caste System fit into Modern India and the lives of modern Indian? I mean what class and caste does the Modern India put the Electricians, Plumbers, Engineers, Doctors, Scientists, lawyers, computer operators, computer scientists, dental techinicians, draftspersons, janitors, high tech soldiers, high tech farmers, rail operators, bus and truck drivers and classes that don’t have traditional roles associated with them? Looking at the news below, it is a sad state of affairs and India of today is even a weaker as a nation as it was before the British, the Moghuls and all other invaders that came and conquered her. It may posses all of the latest technological weapons, warships, nuclear weapons and missiles, but those will be useless to defend a nation that is so divided over religious and social classes like below. It is like a dry rotted hollow tree trying to make itself look like a healthy green tree with a coat of paint. The shining India seems to be full of rust painted over to make it look shiny! Not that India needs to compete with any nation but still it needs to look at why China, Brazil, Mexico and others are developing faster, while Indians are indulging in their hollow pride and fake shine! The Hindu India can learn a lot from Buddha and the Sikh Gurus when it comes to caste and class distinctions and treating human beings as equal!

Meenas threaten to launch agitation if Gurjars included in ST
The Meenas, who claim to be the only Scheduled Tribe community in Rajasthan, on Tuesday threatened to launch an agitation if Gurjars were included in their league.
"Meena community is ready for a larger sacrifice than the Gurjars if the government resorted to any such thing," a student leader of the community told reporters in Jaipur.
"Meenas in Rajasthan are the only Schedule Tribes and we would not tolerate any inclusion into our community, President of Raastriya Meena Mahasabha, Bhanwar Lal Meena said.
If the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in the state dares to include Gurjars into ST community, Raje would not be able to come to power in the state, Meena threatened.
On allegations that the police officers of Meena Community were responsible for firing in Dausa and Bundi district, he said, "it is baseless and rubbish".

Gurjars on warpath, 16 killed

At least 16 people were killed and over a hundred injured when the police opened fire in two districts of Rajasthan on Tuesday to disperse violent mobs of Gurjars demanding their community’s inclusion in the list of scheduled tribes (ST). The army was deployed in Dausa, Bundi and some other places to restore order.
Nine people, including two policemen, were killed near Patoli in Dausa on the Jaipur-Agra national highway; seven deaths were reported from Bundi, about 250 km from Jaipur.
State home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said, “Six civilians and two policemen died in Dausa. The identity of one more person, whose body is not being released by the protesters, is not known. Six villagers and one policemen died in Bundi. There is no information about the four policemen who were abducted by the crowd.”
In response to a call given by the Gurjar Sangharsh Samiti to block highways, thousands of Gurjars broke prohibitory orders in Jaipur, Dausa, Tonk, Sawai Madhopur, Karauli and Bundi districts and clashed with the police. The Gurjars, currently part of the other backward classes, have been demanding their inclusion in the ST list for several years.
In Dausa, 70 km from Jaipur, several thousand Gurjars blocked the Jaipur-Agra highway. The police fired tear-gas shells when the mob surrounded them and started throwing stones. Unable to check them, the police opened fire, killing six people on the spot. Several others were injured. Kataria said, “The police had to open fire after the agitated crowd became violent and started dragging away policemen.”
The protesters then burnt down every police picket in sight. Several entered the nearby Sikandara police station and set it on fire, killing two constables.
Outnumbered, the policemen ran for cover but many could not escape. Kataria said, "The crowd hacked the limbs of unarmed constables."
After chasing the police away, the protesters placed the bodies on the road. Ambulances and police vehicles rushing the injured to hospitals in Dausa and Jaipur were attacked and not allowed to pass.
In Bundi, thousands of Gurjars gathered at the Dev Narayan Temple on the Kota-Jaipur highway and later pelted the police with stones from the surrounding hills. Six people died after the police opened fire to control the mob. Kataria said, "One constable was killed by the crowd and another is in a serious condition."
Sources said the protesters abducted four policemen and took them inside the temple. Kataria said over 300 persons were arrested across Rajasthan in connection with the violence.
Sachin Pilot, the MP from Dausa, likened the police action to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Demanding the Vasundhara Raje government's resignation, Pilot said he would go to Delhi on Wednesday to seek central intervention and the imposition of President's rule.
In Delhi, the Centre decided to send over 2,000 paramilitary force personnel to the trouble-torn districts to assist the police in restoring peace.

For Full Coverage, log on http://www.hindustantimes.com/FullCoverage/FullCoverage.aspx?Special=Punjabontheboil

Taken from:

Friday, May 25, 2007

The best wedding gift for a Sikh bride!

With all of the materialism and pomp and show in Sikh marriages, here is a beautiful shabad by Guru Ram Das Ji that sums it all up when it comes to dowry, gifts for a bride:

Guru Granth Sahib Page 78
ਮੁੰਧ ਇਆਣੀ ਪੇਈਅੜੈ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਪਿਖੈ ॥

ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗੁ ਮਹਲਾ ਘਰੁ ਛੰਤसिरीरागु महला ४ घरु २ छंत
Sirīrāg mehlā 4 gẖar 2 cẖẖanṯSiree Raag, Fourth Mehl, Second House, Chant:

ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ੴ सतिगुर प्रसादि ॥Ik­oaʼnkār saṯgur parsāḏ.
One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:

ਮੁੰਧ ਇਆਣੀ ਪੇਈਅੜੈ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਪਿਖੈ ॥मुंध इआणी पेईअड़ै किउ करि हरि दरसनु पिखै ॥Munḏẖ i­āṇī pė­ī­aṛai ki­o kar har ḏarsan pikẖai.
How can the ignorant soul-bride obtain the Blessed Vision of the Lord's Darshan, while she is in this world of her father's home?

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਅਪਨੀ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰੇ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਹੁਰੜੈ ਕੰਮ ਸਿਖੈ ॥हरि हरि अपनी किरपा करे गुरमुखि साहुरड़ै कम सिखै ॥Har har apnī kirpā karė gurmukẖ sāhurṛai kamm sikẖai.
When the Lord Himself grants His Grace, the Gurmukh learns the duties of her Husband's Celestial Home.

ਸਾਹੁਰੜੈ ਕੰਮ ਸਿਖੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਧਿਆਏ ॥साहुरड़ै कम सिखै गुरमुखि हरि हरि सदा धिआए ॥Sāhurṛai kamm sikẖai gurmukẖ har har saḏā ḏẖi­ā­ė.
The Gurmukh learns the duties of her Husband's Celestial Home; she meditates forever on the Lord, Har, Har.

ਸਹੀਆ ਵਿਚਿ ਫਿਰੈ ਸੁਹੇਲੀ ਹਰਿ ਦਰਗਹ ਬਾਹ ਲੁਡਾਏ ॥सहीआ विचि फिरै सुहेली हरि दरगह बाह लुडाए ॥Sahī­ā vicẖ firai suhėlī har ḏargeh bāh ludā­ė.
She walks happily among her companions, and in the Lord's Court, she swings her arms joyfully.

ਲੇਖਾ ਧਰਮ ਰਾਇ ਕੀ ਬਾਕੀ ਜਪਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਿਰਖੈ ॥लेखा धरम राइ की बाकी जपि हरि हरि नामु किरखै ॥Lėkẖā ḏẖaram rā­ė kī bākī jap har har nām kirkẖai.
Her account is cleared by the Righteous Judge of Dharma, when she chants the Name of the Lord, Har, Har.

ਮੁੰਧ ਇਆਣੀ ਪੇਈਅੜੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਰਿ ਦਰਸਨੁ ਦਿਖੈ ॥੧॥मुंध इआणी पेईअड़ै गुरमुखि हरि दरसनु दिखै ॥१॥Munḏẖ i­āṇī pė­ī­aṛai gurmukẖ har ḏarsan ḏikẖai. 1
The ignorant soul-bride becomes Gurmukh, and gains the Blessed Vision of the Lord's Darshan, while she is still in her father's house. 1

ਵੀਆਹੁ ਹੋਆ ਮੇਰੇ ਬਾਬੁਲਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ॥वीआहु होआ मेरे बाबुला गुरमुखे हरि पाइआ ॥vī­āhu ho­ā mėrė babulā gurmukẖė har pā­i­ā.
My marriage has been performed, O my father. As Gurmukh, I have found the Lord.

ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਕਟਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡੁ ਬਲਾਇਆ ॥अगिआनु अंधेरा कटिआ गुर गिआनु प्रचंडु बलाइआ ॥Agi­ān anḏẖėrā kati­ā gur gi­ān parcẖand balā­i­ā.
The darkness of ignorance has been dispelled. The Guru has revealed the blazing light of spiritual wisdom.

ਬਲਿਆ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਬਿਨਸਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਰਤਨੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਲਾਧਾ ॥बलिआ गुर गिआनु अंधेरा बिनसिआ हरि रतनु पदारथु लाधा ॥Bali­ā gur gi­ān anḏẖėrā binsi­ā har raṯan paḏārath lāḏẖā.
This spiritual wisdom given by the Guru shines forth, and the darkness has been dispelled. I have found the Priceless Jewel of the Lord.

ਹਉਮੈ ਰੋਗੁ ਗਇਆ ਦੁਖੁ ਲਾਥਾ ਆਪੁ ਆਪੈ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਖਾਧਾ ॥हउमै रोगु गइआ दुखु लाथा आपु आपै गुरमति खाधा ॥Ha­umai rog ga­i­ā ḏukẖ lāthā āp āpai gurmaṯ kẖāḏẖā.
The sickness of my ego has been dispelled, and my pain is over and done. Through the Guru's Teachings, my identity has consumed my identical identity.

ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਵਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਅਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਨਾ ਕਦੇ ਮਰੈ ਜਾਇਆ ॥अकाल मूरति वरु पाइआ अबिनासी ना कदे मरै न जाइआ ॥Akāl mūraṯ var pā­i­ā abẖināsī nā kaḏė marai na jā­i­ā.
I have obtained my Husband Lord, the Akaal Moorat, the Undying Form. He is Imperishable; He shall never die, and He shall never ever leave.

ਵੀਆਹੁ ਹੋਆ ਮੇਰੇ ਬਾਬੋਲਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖੇ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥वीआहु होआ मेरे बाबोला गुरमुखे हरि पाइआ ॥२॥vī­āhu ho­ā mėrė bābolā gurmukẖė har pā­i­ā. 2
My marriage has been performed, O my father. As Gurmukh, I have found the Lord. 2

ਹਰਿ ਸਤਿ ਸਤੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਬਾਬੁਲਾ ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਮਿਲਿ ਜੰਞ ਸੁਹੰਦੀ ॥हरि सति सते मेरे बाबुला हरि जन मिलि जंञ सुहंदी ॥Har saṯ saṯė mėrė babulā har jan mil jañ suhanḏī.
The Lord is the Truest of the True, O my father. Meeting with the humble servants of the Lord, the marriage procession looks beautiful.

ਪੇਵਕੜੈ ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿ ਸੁਹੇਲੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਸਾਹੁਰੜੈ ਖਰੀ ਸੋਹੰਦੀ ॥पेवकड़ै हरि जपि सुहेली विचि साहुरड़ै खरी सोहंदी ॥Pėvkaṛai har jap suhėlī vicẖ sāhurṛai kẖarī sohanḏī.
She who chants the Lord's Name is happy in this world of her father's home, and in the next world of her Husband Lord, she shall be very beautiful.

ਸਾਹੁਰੜੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਖਰੀ ਸੋਹੰਦੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਪੇਵਕੜੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਸਮਾਲਿਆ ॥साहुरड़ै विचि खरी सोहंदी जिनि पेवकड़ै नामु समालिआ ॥Sāhurṛai vicẖ kẖarī sohanḏī jin pėvkaṛai nām samāli­ā.
In her Husband Lord's Celestial Home, she shall be most beautiful, if she has remembered the Naam in this world.

ਸਭੁ ਸਫਲਿਓ ਜਨਮੁ ਤਿਨਾ ਦਾ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਿਨਾ ਮਨੁ ਜਿਣਿ ਪਾਸਾ ਢਾਲਿਆ ॥सभु सफलिओ जनमु तिना दा गुरमुखि जिना मनु जिणि पासा ढालिआ ॥Sabẖ safli­o janam ṯinā ḏā gurmukẖ jinā man jiṇ pāsā dẖāli­ā.
Fruitful are the lives of those who, as Gurmukh, have conquered their minds-they have won the game of life.

ਹਰਿ ਸੰਤ ਜਨਾ ਮਿਲਿ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਸੋਹਿਆ ਵਰੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਅਨੰਦੀ ॥हरि संत जना मिलि कारजु सोहिआ वरु पाइआ पुरखु अनंदी ॥Har sanṯ janā mil kāraj sohi­ā var pā­i­ā purakẖ anandī.
Joining with the humble Saints of the Lord, my actions bring prosperity, and I have obtained the Lord of Bliss as my Husband.

ਹਰਿ ਸਤਿ ਸਤਿ ਮੇਰੇ ਬਾਬੋਲਾ ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਮਿਲਿ ਜੰਞ ਸਹੰਦੀ ॥੩॥हरि सति सति मेरे बाबोला हरि जन मिलि जंञ सोहंदी ॥३॥Har saṯ saṯ mėrė bābolā har jan mil jañ sohanḏī. 3
The Lord is the Truest of the True, O my father. Joining with the humble servants of the Lord, the marriage party has been embellished. 3

ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਮੇਰੇ ਬਾਬੁਲਾ ਹਰਿ ਦੇਵਹੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਮੈ ਦਾਜੋ ॥हरि प्रभु मेरे बाबुला हरि देवहु दानु मै दाजो ॥Har parabẖ mėrė babulā har ḏėvhu ḏān mai ḏājo.
O my father, give me the Name of the Lord God as my wedding gift and dowry.

ਹਰਿ ਕਪੜੋ ਹਰਿ ਸੋਭਾ ਦੇਵਹੁ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਵਰੈ ਮੇਰਾ ਕਾਜੋ ॥हरि कपड़ो हरि सोभा देवहु जितु सवरै मेरा काजो ॥Har kapṛo har sobẖā ḏėvhu jiṯ savrai mėrā kājo.
Give me the Lord as my wedding gown, and the Lord as my glory, to accomplish my works.

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਭਗਤੀ ਕਾਜੁ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ਗੁਰਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਦਾਨੁ ਦਿਵਾਇਆ ॥हरि हरि भगती काजु सुहेला गुरि सतिगुरि दानु दिवाइआ ॥Har har bẖagṯī kāj suhėlā gur saṯgur ḏān ḏivā­i­ā.
Through devotional worship to the Lord, this ceremony is made blissful and beautiful; the Guru, the True Guru, has given this gift.

ਖੰਡਿ ਵਰਭੰਡਿ ਹਰਿ ਸੋਭਾ ਹੋਈ ਇਹੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਰਲੈ ਰਲਾਇਆ ॥खंडि वरभंडि हरि सोभा होई इहु दानु न रलै रलाइआ ॥Kẖand varbẖand har sobẖā ho­ī ih ḏān na ralai ralā­i­ā.
Across the continents, and throughout the Universe, the Lord's Glory is pervading. This gift is not diminished by being diffused among all.

ਹੋਰਿ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਦਾਜੁ ਜਿ ਰਖਿ ਦਿਖਾਲਹਿ ਸੁ ਕੂੜੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ਕਚੁ ਪਾਜੋ ॥होरि मनमुख दाजु जि रखि दिखालहि सु कूड़ु अहंकारु कचु पाजो ॥Hor manmukẖ ḏāj je rakẖ ḏikẖāleh so kūṛ ahaʼnkār kacẖ pājo.
Any other dowry, which the self-willed manmukhs offer for show, is only false egotism and a worthless display.

ਹਰਿ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਮੇਰੇ ਬਾਬੁਲਾ ਹਰਿ ਦੇਵਹੁ ਦਾਨੁ ਮੈ ਦਾਜੋ ॥੪॥हरि प्रभ मेरे बाबुला हरि देवहु दानु मै दाजो ॥४॥Har parabẖ mėrė babulā har ḏėvhu ḏān mai ḏājo. 4
O my father, please give me the Name of the Lord God as my wedding gift and dowry. 4

ਹਰਿ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਮ ਮੇਰੇ ਬਾਬੋਲਾ ਪਿਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਧਨ ਵੇਲ ਵਧੰਦੀ ॥हरि राम राम मेरे बाबोला पिर मिलि धन वेल वधंदी ॥Har rām rām mėrė bābolā pir mil ḏẖan vėl vaḏẖanḏī.
The Lord, Raam, Raam, is All-pervading, O my father. Meeting her Husband Lord, the soul-bride blossoms forth like the flourishing vine.

ਹਰਿ ਜੁਗਹ ਜੁਗੋ ਜੁਗ ਜੁਗਹ ਜੁਗੋ ਸਦ ਪੀੜੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਚਲੰਦੀ ॥हरि जुगह जुगो जुग जुगह जुगो सद पीड़ी गुरू चलंदी ॥Har jugah jugo jug jugah jugo saḏ pīṛī gurū cẖalanḏī.
In age after age, through all the ages, forever and ever, those who belong to the Guru's Family shall prosper and increase.

ਜੁਗਿ ਜੁਗਿ ਪੀੜੀ ਚਲੈ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇਆ ॥जुगि जुगि पीड़ी चलै सतिगुर की जिनी गुरमुखि नामु धिआइआ ॥Jug jug pīṛī cẖalai saṯgur kī jinī gurmukẖ nām ḏẖi­ā­i­ā.
Age after age, the Family of the True Guru shall increase. As Gurmukh, they meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord.

ਹਰਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਕਬ ਹੀ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਜਾਵੈ ਨਿਤ ਦੇਵੈ ਚੜੈ ਸਵਾਇਆ ॥हरि पुरखु न कब ही बिनसै जावै नित देवै चड़ै सवाइआ ॥Har purakẖ na kab hī binsai jāvai niṯ ḏėvai cẖaṛai savā­i­ā.
The Almighty Lord never dies or goes away. Whatever He gives, keeps on increasing.

ਨਾਨਕ ਸੰਤ ਸੰਤ ਹਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਜਪਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੋਹੰਦੀ ॥नानक संत संत हरि एको जपि हरि हरि नामु सोहंदी ॥Nānak sanṯ sanṯ har ėko jap har har nām sohanḏī.
O Nanak, the One Lord is the Saint of Saints. Chanting the Name of the Lord, Har, Har, the soul-bride is bountiful and beautiful.

ਹਰਿ ਰਾਮ ਰਾਮ ਮੇਰੇ ਬਾਬੁਲਾ ਪਿਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਧਨ ਵੇਲ ਵਧੰਦੀ ॥੫॥੧॥हरि राम राम मेरे बाबुला पिर मिलि धन वेल वधंदी ॥५॥१॥Har rām rām mėrė babulā pir mil ḏẖan vėl vaḏẖanḏī. 51
The Lord, Raam, Raam, is All-pervading, O my father. Meeting her Husband Lord, the soul-bride blossoms forth like the flourishing vine. 51

Taken from:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Why go Vegetarian?

Well, just came back from a wedding of a family member in Canada. The wedding was very elaborate with 500-600 guests. Personally, I enjoy small weddings ie. may be 25-75 guests, but it was nice to see some relatives that I had not seen for a long time. I know as a Sikh, I am not supposed to judge people and behaviours, but some things or trends you just can't help noticing. I mean the other alternative would be to close my eyes:

1) number of men and women with gold karas, jewellary, bracelets, rings etc. almost to the point of looking like pimps or gansters ( I thought a simple iron or steel bracelet was the way of life for a Sikh man or woman) It is none of my business who wears what or how he or she spends money, but I just don't understand why so much emphasis is placed on Gold jewellary, big parties, and extravagenza? (Especially when there is great need for money and resources for important Sikh related projects, causes, youth education and various types of seva within and outside of the Sikh community. I wish people would donate more to people like the Sikhnet staff who is making so much difference in people's lives and could use more resources and money) See www.mrsikhnet.org

2) ratio of meat dishes vs. vegetarian dishes ( sadly, more meat dishes vs. vegetarian dishes)

3) ratio of alcohol drinkers vs. non-drinkers (surprisingly, there were less users of alcohol than non-drinkers)

Anyways, here is an interesting write up as to why vegetarianism is the way to go. This is taken from the ISKON site. read and comment if you like:


Are you one of those growing number of people who have decided that meat eating is wrong whichever way you look at it - either morally, ethically, economically, spiritually or for health reasons? If the answer is no, consider the following facts:

Moral and Ethical reasons
In 2000 in the UK 700 million innocent animals were slaughtered to satisfy the human palate. Mankind goes on perpetrating these obscenities on the defenceless creations of God and yet expects peace and happiness for itself. Gandhiji said the following about cow protection but the same sentiments apply to all animals - "Cow protection to me is infinitely more than mere protection of the cow. The cow is merely a type of all that lives. Cow protection means protection of the weak, the helpless, the dumb and the deaf. Man becomes then not the lord and master of all creation, but he is its servant." The next step in the progress of human civilisation has to be the liberation of animals from the tyranny of mankind.
Economic reasons
When around 10 million people are starving in the world today, most of the fertile land in the USA and other European countries is used to grow crops to feed animals, which are in turn consumed by human beings. This is an absolutely wasteful way of feeding ourselves; e.g. for every 16 pounds of grains fed to cattle only one pound of meat is produced. It is estimated that a 10% reduction in meat production will result in enough grain to feed 10 million people.
Health and nutritional reasons
Most of the modern killer diseases are associated with the over-consumption of fats, mainly animal derived. As early as 1961, the Journal of the American Medical Association said: 90 - 97% of heart disease can be avoided by a vegetarian diet. Meat is suspected of causing a host of cancers such as cancer of the stomach, cancer of the breast, cancer of the bowels, leukaemia and many others. Death by food poisoning is also an ever present threat to meat-eaters. The high level of cholesterol in eggs means that they must be avoided completely if one wants to avoid heart disease. Nutritionally speaking, vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains are an excellent source of protein and are easier to assimilate than those of meat.
Spiritual reasons
For every single action that we perform there is a reaction. If we cause pain and suffering to other living beings, then in this life and in the next, we will in turn suffer the consequences of our impious activities. In the Vedas it is mentioned that one who kills a cow will suffer the same fate for as many lives as there are hairs on the cow he killed. The reactions of karma equally affect those who kill, deliver, sell, prepare, cook, serve and eat the meal. There is no escape from the stringent laws of nature for anyone who aids and abets the animal slaughter industry. Indeed all the major religions advocate the ideals of vegetarianism:
The Annushasen Parva, Mahabharat says "Undoubtedly all those human beings who prefer meat to several forms of food are like vultures."
The Manusmrti says "All supporters of meat eating are sinners." It further states, "One whose meat I eat will eat my flesh in the next life."
The Christian Faith also says in Genesis (1.29) "Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing tree in which the fruit of the tree-yielding seed, it unto you shall be for meat."
Guru Nanak, Founder of the Sikh Faith, said "My disciples do not take meat and wine."
Lord Buddha said, "Meat is food for sub-human beings".
The Acharang Sutra of the Jain Faith said, "All creatures desire self-preservation, hence no creature should be slaughtered."
Gandhiji said "I do feel that spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants."
Features of different entities' diets:
Meat eater
Plant eater
Licks and drinks
Sucks and drinks
Sucks and drinks
Sharp, pointed front teeth to tear flesh
No sharp, pointed teeth
No sharp, pointed teeth
Has claws
No claws
No claws
Intestinal tract only three times body length, so that rapidly decaying meat can pass out of body quickly
Intestinal tract 10-12 times body length. Fruits do not decay as rapidly as meat so can pass more slowly throuogh body
Intestinal tract 10-12 times body length. Fruits do not decay as rapidly as meat so can pass more slowly throuogh body
Small salivary glands in the mouth (not needed to pre-digest grains and fruits)
Well developed salivary glands, needed to pre-digest 21 January, 2007oped salivary glands, needed to pre-digest grains and fruits
Acid saliva. No enzyme ptyalin to pre-digest grains
Alkaline saliva. Much ptyalin to pre-digest grains
Alkaline saliva. Much ptyalin to pre-digest grains
No flat back molar teeth to grind food
Flat back molar teeth to grind food
Flat back molar teeth to grind food
They can see during night
Cannot see during night
Cannot see during night
Can kill the prey without aid of weapons
Do not kill to eat
Cannot generally kill without the aid of weapon
They can digest raw meat easily
Do not eat meat
Cannot digest raw meat easily
Behaviour is generally voracious
Behaviour is not generally voracious
Becomes voracious by eating meat
Do not eat grass
Do not eat meat
Should not eat meat
No skin pores. Perspires through the tongue to cool body
Perspires through millions of skin pores
Perspires through millions of skin pores

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What is wrong with following in the footsteps of the Sikh Gurus and dressing like them? I wish all Sikhs would act like the Great Gurus.

With the recent news of clashes between SAD/SGPC and Dera Sacha Sauda people, it is saddening to see people’s behaviour on both sides. I mean the Tribune is showing pictures of Nihangs and other Sikhs with their swords drawn on one side, and dera supporters throwing bricks at them in return. Now living here in the U.S., I haven’t seen the ad that shows dera leader dressing up like Guru Gobind Singh Sahib and what exactly the ad says or shows, but a few questions come to my mind and hope some Gursikhs would answer them for me?

1) Emotions aside, what is wrong with someone (in this case this dera guy) dressing like our Great Gurus as long as he or she doesn’t claim himself or herself to be a Sikh Guru? I mean aren’t we all trying to walk in the footsteps of our great Gurus and follow their teachings? I wish all Sikhs would act like our great Gurus then we wouldn’t have all of the problems of infanticide, alcoholism, dowry, caste etc. I would love to see some gursikhs with Kalgis, cholas, kamarkasas, swords, karas, horses, eagles, khranwan, malas etc. Them wearing these things doesn’t mean they are trying to become Gurus but actually would be great role models since they are showing their love for the Gurus and at least trying to follow in their footsteps!

2) Why draw swords? I thought a Sikh does not draw sword until all other means have failed? The pictures in the links below tell me something different.

3) If that Dera baba ( I really don’t know who he is) is administering amrit, isn’t he really promoting Sikhi and teachings of the Gurus?

4) Who decides what hurts Sikh emotions anymore? Is it the SGPC deciding on your and my behalf? Sikh Jathedars? the Sikhs in General? Or the prominent Sikh politicians like Badal or Amrinder Singh or Mann etc?

5) Why arrest this Baba and ask for jail time? There are so many “turban wearing Sikhs” in everyday life that do more un-sikh things than this baba like shooting people, smoking, drinking, sex scandals etc? Hey! At least he is telling people to take amrit!

6) Why do people even follow dera babas like this when God has given us the gift of Guru Granth Sahib?

Anyways, please educate me and would love to hear what your thoughts are on this issue? Is it really that serious as it is made out to be?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Naga Queen!

I don't know what made me post this story, but I think not very many Punjabis including myslef know much about Nagaland except that it is a state in India somewhere. I wish we were taught more about other such states when going to school as kids. It seems like most of the Indians are kept ignorant about their own faith, diverse cultures and values and are taught more about things, cultures and places (mainly Western) that education department decides. Here is an interesting story I thought people would enjoy. A few questions unrelated to the story:

1) Are there any Gurdwaras in Nagaland?
2) If not, why not? How can there be no Sikhs in a hill state so close to Punjab?
3) Why is Nagaland called “Nagaland”? Do they have a lot of snakes there or something?

Anyways, read if you like!

The Naga Queen
Trina and David Child, with the man they call Uncle Yongkong, came into the Home Truths studio to tell the story of a remarkable family legacy and how one woman's story continues through her daughter...
Bored with life in Britain, and as a girl, discouraged from going to university, Trina's mother, Ursula, took the bold step of setting of for India in 1939. There, in Nagaland, she found the life that her adventurous spirit craved. Ursula became a real- life heroine, nicknamed The Naga Queen and the Jungle Queen by the Americans. She led guerilla spy missions against the Japanese, gathering information for the Allied forces, dispensing medicine and becoming an amateur anthropologist. She was more than a friend to the Naga people; she was one of them.
Whilst in Nagaland, Ursula met her husband, Colonel Tim Betts, who had that similar need for excitement and adventure. Trina explains, "He heard stories of this intrepid woman, fighting the Japanese from a Naga village, and wrote to his mother, "This is the one for me!" After the war, he wangled an invitation to her camp, and proposed after four days! I think she accepted out of surprise."
Trina always dreamt of going herself to the almost fairytale Nagaland, "We almost didn't believe it existed." The seeds of her achieving her ambition came in 1960, when four Naga Queens, accompanied by Uncle Yongkong managed to visit Britain. "It proved they did exist - they were there!" says Trina. Uncle Yongkong met the almost legendary Ursula for the first time in Britain, "Thick jungles with wild tigers and elephants, where strong menfolk did not dare enter alone, this young lady ventured - she was very kind-hearted, and the people became very much attached to her."
Contact had been made, but it was 1986 before Trina made her first attempt to vist her mother's Naga village. This time she wasn't able to gain access, but Trina met up with other Nagas in India, and kept in close touch with them.
Trina's mother, ill at the time, wasn't too enthusiatic about her daughter's involvement, "I was treading on her toes a bit - she was a little jealous. There were difficulties going out there, so I didn't tell her until I came back, and she didn't talk to me for a week. She did come round and suddenly we had enormous amount in common that we didn't have before."
Uncle Yongkong sees similarities between mother and daughter, "Trina's spirit is almost the same - she's become attached to the cause of the people of her mother. I appreciate it very much."
Eventually, Trina did achieve her ambition of visiting her mother's village. Her welcome as the daughter of their beloved Naga Queen was ecstactic! "There was a lot of talk about 'Everything will be all right now!' " says Trina, "I had to be very very careful of that. It was tribute to my mother, not me, and the way she was remembered."
It was her husband, David's idea to have their marriage blessed in that same village where Trina's parents had married, "It was a remarkable experience!I was greeted by a representative of each Naga tribe." He also saw a side of his wife he'd never seen before, "For three days afterwards, Trina held court to various tribal deputations - she was extremely firm with their requests - a very good neogtiator."
The political situation after the war made it impossible Trina's mother to return to her beloved Naga people. She'd had seven intensive years with them, but Trina hopes to carry on her mother's work for long into the future.
If you've a tale of high adventure or derring-do about your parents' or a relative's life, and its impact on your own life and relationships, tell us about about in the Home Truths message boards...


Friday, May 11, 2007

150 Years Annivarsary Celebrations of 1857 uprising in India. Hey! What about Sikh sacrifices?

Sadly again, India of today seems to be leaving Sikhs in the dark, making them look like second class citizens and on their own to defend Sikh freedom, tell and write and publish Sikh stories of sacrifices and heroism towards Indian Independence, preserve Sikh culture, heritage, writings, history, and oral traditions including preserving Punjab. Where are the museums showing Sikh heroes, Sikh sacrifices? Where are the libraries of Sikh books for teaching future Sikh youth let alone Indian or Punjabi youth? Where are the Sikh newspapers, printing magazines, publishers, media when we need them? Most sad part is that our own Sikh Prime Minister of India singing songs of Hindu-Muslim unity between 1847-2007 and seems not be showing any guts to question Indians about Sikh contributions, sacrifices, struggles towards freedom. Yes, Sikh soldier part and support for British in 1857 could be questioned as to why they favoured and alingned with those foreigners than supporting Dogra and Hill Rajput Chieftans and Princes who had time and time again betrayed Sikh Khalsa forces and aligned themsleves with British. Muslims who had committed atrocites of countless proportions on Sikhs before as well. It I say Sikhs and Punjabis better start writing more children books, publish more newspaper articles, create newspaper cartoons, toys, coloring books, museums and educational documentaries for coming generations about Sikh history, traditions, stories, heroes, heroins, generals, art to show the coming generations and the World. I wish someone would ask these hollow pride idiots as to who courted more arrests, received more jail sentences, received death penalities, got taxed more during British Raj? That’s okay! Sikh Spirit is everlasting and Sikhs will keep becoming more and more smarter, richer, wiser, intelligent, radiant and will outshine again and again. We just can’t wait for our 96 Crore Khalsa day to come!

1857 Uprising Anniversary ‘Vision’ may ruffle political
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 10President A.P.J Abdul Kalam today virtually ignited a political dynamite at the 1857 Uprising commemorative function here when he advocated a two-party system in the country and urged Parliament and Legislative Assemblies to emerge with “a new vision and leadership”.
The President’s candid remarks come at a time when the Presidential election is just about two months away and indications are that the ruling coalition is not interested in giving Kalam a second tenure.
The following is the relevant paragraph where Kalam ticked off the ruling UPA government. “Many challenges need to be responded to: the emergence of multi-party coalitions as a regular form of government, that need to rapidly evolve as a stable, two-party system, the need to strengthen internal security to cope with global terrorism and new forms of internal law and order problems; the widening of economic disparities during a period of high growth in the absence of a comprehensive National Prosperity Index in place of GDP alone; the rapid depletion of global fossil fuel reserves; and increasing threats to our territorial security by the development of new forms of warfare.”
Kalam called upon Parliament and Legislative Assemblies to emerge with a new vision and leadership to make the nation enlightened, prosperous and safe, invulnerable forever to invasion and infiltration across its borders.
The President was speaking at a function to commemorate the 150th anniversary of First War of Indian Independence in the Central Hall of Parliament where the top leadership of the country, including Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee were also present as speakers.
Another remark by the President in his speech ruffled many a feather. “National leadership has to radiate confidence in our people and boldly emerge by formulating and implementing new national missions, targeting specific time-bound goals,” he said. Kalam urged the young MPs to have a big aim and work for the nation in the Parliament and outside.
The President described the 1857 uprising as the turning point in the 19th Century. He said the freedom movement created a renaissance of visionary, devoted and passionate leadership across the entire spectrum of the civilisational heritage, in multiple fields such as politics, spirituality, literature, fine arts, judiciary, science and industry.
“The global environment, however, is still dangerous and India’s freedom, won by suffering and sacrifice, has to be alertly guarded, strengthened and expanded. Freedom and independence must be our continuing quest, and in such a manner as to accelerate our evolution as a free nation through a bold and swift development,” Kalam said.
Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat favoured the setting up of a museum of the National Struggle: 1857-1947. He said such a museum would serve as a guide and inspire the youth and future generations to preserve the hard earned freedom and would motivate them to build up a strong and fully developed nation worthy of the dreams of the freedom fighters.
He described the long period from 1857 to 1947 as the precious heritage of the unique struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights. This was so not only for the people of India but for the people all over the world who had been suffering under the subjugation of colonial and imperialist forces.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the nation could not forget the Hindu-Muslim unity that the 1857 uprising represented and observed that this unity held out as an example for subsequent generations.
The Prime Minister urged the countrymen to ensure that sacrifices of martyrs did not go in vain.

Uprising: 1857 vs 1845Treat Anglo-Sikh war as first: MPs
Tribune News Service & Agencies
New Delhi, May 10
Disagreeing with the view that 1857 was the First War of Independence, Tarlochan Singh, Rajya Sabha MP from Haryana, today said that it was a part of the movement for independence.
Tarlochan Singh, who was accompanied by Shiromani Akali Dal MPs Rattan Singh Ajnala and Virender Singh Bajwa, said that the 1845 Anglo-Sikh war was the fiercest battle against the Britishers.
He said the government was observing on a grand scale the 150th anniversary of the 1857 war but “no such functions were held during the centenary year in 1957 when Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru was the Prime Minister.”
The MP said they respected the 1857 martyrs and wanted that all those who were part of the movement should be paid respects. The MPs said they had raised the matter in the Parliament and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal had supported their views.
Atwal argued that projection of 1857 as the First War of Independence was a "misnomer" as the Anglo-Sikh war preceded that.
The protest came midway through the function addressed by the President, Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee. It was attended by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, leader of opposition L.K. Advani, ministers, MPs and senior leaders.
The Vice-President, who had risen to address the gathering, was caught unawares when Atwal raised the issue.
Tarlochan Singh and Bajwa later said the 1845 war, led by Sikh General Shyam Singh Attariwala, has to be treated as the first War of Independence.

Myth and Reality Punjab was not ‘quiet’
K.C. Yadav
“Siege Train to Delhi” near Ambala
A general notion persists at the level of both the historian and the layman that Punjab was “quiet” in the stormy days of 1857. The Punjabis, especially both the “dominant” communities, the Sikhs and Muslims, were, it is believed, absolutely loyal to the British, and helped them in their hour of trial.
The usual argument made for this typical behaviour of the Punjabis is that after the annexation of Punjab (1849), John Lawrence, and his band of dedicated and dynamic officers had not only turned the badly disturbed Land of the Five Rivers into the best governed province from 1849 to 1857 but had also given to its people peace, prosperity and happiness — something which they had not seen in their long history. Consequently, the “grateful” Punjabis stood by their benevolent rulers and saved their empire.
That’s untrue! Punjab was not “quiet” in 1857. Despite heavy deployment of troops (about 45 per cent of the entire Bengal army and about 60 per cent of its European troops), terribly tight bureaucratic grip over the people, and full preparation to meet any emergency on the part of the authorities, Punjab was afire, though in varying degrees. There were serious sepoy mutinies at Ferozepur, Hote Mardan, Jullundur, Phillour, Jhelum, Sialkot, Thanesar, Ambala, Hansi, Hisar, Sirsa, Lahore, Ferozepur, Peshawar, and Mianwali.
Some people underestimate these risings and negate the Punjabis’ role therein, by calling these risings as Poorbeas’ doings. This is also untrue: the regiments, which played a heroic role in these risings were the “mixed ones”. They consisted of Hindus (of high and low castes), Muslims, and Sikhs, Poorbeas and Punjabis. Through their concerted efforts, these people performed great feats.
There is yet another very interesting feature of these “mutinies”, which has remained hidden to a large extent. That is, the sepoys here did not rise anywhere without tacit understanding with and positive support of the local civil populace. Aberrationally, if they rose on their own anywhere, they did not succeed in their mission.
Ambala is a good example to prove the point. About nine hours before the outbreak at Meerut (10 May), the 5 NI, 60 NI and 4 LC regiments stationed there revolted. They attacked their regimental kotes, seized arms, and arrested their officers. They had no liaison with the civil populace in the city. Their rising failed! As opposed to this, the sepoys at Jullundur, Ludhiana, Thanesar, Hansi, Hisar, Sirsa, Ferozepur, Sialkot, etc., had leagued with their civilian brethren. They were successful.
Interestingly, we can see this phenomenon working even outside Punjab. The failure of the mutiny at Barahamur and Barrackpore, and its resounding success at Meerut, for instance, can be explained only in the light of this fact.
This revelation discredits the theory that the uprising of 1857 was a sepoy mutiny, pure and simple, and that it was started by the sepoys alone. The revolt was, at least in Punjab, everybody’s concern. Barring a few ruling princes and their hangers-on, the people belonging to different religions, castes and classes had interest - positive interest, to be precise — in it.
Surprisingly, even the poor, illiterate, the so-called outcasts were a part of it. For instance, when the “Siege Train” dispatched from Punjab to help the British forces fighting before Delhi to capture the historic city halted at Jagraon, the Sansis, Hermis, Bawarias, etc. counted the guns in the “Train” and, despite the best efforts of the district police to check them, supplied the intelligence to the rebel forces at Delhi.
“The lower orders and castes among the Hindus and Mohammedans” at his place, says the deputy commissioner of Ludhiana, “followed any casual leader that turned up and joined in promoting general disorder”.
According to the deputy commissioner of Sialkot, at his station “the menial servants were very generally implicated (in the revolt)”. At some places, where anti-Feringhee feeling was universally strong and deep, even such sections of the population who derived personal benefits from the British, and who were, for these reasons, on the side of the British almost everywhere, were not prepared to back their masters.
What about the Sikhs? They, too, were opposed to the British who had taken away their freedom, humiliated their Maharaja, and his mother, humbled their chiefs and sardars, insulted their religion and tradition, and ruined their economy and culture.
Even in the Sikh princely states, which were loyal to the British, the Sikh masses nursed a different sentiment, and, wherever they could, they sympathised with their countrymen fighting to destroy the Feringhee raj. The sentiment was so strong that, even some close kiths and kins of the Maharajas of Patiala and Nabha revolted against them for supporting “their enemies”.
On the north-western side, in the higher hills, the war-like Muslim tribes rose up and created a “people’s war” there. Most of these people did not know where Delhi was, but they stood under the flag of its Padshah, Bahadurshah and fought against the Feringhee fiercely. Their spirit was not the spirit of ordinary fighters. We saw them dancing in the face of certain death at Gogira and other places, report the British officials.
Contextually, there is an interesting story that brings home the truth clearly. There was a Swedish officer, Lieut. A.H. Lindin, who had taken part in suppressing the uprising for the British. He had no mind to write anything on the uprising. But when he saw the British writers circulating untruth, he wrote his memoirs to set the record straight. “It was not any lure of loot or attraction to lesser crime”, he wrote, “that prompted the Indians to participate in the uprising. Nobody can deny that the real stimulant of this uprising was with most people that most valuable, purest of all feelings, the love of freedom and of one’s own country”.
In this 150th year of the uprising, it seems appropriate that truth about the brilliant part of the people of Punjab in the uprising lying buried under the debris of falsehood be extricated, and presented in colours true to history.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Where are the Sikh women Athletes?

I don't know about you, but lately I am kind of getting tired of looking at all the men pictures in Punjabi newspapers where they hand out trophies, achievement awards, certificates to each other and pat each others back and hardly any women, girls are shown receiving any awards at these sports, bhangra, and other functions. Sometimes it feels like some of these guys are in a major need for self ego boost. Here is an example of one where all members, organizers etc. seem male and the so called organization seems to be heavily male dominated. It would be okay if at least someone had the courtesy and will to include women athletes. I do commend the people for starting the much needed organization though and wish it all of the sucess and providing equal representation in the sports events. But pictures in the newspapers, and teh website show me a completely different pictures. May be it is the media to blame here. I just wish they would include more women participation in the organization or better yet, I don't understand why Sikh women aren't taking the lead in creating, planning, organizing these types of events for our young Sikh girls. I am sure there are a lot of Sikh women leaders out there that can organize, plan, hold these types of events. If they don't assert their Guru given right, these kinds of things will keep happening and Sikh organizations will end up being chauvanistic  organizations! I am hoping Mr. Surinder Singh will react to my email and include some women athletes, planners, organizers etc. to this Sikh organization and their website. As of today, it hasn't happened yet but things take time!

Here are some I could find for them to start with. I know there are a lot more prominent ones, but don't know the names. I had read about two women from Punjab that were going to go on a moutain climbing expedition, but can' find any info.

Great site for various sports personalities in India :

Harwant kaur Athleticshttp://www.hindu.com/2006/03/13/stories/2006031309172000.htm

Manjit Kaur Athletics
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20030816/spr-trib.htm (also picture of her with medals)

Rupa Badwal

Neelam Jaswant Singh (Tested positive for banned drugs in 2005 and 2006)

Gurmeet Kaur
Gurmeet Kaur , track and Field and Bobby Aloysius provided the silver lining while Madhuri Singh earned a bronze as hosts India made an impressive debut in the track and field events of the inaugural Afro-Asian Games at the GMC Balayogi Stadium here today. Day one of athletics witnessed 10 finals and India figured among medals in three of them.
Away from the prying eyes, Gurmeet Kaur of Punjab created a solid impact on the field when she cleared 53.37 metres in her first attempt, which stood her in good stead to fetch the silver in the women's javelin throw. Gurmeet, who has a personal best of 59 metres, could not reproduce the same form in her subsequent attempts, but others fared no better, barring Vijoen Sunette of South Africa, who pocketed the gold.

Kamaljit Sandhu
Kamaljit Sandhu, the first Indian woman athlete to win an Asian Games gold in track and field events, feels that sports system in the country has "decayed". It is why, she says, neither she nor any one who knows sports, expected India on the medals tally at Sydney.
"Look at the Indian Olympic Association, sitting on a dunlop cushion, watching from a distance the performance of Indian athletes. True, there are some international sportspersons of yesteryears in IOA, but they are too busy fighting their own survival battles. The IOA mandarines have little time to monitor the progress of sports. Look at the case of thrower Ajit Bhaduria. What the AAFI (Athletics Federation) has done for his family. Where is the Sportsmen's welfare Fund ?," asks Kamaljit Sandhu.

Rupa Saini, who led Indian women's hockey team during its maiden appearance in Olympic Games in 1980 at Moscow, however, holds a clean chit for the Indian Olympic Association.
"It is indeed our sportspersons who desire no tryst for excellence. We are even far behind than other developing countries who have far less resources than us. See Ethiopia or Kenya or for that matte even Sri Lanka. Sweeping everything under the carpet for just one medal, and that too a bronze, is no consolation for a nation of one billion people. There is an urgent need to analyse our debacle. Every government since 1947 had been projecting infrastructure as priority sector. But nothing has happened.
"Nothing much was expected from our contingent at Sydney. Hats off to Karnam Malleshwari. Her medal, too, would have eluded India. Fortunately, she was sent to Sydney against wishes of many. And she had a foreign coach," adds Rupa Saini.

Olympian Rajbir Kaur, now an Officer in Punjab and Sind Bank at Jalandhar, is not surprised at the performance of Indian athletes at the first Olympic Games of the new millennium. Says she :" Indian hockey team was playing as if its hands were tied behind. The players lacked the 'killing instinct'. I feel fault was elsewhere.
"Coaches should be given more responsibility and time period to prove their skills. I wonder why M. K. Kaushik was changed inspite of the fact that he had been instrumental in enabling India win a gold in the last Asian Games. Same was the case with the goalkeeper who was replaced with an inexperienced one. The coaches should be given maximum responsibilities like team management."
Professor Gursewak Singh, a veteran sports organiser and member of the "Sports for all" Commission of the International Olympic Committee, blames the system for its inefficiency.
"The School Games Federation of India is defunct. When a player starts in college or university, he is too old to make any impression. If our sportsmen and women are incompetent, why blame the IOA. The National Sports Federations have best of the facilities, including foreign coaches, diet allowance and good training-cum-competition programme. Even the SAI cannot be faulted on this account. Inspite of a financial crunch, it provided best of the facilities to at least our national teams. If the Sydney debacle is not to be repeated, the resistance should come from within the sports fraternity, from sportspersons toiling for hours and on years to fashion a brave new world," added Professor Singh.

Pargat Singh, the only player to have led India in two consecutive Olympic Games, is deeply hurt at India's performance in the Olympics.
"All national sports federations are brimming with bureaucrats and politicians who have wittingly or unwittingly drifted the Indian sports ship towards a disaster. How many of the national sports federations are headed by sportspersons. All bodies are being run by non-technical and non-professional people, who are bereft of any knowledge. Over confidence has been the bane of the Indian sports scenario. While other countries prepare in advance for years, we keep boasting after a six months training camp that we are fully prepared. Is this the way to promote sports. We must expand our base and bring in only those to sports administration who have knowledge, time and dedication."

Sukhvir Singh Grewal, who played for India from1975 to 1990 and was the coach of Indian Olympic Hockey team to Barcelona Games (1992), says that "nothing has surprised him as he did not expect any miracles from Indian contingent. I agree we were close to a couple of more medals but that should not be a solace for a country with such a huge sports infrastructure.
"Problem lies in our sports administration. Both the State and the Sports Associations have not been discharging their duties effectively. The State is supposed to provide infrastructure and training and the Associations are supposed to organise competitions, do talent hunt and organise championships. Unfortunately while State has taken upon itself the role of organising championships and competitions, the Associations are getting into infrastructure building.

Punjab, once sports arms of the country, has virtually defunct District Olympic Associations. Take the case of hockey where police rules the roost. Is Punjab Hockey Association or District Hockey Associations are discharging the responsibilities expected of them? And if your answer is also no.... you get the answer why we cannot do well. Unless we have a pyramid model of sports - huge base with fine performers getting to the top - we cannot succeed."
Gurdishpal Singh, a former international hockey player and a national hockey selector (juniors), is "disappointed with yet another dismal performance by India in the Olympic Games.
"I wonder whether we are progressing or degenerating in sports. We have improved infrastructure and training facilities but results are nowhere. Participation base is shrinking. Playfields in schools and colleges remain unutilised.There is much more money and sponsorship in sports than what it was 20 years ago. But we are no more a power in Asian Games. We have gone down in track and field, wrestling and football... I mean in all sports. The malaise is deep rooted. Unless we have a mass base and entrust sports administration to right and dedicated people, we cannot make any progress."
Is the IOA listening?

In hammer throw, Hardeep Kaur of Punjab finished fourth with an effort of 58.11 metres in her sixth attempt. She had begun with 56.05, which was the second best of the first round, the best being the 61.14 metres recorded by Liu Yinghui of China. Yinghui went on to clear 68.03 metres with a massive heave in her last attempt which fetched her the gold while Zhad Wei, also of China, produced a best of 65.22 in her fifth attempt to lift the silver. Ahmed Marwa Hussain of Egypt took the bronze, with an effort of 60.60 in her third attempt.

Baljit adjudged fastest athlete
Our Sports Reporter
New Delhi, March 25Baljit Kaur of Ambala emerged as the fastest athlete when she claimed the 100 and 200 metres titles in the 15th Haryana State Women's Sports Festival held at Rewari.
In the 100m race, Baljit Kaur clocked 12.9 secs to claim the gold. She was followed by Mamlesh of Ambala and Saroj of Yamunanagar. In the 200m race, the same runners took the first three positions, with Baljit Kaur clocking 28.4 secs to bag the gold. Mamlesh and Saroj annexed the silver and bronze respectively. Renu Malik of Sonepat posted a time of 1:07.6 secs to claim the 400m gold, while Seema and Mukesh took the silver and bronze.

In the 800m, Paramjit of Ambala clocked 2:29.4 secs to win the gold with Renu Malik and Ram Bhateri of Bhiwani bagging the silver and bronze medal. Paramjit of Ambala ran to a golden double in the long distance races when she annexed the 1500m and 3000m gold medals. Paramjit clocked 5:06.0 secs in the 1500m while her timing in the 3000m was 10:59.39 secs. Renu Joon of Jhajjar and Renu Malik of Sonepat claimed the silver and bronze medals in the 1500 metres as well as the 3000 metres. Poonam of Hisar won the shot put title when she hurled the iron ball to a distance of 11.11 metres.