Friday, June 22, 2012


News story at   

Or perhaps it should be "in angry, outraged, furious memory."  This is wrong on so many levels.  Rape, of course, is the ultimate act of disrespect, to be raped so violently that death results can barely be imagined.  That is the first level of wrong.  How can beings calling themselves "men" behave in such a manner?  I wonder if they think of their mothers, who, after all, are women, while they do the vile crime.

A second level is the fact that being raped, being the VICTIM  is so shameful that she cannot even be named, not even after she has died.  I guess that would upset her family's izzat and position in their community.  I have always hated the fact that a woman who has been raped is "dishonoured" in the Indian speech.  I will not be sidetracked into the whole izzat thing except to say it is one of the greatest evils of Indian society.

Note:  Now, thanks to the Times of India, we can give her a name.  Babina Bahera.  When I originally wrote this, I found no name for her.  Now, at least, her name is known and her memory can be properly honoured.  

Which brings us to what is probably the single greatest evil of India, certainly the most glaring.  Caste.  My higher caste Hindu friends assure me that caste is totally passé and of no importance.  I have had many Dalit friends over the years and not a single one has ever tried to convince me of this nonsense about caste being irrelevant.  If it is irrelevant, why is it always mentioned?  Have the thugs responsible been arrested?  Are they known?  Why was the family's complaint ignored? How would the gang rape of a young brahmin girl be treated?

And I don't let my Sikh coreligionists off the hook here, either.  You know damned well that caste is still a fact of life among most of us.  Remember Jassi Kaur Sidhu of Canada.  I thought that would make you cringe.  It damned well should.  He was "of a lower staus than she," indeed  For those who aren't Sikh or pretend to forget, there is even a Wikipedia article about her.     .  At this point, I am so angry, that I suppose I should stop writing and cool down a bit, but I won't.

All you big, strong, macho Jatt Singhs out there, how would you react if this were your sister?  Would you sit back and do nothing?   Well, guess what?  She IS your sister and if you are worthy of the name "Singh" you know it.  What are you going to do about it?  

This young lady's case has become something of a cause célèbre.  Good.  But that's not enough.  What about the other young women raped and otherwise sexually disrespected?  What about them?  Maybe you think you can hide them behind the innocuous-sounding "Eve-teasing."   No.  Not any more.  Be prepared to discover that those days are ending;  the women of India, like women all over the world are awakening and these days are soon to come to an end.  Do you think I'm dreaming?  I'm not.  Here is one blog that is an example of the awakening of our hundreds of millions of sisters in India.  Read the posts.  Read the comments.  Check the links.  The women are rising up and demanding equal status as human beings.  Here is the link to "The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker."

I have no right to dictate anything to the Dalit community, so I will only suggest that you remember and emulate the intelligence and courage of Dr. Ambedkar.  There is power in numbers.  And 166,000,000 are a whole lot of people.



My friend Gurmeet Kaur found more information including the young lady's name.  It is Babina Bahera.  May she rest in peace and may those who love her be comforted.   Reading between the lines, it appears that the perpetrators are known or at least highly suspected.

Now will they be brought to justice?  From The Times of India:  Pipili 'rape' points to pitiable state of women.

 Reading between the lines, it appears that the perpetrators are known or at least highly suspected.  Now we shall see.  What will be the final outcome?  I can guess.

She is dead.  Except for those who know and love her, she will soon be forgotten and life will go on unchanged.

It doesn't have to be that way.  If the people have the will, it can be changed. But it won't.  Not now.  Maybe not for a long, long time.  Someday.  Just not now...

If this post has not offended anybody, I am sorry.  That was not my intention.  Some things are inherently offensive;  this is one of them.  I will never forget her.  Every time I see a lovely hummingbird, I will think of her and the others like her.  It could have been me.  Or you.  Or som,reone dear to you.

My love to you sall/.

Remain in chardi kala.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

6. June 2012 (1984)

A thought on 6. June 2012 (1984)

"Never forget!  Never forgive!"  Every year on this day, I hear those words, read the words, say those words.  What do they really mean?  I agree that we must never forget.  It occurs to me that I'm not sure of the meaning of "forgive," though.  If it means "condone," I agree that we cannot forgive.  Ever.  I do not believe a Sikh is ever called on to condone evil.

The Buddhists say that "Forgiveness involves surrendering feelings of animosity and hatred when others step on our toes."  Or murder our babies?  And mothers and old blind men? 

Forgiving is supposed to be good for us.  It probably often does no benefit to the one forgiven, but it takes a load off the forgiver. 

But exactly what is forgiveness, and how can I tell if I have really forgiven?  Is it possible to forgive and then to unforgive?  Or is forgiveness forever?

I'm just asking because I really don't know.  if you do know, please write it here, so I'll know, too.