“In this rare clip from 1972, legendary psychiatrist and Holocaust-survivor Viktor Frankl delivers a powerful message about the human search for meaning — and the most important gift we can give others.”

http://www.ted.com/talks/viktor_frankl_youth_in_search_of_meaning.html

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Punjabi Suit/Pathani Suit : Fact or Fiction?

Below content is courtesy —  http://www.harisinghnalwa.com/legends.html

 

In her book Hari Singh Nalwa ― Champion of the Khalsaji, Vanit Nalwa observes:

Feminine apparel for Pashtuns
In accordance with the teaching of their Guru, the Sikhs did not attack the defenceless or the weak. this included children, women, mendicants and the elderly. Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa advised the Pathans that one way they could escape the wrath of an infuriated Sikh was to dress as a woman. In the Punjab, the shalwar kameez is feminine apparel. The shalwar is a loose trouser with a stiff border at the ankle, while the kameez was a loose shirt falling to the knees. In India, this dress came to popularly be known as the ‘Punjabi suit’. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, men still wear its variant–the ”Pathan suit’.

The following is the gist of an open letter written by Miangul Aurangzeb, the present Wali of Swat, to the Taliban when the Taliban were preaching and enforcing strict dress and conduct codes for the women in the areas that fell under their control.

“At the outset I want to record that you all must love me very much as you have decided not to take over my property in Swat unlike those you have taken over of other landed families. I am therefore emboldened to believe that I have the privilege of sharing some historical facts for you to know about and I urge you to absorb the same before you continue your campaign of moral policing, especially when it comes to the manner of dressing and code of conduct for women.

The Sikh army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, under the leadership of Hari Singh Nalwa came to the Frontier in the 1820’s and swiftly conquered our ancestors. It is the only time in recorded history that our people were ruled over by foreigners. The locals were so utterly terrified of the Sikh army that they used to hide every time the Sikhs came into view. Those that decided to resist were met with ruthlessness. During this time, the word was spread around that the Sikhs did not harm elderly people, women and children and that the local men who did not wish to earn wrath of the Sikhs should wear the garb of Punjabi women, which was the Salwar-Kameez. At that time in our history both men and women alike, wore only a single-robe garment (similar to that worn by the Arabs) and the Sikhs would not harm any man either when wearing the Salwar-Kameez.

So you see, our men happily adopted the garb of Punjabi women since they were too terrified to stand up and they have adopted the garb as being theirs’ ever since. I am very intrigued to see that you are following in the footsteps of your ancestors by wearing the adopted Punjabi women’s garb as your own, but now go around preaching and coercing our women as to how they should be living their lives! I suggest that take a deep look inside yourselves, given this historical perspective.”

Sincerely,

Miangul Aurangzeb, Wali of Swat

Reproduced from ‘Nishaan Nagaara’, a magazine published by The Nagaara Trust, III/2009, p. 45.

FREEDOM – The most expensive thing in this world!!

Every time people have set out to buy FREEDOM they have had to pay a very heavy price for it, at least most of the times.

And many of them have even paid the ultimate price( viz. death) and yet, ended up never having it!!

But the fortunate ones benefit from the sacrifices of their comrades and earlier generations, to relish the benefits of Freedom (at least for a lifetime if not for generations)!!

Almost every time when a new nation is born or a new regime comes to power or a new government is formed the foundation of its manifesto has been Freedom and Liberty.

But for reasons deciphered or not yet deciphered by the human race these promises tend to fade away with time. Leading to their ouster in the worst of manners and in process paving a way for yet another revolution. Without fail, and every time, something goes amiss in between!! Making it a  vicious cycle of  ‘revolutions’!!

So i feel, as of now, there’s no disputing this Thomas Jefferson quote : “Every generation needs a new revolution.”

Jai ho Baba Jefferson!!

-The Libyan Revolution

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/gaddafitheendgame/2011/12/201112874023937788.html

Song of The Punjab

As against popular Indian perception, Punjab is a multi-religion community. Where the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims make their presence felt. And for centuries its vibrance, prosperity and well being has been knitted very intricately within the synergy of these communities.

First the partition in 1947 and then the dark period of 80s dealt a near fatal  blow to its social fabric. And now when it was trying to re-knit itself, songs, ballads and movies eulogizing one particular community  began to be churned out with mindless speed. This in turn lead others to follow suit. This trend ultimately preyed upon the gullible youth of the state. Which certainly was not the intended effect.

And this in my opinion is not at all what the Punjabis want and wish for. This could very easily lead to polarization of an already delicately balanced society which is still recuperating from the twin blows of 1947 and the 1980s.

Its high time to shed caste based prejudices. The need of the hour is to stick together, stand up and work for the prosperity of all. No one individual or group can do this!!

Hope the lyricists and singers of the state take note and come up with songs which enthuse pride and prestige amongst Punjabis !

And i also hope, the wise people of our land become intelligent enough to shun the hogwash of  those who try to mislead.

In this effort famous actor/comedian/lyricst has come up with a song which very elaborately makes a case for my argument above, about the singers who have been portraying only-Devil-knows-what image of Jatt community.

Profound respect for Mr Ghuggi to have come up with it. Let Sanity prevail!!

THANDA GOSHT : by Sadat Hasan Manto

A Gujarati adaptation of Sadat Hasan Manto's story 'Thanda Gosht'.
The original story has the riots at the time of India's partition as the setting.

Just that, here the story has been given a new setting. The Gujarat riots of 2002.

Regarding the video i can just say that it is conceptualization of 
one mind(one who has made this video). 
Every individual picturises the scenes of written text in his/her own ways. 
So on the whole it will be tough to tell whether justice has been meted out 
as Mr Manto would have liked or the way you or me would have 
imagined the scenes to be like while reading the story.

Finally, let us pray
that the story is never adapted again in any new setting. 

Amen!!

Demystifying Forms and Symbols in Sikhism – courtesy Khushwant Singh

An excerpt from Khushwant Singh’s book

THE SIKHS

(HarperCollins Publishers)

” The reason which prompted Gobing Singh to introduce forms and symbols has never been adequately explained. Neither he nor any of his contemporaries throw any light on the subject. Some of the symbolism is, however, intelligible in its historical background.

The ceremony of baptism at which these vows were taken consisted of drinking sweetened water out of a common bowl. This was obviously intended to break the orthodox Hindu practise of regarding anything touched by a person of lower caste as polluted. Sikhs were recruited from all castes and dranks the baptismal water as nectar (amrit). The use of  ‘Singh’ as a name was  a step in the same direction. Since an individual’s caste can be ascertained by his family name, with its abolition ‘Singhs’ became one family. Besides being casteless, the name Singh had psychological value of a militant community.

Rules regarding abstinence from alcohol and tobacco are matters of personal ethics known to other religious codes. Sikhs have become more particular about tobacco, as abstinence from smoking together with the wearing of long hair and beards have in fact become the only thing which distinguishes them from Hindus. The provision against eating kosher meat (halal), where the animal is killed by being slowly bled to death, was both a protest against the cruelty to animals and refusal to eat meat slaughtered by muslim butchers over which a passage of Koran had been read.

The carrying of the Kirpan and wearing of Kachha were rules of discipline for soldiers. The kachha was in all probability the Punjabi fighters uniform, unlike the loose and cumbersome dhoti of the peasant. Prohibition of carnal intercourse with Muslims was introduced to safeguard the person of women from molestation when Sikh bands raided Muslim towns and villages.

Several theories have been advanced to explain the innovation of growing hair and the beard. It has been suggested that this was not an innovation at all and that Guru Gobind Singh’s predecessors had all confirmed to the tradition of  Indian ascetics, who never cut their hair or beards. By making it obligatory for his followers, The Guru intended to emphasize the ideal of ascetic saintliness which he enjoyed upon his followers. He wanted them to be saint-soldiers. Another version is that, prior to launching on this venture, Gobind had spent a long time invoking the blessings of Durga, the Hindu goddess of destruction. Since she was always potrayed with long unshorn tresses, the Guru believed that in deferance to his patron goddess he and his followers should also leave their hair unshorn.

A simpler and more plausible explanation is that in preparing his men for action against the Muslims, Guru Gobind Singh had to take account of the somewhat awesome aspect of the hirsute tribesmen from th North-west Frontier, who kept their long hair loose on their shoulders and let their beards grow. He made it a rule for his followers to do likewise so that appearance would no longer terrify. It is also likely that by having his followers wear emblems which made them easily recognizable, the Guru wanted to raise a body of men who would not be able to deny their faith when questioned, but whose external appearance would invite persecution and breed courage to resist it.

The carring of the comb (kungha) in the hair is  complementary t growing the hair long. It usually consists of a small two-square-inch comb under the turban. The steel bangle (kara) is said to be symbolic of restraint and is worn on the right hand like a ‘moral handcuff’. Historically the kara can be traced to the practise of tying chains on the wrists of soldiers before they went to battle.

Gobind Singh completed the religious facet of Sikhism. He turned the innocuous band of pacifists into armed crusaders. Those who did not accept his innovations of forms and symbols remained just Sikhs, usually described as Sahajdharis or ‘those who take time’ ; those who did, became the Khalsa. “

*Khushwant Singh asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

Maati

 

Maati kudam karendee yaar,
Vaah vaah maati de gulzaar;
Maati ghora maati jora, maati daa aswaar,
Maati maati nu (n) dorave, maati daa chankaar.

Maati maati nu(n) maaran lag-gee, maati de hathiyaar.
Jis maati par bahutee maati, so maati hankaar;
Maati baagh bagheechaa maati, maati dee gulzaar.
Maati maati nu (n) vekhan aayee, maati dee a bahar;

Hus khed phir maati hove, paindee pau pasaar.
Bullah ja(n) eh bujhaarat buj-jhe,
Taa(n) lah bhau siro(n) maar.”

 

“The soil is in ferment, O friend
Behold the diversity.
The soil is the horse, so is the rider
The soil chases the soil, and we hear the clanging of soil
The soil kills the soil, with weapons of the soil.
That soil with more on it, is arrogance
The soil is the garden so is its beauty
The soil admires the soil in all its wondrous forms
After the circle of life is done it returns to the soil
Answer the riddle O Bulleh, and take this burden off my head.”

[Translation reference: book by J. R. Puri and T. R. Shangari of the Radha Swamis, titled Bulleh Shah].