Monday, January 21, 2013

Dallas Pakistanis and Indians are not happy

Dallas Event:: Sikh Genocides of 1984 and Bangladesh Genocide of 1971

Indians and Pakistanis are not happy,
O kitnay thay? Sirf Paanch! (How many? Just five).


A few Pakistanis think that talking about 1971 Bangladesh Genocide is a conspiracy to defame Pakistan, whereas a few Indians do the same; they think talking about Sikh Genocides amounts to defaming India. This was the essence of a few emails about the event we are holding  - 6th Annual reflection on Holocaust and Genocides, on Sunday, January 27, 2013. Details of the event are at :

It is always a few who have the passion to propagate conspiracies, while a few buy their gossip without questioning, most of them reject it. However, I thank those who made the inquiry to clarify, rather than manufacture conspiracy theories and live in misery.

It’s a human thing, a fraction of a percent of each group of people, tend to think in those terms, be it Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist or other. It is the same story with Americans, Italians, Chinese, Arabs or Mexicans as it is with Indians and Pakistanis.

Those few may be followers of Rush Limbaugh, to whom a good Republican is one who says bad things about Democrats, and a bad Republican is one who praises Obama - said around John Huntsman exit from candidacy when he refused to balk at Obama, and when Chris Christie praised Obama at the Sandy disaster.

The same mindset believes that questioning George Bush for all the disaster his wars caused overseas, and the consequent  messing up of America is unpatriotic. Indeed, questioning the government is the most patriotic thing to do.

Let me assure you, this event is not about condemning a nation or a group of people, it is about understanding the human suffering and the beastly attitudes among us.

A few years ago a Jewish speaker canceled his speech, because we were addressing the Gaza Massacre as one of the seven items; he considered it anti-Israel and did not participate and some did not. However, my Jewish friends attended the event, and called him back to let him know that it is not about Israel, but the human suffering and the brutal inhumanity in all of us. The speaker became friendly after he learned about it. However, he did not want to face the truth, that someone from his tradition is capable of murdering and annihilating people. 

A few Muslims had the audacity to call me names in public, one said, if you don’t talk about Palestine, you are not a Muslim. A few Hindus said "shame on you for not talking about the plight of Hindus in Kashmir "…  and these men did not even attend, but kept talking, without verification.  Given the time, two hours per event, we can address only about 5, and not all the genocides.

The Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides is a comprehensive event about humanity, with no exclusions, also remember in one breath you can say only so many words, and in one hour you can say only so many words.

“There is a shameless cruelty in our societies,  we either shy away or refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own, and or it amounts to infidelity to our own cause.” Some of us are so selfish and stuck in our own pain that we do not see others pain, we want others just to think and talk about us.

Consider this:

  1.     Condemning drone attacks does not amount to shaming America,
  2.     Condemning Sikh genocides does not amount to shaming India,
  3.     Condemning Bangladeshi genocide does not amount to shaming Pakistan.
  4.     Condemning the ugliness at Abu-Graib prison does not amount to shaming America
  5.     Condemning Shia and Ahmadiyya killings does not amount to shaming Pakistan
  6.     Condemning the Massacre of Muslims in Gujarat does not amount to shaming Gujarat
  7.     Condemning Aurangzeb or Ghazni does not amount to shaming Indian Muslims

Condemning is an expression against a disgusting act, of which we are all a part of, some by doing the wrong, and some by remaining silent and some by turning a blind eye.

As an Indian, I am embarrassed about what fellow Indians have heaped on each other, and as an American I am embarassed about the destruction we have caused in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq overseas, and in our recent past  of the slavery and treatment of Native Americans.

My father gave a sane advise during the Jabalpur (India) communal clashes, don’t blame the acts of the idiots on a community, religion or a nation. Get the bad guys, do the justice, faith in the society gets restored…blaming intangibles is as effective as the dogs barking at the wrong tree in a desert.

We have to learn to differentiate between abuse of human rights and patriotism. Patriotism is not justifying the wrongs, but speaking about it, and preventing the wrongs from happening again.

Here is the part of the press release

Every year we have reflected on our failings, massacres, Genocides and Holocaust, this year, we will focus on the Sikh Genocide of 1984, a Sikh speaker will deliver the key note address on the topic. Mr. Hasan Mahmud will share about the Bangladesh Genocide of 1971, Dr. Petra Weldes will talk about the effects of Stereotyping on the societies, and Kelly Obazee will reflect on current massacres around the world. Mike Ghouse will speak about the need to take stand against oppression of others, and Holocaust continues to be our anchor event.

Unless one attends the event, they will live in eternal conspiracies.

Full Press Release:

Congratulations to PSNT & Congratulations to Dr. Amer Suleman

I watched the Obama Inauguration; while watching the proceedings, a lot of things went through my mind, including PSNT. Here are my thoughts. 

When Justice Sonya Sotomayor’s name was called, I choked with emotion, I had to get away for a few moments,  and when poet Blanco said, 20 children were absent in the class room, I let my eyes well up.  A few other moments of tenderness were when John Boehner was introduced as son of a Janitor four years ago, and when Barack Obama won the election on November 4, 2008 I cried. He gave hope to the minorities around the world, at least in America; everyone can be who she or he wants to be, they have the opportunity.

This is the America I had always dreamt of, an America where every human is valued, and an America where everyone has the chance to be whoever he or she wants to be, for a while I went into a different world of contrasts and felt the anguish of the minorities around the world. I hope we can be a role model to the world.

The civility of a society is measured by how they treat their voiceless, women, minorities, children and above all, how they act when they lose.  A few Republicans have said every possible bad word about Obama, but today, both the Republicans and Democrats sat together, walked in together… the transformation of the power was respectful. I have witnessed that in many non-profit organizations as well; they put things behind regardless, and move on.

I received two emails, one was congratulating the PSNT, but had a few words of disgrace towards the others, and the other one had bad words for PSNT from the word go. As a moderator I have the responsibility to keep dignity of the group, so each one of you can feel proud of it, and I will not post any derogatory words about any one in our community, and we are all one community. I want to do my work with joy.

I must laud the efforts of Dr. Amer Suleman, who did not let anyone get down and dirty under his banner, under his name. Instead he took the high road to initiate another organization. Congratulations! There are 20-25000 Pakistanis in town or may be more, no single organization can serve them all, I urge both of you to do good work for the community, compete in overdoing each other, and the community will be the beneficiary. Get new members instead of fighting for the existing ones… you will be proud of new membership. After a few years, you might consider combing the efforts out of good will. 

But for God’s sake put things behind. If you congratulate, congratulate with goodwill and a good heart. Let your words build the community instead of tearing each other. No one will gain from bad mouthing the other.

If I get killed in an accident today, I hope, you would at least say Inna Lillahi O inna Ilaihi Ur rajeeoon and forgive me, and if anyone of you croaks, I will do the same.

 If you have the time, please attend the 6th Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides. It is about Holocaust, Sikh Genocide, Bangladeshi Genocide, Stereo typing and standing up for others.  Don’t judge anything, you will be sorely disappointed.  Kindly note, it is a serious event and not entertainment, It requires a lot of listening and pondering without reactions. In the last 5 years we have focused on 18 Genocides, and we have another 30 to go, and we hope to cover them all in the next ten years, so no one is left unattended.

Check the site and RSVP (on the site) if you wish to attend.

Insha Allah, I will be writing a full article about the inauguration to be published at Washington post,  meanwhile, I wrote a note about Obama’s bridge building skills at Dallas Morning News -