June 7, 2020.
This week is the 36th Anniversary of the attack on the Golden Temple. We, at the Center for Pluralism, feel the apprehensions the Sikh community feels. Since the inception of the event, “Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides” in 2006, we have commemorated 15 aspects of the Holocaust, 30 Genocides, and several Massacres. The purpose of the events is education, development of empathy towards fellow humans, and shedding our prejudices towards fellow humans.
On Sunday, January 27, 2013, we held the commemoration of the 1984 Sikh Genocide. In our annual Holocaust and Genocides program, we have covered over 30 Genocides around the world.
When we decided to commemorate the Sikh Genocides despite severe opposition from the extremist segment of the Indian community. We faced similar attitudes from the right-wing Pakistani community when we did the program on Genocides of Bangladeshis. The Turkish people behaved the same when we did a program on the Armenian Genocide. The right-wing Muslims opposed organizing the Holocaust event. Oddly, and unbelievably, the right-wing segment among the Jews vehemently opposed holding a talk on Gaza Massacre to the point of lying to the public. I remember all the insults hurled at us by everyone.
If we want others to be inclusive, we have to demonstrate to the right-wing segment among us, that we are inclusive by showing them compassion and caring, rather than rejecting them. It is this attitude at the Center for Pluralism that has allowed us to deal with extremists among all traditions with care and empathy for their perceived or real pain.
We have chosen not to respond to their hate with more anger or challenges, we made attempts to let them know that it is necessary to acknowledge the pain all of us have inflicted on the others.
No one should be ashamed of what fellow humans from your group, nation, faith, or ethnicity do to the others; what you should be ashamed of is your attitude toward another human. If you don’t feel the pain of others, then there is something seriously wrong with you.
We will continue to cover all the Genocides of the previous century and complete them in the next 20 years. We have also included Massacres around the world, including the Kashmiri Pundits, Gujarat Riots, and few more in India.
We have come a long way, boldly rejecting the opposition from the extreme segments and doing the right thing. The purpose of this annual event is education – of learning to prevent these atrocities from happening again.
As Indian Americans, we owe it to our motherland that none of her children are hurt. The sparks of hatred are not dead, they will light up again between different communities in critical situations. Shame on us, if we allow anyone of the 1.3 Billion Indians to look down on the others, or consider them to be less valuable than us. We need to sit down, acknowledge every one’s pain, and forgive each other. Shame on us again, if we dump our problem to the next generation and poison them against each other.
God bless our motherland and every child of hers.
Standing up for Sikhs- http://standingupforothers.blogspot.com/2012/08/standing-up-for-sikhs.html
199 Pictures -Honoring Sikhs for setting the exemplary response towards Wisconsin Shooting – https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157631762797919/show/
Remembering the Holocaust and all Genocides. Watch Sohrab Modi’s clip in this link – https://www.huffpost.com/entry/holocaust-remembrance-and-recognizing-all-genocides_b_2547164