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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Indians and Pakistanis worked up

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 : www.HolocaustandGenocides.com

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: http://holocaustandgenocides.blogspot.com/2013/01/6th-annual-holocaust-and-genocides-sikh_18.html

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

President Obama's inaugural Benediction

We are yet to be truthful to our own pledge that we take, that we are, “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. Our benediction should strongly reflect the sentiment of oneness of our nation under God, and shed our hypocrisies of excluding fellow Americans even in our national prayers.

One of the many roles of a president is to shape and nurture the direction of the nation, and president Obama has been a good shepherd. Indeed, he is committed to building an America, where each one of us becomes a nurturer to the other, and eventually, each strand in the web of our society will coalesce in building our nation to function cohesively. The president’s wisdom is crystal clear, “We rise and fall together as one nation.”

I hope this benediction paves the way for us to be inclusive without having to agree. 

Please review this, and if you like it, kindly click like, tweet, share and send to your friends from Huffngton post... and above all, if you could comment in the Huffington post, I would appreciate it.

Continued at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/president-obamas-ideal-inaugural-benediction_b_2481579.html#es_share_ended

REQUEST your likes, tweets, shares and comments at the Huffpost:

 
Thanks

Mike

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy Makra Sankranti | Pongal | Lohri

When seasons change, a new milestone is passed, and it become a symbol of life, and an opportunity to celebrate begins, India is a land of festivals and there are at least 10 festivities in the month of January, here are three I am familiar with, almost all mark end of winter as its base and a new dawn.

I wish a very happy Lohri, Makar Sankranti and Pongal to all my friends celebrating these festivities. May you be blessed with happiness, Mubarak, Shubh kamnayein.





Lohri marks the culmination of winter, and is celebrated on the 13th day of January in the month of Paush or Magh, a day before Makar Sankranti. For Punjabis, more than just a festival, Lohri is also an example of a way of life. Lohri celebrates fertility and the spark of life. People gather around the bonfires, throw sweets, puffed rice and popcorn into the flames, sing popular songs and exchange greetings. 





Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious occasions for the Hindus, and is celebrated in almost all parts of the country in myriad cultural forms, with great devotion, fervour and gaiety. It is a harvest festival. Makar Sankranti is perhaps the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same day every year on. the 14th of January (with just a few exceptions when it is celebrated either on 13th or 15th of January)





Pongal is the harvest festival celebrated in the Southern parts of India of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. This festival is equivalent to the Makar Sankranti celebrated in North India and is celebrated for three days.   In certain parts cattle races still enliven the village festivities. Pongal is a colorful and traditional festival with many ceremonies devoted to various deities.


During the three-day festival, different varieties of Rangoli are drawn in front of the houses early in the morning.



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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.