Issue 2 - July 2002
All humans are entitled to equal respect and dignity irrespective of their religion or status in society.
Parents of ten students filed a lawsuit in the New York State Court complaining that the prayer was an infringement of their beliefs and religious preferences and also of their children. It was argued that state mandated prayers in public schools were inconsistent with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from establishing a State religion.
A front view photograph of the shrine was taken in December 1931. On the platform where the Guru sat is a plaque in Arabic. The tomb of Bahlol is toward the west. Another tomb is in the center and the platform is seven feet by four feet. In the mausoleum of Bahlol is a small rectangular garden (26 feet 5 inches by 12 feet 5 inches) in the center of the courtyard with a masonary pavement round it. There are a few tut(mulberry) and palm trees.
To add insult to injury, they were paid between $2 and $3 on average – Moraes’ salary was $450 a month after deducting $50 for food, for working 11 hours a day – far below the Federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour. In addition, the Company kept their passports for “safekeeping”, restricting the mobility of the workers. The five people that complained about the food and living conditions were put on a plane to be deported under the supervision of Tulsa Sheriff’s deputies and a security guard of the John Pickle Company.
It is for the first time in history of independent India that a state government has taken such drastic and strong action against corrupt politicians and high placed public servants on a large scale. There is an urgent need to continue this initiative by making it a movement which involves people at the grassroots and not to limit it as an administrative action only.
Once heard in royal courts and played under the trees by bards, minstrels, sufi fakirs and other religious mendicants, it was known as rabab al mughanni (the singer’s instrument) or rabab al shair (the poet’s instrument). Always associated with poetry, reflection and moments of spiritual elevation, al rabab seems to have originated in Northern Afghanistan or Iran.
While it is important to acknowledge that other religions may also promote service to community, it is also imperative to understand that the very definition of community in Sikhism is unique and quite revolutionary.
It all happened that cold, winter evening long time ago. I was walking down the street and as I reached home I realized that someone had followed me. I looked back and saw myself looking into a pair of big, eyes, the color of melted gold, twinkling with mischief.
Magic is not prior, chronologically to religion, nor an earlier stage in the evolutionary scale as assumed by Hegel or supposed by Frazer in his famous book Golden Bough. Both of them run side by side in the history of religion.
A dalit is not allowed to drink water from public wells; their shadow is supposed to pollute the so-called upper castes. The Hindu social order made life of a dalit miserable in every sense of the term. Hindu Dharmashastra (scripture) gives sanction to the evil Caste system and the practice of Untochability. This has continued for centuries.
All of life is a spiritual journey. You may embrace this and better yourself or you may ignore it. But the journey is on, whether we like it or not, so make the most of your brief time upon the stage that is the world.