YOUTH ISSUE A CALL FOR SOLIDARITY!!
It’s time for Youth to show their solidarity, come out in strong numbers and ensure that the Rainsbhayee is here to stay! The Western Sikh Students Association and The Sikh Activist Network URGENTLY ask for your support to ensure that the Keertan is a success!
WHAT YOU CAN DO!
- Attend in Solidarity
- Tell your friends and family to attend.
- Spread this message, print the poster and post it in your local Gurdwara!
- Volunteer to do Seva during the Keertan or Sunday Diwan
- Anything else that is positive to ensure the Chardi Kala (High Spirits) of this Keertan.
THE STORY- WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT? WHAT HAPPENED?
It’s been awhile, since we’ve talked about the incident revolving around The London Sikh Society Executive Committees decision to ban the annual Youth Rainsbhayee Keertan. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the incident, we bring to you, the “short version” of a year long tale.
In the year 2009 like most Gurdwaras, the small community of London saw the installment of a brand new committee, unfortunately it got off to a bad start. In January of 2009, the committee started off by announcing a permanent ban on Youth Keertan’s giving no reason other than a vague reference to security concerns as being the foundations to their decision. The decision came mysteriously and as unpredictable as an earthquake and an earthquake it was. From the moment the announcement was made, members of the sangat sat silently in shock and unable to fathom what they had just heard. What made it even worse, was what appeared to be an attempt by the committee to pour Masala into an open wound it, as if they were trying to flex their muscles and show who’s boss. How so? Well, the announcement was followed by the proclamation of a date for the annual picnic (which has had its fair share of dilemmas, but we won’t get into that).
The announcement struck the Sangat so hard, like the tremors of an earthquake, that while stunning some into paralysis, it brought others to tears, and as the droplets of salt water streamed down their cheeks, the ban was issued from the podium. However, with the spirit of Sikhi in their hearts, the Sangat gathered its might and ensured that the aftershocks of the earthquake would be felt equally by the committee and continue to be felt until justice was served – justice in this case being the simple GURU GIVEN right for youth to hold a Rainsbhayee Keertan.
It was a long battle, a year to be exact, a period during which written and verbal petitions and letters were sent to the Committee by youth and elders, all of which were either ignored or ridiculed. The petitions asked for resolution, compromise and reasons for the ban. Not surprisingly they were ignored and quickly it became apparent why. The reason for the cold shoulder was simply because the decisions for the ban held no weight or credibility. This suspicious became glaringly obvious when instead of making compromise, there was a sorry attempt to demonize the youth with accusations that were more comedic than anything else.
Well, over the year many things transpired, perhaps the youth did make mistakes, or maybe not. However, the root of the issue was that the intentions and motivations of the youth were pure and good – the goal was to hold a keertan all night and no matter what anyone said or will say this was an honest and honorable aim. As witness to this, the calls of youth were answered this year, a Jakara deserving action was taken by the 2010 London Sikh Society Executive Committee and the ban was lifted!
On February 21st, 2010 an announcement was made and the Youth Rainsbhayee Keertan was announced for March 20, 2010. The speech done by 2010 committee members in support of youth, was so powerful that it was met with Jakaras of celebration and lasted 30 minutes!
The ban was lifted with the agreement of the committee and hardwork of youth, specifically The Western Sikh Students Association and their allies. However, it did come with stipulations, that being said The Sikh Activist Network, The Western Sikh Students Association and all Allies issue a call for Youth Solidarity at this years Youth Rainsbhayee Keertan!
We ask that Sangat and Youth from far and wide reach this years keertan with the following things in mind.
- We ask that all sangat respect the purpose of the keertan and minimize their socialization in the Langar Hall
- As a part of our agreement, we have taken on Langar Seva for Sunday Diwan as well, so if you are able to, please lend a helping hand for both days. Accommodation for those planning to stay will be available!
- Offer your Seva in any capacity, spread the word of the keertan, help clean up, etc
Lastly, we would like to thank the 2010 Executive Committee Members for taking this bold step and upholding the righteous actions of reinstating the Youth Rainsbhayee Keertan. Below is a list of the Executive Members we would like to thank and ask, to continue their hard work in support of Youth and Sikhi.
|S. MEHAR SINGH GAHIR||President|
|S.LAKHBIR SINGH NIJJAR||Vice-President|
|S. JUGRAJ SINGH SIDHU||Secretary|
|S. JAGJIT SINGH BHALLA||Treasurer|
|S. RAGHBIR SINGH MANDER||Asst. Treasurer|
|S. JAGDEV SINGH BAL||Langar Coord.|
|S. BALBIR SINGH RAI||Langar Asst.|