New Year Prayer
Almighty God, You are Great and glorious, only you can
accomplish the most difficult task of eliminating the
Terrorism completely from the world. In the New Year,
kindly protect the innocent people of India from the
wicked and harmful men, from those who want to inflict
injury on us, and from the “terrorists” who want to
disturb the peace of the country by putting remote time
bombs, making hoax calls.
Oh Illustrious Lord, do
act as our Protector, Savior and Benefactor and also of
our armies, police, paramilitary forces, especially when
they are in the thickest of fierce encounters with
terrorists and antisocial elements.
Omnipotent, when you are the Fighter for our
true/genuine cause and always act as our savior,
undoubtedly we will be victorious everywhere.
God, in the New Year may you and may the prosperity
bestowed upon us by you be conducive to our happiness.
By your grace, Oh Lord, may there be refreshing
praise for all the Indians living in different parts of
the world. May the deserving praise be bestowed in the
world upon (Indian) men/women of truthful and righteous
deeds and of regular and self-restrained life come to
our lot and thus be very heartening and refreshing for
our beloved Bharatmata to hear.
Oh God Almighty, may
you the dispenser of justice, the Wielder of Supreme
Power be always for our welfare and happiness!
has experienced a very rough year 2006, in many parts of
the country. The students resorted to rowdy-ism and
violence. Question paper was out for sale before the
examination. Scientific ways were used for copying in
the examination. A professor was humiliated at Indore,
insulted and abused consequently suffered a fatal heart
attack. In Meerut the residence of a Vice Chancellor was
ransacked by girl students by scaling the walls, etc.
etc. Whatever the grievances may be, such undignified
protests are unworthy of our students. They damage the
reputation of our youth and the good name of our beloved
country, which was once known for godly teacher and
pupil relation. Plato held that the purpose of education
was not ‘as it was to fill an empty vessel but to turn
the eye of the soul towards light.’ When our vision is
turned towards that light, we develop an inward restrain
of conscience of love, which is quite distinct from the
outward restrain of authority. If we neglect this
essential side of education, we are likely to become
irresponsible in our behavior and ourselves to
exploitations by trouble-makers. Oh Lord, bless the
students to be respectful to the Teachers (Gurus) in the
New Year. The teachers should treat their beloved
students as human beings.
Oh Lord, in the New Year
bless our country with dedicated and honest scholars,
scientists and doctors to fight the battle against
poverty, unemployment, hunger, disease (AIDS) and human
degradation. The universities should furnish the society
with men of high character, learning and science who
have the requisite intellectual habits and technical
In the New Year may our country thrive and
flourish, be productive and may all who live here
progress and prosper. Let our object of life be one and
the same the progress of our country, let our hearts be
equal in feeling and let our minds be united together so
that there may be an excellent opportunity and status of
life for all.
In the New Year the political leaders
must think and do everything in the best interest of the
country. Each and every minute of legislative business
which is paid by the tax payer, must be utilized for
transacting the official business, not by shouting,
throwing shoes, damaging furniture (case of W. B.
Assembly). Our states and Parliament have witnessed many
scandals, murders allegedly committed by the law makers
in the past year. Recently a Union Minister was
sentenced to life imprisonment and one M. P. was
sentenced to 3 years imprisonment in respective murder
cases, which had lowered the reputation of Mother India
in the eyes of the world.
In the New Year all the
politicians must assure the beloved Bharat Mata that
they will not commit any fraud, misuse government
vehicles (Poll Kholl of Star TV telecast the mass scale
misuse of Govt. Cars on 11/25 & 11/26).
New Year as per the orders of the apex court no prior
sanction is required to prosecute a Chief
Minister/Minister/legislature involved in a criminal
In the New 2007 I hope the elections
slated for the assemblies will be held honestly,
peacefully, with the use of ballot and not by the use of
bullet. All the political parties should select honest
candidates without criminal record to avoid humiliation
In the New Year budget all the states must
provide enough funds to face the increasing fire
incidents during political and issueless demonstrations.
In the New Year no rallies, demonstration, protests,
On this auspicious occasion I take
the opportunity to wish a Happy New Year to the valuable
readers, well-wishers, and India Journal team of
dedicated and hard workers.
It is that time of the
year when everyone dusts off or dumps their previous
year’s resolutions and starts anew, compiling another
long list of resolutions that are likely to face the
same fate. I thought I would share three ideas
that have helped me over the years.
1. Just a
People tend to get overzealous and
make a long list of resolutions each year, only to
forget about them before the end of January.
Resolve to change that habit and make no more
resolutions than you can count on one hand. Many
years ago, a manager had told us that he wanted a
maximum of 3 short bullets on each section of our weekly
status report to him. His point was that in every
aspect of life, be it business or sport, people only pay
attention to who got the gold, silver and bronze.
When was the last time you watched David Letterman’s Top
10 List and remembered all 10 items to share with
someone five minutes later? By keeping your
resolutions to a minimum that you can remember in your
head, you are much more likely to practice
them every day and attain success like you have
never seen before. If a resolution happens to have
a finite life (e.g. I resolve to save enough this year
to buy a new car) and you attain success after just a
few months, simply create another resolution at that
time to take its place. There is no rule that
resolutions to improve your life should only be made at
the beginning of a calendar year. Think of every
day as a new beginning and a new opportunity to enjoy
and excel in life.
This is one of my
favorite American acronyms - Keep It Simple,
Stupid. When I was in college and sheepishly
showed a seemingly ultra-simple term paper to the class
topper for his review, he loved it and asked me not to
change a thing. He complimented my paper by saying
its beauty lay in its simplicity. Though that
paper even got accepted for presentation at an
international seminar held in Canada, it took a few more
years for my friend’s message to sink in. Now, I
fully understand that notion. Too often, people
use bombastic (see what I mean?) terms to explain a
simple concept to others, just to show off and look
better than their peers. Believe it or not, people
will look up to you more if you can explain complex
topics to them in simple language that they can
3. Incremental Cremation!
On the face
of it, this phrase sounds inauspicious and inappropriate
for this time of the year. Let me try to explain
what I mean. All of us have some bad habits
or behavioral traits that we are not proud of and that
we have been trying to shake off for several
years. These traits may be either obvious to
others around you (e.g. you are a chain smoker or you
are habitually late for all your appointments) or not
(e.g. you are envious of your friend’s success but you
cleverly hide it with smiles and flattery). In
either case, there are two observations that can be made
about such traits: They are usually addictive in nature
and they generally leave you feeling guilty
afterwards. I believe this is a mental sickness
since your mind takes complete control of your body,
senses, thoughts and finally action.
I used to be amazed at stories of
chain-smoking friends who had given up smoking cold
turkey one fine day. I now strongly believe that
it is possible, with tremendous will power of
course, to NOT let your mind take control and instead
burn those thoughts from your psyche once and for
all. I call this mental process “incremental
cremation”. Believe it or not, it really cleanses
your mind and lightens a big load off your
shoulder. In the unlikely event that you trip up
and exhibit that trait once again, do NOT feel guilty
since that has a nasty habit of sending you
down the spiral again. Repeat the mental
exercise consciously and over time, you will amaze
yourself by replacing the bad trait by one
that you will be very proud of.
I wish all of
you a very happy new year, with many fulfilled
goals by the end of the year.
China Continue Their March to Asia’s
The Chinese President Hu
Jin Tao’s visit to India is an event of great historical
importance. The most populated countries of the world,
and the fastest growing economies of the world are
coming together. This will be a great step forward in
making the 21st century Asia’s century. Both the
countries have realized that their economies are not
competitive but are complementary. This fact is brought
about by the growing trade between the two countries and
the fact that the trade is very balanced. In 1990, the
trade between the two countries was 250 million dollars
and in 2006, this will reach 20 billion dollars. The two
countries have declared that they want the trade to
reach 40 billion dollars in the year 2010. China is
destined to become India’s largest trading partner. They
have signed 13 agreements. China has also expressed the
desire of playing a constructive role in improving
India-Pakistan relations and help South Asia become a
peaceful, prosperous, and stable region. China has made
it clear that it is not opposed to India’s getting a
permanent seat in the Security Council of the U.N.
It seems that the India-China relationship may go
the same route as the relations between South Korea and
China. South Korea is an American ally and there are
still about 30,000 American troops in South Korea. But
China has become South Korea’s largest trading partner.
The growing economic relationship has changed the
overall relations. Last year, when we were passing
through South Korea on our way to India, we saw a South
Korean newspaper which reported a survey of the South
Korean people as to which country was most important for
South Korea. The majority of the South Koreans said that
China was the most important country for them.
and India, which are expected to become the largest and
the second largest economies, respectively, by the year
2030, will find out that the economic cooperation
between them will help them overcome other obstacles,
such as border issues, in their way. Besides this, there
are other areas where the two countries see that their
goals are running parallel. Both the countries have
realized that in the 21st century, Asia is emerging as
the leading region of the world, and being the two
largest countries of Asia, they will play a major role
in Asia as well as in the newly emerging multi-polar
India should also see what happened at
the APEC summit in Vietnam. Many Asian countries
attending the summit felt that China was the most
important country for them because it is their largest
trading partner. The host country, Vietnam, which is
emerging as another economic tiger, also is trying to
improve its relations with China. Russia, and Vietnam
have had strained relations with China. Now, both these
countries have developed very good relations with China.
Even President Bush’s attitude was different. He was
very conciliatory toward China and seems to have grasped
the importance of Asia in the world. He wanted help from
China on the issue of North Korea and reducing trade
deficits. He was not able to persuade the South Korean
President to take a stand against North Korea.
Another very significant development is the rise of
Maoism in Nepal. After the fall of the Soviet Union and
the East European communist countries, the west started
feeling that it had defeated communism and had won the
cold war. Capitalism had triumphed over communism.
However, the rise of Maoism in Nepal has proved that
those conclusions were premature. Whereas Marxism, a
Euro-centric philosophy, got defeated in Europe, it is
bouncing back in Asia. Mao started the process of
easternization of Marxism, but to be relevant in the
contemporary world, Marxism needs to be Indianized.
Prachanda, the leader of the Maoists in Nepal, has
expressed the concept of enriching Marxism with Indian
philosophy. He has mentioned learning from ancient
Indian philosophy, including Buddhism, as well as
studying philosophies of contemporary philosophers, such
as Gandhi and Lohia. We sincerely hope that the Nepali
Maoists will also study the experiences of the Sikh
revolution and the creation of a new man: “Khalsa”. We
believe the Sikh revolution is a concept of unique,
complete and continuous revolution. A comparative study
of the Sikh revolution and the communist revolution can
be extremely useful in comparing eastern and western
concepts of revolution. They should also study Dr.
Ambedkar’s philosophy and the rise of the Dalit movement
in India. They should also try to address the role of
Islam in the contemporary world. The west is presenting
its differences with Islam as a clash of civilizations
rather than a contradiction between the oppressor and
the oppressed. Prachanda has correctly observed that the
west is trying to pit China and India against each
other. Both India and China should pay attention to his
The rise of Asia is not only limited to the
economic field but will also include philosophical and
ideological fields. India and China are not only going
to become the leading economic power, but the fact that
India and China have contributed greatly to overall
human development is also going to be recognized. Under
the western domination of the last two centuries, the
great contributions of Asia were marginalized. India and
China are forging towards Asia’s century. The unequal
relationship of the last two centuries is going to end.
This is not only good for the people of Asia, but is
also good for the rest of the world.
Chairman, Washington State Network for
Chairman, Central Washington Coalition
for Social Justice,
Make Their Mark in
I was recently invited
to share my views in Gurudwara Sukh Sagar Sahib in New
Westminster (Vancouver, B.C.) during the centennial
celebration of the Khalsa Diwan Society. In these
hundred years, the Sikhs in Canada have come a long way.
It was obvious, from the participation of political and
religious leaders, as well as many scholars, that the
Sikh community in Canada has been able to create a
unique place in Canadian society.
It will not be an
exaggeration to state that the Sikhs in Canada are the
most important center for the Sikhs outside the Indian
subcontinent. Vancouver, B.C. is now the leading center
of the Sikhs and Punjabis in North America. The Sikhs
are an integral part of the political, social, economic,
educational, and cultural components of Canada,
particularly in British Columbia.
The struggle of
the Sikhs in the last hundred years has had a very
significant impact on Canada. It has helped Canada to
recognize its multicultural reality, and Canada is
looking at its multiculturalism more as an asset rather
than a liability. It has certainly made Canada a more
tolerant society. The Sikhs in Canada have, in a way,
helped to open a dialogue between the east and the west.
Canada may play a leading role in this new interaction
between east and west, which has become a pressing need
of today’s world.
Sharing my views with the
congregation, I said that the present globalization
lacks a global perspective and an ethical component
inasmuch as it is limited to economics only. This linear
and unilateral approach has led to the present deep
crisis. It has also led to unequal relations between
east and west. The west has used material progress as
the only criterion for measuring human progress.
This has resulted in the weakening of the spiritual
aspect of life, and thus instead of progress, it has
created conditions for dehumanization. The philosophy of
Siri Guru Granth Sahib can impart the global perspective
and ethical component to the present globalization.
Therefore, Siri Guru Granth Sahib can be the model for
alternate globalization—which the world needs.
sharing my views with the congregation in the Gurudwara
Sukh Sagar Sahib in New Westminster, I went to the
Gurudwara Singh Sabha Sahib Surrey, which is not too far
from there. The Canadian Singh Sabha Gurudwara Sahib is
establishing an institution for the comparative study of
Sikhism. I discussed my upcoming book (East and West:
Beyond Globalization) with the president and leading
members of the Gurudwara Sahib. It was decided that my
book will be the first piece of literature to be
published by the new institution, which is in the
process of being established.
I was interviewed by
the radio Sher-e-Punjab, which is located in Richmond,
close to Vancouver, B.C. The Sher-e-Punjab Radio reaches
an audience of a few hundred thousand Punjabis. The
Vancouver area now has several radio stations and even
Punjabi TV channels. In the other big Canadian cities,
such as Toronto and Calgary, we have Punjabi radio
stations, TV stations, newspapers and magazines.
Many Canadian cities have Punjabi markets. Even
Punjabi malls with many different kinds of stores in one
building are being built in many Canadian cities. In
some cities, street signs in Punjabi can be seen.
Indeed, in so many diverse ways, the Sikhs have
earned their place as a vitally significant component in
Canadian culture as a whole.
Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S.
State Network for Human Rights,
Washington Coalition for Social Justice,