Saturday, February 23, 2013

NZ Sanatan Naari Sabha leads the way for others to follow


NZ Sanatan Naari Sabha leads the way for others to follow

Thakur Ranjit Singh

NZ Sanatan Nari Sabha (Sabha) initiated, ignited and led a new exemplary trend for all Hindus when they organised “Mata Jagran” (Whole night vigil and worship) at Shiv Mandir in Manurewa Auckland on 23rd February, 2013.

Durga Maa Jagran - the decorated shrine
This is an exemplary trend that needs to be followed by other Hindu organisation, not only in Auckland, but in Indian Diaspora as a whole. Most prayers, parvachans and religious discourse are held in abstract, bearing little relationship to present-day problems. In particular, I remember an incident with Hindu Council of New Zealand, which rejected my proposal of incorporating domestic violence with celebration of Racha Bandhan. (Await a separate story on this in FIJI PUNDIT). As usual, politicians have field days in Indian and Hindu functions. We sing and dance, sweep the problem of woman-beating under the carpets and celebrate public Ratcha Bandhans while our sisters get beaten up. So much for public-seeking religious organisation, which hold big conferences in big hotels, with little benefit to people on the ground.

Mrs Mavis Lata Singh-[Lata Ji,] (left) of NZ Sanatan Naari Sabha, chief organiser, with one of her committee members.
Therefore it came as a breath of fresh air when the chief organiser Mavis Lata Singh (Lata Ji) and her Sabha decided to incorporate violations of human rights of women with this Jagran - a whole night vigil for Mata Durga and other Hindu Goddesses. The Sabha especially dedicated this Jagran to each girl and woman who has been through or is going through horrific violations of human rights, mainly to the one who became the voice of our conscience as “Damini”.

Damini -the movie behind the theme of social issue of domestic violence
The speakers for the evening, three Singhs, Judge Ajit Swaran Singh, National List MP Kanwal Singh Bakshi and yours truly, Thakur Ranjit Singh, dwelt on these cases of abuse of women and the way our society treats them.

Judge Ajit Swaran Singh -"...it is the obligation of community to report cases of abuse.. those remaining quiet are as guilty of the crime as the perpetrators of the actual crime.
Judge Singh told of cases where we pay respect for our Goddesses but in reality treat own women very differently. Picking on the topic of Damini, which was a Hindi film, released in 1993, Judge Singh urged people to watch this movie. “This movie exemplifies entrenched attitude of some members of our community where family prestige is more important than the rights of a woman who is a victim of abuse, and in particular, sexual abuse. Family often tries to cover it up because it stigmatises the community and brings shame on the family and therefore often it is hushed up and not spoken about,” Judge Singh said. He said the movie speaks of a higher court than this one, and that is the court of conscience. There is a need to bring such issues in religious programmes to educate our people. “It is not only the perpetrators of crime, who need to be brought to justice, but those as well who know that a crime has been committed, but remain silent, as they are as guilty of the crime as those who committed it, “Judge Singh said. He emphasised on the obligations of the community to report any such crime we see taking place such as rape, assault and violence. He praised the Sabha for taking this leadership role in combating domestic violence.

National List MP Kanwal Singh Bakshi (Right) was accompanied by Angela Dalton, Chairperson of Manurewa Local Board.
Kanwal Singh Bakshi explained the different roles that women play-from a child to a housewife and to a mother. He narrated a story on the virtues of a mother, and the theme of that was that another name of a woman is love and sacrifice. “Our children are product of a family, hence it is important for parents to have religious activities at home and take their children to religious programmes to ensure we produce good citizens who respect women, “Bakshi said. He praised Indo- Fijian families for their religious, language and education progress and urged all to get more people to attend such beneficial programmes, addressing religious and community issues together.

FIJI PUNDIT-Thakur Ranjit Singh "..it is time for abused women to stand up and fight back.."
Thakur Ranjit Singh also took the medium of films and TVs to educate people on domestic violence and injustices against women. “We say Sita - Ram, Radhe - Shyam, Gauri - Shankar, Latchmi - Vishnu, always reciting women’s names first. Mythologically, all deities are supposed to have evolved from women - Shakti. We Hindus have so many festivals honoring our Goddesses. Why in reality we treat our living Goddesses, our women with such contempt, disrespect and scorn? “, Thakur asked. He encouraged people to see film “Lajja” to get an appreciation of women’s rights on dowry, violence and foeticide.
Thakur quoted from his earlier blog posting from and article he wrote on his blogsite (www.fijipundit.blogspot.co.nz) and that was posted on an incident from TV serial ‘Madhubala.” You can catch that story on: http://fijipundit.blogspot.co.nz/2013/02/family-violence-fight-back-abused-woman.html
Madhubala-EkIshq Ek Junoon- TV Serial that depicts a woman's courage to fight back a Rakshas and so-called Pati Parmeshwar.
The other trend the Sabha set was to feed the people before the program, so that it is healthier to eat early and not sleep on full stomach. The management committee of Shiv Mandir has to be commended for bringing much-needed improvements to their facilities by extending the kitchen and eating area.
FIJI PUNDIT takes this opportunity to congratulate NZ Sanatan Naari Sabha for taking these trend-setting bold steps that other organization in Auckland and Indian Diaspora can emulate. This is to: associate and encompass social issues with religious celebrations, and to feed people before the programme, as it is a healthier habit. Thanks to Lata ji and her commendable team for a job well done. May the blessing of Mata Di be bestowed on you all. Mata Di bless you all.
[Thakur Ranjit Singh-E-mail:thakurji@xtra.co.nz]

Friday, February 15, 2013

Truth shall prevail: Thakur Ranjit Singh cleared of any wrongdoing by Waitakere Indian Association.


Truth shall prevail: Thakur Ranjit Singh cleared of any wrongdoing by Waitakere Indian Association.

Thakur Ranjit Singh

Yesterday, 15th February, 2013 was Basant Panchmi, the day we normally erect Holika in Fiji to celebrate the festival of Holi. Next month we will celebrate Holi publicly at Trusts Stadium at Henderson, Auckland on Sunday 31 March, 2013. Waitakere Indian Association initiated public Holi celebrations in Auckland in 2005, and other organisations have copied this trend in Auckland. The theme of Holi is victory of good over bad and evil. That is exactly what I am going to write about, where a poor David wins over mighty Goliath, as Bhakt Prahlad won over her evil Aunt Holika.

A flash-back to Waitakere Indian Association Rang Barse Holi Mela last year, with yours truly (Thakur) as MC, addressing the audience. Dewa Chaudhry, President of Parupkaar Ramayan Faag Mandali (in red with harmonium) is ready to sing a thrilling faag (Holi song) while DJ Gabbaroo Manish Sharma, the sound technician for the day is all in the joyful mood of Holi in the Park at Trust Stadium Grounds, Auckland.
It is indeed unusual to do a story on oneself, but they say, if you want anything done properly, do it yourself. One cannot entirely have faith in Indian Media in Auckland, least of it, Indian Newslink, which has set an agenda to malign me and refused to publish a right of reply. Hence I will tell what they may not.

 In an executive meeting of Waitakere Indian Association (WIA) on 13th February, 2013, yours truly, Thakur Ranjit Singh was unanimously and with full respect and honour, bestowed back on the position of Vice President of the Association. This reinstatement is with a condition that I should not bring disrepute to the organisation. This will be a matter of opinion, as truth, which, like India, is the motto of my blogsite Fiji Pundit, which stands at Satmev Jayte (Truth shall prevail).

WIA, in August last year was pressured, in fact lobbied and directed, to sack me by the Indian and one Hindu leader in Auckland in response to my Facebook posting on reality in India. These, among others included truth of rampant corruption, black money and mistreatment of women and low –caste people in India. [You can read those original ‘offending” Facebook posting on this link: http://fijipundit.blogspot.co.nz/2012/12/mera-bharat-mahaan-thakurs-offending.html]

I apologised, though found it strange that Indian leaders, representing the largest democracy in the world were riled by my use of freedom of speech, media freedom and freedom to belong to an association. These are strong pillars of democracy, and one would not be wrong to say that those from the largest democracy in the world should be promoting the essence of democracy, and not punishing those who were exercising their democratic rights. But it unfolded like a script from Bollywood.

In August 2012, I was away overseas and unavailable to defend the slander and accusations heaped against me. Hence WIA, to diffuse the situation, suspended me from the position of Vice President. This was done to protect the interests of WIA which was threatened by this Indian lynch mob (as I call them) because of threats on loss of sponsorship, used their media and community influence and financial muscle, among others.

In the meeting earlier this week, I initially volunteered to withdraw from the position of Vice President and completely quit to protect the interests of WIA, as I had no wish to see me sacked again at the whim of opinions by the so-called community leaders. This was also because of some offending, defamatory and derogatory  e-mails against me circulating in Indian leadership and there was threat to “disassociate with WIA” as well as lobby politicians to boycott WIA unless Thakur was removed. However, the executives of WIA felt that I had done more positive and discounted such threats. It was recognised that I was voicing truth and fighting for the rights of others through my blogsite FIJI PUNDIT (www.fijipundit.blogspot.co.nz). It was resolved that a media statement would be issues out by the President Sunil Chandra on my reinstatement.

In my earlier posting in my blogsite Fiji Pundit, I have gone ahead and requested Indian Media in New Zealand as well as other developed countries, not to stifle free speech but become medium of change on wrongs done in India [Read at: http://fijipundit.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/indian-media-in-developed-countries.html]

I am grateful to Waitakere Indian Association for seeing the light and reinstating me with full honour. This is a lesson to all. Like the theme of Holi and Diwali, good and truth always win in the end. I would like to repeat that in whole of Auckland, in fact in New Zealand, Waitakere Indian Association has been awarded, called and attributed as the best organised and operated community organisation. The lesson to other Indian organisations is, if they cannot help, neither should they try to weaken or divide WIA, which in fact, they need to emulate. This is because WIA has always stood tall in being a clean, credible, exemplary and effective community organisation; never succumbing to any form of pressures which most community organisations find hard to resist. WIA’s reinstatement of their Vice President is a resounding message to other Indian organisations that it is a community organisation far above politics and any forms of coercive egoism.
Waitakere Rang Barse Holi Mela last year - the largest and only of its type Holi -in -the- Park at Trusts Stadium Ground in Auckland, New Zealand. You are invited to attend Waitakere Indian Association Rang Barse Holi Mela at same venue on Sunday 31 March, 2013 (Easter Weekend)....Fagun Bhar Baba Devar Laage (In the festivities on Holi, your father -in -law is akin to your brother-in-law.)
To celebrate the victory of good over evil, I hope to see you all at Waitakere Rang Barse Holi Mela at Trust Stadium Grounds, Central Park Drive, Henderson, Auckland on Sunday 31 March, 2013. Who knows, in the spirit of Holi, I may be able to forgive the members of the Indian Lynch Mob, if they are present to face the truth. Ho..ho…ho..Holi hay…



Sunday, February 3, 2013

FAMILY VIOLENCE: Fight back, abused woman urged by Madhubala Hindi TV Serial


FAMILY VIOLENCE: Fight back, abused woman urged by Madhubala Hindi TV Serial

Thakur Ranjit Singh

In light of news of institutionalized abuse of women in India and recent rape and murder case, it is nice to see Bollywood reacting to this situation, and incorporating abuse of women in TV serials. One such is Madhubala-Ek Isk ek Junoon. (Google to search and watch). As it is easier to get to many readers via the channel of Bollywood, I am using this TV serial, Madhubala to pass this important message on FAMILY VIOLENCE, which is also very prevalent India, in Indian Diaspora in general and Indo Fijian Diaspora in particular across the world, including my New Zealand.

Madhubala -Ek Ishq Ek Junoon: Hindi TV serial that has seriously addressed the issue of  FAMILY VIOLENCE and removed the myth of male-superiority and outdated concept of Pati Parmeshwar-husband as Gods.
In this episode of 30th January, 2013, the dialogue and the message stood up strongly in support of women’s efforts to fight back.  Balraj Chaudhry (Ballu), an abusive husband of Padmini (Paddo) holds her family hostage through his goons and was about to shoot Madhubala, daughter of Paddo and Chaudhry. Paddo ends up shooting and killing  her husband.  She is brought to court and there are calls from prosecution to hang her.

When a Rakshas (demon, devil) father ( Balraj Chaudhry) holds his daughter, Madhubala, a hostage and threatens to kill her, what does a mother do? She becomes Durga, the destroyer and kills the Rakshas. There is urge for woman to take their rightful place in society to fight injustice and abuse.
In the court, Padmini says that if the law wants to hang her, so be it, as she deserves it! She says..BUT it should NOT be for killing Ballu ..she  should be hanged for tolerating all of his torture, insults and abuse ..  ..for not hitting him back for the slaps and fists, for not opposing violence.. for never retaliating, for tolerating silently an as an ideal Hindu wife for ego, community respect, false pride and honour of a villainous husband! She says she should be punished for running away..for falling weak.. when Ballu threatened her unborn baby. She says...she will go in peace....by killing the Rakshas - and ending torture for the family--

Prosecution lawyer picks on the word ‘Rakshas’ and says ...in a country where husbands are called  ... ‘Pati Parmeshwar’ (Husband supreme, God), she insulted her Pati Parmeshwar.. That is when Madhu takes over and renders a powerful dialogue that should become an example in all cases of family violence and abusive husbands where women have said ....enough is enough, and strike back.

Madhubala in docks- those desirous of being addressed as Pati Parmeshwar ( Husband superior as God) should try to become a Pati (husband) FIRST.Why do those behaving like monsters want to be treated as Gods? Women need to question this outdated and undeserving honour for abusive men.
Madhu says that those who are desirous of being addressed as Pati Parmeshwar need to be a Pati or husband FIRST. If you knew what this (Ballu) Rakshas did, you would stop praying to Parmeshwar (God). Madhu takes stand and defines ‘Parmeshwar. It is a force and power that nurtures, protects and keeps one alive. However, a person who wants to destroy, who wants to kill his wife and daughter and becomes a danger for his own children cannot be a ‘Parmeshwar’. He is a ‘Rakshas’ a demon, and a devil! She says there are many in our society who harbour the same undeserving superiority thoughts for a male.

An ugly picture? That is the face that some abusive men give to their wives and other women.. It is time women stood up against this abuse and seek help in the least and expose those Rakshas in their homes and societies.

When a boy is born in a family, they regard a Gods Avtar (incarnation) is born, and we are told a boy is superior to a girl.. The boy is told you are our son, an incarnation of God and Chirag or light and candle of the family. Then, one day the internal flame of this candle burns the house, starts burning the ladies in dark street corners, and burns beauty of women with acids.

They rape women in a moving bus and kill them. On many occasions, female babies are killed in their mother’s womb through foeticide! These are the examples of the supposed guardians, and saviors of our society- the Parmeshwar, the God. Such men should be publicly shot dead on crossroads or hung!

It is time for women to stand up for the protection of their families and society where Raksahs rule now. and FIGHT BACK
She asks all... .why girls are weak. .why they are idols of sacrifices? From school fees to clothes for festivals, they are the ones who have to sacrifice for their brothers. Why cannot boys and brothers be asked to sacrifice for their sisters? Why – because they TOLERATE.. they ENDURE and DO NOT SLAP BACK! She says.. that if the person who handles the home goes off the track..there will be no home left, and no world..!

She says. .no matter how big a man becomes. .he is woman born, born from the womb of a woman, and hope time does not come when our wombs become wayward and go on strike.. there won’t be a world left..! She says a woman breastfeeds the child with milk that develops bones. When that baby grows up as a man that same Rakshas, that demon beats up his wife from the same bones, and pays back by breaking another woman’s bones and teeth? Imagine what will happen if women stop feeding these Rakshas? She says a man who is born of a woman insults and defames his mother by hurting another woman.

AT 11 WEEKS, THE BABY STATED KICKING: AT 22 WEEKS SO DID THE FATHER: A man who is born of a woman insults and defames his mother by hurting another woman. Shame on men who insult their mother.
Madhu says the woman standing in front, her mother, is not only her mother, but a lady who has endured such thoughts of a husband who was an epitome of a Rakshas and she suffered a lot under the false sham of an ideal Hindu wife. If today she was attacked, she may have endured that as well. But when she picked up the gun to kill Balraj Chaudhry, it was to protect her child.., she reached a breaking point of endurance and reacted. It was overlooked and ignored, that a woman is not only just a Janani who gives birth. But to protect her children, she can also become a Durga Avtar to kill the Rakshas. She has spent her life to raise me, and today when she saw danger, she reacted to protect me. So, for me, she is my Parmeshwar, God. And today I am proud of her what she did to execute her Rakshas husband to protect her family.

She tells all the women in the court that if their husbands are abusive and Rakshas like Balraj Chaudhry, they should do what her mother did – FIGHT BACK.

Paddo tells all women to stand up and fight back. She urges abused women to reply and retaliate to the first slap, first swear and first abuse so that men cannot gain courage to stand up for second round of abuse. Otherwise the sin, abuse and injustice will grow to such an extent that they will take the form of a demon, a Rakshas. That is why women should fight back- for her children, for her family and for her society. Stand up for your family ..For their kids and for society! Act before the man becomes a demon and a Rakshas.

Women in Indian, especially Hindu societies are regarded as "Shakti" -the strength and source of power.. It is time women stopped being a "bechari" or item of pity, and assumed the power and strength they are bestowed in mythologies,  and stand up to fight demons, devils and Rakshas in homes and community, whenever injustice on women is commuted.
THIS IS A STRONG MESSAGE to Indian and Hindu ladies- you have attended enough rituals, hawans, Mata’s Jagran, Hindu conferences, seminars, workshops, Navratam Garba and rituals singing power and praises of various Goddesses. You have been doing that always that never improved your well being and status in society. Please step back, assume the role of Durga and Kali and FIGHT BACK for yourself, your family and society. Especially fight for your sisters in India.

There have been too much pooja and meaningless rituals. Now women have to take action and fight an unjust system – for themselves here as well in societies elsewhere on family violence. Gone are the days of shouting..”bachao.. bachao..’ (Help, save, save) and that of Pati Parmeshwar-husband the God, if he is a demon and Rakshas. As told by Paddo in “Madhubala”, it is time for abused women to stand up and fight back. That may just mean telling the world about your problems and exposing the Rakshas in your home and society. AND ACCEPTING THE FACT THAT WE HAVE A PROBLEM OF FAMILY VIOLENCE, AND TALKING ABOUT IS.

A face of despair and pain. It is time women stood up to fight  against the injustice of FAMILY VIOLENCE. There is need to talk about it. Padmini executed her abusive husband to save her daughter and family. THE LEAST YOU COULD DO IS TO SEEK HELP AND EXPOSE RAKSHAS IN YOUR FAMILY.
So join your brother Thakur, and tell the Indian High Commissioner and his elite cocktail circuit, to tell New Delhi and India to change their mindset and thinking about status of women in India. Now the Durga and Kali will assume their mythological power and will FIGHT BACK. JAI MATA DI- RISE TO REMOVE INJUSTICE.

[E-mail: thakurji@xtra.co.nz