Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Trouble at Vaisakhi Mela

What should have been a great day for families and an opportunity for Sikhs to celebrate the birth of Khalsa, was spoilt by a stabbing in Handsworth park - Birmingham. Read HERE for full story.

There are all sorts of rumours flying about, concerning what happened and why. To be honest i'm not interested in adding further fuel to this. It's a shame that this attack took place, that too on the day Sikhs were celebrating the birth of Khalsa. It's about time Sikhs put politics aside and showed some unity. There is no dispute that cannot be resolved through dialogue, particularly as both parties are Sikh.

The incident has led to several arrests over the last couple of days. There is speculation that the mela maybe cancelled going forward, even mela's at Wolves and Coventry are under doubt as we stand. It would be a shame if due to the actions of a few, thousands will not be able to celebrate going forward.

The Handsworth Mela is notorious for attracting trouble, mainly between Sikh and Pakistani "boys". Like other melas there is plenty of anti-sikh behaviour by the Sikh youth (drinking and smoking). Maybe this incident will awaken them, and get them to sort themselves out.

The previous week there was a incident at the Smethwick mela when some Pakistani boys attacked women,old men and kids with hockey sticks, after a few of them had been involved in a scuffle with some Sikh boys earlier in the day. Again the mela is open to anyone, but surely these boys turn up every year to cause trouble, and this needs to be stopped. I'm not saying that the sikh lads involved are clear of any blame, but the fact is the Pakistani youth shouldn't really be causing trouble at such an event. Melas themselves are usually an excuse for the youth to mingle with the opposite sex, which is one of the reasons i find them a waste of time, money and resources. We need to be educating the youth on Sikhi, not encouraging the activities that go on in mela's.


Conqueror of the world said...

I bow to the true Gursikh.....suppose that goes out of the window!

Anonymous said...


Spiritual Inquiry with Khanda & Heart


Handsworth Mela – dishonour, behzti – is this the state of Sikhi???


“Jin Bhe adab na baani dhara, jano so sikh nehi hamara”

“ He who has no fear or respect of Gurbani, know that he is not my Sikh.”

(Extract from Sikh Rehatnama)

BEADBI (intentional and unintentional disrespect) of Maharaaj Guru Granth Sahib jee is something that as Sikhs we cannot, and will not tolerate. Currently there is general unrest in the Sikh youth as more importance has been placed on this issue from Sikhs worldwide over recent years.

We don’t take Guru Maharaaj into halls, hotels, pubs and clubs because of our love and respect for Guru ji, but then why do we take maharaaj into tents which have previously been used for similar or unknown purposes. The tents and carpets used for Maharaaj’s Darbar at the Handswoth mela are hired. Who knows what takes place in that tent before we as the Sikhs use it for our darbar.

Even maharaaj Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s horse would not enter a field where tobacco was planted. Yet we annually take saroop’s of Maharaaj Guru Granth Sahib Ji in to an environment where tobacco stubs litter the ground and where people enter under the intoxication of various substances, be it unintentionally, this is something that must be evaluated and changed as there is continued discontent in the Sikh youth.

Do you think it is acceptable to take Maharaaj into areas with rave type atmospheres, loud and noisy music, rides, with inappropriate social interaction, with a non-existent dress code, where people smoke and drink. The problem lies not with the mela in principle but whether or not we are showing true respect for Guru jee if people are all out enjoying themselves. This isn’t even taking into account the recent bad publicity we have received from last years detrimental shenanigans with the “Sikh on Sikh” violence. Just type “vaisakhi mela” and “BBC” into www.youtube.com and see the negative social profiling of Sikhs in the media coverage as well as the camera phone videos of bhangra and Punjabi gang/thug/yob culture. Then think and decide for yourself… Are these really Sikh values? Are we moving forwards? If so towards what? Why are we continually causing confusion between religion and culture?

What do you think is the point of a empty darbar in a field full of people who are spending their time in the park – on rides, with friends, eating and socialising at what is now a cultural vaisakhi mela.

On the other hand the mela is good for a few Sikh businesses, the income of the ice cream men, a few key stalls selling merchandise or food and for those running the fun fair. Is this the real Vaisakhi???

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”

With older generations of the Sikh community currently questioning the purpose and actual parchar of a mela, we are merely suggesting careful planning so as the youth and older community members can work together to try to avoid the disrespect and BEADBI that is prevalent in the “Vaisakhi” mela as it is. Please sign up on the petition via the website below to express your concerns towards organisers. Feel free to make comments in an appropriate and civilised manner. Many Thanks…