Tuesday October 24, 2017
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Sikh store owner fights off robbery with his slippers in US

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New York: A slipper can be mightier than a gun in the hands of a valiant Sikh store owner! In a feat caught on surveillance cameras, a 59-year-old Amrik Singh fought off a shotgun-wielding masked robber using only his slipper in the store at his petrol station in Staatsburg, about 150 km from New York City.

“I’m not really a hero,” Amrik told IANS Friday about Tuesday’s slipper-shotgun face-off. “And I would not want to be a hero. I am just a working man.”

Singh, who immigrated to the US from Doburji in Punjab’s Moga district 35 years ago and has owned the Citgo petrol station and store for 19 years, said he did not have a strategy or a conscious plan to confront the gunman.

“God told my body to grab the man as he reached for the tray in the cash register”, he said.

“When the gunman jumped back, I threw the slipper and hit him on the nose,” Singh said. “I ran and caught him and we were like wrestling.”

Laughing, the turban-wearing Singh said: “He did not expect an old man to fight him. He ran outside and I chased him. He fired a shot at my feet, but it missed and hit the ground and he drove away.”

Asked by IANS about Singh’s feat, his wife, Baljinder said: “It is shocking and crazy. He had a guardian angel protecting him.”

When the would-be robber entered the store with the gun, Singh said he was momentarily taken aback. “After that my mind was clear and I was not nervous at all.”

He said he first tried to reason with the man and offered to give him money. “But he demanded $100 dollar bills. I told him I did not have any. He tried to remove the coin tray and search under it.”

The confrontation caught on the surveillance video made prime time TV newscasts across the United States Thursday night started.

Singh does not plan to take chances if there is another robbery attempt. “I am a US citizen and I am going to apply for a gun licence.”

Police don’t recommend such acts of bravado. State Trooper Melissa McMorris was quoted by the Daily Freeman as saying “Thank God, the store owner wasn’t hurt in the confrontation.”(IANS)

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Sikh man humiliated and removed from Trump’s rally

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A Sikh protester was removed from Donald Trump’s rally in Muscatine, Iowa. The man in the red turban stood up and protested by carrying his sign “Stop Hate’.

The crowd started to scream “USA USA” while the Sikh man was being removed.

Trump commented by saying, “Was he wearing one of those hats, was he? And he never will and we have to do something about it because it’s not working.”

Trump insulted the Sikh Turban by calling it a hat and goes on further by saying he, “have to do something about it”.(IANS)

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Obama administration assures Sikhs of support

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New Delhi: Melissa Rogers, special assistant to US President Barack Obama said that the Obama administration is standing by the Sikh community in America in the aftermath of the racial attacks against the community.

Sikhs have faced a series of attacks as a result of lack of ignorance and islamophobia prevailing in the American society.

She paid condolences to the Sikhs for the violence and attacks against them. She said these incidents are a matter of concern to the US government and the government promises to stand with the community in these challenging times.

US army allows Sikhs to grow a beard and have a turban which was not allowed earlier. According to a study by Sikh American Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), seventy per cent of Americans cannot differentiate between a Sikh and Muslim as people from the both faiths keep the beard.

A large portion of the American population thinks that Sikhism is a sect of Islam and turban is the part of it. The bias against the color and the religious faith of a person is so much into the minds of an American that they have created stereotypes.

Last month a man made the video in which he called a Sikh man sitting next to him in a flight, ‘Osama Bin Laden’. Especially after the California Massacre, a fear among the US public had increased and top of that the Republican candidate for President Donald Trump has been absurd in his speeches where he demanded the complete ban on Muslims entering in the nation.

However, the root of the issue is not being addressed. Which is the ignorance. There is a need eradicate the lack of knowledge from the American society. Somebody needs to find the reason how can a person be called terrorist just because he has a certain religious belief which are not same to yours.

Indian diaspora in the USA or other western countries is a large section of those countries and time and time again they have contributed heavily for their adopted nations but even after that, there is a feeling of being unwanted and such racial attacks prove it right.

It would be better for Sikhs and humanity in general if the Obama government or the next government, provide them the feeling of security and encourage the public to treat Sikhs and all other communities without any biases.

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Would you feel safe: Ignorance reaches new levels in America

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Here is the story: A man in a flight from New York to California made a 40-second video of a Sikh man sleeping seated next to him and put it on the Youtube with the caption “Would you feel safe? Flying with Osama Bin Laden”.

The Sikh man wasn’t even aware of what is happening around him as he was asleep. The man making the video did not try to hide his identity as well.

https://youtu.be/x-EJOWRMOtU

Ignorance prevailing in the minds of some US citizens touched a whole new level of absurdity. Since the California shooting, a Gurudwara was vandalized, a 12-year-old boy was arrested in Texas for joking that he has a bomb and now this.

America is proud of the fact that they were the first modern democracy with a constitution providing rights in the history of the world.

Where are those rights? Where is that famous inclusive nature of the American society? These incidents are the examples of ignorance, stupidity, fears and racism prevailing in the society that champions itself as the custodians of human rights, equality and free thinking.

This has reached to such a level that it feels nonsensical to even talk about it. It is like you scold a kid for doing something but that kid keeps repeating the same again and again, and one day you get fed up so much so that you give in and start feeling stupid to say the same thing.

The man who made the video received a lot of duly deserved flak on the internet but does it even matter? Does it even teach anyone that it is wrong to assume someone a terrorist because of his colour, beard or looks? No, it does not, because if it would have, it wouldn’t be happening repeatedly.

Stereotyping has, over the time, become such a habit for some of the American citizens that it is not going to go away that easily. It is like their burger and coke.

It is amazing that the whole country like India is branded intolerant because of a shameful and stupid incident that the world media starts writing editorials about it and, on the other hand, America retains its greatness even after the series of ridiculous incidents of hate-crime and mass shooting happening almost daily.

But then they are right, they are America, the great north, and as the “thing go south, it loses its shine”. What do we know? We are hardly 70 years old, we have just six Nobel winners. Only nine Olympic gold medals, even Michael Felps has more.

However, these criteria were created by the western world.

Edward Said, in his book Orientalism, explained that this whole theory of considering which society is greater was built on beliefs and customs of the Western world.

The problem lies deeper as we, as a society, have an inferiority complex and that is why such things keep occuring. Through the cultural imperialism, the west has managed to sustain its hegemony over the developing world.

It is a different debate whether globalization is just Americanization or not but it is for sure that this racist, ignorant absurdity has to stop. The equal treatment should not be just in papers or theories but in practice as well.