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  1. New single & video launch, 31 July: The Ska Vengers’ ‘Frank Brazil’: remembering Udham Singh Ska band pays tribute to Punjabi folk hero hanged at Pentonville in 1940 New Delhi-based Ska Vengers’ new single, ‘Frank Brazil’, is out on 31 July, bringing infectious rhythm to the itchiest feet near you. Never one to shy away from controversy, the band has marked the 75th anniversary of the death of freedom fighter Udham Singh (aka Frank Brazil) with this release, its first launch worldwide. Ska Vengers’ smooth, polished style and complete mastery of its craft make syncopated rhythms look easy, and its assured, adept handling of Frank Brazil’s story demonstrates an equal maturity of mind. This one’s for dancers and thinkers alike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OAfMtVRW6Y (sample) Ska Vengers are an eight-piece ska band from New Delhi, India. They’re kicking up a rumpus over there and they’re about to do the same here. Have a listen: they’ve honed their sound into the sassiest, tightest, funniest, liveliest, punkiest rocksteady jazzy dubby ska you’ll have heard in years. They’re not amateurs, either. Ska Vengers’ first album, released in 2012, was mixed by music producer Miti Adhikari, who has also worked with Foo Fighters, Radiohead and Coldplay. The same year, the band staged the largest rock concert ever held in an Indian prison, donating $5000 worth of music and sound equipment to Tihar jail in an event that was reported worldwide. Ska Vengers made international news again last year with a song and video they released to coincide with the Indian general election, ‘Modi, a Message to You’, and are now working on their second album, expected this September. About ‘Frank Brazil’: The animated video, created by Kunal Sen and Tisha Deb Pillai, follows the 21 years of Singh’s life after the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre on 13 April, 1919, leading up to the assassination of Michael O’Dwyer, and his execution in Pentonville Prison shortly after. ‘Frank Brazil’ is The Ska Vengers’ version of a murder ballad: a traditional form of poetry where the lyrics form a narrative describing the events of a murder, often including the lead-up and/or aftermath. In a tribute to the genre, the chorus is adapted from a Bessie Smith song called ‘Send me to the ‘lectric chair’; Smith is regarded as one of the best blues singers of the 1920s. The band’s line-up includes Begum X (vocals), Delhi Sultanate (vocals), Stefan ‘Flexi’ Kaye (organ/percussion), Chaitanya Bhalla (guitar), Tony Bass (bass), The Late Nikhil Vasudevan (drums) with support from Shirish Malhotra (tenor saxophone) and Kishore Sodha on trumpet. Ska Vengers’ vocalist Delhi Sultanate learnt of Udham Singh while studying at University in London in 2005 and through the Asian Dub Foundation song, ‘Assassin’ (1998), which is about Mohammed Singh Azad, a name that Udham Singh used in court and to sign his prison diaries. “I’ve wanted to make a song about Udham Singh ever since I learnt of him and have been researching him over the years. The idea came up again at a jam session earlier this year,” says Taru Dalmia, who performs as Delhi Sultanate. “Part of what drove me to write the song is that upon first learning of Singh I could not believe that I had never heard of him. Also, his story throws up a series of questions. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The song is our attempt to pay tribute to one of our national heroes,” he adds. Begum X, aka Samara C, says the band was inspired by Singh’s last words. “The lyrics of our murder ballad are from the point of view of Shaheed Udham Singh and are inspired by his words as transcribed in his court hearing. When he was asked why he killed Michael O’Dwyer, he said, “He was the real culprit. He wanted to crush the spirit of my people…For full 21 years, I have been trying to wreak vengeance…I am not scared of death. I am dying for my country…It was my duty. What a greater honour could be bestowed on me than death for the sake of my motherland?” ‘Frank Brazil’ is animators Kunal Sen and Tisha Deb Pillai’s second video for The Ska Vengers, after ‘A message to you, Modi’. “We wanted to depict the character in a contemporary, stylised and dynamic manner, taking a different route from the conventional “text book" representations of India's freedom struggle,” says Sen of their idea of the video. LINKS https://twitter.com/theskavengers https://www.facebook.com/skavengers Web: http://theskavengers.com/ CONTACT For information, photos and interviews please call Louise Cuzner, Soundbar Entertainment, on 07895 133581 or email soundbar@gmx.com
  2. Do you know about Nankana Sahib saka (massacre)? Why and when did it happen? What was the outcome? Know everything in this infographic produced by Sikh Stage Check out the infographic here - http://on.fb.me/1EuOvpc Brief history about the incident explained in a simple way.
  3. Vaheguroo ji ka Khalsa Vaheguroo ji ki Fateh ji, Sadhsangat ji below is a petition starred by Sikhforjustice in New York. Please do not ignore this message and take a moment to sign the petition sooner than later ji! Also, help us spread it out so that it can achieve required signatures in time. Post and share on facebook, post on other sikh discussion forms, email ur friends, and any other possible means to help spread it out. Regards Dass ************************************** https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/cancel-white-house-invita... [wh.gov] || Stop Obama From Hosting Modi At White House || 100,000 Signatures Needed By August 20. While Obama administration and PM office is preparing to forge a new era of Indo-US economic ties, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has initiated a social media campaign in support of its petition to cancel Modi's invitation to the White House. US President Obama has invited PM Modi for a meeting at the White House on September 30. A Facebook advertisement "Sign Petition Stop Obama from hosting Modi {Netanyahu of India}. Don't fund another Israel" sponsored by SFJ has gone viral getting scores of hits every hour. On July 21, SFJ initiated an online petition to the Obama Administration urging to cancel the invitation to PM Modi for his role in 2002 massacre of Muslims in Gujarat. “In June 1984, the BJP instigated the military attack on the Golden Temple, resulting in the massacre of thousands of Sikh pilgrims. In 2008, the BJP orchestrated violence against Christians in Orissa,” the petition alleges. The Facebook ad by rights group targeting Muslims, Sikhs and human rights organizations in the United States urges them to "Sign Petition, Stop Obama". “The fact that world's largest democracy has elected a Prime Minister whose party is known for committing crimes against religious minorities should be a matter of grave concern for the western world”, stated attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun legal advisor to SFJ, “United States which has acknowledged the role of Modi in massacre of Muslims should not host him at the White House”, added Pannun. Terming Modi as Netanyahu of India, attorney Pannun further stated that online petition will be an eye opener for Obama Administration which is ignoring the track record of Modi and his party BJP with regard to treatment of minorities for vested US economic interests. "Instead of hosting Modi at White House, President Obama should condemn Modi and ban BJP for perpetrating violence against Muslims, Sikhs and Christirans" says the White House Petition. So far the online petition urging Obama administration to cancel Modi's invitation has received more than 1200 signatures. The petition requires 100,000 signatures by August 20 to qualify for a response by the White House. Newspapers Coverage: [www.firstpost.com] [www.deccanchronicle.com] [zeenews.india.com] [indianexpress.com] [www.ndtv.com] [www.in.com] [bharatpress.com] [daily.bhaskar.com] [news.oneindia.in] [www.hindustantimes.com] [www.thecitizen.in] [www.greaterjammu.com] [kashmirreader.com] [www.punjabnewstime.com] [www.nation.com.pk]) [www.abplive.in] [www.eni.network24.co] [www.outlookindia.com] [www.indiatvnews.com] Empire State Building 350 Fifth Avenue 59th Floor New York, NY 10118 T: 201.601.2707 F: 201.601.2610 E: support@sikhsforjustice.org
  4. Vaheguroo ji ka Khalsa Vaheguroo ji ki Fateh ji, Sadhsangat ji below is a petition starred by Sikhforjustice in New York. Please do not ignore this message and take a moment to sign the petition sooner than later ji! Also, help us spread it out so that it can achieve required signatures in time. Post and share on facebook, post on other sikh discussion forms, email ur friends, and any other possible means to help spread it out. Regards Dass ************************************** https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/cancel-white-house-invita... [wh.gov] || Stop Obama From Hosting Modi At White House || 100,000 Signatures Needed By August 20. While Obama administration and PM office is preparing to forge a new era of Indo-US economic ties, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has initiated a social media campaign in support of its petition to cancel Modi's invitation to the White House. US President Obama has invited PM Modi for a meeting at the White House on September 30. A Facebook advertisement "Sign Petition Stop Obama from hosting Modi {Netanyahu of India}. Don't fund another Israel" sponsored by SFJ has gone viral getting scores of hits every hour. On July 21, SFJ initiated an online petition to the Obama Administration urging to cancel the invitation to PM Modi for his role in 2002 massacre of Muslims in Gujarat. “In June 1984, the BJP instigated the military attack on the Golden Temple, resulting in the massacre of thousands of Sikh pilgrims. In 2008, the BJP orchestrated violence against Christians in Orissa,” the petition alleges. The Facebook ad by rights group targeting Muslims, Sikhs and human rights organizations in the United States urges them to "Sign Petition, Stop Obama". “The fact that world's largest democracy has elected a Prime Minister whose party is known for committing crimes against religious minorities should be a matter of grave concern for the western world”, stated attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun legal advisor to SFJ, “United States which has acknowledged the role of Modi in massacre of Muslims should not host him at the White House”, added Pannun. Terming Modi as Netanyahu of India, attorney Pannun further stated that online petition will be an eye opener for Obama Administration which is ignoring the track record of Modi and his party BJP with regard to treatment of minorities for vested US economic interests. "Instead of hosting Modi at White House, President Obama should condemn Modi and ban BJP for perpetrating violence against Muslims, Sikhs and Christirans" says the White House Petition. So far the online petition urging Obama administration to cancel Modi's invitation has received more than 1200 signatures. The petition requires 100,000 signatures by August 20 to qualify for a response by the White House. Newspapers Coverage: [www.firstpost.com] [www.deccanchronicle.com] [zeenews.india.com] [indianexpress.com] [www.ndtv.com] [www.in.com] [bharatpress.com] [daily.bhaskar.com] [news.oneindia.in] [www.hindustantimes.com] [www.thecitizen.in] [www.greaterjammu.com] [kashmirreader.com] [www.punjabnewstime.com] [www.nation.com.pk]) [www.abplive.in] [www.eni.network24.co] [www.outlookindia.com] [www.indiatvnews.com] Empire State Building 350 Fifth Avenue 59th Floor New York, NY 10118 T: 201.601.2707 F: 201.601.2610 E: support@sikhsforjustice.org
  5. I wanted to let everyone know that the funding campaign for The 1984 Project has officially launched on Kickstarter. Please check it out, contribute, and share. Thanks in advance for any help! If you know of any survivors of the atrocities of the November 1984 killings that would be willing to speak to me while I'm in India, please let me know. My list is growing and I want to interview as many people as possible for this project. If you know of any rescuers of Sikhs, I would also appreciate their stories. The 1984 Project: Contribute Here
  6. The CBI will challenge before Delhi High Court the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case by a city court as it has found "strong grounds" which could form basis of its petition. CBI sources said here today that the agency is likely to wait till the court pronounces its verdict on the quantum of sentence for those found guilty in the case. District and Sessions Judge JR Aryan had on April 30 acquitted Kumar in the 29-year-old case in which he was accused of murder and of instigating a riotous mob that killed five Sikhs in Delhi's cantonment area. Five others — Balwan Khokkar, an ex-councillor, Mahender Yadav, an ex-MLA, Kishan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal — were convicted for their involvement in the riots that had broken out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. Kumar, a former Lok Sabha MP from Outer Delhi who was refused a Congress ticket for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, still faces a trial in another 1984 rioting case. In a third case, the Delhi Police have filed a closure report, saying there was no evidence against Kumar to implicate him. His acquittal has led to protests by Sikh outfits in the national capital and in parts of Punjab. Legal cell on job District and Sessions Judge JR Aryan had on April 30 acquitted Kumar in the 29-year-old case in which he was accused of murder and of instigating a riotous mob that killed five Sikhs in Delhi CBI sources said the agency is likely to wait till the court pronounces its verdict on the quantum of sentence for those found guilty in the case The agency's legal department has studied the judgment and highlighted several strong reasons on the basis of which it is likely to approach the Delhi High Court challenging the acquittal of Kumar
  7. Was posted on MSNBC and a few other local sites and it seems like he will eventually get more press. My analysis is that something like this should be done as I am a gun rights advocate, but he should have changed his lawsuit to the rights of all people, not just Sikhs. If he can handle himself to show that he is suing on the basis of wanting to challenge the courts while wanting to defend everyone's right and not look like a "crazy person" as some will likely paint him as, I think he can do a lot of good for the Sikh image here in USA. Initially what he is proposing is "out there" (to get noticed you need to propose something out there), but if he handles this well and turns it balanced real fast when he gets interviewed and more about everyone's rights and as being patriotic Americans, this can do a lot of good for the cause in my opinion. It seems like Sikhs are quiet and distancing themselves from Gursant Singh and this because most are scared and not confident enough to portray themselves as being Americans who exercise their rights to freedom. We are Americans so we should act like Americans, don't you all think? Coincidentally being a Sikh is also about morality and freedom to practice dharam and defend dharam.... Personally I find it despicable when hippy Sikhs support banning guns, especially considering banning guns and creating gun free zones increases crime because criminals will continue to do what they do without any deterrent. It's sad Sikhs in USA aren't well versed enough in the constitution and what the contents are. I think the actual foundation of USA (not the current evolved non-American system) is very similar to what a Sikh raaj would have been like. I would like to consider myself pretty patriotic and proud to be American even though I don't support the war and how the current system is being run. (Click article to see the video of what he says) Here is the article from one of the websites: http://theurbandaily.com/2130101/sikh-sues-california-gun-ban/ The harder individual states push for stricter gun control laws, the more citizens fight back. A man who is a follower of the Sikh faith is suing the state of California to stop their proposed ban on guns claiming it is against his religion. Gursant Singh Khalsa filed a federal lawsuit against the state of California claiming the gun ban stops him from fully practicing his religion by not permitting him to own or carry assault rifles and high capacity magazines. Khalsa stated, “Decrees from the Tenth Sikh Guru state in the most vigorous and clear words that, ‘a Sikh’s conception of God is the sword of God is the sword of dharma.” Gursant Singh Khalsa has been practicing the Sikh religion for 35 years and says some practicing members already carry the “sword of dharma” as means for protection. Khalsa argued if assault weapons were legalized, mass shootings like those in Colorado and Wisconnsin would drop significantly. “We have an obligation to defend those who can’t defend themselves,” Khalsa said. Some Sikhs don’t agree with Khalsa’s lawsuit. Yuba City Sikh Temple director Tejinder Dosanjah feels that everyone deserves the right ot protect themselves and families no matter what religion the practice. he also condemned Khalsa’s interpretation of religions scriptures for his own personal gain. Dosanjah said, “He should not involve the Sikh faith directly or indirectly into this lawsuit.” Check out the video below. Do you agree with the lawsuit? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://now.msn.com/gursant-singh-khalsa-sikh-man-says-assault-weapons-ban-interferes-with-religion#scpshrcsfb Man's lawsuit says he totally needs assault weapons for his religion 9 hrs ago A Sikh man is suing California, claiming that the state's proposed ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines would prevent him from fully practicing his faith. "I am just going by the Sikh religion and what Sikhs are mandated to do," Gursant Singh Khalsa said. "We have an obligation to defend those who can't defend themselves." However, Yuba City Sikh Temple director Tejinder Dosanjah spoke against Khalsa, arguing that while everyone has a right to protect themselves, interpreting scripture for one’s personal benefit is not right. "He should not involve the Sikh faith directly or indirectly into this lawsuit," Dosanjah said. [Source] Click to see more on msnNOW.com, updated 24 hours a day.
  8. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-21651603 Awarness campaign of the Gujarat massacres gets Modi's speach cancelled in the USA. The power of protests and awarness should apply to the 1984 massacres as well. India4 March 2013 Last updated at 04:02 India minister Narendra Modi's US speech cancelled Mr Modi is seen as a divisive politician Continue reading the main story Related Stories Profile: Narendra Modi In pictures: Revisiting Naroda Patiya Has Gujarat moved on since 2002 riots? A planned speech at a top US university by the controversial chief minister of India's Gujarat state, Narendra Modi, has been cancelled after protests by teachers and students. Mr Modi was invited to speak via video-link at a conference at the University of Pennsylvania this month. He has been criticised for his handling of Hindu-Muslim riots in 2002. Riots erupted after 60 Hindu pilgrims died in a train fire, which Muslims were blamed for igniting. Many Western government broke off contact with Mr Modi's government after the riots. The US continues to refuse Mr Modi permission to enter the country. Mr Modi was invited to speak via video-link at an annual student-run conference on India at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania later this month. "Our team felt that the potential polarising reactions from sub-segments of the alumni base, student body, and our supporters, might put Mr Modi in a compromising position, which we would like to avoid at all costs, especially in the spirit of our conference's purpose," the Wharton India Economic Forum said in a statement quoted by the Press Trust of India news agency. Reports said that a group of teachers and students had expressed outrage to learn that Mr Modi had been invited to deliver the keynote address at the meeting in Philadelphia later this month. "This is the same politician who was refused a diplomatic visa by the United States State Department on 18 March 2005 on the ground that he, as chief minister, did nothing to prevent a series of orchestrated riots that targeted Muslims in Gujarat," they said in a letter. Mr Modi, who belongs to the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has not reacted to the development. Under his leadership, Gujarat has been turned into one of India's economic powerhouses, but he is also seen as a divisive figure and accused of not doing enough to stop the riots. Mr Modi has always denied any wrongdoing in connection with the violence, but has not expressed remorse or offered an apology. A 2008 state inquiry exonerated him over the riots, but one of his close aides Maya Kodnani was jailed for 28 years in August.
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