by Dimple Kaur
I keep hearing over and over that women are oppressed by society. While this is the case, we must remember it is not Sikhi that oppresses women, it is the general world society that does so. The Indian community is only a reflection of the world society. Our struggle is to realise that we are being reactive in our actions - rather than being proactive and following our Guru's path. If we all were striving to be better Sikhs and following our Guru's Hukam more closely, we would not even be having this discussion. Guru Nanak down to Gobind have put a seal on it once and for all when they stated that all humans are equal.
You are right, women get told No about certain things, but let's not forget - so do men. Why are we women making ourselves to be greater victims than anyone else? The poor get told no as do the African-Americans in this country. The Dalits of India get told no, as do the Aborigines of Australia. Let's not keep looking at ourselves as victims that blame the greater society for their position - that outlook gives us no power. We need to see that we all (men and women) have the power to change and define our own destinies. I appeal to my sisters to stop taking such a victimised attitude towards society. Let's realise our strength, which comes from following the truth - Gurbani and Gurmat. We are doing ourselves an injustice by not doing otherwise.
Moreover we fail to take into account that for the most part, Sikh men bear an inordinate amount of the victimisation that goes along with the unique Sikh appearance we must keep in Western society. Yet I have had perhaps a handful of e-mails in my inbox about Sikh men complaining about having a hard time getting jobs, finding marriage partners, and being discriminated in every facet of their life - but my inbox has been bombarded with emails of how Sikh women who don't shave have it so tough.
Let's have the attitude of winners and not be losers constantly crying and bemoaning our situations in life. We have been blessed and we have been challenged just like everyone else. If you want to keep looking at the bad side of things, than that will be all we will ever be known by. Of course, let's not be blind to what is going on - open our eyes to it and work to get beyond it. Not stay there and complain about how tough we have it.
May Waheguru bless us with Chardi Kala in all of our hearts and souls.