Day 2 of Lalkaar 2012 complete. After early morning Nitnem, the conference began with a powerful video documenting the quotidian apartheid that occurs in our Gurdwaras, villages, hearts, and minds.
The first workshop called for "deconstructing the divisions." Participants were challenged to re-think where we get knowledge about caste from, how it influences our thinking, and what are the ramifications for our community in the future.
The second workshop, titled "confronting caste" sought a historical understanding by re-looking at the institutions that shook the basis of "untouchability" in Punjab. The Gurus gave us a "spirit" with the institutions of langar, khanda di pahul, Singh/Kaur, and even calling for Sikhs to discard caste and pay no attention to it in marriage. Discussions revolved around Gurbani, Rahit Literature, and selections from Jagjit Singh's The Sikh Revolution.
Here are some pics:
Keep reading below the fold for the rest info on the rest of the day!
The third workshop was a Gurbani exploration, centered around the vision of the Guru Granth Sahib of a casteless society - enshrined in the shabad by Bhagat Ravidas Ji that has inspired Sikhs for generations - Begampura Sahir Ko Nao (this shabad is the "mission statement" of the Jakara Movement).
Day 1 workshops ended with a presentation by Jupp and Jasdeep Singh bringing together the most recent scholarly literature on Sikhs and caste with a glimpse of Guru Gobind Singh's powerful message against caste and in favor of Sikh intercaste marriage, as written in Gurbani, Sainapati's Gursobha, and the Param Marg Granth. The presentation opens up new possibilites for historical imaginings.
After the workshops, participants did Rehraas and Kirtan on the lake. They had a great time with the festivities, fun, and food (prepared by our staff and BBQers extraordinaire!). The evening concluded with a talent show and plenty of other shenanigans.
Stay tuned for more pics and updates!