A Rose Blossoms in the Midst of Lava

 A Rose Blossoms in the Midst of Lava

9th September 2001. A day of horror that will be etched in our memories forever. And as seen in many instances across history, a heinous incidence is often followed by targeted ethnic violence, inevitably against the innocent. The days that followed the attack on the twin towers were no different. 

The violence

As the dust around the rubble of the twin towers began to settle, many members of the Muslim community in America had to bear the brunt of hate crimes. But it was not just the Muslim community that was subjected to violence. The similarities in looks and attire meant the Sikh community had to face the ire.

Sikh Motorcycle Club

Balbir Singh Sodhi, who was killed after 9/11 at Mesa Star Food Mart in Mesab, being visited by Ajay Singh Bainiwal, 27, a Sikh Motorcycle Club USA member

However, this was not the first time the Sikh community had been at the receiving end of targeted violence. Not long ago, the Sikh community faced a similar fate closer home. The blood-soaked pages of history stand testimony to this. As it often happens, pure hatred like this often gives rise to animosity and revolt. Maybe, that is the root cause of the turmoil that India is facing today.

Despite the instances that are off late grabbing headlines, the Sikh community has always been regarded as a congregation of the brave and selfless. How else can one possibly explain the high number of Sardars who had bravely sacrificed everything in the struggle for independence or the many Sikh people in the defence services post-independence? 

Another prime example of these character attributes is the Langar service, which runs without hindrance. Even a catastrophe like COVID could not put brakes on the Langar service that all Gurudwaras offer. The selfless efforts of the Sikh community to serve society and to bridge the hatred are relentless.

Sikh Motorcycle Club

Another example is the Sikh Motorcycle Club of the USA, which embarked on a 2700-mile ride from Stockton, California, to Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The objective of this initiative? To create awareness about the community and also as a show of defiance against the hate, this journey was to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attack on the Oak Creek Gurudwara. 

During their cross-country ride, the Sikh Motorcycle Club members had planned several stops during which they interacted with people. While these interactions started from explaining the objective of their trip, the club member often witnessed the topic of conversation seamlessly evolve. This, by itself, is sheer magic.

It would only be fitting to say that the Sikh Motorcycle Club of the USA is making efforts to make love bloom in what can only be termed arduous times, not just for the Sikh community but for complete humanity.

Images LA Times

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