Updated: Feb 5, 2021
We are living through the biggest protest in HISTORY. Millions of Indian farmers have been peacefully marching towards Delhi since November 26th, 2020 demanding India's government to abolish 3 new farming laws. These laws will jeopardize the livelihood of farmers across India by the use of corporate involvement. Many of these farmers are from the Sikh religion as Sikhs make up the majority of the farming population and military in India. Sikhs are typically located in the northern state of Punjab, India. Sikhs have been the warriors and protectors for India throughout historical Indian invasions. Sikh (specifically Punjabis) suicide and drug use has risen astronomically over the years due to financial hardship caused by Indian government's exploitation of their work.
Why should you care though if you are not in India or Indian yourself you ask?
Well...do you eat spices, herbs, grains, rices, drink tea, purchase certain medicines and textiles?
Then you are automatically involved.
The media has recently silenced peaceful protestors, attempting to wrongfully portray them as terrorists, Indian government has shut off their water supply, electricity and Internet, and has even kidnapped journalists. Police brutality is and has always been on the rise in India and has increased during the peaceful protests. Too many have died protesting due to police brutality and have been unlawfully arrested.
TO NON-INDIAN/SIKH READERS:
I have noticed during certain human rights issues, many choose to exploit and appropriate the cultures/religions, while also ignoring and not actually supporting the culture when needed. I have seen a plethora of people be too silent for too long now...including the new Vice President Kamala Harris who is half-Indian herself. WE NEED YOU MORE THAN EVER.
*If you practice yoga (specifically Kundalini), believe in Vedic teachers/goddesses and Ayurveda teachings, wear henna and Indian inspired clothing, preach tantric wisdom, practice chakra healing, breath work, love Bollywood, say Sikh mantras, use indigenous Sikh names like Kaur and Singh, enjoy Indian food, cook with Indian spices, etc. we need you to speak up.*
1. Educate yourselves through platforms and websites or by simply asking.
Some resources are:
2. Speak up! Since the media has silenced the farmers, please repost on your social media, with friends, family, and more. Continue spreading awareness. Keep in mind that we are privileged in America. America does not shut off our access to media and Internet during crucial and historical times. Our news runs out like headless chickens immediately trying to document and cover the stories. Other countries do not have this privilege.
3. Check in with your Indian and Sikh friends as we are experiencing different levels of trauma right now.
4. Donate to help if you can. Any amount is helpful.
FOR INDIAN/SIKH READERS WHO ARE EXPERIENCING TRAUMA RESPONSES:
1. Your feelings are valid whether you are in India or seeing this from afar. You may be feeling devalued, vulnerable, marginalized, having survivor's guilt, dissociated from your feelings, and can even have a reactivation response of generational and historical trauma come up. Allow yourself to feel all the feelings. Be compassionate and patient with your emotion regulation during this time.
2. Unite with other Indians and Sikhs who are feeling affected and triggered. Create a sharing circle and process with one another. We come from a collectivistic culture, let's utilize it.
3. Tap into Sikhism more, attend gurdwara (temple) services, allow Sikhi to guide and comfort you.
4. Limit your social media and news intake. I understand staying aware is crucial, but taking a break for your mental health is also crucial.
5. Find duality in your thoughts and emotional processes. This is a great technique that I actually use in almost every session with my South Asian clients. Our culture pushes for more of a "but" and "or" type of process AKA this or that/black and white thinking. Duality is a South Asian's best friend.
Examples of this can look like:
Knowing we are warriors AND Knowing that we are humans too
Accepting your feelings AND Reminding yourself of your strength
Feeling the need to
cut ties with exploitive AND Still knowing you are a good friend/
and silent friends/colleagues/ colleague/etc.
Advocating for justice AND Taking breaks to recharge
6. Keep speaking up!
7. Seek help from an aware and inclusive therapist. You can find South Asian therapists on these websites:
*Do not hesitate to reach out to me on my website as well. I have compiled a list of therapists I trust and are culturally aware that I can refer you to.