Author 2020 Series: Ritu Bhathal – Penning and Planning

Another week, another feature!

This Author 2020 blog series is for fiction and nonfiction indie authors who have either already published, or are due to publish, a book in 2020!

Source: Author 2020 Series: Ritu Bhathal – Penning and Planning

Veiled – #WritePhoto

Sue’s #WritePhoto prompt:

A
Veiled threat
I can hear
"Uncover your
Head at your own risk
No one should see your face
Else, you'll wish you never lived"
I lower my head, awaiting
Whatever fate had in store for me
Maybe this marriage would bring my freedom
Or chain me in another prison
An unfamiliar one, at that
I risk a glance at the groom
Nervously twitching knees
Punishing him too?
Two cellmates, trapped
Or two folk
Free for
Life?

Ritu 2020
#writephoto

The Day Facebook and Instagram Erased #Sikh People

I try not to be political on my blog, but the events of the last few days have made me think about staying quiet, when it is our voices that will help, not our silence.

So the two previous posts have been in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement that is in full flow.

During this time of unease for many in the Black community, and the extended #BAME community , as well as those not of colour, horrified by the events that took place with the murder of George Floyd, I remembered there was something else of huge importance, to me, as a Sikh, to recall.

1984.

Ten days of Terror for the Sikhs.

This was when the Indian Government launched Operations Blue Star, and there, thirty six years ago, tthebeginnings of the biggest Sikh genocide took place.

Soldiers marched into the holy shrine in Amritsar, the Golden Temple, desecrating the buildings, grounds, religious artefacts, and murdering hundreds of innocent pilgrims, man, woman, child. There was no respite.

They were there to apparently flush out Sikh Separatists after there were calls for a separate state of Khalistan for Sikhs, as there was a Pakistan for the Muslims.

It was a time filled with terror, and resulted in hundreds, if not thousands of deaths of innocent Sikh people. The Indian Government were trying to erase us, the Sikhs.

To read more about the awful happenings of those ten days, click here.

Every year, there is a peaceful remembrance, filled with emotion, remembering those who died in this mindless act, which sparked the assassination of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, by two of her Sikh bodyguards. That act then set off a domino effect of riots, rape and murder of thousands of Sikhs in Delhi, and the Punjab.

To this day, there are Sikh people who don’t know what happened to members of their families during this time.

Then, to top it off, on 3rd June of this year, amidst the Black Lives Matter uprising, the hashtags #sikh and #sikhism, which were being used to remember and highlight a key time in our community’s background, disappeared from both Facebook and Instagram.

If you tried to search it, it was blocked.

Sure, there were others, but the main hashtags for us, #sikh, and #sikhism was unsearchable.

So the Indian Goverment tried to erase us then, thirty six years ago, and now, in 2020, we have social media doing the same.

It’s back up now, but why?

Why was it deemed ‘unsuitable content’ for us to remember this injustice?

Were there too many big other movements going on?

We, as Sikhs, are right there, too, but come on social media, give us our chance to speak too!

One Lines Wednesday – #1LinerWeds – #BLM

“Standing tall, with you all.”

Ritu 2020

I know, it’s meant to be one line, but a poem, if I may…

I am one of the #BAME
Proudly I stand as a #POC
But this #POC is more #AME
And I want to stand for my brethren #B
 
How do I help?
What can I do?
At least I can start
By educating a few
 
I needn’t look far
Just sitting at home
There’s topics to raise
Face-to-face, on the phone
 
Call out the comments
Question the views
How would you feel
If you were in their shoes?
 
It’s not just about
Being treated the same
But respecting differences
Trying to say names
 
Not just assuming
That because of their hue
That person is better or worse
Than me or you
 
#AllLivesMatter
We all know that
But #BlackLivesMatter
And it ain’t showin, that’s a fact
 
Ritu 2020
Standing tall with you all

For Linda’s #1LinerWeds Prompt

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 180, #Poet’sChoice #BlackoutTuesday

Colleen’s Syllabic poetry challenge is #Poetschoice this week.

Black
Brethren
I stand here
Right by your side
Not just supporting
But, as your equal
As you are mine
You matter
Brethren
Mine

Ritu 2020

I’m not sure what to call this, again, 1,2,3,4,5,5,4,3,2,1 format, but my verse shows my support to the #BlackLivesMatter campaign.

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