No Man's LandEDITORIAL
We at sikhchic.com have made it clear from the very outset that we will not delve into full-frontal politics.
Therefore, it has taken some of our readers by surprise when we have posted some pieces recently, opining on the seemingly perennial goings-on around the 2008 U.S. presidential elections. More specifically, on the electoral ambitions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. [Please see articles posted in the History section.]
Understandably, it has raised some eyebrows; some have even expressed concern: are we doing an about-face? Does sikhchic have an agenda? Or, have things merely fallen through the cracks?
We do owe you an explanation.
In a world which is never simply black and white, we are fully cognizant of our self-stated goals to, inter alia, draw the community into mainstream issues, and to, at the same time, present a Sikh world-view.
Regardless of where we live in the diaspora, none of us are oblivious of or untouched by the convoluted processes leading up to the American elections.
Whether we like it or not, whether we agree with it or not, it is trite but true to say that what ultimately happens in the U.S. on November 4, 2008 is bound to have a substantial impact on all of our lives.
Moreover, considering the mess the world is in today - in so many different ways - it would also be trite but true to say that this year's change in leadership in the U.S. is particularly crucial and significant to the state of the world in the near, and possibly long-term, future.
The fact that this election has, to date, lived up to its billing, is now undisputed: Hillary Clinton's extraordinary run, albeit a failed one, has changed the demographics of an American election forever. And the success of Barack Obama in becoming the Democratic presidential nominee has turned the same demographic upside down and landed it on its ear!
Sure, many of the countries in the so-called "third world", and even some in the rest, have for decades had women as elected heads of state. And there is no dearth of examples throughout the last hundred years establishing that no nation, colour, race, ethnicity, culture or gender has a monopoly on good leadership - or, for that matter, bad.
Nevertheless, who could have imagined only a few years ago that we would live to see even the merest apparition of a woman or an African-American being the President of the United States of America?
Barely a week has gone by since Obama captured the Democratic Party prize, and the reverberations are still being measured around the world.
Without getting into the political ramifications of it - there is no dearth of pundits who are analyzing them ad nauseum - one can safely declare that the cultural and social fallout will leave the world a different and better place.
Gender and racial equality are two issues that are central to the Sikh ethos.
Therefore, we at sikhchic.com feel that we would be terribly amiss, as a magazine covering the Art and Culture of the Diaspora, to steer away from recognizing the cultural earthquakes that have recently changed the landscape.
We remain committed to not being drawn into the brawl of politics, but also promise not to shy away from canvassing the real impact of all of these goings-on on our lives.
Finally, we urge Sikhs everywhere - but particularly Sikh-Americans - to become involved in the electoral process. It doesn't matter who you work for, who you support, or who you vote for .... As long as you do! Democrat, Republican or Independent - please do jump in. Each one of you can make a difference.
And regardless of whether you ride the elephant or the donkey or whatever, you'll take the community further with you.
June 10, 2008
Conversation about this article
1: Parminder Kaur (Raleigh, U.S.A.), October 26, 2008, 7:35 PM.
I took my parents to a one-stop register and vote polling station. They are in their 80's. They did not have to stand in line, they sat in the car and voted curbside. They were so thrilled. My husband and I voted by absentee ballot as we were not going to be in town on Election Day! So, do not miss this opportunity to vote, lines will be long on November 4. Vote early if you can, please.