Growing up I always heard stories of how Punjab was the land of rebels. The greatest of these rebels were the Khalsa: a group of people loyal to no worldly power, a clan that overthrew regimes only to give the power back to the people. They never ruled, they simply showed other people how to do so, and they only were loyal to the creative essence of this universe—the same one that flows through all that we see. To call it a God would be to betray their most essential beliefs. This same creative essence that they held so highly existed in them as well, and thus they walked the Earth untouchable by the mere humans who attempted to oppose their will.


To speak of these people, my ancestors, I must also speak of one of the beings who brought this order into existence. I will not limit this being with a name for they had many. They spent their life cultivating the creative essence within themselves and letting its energy flow through them to topple the oppressive structures they saw around them. They lost all those that shared their blood and replied that that was not what made a family. And in turn, to the one who had taken that blood, they wrote a declaration of victory. They used the kalam, the pen, to dismantle one of the most powerful empires to ever exist. With the stroke of the kalam this being brought the Mughal Dynasty to an end. They were known for their sword with which they crippled this Dynasty for many lifetimes, but it was the kalam that brought it to its end.


It is this legacy, this virsa, this tradition, that leads me to think that we as a people must value the value of creativity in activism. The work that centers communities of color, the work that takes power from the oppressors in order to give it back to the people; this is the work that must be done. And that is why I decided to join MiC, because I hope to follow in the virsa of my people.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *