Wednesday, August 29, 2012

India Trip: Meeting Bibi Gurjeet Kaur Jee...

Mata Gurjeet Kaur jee first appeared on the BBC news website with the story of how her family were killed by the Panjab Police. She also featured on the Sikh Channel adverts to raise awareness of how people today are suffering from the human rights abuses committed against them by the State since 1984 onwards.

Mata jee was arrested in 1988 and spent two years in prison; one year at Nabha Jail and two years at Sangrur Jail. Upon her release, she was then arrested again in 1990 in Ferozepur and spent nine months and seven days in prison. During her ordeal in prison, she was subjected to third degree torture. This was not the end of her suffering. Mata jee's husband, 4 sons and her daughter were killed by the police, within the year of her release.

Mata jee is now 65 years old and has one remaining daughter; Bibi Sharanjeet Kaur. Bibi Sharanjeet Kaur was 13 years old during the time of the massacre; she is now 33 years old and married. Even till this day, the mother and daughter are still being harassed by the police. Mata Gurjeet Kaur jee lost her home, her land and her family; she is now living alone, in a small room in her local Gurdwara. Before receiving help from SOPW Mata jee never had enough money to buy soap and had to ask the Gurdwara if she could have some soap and ate Langar to keep alive. Due to the horrendous conditions Mata jee lived and survived through during her time in prison; she continues to suffer in continuous anguish as well as physical misery. SOPW are currently given Mata jee a monthly pension to help her with her medical care and daily living.

I visited Sri Darbaar Sahib, Amritsar in June. It was Sangrand and there were lots of Sangat coming have darshan (glimpse of) of Guru jee. It took hours standing the long queue from near Sri Akal Takht Sahib to go to Sri Darbaar Sahib. It was so hot and the sun was scorching! They had fans on but because there were so many people it was so stuffy standing in the queue. One girl from abroad even became sick and vomited in the queue and another lady collapsed from heat exhaustion.  Waheguru!

Whilst queuing near the entrance of Sri Darbaar Sahib, I saw Bibi Gurjeet Kaur jee humbly sweeping the floor. I kept looking at Mata jee, as I recognised her from the Sikh Channel adverts in the build up to the June 1984 remembrance march and freedom rally, and seen her on the SOPW youtube videos. Mata jee looked at me and smiled. I think she realised that I had recognised her. She stopped sweeping and came up to me and shared Guru's Fateh. 

I told her that I recognised her from television and that I was from the UK. She smiled and said she would really like to sit and talk with me. I said after I do Matha Tekh I would find her (I don't know why on earth I said because there were so many people that day at Sri Harimandir Sahib!).

After doing Matha Tekh I came back outside on the Parkarma (the marble walkway surrounding the Amrit Sarowar). I told my relatives from India about Mata Gurjeet Kaur jee and how her family became Shaheed and how she lives in the Gurdwara with no home or family for support. My relatives from India were eager to meet her and say Guru's Fateh to her but she was no where to be seen. 

I had to go all the way back to Sri Darbaar Sahib to find her. Waheguru! Mata jee was picking up rubbish and slowly putting them in a carrier bag. I told her my relatives wished to meet her. She slowly walked with me whilst picking up rubbish, so I joined in. Waheguru. She said, "With great fortune you get to do sevaa here. You very lucky that you have this opportunity to do this sevaa." Waheguru!

After we came outside I introduced Mata jee to my relatives. I forgot how many of how her children became Shaheed. I said, "Mata jee, did all your sons become Shaheed?"  She replied, "Four sons and one daughter were all killed... however, dear son - you are also my son. All of you are my children." She smiled and repeated the lines that Guru Gobind Singh jee said to Mata Sundri Jee when she asked about the fate of her four sons. She said, "Chaar mooe taa kyaa hooaa; jeevat ke-ee hazaar" (If four died, so what; thousands shall live). She smiled and said, "Why should I be sad?  I should be sad if I had no sons. But you are my son and all of you are my children. Thank you for meeting me son and showing your love." She hugged me and gave her blessings to my relatives and went back to carry on with seva. Waheguru!

Meeting Mata Gurjeet Kaur jee made me feel like I had darshan of Mata Gujjar Kaur jee and the mother of Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh jee.

Dhan Hai Guru! Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!

Related links:

No comments: