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Kirpan

Discussion in 'H.I. Cantina' started by Howard Wallace, Jun 24, 2012.

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  1. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
    I recently stumbled on a Wikipedia article on the kirpan. The concept is much broader than I realized. Here are a couple of quotes from the article.

    And another slightly different angle from the same article.

    This seems like a noble ideal, and one perhaps not so different from the attitude of many here on Bladeforums.

    However, such idealists may be on a bit of a collision course with modern governmental constraints.

    One has to wonder why acting in such an ethical manner might be legal for members of one religion, but not for atheists.

    The government ruling in the NYC schools referenced above says "Sure, you can wear your kirpan as long as you do something to it that makes it not a kirpan." Here's an old piece from the Huffington Post that addresses that issue.
     
  2. kronckew

    kronckew Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    the answer to your last question is in the question itself. the ethics of the sikh faithful are a bit higher than the ethics of the atheist. while i'm sure there are unethical sikhs, they, unlike the unethical atheist, have a religious leadership they must answer to for their actions. the atheist only answers to himself, and he can usually convince himself not to punish himself.

    having said that, two sikh presidential body guards assassinated indira ghandi after she sent the indian army in to attack a sikh religious centre where they killed a number of sikh protesters and damaged religious shrines. they probably justified that in their minds as a defence of their religion. they are considered martyrs.

    thus, in new york, i'd bet the govt. considers security to overrule religion, as a sikh might use his unfettered kirpan to defend the innocent victim against a criminal act by a perp who is likely to be even better armed. in new york, you are not allowed to defend yourself, and only criminals and police are allowed to carry arms (tho the rich and famous can buy a concealed weapons permit). the proper procedure in NYC is when attacked, ask your attacker to wait around while you call the police, who will come to your defence in a few hours, and who will fill out all the required forms and deal with disposal of your body.
     
  3. abdelhazred

    abdelhazred

    176
    Feb 16, 2010
    Cities are a terrible place for the mind, body, and spirit. I feel a small part of me die every time I head to work. It is a place governed by both the very rich, and the poor, and has a tendency to create natural and legal law that in no way favors family, comradery, valor, independence, ethics, or even rational thought.

    Funny sikhism should come up, there's a Gurudwara down in Bloomington I've been wanting to visit for while now. They seem to be a very morally sound group with a very positive philosophy on life. In a way it's shame that they do not seek out converts, it makes their literature and culture relatively inaccessible to those outside their ethnic and linguistic group.
     
  4. C.S. Graves

    C.S. Graves

    Jun 13, 2006
    Ahhh, the kirpan, ever-controversial symbol of the Sikh credo!

    Lately I've become a bit of a fan of another of the "five K's", the kara:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Far less conspicuous than the kirpan, but I'm betting if a need for self-defense arose, that an assailant wouldn't want one of the above jabbed at the facial area. :eek:

    Whether the atheist can convince society not to punish him is another matter. :D
     
  5. MagenDavid

    MagenDavid Want some Kosher Salami?

    492
    Nov 2, 2008
    I guess this means I'm not the only westerner who keeps an almost religious reverence for a knife. I had a seasonal job at a big box store last winter, and almost quit on the spot when my supervisor said I wasn't allowed to use my Spyderco. I don't consider myself fully dressed without a pocket knife.
     
  6. abdelhazred

    abdelhazred

    176
    Feb 16, 2010
    A symbolic brass knuckle when sized properly. Just broke my "kirpan" the other day in a month-ruining moment of shock. I'm carrying a small pocket knife as I always do, but I was thinking of replacing it with either a fixed blade, or interesting enough, wearing an additional 350 gram kara I had been eying.

    Deciding what or if to replace a knife you have carried and used every day for years is grueling.
     
  7. sweetcostarica

    sweetcostarica Banned BANNED

    619
    Jan 18, 2012
    Thank you very much Howard for posting this great topic. I have always been in awe of Sikhs while in the Navy but never took time to understand them. Of course in most American cities there are few Sikhs so it is not a natural urge to study them. Anyway, this is another interesting tool you have presented with a neat background.

    Below: The Kirpan
    sikh-knife.ap.jpg Young Amritdhari Sikh.jpg

    sikhs_800.JPG
    Above picture:Capt. Kamaljit Singh Kalsi, left, a doctor, and 2nd Lt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan right, both are Sikh Officers in the US Army.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  8. C.S. Graves

    C.S. Graves

    Jun 13, 2006
    350 grams! :eek: That'll be hefty!
     
  9. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
  10. abdelhazred

    abdelhazred

    176
    Feb 16, 2010
    Who the hell attacks a gurdwara? From what I've gotten the only thing found was a single pistol. It's a shame that we live so disarmed that a single man with a sidearm could kill so many.
     
  11. Shinook

    Shinook

    344
    Apr 2, 2012
    I think the real shame is the hate that would drive such a killing.
     
  12. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 6, 2000
    Not even hate. Ignorance and stupidity make a dangerous combination. The Sikhs may not have had weapons but they didn't lack the will: "Congregation president Satwant Kaleka was shot and wounded when he attempted to tackle the gunman"

    Let's leave the political/social analysis for the Political Arena. I spent most of my life in NYC and don't appreciate uninformed mockery of a complex situation.
     
  13. abdelhazred

    abdelhazred

    176
    Feb 16, 2010
    The lack of effective and timely response from police nationwide, not to mention their unwarranted attacks on ordinary citizens and their households, has become a serious issue. Do not elevate the pedestal your city sits on until you cannot see its problems any longer. I too did not come here to debate politics, especially as a live and work in a city I would consider to be collapsing. :(

    If it's alright with you we could both take our hollow rage out on the areas surrounding DC. I have lived there, and would much rather peel the nails off of three fingers than return. It feels like the end of the line when you see street violence on more days than not. :grumpy:
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  14. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 6, 2000
    OK, my fault. "My" city which I left in 1997 is on no pedestal. It's an easy target for common-wisdom criticism. I should have shut my computer off before responding here. Or closed the thread.
     
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