Chardi Kala

In all of these cases, I am sharing my story, whether through a melody, in a classroom, or on a blog. And as I share my post-9/11/01 story here in 2011 with these words, I feel a profound sense of hope that may not be rooted in a logical, physical reality, but perhaps in a deeper reality that connects us all and is a foundation for our belief in liberation and justice. Even in the worst of circumstances, remaining hopeful is a necessity to our survival as people traumatized by oppression. We Sikhs call this chardi kala—a spirit of revolutionary eternal optimism. Our collective struggles for dignity and social justice are not only necessary to tear down systemic inequalities, but also to heal our own personal wounds as oppressed people, always remaining in the chardi kala spirit.

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