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Showing posts from September, 2013

Sikhs as a Firewall for Hate Crime

By the time this reaches you, you would likely already have heard about the heinous hate crime attack on a Sikh professor from Columbia University in New York. All too predictably, the attackers referred to the victim as "Osama" and "terrorist".

In building construction, a firewall is built as a barrier to prevent a fire in one part of the building from spreading through the rest of the building.

Building on the analogy (no pun), in Web or Internet technology, which is where I earn my living, a firewall is used as a first line of defense to block unauthorized access from sources that wish to perpetuate attacks of various kinds on a Web site.

I have borrowed the term "firewall" to describe the role Sikhs have played, from their origin leading up to current times.

The Sikh religion was formed, in some part, due to the dire need to protect India's predominant Hindus against unrelenting attacks from Muslim invaders from Mongolia, Persia, and beyond.

Fast …

Learning to Fly: Learning to Swim

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(This is the first of a series of posts I intend to write in order to document my life. The series is called "Learning to Fly". This post is called "Learning to Swim". The posts in this series will be chronologically random, a stream of consciousness, if you will -- typically, thoughts triggered by an event.)

I can't recall the last time I had to work on a Saturday. But taking the kids to swim is not work. It's a joy to see kids learn, and grow. I remember learning to swim at the swimming pool at IIT Delhi (India). My father, who was a professor at IIT, used to stress that it was an "Olympics size" pool. I have no reason to doubt that it was. IITD had awesome facilities. And I am lucky to have grown up on campus.

I remember my father doing length-wise laps in the pool. He was a good swimmer. (My mother's strokes were a bit more labored. She could only manage breadth-wise laps.) My father used to tell us that a good swimmer causes little or no…