This website is dedicated to our great savior Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in the memory of Babu Mangu Ram Mugowalia, our great freedom fighter & the founder of Ad Dharm


Dr.Ronki Ram
Dr. Harmesh Kumar Licensed Psychologist
President, Therapeutic Residential Care Services, Inc.

Today is a day not only to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but also to adopt his message of Love, Peace, Equal Justice, Tolerance and embracing everybody without any psychological reservation. Dr. King's message is pertinent today as it was when he first fought for civil rights knowing that he may be killed by those who hate him but still he chose love over hate. We, Indians need to learn from the message of Dr. King when we adopted this land and became part of American Psyche. Even though, one of our brothers, Bobby Jindal, Governor of a beautiful State reminded us recently that "he does not like hyphenated identity like Indo-American rather he would like all of us to be called Americans because his parents came to this country to become Americans not Indo-Americans". In many ways, I agree with his statement.
However, like Dr. King's fight against bigotry and racism should reflect into our consciousness but how often we pay attention to his message as we still practice Caste system while living in America. I would also remember the contributions of Guru Ravidass Ji, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Kabir Ji, and Guru Arjun Dev Ji who all preached the same message of love as Dr. King did in the 60's in America and Jesus Christ preached the same message of love more than 2000 years ago and Mahatma Buddha and Mahavir Jain 2600 years ago.
 In India, we had Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, a great social thinker, who could be compared with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who fought for equality and justice for all including the lowest of the low in the caste system hierarchy and give equal legal rights to women to vote and have equal share in parental property. That is why Indira Gandhi, being a woman, could become the Prime Minister of a biggest democracy in the world, and we are still waiting to see a first woman president in this oldest democracy in the world.  Being the first law minister and Chairman of the Constitution Draft Committee and principal architect of the Constitution of India, Dr. Ambedkar was respected even by people who did not like his agenda because his did not ask anything for himself. Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru, our first Prime Minister gave a lot of respect to Dr. Ambedkar’s philosophy and the concept of social democracy in India. They both promoted an equal social agenda and said; if India wanted to progress and become a successful democracy then all the people of India including the lowest of the low should be elevated out of economic poverty and social discrimination.
Let’s take a pledge that we will teach our kids this message so that they can grow to be the fountain of love without hatred for anyone. This message is the only solution to world’s current problems of terrorism and groups like ISIS and BOKO HARAM. Per chance, what we saw in France few days back and what we have been seeing in Ukraine, Syria, Israel, and many other countries in the world. 

O. P. Balley

The fund-raising event held in Namaste-Nepal Indian Cuisine Roseville, Sacramento on September 30th, 2012 in support of Dr. Harmesh Kumar’s bid for election to city council of Concord, was a remarkable gesture on the part of the organizing hosts as well as the participants, providing a new fillip and momentum to the bold initiative taken by Dr. Harmesh Kumar. A sense of motivational environment, optimism and confidence permeated the proceedings of the event.

Because of my close association with Dr. Harmesh Kumar, I had the honor, pleasure and the privilege to introduce him to the audience. All the speakers at the event exhibited very candidly a sense of encouragement, goodwill and solidarity for Dr. Kumar's efforts to be crowned with success.

Many speakers lauded through their speeches and poetry, Babasahib Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's life-long struggle and contributions to safeguard human rights and welfare of the society as a whole.

Since Dr. Harmesh’s election to the city council of Concord will embellish the image of the whole community, we should sincerely stand by him and help him in any way we can, through these crucial days of his campaign, before November 6th.2012.

We hope this will inspire and inculcate a spirit of renewed zeal and enthusiasm among the younger generation of Indian descent to be involved with the mainstream public life in America.

The services of Mr. Prem Kumar Chumber, Chief Editor, Ambedkar Times and Desh- Doaba for providing a professional coverage are also appreciated because it is only through our own media that we can succeed in carrying the real message to the hands of the community at large.

Dr. Harmesh Kumar, while thanking the audience at this event, spelt-out in details his personal trials and tribulations of life, ultimately connecting him to the welfare of the community and stimulating him to launch his campaign for public office.

I again wish Dr. Kumar a resounding success in his farsighted vision and incessant efforts to reach his cherished goal of victory in this election.

Posted on , October 25, 2012

Dr. Harmesh Kumar
Aarakshan movie

It is a very common saying in Indian Mythology that it is one's Karma (Deeds) which make you higher or lower in your social standing or caste. Anybody born in a lower caste can become a Pundit if he or she does good Karma and get education and apply that education for the welfare and upliftment of others and treat everyone with dignity and respect. It is also a fact that large sections of Indian society were deprived of adequate environment and opportunities to own land and get proper education only because they were born in man-made lower castes. All spiritual faiths convey the same message of equality, justice and treating everyone with respect. However, practitioners of each faith forget the true meaning of his or her faith with false (man-made ) programming of boundaries based on caste, creed, religion, cultural and or national conditioning. It is mainly by some members of the so called educated and intellectual class (without soul) whose main motive is to promote their narrow and selfish interests by facilitating that kind of conditioning based on fear and without wisdom. This kind of approach helps them to continue their domination on others, even though they know that it cannot be sustained. A recent example of this thinking was seen in the statement few weeks ago by our health minister, Gulaam Nabi Azad still calling homosexuality as a disease, thus keeping homophobia alive.

I am very impressed with our Movie Industry, Bollywood. During my 27 years of experience as a psychologist in India and USA, I have observed over the years that our film industry has not been contaminated with prejudices and biases of religion, regionalism, linguistic blindness and social myopia. I hope that the readers would agree with me that there have been many examples of inter-religious, inter-caste, inter-state or even international (inter-racial) marriages among the movie stars. There have been many assaults on the movie stars by Hinduvta dominated political parties and religious wings of those parties. However, Bollywood has stood the test of time and kept itself away from getting carried away emotionally in favor of one or other social prejudices or biases of the times. This is what makes India, our great motherland. She, even though has many scars on her body some physical (partition of 1947, 1972, and current demand for separation) or some emotional (1947 and 1984 riots) and some social (Caste, infanticide and Sati Pratha) etc
I could say that Bollywood has tremendous impact positive or negative on the youth and society at large all over the world. I can recall that back in the days when I was combing my hair like Rajesh Khanna during my early years and later learning few dance steps from Amitabh Bachchan's movies when I was in college. Bollywood has been very instrumental to keep the human rights issues and secular nature of India in mind while portraying the characters from Indian society or depicting Indian characters settled abroad along with their struggles and achievements, thus keeping our generations and future generations connected to our cultural roots and motherland.

Prakash Jha’s even conception of Aarakshan is a marvelous idea and need of the hour. I, personally speaking can say that this is a very bold step on the part of Parkash Jha and Amitabh Bachchan. India does need soul-searching by such movies which help us to look for solutions to our existing social problems and initiate a dialogue in the open social forum rather than in our own bedrooms. Our leaders have been so timid and slippery in not confronting the current problems faced by Indian Society. That is why we still remember Shahid Bhagat Singh, Subash Chander Bose, Gadari Babas and many more who gave their lives because their agenda or goal at that time was common i.e. to liberate India from British rule. They also struggled against the prevailing conditions of the Indian society at that time. There was no difference between Hindu, Sikh and Muslim freedom fighters, even some Britishers helped Indians in getting their Independence as depicted in the movie LAGAAN. They were not Punjabis, Gujrati's or Bengali, they were Indians. Therefore, I consider Parkash Jha and Amitabh Bachchan true patriots and true pundits. They took the issue of reservation "head- on" in a very sensible manner. The movie was able to depict the accumulative anger and frustration of Dalits to get some dignity and respect in their own country where for centuries they have been treated less than humans. I was very happy to see that it was not portrayed to elicit more anger rather than to find solutions to a very complicated issue which has been viscerally imprinted on the Indian psyche over the centuries. The movie also helps in directing some Dalit leaders and intellectuals to do some soul searching to prevent any conversion from victim’s mentality to perpetrators' based on their narrow and selfish motives. The history is replete with examples where victims have become perpetrators to avenge the centuries old persistent wrong doings. Rather, they should embrace and put some balm on the wounds of economically disadvantaged people and their children to develop an understanding for equal treatment of humans. If one is tortured, s/he should not inflict the same pain on others as our Gurus have demonstrated. They believed in love over hatred as witnessed from the examples of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Guru Ravidass Ji, Satguru Kabir Sahib Ji and Jesus Christ.

The movie Aarakshan brings to the surface a very emotionally painful and socially complicated issue. Every Indian, especially the ones settled in United States experiences the underlying tension whenever mainstream American asks us about practice of caste system in India. We all owe it to our children and future generations to work collaboratively for equitable, socially responsible, mutually respectful and peace oriented solutions to this age old problem. It is sometimes very disturbing to see even in USA, that our Indian brothers and sisters give matrimonial advertisements based on caste or gotra. However, when Indians are being discriminated in America by mainstream Americans then they "cry-a-foul" and all the Government and private Indian media and political parties jump "to protect the dignity and honor of Indians" in USA and other parts of the world as seen from the recent stories printed in India -West and other Indian papers where doctors in Texas are being discriminated only because they want leadership positions in a white-dominated Hospital Districts and also by a story printed in the August 19, 2011 issue of India-West (on page A35) with the title, "Jaya Slams US Diplomat's Remarks, Wants Apology" where the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Ms. Jayalalithaa condemned a remark referring to "dark and dirty" Tamilians by a US Diplomat, vice-Consul Maureen Chao, when she remarked that her "skin became dirty and dark like the Tamilians after 72 hour train trip" and CM demanded apology from the US Vice-Consul. I am failing to understand why any Indian leader or even people like Anna Hazare never raised their voice against human degradation and discrimination of Indians by Indians. As people are joining hands all over the Globe against corruption, why not against caste discrimination which is the worst form of social corruption?

One very important observation is that elected individuals who sit in the parliament or state assemblies from “reserved category” are not able to express the wishes of their constituents. I think our political parties needs to promote candidates who are not mere rubber stamps for the party but are more aligned with needs and aspirations of the people they represent. Most of the “reserved category” candidates are either ignorant, lack political education and are manipulated by their political parties they belong to. This issue is beautifully described in this movie. It is true universally that when these elected candidates feel insecure in their political arena, then they do not belong to any caste, region, race, religion and linguistic minority. This is also very true in United States of America, world's oldest democracy. Whenever I visited my native place, Hoshiarpur in Punjab, India, there was no noticeable progress or development in the infrastructure or resources in the areas for last two decades, especially from where political parties’ field “reserved candidates”. I think that either they want to show unconsciously that these areas are not developed because of those "reserved candidates" or they consciously do not want those areas to make progress due to the fact that those" reserved candidates" may get the credit for job very well done, which may not go well for masters of those political parties. Some parallels to this thinking can be observed in republicans vs. democratic area when opposite party is in power.
It was also very humbling to know from the acting of super-star, Amitabh Bachchan, who has given us movies like" Abhiman, Deewaar" enlightening us through his actions like a true pandit, that a person who is educationally and spiritually enlightened and is able to create that kind of awareness in children and his or her students, such pupils happened to be truly independent in their thinking and follow the path to truthfulness without any fear or other emotional contamination. This observation is beautifully described in this movie by the roles of Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Pandukone. The movie also demonstrated a lesson for parents (especially fathers from Northern India) to tolerate harsh words from a child with independent thinking which could be considered disrespectful in Indian context according to "Bharti Maryada". This kind of thinking can prove to be suicidal for Indian parents settled in Western countries especially in United States. Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan perform their roles very eloquently. It was also humbling to know that a father was not upset with his daughter for dating a guy from lower caste or other race as most Indian parents are struggling in this country as their daughters are dating people from other ethnicities/races. This was also a little different than what we have seen in "Khaps" or Panchayats in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan where practice of tribal loyalty i.e. to protect the pride of the tribe, a couple is "butchered" under the name of "honor killings" only because either they married within their "Gotra" or inter-caste.

This kind of social openness needs to be promoted in today's Indian society. I think social media and movies can do a miraculous job in promoting inter-caste marriages and also dialogue. It becomes the duty of younger generations to engage in productive and constructive dialogue to end this inhumane treatment of human beings based on their birth in a particular caste rather than based on their innate human potential. When and if appropriate attention is given to this issue then in tribal areas, it would help to stop religious conversions from Eastern religions to Christianity, because people will feel that they are being treated with respect and dignity in their own society and they do not need to go to other religion to get the respect.

The role of commercialism in Indian Education is also highlighted in this movie. The system has been exploited by corporations or individuals with greed/profits only in mind. Parkash Jha has done a meticulous job by depicting very powerfully the dialogues between Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bajpai. As in USA, the education system has been failing and kids are not passing with good employable skills. The same is happening in India as Indian leaders are trying to blindly follow American system without understanding its flaws and context. Sometimes, pseudo educational leaders are creating guilt in Indian leaders and then exploit their good intention to make huge profits for themselves while ignoring the needs of the masses. In USA, Government has been blindly offering scholarships or loans to students enrolled in any educational institutions without requirement or accountability of those educational institutions to provide the students with employable skills and tools to compete in the real world. The master stroke of Parkash Jha as a director and producer has shown that Indian Education system is "crying for help" as people with financial resources are getting the best education whereas majority of the people from economically and socially weaker sections cannot afford to get good education in public schools as shown in the movie, most of the teachers employed in public schools and colleges do not go to teach in public schools/colleges rather they do private tuitions even though their salaries are being paid by Government.

I am also unable to understand the opposition to the movie by some sections of our society. I know that this is not a perfect movie by some standards as it cannot show all the discrimination happened to Dalits over the centuries neither it can show all the problems created by reservation policies to the mainstream during the duration of the movie i.e. within few hours . I am more perturbed by a ban by some of our judges who are supposed to be promoting justice and liberty for all. I am also aware of some criticisms of this movie by some that it does not deal with reservation issue in its entirety and got distracted in the later half with focus on commercialization of education. However, these two issues are very intensely related.

Overall, I would say this is a very bold attempt by Parkash Jha and Amitabh Bachchan and his other team members to handle this complicated issue of Aarakshan in a skillful way without exploiting feelings of either side. It is true as one of the songs says "Jara Pankh Kholoo Phir Uddaan Dekhna and Ek Chance to de dey meri jaan phir to uddaan Dekhna", i.e. untie my wings and then see my flight and give me a chance and then see my flight. America lives very true to this song as it provides unlimited opportunities to anybody where once slaves (Blacks) could become president of the country without reservation. There are many Dalits I have known who have become entrepreneurs, doctors, engineers in software, civil and mechanical areas and army, navy, air force officers and some are working in FDA, NASA, and Boeing based on their merit and capabilities even they are known as Indians in America and not Indians from lower castes. If we look back even Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar was appointed chairman of the Indian Constitution Committee not based on his caste or reservation policy but on his education and abilities.

I have no doubt in my mind that India can create similar conditions for its citizens. This movie has initiated the dialogue in a very constructive way. It is pertinent to mention here that Amitabh Bachchan was initially named Inquilaab, inspired from the famous phrase Inquilaab Zindabad, during the Indian independence struggle. Later his name was changed by his father to Amitabh which means, "The light that would never go off." I can say that he truly lives his both names. He is also able to convey the true emotional intelligence, which is innate and is not based on how much money one has or how much education one has. It includes abilities to identify emotions accurately in oneself and in other people and use emotions to facilitate cognitive activities and motivate adaptive behavior. Amitabh Bachchan has demonstrated over the years that he is embedded with the potential of true super-star and master of emotional intelligence. I wish Parkash Jha and Amitabh Bachchan a great success in their future Uddans (Flights).

I agree with the message of the “Aarakshan” movie that socially deprived sections of Indian society have been marginalized and subjected for centuries to inhumane treatment. They need to be provided with some extra educational facilities and technical know-how (computers and internet) currently unaffordable for them to equip them with the essential skills and potential knowledge to compete in the open field. The ultimate goal of reservation policy should be to create social and economic parity in Indian society to enable everyone to live as respectable and dignified citizens of a free nation. Press and the social media can play a very significant and vital role to achieve this objective by creating awareness in the society to honestly recognize the need to erase this stigma forever. It should be done in a discreet and judicious manner while providing similar opportunities for other economically disadvantaged sections of Indian society to avoid marching towards a social catastrophe. In the recent times we have seen the results even in United States when people are feeling marginalized, not listened to and not engaged, they can become fertile minds for violence and terrorist activities (Timothy McVeigh)

I think it is very appropriate to mention in the words of US President, Barrack H. Obama, “when you know you are heading towards a cliff, it does not matter if you driving hybrid or SUV, you have to change directions”. Let’s all get involved and start a constructive dialogue to solve our chronic social problems. I think if we, people of Indian origin settled abroad get engaged we can change the directions of our society in a positive and humane way. Posted on September 6, 2011

I want to share some thoughts with you about the coming Parkash Utsav of Sri Guru Ravidass Ji. One of the best messages we can learn from such pure and supreme souls that once people do not understand you, one has to make them understand with love, without anger and without finding fault, without being punitive and without being judgmental. Being a psychologist, I can say that human history is replete with examples that people who had been victimized had become perpetrators most of the time. However, those enlightened souls like Sri Guru Ravidass Ji, being ridiculed, laughed at, discriminated against never put other people down even their enemies and did not convert into perpetrators. Therefore, all of us should learn on these auspicious Parkash Utsav celebrations that everyone should be treated with respect, not to hurt anyone's feelings and treat everyone with love. Hope this will be helpful.

H. Kumar, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
President, Therapeutic Residential Services, Inc.

MARCH 2011

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