Sepia Mutiny chronicles the outrage of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti concerning Mike Myers’ upcoming film The Love Guru. The organization provides a helpful table explaining exactly how you’ll be punished if you take in the flick:

Act

Demerit

Means

Making the movie, ‘The Love Guru’

30 units

2nd region of Hell for 1000 years
Watching it for entertainment without knowing the spiritual science/significance

2 units

Nether region (Bhuvaloka) for 100 yrs
Watching it for entertainment even after knowing the spiritual science/ significance

5 units

1st region of Hell for 100 yrs
Being a seeker of God/on the spiritual path, knowing about the Movie, but doing nothing to stop it

5 units

1st region of Hell for 100 yrs

“Indian Pink and Orange,” mixed media, Hermes spring 2008 advertisement and a 2005 photograph of a group of women pilgrims in Kovalam, Kerala.

The Times has a brief today about a man in Queens who has been charged with a hate crime. I suppose the racists are never known for having a nuanced grasp of the world, but it’s always dimly amusing to see yet more evidence of their ignorance.

 David C. Wood was charged with second-degree assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment after he shouted “Arab, go back to your country!” at 63-year-old Chadha Bajeet, a Sikh, and punched him in the face. Bajeet, who presumably ties a turban (as many Sikhs do), suffered a broken nose and jaw.

Violence against Sikhs in the U.S. isn’t new; particularly after 9/11, the visual cue provided by the turban has made the religion’s predominantly Indian adherents a rather easy target. From Congressman John Cooksey’s reactionary comment urging racial profiling after the terror attacks (“If I see someone (who) comes in that’s got a diaper on his head and a fan belt wrapped around the diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over”) to the Sikh Coalition’s exhaustive listing of hate crimes and bias incidents against Sikhs since then, discrimination is blatant and well-documented. But I still find it confounding: Really? You’re so threatened by this Other that you have to break a 63-year-old’s jaw? What did he ever do to you?

The subject gets me all het up, I suppose, is that my husband is Sikh; even though he doesn’t tie a turban, he has long hair and a beard, which means we are inevitably pulled aside at the airport for grilling and patting down. The worst that’s happened is a TSA official asking the hubby why he looked so fidgety; hubz remained calm and explained, “It’s the first time I’ll be visiting my in-laws at their family home.” But when you hear about random attacks in a neighborhood less than five miles from your own humble apartment, it’s easy to get a little paranoid.

My step-aunt Jana died this morning. I barely knew her, and if I were as vociferously Mormon as her extended family, I would be questioning my faith. What kind of benevolent omniscent being takes his own on the eve of his holiest day? Or, conversely, is this an attestation to the brute injustice of all life, proof that the world is unfair regardless of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism? I don’t know. And we’re all too involved in our immediate circumstances to ponder over the point too long. Here’s to mindfulness, reflection, and the dawning of a new day.