James Miller


Friday, August 31, 2007

Ravi Bopara and Monty Panesar


Yesterday, the English cricket team dug itself into a hole of their own making and then from a position of weakness, they won the match.

Partly this was due to Stuart Broad, who emulated his father, Chris's, batting, but also it was due to the guts and determination of twenty-one year old Ravi Bopara.

Bopara is a Sikh, as is Monty Panesar, so that means that of the eleven players last night in Manchester, two were of that faith.

In that match, India also fielded two Sikhs.

So why should Sikhs have such a high profile, when they are not a common religion? After all their total number is only twenty-six million and seventy five percent live in India.

Years ago I met Jimmy Langley.

He was an officer in the Guards, who later wrote all of the definitive books on escape and evasion in the Second World War. I met him on a ferry to Zeebrugge, where he was selling and signing copies of one of his books.

In one he talks of two Sikh sergeants in the Pioneer Corps, who made the first home run from Germany back to the UK. In all the escapes from places like Colditz, why has this story never been told. Jimmy's reference is small as perhaps that is all he knew.

But it must have been an amazing story as two Indians crossed Germany. Or was it that they had so much confidence in what they were doing, that it was literally a piece of cake? If it was the latter, then it was a total tribute to the pair of them.

I've not had many dealings with Sikhs. But am I right in thinking that they take things to a higher level than most of us? You don't hear much about Sikhs being involved in crime for a start.

I looked up Sikhism on the Internet and two things stand out to me as an atheist.

1. There is only one God and he is the same God for all religions.

2. All people of all races and sex are equal in the eyes of God. There is total equality between man and woman and women can participate in any religious function and lead the congregation in prayer.

I may not agree with religion, but the second statement is something that I feel should be above everything else. I'd cut the God bit out and apply it to everything.

So good luck to Ravi and Monty.


Blogger Gina said...

hi. cool blogsite u got here. lots of good thoughts over the years.. your life since 2003.


4:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, I never knew that two Sikhs made the first `home run' escape from Germany to the UK.

I was brought up in a Sikh family and I still practice the Sikh religion.

One of the pieces of advice I learnt from reading the Sikh holy book and from interacting with other Sikhs is that human beings are not meant to slack off and be `ordinary'. We are encouraged to be extraordinary.

I remember to this day, a Sikh man with no beard and no turban telling me quite sharply (as I was doing a slovenly job of making some tea!) that as a turban wearing Sikh, I must excel in everything I do, even in apparently trivial tasks such as making tea ;).

If enough Sikhs take that advice seriously, that might help explain their achievements.

Personally, I think it's sound advice for all humans, whatever their background or beliefs.

So, go on ... don't hold back.... be extraordinary and develop your talents and abilities to the full!

5:54 am  

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