A Path Divided

Years ago, a dispute over money and power split the Valley's Sikh community. Then one of their own was gunned down after September 11. Will the bloodshed be enough to put them back on the same path?

Darshan Teji can only sigh and shake his head when he's asked about these temple "politics," a subject he fastidiously avoided in the past. Normally, he says, "I pray, I go home, that's it." But since Balbir's death, Teji has been sitting down with Bisla again, not for the living-room prayer sessions of 30 years ago, but as members of the communications subcommittee of the task force. The distance between the two groups "is unfortunate," he says with a note of frustration. "Some people go to this temple, some people go to the other; what's the difference, really?

People from throughout the area contributed to a Mesa memorial honoring Balbir Singh Sodhi.
Dan Huff
People from throughout the area contributed to a Mesa memorial honoring Balbir Singh Sodhi.
One of the duties of the new Sikh Task Force is to develop educational materials, like this poster, to prevent further violence against Sikhs.
Click for larger view
One of the duties of the new Sikh Task Force is to develop educational materials, like this poster, to prevent further violence against Sikhs.

Click for larger view

"In God's eyes, there are no Indian Sikhs, there are no American Sikhs, there are only Sikhs. We are all Sikhs."

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