Panthic Project Ideas Part 2

This is a followup to my last post where I discuss some possible panthic-focused projects to work on.

The children of Punjab now have completely lost the chance at a better education, and the main person responsible is still at it: attacking the people and institutions who made that project possible. This duplicity is painful to watch, and as I find out more about the pasts, I even somewhat blame myself for not seeing these crimes coming a mile away (e.g. the main accused took pretty similar actions at his last job at Datawind and then turned to sue that company). It’s insane that someone who has had all the higher education benefits that others struggle for everyday and was given several professional opportunities by his friends and sangat, one day makes such selfish decisions against thousands of little kids’ education and compromises any future USAID investment in Punjab, the land he claims to care for. Meanwhile, via Chandigarh, Seattle, he now reportedly sits in Vancouver, having forcibly shut down the promising project in Punjab.

Some more ideas I’ve come up with, that may be worth pursuing, feedback is appreciated:

Sikh Resource Archive

sraBack in 2008 I had the idea of creating a pure and simple online archive of sikh resources. This would be focused on digital collection of everything sikhi-related, with a specific goal of things that are ‘useful’. I even put together a proof of concept that some friends may have seen. I think this idea may still have some merit, even if the digital world has changed considerably since almost a decade ago. We could even work to get these things onto archive.org for long-term saving beyond my capabilities.

Nanakshahi

nanakshahiI have several strong opinions on the Nanakshahi calendar that was created by Pal Singh Purewal, then adopted by Sikhs… then un-adopted by corrupt sikhs. In 2009 I showcased this PHP calendar function by Harpreet Singh Buttar. There are a *ton* of things that could use Nanakshahi calendar support, that I could work to add to. I’d love to see full android support among other things, and this is likely something I could accomplish with a concerted effort.

Dial-a-simran

phoneemotionBack in 2009 I made a small project that was very simple – Call a number, listen to simran. While this has been completely superseded by apps, radio, mp3’s and everything available to everyone, I wonder if there would be an interesting way to expand on this idea (and the small amount of code that I made back then) to do something panthic and forward-thinking.

Timeline

punjab_timelineOne idea that I’ve been kicking around for a very long time is to make an awesome interactive timeline of Sikh History, across all sorts of dimensions. As specific as possible, with lot’s of different features and types of data you can access. To give a cool and easy-to-use view of sikh history and gurmat. Something like this or this. The main part of the project would be to consolidate the history into something that can be consumed by software, including lots of metadata, and making it free and open to all. This site is a great starting point and example to follow – it’s also very cool so check it out.

Gurbani Search

ggsIt might be almost cliche, but while there are a number of projects out there, plus the large number of Android and iOS apps, they all do things in a manner that doesn’t necessarily fill all the niches that I run into. I imagine a client-side single page web app, with a full offline mode that is focused on presentation to a secondary monitor. This would consume the excellent sikher api and related projects, to be focused primarily on good UI experience. We’ve all seen the Uncles and Aunties at gurdwara struggling with the 20-year old SikhiToTheMax project, it’s probably time to revamp that and make something cool and new. While there exists some other alternatives (iSearchGurbani and SearchGurbaniDesktop come to immediate mind), I have a long history with this project, from back in the windows mobile pc days, and ages ago when I used windows (windows free for at least 17 years now…) This could be a fun, globally collaborative project that would have high impact.

Again, would love to get any reader’s thoughts on this, or any other interesting ideas you may have.

What keeps me doing Panthic Work

These days it’s really easy for me to tell other to go away, and that “I’m busy, sorry – no time”

But the reality is that as a Sikh it’s my duty to do panthic work. Right now the only thing that keeps me involved with Sikh Organizations is this paragraph from the Reht Maryada:

The concept of service is not confined to fanning the congregation, service to and in the Guru ka Langar etc. A Sikh’s entire life is a life of benevolent exertion. The most fruitful service is the service that secures the optimum good by minimal endeavour. That can be achieved through organised collective action. A Sikh has, for this reason, to fulfil his/her Panthic obligations (obligations as a member of the corporate entity, the Panth), even as he/she performs his/her individual duties.

(emphasis mine). This basically tells me that any seva I do should be the most efficient possible, and it seems obvious that to be efficient (and lazy) I should be doing it with others so that my efforts have the most effect. Honestly, even though I’m mostly burned out, this paragraph keeps me involved with Sehaj, The Sikh Coalition, and others.

What keeps you going?