SBS Radio App

Download the FREE SBS Radio App for a better listening experience

Advertisement
  • L-Fresh The Lion (Facebook)
Hip hop artist, Sukhdeep Bhogal aka L-FRESH The LION wants to encourage migrants such as the Sikh and Punjabi communities to become actively engaged in issues affecting Australia's Indigenous communities "and discover how they can play a role in healing.”
English
By
25 Apr 2017 - 5:05 PM  UPDATED 11 Aug 2017 - 4:15 PM

Activist Jidah Clark argues that while we celebrate Anzac day, it is also important to remember the wars that were waged within Australia which, he says, were fought for possession of land and the exercise of sovereignty.

He argues Australian find it difficult to acknowledge the frontier wars because it goes to the very heart of the foundations of Australian sovereignty and ownership of “this great land”.

Hip hop artist L-FRESH The LION (Sukhdeep Bhogal) says Australia's Indigenous history is not valued equally in the mainstream.   

Earlier this year on Australia Day, he declined to perform his regular songs in Sydney, instead choosing to play songs of indigenous artists in solidarity with the Indigenous Australians who believed the date of Australia Day should be changed on a day other than January 26 which they refer to as invasion day.

Sukhdeep tells SBS Punjabi even today Indigenous people are still negatively stereotyped and are treated as lesser human beings.

“Colonisation is not simply an event of the past. It is ongoing and its effects are still felt by people in the present. There are Indigenous people still alive who have survived despite bearing witness to very traumatic and devastating policies in their lifetime.

"For example, some were members of stolen generations and there are those who were not considered human beings and were instead regarded as flora and fauna… When you begin to unearth these chapters of Australia’s history, you then can’t just simply turn your head and pretend it didn’t exist,” says Sukhdeep.

Born in south-west Sydney, Sukhdeep says conversations with Indigenous friends and peers guided him to dive more deeply into Australia’s untold history.

“There’s so much more to it than what we are told. So much lies beneath the surface.

"At some point, I realised that I needed to do my own research to get a better understanding of how Australia’s colonial history has impacted Indigenous people, not just in the past, but also how those impacts are still being felt.”

“The conversation I try to have with as many people within our community as possible is to show them what I have learnt. Because if that conversation can open the door to uncovering some of that history then hopefully that individual can go on their own journey and discover how they can play a role in healing.”

He feels the migrant communities have remained somewhat disengaged from the Indigenous issues because they feel it doesn’t affect them.

“We have become comfortable in continuing what is because some may feel it has no impact on us. Secondly, we are caught up in our own issues as a migrant community, and thirdly, we just don’t know where to look. Also, we are not exposed to it by mainstream media, by politicians and by so many people who continue to overlook it.”

He says that migrant communities should actively seek out to become engaged listeners of Indigenous people, not just to get an understanding of their history and present but also to be a part of the “healing process this nation needs to undergo”.

Not only does Sukhdeep feel very strongly about it on an individual level, but he also believes there is a role to be played in educating the Sikh and Punjabi communities about Australia’s Indigenous history.

“The conversation I try to have with as many people within our community as possible is to show them what I have learnt. Because if that conversation can open the door to uncovering some of that history then hopefully that individual can go on their own journey and discover how they can play a role in healing.”

“I take that role very seriously. I don’t claim any higher moral ground. It’s coming from a place of compassion whilst understanding that there’s so much to learn, there’s so much listening to be done. A lot of that begins with self-reflection.”

Sukhdeep says he has come across many younger people in the Sikh community who have a good understanding of the Indigenous history.

“There is such a strong foundation of human rights, equality, justice and standing up for the oppressed in the Sikhi.

“Once we as a community start to value and respect of Indigenous communities, we will be a positive factor in ensuring that injustice is prevented and that we are positive agents in supporting Indigenous communities in their pursuit for justice and equality in contemporary Australia.”

For more news and updates, follow SBS Punjabi on Facebook.

Also read
Punjabi community stands in solidarity with Indigenous Australians on 26th January
Thousands of people gathered today in the Melbourne CBD to peacefully protest against the celebrating Australia Day on the 26th of January - among them a strong contingent from the Punjabi community.
SBS Explores Identity: 'My Sikh identity gives me a huge advantage in the Australian music industry'

Sukhdeep Singh Bhogal is an acclaimed Australian hip-hop artist, better known as L-Fresh the Lion.

Men have a greater role in eliminating domestic violence, says L-FRESH The LION

L-Fresh The Lion, hip hop artist Sukhdeep Bhogal says it's important for men to talk to men about the issue of domestic violence. The White Ribbon ambassador says it's pertinent to understand that women's perspective is as important as men's, and the youth have an important role in bringing this awareness in the subcontinental community. Sukhdeep Bhogal spoke to SBS Punjabi's Shamsher Kainth ahead of the Indian Subcontinent Community Forum on March 13.