April 27, 2012 § 4 Comments
Guru Piarey jio,
We Sikhs fought bravely for our Gurus. The films depicting our bravery and courage have not yet been made, the gems not yet uncovered. They will be. Future generations will be watching our history and inside them too, the spark will be lit, ready to be fuelled by Gurbani and Sangat into a raging fire of Truth, ready to spread across the Earth and destroy those who insist upon taking from poor and downtrodden. This Army of Truth will spread food and charity to all nations and people, delivering Degh inside a shelter of steel, Tegh. Freedom will reign as the roars of “Tegh Tegh Fateh” become manifestly real.
Since the 1850’s however, we’ve been systematically maligned and thrown into confusion. Our warrior spirit, our culture stolen and misdirected. First, we were convinced to fight for the British and we did so bravely. We did not register that they had tried to auction off Harimandir Sahib, stolen Ranjit Singh’s throne and children, as well as tried hard to kill or expel all the independent thinking Sikhs. From 1920 onwards, for a while, the Indian Independence movement brought some of our focus back, but it was a limited vision, seeking only to remove the British but not yet brave enough to place ourselves in the driving seat. Following the sacrifices of WW1 and WW2, (which we in the West still hark too in our defence) we Sikhs were denied the freedom we had fought for by the same 1% Hindu leadership that controls India today. We were told that we could still be good loyal (dis-enfranchised) soldiers for Mother India. It should have been Sache Patshah Dhan Guru Gobind Singh ji that we bowed too and fought for and a place at Guru’s feet, our reward, but it became the security of a monthly salary and pension that Sikh soldiers took as their reward, and medals on their chests that we applaud.
Now, as the sleeping giant of the Khalsa Panth awakens, let’s examine what traps and bonds have been placed upon us by the 1% to prevent its success in delivering Vaheguru’s (Degh Tegh) Fateh to the 99%. In order to take forward the success of #IPledgeOrange, and also the global inspiration from the Arab spring, Russians protesting, Occupy movements, we’ll have to turn inwards. Why inwards and not just outwards? Because our own house and vision must be aligned. We do’nt need a carefully structured plan. The plan is the first casualty of battle. We need a vision of our goal and a vision of the principles which we unite behind.
The reality is that most of us on the frontlines can feel the tension just under the surface, the old divisive issues bubbling up and not breaking out just yet. It’s clear that at a fundamental level, we’ve ignored and covered up the divisive issues (the real traps and bonds upon us) without dealing with them. They are the elephant in the room.
In our analysis, we see two very disturbing trends in the last 10 years.
(1) The Panthic division:
Are you Panthic or not? It seems as if anyone who gets involved in Sikhism suddenly has to answer to this question. It’s clear that some people have appointed themselves the supreme authority of deciding this question. The problem is that they usually make snap judgements. Before you’re even finished your first sentence, they’ve decided if you fit into their box or not. It’s not the case that they will want to understand exactly what you meant or see if we all can agree to disagree about something so trivial. Nope. If you ever question anything that they do or strongly believe, there is no more room for debate. That’s it, they hate you…forever.
You are no longer a Sikh for them and you’ll be labelled as “anti-panthic”. The next term that’s likely to be bandied about is that you are an agent of the Indian govt. Now because there are actually a lot of agents of the Indian Government around, its very easy to fling this accusation around.
This whole division stems from 2 main things. Firstly that people have forgotten how to debate and discuss matters with a spirit of tolerance and calmness. Why is not possible to accept that people will always have differing opinions on things and that we should learn about open debate and acceptance of differences. The reality is that talking and opinions don’t actually mean much anyway, its actions that count. This leads to second point, namely that it is because these people and organisations are not doing anything apart from arguing their points by “organising protests” and “raising awareness” that makes them so argumentative. How long can we continue to do these things without getting touchy, burnt out and needlessly petty. Of course, all these people are busy doing things, but they are not achieving anything. As we have seen in the last 55 years since the British left India in the hands of the Indian 1% and the last 28 years since that same Indian 1% decided to openly destroy Sikhs and Sikhi, things are worse now in Punjab and the Gurudwaras in the west are even more confused.com.
When people are achieving something, they dont argue, they get on with it. All they want to know is, “Are you in (with money, mind and body)?” If not, then move along and let them get back on with their work. Nowadays people will argue with you for hours, but nothing apart from protests demanding apologies ever comes up.
Look at just the simple things, there is not one good documentary out about the Guru Granth Sahib yet there are thousands of hours spent arguing about hundreds of things, that are in no way more important than our Guru itself. There is not one movie about the life and travels of Dhan Guru Nanak Dev ji. Forget even that, there is not even one full time Raag Teacher employed by any Gurudwara in the whole of the UK, Europe, US or Canada. There is not one Sikh holocaust museum. Not one Sikh Reference Library in the UK worthy of the name. Not one bachelors degree in Sikh Studies, Not one bachelors degree in Punjabi. So whats the use of all our arguments?
The biggest panthic division is if you criticise the idea of Khalistan. You’ve seen our previous posts about this, we’d prefer to start with India as a whole rather than witha much reduced Punjab. The Indian people not only need us to free the 99%, they also owe a massive Karmic debt for what the Sikhs sacrificed from Guru Tegh Bahadur’s time. We can tell you one thing, if you look at the state of Punjab politics today, as well as the politics of the people who are arguing for Khalistan, most of us wouldn’t want to go live in a Punjab only Khalistan. The current thinking would mean it is likely to be a police state with rules upon rules, with no debate and freedom of expression.
In essence, the Panthic division consists of a lot of people who cannot take even a little criticism and are “defending the honour of the panth” and yet doing nothing to extend the honour of the panth. They cuss Sikh charities who are trying to do good and try to get them involved in their own political issues rather than coming together to support the m and others who want to serve the panth.
(2) The Amrit/ Maryada division:
Sure you’ll always get some people who are not so political, some more into Khalistan and others doing Bhagti but this is different, this is when the actual Amrit we are taking as initiation into the Khalsa Panth is being labelled. Some people are less interested in whether you have taken Amrit and more interested in where. If you’re part of their Maryada, then you’re great, they’ll overlook all your faults. However if you happen to be from another group, then no matter what you do, you’ll never be good enough. Some people wont even say Fateh to you, sit next to you in Gurudwara or eat langar with you, let alone think about marrying their sons or daughters to someone from another group! Are we really serious? We claim Caste is a big problem and people should not be hindered by caste. People say we should start using only Singh or Kaur, and then you get people unable to marry within the Khalsa Panth!! Just cause someone is a Nihung or a Taksali or an AKJ or a missionary or even a nobody free-agent? Their solution is to ask you, “please take Amrit from our group again”. Honestly! Just how many times can you give your head??! Surely if you made a mistake, you should ask for forgiveness, but take Amrit again to become part of a group within the Khalsa Panth when you’re already Amritdhari…something has to have gone wrong when this starts happening. I mean surely if we are going to tell other people about the Khalsa being a universal collective, we have to at least behave differently from the general Punjabi caste ridden society. It’s gotten to the point where some of the people out there doing parchaar etc are more interested in getting people to join their Jatha or Maryada then getting people into Sikhi.
It is really the case that these arguments very often turn people off taking Amrit or getting involved in Panthic work. Imagine this situation, someone gets inspired, sees all the Singhs and Singhnees and thinks, “How great it would be to join this big family of Khalsa. We;re all brothers and susters, one father, Guru Gobind Singh and all hail from Anandpur Sahib.” “Sun Galla Akaash Ki, Kitaa Aiee Rees” (When the insects hear talk about the heavens, even they wish to follow). Then this person starts talking to more of these Amritdharis and all of a sudden members from both groups start talking about how the person should take Amrit from their Jatha. An argument breaks out over Raagmala, or Dasam Granth, one person is saying, you know if you read xyz, you’ll go to hell, the other is saying, if you dont read it you’ll go to hell. Don’t even get started on meat, people can get really worked up about that one! Just imagine whats going to happen to that person who was initially interested in Amrit. She’ll think, “These people just hate each other, there’s no love or family here. Forget joining them”. Either she leaves Sikhi altogether or becomes independent, and then in effect, shunned by all the groups. The question that comes to mind is, “Are we preaching Sikhi or preaching our jatha/maryada?”. Whatever happened to “Aiee panthi sagal jamati – The highest sect is the whole creation”. There are a lot of (Non)Issues that seem to pre-occupy some people, the list is long but one thing we can all be certain of, none of them have a straightforward solution and none of them will conflict with the baseline tenets of Guru’s teachings, i.e. Kirtan, Paat, Simran, Seva and fighting your panj chor. Combining spiritual growth with moral conduct and service of humanity are our uniting forces and we should be all behind them.
In essence, we would like to propose some simple rules for Panthic Unity and share our vision. This unity needs to come at an individual level. Each of us will have to start to implement this into our own thinking, so that when we meet up with people in our own areas, then we start to unite in small groups. Be educated about Punjab but focus on unity in your community. Focus on solving the problems in our Gurudwaras and local area, be strong in our Sikhi and unite as small communities, then build upwards.
Suggested Rules for Panthic Unity!
(1) Have unity, not Uniformity. Make unity our foundation. If you say you’re a Sikh, then you’re a Sikh. Each of us should just focus on our own spiritual growth and education ourselves more and sharing the knowledge, then doing seva to uplift society.
We do not discriminate in any way on the basis of
- Caste or race
- Maryada or jathebandi
- Reading of dasam bani
- Reading of raag mala
- Cutting of hair, wearing turban
- Whether you choose to eat on tables or chairs.
- Whether you eat meat
- If someone is Amritdhari
- Bibeki langar or sarb loh utensils.
- View on the panj kakkars
- Sexual orientation
- Male or female
- Whether you support Khalistan or not
- Your pronounciation of paat.
- Length of your kachera
- Whether you wear bana or “pent-shirt”
These are all artificial issues, either created by enemies or well-intentioned people that have now ballooned and threaten to split us apart. We recognise these differences exist, but that they form only 1% of people’s actual lives. We also feel that when we broaden our horizons, broaden our vision and broaden our aims and responsibilities, then things that looked big become smaller in comparison to those bigger challenges. We also have faith in Guru’s word that the Khalsa will rule and have faith that when the Khalsa starts delivering on the goods it is supposed to, then people will be inspired and sign up. We won’t need to argue about these issues or demand justice. It’s that vision and the implementation that we need.
We dedicate ourselves, mind, body and soul to our Guru and will unite on the basis of the 99% that we share, i.e. Guru Granth Sahib ji, Kirtan, Paat, Simran and Seva. Once we have all achieved spiritual enlightenment, have memorised our nitnem and have a strong amrit vela routine, learnt Raag kirtan and tabla taals, become fit and healthy and can do sehaj paat of Guru Granth Sahib ji, and also live good honest lives and give dasvadh (10%) to charity. When we start becoming relevant to the community around us every day, by tacking drug addiction, lack of education and unemployment, depression and child neglect, when we have also simultaneously addressed the issues of poverty, homelessness, global economic injustices, widespread slavery, forced prostitution, famine, violent dictatorships killing people, when we’ve set up a UN army rapid response team able to stop massacres of innocents and despots stealing the wealth of the poor… When we’ve also dealt with the economic and political issues of Punjab, the farmer suicides, the water rights, language teachings, drug addiction, female foeticide, set up parchar centres, cleaned up SGPC politics, got diaspora representation into the Akaal Takht, when we’ve made the world aware of Guru’s message for humanity, achieved gender equality, prevented persecution of people on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, background and sexual orientation, when all the people who can easily quote Jesus, Malcolm X, or Nelson Mandela or Gandhi can also quote Guru Nanak, Guru Arjan, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh and understand what Sikhi is about…
At that time, dear Sadh Sangat ji, and only then, will we think about arguing on the basis of the (non) issues stated above. We understand these issues are important to some people, so we promise to address them at that time, and will everything in our efforts to bring about the world above as soon as possible so we can get to addressing them. Please do be patient and help us along this way. We do advise you that when we reach that point, its highly likely that you may no longer think it’s such a big issue.
One thing is for sure however, once that day comes, Dhan Guru Gobind Singh ji will be doing infinite kirpa upon the Khalsa Panth and the sounds of Degh Tegh Fateh and Panth Ki Jeet will resound across the globe. Every life shed for this vision will be fruitful, every shaheed for this cause will be bringing blessings upon his/her past and future generations and every single person who lets their inner demons stand in the way of this destiny, will themselves be destined to reap the poison which they have sown, until that day as which they accept the inevitability of the Age of Truth that the Khalsa is to bring.
Guru piarey jio, let us unite in the pursuing this mission. This is not a new mission, its an imperfect elucidation of Dhan Guru Gobind Singh ji’s own message for us. Is it not what we sing every day, when we say, Agya Bhei Akaal ki, Tabai Chalaayo Panth. Was it not Akaal Purakh’s own order that Guru Gobind Singh ji followed in creating the Khalsa Panth? This is how high the order came from and therefore, the vision must also be as high as that, as high as the Creator herself. We must think big and we must include and inspire every single person who wants to serve this vision. Our vision must be Sat Yug, for that must be the earthly realisation of Sach Khand itself, the heavenly realm wherein resides the Formless Lord.
In our next post, we’ll look at “The Gurudwara Experience”. May Dhan Guru Gobind Singh ji bless us with unity and friendship. May we share our virtues and help uplift each other and the whole planet. May the love of sadh sangat inspire us all to love our True Beloved and may we serve our Guru each day in thankfulness.
April 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
Guru Piarey Jio,
We’re looking to build a global movement. This movement needs early adopters to spread it to the masses. We kiss your feet and ask that you join us on this mission.
We’re recruiting for partners. We are You, we are your frustration of inaction, your compassion and inner dreams and ultimately we are your brothers and your sisters. We are You and You are Us.
– We pay nothing but the joy of Guru’s seva and to be a part of History being made.
– We promise only Sevadari and not Sardari. This movement is Yours not ours.
– We promise that if you’ve liked our posts so far, then you’ll love whats coming next.
Step 1 – Like our facebook page and encourage as many of your friends to do so too.
Step 2 – Share our posts on facebook and twitter. Copy your favourite quote from any post and link to the blog.
Step 3 – Find other Sikhs in your local area who like the posts and start meeting up. Build small pockets of consensus. Use Chatham House Rules.
Step 4 – Be prepared for Spring Cleaning 2 and 3.
Step 5 – Say and dream Vaheguru
April 23, 2012 § 2 Comments
Guru Piarey Jio,
In Asa di var, Guru teaches that Haumai is our most severe illness and yet its cure lies within it. Earning (practicing and experiencing) Guru ji’s teachings and Vaheguru’s grace, are the transformational tool to make our self-serving ‘ego’ into the ‘Gurmukh’, a Guru orientated ‘self’ that is attuned to the Name of our beloved. This analysis reinvigorates us to tackle Haumai, seeing it anew as a curable disease.
It is also our considered opinion that at a global level, the Gurudwaras and our internal squabbles are our most severe enemies and similarly, the cure is within their transformation. In our next three posts we’ll looking at problems and giving our suggestions for a more Guru-orientated approach. Spring Cleaning Part 1 focuses on the Gurudwara committee, Part 2 – The divisions in the Panth and finally Part 3 – The Gurudwara itself.
An advance warning , the gloves are coming off now and we’ll be doing our best to lay bare the disease and the causes of the disease before suggesting cures. Bear with us and keep reading, somewhere, something will resonate with each person, because this is based on a lot of sad stories we’ve heard over the years.
Before we start, may Guru Nanak bless us with clarity and strength. It’s Vaheguru’s grace upon the Sikhs to be blessed with Satguru Nanak. In the coming world, we will be seeds of a revolution to bring an age of enlightenment on this planet, with Guru’s Kirpa.
Gurudwara Management Committees
This phrase is a contradiction in terms. Firstly, most committees are useless at ‘managing’ Gurudwaras such that if they were companies, heads would be rolling and we’d be considering a fire sale. Secondly, the committee are actually not the ones who manage the Gurudwara. The paperwork of the Gurudwara is actually done by poorly paid administrators and accountants. The religious part of the Gurudwara is handed over to the Head Granthee and kirtanees. The langar is made and prepared by Sevadaars or are paid langarees who are probably not on the committee. In short, the committee, though ‘in charge’ manages Gurudwaras in such as way that they do none of the work in running the Gurudwara.
In essence, the rot starts at the top from the President and then spreads downwards.
- President – Either a puppet or else a power hungry would-be politician.
- Committee members– Some got there purely as they could bring votes, some are safe yes men, some are losers who didn’t make it in real world, some just out to aggrandise themselves and finally some are good guys trying to make a decent difference and lets face it, these guys won’t last long.
- The constitution – No one’s read it, the committee use it against you, you cant get a copy, they keep trying to change it to keep themselves in power for longer and with less scrutiny.
- Election system – Totally messed up. No open debate on issues, no one cares about manifesto, anyone who pays nominal fee can vote regardless of attendance or knowledge of issues/sikhi.
- Daily programme – consists only or religious prayers that people do at home anyway or Punjabi katha. Nothing new, nothing innovative. May as well watch Sangat TV.
- Paid Granthees from India: The cheap slave labour that keeps Gurudwaras working. Not empowered.
- Parchar is in Punjabi only – exclude all the youth/future sangat and preach to people who’ve heard it all before.
- Lack of classes on anything: The internet is where you go to learn Sikhi, not the Gurudwara.
- Money comes from selling bani, and money goes on building funds – Sell bani to build bigger buildings that you can stuff with more people (whom you don’t teach) to get more money to pay mortgage.
- Seva projects- Not helping anyone but feeding the fed. Barely relevant to society outside.
Basically, from what we see, the Sikh ‘sangat’ exist to serve the committee, plug golaks with cash, hold our Akhand Paats, Sukhmani sahibs and weddings at the Gurudwaras. The committee, at worst, steal the cash, or at best, they simply build massive structures, badly designed, get the Gurudwara into debt and then exhort us to give more “chadava” so they can get out of debt and then they do it again. The Committee does not exist to serve the Sangat. It doesn’t create the sangat, it works against them.
Who are these people in the committee? If you do a google search or even check out the Gurudwara, its unlikely that there is a list of names and photos of these committee members, let alone a biography and reasons as to why they are ‘serving’ on the committee. There is no list of tasks that they wish to do, projects they feel passionate about and more importantly, what pledges they presented to the sangat during the election campaign. Where and how can the sangat see what they promised to achieve in their term? How can we see where they failed? Maybe that’s precisely why this information is not there. Even the actual election of Gurudwara committee members shows us the failure of the voting system. The Gurudwaras won’t allow even basic election debates, where we can at least questions from these people about what they achieved from their election manifesto. Let us guess, they will claim that people might get violent and argue. Well, we’ve seen these very same people go on TV debates and talk reasonably). So why is the case that the community does not start a culture of debate and discussion (how about saying ardaas that no one will shout). Let us ask you this question, when the sarbat khalsa took Gurmattas back in the day, you’ve seen the photos, there are thousands upon thousands of Singhs…yet they’re all chilling there and talking about real things, like what do about an enemy invasion or if India doesn’t make a state of Punjab. Those guys knew that if the Panth decides to do something, they’re going to be doing it and very likely to get shot or beaten up. They accepted that and yet they never argued in this way. Why are Gurudwaras even unable to organise a discussion on priorities for the Gurudwara in next few years?
Another pertinent question is why are these people actually in the committee? Are they keen to do parchar and spread Sikhi? If so, then we’ve never heard them do kirtan and explain any shabads or give a lecture from the stage? Are they keen to teach singing of Kirtan or playing tabla to everyone? In which case, how come we’ve never heard them running a class? Do they want to do seva by cooking langar or washing dishes or cleaning the toilets? It would be great day indeed if you saw that happening? Permit us this question, if all that gurudwaras offer today is langar and paat/kirtan then what do we have a committee for? We only need an admin person and an accountant which most Gurudwars have anyway. So (WTF) do they actually do? And more importantly why in heavens sake are they trying to run a Gurudwara? Surely they could just run their own business, or run for local politics? We understand that the President is a grand title, but so is mayor or CEO. Maybe we should even ask whether the Gurudwara is a country that it needs a president? If they’re not going to be spreading Sikhi, go home or sit in the sangat and get uplifted. The reality is that the committees are a system where they have all the power and none of the responsibility of delivering.
On the point about Admin, it would be nice if the Gurudwara actually delivered on this end. However, most of the time the admin of the Gurudwara is in shambles. The accounts seem to be done by some Desi accountant who also manage millions of other dodgy desi accounts. You wont see regular updates. If you’re lucky, the website may even have the information for what happened two years ago, however you will be very lucky to know about the current financial situation. Ask yourself how could Gurudwaras survive without cheap granthee slave labour? We’re sure the Charities commission in the UK could tell us some horror stories about Gurudwaras. It seems that having crises seems to be de rigueur for the Gurudwara. The committee, having created a crisis situation by either their mismanagement or ignorance, will then gravely tell the Sangat the problem facing the Gurudwara so that we, the community, have to come together to solve it. What’s worse is that they will not ask people for help in actually solving the problem so we the Sangat can get truly involved, no, the help they will ask for will be just for ideas and money.
One big proof that the Gurudwara committee think that the Sangat is there to serve them is with regards to the paat and kirtan programmes. For example, if you book a Sukhmani sahib paat to be held at the Gurudwara, they will charge you as much as they can get away with, but then they will tell you that you have to also give the Granthees a certain amount for them reading the paat. However, let’s say you want to read the paat yourself, well that causes a problem. What, you want to do the paat yourself, so that your family can actually feel closer to Guru, that sounds too crazy! Surely you need to get a granthee to read it too you at one hundred miles an hour. Not that our community is very good either, you know when you go to these paats, most people just play on their phones or catch up over whispers. However, when someone actually wants to read the paat themselves, they say, “Well if you do that, this creates a problem, we have to keep our granthees earning the money due to them”. Now even if you say, no problem, I’ll pay the Granthees anyway, this is still too revolutionary. WHY? Good question. What they will inevitably tell you is that it sets a bad precedent you see. It will hurt the sentiments of the Granthees as you decided to do it yourself rather than use them. Excuse me, the granthee will feel hurt if you do the paat at your own function, with all your family present?? We doubt it! And nor should they feel hurt. This is just a form of emotional blackmail and what’s galling is that the Gurudwara committee are the ones who are most guilty of offending our granthees. They treat them as low paid servants. Guess who makes the tea for the committee? Granthees work way more than we’d expect of normal workers and at very extreme hours. They have very little idea of their schedule for the next week due to the committee disorganisation and worst of all they are accorded no respect! If you ever ask the Granthee whether he will mind if you do the paat yourself, most of these guys are happy that you’d like to do it. They’re tired of sitting and reading paat to an audience who doesn’t understand it. If someone comes along who can speak Punjabi, knows paat and actually talks to them as fellow humans, they wwould be welcomed. However, the reality is that if you did ask the Granthee, he will always say, please ask the committee. Basically Granthees have no power and the committee doesn’t understand the concept of delegation. The committee cares little what they think and even little less about what they feel. The problem actually is that the Gurudwaras pay these Granthees a pittance, and therefore you the sangat have to additionally supplement their salaries with compulsory fees on top of the “bheta” for the room, as well as they money earnt from kirtan chadava. At some of the bigger Gurudwaras they have Granthees pouring out of the ears, but can a single one of these speak English…hardly.
One thing that is guaranteed is that the Gurudwara committee will not listen to any ideas you give them. You’ll go up to them to offer a suggestion, “you know uncleji, it would be good to…..”.
(1) The first thing they will say, “Oh thats a good idea, I admire you trying to help. You know you are like our children, you are our future.” Then they will try to walk off by saying, let me put this to the committee”.
Children!! You must be kidding right. We’re now at the age that we’ve got kids of our own and run businesses! To put this in context, Guru Gobind Singh ji was 33 when he set up the Khalsa! How old do you think you need to be. More importantly, these committee members were around 30 each when they got into the committees but suddenly, we’re too young!
You might go one step further and say, “Well I can happily do this seva myself for the Gurudwara”. Hmm, now comes the harder part. The committee wallah will say,
(2) “Oh you know, I am really in favour of you youth getting more involved but please understand that there are others in the committee who are very backward minded, they will complain about using English, and will do their best to stop it. Let me try and build some consensus.”
In this scenario, the bad people are always the other, the good people are them, and we are always the children asking permission. Or they will say,
(3) “you know right now our focus is the building fund and our mortgage and we really cant afford to get our mind off that task”…The next thing they will start complaining about all the problems of debt on the gurudwara, how much they personally have done to give money, how we might risk the gurudwara getting re-possessed..basically they will distract you until you think, forget it.
In summary, either you get presented with the bogey man of the “committee hates change and is backward” or you get told that “we have to focus on the building fund”.
(4) If your matter will take some investment and you then offer to make things simpler and get some people together to pay for it yourself, you’re likely to come up against, well the committee must agree it first. More than likely they’ll invite you to give money to the building fund, and also do their best to give you a guilt trip about the importance of getting the Gurudwara out of debt so that the chadava is not going towards paying interest to the banks (they wont mention that they put the Gurudwara under debt in the first place)..
(5) If however the idea is cheap or actually very good, the other thing that is likely to happen is that they will try and placate you and a few weeks later, you’ll find that someone else (either a son or close friend of the committee) will be implementing your exact idea and telling everyone how their uncleji from the committee had a great idea and asked him to implement it. Why will this happen? Well the guy who will be carrying out this idea is likely to be a “ghar da banda” i.e. he will not be looking to replace the committee members, he’s more than happy just to do some seva and he feels good that way. A the same time, he also looks good in front of the community and his proud uncle from the committee shows him off to all his mates. The committee guys know that he is not politically smart enough to be running the committee until they themselves hand it over to him when their health fails.
(6) If however your idea is a little too troublesome and they don’t want even their own guy doing it, the next thing crafy tactic will be that they will try to annoy you so that you get angry. They might say that you are behaving like a fanatic, or you’re not a member or anything which they can claim is reasonable, but it is designed to get you angry and start shouting. Once you do this, its simply a case of labelling you a religious extremist and getting either the police involved or security and try to ban.
Whats the real reason behind this? We’ve pondered it enough and broken it down to two reasons.
(1) One is purely fear based and that fear is that if they start listening to your ideas, when will you stop. Surely you’ll come up with more ideas and soon want to either get on the committee or form a rival to it and replace them. It comes down to remaining in control of the power that they have. If the sangat gets behind your logical ideas, then they risk creating their own rival. Better to either stop it altogether or implement the idea using their own people.
(2) There is a second reason, one that is a little harder to prove and also likely only to apply to the bigger Gurudwaras. This will be that there are people who are actively trying to stop Sikh youth in the UK from getting too uppity and taking control of Gurudwaras. I.e. lets call these people, Indian Government/ BJP/ RSS guys or “IGBR” for short. Now these guys have a huge budget to basically keep Sikhs quiet abroad. Even if they dedicated just $1m (small change) to controlling the Sikhs in the UK, then they could afford to hire a few people full time to basically take steps to keep the Gurudwara tied up in politics. The people they hire as their agents will look like Sikhs, will speak fluent Punjabi but it’s likely that they will not themselves go into the committee. No, that would be too obvious. What the IGBR agent will do is become a knowledgeable and trusted sevadar and then purposely pick people who are pretty arrogant, self-serving and overly political and they will tell that guy, “you know, you’re a great Sikh, you’re exactly what we Sikhs need in power right now. Why don’t you stand for the committee” They’ll basically do their best to ensure the Gurudwara committee is full of unsuitable people. Then once this is done, they just hang around to create controversies. These are the “kingmakers”, they basically become trusted by committee members and then control the agenda of the Gurudwara. We’re pretty sure that the majority of the arguments and bad ideas, like going into more debt to build buildings, comes from these kingmakers. It could be from the committee members themselves too, but these guys would be really enthusiastic about them and work to get it done.
How do we know that these kingmakers exist?
- Well, its too obvious, just think what you would do if you were the Indian government and had seen the gurudwaras being taken over by “khalistanis” after 1984. You’d want to ensure that the Sikhs abroad didn’t suddenly get united and start speaking with one voice. The cheapest and simplest option is to use agents. Some of the RSS have already taken “amrit” and look like Sikhs. If you think we’re being overly paranoid, let us give you one example. The British govt paid for an undercover police officer to spend 6 years in “The clown army” a pretty harmless political group. Compare the threat that an educated and united western Sikh sangat could pose to the ruling classes of India Look at the credible theories of India actually instigating the Air India Flight 182 bombing in June 1985. We’ve all seen the undercover police in the Occupy movements, so of course the Indian Govt would infiltrate the Gurudwaras abroad. It’s too obvious for it not to be true.
- Look at those Gurudwaras that do not have a committee, but rather someone in charge, i.e. the Naamdhari, or baba gurudwaras. What do you see? No arguments and people getting on with projects. They are the ones likely to have kirtan/santhia classes and who probably won’t be wasting all their chadava on paying mortgage interest but doing things slowly but surely. Why are the big committee Gurudwaras not like this? Why do most people who love kirtan, paat or seva stay away form the committee? Someone is finding ways to keep us down and the committee facilitates this.
You might well defend the committee and say, “Well these committee wallahs are doing their bit by keeping the Gurudwara functioning. It’s not their fault they dont have a vision for what else to do.” This is not a great excuse. Let us give you a scenario, you’re in a park and you see a person drowning in the lake, you run over and are about to jump in the water but then a park warden grabs you and says leave it, its too dangerous. You say, I can swim and I have done a lifesaver’s and first-aiders course. This person says, well if you get stuck, I cant swim so cant rescue either of you! Now the person in the lake drowns and you feel miserable. Did the warden who stopped you, do a bad thing? Did he not prevent you from saving a life? If you think the warden did do something bad, what is the difference between a committee person who stops good things happening in the Gurudwara?
The reality of the rule of committee wallahs is that good people who want to make a difference are being stopped. We all know for a fact that due to committees, good people have been discouraged from putting good ideas into action, they feel sucked dry after working with them, disillusioned and think forget it. Some committed few think it’s just a matter of waiting, “The buddeh (old guys) will die out soon and then we’ll be able make some changes.” Well, there are 3 main reasons why we need to do something now other than this option of waiting.
- Firstly: These guys are not dying out anytime soon, don’t let the white beards fool you, mostly they are 60-70 odd years old and it will be at least another 20 years before they all die out! That means someone born now, will be 20 years old and already finishing off university by that time. A whole generation will be in work, tending to kids etc and majoritarily lost to kalyug.
- Secondly: These guys have their own replacements coming in from Punjab. The pendu uncle (no vision, just proud to say he’s on the committee) who has been here 30 years will just be replaced by a pendu (villager) who has been here for 10 years. We’ve seen that there is a never ending supply of these people, younger than them but older than you who will be planning to use the committee system to get in.
- Thirdly: Nearly every day we read shabads like “Deh Shiva”, asking Vaheguru to give us strength to do the right thing without fear. We talk about our shaheeds who stuck to their tasks and showed bravery. Can the reform of this system just be postponed 20 years?
One other argument we’ve heard recently is that if you raise too much of a fuss, the committee has goons that will try to intimidate you. We even heard of some people getting their windows smashed or cars burnt. This does sound extreme and I can see why some families might not want to face this. But hold on, we’re the Khalsa right, we do ardaas and remember the punj piarey (willing to be beheaded), the 4 sahibzadey (all shaheed), the 40 muktey (again died in battle), those people who were sawn in half, boiled alive, were scalped etc, and now you want us to be scared of a window being smashed! In Guru Tegh Bahadur ji’s time a Sikh in Delhi burnt his whole house down just so Guruji’s body could be cremated. Honestly, we’re not even sure there is a comparison. We’d happily take a beating for our guru, let alone clean up some glass and pay double glazing costs or buy another car. When we sing “purja Purja kat marei, kabho na chadoo khet,” i.e., “let me be chopped into little pieces but never leave the battlefield,” then we should take strength from that. You know, it’s almost a good sign when someone tries to smash your window, it means you actually managed to be a threat to the status quo. Take encouragement and do even more, and post it all online J
So allow us to offer our vision of what a Gurudwara management system might like.
Our suggestions for the Ideal Gurudwara Committee
We think the first criteria of the committee member should be that they heavily involved in either parchar, teaching or doing paat, kirtan, tabla or seva (larger or humanitarian). i.e., they should be sevadaars.
Secondly we should use the Guru’s criteria of Panj Piarey, i.e. Amritdhari, fully practicing and have memorised all the morning panj banees. They should be committed to Sikhi and living the Gursikh life.
Thirdly, we should change all the names, no longer a president, it should just panj piarey with specific duties of doing the amrit sanchaars and also titles like, “Sevadaar to complain about Parchar”, “Sevadaar to complain about Langar” and the “Mukh sevadaar to blame”. i.e., they are responsible for the fall in the standards that we the sangat should expect from them.
Finally, these panj piarey should have specific tasks, starting with the “Mukh Sevadaar to blame” (previously faultily identified as a president) who would have to clean the toilets every day (ideally between 5-6am). Their background, photos and phone number should be prominently displayed so whenever the sangat have a complaint, they know who to blame. Every 3-6 months they should have to give an account of what they have achieved, what failures and the plan for next few months, as well as accepting questions.
Basically make it as “unattractive” as possible to take away all the false allure and hopefully the person who puts themselves forward will genuinely feel the pleasure of doing the sangats seva and be prepared to take responsibility if it falls below the standard of what the “Guru Roop Sadh Sangat” expects. This tackles the basic problem that people come into Gurudwara politics looking for Sardari, not Sevadari.
If you remove the committee and the president etc..and only have the Punj Piare…the other main change that needs to come is that we need to have project based leadership. Basically we should not have leaders, we should have project managers (PMs). This removes the need to have committees, what we need is projects and the people who are running those projects, and then each person can choose what project they wish to get involved it. The PM can say okay, we need those jobs done, allot roles and ensure the project is delivered, then the project is over.
This avoids people arguing about the non-issues. You come together to do a project, not just together without a project. People who are busy getting on with projects rarely even bother to argue about each others rehat, they are more concerned about how to get the project done. The Gurudwara should be having courses in project management, (Prince2 or PMPO) to train the PMs in how to deliver the projects and obviously there will be some long term ongoing projects and other short term projects.
Then the best thing to do is publish everything, publish the constitution, the calendar of events, the goals for the next six month, next year, next five years, the current financial situation, the exact funds required and for which project, costs broken down for major bills, basically everything and then ask the sangat, what would you like us to achieve within our budget and what extra items would you like ot achieve for which we need to fundraise.
What this will result in, is efficient, transparency and that most important of things, Trust. It’s obvious to all people, even those in the committee that no one trusts the Gurudwara committee. No one gives their Dasvandh to the Gurudwara because they don’t trust the committee. They tolerate the committee, they suffer the committee but they don’t trust it. To build trust, we will have to build a system where the people who run the Gurudwaras have absolutely no normal incentive to be in charge, lots of responsibility, lots of sangat scrutiny but also, the chance to make a real difference, ie.e., do Guru’s seva. Then the sevadaars (who do exist) will start coming out of the woodwork. Now lets train these guys up and get them to deliver. Then we’ll get real trust of the sangat and then the ‘beant maaya’ that Guru Gobind Singh ji has blessed the Sikhs with, will start flowing into the golak. It doesn’t have to be a baba who motivates the aunties to give away their gold necklaces. A punj piarey led Gurudwara that delivers the goods of Sikhi was enough for the ancestors of these same women to hand over their children for slaughter and wear them as necklaces. That same power of Sikhi exists today and needs to be brought into the Gurudwaras.
To some readers this proposed system will sound extreme. I ask whether Guru Gobind Singh sahib picking up a sword and asking for a head or perhaps Guru Nanak asking Bhai Lehna to eat a corpse was also being extreme. In our opinion, the test for leading the panth needs to be extreme or else we’ll stay in the current situation. We’re actually toning it down, a more favourite option was to add that each Punj Piara also give one finger to the chopping block just to show their guts and committment.
Here is a good question though, where will these Sevadars come from? In Plato’s republic we see that in the end, its the people themselves who go and ask for a Philosopher to come and lead them. Plato’s philosophers were people who loved the truth and probably had forsake politics. This is exactly what the Sikhs need, strong leadership which is actually focused on manifesting the truth. However, be prepared that true sevadaars are not going to just sign up for this mission. They will need to be persuaded that this is a new type of Gurudwara management system. One that truly looks for Sevadars rather than attracts Sardari orientated people. They will need to be persuaded that the Sangat will not be placing them on some pedestal and robbing them of their inner peace and humbleness, but rather, the Sangat will be giving them the mandate of doing Guru’s seva and will have expectations that need fulfilling. It is truly a wonderful Seva to serve a sangat (in a leadership role) with their permission and with Guru sahibs blessings. Look at the example of Nawab Kapur Singh. When the panth unanimously elected him as Nawab, he immediately placed the Siropa gifted by the Mughals at the feet of the Punj Piarey. He fought numerous battles and was widely respected but always remained a true servant of the panth. But the Panth had to choose him and empower him. Similarly, if today we want to bring change into our Gurudwara committees, we’re going to have to get the right people at the front. However first we will have to change the system as its the system which corrupts and turns true Sikhs away. We need to reform our Gurudwaras and attract Sevadars. People who are willing to sacrifice for the panth, to bleed for the panth, these should be the ones who lead. This can and will happen. With Guru’s grace, more and more of the youth are getting into Sikhi and they are following the code of conduct properly. Their spiritual level is high and also they are willing to put their faith/their careers in Guru’s hand. It’s almost like all the Sikhs who died after 1984 are coming back as young Sikhs abroad, ready to do something new for the panth. They are our future and the future they bring will be Orange indeed.
Spring Cleaning Part 2 will focus on the Panth itself and reasons for disunity. May Dhan Guru Nanak Dev ji bless his Sikhs that their Gurudwaras are run by people who are imbued with his teachings and live to serve humanity. May the Sangat make this their expectation and work together to destroy the current deplorable system and build another that promotes Sevadari nor Sardari. Then truly will the Sikhs start delivering Sikhi for Sarbat da bhala and make the Khalsa worthy to be called the physical manifestation of Dhan Guru Gobind Singh ji, the true emperor.
April 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
Guru Pirarey Jio,
We enjoy poetry, so Guru gifted us with this taster on the work to come…entitled Cause n Vision. For those who read this for the first time, please do read the previous posts on our blog to get our perspective.
Blinded by a blurring of Vision,
the Panth stumbled and created divisions.
Rebellious lions roaring without a cause,
Ready to strike brothers with sharp claws,
We never stopped to pause,
Check if this deal was raw.
Is this the Real Sikhi Vision?
For which shaheeds died and others are in prison,
When we do ardaas, do we stop to listen?
Or do the words robotically flow like television,
Raj Karega Khalsa, isn’t that our mission?
Propelled by Vaheguru Fission,
Heavenly Bani that we listen,
Defeating tyrants with precision.
Bringing Heaven to earth, our Cause,
Singhs and Kaurs,
We’ll change gravity’s laws,
The lowly will stand tall,
“Great’ empires will fall,
Khalsa will rule all,
The world will applaud,
Freedom, Justice, Equality, and Peace Y’all
What we waiting for?
April 17, 2012 § 4 Comments
Guru Piarey Jio,
After the celebrations of Vaisakhi (the birth of the Khalsa), it is well worthwhile to introspect on the meaning of Chardikala. Having heard translations like “soaring spirit” and “ever optimistic” etc, the one we’ve like the best is , ‘Chardikala is when if you’ve just lost a leg and someone asks, “How are you?”, you say Chardikala.’
This ability to remain positive even in the midst of ‘Calamity’ is Chardikala. Dhan Guru Gobind Singh ji writing an “Announcement of Victory” (Zafarnama) when he had just lost his four sons, his mother, his writings and also his Sikhs had been decimated, is Chardikala. The Nihung terminology of calling dried chappaties, “Sweet”, of saying sava lakh (1,250,000) when they mean one, is Chardikala. And where does this Chardikala stem from? Well in its purest sense, it’s from Naam. When we enjoy the bliss and joy of knowing our inner and outer Beloved, there can be no question of being sad, it’s all Sweet Hukam, it’s all Chardikala.
If we apply this definition of Chardikala to the Sikh situation in India since 1947, then you’ll see why the real reason for our troubles is purely ourselves. Its not that the Panth doesn’t have enemies, of course, we could write a very long list, but these enemies have always been there and are nothing in front of the might of Guru Gobind Singh and Vaheguru. We all know and (now) lament the fact that Tara Singh didn’t have the gumption and nous to demand a Sikh state in 1946. And we all ought to know that the Sikhs never signed the Indian Constitution. However since then the Sikhs have continued to moan and groan about Article 25 and being ‘classified as Hindus’ and ‘demanded’ equal rights in a ‘democratic’ and ‘federal’ Indian ‘Republic’.
Could there have been a better approach? What would someone truly chardikala, ferociously independent have done about the fact that Sikhs were in India and classified as Hindus.
(1) Forget arguing about semantics: The Chardikala way woud have been to see this as an opportunity, not a loss. Why bother arguing semantics with a bunch of colonial trained power hungry elitist upper castes. “Moorakhe naal na Lujhiye” don’t argue with idiots. Lets just do the job of the Sikhs and deliver justice and equality and spiritual nourishment and it doesn’t matter what you call us, our actions will speak for themselves. Actually, from studying history you can see that its actually Hinduism that is a made up term, they are the ones who lack clear identity, not the Sikhs. The Sikhs are easily identified by singing Gurbani, Gurudwaras, Langar, and Guru Granth Sahib. The ‘Hindus on the other hand are so disparate and follow so many different paths, its impossible to categorise them. What is the opportunity I hear you ask? The opportunity is actually of Khalsa Raj. If we grasp the above, and had some real Chardiakala, we would have seen that every self respecting Hindu, especially the more intelligent type would surely have recognised the value of Sikhi and its simplicity. The opportunity is the two points below.
(2) Emancipate the ‘Harijans’: India at that time was only 350 million or so, most of these were poor, downtrodden lower caste Indians who were always going to be scraping the bottom of the “fruits of success” barrel whilst simultaneously being the “driving force” of industrial growth. These are precisely the people who are most in need of Guru Gobind Singh jis revolutionary ideology of a armed populace that is able to defend its own rights and give itself royal surnames. Forget the ‘people of God’ we should make them the ‘Army of God’ the Akaal Purakh ki Fauj. We all know that true freedom cannot be won for someone, they have to do it for themselves. If we truly believe Sikhi is freedom, then we’d have to give them Guru Nanaks message and show them the path of Sikhi.
(3) Spread Sikhi outside Punjab: Any true follower of Guru Nanak, who faithfully sings “Kal Taran Guru Nanak Aaya” and “Suni Pukar Datar Prabh, Gur Nanak jag mahe pataiya” cannot think that the message of the Gurus is to be limited to Punjabis alone, let alone those deluded few who think its for Jats! If we are to fully realise Guru Nanaks mission, then every person on the earth should know of Guru Nanaks message and have the choice to follow him as Satguru.
Here you have a large population of ‘Hindus’ who nearly all believe in:
b) Atma (Soul) and Parmatma (Grand Soul)
c) Meditation and the Holy power of Yogis and Sadhus
d) The four yugs.
e) Vishnu, Krishan and Raam
f) Singing Bhajans in Sangat as a form of worship.
g) The idea of Dharm, ie righteousness.
All the Sikhs had to focus on was telling them that
a) We are now in Kalyug – accepted
b) Kirtan/ Singing Praises in Sadh sangat is the highest form of worship in Kalyug.
c) Guru Nanak is the Satguru of Kalyug. The previous Satgurus worked in previous yugs but times have changed.
d) Look at all the other bhagats that have been famous, have any of them done anything as amazing as the ten Gurus, did anyone of them build cities, write full Granths, fight tyranny, establish Dharma? No, in Kalyug it’s Satguru Nanak for you my friend.
e) Satguru Nanak is now in Gurbani Kirtan sung in all Gurudwaras.
f) Our Atma is part of parmatma and through kirtan and Guru’s grace, we can realise this.
Thats it, job done. The rest of the proof of Sikhi is simply in the amazing ethics and social structure it promotes and also the amazing lives of our Gurus and the behaviour of the Sikhs following this. Back in 1947 the respect for the Sikhs was at an all time high. They had just been at the forefront of fighting for Independence, they were hugely respected for their decency. The reality at that time was that if a Singh was sitting in a train carriage, everyone else was resting easy. We can still access this respect, its just hidden under the surface of the recent bollywood propaganda.
The end result of all these three would have meant that in the 55 years since independence, Sikhs would have easily been the biggest religious group in India, with some Hindu Brahmins and Muslims. Effectively the demographic of Punjab would actually be all over India. Ask yourself, if that were the case if we would ever need anyone ‘shouting slogans’ and ‘demanding’ Khalistan.
If you think this is a little crazy, let us remind you of the situation prior to and after independence of 1947. Ambedkar, the writer of the Constitution and champion of the lower-caste hindus (himself a lower-caste) was fed up with Hinduism and its caste system. He saw no chance of reforming that system. He saw only two options, Sikhi and Buddhism and his initial preference was Sikhism. However, the prevailing Sikhs of that time dissuaded him, and he turned to Buddhism. The Punjabis didn’t want to have the SGPC and Gurudwaras dominated by lower-castes. They knew that if Ambedkar takes Amrit, then possibly about 60 million of his followers, (India’s population was around 350 million, out of which only 8 million were Sikhs) would also end up taking Amrit and then Sikhi would be truly huge and not just about Punjabis. What a shocker! This is not a story told to us often, no we prefer to focus on Article 25, and the massacres done by the Muslims, but not about what we ourselves turned down in India, the chance to be the dominant ideology. All the resources of India could have been gathered for the benefit of the poor and downtrodden. India could now be one of the most prosperous, female friendly and egalitarian countries, instead of the most unequal, least lawful, where women still fight for acceptance and where state and corporate governance is least ethical. Instead of harping on about not being Hindu, why not just spread Sikhi to all the Hindus. That would have been Chardikala!
So why don’t the Sikhs have the backbone for this type of thinking? Why do we instantly think of protesting and writing letters instead of thinking Chardikala. Why did the Akaal Takht not issue a hukamnama in 1948 that all Sikhs are now to register their marriage with the Akaal Takht and not the Indian Government. Why not set up an independent marriage record bureau and issue marriage licences? If a marriage was not recognised by the Indian government that Sri Akaal Takht had recognised, it would be an act of cultural war. Why is this idea so outlandish to some readers but not the idea that Sikhs spend 55 years trying to repeal a law in a constitution that they did not sign?
Who was it that told us that “Sikhs do not preach”, yes you guessed it, it was the British, who incidentally, first wiped out all the truly Charidkala Singhs in the Anglo Sikh wars and then systematically planned the downfall of Sikhi, making all their colonial servants into Singhs, but regimenting them into following the Sahib. Yes, we have to respect the bravery of those British Indian Army (a misnomer if there ever was one) Singhs, but they were shadows of the type of Singhs that ruled over the Throne of Delhi and had issued coins in the Gurus name. While the Singhs of old sang songs of the Khalsa ruling the world from the sun rising to the sun set (from east to west- ie all over the world), the non-Chardikala thinking that the British had fostered on the Sikhs resulted in us only thinking about Punjab. As mentioned before, what about Takht Hazoor sahib, Takht Patna Sahib?
Recently at a Sarbat Khalsa meeting in the UK, a Singh said that if we are to really follow Bhai Rajoana as our Jathedar then our ‘mang’ (want) cannot be the Anandpur sahib resolution. The Anandpur Sahib resolution did not ask for Khalistan, it merely asked for Punjab to live free from the exploitation of Delhi. Since it was not honoured at all, then now the ‘mang’ must be Khalistan. I respected his thought process, independent thinking! But take it one step further, why should Sikhs settle for a diminutive Punjab, a shadow of its past glory. Pakistan Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana etc had all stolen from Punjab. No, we say that there should be no ‘mang’, we should be thinking about India first, not Punjab. If we get India, then Punjab will automatically be free.
Previously people have misunderstood our main argument, which is that Sikhs should, as the first step, be thinking about a total takeover of India, from the political to spiritual sphere. Aside from the point about freeing the poor Indians and ensuring the Khalsa Raaj includes the five takhts, lets also examine one other crucial argument for this.
India is now a nuclear power: This is unfortunately the key shashter of this age and if you don’t have this weapon at your disposal, then you are not one of the big boys and no one listens. Maharaj kirpa, even now Sikhs are part of India and able to take it over from the inside. Once we’ve achieved the Khalsa mission in India, the Khalsa would automatically nuclear armed, which is a good thing, not a bad thing! Dont think small, think big. If the true Khalsa ran India, would you really want a situation where China, Russia and the US had a weapon that it did not. If the Khalsa decided to intervene in an unjust situation where the US, Chinese or Russian interests were to prolong conflict, how could we accomplish the mission of Vaheguru when the others could simply threaten Nuclear attack. This is a blessing on the Khalsa, we don’t have to invent Nuclear Weapons (see Iran), we simply take over India.
If you think we are being a bit optimistic and should think smaller, ie a Punjabi Khalistan, please consider the implications of a small country located on the border of two very large nuclear powers with diametrically opposed belief systems, Pakistan and India, and that have previously gone to way over each other. Does anybody want to live in a place like Kashmir, where its just a no-mans land between India and Pakistan? Its far more viable to take over India than it will be to convince India to free Punjab and thereby give an opportunity for Pakistan to take over Punjab. If it ever looked like Pakistan would do this, India would surely just launch a pre-emptive invasion of Punjab, to protect its territorial interests and then guess where the war between Pakistan and India would be fought…in Punjab! Who wants this? Or perhaps you think that Pakistan is getting more stable and would never do this, in which case you need to read up on the failed Islamic state to-be that is Pakistan. No, the alternative does not bear thinking about, which is why its even more crucial that Sikhs in India get it into their heads that they are Indian and they are here to Rule India. It’s already evident in the Indian flag that it also pledges orange! The colour that was of the Sikhs has been put first, then the Ghandi white and the Muslim green.
However, we feel that there is another stage that will be required. You see although by and large, Indians are the easiest group of people to agree with the Sikh philosophy, in the quest to make a Khalsa Raj in India, it may be hard to convince the downtrodden masses of the revolutionary power of Sikhi. Getting people to actually go inside and discover the Truth within themselves and live a fiercely independent life in accordance with that Truth is relatively easy in the independent thinking environment of the west, but In India, they always want to be a follower rather than a leader. Its the land of the babas, where simplistic tricks work wonders. They are not yet able to take up the mantle of freedom. Its going to take a long time to convince those who are slaves in the mind to become Khalsa. Its going to take a revolution in the West in order to affect that change. The Khalsa will have to become the dominant philosophy in one of the Western countries. India apes the west, having lost its self but not its confidence, it now is confident of beating the West in the question for the Western Ideal. It will be the Khalsa of the West that will remind India of its true spiritual self. I don’t just refer to the 3Ho yogic Sikhs, which are spearheading the way and giving us the photogenic images of white and black people as Sikhs. I mean the thousands and hundreds of thousands of White, Black, Chinese Sikhs who are about to come into the Khalsa. The Punjabis are not ready for them, the Gurudwaras are not ready for them, but Guru is preparing them.
When the Khalsa idealogy spreads in the West, it will not just be by simple preaching. No, the Sikhs will have to deliver the goods so to speak. They will not just be able to speak of Sikh bravery in WW1 and 2. No, it will have to be present day bravery, present day human rights work and present day spirituality that the revolution will begin. We in the west are very cynical. However, when the day comes that Sikhs are building homeless shelters and providing medicine to those in need, when the day comes that Sikhs are being prosecuted for rescuing trafficked and slaved women and in the process killing Albanian mafia lords, when the day comes that walking into a Gurudwara becomes an enlightening experience, full of joy and bliss, on that day, will Sikhi truly prove its mettle and it will be adopted in legions. The political conversation in Western countries will be dominated by activist Sikhs who are applying Guru’s principles to public policy.
This will initially simultaneously give the Punjabi Sikhs a sense of shame for abandoning Sikhi and a sense of pride in the actions of their religious brethren. But after this will come a sense of revolution, that things must change in Punjab too and also a sense of confidence that Sikhi is a world philosophy and it deserves their full focus in emancipating India. The Hindu Indians will not be thinking of Sikhi as some Punjabi silly joke but as a serious meditative and socially just system. Much blood will be lost in trying to move into real democracy. India is not a country that wants its people to think or be independent. The 1% rule there and they have a lot of people whom have been sold the myth of ‘Incredible India’. These people will resist the advance of Sikhi, which is why the West will have to be place where Sikhi goes strong first. The stranglehold on Sikhi in India will tighten, but as is in all cases since time began, the Truth will prevail. The Sikhs are not scared of dying a hero’s death, the only comparison is the cowards death at home with family with lots of unfulfilled hopes. Death will come for us all, but the Sikhs, inspired by Guru’s will have to show the world what it is to truly live! The Khalsa will free Punjab and Sri Akaal Takht will be independent.
From this base, the Khalsa Ideology will come to dominate the world. The Khalsa will not need to run a country specifically, it will ensure all ethical principles are being followed and where they are not, it will intervene. The key thing is that the Khalsa can only rule when it actually does the job of Sikhi, to raise everyones awareness, to feed the hungry, fight the tyrants and meditate on the One. The raj is only assured to those in touch with the True Being.
Some may accuse us of thinking grand dreams. Sure, but ask yourself this, what did you think Guruji meant when he said Raaj Karega Khalsa? Why do you shout it now? Be honest with yourself O dear Khalsa, Is this not the secret dream in your heart? The dream that you did not wish to tell everyone in case it scares them? Please do not worry about sounding like a Muslim and talking about Sharia law, we are very different. Why cannot the Khalsa share its vision for the world? If we do not define our objectives and vision, then someone else will define it for us. There are two points to consider here, firstly,, look at the fast growth of Islam in Western countries. It’s not at all unusual to see Western people adopt Islam, even though the Islamic ideal is well known to everybody, namely an Islamic World. Compare that to our ideal of a Khalsa Raj, where people are free to practice any belief and where basic food, education, housing and medicine are not subject to competition theory but available to all. This is an ideal that we should feel confident about spreading. The second point is regarding the 3HO Sikhs, the only large group of Western Sikhs. One of our favourite songs to come from 3HO is the Song of the Khalsa, if you haven’t heard it, we heartily recommend it. The last verse is amazing and goes something like this, “The Khalsa will rule the world and all will be safe in its fold, but if the Khalsa falls, there wont be a world at all”. When exhorting us to be strong as steel and steady as stone, the song also clearly gives the correct translation of Raj Karega Khalsa. This song is sung by nearly all the Sikhs in 3HO, their children grown up with it and their consciousness is imbued with it. Surely we can understand that no one wants to be a loser, everyone wants to join a winning team especially if you agree with them already. The Khalsa has been given this job, its here to accomplish Sat Jug on this earth. An age of Truth, where the Truth rules supreme. That is Chardikala.
So why are Punjabi Sikhs so shy of making this their founding mission statement? The answer is, because they lost their Chardikala and don’t even know it. That’s why we go around shouting slogans and signing petitions, because most of us are not thinking from first principles. What we need to do is simply organise ourselves to think big, bigger than we’ve thought before. Then we need to live Sikhi and breathe it, so the Naam fills our being and its what we are. Then when we’re thinking big and living Sikhi, we need to think like a sword, a great big flashing steel sword, hardened and tempered, sharp and decisive. When we do that and gather in numbers of five and above, around us the revolution will start as Guruji himself will give us strength to do so, its his promise to those who remain distinct and Chardikala. The Way of the True Bhagats is Distinct (see Anand Sahib) Then the Khalsa will rule the world and all will be safe in its fold.
Moving on from defining our vision about India and the Raaj, in our next post, we’ll be coming for the Gurudwaras abroad. Cause its been a long time coming and come it will. Stay tuned.
May the rider of the blue steed, of plumed turban and with hawks, who sacrificed his whole family willingly for the Khalsa, bless his children with the strength to carry though his mission. May the actions of the Khalsa lead to the world thanking Vaheguru for sending the ten Gurus that created the Khalsa. May the Khalsa give all glory to Vaheguru and live and die for Vaheguru.
April 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
Guru Piare jio,
If we understand the answer to the above question, we will clearly grasp why Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana is on death row and probably about to become a shaheed.
Do not demand justice from the Indian Government!
Sounds strange, but here’s why this statement is likely to save us a lot of time and effort. In essence, there are three main types of powerful (1%) people who do not and will never allow Sikhs to become strong in India. These are:
(1) Corrupt politicians
(2) Corrupt hereditary landlords and industrialists
(3) Brahmins and Pundits
Why, I hear you ask? They know that Sikhi was designed to wipe them out. They live by exploiting others and maintaining the status quo. Sikhi seeks to challenge the status quo and give power to the poor and downtrodden masses.Its simple logic. They know it before we do.
Ever since Sikhi was created by Guru Nanak sahib, these three types of ‘Indians’ have tried to wipe out Sikhi. We know the Guru’s fought against type (1) who were supported by type (2) and that Guruji soundly criticised type (3). We know Sikhi rejects all these three and promotes the following:
No priests, scripture read by people themselves, one simple gurmantar, and spiritual salvation open to all, a political philosophy immersed with values of justice, freedom and benevolence, equal rights for men and women, no racism, all castes seen as one, and finally and most importantly, it preaches the Khalsa Raj! The Khalsa philosophy is anathema to all three of the above as it arms each person and then tells them to seize political power over the world to bring about the above! We truly are working for the 99%. Akaal!
However, although repeated faithfully by millions of Sikhs worldwide, the implications of Raj Karega Khalsa are not fully appreciated by most Sikhs. This is because the above three types of enemies of the Panth have conspired to make us forget what this means.
The basic point is that the above three types of people control India and its so called ‘democracy’. They have always known that if the Sikhs get their act together, they would take over India and they would be waving goodbye to their cushy lives forever. These three types are not religious, they worship their own ego.
However, these three (1% ers) do need faithful soldiers. Lo and behold, the Indian Desh Bhagat ideal. A patriot who lives and dies for mother India without questioning if Mother India brainwashed him and is actually Evil Father India who is raping him and all his siblings. This is such an evil genius idea, we wished we’d had it ourselves until we realised it was wrong and Guru would not be best pleased. They are killing two birds with one stone.
Firstly, they create a general patriotic feeling in a country that is vast and disparate, one that was created by the British and had never existed as India before. They also get a small percentage of the population to form legions of Shiv Shena and RSS misguided youth who think they are preserving the honour of Hindu India. These are the guys now burning turbans and tying to make this into a communal issue so that Sikhs can once again be labelled separatists and fanatics. Once the separatist issue comes into play, all the patriots in the rest of the country are then prepared to give free licence to the govt to suppress said movement, using illegal methods.
Secondly, they actually can start the slow but sure process of slavery over the Sikh psyche. By praising Sikhs for their bravery on the one hand, they also make fun of them. Convinced by genuine sounding praise, the Sikhs joined the Indian country without negotiating for the return of the Sikh Kingdom of Ranjit Sing. Now part of India, the Sikhs are made to feel proud to be Indian, not Punjabi or Sikhs, but Indians. Ergo they too are susceptible to the very same patriotic myth.
The war on the Sikh psyche was supposed to culminate in our surrender in 1984 but things didn’t go that way. The Sikhs fought back hard, but ultimately lost the battle. Now the Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana issue is here to see who is still around preparing for the next battle. They know some Sikhs haven’t given up the war. However, they have convinced a massive number of Sikhs that India is incredible, that its good to be Indian and that it’s an act of great honour to die for India. Believe you me, this mental slavery is exactly what all slave masters want. A compliant slave willing to die for you. Do we need much proof of this?
How many Sikhs in India today seek to spread the Guru’s revolution to the rest of India. Our two Takhts, of Hazoor Sahib and Patna Sahib form a lovely triangle with Punjab, giving indications as to where our kingdom should spread. However do Sikhs in India see it that way? No, they have forgotten Raaj Karega Khalsa! They want a peaceful life, creature comforts and to bury their head about the mission entrusted to the Guru Khalsa Panth. You don’t hear about Sikh missionaries bringing whole villages of low caste Hindus or outcastes into the Khalsa fold (you can read about the Guru’s doing this, see the Sikhs of Assam, made by the 9th Guru). You dont hear about Sikhs fighting the injustices meted out on Indian low-caste and outcaste women every day. (you can read about Sikhs freeing Hindu slave women from Mughal invaders). Nope, what you see is a opiated mass of Sikhs, happy to talk about the greatness of Sikhi, without actually considering that they may wall have to spread it outside Punjabis if they ever want to have a Khalsa Raaj. This is the slave mentality, precisely because it is not the master mentality. If Sikhs saw themselves as the rightful rulers of India, they would start to take charge of the way the Indian Government runs things and say nope, thats not in concurrence with Sikh principles and therefore, we’re not going to allow it.
Either you’re empowered and in power or you’re not!
So in summary, as long as Sikhs remain Sikhs and stick to Guru’s message, they will always get persecuted in India for as long as India is run by the three types of enemies of the Panth. I don’t include the hardcore RSS people here because actually in our opinion, they are simply run by politicians who want to brain-wash Indians into compliance).
We better be prepared for the blood of Sikhs to be spilled, as it will be indeed. The price of freedom has always been pain in blood. In the long term, either we re-form India and take power away from these three natural enemies or else we remain at (civil) war. The three types above have worked hard to make us forget this natural truth about our existence, ie we’re created to carry out Vaheguru’s fateh over the world. The saying “Know Thyself” is relevant here. Once we know ourselves and our mission, then surely we can also know whom will be our enemy.
Knowing that, puts us one step closer to understand how we ended up where we are today and also how we’re going to get out of this chakravyuh (strategic trap). Then the Khalsa will Raaj and the whole world will sing its praises for having delivered justice and freedom to all downtrodden people everywhere. And the Khalsa will sing the praises of Vaheguru.