May 31, 2012 § Leave a comment
Guru Piarey Jio,
Saul Alinsky, in his book “Rules for Radicals” categorises society into two main spheres, the Haves and the Have-Nots. These two are diametrically opposed and it is here that the struggle lies. However a third group, called the Have-a-little want-mores, are where most of the revolutionaries come from. Middle class so to speak. This group is split into the Do-nothings and the Doers. The Do-nothings make a big show and even convince themselves they care about helping the Have-nothings overcome their struggle with the Haves, but ultimately, its never the right time or the right way. The Doers, come up with a plan, the best they can and get on with executing it. The Doers are the ones who make history.
Currently the criticism coming at us seems to have the same Do-Nothings air, ie not just now, not just this way. We are writing for the Doers. If you feel this reform movement is crucial, then get involved brothers and sisters. We are you and you are us.
A final note, we took a hukamnama from Guru sahib before publishing. The key lines that stood out were, “He himself does and himself inspires others to acts” and also “He himself establishes and himself dis-establishes”. Now the Do-Nothings will undoubtedly claim that this just means we should just wait around like the proverbial drowning man who spurns a life-raft cause he’s waiting for God to save him. The Doers amongst us, will see this as Guru tellign us we should get on with it and leave the results in his hands. The Khalsa and the Panth work for Vaheguru and its Vaheguru’s victory, not ours. So leaving the feasibility aside, the need for thousands to join us aside, what each of us now has to think is, do I answer this call or not? If you are a Doer at heart, ask vaheguru to give you the strength to never shirk from righteous actions and DO.
(1) Print the leaflet and plaster the Gurdwaras and the committee rooms
(2) Join us on facebook and show your support. Share the posts and posters to all your friends.
(3) Find the data on your committee and gurdwara and send it to us via facebook. Tomorrow we will be printing the info regarding the Gurdwara first on the list.
May 30, 2012 § 2 Comments
Guru Piarey Jio,
Just like Dhan Guru Hargobind Sahib ji, the destroyer of armies, the warrior Guru, the liberator, carried two swords signifying his total sovereignty over all spiritual and earthly matters, the next battle for our beloved Khalsa Panth will also have two forks. We have to fight the internal enemies and external enemies. These are not enemies we have chosen, (the Panth hates no one), but these people have chosen to be enemies and obstructions in the Khalsa’s mission. Our mission is simple, a Khalsa Raaj dedicated to providing freedom and access to basic provisions to every single person whilst spreading the beauty of our Jagat Guru.
Step one: Fight the current internal and external enemies.
Step two: Start doing the work of the Khalsa, thereby creating even more external enemies who will undoubtedly work to create internal enemies.
Verily did Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Patshah say that the Khalsa are those who will constantly do battle.
Step one then…well, our main external enemies are the 1% of India, who have conspired to subjugate and murder Sikhs in India, quite rightly seeing that the Khalsa will ultimately remove these elitist, nepotistic dynasties from power. What we need is to develop an independent mindset and recognise the real enemy. With that aim in mind and also taking note of the number of positive comments regarding the SICC, then we will do ardaas to Guru sahib to allow us the seva to help bring this to reality. We’ll be keeping you updated wit this.
On the internal side, our previous 3 posts under Spring Cleaning have made clear our views advocating serious reform of our gurdwaras. We must awaken as many of those who enter the Gurudwara and Guru sahib will make them agents for this upcoming Khalsa Raaj. These are not pipedreams, it is our birthright. Changing the Gurudwaras can be delivered now. It’s real change that is in our hands and achievable. And this change is achievable if we have clear rules for Unity and clear objectives. In our view, given the whole system is broken, instead of engaging in it, (ie Gurudwara politics) we need the Sangat, (all of us) to get involved and focus upon deliverables. To use an analogy all sevadaars would understand, we don’t need to argue about who goes on the langar committee, we need to start chopping veggies and making dough.
You’ve seen Occupy Wall Street and you’ve seen the Arab spring. How about a new global movement? So that in one year’s time we can say that we changed the face of the Panth. No more waiting for a better time, the time is now and the Panth is here, this is the time for the Khalsa Spring.
We need to take control of our Sikhi, not to have it led by clueless people. It’s time to Occupy Sikhi, time to Occupy our Gurudwaras. We need to unite as a Panth and get Sikhi, real Sikhi back into our Gurudwaras. We need to do this until as many of the following points on our suggested manifesto have been delivered.
If you believe that the time is now, that change has to come, we ask for your help. On the 6th of June, one week from now, go to your Gurudwara with as many copies of the leaflets above. One side, gives the reality of what Gurudwaras have mostly become, the other side is the manifesto. These should be the minimum demands for every major Gurudwara in our community. Lets put these up in every Gurudwara, give them out to each committee member, tell them that this is what we want, and that they are on notice. Please download and print many copies. You can normally get online printing shops to do this very cheap and post back to you.
Now, before you start thinking “Yeah right, thats going to work”, we’d like to announce our new project to the sangat. We’ve all used WikiPedia and SikhiWiki, and we’ve also heard of WikiLeaks. Well we’d like to introduce the sangat to SikhiLeaks. The concept is very simple, the transparency and accountability we need about our Gurdwaras is unlikely to be given voluntarily and joyfully. So in the absence of a carrot to offer our ‘leaders’ (we don’t think that “the sangat is asking for it” is enough for these guys) we thought a big stick might be in order. On SikhiLeaks, what we will set up is a profile of each Gurudwara, a list of its committee, granthees and their photos, a brief bio if possible, then the constitution of the Gurudwara and its financial situation and finally the election manifesto of each party currently in charge. Then it will simply be a case of knowing who is to blame for the Gurudwara committee not following the constitution and their own election pledges. Now funnily enough, a lot of this information is freely available around election time and also available to monitoring bodies like the charities commission in the UK. Once this information database builds up for each Gurudwara, we think that the committee will no longer be the nice cosy seat that it is at present. Thats good! The harder that seat is and the more uncomfortable, the more likely we are to get real sevadaars. People who do what they say and who have nothing to hide. Isn’t that the real thing at stake here, is what do these people have to hide?
Guru Piarey jio, with Guru’s grace, we will be building this website and working towards the SICC. The first Gurudwara we will tackle will be the biggest and most influential Gurudwara in the UK, where one committee controls two Gurdwaras! Can you guess who it is yet? We’ve got most of the information already but need your help.
How can you get involved? We urge you to rifle through all the papers and documents you have at home, on your email etc and leak them to us via our blog. We don’t want gossip or slander, merely the facts of the case and what these people themselves promised to deliver. We have faith in the sangat and in Vaheguru ji. The power of the people is greater than the people in power. Guru Kirpa kare, this revolution is true to their teachings and that it happens. Dhan Guru Hargobind Sahib bless us with his warrior spirit and the sharpness of two swords.
In the time honoured tradition of warrior ballads, we’d like to introduce our own to Occupy Sikhi and the Khalsa Spring. In Punjabi, Che is Six, and Barah is Twelve, so 6/6/12, is Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
This is the Khalsa Spring,
Open the doors or we’re kicking them in,
The lines have been drawn, the battle has begun,
Sorry we didn’t tell you, We’ve already won.
You’ve got only one choice, Give in, this time you cant win,
This battle is not ours, we fight for the king of kings.
We’re just trying to be Sikhs, Students…wanting to learn more,
Its basic skills that we seek, And this is the Guru’s door.
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Rule No 1,
We dont want your titles or a place on your committee,
That system is broken, or should I say shitty,
We won’t legitimise it or seek your approval,
We’ve got our legitimacy, we are the people.
Rule No 2,
We’re not terrorists or religious fanatics,
Nor misguided youth or crazy drug-addicts,
You will try to incite violence, divide and defame,
We are the sane, the calm, repeating Gods name.
Rule No 3
The Gurudwara is not a country, It doesn’t need a president!
Why are you in charge? You aint setting precedents,
You never taught katha, santhia no kirtan,
Never saw you washing dishes or doing simran,
Never been a punj piara but call yourself a leader,
Its Sardari you want, you aint here to do our seva.
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
This movement has started, you’re warned fair and square,
We’re going to expose you, you thought we wouldn’t dare,
The Sangat will speak up now, we know that you’re scared,
We’re everywhere now, not just those with a beard.
So come on now, lets unite as a Panth,
Occupy our Sikhi, follow the Guru Granth,
This battle has begun, we’ll fight but not revenge,
We’re in Guru’s hands, your time is at an end.
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
Che Che Barah, Occupy your Gurdwara,
May 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
Guru Piarey Jio,
When we look around at our local Gurdwaras, we ask ourselves this question, “What will change in one year?” Nothing…maybe a famous kirtani or two will come and go, a nagar kirtan or two, (crowded masses jostling for space feeling Gurpurbs have been ‘celebrated’.
One thing will have changed. The 10 year old is now off to secondary school, the 17 year old is now off to university. The 21 year old is now off to work. Basically, whole lives are changing but the western Gurdwaras continue failing to fulfil even the basics it’s supposed to provide, Sangat and Pangat.
Pangat: It’s food for the fed. Its not designed for the poor and homeless. You will not get offered a bed, nor a shower and clean clothes. If you have problems and want some counselling, you’re on your own.
Sangat: If you’re interested in Sikhi, there is no introductory course to learn the basics, no leaflets to take home, little or few regular Punjabi/santhya classes, no videos you can watch, no regular youth darbar with English katha (discourse). If you want to learn Kirtan, there are no full time teachers, no Raag ustaads, no tabla maestros, nothing to get you to become part of the renaissance in Sikh music happening around the world.
Sangat for the future (Youth): Kirtan programmes (if they exist) are shunted to the periphery after the normal Sangat leaves. The Gurdwara committee will require all projectors, leaflets etc to be provided for by the youth, but insist that all ‘bheta’ (donations) will go the Gurdwara fund.
Current Gurdwara experience
If you’re born into an average Punjabi Sikh family, this is roughly what your Gurdwara experience is like. Go in, Matha tek to something you’ve never read or looked at, listen to music you dont understand whilst sitting and eating tasty parshad and checking who else is in the Sangat that you know. Sit mainly still whilst texting, playing on the phone or whispering to your cousins until the parents decide they’ve sat for long enough and then it’s time to go to the Langar hall. This bit is fun, langar always tastes good plus depends who’s sponsored it this time. You long since learnt to ignore the paintings hanging around the langar hall as they seem brutal and no one ever explained them to you. Once you’ve had langar and enjoyed the sweet pudding of that day, you can chat to your cousins, play with nephews and nieces and wait until the parents decide enough time has been spent doing the family religious obligations and it’s to head home. During this time, if you’re lucky, you may have wondered, what is the music being sung or paat being read, and perhaps even about what is the philosophy of Sikhi, but mostly you’ve stopped asking that because no one answers those questions and as far as you know, just be a good person and be proud of your Punjabi warrior past.
We often wonder what Guru Nanak or Guru Arjan would think if they walked into a Gurudwara nowadays. Most of all, I think they would be appalled that we never even had a vision of what the Gurudwara is meant to be. Here is our vision of what Gurdwara could be like.
Gurudwara Vision and Ideas
Imagine a Gurudwara where before you even enter, outside the Gurdwara are some large posters with some beautifully presented quotes of gurbani translation, like “Why do you call woman low, from whom kings are born”, or “The best religion of all is pure actions and meditating on Gods name”, “Listen everyone one, I speak the truth, only those who love will get to God”. Then when you go inside the Gurudwara, you see an information desk, where you can take a number of leaflets free of charge, you can ask for a tour of the gurudwara. If you wish, there is a TC and headphones to view a short video introduction to the Gurudwara and also to Sikhi. You’re already surprised, then you go upstairs to darbar hall and you hear beautiful raag kirtan, on stringed instruments with mesmerising tabla beats. The sound is so so amazing and the atmosphere so peaceful and blissful, you feel like you’re in a small part of heaven. The sangat is singing the words and you can see the translations above. The kirtanees don’t look like a professional jatha, just local sangat and you can see they are doing this purely from love. Then another layperson explains the deep meaning of the shabad in English and Punjabi, and then she says that today, right now, through this raag kirtan and sangat, you are meant to have a spiritual experience and awaken your soul. You feel excited and a little scared, but the music starts and you start singing with it and soon those glorious words of love begin to feel real and you can feel the love around you and there…the bliss and joy and love start pouring through you, you eyes start to weep, you feel so blessed, you feel like a huge part of you that you never knew existed has suddenly come to life and its so beautiful. Then the kirtan ends and everyone does ardaas. The person leading the ardaas tells everyone that this is the time to ask for Guru’s guidance and that the hukamnama that will come after will contain Guruji’s answer. You beg for some guidance and wisdom in your life and then when they read out the hukamnama, its explained in English as well and you can see that your Guru heard your pleas and he blessed you. You feel full of tears and hopes and love and bliss. Suddenly Guru Granth Sahib ji feels like your Guru and it can respond to you. When you bow to Guru Granth sahib ji now, you feel so thankful, so blessed and when your forehead touches the ground, you feel a profound desire to throw yourself at your Guru’s feet, to give yourself to Guru. A relationship of servant and master, of teacher and disciples has just been born.
When you go downstairs to langar, you pop into the library and see lots of books on Sikh spirituality, and posters for courses in Punjabi, in kirtan, tabla, and also an introductory course in Sikhi. You sign up for those times that fit, wanting to learn more and then you’re told there is also a Sunday darbar and a longer monthly darbar where there will be such kirtan and katha. You borrow a book for the course. You then see that there is a big seva board up. You can see that there are langar runs to the homeless, an actual homeless shelter that the Gurdwara runs, drug counselling, a small medical centre, women’s shelter, volunteers places abroad with charities, education for people to improve IT and English skills, opportunities if you want to help kids study in evenings and also classes on self-defence at the Gurdwara gym where you can work out too. You can see so many people getting involved with the Gurdwara, doing seva of society. You can feel the buzz in the Gurdwara and it’s infectious, you can see so many non-punjabis who are involved in learning about Sikhi and doing Seva. You don’t know where you are, you feel like you’ve just been transported to planet SachKhand. Through the Guru’s door you walked, not knowing what joy you were to receive…..”
Guru Piarey jio, if the vision above inspired you, ask yourself why isn’t every Gurdwara like this? Our next post will be our most ambitious. May Vaheguru bless the panth and the panth sing of Vaheguru.
May 11, 2012 § 13 Comments
Guru Piarey Jio,
Across the world next month, a lot of Sikhs will be getting together and marching, shouting slogans, making speeches and holding up Placards saying “Sikhs want Justice”, “India stop killing Sikhs” and “Freedom is our Birthright”.
Conversely, many young, educated, practising Sikhs born and brought up in the West who are leading lights in their communities will be shunning these same demonstrations and marches and will state “I don’t do rallies”. What’s going wrong here?
This maxim applies here “If what you are doing is not working, Change what you’re doing”. Can we be honest about these rallies. They are not working. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a great day out, lovely to see all the sangat together, united in their pain. But let’s face it:
(1) We are not achieving Justice.
(2) We are not getting Freedom.
(3) We’re not even spreading awareness. Most of the people are Sikh Punjabis who already know what the march is about. The speeches are in Punjabi and even if we told a few hundred people, we would have been better off buying a double page spread in a national newspaper stating the facts of 1984.
(4) In spite of knowing the above facts, we keep on spending time and money on doing these marches. We have no definition of what would be success.
(5) The problem facing us is so big, we either run away from it, or stick to what is easy, i.e., demos. There are no large scale debates about what would be better. Becuase there is no definition of success to be achieved by a rally for 1984, then we cannot have an action plan that actually achieves that.
If we can just address the main point here, its that we are not thinking or approaching this in the right way. Let’s address the approach and then lets come up with a few better ideas.
Firstly, ‘Sikhs’ should never ‘Want’ Justice. Can you just imagine Dhan Guru Gobind Singh ji, on his blue horse, with his plumed turban, weapons overflowing, saying that he ‘wants’ justice? No, we cannot. Justice is something that Guru ji would ‘Deliver’. To want is to be left wanting. Applying the principle of “Vand ke Shako” to Justice would be to give everyone else Justice and get it for yourself. For the Khalsa to be walking around like beggars asking for justice is a shame, shame upon us that we think this is what the Guru’s own body should be doing. The Khalsa for which Sarbans Daani (the 10th Master) sacrificed his mother, father and all four beautiful sons and he did so with a smile, what is that Khalsa doing now walking around asking others to give it justice. We are the deliverers of justice, “Sri Sahib ji Sahae”, let the respected sword always remain by our side. Never ask for Justice O beloved Khalsa. Don’t be offended O Khalsa jio, please read on. We would kiss the feet of the Khalsa, drink the water after washing them, put our heads on the ground for it to walk upon, please let that Khalsa never bend its head to anyone else but to Vaheguru or Guruji.
Lets ask ourselves, What is this ‘Justice’ that we seek? Do we expect that the Western Governments, after putting pressure on India, and even if the Indian Government suddenly decided to prosecute those have killed, raped and destroyed Sikhs in 1984, do we honestly expect that at the end of those trials that we would get Justice? No, we won’t and we shouldn’t. It would not be the justice that we seek and at the end of that process, we would be marching again. The ‘Justice’ we seek should always be that of our own choosing and that which is done in line with the principles and actions of our Gurus and the Granth and Guru Panth. True Justice can only be delivered by Vaheguru and since the Khalsa Panth is the form of Akaal Purakh (see Puratan Rehitname) upon the earth, then it should work out what would be justice and then work to deliver that justice.
If you read our post on ‘Why does India persecute Sikhs?’ you will see that it’s pointless to ask India to ‘stop killing Sikhs’. As long as Sikhs do what they are meant to do, the 1% that control India will always try to kill Sikhs. The real answer of ‘When will India stop killing Sikhs?’ can only ever be, ‘When the Sikhs are in charge of India’. When the Guru’s army itself sits on the throne of Delhi, then will India stop killing Sikhs and everyone be reconciled to the rule of the Khalsa.
It’s also pointless to say Freedom is our birthright. Freedom is our aim, it’s what we plan to deliver to the world, not just ourselves. The price of freedom has always been paid in blood. It’s not our birthright, its our ‘death cry’. We need to be the Braveheart crying out Freedom as they chop us from joint to join and saw us in half. Freedom needs to be lullaby we sing to our kids, the whispering chant in our head when we awake and the constant throbbing in our heart. Freedom. To be free of falsehood, to be free of Fear and Hate, to be free of the shackles on the mind, to be free of caring what others think, and to be free to do what is right and required and to that ourselves. Freedom. Fiercely Free and Fiercely independent. To Death. Even Death will not part us from Freedom.
What then of 1984? What would be the right approach?
Perhaps we should start by not moaning about all those that died? Who died and where did they go? The eternal soul, which migrates, doesn’t die. Why would a Sikh cry about death? We are wedded to death and it must consume us all, but very few live immortal lives. Lives such that Guruji himself comes for them at the end. As much as we ourselves have cried about the sorrows of 198 and after that, the fact is that this is simply our mind talking, not the Guru. Injustice needs to be destroyed but once someone is dead, we can do nothing for them. Our job is to serve the living, not to bemoan the dead. Celebrate the dead, the fact that they gave their life for Guru. They will all either come back into Sikhi or go onto Eternity.
So why cry for them and yet ignore all those who are living? Surely at every rally, we should be getting all the sangat to pledge big. A minimum amount of £100 each to up to £1000 each towards those loved ones that were left behind by the shaheeds and now need help. A multi-10’s of millions pound/dollar fund, supporting orphans, single mothers, old parents, through education and illness. Just like a Son, Daughter or Parent would want to themselves. That should be our first approach. If every person who gives a speech at an 84 rally starts off by first pulling out a £1000 wad of cash and says,” I pledge this money for the living victims of 1984 and I ask that you do too”, they would have said enough. As they say, put your “money where your Mouth is” or also, ‘put your offerings to the Guru, in the mouth of the poor and needy’. This would bring much respect to the Panth and would alleviate the guilt that is endemic in the Panth. The guilt that makes us turn away when we see the photos of these families suffering in India. The guilt that we are not doing what we should be doing. So let’s start.
Let’s turn to the right approach for Justice. As we said, let’s deliver justice, but how. Here is a proposal. Why dont we set up a Sikh International Criminal Court (SICC) and then set up trials of all those named as the perpetrators of 1984 and after. We have so much evidence readily available regarding the Nov 1984 killing sprees. Let’s prosecute Sajjan Kuman and Jagdish Tytler ourselves. With all the lawyers, solicitors and judges in our Panth, we are fully able to run such a trial. Put the evidence and trial on youtube and if these people are found guilty, let the Panth and Punj Piare judges give them a sentence. Such a sentence should only refer to Sikh history for precedents and not pay any heed to what the world may think about it. If such a sentence is death, then the hukamnama (order) should be given that any Sikh, where they may be, has been commanded, that if they are able to kill those sentenced to death by the Panth, then they should do so straight away.
Before everyone starts with the “oh that just sounds nuts” let us cover some points.
(1) Trials can be run in absentia. We assume that most of these will have to be since I doubt they will come willingly. Many governments run trial in absentia. The best example is that of Israel. They have held many Nazi War Criminal Trials and having examined the evidence in front of them, sentenced people to death. These deaths have been carried out by Mossad.
(2) This does not violate the sovereignty of India. These people being prosecuted are Criminals and Murderers. If the Indian political and judicial system is unable to deliver justice for Sikhs that are citizens of India, then the Sikhs have already been guaranteed their rights in the speeches of both Nehru and Gandhi (the founding fathers). We have the sword and we shall be using it. Killing criminals doesn’t change the politio-social democratic system of India, affect its economy or its education system. All it does is deliver Justice for Indians. In this way it is a force for good and one that acts against corruption. All Indian Independence fighters, now national heroes did the exact same thing. Even now we can look at the USA, launching missiles against Al-Qaeda leaders, no matter what country they are in. They do this, because they see these people as enemies of liberty everywhere. Why shouldn’t we Sikhs also see things this way?
(3) Why do we need the permission of the SICC? Just get on with it. We know they are guilty so if you want to do it, just go and kill them. Indeed we are sure that some readers will claim that we should do it ourselves rather than writing about it. This approach misses the point somewhat. Look at the killing of Osama Bin Laden by the US Navy Seals. The whole of the US and Obama administration are able to hold their heads up high that they killed Osama just like they said they would. The Navy Seals carried out their job but the fact that it was ordered by the US president, acting with the authority given by the US people, means that its not just a lone bunch of Navy Seals that killed Osama, its bigger than them. If you wanted to launch an investigation into Bin Laden’s death, you would start from Obama, not from the Seals.
Effectively what we are saying is that if the SICC found Jagdish Tytler or Sajjan Kuman or KPS Gill or Sumeedh Saini guilty of crimes again humanity/Sikhs and sentenced them to death, then any Sikh who carries out that death sentence can simply point to the SICC and say, ‘I was just following the orders of the Panth’. Otherwise, that individual becomes a terrorist and criminal. If we do it through the SICC then that Sikh is a soldier of the Khalsa Panth, doing his duty as per the hukamnama of the punj piare. He/She will not need to be eloquent in their own defence rather they can point to the SICC trials as their main motivation for the killing. Effectively it would mean the Panth would be on trial, the evidence used in the SICC hearings would be on trial and the decision making process of the SICC would be trial. If the SICC was watertight in these, it would become a very interesting debate about sovereignty, justice and international law.
Plus, just imagine the media flurry that would happen if the Punja Piarey of the SICC were citizens of western Countries and thus were able to use those rights of citizenship.
(4) This is tantamount to inciting terrorism or ordering murder: Not terrorism, this is merely Justice but yes, it may mean ordering Murder. But when Guru Gobind Singh ji put to death all the masands who were stealing the sangat’s money, what was that? When the Khalsa Panth gave Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh the order to go bring back Massa Ranger’s head, what was that? The Khalsa has to administer its own justice. This is what all sovereign nations do and exactly what Obama did by making the killing of Osama Bin Laden one of his key priorities. You need a good justification of this, one that can stand up to scrutiny. I cant think of one much better than a bunch of educated, qualified Sikhs, critically examining the evidence and then passing judgement whilst giving the historical justification for that order. Especially when all the evidence and deliberations are on youtube.
(5) The SICC judges will be arrested and prosecuted! What better seva that to get prosecuted for something so chardikala? Something that achieves both Justice and great awareness of the injustice in India. The Indian press are not going to print this stuff, so the western press will have to cover it. The SICC judges will get to defend themselves in Court. Again the debate will have to focus on their justification of judging an individual who has committed heinous crimes and walked scot free. The funny thing is that Pandit Nehru himself was a lawyer who defended the Indian Liberation Army soldiers that were being prosecuted by the British. The arguments used to defend the ILA leaders were that they were not mercenaries, (or terrorists) but rather “bona fide soldiers” that did not recognise the British Sovereign. Therefore they were to be treated as political prisoners. Surely a Sikh that carries out the hukam of the Khalsa is also saying he recognises the Khalsa Panth as his Guru and can point to the historical precedents which back up his actions. He too is not a lone mercenary lunatic, but a soldier and the Panth itself should be tried in his defence.
(6) No-one would put themselves up to be a SICC Judge –Khalsa jio, we respectfully state that IF, in our entire Panth, we can’t find 5 educated people able to serve judges, (plus prosecutors etc), then we should forget 1984 and go home. What’s the point of shouting slogans and thousands marching if we cant find five to actually do something. There is no more panth left saving then. We are no longer Nirale, or unique, we are the same as everyone else. It seems pertinent here to remember that the Khalsa needs to embrace death, forget about the consequences or dont bother taking amrit. Pehla maran kabool, jeevan ki chad aas. “First accept death and leave the desire to live!”This is the requirement of being a Sikh and especially being a Khalsa. We need to be fearless as long as we are doing the right and honourable thing. Look at Bhai Rajoana, he is not scared come what may. We are being harsh now, but only because we know that the Five do exist and will come out. But how many people reading this article will then join our facebook page and like this post? How many will then say out loud, I support the establishment of the SICC? That’s what those Five will need, the feeling that the Panth is calling for this and therefore they will step forward. Yes, we are anonymous right now, but also there is a good reason for that, as what we plan to bring to the table is much bigger than just this and requires us to stay unknown for now. If the SICC is something you like, then join us in this movement and say so.
(7) No one will carry out the Hukamnama of the SICC: This is impossible Guru Piarey jio, just look at the shaheeds who gave their live for the Panth. Their spirits have come back to the Panth. Again, they look to serve the Guru Khalsa Panth. From Bhai Mehtab Singh and Sukha Singh, to Sukha and Jinda to Bhai Dilawer Singh and Jathedar Balwant Singh Rajoana, they acted. But they acted in small groups without backing. Now the panth needs to unite and think big. And the Panth needs to believe that its own members will answer the call. Think of the thousands of ardaasa done every day for the chardikala of the panth. Think of the thousands and millions of chaupai sahibs that people do for the chardikala of the panth. After all this, do you think that the call of the Panth will go unanswered? No Khalsa jio, if the Guru Roop Khalsa in the SICC gave even 30 days for the order to be carried out, we have full faith that the Panth would deliver the justice we choose for ourselves. If it doesn’t then its because those people will go into hiding. Read below for other options too.
(8) But this is the job of the Akaal Takht: We agree, but we also know the state of the Akaal Takht right now, its been hijacked by the 1% who hate Sikhi. So, we bow to the Akaal Takht, but when the Khalsa of old was on the move, then the Panth made decisions on the move. Guru Gobind Singh ji themselves never went to Harimandar Sahib or the Akaal Takht, even though they founded the Khalsa Panth. In any case, IF the Jathedaar of the Akaal Takht was free from all outside influence, even then, we would still need a SICC to examine the evidence and give its recommendation. It would be the job of the Akaal Takht Jathedaar to endorse it. So why don’t we focus on getting the SICC established? Why not unite and call for this to happen? Allow people to put their names forward to be the prosecutors, the judges and let’s get on with delivering Justice. So no longer do we remain ‘Wanting Justice’.
Here are some other proposals to how we may need to change our approach and action plan regarding 1984.
(1) For those who do not wish to carry out the trial of certain people and believe them already guilty by the evidence seen, maybe we should open up a reward fund for anyone who kills or captures those responsible. Every year at the marches, people should openly pledge money into a fund and in doing so, openly violate the law and court arrest. A large fund would make it viable to hire a Private Military Company or Assassin to do this with minimum damage to other people. The US already have a reward for kill or capture on most people they want to catch or kill, and are avid users of para-military assassins for taking out their enemies, and we don’t mean for dinner.
(2) Kaurs, please get involved. Most men just seek to build their castle in their house, protect it and take responsibility for being the defender of their family. In doing this, first they look for the foundation stone, i.e. a woman. As Dhan Guru Nanak Dev ji writes, men are tied to women. It’s also the fact that Women have a role to play in the upcoming battle for the panth’s honour. Let’s spell it out. The Panth is dishonoured. Our women have been raped, our children killed and the perpetrators walk about free. What more dishonour could there be on a man, or on a Panth?
It’s the women who will need to get involved if the honour of the Panth is to get restored. Women need to give men both the impetus and the strength to sacrifice all. It should no longer be the case that a man feels he has to choose between his responsibility to his family and his responsibility to the Panth. It should be that the women tells the man, fulfil your responsibility to the Panth or you’re not welcome in this family. That’s how we used to roll.
Where are the Mai Bhagos who tell the men to go back into battle and not return without their Guru? Where are the mothers who tell their sons to avenge the Panth’s honour or to marry the daughter of a shaheed? Where are the mothers who tell daughters to trust only the man who is willing to give his life for Sikhi? Who tells their daughters to marry a son of a Shaheed. Who encourage encourage their man to be a shaheed? Don’t think that we should shy away from the word Shaheed just because of a recent fanatical Islamic suicide bomber trend. Our shaheeds are different, we celebrate them even if they die to save someone else’s religion. See Guru Tegh Bahadur, shaheedan de sirtaj Dhan Guru Arjan Dev ji, the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the Shaheedi jathas who held up cannons with their shoulders, each shot of the cannon burying one Singh into the ground only to have another willingly take his place. These are our shaheeds and we salute them, in every single Gurdwara, four to five times a day during our ardaas. Why do we salute shaheeds and let not encourage our family to become shaheed? What could be more beautiful to know that your child died in that glorious tradition and will come back to this earth even more blessed? Why do a nation of people who sing songs of “Purja Purja Kat marei, Kabhoon na chade khet”, “let me be cut into little little pieces but let me not leave the battleground”, why does this nation get scared of death? It’s because we have forgotten Guru’s promise, that death will not even touch one who is in his sanctuary. We fear death like the West fears death, as a great unknown. If we did Simran and Kirtan and experienced the divine one, felt ourselves dislocated from our body, we would realise that death is nothing and that Guru himself will come for those who die in his love. Wasn’t death what Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur embraced? Isn’t Death what Guru Gobind Singh sent his sons towards? Isn’t death what we are asked to accept when stepping onto Guru’s path and playing this game of love? O Mothers, Daughters and Sisters of and in the Khalsa, teach us not to fear death but to feardishonour. Tell us how dishonoured you feel and then tell us to regain the honour of the Panth.
Where are the women who would refuse to share their husband’s beds until these monsters are killed? Why not set up a pledge website where Kaurs pledge that until and unless these criminals are brought to justice, they will not be sleeping with their husbands. Why does this scare the readers but not the fact that those men who raped our honour walk around another day scot-free. Make this a Kaurs’ solidarity issue. Look at the Colombian women who did exactly this just to get their men to fix a road. Just for a road! Here the honour of our beloved Panth is at stake. Why should men get their marital rights when the Panth doesn’t even have the men to hold its head up? You might wonder why this option has not being aired before, but guess which gender is doing most of the speeches at these rallies. This call cannot come from the men, it has to come from the united Kaurs.
The time has come for us to do things bigger, more globally and more connected. This is the Panthic way. For the Indian born Sikhs, let us give you the example of Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas. When she is dishonoured, what does she do? She swears not to wash her hair until she washes that hair with the blood of the one who dishonoured her, Dusshsana. Bhima vows to do this for her and he carries it out. Where are those Sikh women who have such morals now? Why are our mothers and sisters looking for an easy life and conform rather than being fiercely independent and honoured Sikh warrior princesses? We don’t need every women in the panth to do this, even a hundred or a thousand would be enough if they take this pledge, openly and on social media. It would shame the Singhs into doing something about this dishonour that hangs over our head.
Finally, a point regarding the SICC. Obviously the initial trust in a SICC will only come when its orders are carried out. However once that does happen, it is vital that the vision of the Court does not remain just Punjabi Sikh orientated. It should look at cases such as Narendra Modi (buther of Gujrat) and other Indian politicians. It should not shy away from prosecuting “Sikhs” either. And it should look outside India as well. Perhaps every Gurdwara could one day have a top twenty most wanted list, ten people wanted for crimes against the Sikhs and also ten people wanted for crimes against humanity. The Khalsa Panth’s hukamnama should be issued, to destroy each of these wanted individuals so we can show we care about other people and other atrocities. Put tyrants, despots, criminals on the list and say “We, the Sikhs, are going to get you!” Make a fund of money for this so we can put a reward next to each head. Once this SICC actually starts delivering the Justice that Sikhs are meant to, then perhaps we will once again have the situation as that existed in Guru Tegh Bahadurs time, when people approach the Sikhs and say, “O Khalsa of the house of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh, we ask you to give us Justice”. Then maybe our slogans will change to “Ask us for Justice” and we will be the strength of those who have no strength, the shelter for those who have no shelter and the honour of those who have no honour. We are not here to ask, we are here to give and the only thing we ask from our Guru is that he blesses us with both the right approach and the strength to carry out the right actions. In doing so, if we have to die a thousand deaths, we only ask that he sends us back a thousand times to carry on that mission that he was given. And that each time, our Guru blesses us with that inner connection to our Creator, by which we know his Word to be true and what the world tells us to be less true. That is faith and that is justice. Dhan Guru Dhan Vaheguru.
May 1, 2012 § 2 Comments
Ask yourself why the Gurudwaras keeping making buildings and getting us in debt…
And now assume its not because they are stupid. So there must be a reason.
Here’s an idea…
If you are in debt, then all your money goes to pay off interest. Now, if you’re not in debt then by default, you are likely to be in surplus and have money to spend. After some time, this will show up to a very big surplus. Why is this a problem. Why do the committee not want to have money to spend? Because if you’re not making buildings, then you’re going to have to spend it somewhere. It likely that people (sangat) just might start asking you to spend it on promoting Sikhi.
Why do the Gurudwaras not want to spend money on promoting Sikhi?
(1) Why create a rod for your own back? If you educate the people about what Sikhi is, then they will soon be applying those Sikhi principles to the Gurudwara and to the committee and will realise that they are being hoodwinked. The committee just want an easy life with a grand title by their name. Doing Sikhi properly would be hard work, working to uplift society, become a centre for service, thats not what they want. So why create that situation?
(2) Why create your own nemesis? Think about it, if you decide to spend money on teaching Sikhi, what will you need to do? You’ll have to find someone to teach a course. Now if the Gurudwara committee members are unable or unwilling to teach it themselves, which is very likely (you may as well ask why they haven’t done it already then), the next option is to get someone else to teach it. This person will either already have the knowledge or will have to go get educated and then teach. This person is either going to be teaching in a classroom (probably doesn’t exist) or more likely in the main divan hall. The problem is that this person is likely to become popular and then the committee have a double problem on their hand. An educated sangat and a popular potential “leader”.
So it all becomes a little clearer. This whole analysis took about five minutes and the crucial question to discover this was, “What are the intentions and incentives of the Gurudwara committee?”. These are to stay in power and therefore to keep the masses (aka the sangat) in the dark about true Sikhi and about what a poor job they are doing.
The sad part of this is that actually, a leader is not necessarily the one to do the teaching. If the Gurudwara committee were true Sikh leaders, they would actually welcome someone to come and do Sikhi Parchar. It is not necessary that this competition mentality needs to be there, an abundance mentality could also exist. Instead of the committee wallah spending their time trying to discredit, dishearten and dismiss any Sevadaar because of viewing that person as a potential thread to their kursi, ie position, the opposite could also work. The Sangat could be thanking and praising a committee that provided the kind of 21st century education and inspiration that is required. For that to exist and actually be realised, we’re going to need a complete overhaul and re-think of what kind of incentives do we put into place in the Gurudwara.
Are we encouraging the right kind of people and discouraging the wrong kind or are we actually discouraging the right type and encouraging the wrong. We’d argue the current system rewards people who think as politicians, from a place of ego and in terms of competing for finite resources and influence. Gursikhs tend to avoid that arena as the system will bring you down before you bring the system down. So the good guys watch the bad guys prosper. Even our young kids can understand that scenario. And as our kids would say, “Lets get those bad guys!”
So lets unite, as the sangat to free ourselves from the shackles we have placed around our Sikhi. First, let’s imagine the way things should be, then lets brainstorm what checks and balances we need to ensure this vision comes to fruition. Then lets do ardaas and lets kick some badguy @$$! Akaal!
Part 3 of Spring Cleaning coming up soon.