Even Amritdhari Person who does not work for Socio-Political Revolution cannot be a Sikh
There has been going on incessant change in the human behaviour and environment from the very beginning. Broadly these changes can be divided into two categories. One change relates to the physical state of the land mass, jungles and atmosphere as we have read that many islands surfaced and many disappeared in the oceans due to earthquakes and oceanic floods. Ice-laded mountains became barren deserts and vice versa too. Many species and vegetations became extinct and many new ones cropped up. These changes did not bring about any perceptible change in the thinking of man. These, however, largely changed their way of living.
Man because of the ingrained intelligence as compared to animals brought changes in his life style. Discovery of fire, on one hand, facilitated his living, also corrupted him with uncalled for lust for sex, anger, greed, affection for his progeny and egoism which though up to certain limits are essential for living a dignified life, become damaging to human relations when they cross the limits. For example fire helped him to cook and store the cooked food but made him idle for days, weeks and even for whole life. Sense of possessing large property led to the creation of the above mentioned five vices in him. Many wars and battles between individuals and tribes were the result of man’s ambition to possess more and more wealth, territories and women of his choice. Migration from one place to more fertile and habitable regions has been taking place under this desire. One such memorable migration took place from Central Asia to Punjab and Northern parts of Indian sub-continent via Iran and Afghanistan from where aborigines of these areas were pushed into jungles and caves depriving them of their sources of livelihood. Instead of bringing about healthy changes in the behaviour and thinking of human beings tendency for greed and affection for progeny pushed them further into abyss and made them even worse than animals in this regard. Recent forays of the corporate world into the territories of these tribes to exploit their natural resources at the cost of their livelihood has led to their up rise in the form of many violent movements main being the Maoists in the central and eastern districts of India.
To help the people to overcome these bad tendencies enlightened persons in various parts of the globe, especially in the Northern parts of India from time to time. Ram Chander Ji, Krishan Ji and many pious people worked in this field as local rajas and spiritual gurus. As they belonged to ruling dynasties of educated sections they were, over the time, placed in temples as statues to be worshipped by the subjects with progeny of educated sections becoming their priests. Teachings of these luminaries being couched in difficult Sanskrit which was not the language of masses remained confined only to the upper educated classes and if any member of the lower cast attempted to read or hear them, his tongue was cut and lead was poured in his ears. This nexus between ruling classes, their gurus and their children in the form of priests not only kept masses unaware of their social, economic and political rights but also created in them psyche of fear from their deities. Masses still continue to bear the brunt of the combine of ruling and priestly classes. Buddha who was, of course, born in a ruling dynasty, tried to spread some awareness in the masses but his thought was in due course packed off the shores of India by the entrenched politico-religious interests. Similarly Mahavir who too belonged to a ruling clan differed from the Brahninical Thought about the concept of God. Being a great votary of non-violence, he was mentally not prepared to forcefully and effectively agitate against the rajas for their rights and also face the marauders from the West.
Christ and Hazarat Mohd in the Middle East, Jesus spread the idea of one God controlling the entire universe with a view to forge unity of human brotherhood as compared to divisive religious trends in India. Both succeeded in their mission to a large extent. While Christ was votary of non-violence even in face of violence Hazarat Mohd, when confronted with violence did not hesitate to hit back accordingly. These efforts in the Middle East though differing in approach were welcome but their followers misused them. While Christianity was helped by the kings/governments as colonial powers to convert the poor classes and attract them, not because of the relevancy of its thought but more by offering benefits of jobs etc., the Muslim clerics apart from such like government tactics, encouraged violence for their conversion to Islam. With such selfish approaches both the movements failed to deliver the goods and resulted in some political changes and those too for the benefit of the ruling classes only. It is essential to educate the masses about their rights and when to become violent if the powers usurping their rights violently suppress their non-violent agitations for human rights, otherwise the rulers for their personal lust would never allow the down-trodden their rights. Such change in the attitude of deprived sections of the society was and is still very much desirable. Coupled with healthy education, for the love for each other leads to understand the human plight and creation of unity for struggle to achieve their missions.
In view of such failed conditions a new thought called Sikh Revolution taking into account the economic, social, religious and political requirements of humanity started taking birth on the soil of Punjab in the 15th century when Guru Nanak appeared on the scene which Bhai Gurdass very appropriately describes as ‘ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਿਆ ਮਿਟੀ ਧੁੰਦ ਜਗਿ ਚਾਨਣੁ ਹੋਆ॥ ’ It took the Sikh Gurus about 230 years, passing through an unprecedented turmoil of non-violence, followed by violence too, resulting in large scale massacre of Sikhs to usher in the era of light for the deprived sections when in 1710 Baba Banda Singh Bahadur decimated the mighty and tyrant Mughal Empire in Punjab. By distributing lands amongst the tenants of large aristocratic landlords belonging to both the communities and making surfs the rulers, he laid down foundation of Begumpura of Bhagat Ravi Dass concept, ‘ਬੇਗਮ ਪੁਰਾ ਸਹਿਰ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ॥ਦੂਖੁ ਅੰਦੋਹੁ ਨਹੀ ਤਿਹਿ ਠਾਉ॥ ’(384) meaning a state in which Halemi Raj (Government of Tolerance and without any fear) of Guu Arjan Sahib’s vision prevailed. Although remnants of Mughal era with the help of other dissidents did not allow this revolution to last long as it hit their living styles, the idea is still going through the birth pangs among enlightened Sikhs and is alive to see the day when entire world shall have that sort of government. Because of the centuries’ old tight control over human mind of the five vices namely sex, anger, greed, affection for self progeny and egoism, there is no dearth of people who oppose the Sikh idea for lack of will out of sheer selfish interests not caring for the human rights. There are people for whose rights this idea pleads, who oppose it on account of some hidden fear in their minds because of age-old wrong religious perceptions. There are people who understand the utility of Sikh thought but still being misguided by the leaders do not come forward to support it for short lived petty gains.
Sikh thought is not confined to reading scriptures only in Gurdwaras, but it takes into account all the aspects of human life for dealing with which Guru Granth Sahib provides elaborate guidance and exhorts for carrying on incessant struggle against the tyrannical tactics of the governments to ensure human rights to underdogs which the powers are not ready to grant them. Bhagats, saints and other mendicants also pleaded the cause of deprived sections but they failed to prepare them for making a dent in the citadel of tyranny of interested classes by inducing revolutionary trends in their followers because of their age old psyche of belief in non-violence with the result that although their teachings were in the languages of the masses they could not withstand the violent onslaught waged by the rulers against them.
The Sikhs, on the plank of Truth constantly waged war against falsehood as a Saint-Soldier not caring for life. Truth being bitter the war for its supremacy over falsehood is not digestible to the ruling classes which thrive on falsehood on the strength of their armed forces. Irony is that even the middle and lower class people being not conversant with the real purport of Gurbani are playing in the hands of unscrupulous persons and oppose the Sikh Thought at their behest.
With the decimation of Mughal Empire and the rise of the Sikh power, there was large scale increase in the Sikh population during the first half of the 19th century. And as soon as inimical forces came in power the Sikh population started decreasing again, which process still continues under similar present day Government in India. After the formation of a lame Punjabi state the Sikhs, no doubt, having a thin upper hand have always occupied Government chairs irrespective of their political ideas. But the leaders who claim to represent Sikh interests and have come to power with tall claims have never worked for them with fear of being deprived of their power by Government of India under Article 356.
In order to bring about Sikh/socio-political Revolution resulting in change in the psyche of his followers the passage carved out by Guru Nanak has been described in Ramkali Vaar 3 as more sharp than sword and more thin than hair, ‘ਖੰਨਿਅਹੁ ਤਿਖੀ ਵਾਲਹੁ ਨਿਕੀ’ (918) actually becomes easy as Baba Bulleh Shah says that achievement of oneness with God is quite simple as one has only to change his attitude, ‘ਰਬ ਦਾ ਕੀ ਪਾਉਣਾ ਏਧਰੋਂ ਪੁਟਣਾ ਉਧਰ ਲਾਉਣਾ’ which means living a pious and truthful life. Gurbani makes the life blissful like the current of water in the plains facing no difficulty in day to day work. Holy persons like Bhai Bir Singh Naurangabadi, Bhai Maharaj Singh and Bhai Ram Singh of Namdhari Movement have proved this when they took upon themselves to oppose the British Government in Punjab as part of their life.
I come across many learned and simple people who express their yearning to do something to pull out the Sikhs from their present stage of malady. When some simple but very desirable course of action is evolved and some responsibility is cast on such persons for the purpose, no feed back is reported for months together and if ever a chance meeting takes place everybody puts forth excuses for not having done his duty. It indicates that those who shed tears are not really sincere in what they speak out. Only the other day I happened to open the website ‘Sikhs For Justice’ which bewailed that even after 26 years of Sikh genocide no steps have been taken under Article 2 of UNO and Article 21 of Indian Constitution dealing with human rights. Considering that it would be worthwhile to become member of that organization and as a preliminary step I enquired from them very innocently if being based near UNO headquarters they have filed any complaint. In a flutter came the following reply:
Saturday, 11 December, 2010 11:49 PM
From: “Gurpatwant S Pannun” firstname.lastname@example.org>
“Dear Mr. Dhillon:
Please let me know if any efforts of justice has been made by 20million Sikhs in India including yourself, I will request street smarts like yourself to take one day out of your life for this cause before passing judgment on intentions of others. “
Those who know the organizers personally may care to study this reply further.
I am surprised when I hear from many writers, editors and others that ‘ਜਉ ਤਉ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਖੇਲਣ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ॥ ਸਿਰੁ ਧਰਿ ਤਲੀ ਗਲੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਆਉ॥’(1412) (Those who want to serve mankind should follow me with head on their palm i.e. ready for sacrifice) is from Guru Gobind Singh although it is Guru Nanak who said so. These are the people who think there is no place for violent action in Sikhism and arose that first five Gurus up to Guru Arjan Dev were pacifists and that Guru Hargobind and Guru Gobind Singh by taking recourse to wars against the Government forces which came to suppress them adopted violence which pushed out the peace-loving pacifists from the fold of Sikhism. These people forget that pacifism was preached amongst the masses by the rulers and their cohort priests so that they may not rise up violently against them for their rights which rulers for their own exploitative interests were never prepared to grant. That is the reason why Indian masses have never led life of independence from the yoke of rajas etc and always remained and continue to be slaves of the caste ridden ruling classes and the marauders from the West. In view of the Sikh psyche which is basically non-violent, but never shuns violent approach against violence of others, the colonial Government had to move out from India sensing this mood not only on the part of Sikhs who made 80% of the total sacrifices during the Independence Movement, other deprived classes and services also including Indian army from which Indian National Army led by Gen. Mohan Singh had surfaced during Second World War. It is erroneous to think that Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent movement made the colonial government leave India. English people very well knew that that he was playing with them a friendly match through hide and seek game. Gandhi followers forget that it was Sikh Gurus’ 230 years’ non-violence and violence mixed struggle put in building self-confidence and martial prowess of their followers that uprooted the Muslim hegemony of 1000 years and established Sikh Raj in 1710 when Banda Singh Bahadur’s sword deprived the aristocracy of their large holdings and not only distributed them amongst the tillers, made them their owners and handed over the administration too to the so called underprivilaged. Although the remnants of Mughals with the help of local rajas did not allow it to people last long, this was precisely the prototype of Bhagat Ravi Dass’s Begumpura and Halemi Raj of Guru Arjan Sahib’s dream. It is the reason why the progeny of the vanquished Sikhs after their everyday Ardas chant, ‘Khalsa would rule and there shall be no one to oppose them’ ‘ਰਾਜ ਕਰੇਗਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਆਕੀ ਰਹੇ ਨ ਕੋਇ ’ to keep themselves reminded of their revolutionary will leading to their ultimate goal. Sikhism is another name of revolutionary thought. Those who do not nurse this thought should better not claim to be Sikhs. Deprived of this fervour whoever says will never become a good Sikh.
Sometimes I attend Sat Sangs addressed by some really learned Sikh scholars. One day when the meanings of Shabad ‘ਆਪਿ ਜਪਹੁ ਅਵਰਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਜਪਾਵਹੁ॥ਸੁਨਤ ਕਹਤ ਰਹਤ ਗਤਿ ਪਾਵਹੁ॥ ’ (289) ‘one should not only himself remember the virtues of God for action in life but goad others also for that’ had been explained, I enquired from the participants what change they feel in their life and how have they influenced others also. I was surprised to hear them say that they attend these Sat Sangs for their personal salvation, not to help others. Do such people deserve to be called Sikhs?
Can those persons who under the influence old Brahmni culture describe the Sikh Gurus to be the descendants of Lov and Kush be expected to preach against the cult of incarnation of God and become votaries of casteless society?
A person who can announce falsely on the television under the shadow of the army guns that no harm had been done to Kotha Sahib can not be Sikh of the Guru who says, ਭੈ ਕਾਹੂ ਕਉ ਦੇਤ ਨਹਿ, ਨਹਿ ਭੈ ਮਾਨਤ ਆਨ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੁਨਿ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤਾਹਿ ਬਿਖਾਨਿ॥ ’(1427) ‘I neither frighten anyone nor feel frightened from anyone.’?
Can those leaders be Sikhs who daily recite during Ardas Sikh sacrifices for the Sikh cause but when they organize agitations under the garb of benefits to the Panth withdraw them as soon as their some political purpose is served?
Guru Teghbahadur sacrificed his life for all to restore the right to perform religious rites. Do such people who dare not condemn against the tyrannical acts deserve to claim to be Sikhs?
Sikh denotes a man of high moral character. He lives a truthful life without frightening others and without being frightened, full of humility, apostle of peace and service and like Baba Deep Singh ‘ ਜਬ ਆਵ ਕੀ ਅਉਧ ਨਿਧਾਨ ਬਣੇ ਅਤਿ ਹੀ ਰਣ ਮੇਂ ਤਬ ਝੂਜ ਮਰੋਂ' ready as a saint-soldier to always sacrifice his life for the cause of truth and others. Those who are shedding crocodile tears for Panth are not worth even the shoe-dust of the above mentioned kind of Sikh.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2011, All