Failure of Sikh Intellectuals
Dr Kuldip Singh*
Our intellectuals did not grasp the Gurus’ mandate meant for preserving the unity of the Panth. They sided with one or the other faction and none could rise to the occasion to point out the necessity of the Panth remaining as one entity. The situation is persisting even now.
Nehru saw a golden opportunity of permanently weakening the panth on the eve of Independence. During the assembly elections of 1946 Nehru prevailed upon some Sikhs to fight the elections on Congress ticket. Many self-seekers saw this as a good opportunity to defeat the Akalis and join hands with the Congress who was going to rule the country. Sikh leadership, both religious and political as well as intellectuals, failed to grasp the significance of this most sinister move to destroy Sikhi. After Independence, the lure of “jhandiwali car” was great and the Sikh leaders were ready to sacrifice Sikh interests for the same. No Sikh intellectual could see the impending catastrophe. There was no body like Giani Dit Singh, Prof. Gurmukh Singh, Sardar Teja Singh Samundari or Prof Puran Singh who could turn the course of history. Even Sardar Kapur Singh got involved in his personal affairs and could not see the much greater danger to the panth. The obvious and glaring conclusion was that throughout the Guru period our Gurus had created unitary leadership of the Panth and all Sikhs had been looking towards their centre. This was not noticed by any of the leading Sikh intellectuals. Noting this ever-growing decline in our values after 1925, Nehru could easily disown all promises made to the Sikh leaders prior to 1947 because the majority of Sikh leaders had accepted lollypops under the Congress discipline and could not raise their Sikh voice.
Intellectual failure continues to lead the rot. Our intellectuals have failed to grasp the significance of Guru Nanak passing on the mantle to Guru Angad. Guru Nanak had given complete religious philosophy in his bani and he could have compiled the same in a pothi if he wanted, that his bani was meant for the public to easily understand the path leading to Mukti or Salvation. Akal Purukh had actually given Guru Nanak the mandate for creation of Khalsa, as Akal Purukh ki Fauj to lead the world. The Light of the Lord had himself laid the foundation of Akal Takhat to act as the physical symbol of Sovereignty. There is no doubt that sooner or later the panth would realize this obvious message of our Gurus. It is likely that the intellectuals settled abroad may be in a better position to grasp this ideology of our Gurus.
Instances of Intellectual Failure - 1982-1999
1. During the Dharam Yudh Morcha (1982-1984), the Akalis lost a great opportunity of creating a unitary entity of the panth. All Akali leaders were on one platform. Only the Sikhs in Congress were outside the panth. Akali leaders should have prevailed upon the Sikhs in Congress to come out and join them in the dharam yudh morcha. If the Akalis had the foresight, the events would have turned into their favour. Our intellectuals slept.
2. Intellectuals failed to utilize the great victory of the panth in June 1984. The whole world realized that the Operation Blue Star was a big moral defeat of Delhi and this was compounded later in November 1984 massacre of Sikhs. The Govt. of India utilized the services of its intellectuals to bamboozle the Sikh intellectuals and leaders and prevailed upon them to come to an understanding with the government in the interest of peace. Sikh intellectuals helped the government to produce the Rajiv-Longowal Accord. The intellectuals scuttled the Panth for getting petty personal gains.
Sikh Intellectuals As Mute Spectators Of Gross Decline In Panthic Values
i. At Chhapar Mela on 2-9-2001 four parties of Sikhs held their large political conferences. The leaders had made all out efforts to collect their supporters in large numbers to out do one another at the Mela at Guga Marhi. It is against Sikh tenets to visit such shrines.
ii. Even worse was the organisation of annual Urs of Pir Manawala and Urs at Dargah Baba Meeran Patshah by the Sikhs offerings Chaddars and Choorma on 7 September, 2001. The Panjabi Tribune of September 8 publishing this news along with photographs gives 26 Sikh names but no Hindu or Muslim names amongst the organizers. These Urs provided opportunity to the upcoming tribe of Patit Sikh boys and girl singers to display their singing talents. It has not evoked any comment from any of our missionary groups.
There is no doubt that our institutions have failed us. It is time that we discard them.
We; the Khalsa have to set our own house in order. Let us divide ourselves in 10 population groups of 2 million Sikhs each and select by common consensus 10 Sikhs from each group for Central Electoral College of 100 Sikhs. Let these 100 form Sarbat Khalsa, meet at Akal Takht and select by common consensus five Piaras and a leader of the Panth. The leader of the Panth, be labelled as Jathedar of Akal Takht who would be the mouth piece of the Panth issuing guide lines, both religious and political as advised by the Panj Piaras.
Guru Panth has to have only one policy enunciated by its panch Pardhani leadership. The whole Panth has to project this polity made according to the teachings of our Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib for establishment of ‘Halemi Raj’ not only in Punjab but also every State of India and every country of the World. It has to bring an end to continued ethnic violence and loss of innocent lives. It has also to project honest living and end of scams. In every country the Guru Panth has to project a single Khalsa polity and join hands with only that political group which agrees with it.
Sikhi is not just another religion. Khalsa has to become the future International State of Man as visualised by Prof. Puran Singh. Miri is not abstract philosophy; it means sovereignty.