ਕਰਿ ਔਗੁਣ ਪਛੋਤਾਵਣਾ
Such is nature's constitution of (our) human body and the energy contained therein that there are immense possibilities for each of us either to reach the zenith of human excellence or fall down to the nadir of human depravity. It depends on our choice of motive, which in turn, depends largely on the kind of mindset that we have developed, the values we have imbibed from our parents, teachers, religious beliefs and cultural moorings. In short, each one of us is a product of our heredity and environment which includes our bringing up, our aspirational goal posts and our inherent moral fibre. While majority of ordinary people remain bogged down in eking out their living and struggling for meeting the basic necessities of their families, certain privileged individuals especially those wielding political power get carried away by the sheer weight and status of their political positions. In the dazzling glitter of power, some of them, sometimes tread into a prohibited territory.
Such is the import of this heady brew of political power and human hubris (arrogance) that grave sins get committed by its users wittingly or unwittingly. This is what seems to have happened with the topmost functionaries of Akali Leadership during the concluding phase of their ten year (2005-2015) tenure in political power. Unpardonable sins of worst kind of incidents of sacrilege of the sacred Sikh scripture and subsequent acts of state/ police brutality occurred during their tenure.
This led to the public outrage against these acts of brazen arrogance and egoistic bulldozing over their own party's saner voices. Now after two years of ignoring all dissenting voices and public outrage and after exhausting their lung power at meaningless and absurd stage managed public rallies, it dawned upon them to accept their acts of omission and commission and atone for their sins. But here again their long-nurtured hubris held them back from confessing and atoning for their lapses in the true Sikh tradition. Instead of voluntarily presenting themselves before Sri Akal Takht in compelate humility and submission and confession of their sins, they committed another sin of arbitrarily choosing their mode and quantum of punishment without any sanction from the established highest Sikh authority. In undergoing such a sewa, they have assumed the role of an offender - Judge and justice dispensing authority all rolled into one. Lakhs of Sikh devotees make confessions and do sewa at this most sacred shrine as anonymous Sikhs of the Guru. But this kind of Sikh leadership's confession and atonement and sewa in the company of a motley crowd of their hangerons in the full glare of television cameras, it was everything else but sewa and anything but genuine/ sincere prayer and atonement. Here, one is reminded of a similar sham prayer of king Claudius of Denmark in Shakespeare's famous play Hamlet:
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
Words without thoughts never to heaven go. (Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 3)
ਵਿਣੁ ਗੁਣ ਕੀਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥
Prayers too, without virtue, are shallow whine.
(Japu Ji, XXI. p. 6)
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2019, All