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Khalsa Raj
– As Envisaged by the Sikh Gurus and the way to Establish it –

Raghbir Singh

The despotic kings were helped in their ruthless and selfish regimes by the priests whose role was to create a sense of fright in the hearts of innocent people about the wrath of supernatural power(s), which had destined the kings to rule over them. The territory where a king’s absolute writ prevailed was called his State. Whenever the people agitated for their rights, the king, in order to create confusion amongst the innocents, termed the agitators as enemies not of him but of the State thereby camouflaging his own personality and interests. Forces paid by the people were used to crush them. To mislead the people further, many thinkers propounded different theories of administration to safeguard the interest of the ruling classes. People’s democracy is also the result of such theories. It is a product of complex theoretical/political manipulations by intellectuals of capitalist thinking, who, with a view to share spoils with the rulers as a class, very cunningly introduced the system of government of the people where the masses still remain their victims in the name of the welfare of the State.

The main cause of suffering by the human beings is lack of unity of purpose in them because of the desire for undue personal gains despite the moral teachings to the contrary by various saints. These teachings were in most cases not in tune with the practical requirements of the people. They were of theoretical nature, heavily loaded in favour of some frightening super power beyond the human reach which could be supplicated only by Karam Kands or by renouncement of the family and the world with a view to have communion with that power to get relief from the worldly ills. Some pseudo-religious leaders for personal gains divided the humanity into pure and impure sections where the latter were made by such leaders to accept their preordained good or bad luck. Such teachings always remained ineffectual to lead the humanity on right lines. Although there was no division in the Western world on such basis, yet Industrial Revolution there led to the creation of classes on the basis of haves and have-nots, the capitalists and the workers. No stress was ever laid on creating a sense of brotherhood of mankind.

Guru Nanak Dev was the first to realize that unless human brotherhood through friendship with the omniscient power popularly known as God was established, there could be no end to the human miseries. He, therefore, propounded the Sikh Thought where, not the ruthless State but the all-merciful God, is taken to be the Father and owner of all the beings. Amongst other epithets he describes Him as creator of all, fearless, without malice and discrimination and always ready to embrace those who choose to be His friends by imbibing His qualities. Such people are called Khalsa which in Persian means God’s property without any intermediary. This way he aimed at constructing a society based on human brotherhood and natural justice where every thing is believed to move under the strict Discipline/Will of the Akal Purkh. Within this discipline, every human being has full freedom for action. In Guru Nanak’s scheme of things, there remains no need for any State force to defend the discriminatory rulers in the name of State. The Communists, claiming to be the friends of people, floated the idea of a stateless society and Russian Revolution was meant to establish such a society. But it miserably failed in its infancy as it excluded from its agenda the concept of God to which almost everybody in the world looks for succor in time of difficulty. The evolvement of community suitable for Khalsa Raj is exhaustively illustrated in Guru Granth Sahib, the beacon light of human life. Unlike the immorality preached by the capitalist sections through arranged pseudo-religious discourses, print and electronic media, the Gurdwara programmers remind the people of their duties and obligations under natural law by kirtan, shabad vichar and Sikh Ithas.

Sikh ithas is the practical application of Gurbani which sometime necessitates sacrificing even life to uphold the human values, as Guru Arjun Dev, Guru Tegh Bhahadur Sahib, Sahibzadas and many of their followers sacrificed. Gurbani and Sikh Ithas are the main part of curriculum of Khalsa education for building the moral and ethical character of the students to become good and useful members of the world community where they exhibit this character as a role model observing a prescribed Rehat Maryada not only individually but collectively too.

Simply reciting Raj karega Khalsa, Aaki rahe na koe after every Ardas is not enough and Gurbani also does not approve of this theoretical exercise alone. Since the necessity for such a Raj is being felt all over the world, we have to lay great stress on creating Khalsa free from any superstitions. To produce this Khalsa, our schools need to be headed by competent and outstanding gursikh educationists with a dedicated staff. Most of the gurdwaras especially in urban areas and foreign lands have sufficient funds which, instead of being wasted on gurdwara buildings etc. should be utilized for building the character of the people to become Khalsa. Gurdwara managements should feel concerned with the problems of the young and old population around it from going astray from the path of Sikhism so that sangat should be able to select from among itself the time-tested institution of five piaras to work at various levels of the society to solve its day to day problems. Their decisions both in Rehat Maryada and interpretation of Gurbani, i.e., rules of life being final have to be accepted by all the concerned without any reservation. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee of today does not seem capable of improving educational institutions and doing effective Dharam Parchar because of incompetent persons elected as its members. The system of election under the Sikh Gurdwara Act will never allow a useful Committee to come up. To avoid conflict with the law, the Sikh sangat of every SGPC constituency should, with the help of its intellectuals nominate competent candidates and ensure their success.

Shri Akal Takht is another institution of great importance in the Sikh ethos. It is the Executive Authority of the Khalsa Raj which has to function through an eminent fearless scholar of Gurbani dedicated to uphold the principles of Sikhism. Sarbat Khalsa representing Sikhs in every nook and corner of the world should very carefully select such a Jathedar. Other Takht Jathedars appointed likewise should constitute a sort of cabinet with Jathedar Akal Takh, as its head. This team should functions collectively under his guidance. If at any stage Sarbat Khalsa feels that any Jathedar is not discharging his duties properly, he could be replaced by another competent person. In foreign countries, five piaras would work under the supervision and guidance of the Jathedar Akal Takht. To help the Akal Takht Jathedar in the proper discharge of his duties, Advisory Councils of the International Sikh Confederation on different subjects may be set up.

Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission under the Sikh Gurdwara Act is a mere apology for judicial process. There is no place in Sikh Thought for such a Commission. Judicial matters should be entrusted to professionally reputed Panj Piaras and the appellate authority should be the Akal Takht. All the Sikhs wherever they are would be governed by this system of Administration. This way Khalsa Raj with headquarters at Amritsar would become the hub of peaceful global administration which is the need of the time.

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