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Gur Panth Parkash

Gur Panth Parkash
by Rattan Singh Bhangoo
Translated by
Prof Kulwant Singh

 

BACK

Article 25 Exterminates Sikhism

Santokh Singh

Guru Nanak preached human brotherhood, equality and sovereignty.  His religion is progressive and scientific.  Apart from spirituality, social, economic and political uplift has also been provided.  He cogitated and drew the conclusion that poverty and slavery of the masses was due to Manuvad. He created an egalitarian society free from Brahminical hegemony.  People were attracted towards this new religion, which was based on truth and righteousness. As per Guru’s preaching Sikhs maintained cordial relations with Hindus and Muslims.  Spiritual closeness with Islam, total rejection of idolatry worship and mythical Manuvad in Sikh doctrine developed grudge in the mind of Manuvadis against nascent faith. They approached Mughal Court against the compilation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.  The king rejected their petition.  They fought against the Khalsa as hill rajas and approached Aurangzeb who was in Deccan to dispatch royal army to fight against Guru Gobind Singh.  After a long struggle of many decades, Sikh revolution was successful and people gained sovereignty from alien rulers.  Khalsa blocked the traditional routes of invaders in the West.  Manuvadis brought British invaders from the east.  These selfish elements having no concern for the welfare of masses and having no patriotism, conspired with Britishers and caused the fall of Sikh kingdom and got the state of Jammu & Kashmir as reward.  Sikh kingdom was responsible for the present border of Pakistan with Afghanistan and India’s western border with China, demarcated by the Khalsa Army.  It is regretted that inefficient and negligent Manuvadi rulers gave Aksai Chin to China on a silver platter.

During British rule, Britishers recognized the independence and sovereignty of the Sikh religion.  When Britishers decided to leave India they recognized three parties for transfer of power i.e. Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs.  Sikhs opposed partition.  Hindus accepted partition. Sikhs sided with Hindus as they did not want further bisection of Indian sub-continent.  Sikhs lost fertile lands and prosperous business.  More than half million Sikhs lost their lives during the violence of partition.  It is a great tragedy and treachery that after gaining power Sikhs were ill-treated by Manuvadis. Rulers forgot the gesture of Sikhs for siding with Hindus during the crucial hour of Partition and unprecedented sacrifices made by them during freedom struggle.  Indian Constitution was framed in such a manner that Sikh religion lost its independence and Sikh religion was subjugated to Hinduism and Hindu laws were made applicable to the Sikhs.  In a strict legal sense, there is no Sikh religion and Sikhs are a sect of Hinduism or reformed Hindus.

There were two Sikh representatives in the Constituent Assembly of India which framed Constitution.  Both the Sikh members refused to sign the Draft Constitution on the plea that Article 25 is anti-Sikh, unjust and communal.  Despite this democratic protest this contentious article was adopted.  Constitutions are framed to prescribe parameters for law makers for safe guarding the interests of minorities and to check majoritarianism.  But Indian Constitution eradicates a minority.  Sikhs are opposing and protesting against this controversial piece of legislation right from 1950 when Indian Constitution was adopted.

As a democratic protest Sikh politicians publically burnt the anti-Sikh portion of the Constitution.  Rulers have not cared for logic and reason.  Sikhs continued protesting against this non-secular and unjust law.

Sikh intellectuals and scholars who felt concerned over the large-scale misrepresentation of Sikh doctrines, misinterpretation of Gurbani and negation of Sikh philosophy's contribution towards the development of mankind, organized Institute of Sikh Studies.  S Daljit Singh (IAS) a devoted and dedicated Gursikh, without any ambition for a position was the guiding spirit.  He was backed by others stalwarts like S Jagjit Singh and retired judges, generals and senior civil servants.  Institute of Sikh Studies (hereafter IOSS) is a non-political and purely a religious organization committed to act as a watch dog of Khalsa Panth.  Misinterpratation of Gurbani and misrepresentation of Sikh doctrines is properly replied academically, by writing books, articles and enlightening Sikh masses during seminars and conferences etc. Dr Kharak Singh took interest in the publication of the literature produced by IOSS. He edited several books. He maintained close liaison with Sikh and secular scholars in India and abroad.

Rulers through their agents propagated that Article 25 is not anti-Sikh.  But Sikhs continued their efforts to get Article 25 amended.  Government of India constituted a Constitutional Review Committee headed by Justice Venkata Chaliah for recommending amendments in Constitution of India.  IOSS submitted the memorandum for amending Article 25.  Constitution Review Committee thoroughly studied the issue and accepted the just and logical demand of the Sikhs to amend Article 25.  The Constitution Review Committee recommended deletion of explanation II of Article 25 which is controversial portion of Article 25.  This recommendation for amending Article 25 has been lying with the Prime Minister’s Office for about a decade.

An eleven member bench of Supreme Court of India headed by Chief Justice Sabharwal observed on 8-8-2005 that Sikhs are part of wider Hindu Community.  Now there is no scope for misleading Sikhs that Article 25 is not anti-Sikh.  It is crystal clear that as per Indian Constitution, the Sikh religion is not an independent religion, but a sect of Hinduism like Jains and Boddhis.  So, Article 25 legally assimilates Sikhism into Hinduism. Our national interests demand an immediate amendment of Article 25, otherwise India would lose its secular credentials and become a communal state.

The intellectuals and thinkers of IOSS studied the Supreme Court observation very carefully and promptly reacted.  A meeting of Sikh organizations on the call of IOSS was held on 10-9-2005 in the office of IOSS.  Resolution for adopting corrective measures was passed.  An editorial in the quarterly magazine of IOSS was published requesting for amendment of Article 25 in the National interest.  S Santokh Singh, member, IOSS continued writing articles based on logic and reasons, and emphasizing the urgency to amend Article 25. These articles were published in various magazines having global circulation. S Tarlochan Singh, MP made earnest efforts to get the Article 25 amended.  All these efforts made no effect on Indian rulers.

It is worth noting that the Sikh Prophet, in the Sikh scripture (Sri Guru Granth Sahib) categorically declares that Sikhs are not Hindus.  When there is a written declaration by the Prophet that Sikhs are not Hindus, the politicians have no right or jurisdiction to classify Sikhs as Hindus.  This is a case of naked interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs with the intention to annihilate Sikhism.  This is a clear case of bankruptcy of Indian secularism.

It is left to the discretion of Jathedar Sri Akal Takht Sahib to take cognizance of the blasphemous aspect of Article 25 which opposes Sikh scripture and is against the declaration of the Sikh Prophet.

IOSS wants to make it very clear to the Sikhs that Article 25 of Indian Constitution legally assimilates Sikhism into Hindu fold.  So long as this Article is not amended, Sikhs are part of wider Hindu community, they cannot have their own laws like Muslims and Jews, they are to be treated as Hindus and governed by the Hindu laws. Sikhs have to declare themselves as Hindus to get their marriages registered, to inherit the property and to have Income Tax benefits and so on ….. If they do not want to remain as a Hindu sect and want to have independent status for their religion, they will have to get the Article 25 amended by omitting word "Sikh" from explanation II of this Article.  Indian constitution has already been amended for about 100 times.  This small amendment will uphold the secular credentials of India.  This is in the National interest and would strengthen the national integrity.  This is just a correction of something wrong done inadvertently.  If not amended, Sikhs will construe that this piece of legislation was enacted with the intention of annihilation of Sikhism.  The great Sikh Gurus watered the plant of Sikhism with their own blood by making supreme sacrifices for righteousness and freedom of religion.  Sikhs are to fight with pen to preserve justice, righteousness and their religion, which is the latest, most scientific and promises social and economic uplift along with spiritual high values of life.  Let not the monsters of Manuvad whither up this plant of human brotherhood.  This is 21st century and the world has been reduced to a village.  People with secular and scientific thinking in India and abroad will come to the rescue of the Sikhs.  American Sikhs have already taken up the issue of amendment of Article 25 of Indian Constitution with the United Nations. They have stated in their memorandum: “The treatment of Sikhs in India deserve, immediate attention of UN” This group is known as Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).

All are requested to spare their precious time for the service of Khalsa Panth.  Please also enlighten the Sikh masses, with the media at your disposal that at present for all legal purposes Sikhs are being treated as Hindus and are governed by Hindu laws. Muslims, Parsis and Jews have their independent religions and personal laws.  All right thinking people are also requested to utilize their position, power and sources for early amendment of Article 25.

IOSS is always at the disposal of Khalsa Panth and will continue its efforts to enlighten the Sikhs and right thinking people of India and all over the world to get the unjust law amended. Let truth righteousness and justice prevail.

 

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