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Everything posted by 13Mirch

  1. Counselling can help. We sit down, and hear his issues and figure out how to resolve them.
  2. Admins and Mods: As discussed, this will be my last post on this forum. Please deactivate my account afterwards. I confess that I actually did enjoy my time on here, but paradigm shifts are manifesting in the Sikh world- the traditionalist Sikhs are slowly, albeit surely, being questioned and their status as some de-facto priestly class is being effaced day-by-day. The Sikh youth, long fed on the dribble of some autonomous religio-political Khalistan, are beginning to awaken and unite to control their own future. Tragically, violence and Ad hominem seem to be the only retorts which the traditionalists excel in. When I first joined this forum, it was rightly appreciated as an intellectual assemblage of Sikh youth. Today this assemblage has been supplanted with what can only be called jatha affiliations. It seems unless you are affiliated with some jatha or samprada you cannot be a Sikh. I don't believe this, and nor should you. Of course there are those who will accuse you of being an Indian agent, but why should such fabrications hold us back from questioning what we see and hear? I apologize to AjeetSinghPunjabi and Jonny101 for blindly accusing them and insulting them. Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh! Mirch out! Sikhi, Sikh History and Politics. (Initially intended as a refutation to Haroon Khalid’s Tagorian essay- ‘From Pursuit of Spirituality to the Mighty Khalsa’- we decided to amplify our original thesis and concentrate upon the correlation between Sikhi and the political sphere. Having continually requested our readers to submit their articles to us, we were duly surprised when several frequent readers submitted corresponding essays to be published by us. Their objective, vis-a-vis their respective pieces, was to underscore the importance of the political dynamic in the Sikh worldview. Rather than publish such similar works, we decided to initiate a correspondence with them and publish one “goshti” (questions and answers) disquisition. The results, acquired, are produced below). Participants: Col (Retd) Gurbir Singh Alhuwalia: Having joined the Indian Army as Lieutenant, the now retired Colonel’s passion involves Sikh intellectualism and educationalism. Once part of a think tank analyzing the role of Sikh sampradas during the Sikh militancy, he is currently working upon a book detailing the pitfalls of the Khalistan movement and his own experiences during the militancy. Professor (Retd) Gurdev Singh: The author of several Gurmukhi articles on Sikh ideology, the Professor is an expert in political sciences and religious studies. He is well placed to comment upon the role of politics in the Nanakian purview. Harsharan Kaur: Studying sociology in Australia, Harsharan Kaur is currently producing a critique of the nation-state model. Erudite, in her field, she provides a well balanced perspective on the issue of harmonizing spiritualism with polity. Jagir Singh: An amateur collector of Sikh artifacts and mementos, Jagir Singh is currently editing a multi-volume treatise on the Sikh literary tradition spanning the Guru era and post- Guru era which is due for publication soon. William Cox: Having been born to a Punjabi mother and American father- William travels between Tennessee, USA, and India. He is a freelance writer who is currently publishing a short history of the Sikhs in Western nations. Tisarpanth. Fora: To avoid a prolonged discussion we have decided to only publish answers accepted via unanimous resolutions and/or reached by unanimous consensus. Addendum: Synchronizing faith with history often manifests the dilemma: does faith emanate from history or vice versa? The propensity of religious institutes to gravitate towards utilizing violence, in the face of the latter query, often precipitates the impression that intellectualism and religious doctrine are antagonistic. Observers, of the Sikh world, cannot have failed to notice the proliferation of this conflict among Sikh ranks in the past two decades which, if put candidly, can be easily categorized as the traditionalist vs. progressionist collision. At the heart of this clash is the issue that is Sikhi antagonistic to the political paradigm and the householder’s life- the traditionalist ambit based on evolving dogma- or is Sikhi compatible with the householder’s life and it’s corollaries, viz the socio-political paradigm, as enunciated by the Adi Guru Granth Sahib Ji? We contend that: b.) Belief and intellectualism, at least in the Sikh world, should not be necessarily antagonistic to each other. c.) A more modern approach is required to resolving the issues afflicting Sikh intellectualism and Sikh society, at large, today. d.) Recent events in NRI circles have lent impetus to emancipating Sikh intellectualism. A vocal minority, in Europe, has succeeded in classifying Sikhs as an ethnicity vis-a-vis the British census; this has naturally lent credence to the myth that Sikh history and the Sikh purview are ethnonationalist constructs- an intentional facsimile of Khushwant Singh’s Punjabi nationalism mythos?- and not correspondent with the Sikh ideology. The ill-planned Khalistan Referendum, D-day being in 2020, having been designed by those ignorant of ground realities on the sub-continent has also fractured the Sikh world on the sensitive issue of self-progression and sovereignty. It is imperative that the polar differences between Sikh philosophy and ethnonationalism be underscored in such dark times. Given the regressive state of Punjab today, secessionist expression should be the last matter on anyone’s mind. PRIMARY: Q: Speaking philosophically, what makes the Sikh ideology unique in it’s harmonizing of both the state and church? A: If we were to draw comparisons/contradistinctions with other systems, we would essentially be evading the question itself. Let us, then, examine the Sikh approach itself to better underscore it’s idiosyncrasy. The Sikh purview of the world being real posits that both the state and church, whilst distinctive, are fundamentally real and not some illusions. Guru Gobind Singh Ji makes this principle clear when he remarks: ‘Those of Baba and those of Babur, the Creator maketh both; recognize the first as the emperor of righteousness and infer the second to be the emperor of the world. Those who fail in their duty towards the throne of Baba, fell prey to the machinations of Babur. Such defaulters are penalized severely…’ –(Bachittra-Natak, XIII. 9-10). Whilst Baba signifies truth and morality (an ethical life), Babur signifies the secular state. The dilemma which other faiths have faced in their attempt to iron out discrepancies between state and faith have often lead to one trumping the other- Nanakianism, in sheer contrast, does not claim to hold any solution to resolving the conflictual relationship between church and state. Rather, it posits that truth and morality outweigh the secular state and whilst church must not obliterate the state- it should, from time to time, correct it in a bid to keep it on the straight and narrow. Whenever church and state have clashed, historically, both have annihilated the other and subsequently both have arisen anew to continue their conflict. In this principle, then, lies the crux of the Raaj Karega Khalsa mandate- the barbarity of the political state must be confronted, but when the Khalsa succeeds in effacing the latter tyranny it must not manifest a theophany to reign supreme over the masses. Q: Is the Sikh purview of politics in tandem with the Sikh ideology? A: The reason as to why such a question has arisen is that the current Sikh orthodoxy (acting as a priestly class) has mitigated the Sikh philosophy to solely meditation and pacifism. This has lead to an erroneous perception that Sikh history, especially the Rebel or Ruler principle, is not in consort with Nanakianism and as such depreciating of the faith. The actions of the Sikh orthodoxy reflect the corollaries of traditional Indic spiritualism viz amalgamation with some spiritual reality for personal salvation; such quietism naturally denies the dynamism of Sikh history. In Sikhi the Creator, as expounded by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, is altruistic and ever-creative. The Sikh’s mission is to remold himself/herself as a tool of this Creator and to execute the latter’s attributive will. The welding of the empirical and spiritual, as engineered by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, influenced the actions of his successors. Some of the more salient of actions of his successors were: Guru Angad Dev Ji renovated the Punjabi language and promulgated the Gurmukhi script far and wide- not only did this break the stranglehold of Sanskrit and it’s Caste ridden corollaries, but also added a sense of self-hood to the nascent Sikh community. He, subsequently, debarred ascetic classes from influencing Nankianism and-in opposition to pacifism- continued the first Guru’s practice of meat consumption. Guru Amardass Ji made the practice of Langar pontificate, to the point that all Sikhs and non-Sikhs had to partake of the communal kitchen before seeking audience with the Guru. The anti-Caste stance of the Sikh community was made more perspicuous through this injunction, of the Guru, as Caste also depended on who food was consumed with and by breaking down such barriers the Guru rendered his visitors Casteless. Furthermore, to centralize far flung Sikh groups the Guru set-up 22 dioceses in which women were also selected to leadership roles. His last achievement was the creation of a educational, spiritual and political center at Goindwal which supplanted traditional pilgrimage to Kashi et al. Guru Ramdass Ji took the momentous step of founding Amritsar which, in due time, would emerge as the theo-political hub of the Sikh cosmos. Guru Arjan Dev Ji not only concluded the construction of Amritsar, he also completed the Harimandir. His most significant achievement, however, was the compilation of the Adi Guru Granth Sahib Ji which signified Sikhi’s break away from traditional Indic spiritualism and reinforced the community’s autonomy. During his incumbency, the Sikhs emerged as a strong entrepreneurial force and were categorized as a state within a state. Opposing the fanaticism of the contemporary Mughal and Hindu polity, the Guru joyfully accepted his eventual fate: martyrdom. The incumbency of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji marked the open militarization of the Sikhs. He would go on to rout the Mughals in four divisive confrontations in the Punjab, and subsequently play a crucial role in preserving Sikh political autonomy. His most significant achievement would be the construction of the Akal Takhat and several missionary tours in the periphery of the Himalayas. When Samarth Ramdas, a Maharashtrian abbot, would inquire as to why he retained the apparel of a prince and utilized arms when Guru Nanak Dev Ji had required neither of these- the Guru would swiftly retort that the first Guru had discarded the ways of the world and not the world itself. Ramdas, realizing that his perceptions were about to be radically changed, requested a further elucidation to which the Guru readily acquiesced. He would elaborate that Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Creator was one who vanquished atrocity and the Sikhs were to execute the latter’s attributive will; arms were to be utilized for the protection of the weak and the liberation of the oppressed. The seventh, eighth and ninth Gurus continued the militarization of the Sikhs and the ninth Guru, despite being offered an option to surrender by the incumbent emperor, laid down his life for the freedom of conscience. The tenth Guru manifested the Khalsa and ratified the precepts of Guru Nanak Dev Ji before electing both the Guru Panth and Guru Granth as his successors ad perpetuum. An analysis of the post-Guru period would make this disquisition extensively voluminous. Let us answer the initial query by summarizing the above analysis; Nanakianism emphasizes an inalienable interconnection between the empirical and spiritual facets of life- this is a natural corollary of the perception that the Supreme Reality is an ocean of altruism. A follower of such altruism cannot act as a bystander in the face of immorality as such quietism is an antithesis of the Creator’s attributive will. The Sikh purview of politics, then, is naturally in harmony with the Sikh ideology. Q: What is the political significance of the Khalsa? A: The Khalsa, conceptually, represents the summum bonum of both the Sikh ideology-cum-praxis. It is the most perspicuous minded tool of an attributive Creator ergo it’s epithet; the Kaal Purakh Ki Fauj (army of the Divine). The actions of the present day Sikh orthodoxy has rendered the very purpose of the Khalsa’s existence moot. Khalsa-Raaj, Khalsa sovereignty, is often dismissed as some historic affair bearing no relation whatsoever to Sikh philosophy. What, then, is the Khalsa? An appendage of Hindu militarism? A saintly nexus of renunciates? Some saintly legion which cowers from the world and meditates 24/7? In light of Nanakianism’s socio-political tenets, the Khalsa too emerges as a potent force for political change. To avoid a prolonged exegesis, let us focus on some of the more conspicuous facets of the Khalsa vis-a-vis our query: Revolutionary: The creation of the Khalsa and events prior establish its revolutionary nature. It was designed to acquire political prominence, supplant existing tyrannies and radically alter the incumbent socio-political equilibrium. From Guru Gobind Singh Ji onwards, the Khalsa passed through the valley of death in a bid to annihilate existing empires and birth it’s own. Those who claim to be Khalsas yet imbibe a contradictory spirit rarely mention the Sikhs of the eighteenth century who carved out the Sikh state, and what a state it was. Even in it’s embryonic phase, under Banda Singh Bahadur, the Hindu practice of Caste was annihilated irrespective of it’s religious origins. Irvine narrates: ‘A low scavenger or leather dresser, the lowest of the low in Indian estimation, had only to leave home and join the Guru (referring to Banda), when in a short time he would return to his birthplace as its ruler with his order of appointment in his hand. As soon as he set foot with the boundaries, the well-born and wealthy went out to greet him and escort him home. Arrived there, they stood with joined palms, awaiting his orders… Not a soul dared to disobey an order, and men who had often risked themselves in battlefields became so cowed down that they were afraid even to remonstrate. Hindus who had not joined the sect were not exempt from this.’ -(William Irvine, Later Mughals, i.98-99). It was a revolutionary state in an epoch where religious stratification was an accepted more. Leadership: The significance of Guru Gobind Singh Ji undergoing the Khalsa initiation can never be underscored enough. It was a prescient move on the Guru’s part as it transformed the Khalsa into Guru Panth Khalsa. The entire body was made quasi-democratic, therefore self-directive and also self-sovereign. No one man could lord over the Khalsa; only an elected body- Misls- could direct it. When Ranjit Singh implemented autocracy within the body, the results were disastrous- we are still witnessing the fallout even to this day. Violent: Socio-political movements, by nature, are violent and prone to utilizing force. The Khalsa too is accorded the right to employ force, hence the Gurus’ emphasis on retaining arms around the clock. The political significance of the Khalsa, after a brief analysis of both its history and philosophy, can be summarized as such: the annihilation of the tyrant and the exaltation of the downtrodden. SECONDARY: Q: What is the Sikh perception of social responsibility? A: When the Siddhs asked Guru Nanak Dev Ji as to why their spiritual progress remained inert even after centuries of meditation, the Guru enunciated that they were only reaping the fruits of what they had sown i.e. their spiritual state reflected their perception of reality which, for them, consisted of some illusion originating from the cogitations of some dormant Creator(s). The Creator, in the Nanakian purview, resides in his Immanence or Naam. Naam, as the constituent reality of creation, emanates from an attributive Creator who is altruistic. It is natural then that the Sikh too be altruistic and perform selfless service seva through the medium of Immanence. Social responsibility, in Sikhi, consists of realizing one’s role as a tool of the Creator and selflessly serving him via serving his creation.* Q: Why is the householder’s life given primacy in the Sikh ethos? A: Social responsibility, as a mandate, can only be retained in the householder’s life. The latter ensures full commitment in the socio-political paradigm and adherence to serving Immanence. Guru Nanak Dev Ji would sum up the principle succinctly when he would observe that though the Siddhs acted all holy and wise, they would beg for sustenance from families (householders) for their daily upkeep. TERTIARY: Q: What are some significant milestones in the evolution of the Sikh state? A: The Sikh state, conceptually, was founded by none other than Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He added a practical dimension to his socio-political themes by establishing Kartarpur, a locus which was run on his philosophical tenets. The history of the Sikh state, and it’s significant achievements, then commences with Kartarpur Sahib: -The establishment and growth of Kartarpur. –The establishment of Khadoor Sahib. -The establishment of Goindwal. -The establishment Amritsar. -The establishment of Akal Takhat Sahib. -The construction of several forts augmenting the Sikh military prowess in the Punjab. -The establishment of Kiratpur Sahib. -The establishment of Anandpur Sahib. -Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s renewal of Sikh autonomy via manifesting the Khalsa. -The establishment of the first Khalsa-Raaj, under Banda Singh Bahadur, in the post-Guru era. -The rise of the Khalsa Misls. -The rise of Ranjit Singh. Q: What was the Dal Khalsa? A: The Dal Khalsa was a general commune of the Sikh leadership, in both military and political circles, which was composed of Misl Sirdars (or chiefs). Though it’s main purpose was militaristic, the Dal Khalsa also implemented the quasi-republican ideals of Khalsa-Raaj and saw to the progress of Nanakianism sub-continentally. It dominated 18th century Sikh politics and imbibed the pragmatic concepts of Nanakianism per se. Further Reading: Analytical: 1.) Dr. Trilochan Singh, The Turban And the Sword of the Sikhs. 2.) S. Kapur Singh, Parasharprasna. 3.) S. Kapur Singh, Sikhism For The Modern Man. 4.) S. Kapur Singh, Sikhism and the Sikhs. 5.) S. Jagjit Singh, Percussions of History. 6.) S. Daljit Singh, Essentials of Sikhism. 7.) Surjit Singh Gandhi, Sikhs in the Eighteenth Century. 8.) Dr. Tarlochan Singh Nahal, Religion and Politics in Sikhism: The Khalsa Perspective. 9.) Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer, Akal Takhat Sahib: Concept and Role. 10.) Capt. Amarinder Singh, The Last Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Lahore Durbar. 11.) Patwant Singh, The Sikhs. 12.) Karamjit K. Malhotra, The Eighteenth Century in Sikh History. 13.) Dr. Ganda Singh & Baba Teja Singh, The History of the Sikhs vol. i. 14.) Gurinder Singh Mann and Kamalroop Singh, The Granth of Guru Gobind Singh. 15.) Ajmer Singh, Kis Bidh Ruli Patshahi? Contemporary: 1.) Sri Gur Sobha. 2.) Sri Gur Katha. 3.) Gurbilas Patshahi Chevin. 4.) Gurbilas Patshahi Dasvin. 5.) Sri Gur Panth Prakash. 6.) Navin Panth Prakash. 7.) Twarikh Guru Khalsa. 8.) Bansavalinamah Dasan Patshahian Ka. 9.) Sikhaan Di Bhagatmala. 10.) Shahid Bilas: Bhai Mani Singh. https://tisarpanthdotcom.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/empire-builders/
  3. I have always perceived it in the same vein as Bhai Gurdas Ji's vaars. It augments the message of Guru Granth Sahib Ji allegorically whilst underscoring the importance of sovereignty for the Khalsa.
  4. The modern day Dasam Granth is heavily expunged. Several banis have been excised though some individuals still print them in the Granth. https://tisarpanth.tumblr.com
  5. Conflating Punjabism with Sikhi is only shooting ourselves in the foot. The Panj Piares were from contemporary diaspora, Banda Singh was from Kashmir and the list goes on. The underlying factor for Sikh sovereignty must be religion rather than geographic nationalism.
  6. You just love jumping the gun don't you? https://tisarpanthdotcom.wordpress.com/2018/07/21/beyond-the-crescendo/
  7. BEYOND THE CRESCENDO Punjabi Media and the Sensationalizing of Current Issues. (At Tisarpanth we encourage our readers to contribute their own articles to our site. Below is an article written by Satpal Kaur, of Germany, who is currently studying the role of the modern media in augmenting political narratives vis-a-vis state policy. Having observed the Punjabi media, particularly the musical facet, since the past ten years she shares some of her observations on the lack of responsibility among Punjabi singers). In early 2013 Punjabi pop-star Jazzy B released his controversial track Baaghi. Intended to aid the tendentious film Sadda Haq– an alleged biography of several Babbar Khalsa International operatives- Baaghi generated swift responses. Sikh hardliners praised its perspicuous underscoring of the Sikh militancy- promulgated as being the modern Indian state’s most decisive challenge in the late twentieth century- whilst conservatives castigated Baaghi’s subtle undercurrent of anti-nationalistic sentiment, and demanded stringent measures be invoked against the media’s sensationalizing of secessionist glorification. Whilst Pundits elaborated upon how Sikh separatism-crystallizing in the 80’s, subsidizing in the 90’s- carved a niche for itself in the community’s collective memory (ergo its celebration in certain sections of the Punjabi media), Sikh intellectuals were faced with a more pressing dilemma: What parameters define the responsibility of Punjabi superstars who, as the self-proclaimed prophets of Punjabi culturalism, utilize an amalgamation of inimical cultural facets and Sikh iconography to line their own pockets? Let me paraphrase more succinctly, are these superstars- who sensationalize current sociopolitical issues confronting the Sikhs- cognizant of the responsibility which comes with their status as current cultural figureheads given that they themselves claim affiliation with Sikhi? Given Punjab’s recent history- separatism, proliferation of drugs, communal clashes- Punjabi singers and other media personalities have only recently awakened to the profiteering potentials which can be generated in the name of spreading awareness. This is not to say that genuine efforts are absent in conveying the trauma which the state has weathered since independence- these, ironically, are few and far between (Sadda Haq generated a plethora of facsimiles with Punjab 1984 and Gadar being the most prominent), whilst entrepreneurial ventures outdo themselves in (to ingeminate myself) spreading awareness. Baaghi, unashamedly brandied as an aid to Sadda Haq, was soon forgotten as Jazzy B’s next track regressed to the archetypal objectification of women and the bruaah culture of Punjab- read alcoholism, machismo and misogyny. The effect was instantaneous, the common sentiment asserted that Baaghi had only been a callous cash-in attempt and nothing more. The damage, however, was evident. A proportion of the Sikh diaspora’s youth had already conflated the chand-toora dumalla adorning Jazzy with his subsequent avatar, the American rap-star emulating Punjabi. In a society where ankh– pride- is a pontificate element, one is forced to wonder what variation of the concept is produced in young minds when the nobility of Sikh martiality is amalgamated with the aimless bellicosity of Punjabi tribalism. Is the Sikh one who adorns the exteriority of the faith to underscore past hurts whilst reverting to cultural malaise otherwise? Only the soothsayers of spreading awareness can answer this query. Whether it be B’s Baaghi; Maan’s Punjab; Harpal’s Nashe or Dosanjh’s Gobind De Laal-to name a few- each and every track retains a ring of hypocrisy. Naturally, diehard fans will contend that these songs are bringing both singer and listener closer to Sikhi (one is forced to wonder what happens when these same fans listen to songs lionizing radical androcentrism, sexism and substance abuse) yet there is a far more profound reality here which needs to be comprehended fully. These pop-stars ply their trade in two opposing spectra. On one hand we have the popular, allegedly progressive spectrum which (in the words of one UK Sikh “leader”) consists of modernizing the Sikh identity to conform to Western perspectives (the elimination of the five kakkars; the erasure of the Sui generis ceremonies venerating the Adi Guru Granth Sahib Ji; the casting of the Gurus in a more Christ-like capacity etc); whilst the other stalwartly declares the distinctiveness of Sikhi and it’s sociopolitical ingenuity (Miri-Piri). When the progressives start displaying signs of fatigue, our pop-star brethren swiftly adopt the veneer of religiosity and start smashing out either Khalistani or religious ballads to assuage the more orthodox Sikhs and their respective spectrum. This oscillation between belief and business has naturally produced a polar binarism between what these media personalities preach and practice. The price of fame, in Punjab, it seems is to imbibe hypocrisy. The cultural appropriation of Sikhi, and it’s amalgamation with cultural negativity, has produced ingenious atrocities which have conflated Sikhi with being Punjabi. The crisis, created therefore, has been exacerbated to the extant that even in Western countries turban-wearing Sikhs are greeted with balle balle and Bhangra steps which disparages both the beliefs and history of the Sikhs. Given Bollywood’s, the Indian film industry’s, negative role in stereotyping Sikhs as zombie-like cannon-fodder; buffoons or even rapists it is only natural that it receive flak from the community. Closer to home, though, the Punjabi media has also betrayed the community by glorifying otherwise kitsch stereotypes of all (with all being the operative term here) orthodox Sikhs being alcoholics, womanizers and even cons (Once Upon a Time in Amritsar). Another classical trend, first perceived in the early 80’s, was the so-called Jat effect. The policies of the Akali-Dal posited the Jats, Caste-wise, above all other marginal groups whose members had converted to Sikhi. The effect, naturally, spilled over to the media with crass films being produced under nomenclatures such as Putt Jattan De (lit. sons of Jats); Badla Jatti Da (lit. revenge of the Jat’s female); Dhi Jatt Di (lit. Daughter of the Jat) and the archetypal Ankh Jattan Di (lit. the Pride of the Jats). Exacerbating Punjab’s regressive Caste schisms, the Jat effect substituted the Sikh identity for the Jat identity until both became synonymous. Shameless scholars went a step further; ‘without the Jats,’ they argued, ‘Sikhiwould have never existed.’ When Bollywood’s cliched A Flying Jat was released, Sikh groups lobbied political bodies to either censor the film or altogether suppress it. Impartiality, however, was lacking as closer to home films such as Jat & Juliet, Jat Airways et al are accepted without even a singe cry of dissent being voiced. It is only when concepts such as Putt Chamaran De (lit. sons of tanners- tanners being inferior to Jats in Caste composition); Killer Chamar or Ankh Chamaran Di crystallize is a hue and cry raised over the dissection of Sikhi or the classic positing of one community above another in an otherwise equivocal faith. Does the media reflect reality or construct reality? The Sikh worldview mitigates this question by propounding that society’s true collective responsibility is to keep itself on track. The media, effectively, has it’s own part to play in this process. It is easy to highlight the so-called good life and/or other concepts glorified by the Punjabi media. But wouldn’t it be more satisfying, and conducive, to highlight the economic disparity between Castes professing Sikhiand where the faith’s leadership has failed that such a divide exists? If we go by Sikh standards, the media neither constructs nor reflects. It only highlights and proposes. It is high time that strategies be manifested and implemented to arraign the societal despondency which the atrophied Punjabi media has created. Furthermore, efforts should be channeled towards rejuvenating our cultural/religious exposure in the global village without having to resort to oscillation between sheer hypocrisy and spiritualism from one day to another. Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh. (The views and opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily shared by Tisarpanth). https://tisarpanthdotcom.wordpress.com/2018/07/21/beyond-the-crescendo/
  8. Ladi Shah's dargah holds langars where drugs are openly distributed, for free, in the name of seva. Other than Dhadrianwale or the missionaries, no one else has called them out.
  9. Imagine those uncles in the corners sitting with her dad, "ta phir me suniyaa onne odi b*and maar to.." looks at dad, "thuadi kuri nai si es maar mariyee che..."
  10. The appropriation of religious sentiment for cultural profiteering (pub, club today and dharmic geet tomorrow); intentional conflation of inimical cultural traits (misogyny, androcentrism, substance abuse and blind belligerence) with religious sentiments is beginning to tell on the kitsch Punjabi media. Punjabi singers are actually beginning to be questioned. https://tisarpanthdotcom.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/a-two-faced-muse/
  11. This refutes the Jat myth: https://tisarpanthdotcom.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/misconceptions-ii/
  12. We had fuddu Tara Singh, and when that kanjar went we had the bhen da yaar Sant Fateh Singh.
  13. Other than Gupta's unsubstantiated assertion, no other historian has ever categorised him as a Guru "with a large following in Madhya Pradesh." Maybe he was deified by his own small band as one, but there is nothing to imply that he had some "large following."
  14. Our field of intellectualism is limited to the dogmatic injunctions of sampradas, or the tedious fallacies of alleged intellectuals with their theories of what pre-colonialism was. There seems to be no principled effort at alleviating our community's moral/sociopolitical regression. Ad hoc bodies are established from time to time but these are only temporary. Maybe its high time that the fifth takhat, the Dal Khalsa be resurrected.
  15. The cow belt has a sizeable population of Dalits.
  16. The Indian education system has brainwashed them into imbibing the myth that the very purpose of Sikhi is to guard India- ironically India, in itself, is an Occident creation and Sikhs dying for it are only dying for an illusion.
  17. Nanakianism, provocatively, abnegates the political state’s infringement of personalized liberty on the fallacious ploy that the state is supreme in toto. (1) If perceived from the latter purview, it is no wonder then that the history of the Sikhs consists of unflinching resolve even in the face of abject political tyranny. The bowdlerized variation of Sikhi, promulgated by political institutes and atrophied sampradas ,depicts the Sikh as a bovine. Herded in the morning by pseudo-Saints; butchered in the afternoon by opponents of an uncaring state- a caricature fast becoming reality. Historically, the Sikhs were never hewers of wood for others. (2) Even in the early days of the twentieth century they preserved their sacred ideals like the Sikhs of the hoary past. The nomenclature of Kartar Singh Jhabbar (1874-1962) ranks among the finest of the community’s leaders during the sanguinary Gurudwara Reform Movement. Intrepid, provocative, and vociferous Jhabbar today has been reduced to just a picture on museum walls; his legend has been mitigated to render the Sikhs torpid in the face of continuing politico-religious offensives. Let the young Khalsa awaken and derive inspiration from Jhabbar- a Sikh for whom no sacrifice was too inferior to make; a true leader of men. Jhabbar emerged during a grim epoch for Sikhi. The annihilation of Sikh sovereignty in 1849 A.D. witnessed the ascendancy of the schismatic Nirmala and Udasi cults which, once an addendum of the Sikh society, were employed by the British polity to expropriate Sikh Gurudwaras: the theo-political hubs of the Sikh world. (1) To further compound their nefarious designs, the British polity effectively censored all forms of Sikh proselytizing and created the Nirmala Dharam Duja Akhara to precipitate both an identity and philosophical crisis in the Khalsa psyche. (2) The calamity produced, then, reached a boiling point when Semitic and militant Hindu proselytizing made inroads into the Sikh heartlands and Sikhs began converting owing to a lack of knowledge vis-a-vis Sikhi. A rapid recovery, however, was made with the birth of the Lahore Singh-Sabha. Composed of leading intellectuals of the day, the Lahore Sabha differed from it’s Amritsar counterpart in that that though it promulgated Sikhi from an Eurocentric purview- it concentrated heavily on praxis and proactively proselytized among all and sundry. The Amritsar Sabha, until it’s final days, could not resolve the peripheral dilemma whether religious distinctiveness and identity were worth preserving or not. The Jhabbar clan, in which Kartar Singh was born, were fanatically Sikh and detested what they perceived as being the annihilation of Sikhi on a day-to-day basis. Young men like Kartar Singh were often enrolled into regional Singh-Sabha centers, established as proselytizing outposts, and trained in the disciplines of history, oratory and theology. Jhabbar’s skill with the fighting stick when coupled with his masterful oratory stood him in good stead to preach in areas hostile to Sikhs. Word soon spread of this dynamic preacher who brokered no challenge and was also able to meet physical bellicosity head-on. In 1904 A.D. his name spread throughout the Punjab after he saved the life of proselytizer Bhai Mool Singh. The latter, a stringent opponent of both Arya-Samaj and Islamic missionaries, had been invited by a certain Ganda Singh to perform the baptismal rites of his children who wished to renounce their ancestral faith of Islam and convert to Sikhi. As the event was about to proceed an unruly mob, collated by local mullahs, attacked Mool Singh who fled to Jhabbar. Jhabbar, calmly, picked up his fighting stick and dashed towards the belligerents who were already under heavy attack from Sikhs invited to the initiation ceremony. Smashing his way through the melee, Jhabbar would leave behind him a trail of fractured bones and concussed heads. Mool Singh would profusely thank him and take a keen interest in this laconic young man whose stick could work wonders. The Gadar movement, an expatriate revolt, and the Komagata Maru incident, where would-be-migrant Sikhs were deported from Canadian waters and slain by the Colonial Indian Police upon reaching Indian shores, ubiquitously inflamed the Sikhs against the British regime. The effect of these catastrophes was further exacerbated by the Jallianwala massacre, 1919 A.D., in which the army ruthlessly mowed down hundreds of participants in a regional Congress assembly. The refusal of the British to adjudge the event as a massacre and penalize the guilty witnessed the entire sub-continent ignite in a paroxysm of rage and Europhobia. Kartar Singh Jhabbar would utilize these sanguinary days to deliver his maiden speech against the incumbent powers thus drawing their ire upon him. Yet for all his anger, Jhabbar would also be in the vanguard of Sikh bodies attempting to save the innocent from the frenzied and often directionless mobs venting their venom on alien and countrymen alike. On April 28th warrants would be issued for Jhabbar’s arraignment. After a Kangaroo court, he was deported to the Andaman Islands on June 7th. Imprisonment would only reinforce Jhabbar’s convictions and strengthen his resolve. Behind bars, he would daily meet with the deportees from both the Gadar and Komagata incidents. Contrary to the edicts from the Akal-Takhat, issued by Nirmalas and other political sycophants, vilifying these men they proved to be dedicated Sikhs and voracious readers who possessed their own library. Jhabbar, himself, had two texts on him dating back from his arraignment days: a Sikh litany and the Braj classic the Hanuman Natak. (3) He would hone his political knowledge in daily debates with these men and grow into a staunch opponent of the Indian National Congress. In 1920 A.D. he would be returned to the Punjab and released. Unbeknownst to the British, however, Jhabbar the preacher was dead. His imprisonment, abroad, had now resurrected him as Jhabbar the leader. Jathedar Jhabbar, as he was now known, soon joined a band of like-minded men and they commenced holding political communes for the Sikhs. Dispirited by years of ascetic leadership, composed of Nirmalas and Udasis, the Sikh youth actively answered Jhabbar’s call to arms and began forming themselves into political cells. Their main purpose was to represent the Sikhs in the political spectrum, but other events overtook their plans. Baba Di Ber, a historical Gurudwara, had been placed under Mahant Prem Singh who conducted the daily happenings in the Gurudwara as per the Sikh Code of Conduct. His son, however, would prove a debauch whose life was cut short by over-indulgence. Regional Hindus and Muslims would oust Prem Singh’s assistants; insinuate themselves as his daughter-in-law’s legal correspondents and transform the Gurudwara into a den of vice. The ouster of the local congregation, by the new management, angered the Central Majha Diwan which dispatched Teja Singh Bhuchar to restore Baba Di Ber’s sanctity. Bhuchar and his fifty-strong party were initially arrested but later released on a technicality. Panicking, the management rapidly dissipated in the face of their arms. The arrival of Jhabbar ensured the restoration of the Gurudwara to the congregation and soon a plan was set in motion to form an ubiquitous committee for the management of all Gurudwaras. The Gurudwara Reform Movement was born. The Movement, initially dismissed as being idealistic, however would score a notch against the Nirmala-cum-Udasi Mahant-hood when it would liberate the Sri Darbar Sahib complex from the clutches of the British. Sanataanism having penetrated the Khalsa psyche, men like Sodhi Bhan Singh and Avtar Singh Vahiraa published texts condoning the Hindu customs of Caste prejudice and misogyny. (4) These practices were rapidly introduced into Gurudwarasby the Mahants until only the haut monde could enter and offer obeisance. Lakhmir Singh, a Muslim turned Sikh revivalist, had taken a band of lower-Caste Sikh converts to the Akal-Takhat to offer sacramental food as a sign of gratitude to the Guru. The Nirmalas, therein, had openly avoided these devotees and callously elucidated that they were in no position to offer anything as their Caste was abysmal. (5) Several bodies, including representatives of the Ravidassiya brotherhood, collated and commenced taking sacramental offerings to the Darbar and being turned out by the administration. Upon hearing of this, Jhabbar swiftly reached Amritsar and joined the protests. Cornered by the congregations, the Nirmalasattempted to debate their stand with Jhabbar. When asked to provide canonical injunctions mandating Caste in Sikhi, they were forced on the back foot and started fleeing. A reading was obtained from the Adi Guru Granth which propounded the imbecility of Caste and it’s corollaries. Other than the chief administrator, all the Nirmalas fled the scene shamefaced. The Nirmalas at Akal-Takhat also beat a hasty retreat from the Darbar. Jhabbar collated a congregation on the steps of the edifice and criticized the British installed administration for it’s lapses in judgement. After declaring all edicts, passed under the latter, nullified he asked for the congregation to elect a band of seventeen volunteers to undertake the administration of the Akal-Takhat and restore it’s sanctity. Soon a jatha was formed which was placed under the charge of Teja Singh Bhuchar. Dressed in blue and black, and armed to the teeth, these men were drawn from the so-called lower-Caste Sikhs. Witnessing their election, the Nirmalas commenced sending out dispatches asserting that the lower-Castes were about to demolish the Darbar and violate other historic Gurudwaras with their unholy presence. (6) Three hundred armed Sikh volunteers however put paid to the Nirmalas‘ designs after conducting a flag march throughout Amritsar. The effect of the Gurudwara Reform Movement was beginning to be felt far and wide and even the Indian National Congress began taking note of it. Jhabbar, however, openly opposed Gandhi and forewarned the Sikhs to avoid falling for the man’s glib rhetoric. Gandhi, on the other hand, expressed false joy at the actions of the Sikhs but continually reiterated that the nation was more supreme than their 300 year old faith. (7) The Gurudwaras under the Mahants served to foster love between Hindus and Sikhs and the Sikhs should consider assimilating into the Hindu fold. (8) Jhabbar would openly denounce Gandhi at the 1920 Lahore Sikh Conference, but many such as Master Tara Singh would be ensnared by Gandhi’s mellifluous vows. Time would prove Jhabbar right. The Nirmalas, of Amritsar, in the meantime had hit upon a new stratagem to oust the Shiromani Committee (as the Movement’s leadership was known) from the Darbar. An elected band was dispatched to the vicinity of the Akal-Takhat where the Akali-Nihangsresided. Once famed for their belligerence and their guardianship of all Gurudwaras, the Akali-Nihangs had been routed by the British at Patiala and forced to flee the Punjab. Their inability to modernize their mentality and confront the grievous state of the Panth had rapidly rendered them obsolete. The Nirmalas convinced them that they had surrendered control of the Darbar for good and requested the British to restate the Akali-Nihangs in their stead. Jhabbar, and his men, however had hijacked the Akali-Nihang’s old obligations. The Budha-Dal’s variation of the event asserts that the Akali-Nihangs had been assisting Jhabbar until then; Jhabbar now refused to grant them Jathedari of Akal-Takhat and assaulted them. Based on the account of one late Anoop Singh, it is alleged that Jhabbar angrily speared the Dasam Granth and hurled it from the balcony of the Takhat. Did Jhabbar do this collaterally whilst combating the Nihangs? The Dal insists that he did this in consort with British injunctions. Three factors, however, should be taken note of here: -The paucity of evidence prior to and after the event underscoring any anti-Dasam sentiments on Jhabbar’s part. -Why was the Dasam Granth not removed on the very first day of the Nirmalas fleeing the Takhat? – Rather then employ Jhabbar, who was vilified as a malefactor until the day of partition, why did the British never utilize the service of the Nirmala poojaris to remove the Dasam Granth from the Akal-Takhat in their almost century long sway over the Darbar Sahib? Until substantiated, all allegations of Jhabbar forcefully removing the said Granth remain hearsay. The progress of the Gurudwara Reform Movement would be arrested by the events of Jaito in which the Khalsa would openly challenge the British over their forceful expulsion of Maharajah Ripudaman Singh from the throne of Nabha. Slowly, but surely, men like Master Tara Singh would align Sikh movements with the Congress’s greater aim of Hindu dominated India. Jhabbar, at his level, would oppose all coalitions between the Sikh polity and the Congress but as 1947 drew closer even he could feel the palpable desire for a bifurcated sub-continent. Attempts at establishing an autonomous Sikh nation-state were doomed by Tara Singh’s apathy until the fateful sundering was upon the Punjab. Having liberated the Gurudwaras of Punjab with his sweat and blood; witnessed the massacre of Sikhs at Nanakana Sahib at the hands of Narain Dass Udasi and wiled his life away in jails Kartar Singh Jhabbar was forced to witness the destruction of Sikh heritage in both India and Pakistan. A knight errant of the Panth, he would breath his last in 1962 A.D. Sources: (1) Deutsches Staatstecht, vol. i, sec 16; referenced by Singh K in Theo-political Status of Sri Darbar Sahib. (2) Singh M, (1956); Hazur Sahib Di Twarikh, self-published; pg. 380. (3) Singh N, (2001); Jathedar Bhai Kartar Singh Jhabbar, Dharam Parchar Committee (Amritsar), pg. 29. (4) See Singh M, pg. 340. (5) See Singh N, pg. 42. (6) Ibid, pg. 48. (7) Ibid, pg. 51-52. Additionally see Akali Dal Ate Gandhi (Giani Jujhar Singh; self-published, 1955). https://tisarpanthdotcom.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/knight-errant/ I apologize to fellow member Jonny101 for falsely castigating him during our debates on Jhabbar. I was in the wrong and I admit it. Jonny Ji was right all along.
  18. Ludicrously, Santa Sio Nang stepped over the bodies of the innocent Sikhs slain in Operation Bluestar to build the "sarkari takhat-" he is a hero; Banda Singh created the first Sikh Raaj, he's a villain.
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