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If I recall correctly, a few months ago I put up a post on this forum highlighting some of the discrepancies in the Suraj Prakash. A mod took it down because he felt it would offend a majority of the forum. I, however, feel that Sikh Sangat is not emulative of it's much maligned reputation i.e. a forum full of fanatics. In the latter spirit, then, I ask that can someone then explain the following passage from another traditional text- Chibber's Bansavalinamah: 'Kahan Singh Trehan from Goindwal and a descendent of Guruji. As a Sardar (chief) Sikh sat at the Bunga (Akal Bunga, Akal Takhat) himself. Sikhs came to the fair (organised by) local residents circumabulating (the Harimandar). A Sikh going in front of them met these Sikhs and embraced them. (4) These Sikhs also hugged him lovingly. They loved him very much. After hugging each other when they departed. Kahan Singh ji saw that particular sikh when all those Sikhs separated. (5) He (Kahan Singh) sent a man to bring that Sikh to him. Kahan Singh ji asked,”O Sikh! Which Sikh are you, what caste are you called by?” Sikh stood there hugely embarrassed. Then Singh ji again said,”What Sikh are you known as?” (6) Then he said, “Sir, I am a Mazhabi Sikh (a sikh originally from a low caste)”. Then Singh ji ordered those other Sikhs to be brought in as well immediately. Those local Sikhs all arrived, The ones who had embraced and hugged this other sikh lovingly. (7) (Singh ji) spoke thus, “Bhai Sikhs, do you know this sikh?” All those said.”Yes sir”. (Singh ji) spoke thus, “Which sikh is he, what is his caste?” They said, sir, landowner sikh and he is known as ‘Sandhu’ (8)(usually a jat surname but occasionally lower castes also may have this surname) Then he was asked in front of these Sikhs. “Bhai Sikh! What is your caste? He mentioned, ‘Mazhabi’ (sikh from low castes ) The local Sikhs were surprised on hearing this. These Sikhs said, “Sir, he has eaten food with us” (9) All of us Sikhs have served him food making him sit in our own kitchen. (persons of lower castes were not allowed to enter kitchen of higher caste persons) Food in (our) plate and water in the bowl was given to him to drink. This sikh (had) said ‘I am landowner sikh and am a local resident of Amritsar” All Sikhs have served him with food in their own homes one by one. (10) Singh ji asked (the ‘Mazhabi’ Sikh), “Why Bhai! Why did you do this?” He said,”Sir, I am sorry. I forgot (went astray)”. (Bhai Kahan Singh)Spake thus,”It is not you who forgot (went astry), it is these (Sikhs) who forgot (went astray). They only saw Guru’s insignia, didn’t see your body (person).” (11) Bhai Sikha! How could you forget? Why didn’t you check for your mother, father, brother, sister or relatives? Those in whose family you were born, grew up and had food together and socialise. How did you forget that (you are from that) family? (12) It is these Sikhs who got misled by just recognising Guru’s symbols. Why did you forget? You seem to be fairly knowledgable. You have done this intentionally. It is these Sikhs who got misled who saw only Guru’s symbols. (13) Following just the Guru’s symbols these Sikhs got misled. So that nobody may repeat this mistake (in the future). A barber was called and his hair were shaved. Making him sit on a donkey was taken around the town. (14) He was hanged by the side of Tunda Sar (a water pond ) And (Kahan Singh) asked this to the local resident Sikhs. “You arrange a Yag (a sacred purification Hindu worship), do Gurpurab, and prepare Parsad”. “You were misled by Guru’s symbols, so you are not stigmatised by this”. (15) “Do not talk about this in the township” “Keep the tenets of Sikhism in your mind”. “The Turks (muslim rulers) are eager to find faults lest some trouble arises” “There should not be any gossiping about this in the township at all”. (16) All the Sikhs said,”Sir, you did the right thing that you punished him”. None would repeat such a thing again. It created such a fear and respect for Sikhism. That even if someone dropped a thing somewhere, it would continue lying there, and no one would take it away. (17) (Fourteenth Chapter of “Bansavalinama Dasan Patshaheean Ka” “Genealogy of ten patshahis”) I don't claim any expertise on Sikh literature/historicity, but Chibber's narration does not fit in with an already established chronology regarding Baba Kahan Singh Ji. The Baba (let's get over his differences with Baba Banda Singh) is said to have catered to the lower castes and raised them to the levels of the higher castes. Initially I asked a Taksali Singh to explain this passage to me. The most he could say was that the text dealt with telling lies although it is evident that Baba Kahan Singh Ji, for Chibber, has the Singh executed for refusing to follow traditional Caste norms. Has the text been corrupted? Dr. Ganda Singh, utilizing the Suraj Prakash as a case study, had the following to say regarding the corruption of historic Sikh texts: 'Some writers allege that the reason for the rejection of Ram Rai was that he was born of a handmaid (Cunningham, p. 62). It would have been preposterous for him, as Narang says. to prefer this claim, if he had been born in that way. Really he had the same mother as Har Krishan. The story of Guru Har Rai having married seven wives, who were all sisters, is found only in one MS of Suraj Prakash and is written on unpaged leaves which are clearly an interpolation. Unfortunately this copy became the basis of the editions nowadays in vogue. Other copies mention only one marriage. Mahima Prakash, which is much older than this book, also mentions only one wife. See on this point the annotation of Bhai Vir Singh on Suraj Prakash.' -Dr. Ganda Singh, Baba Teja Singh; 'A Short History of the Sikhs,' vol. i, pg. 48. The mod in question informed me, last time, that the other thread would only be resurrected when he/she established the veracity of my post. Obviously by begging the question no veracity can be established much less manifested; I pray, then, that this thread be left open for some constructive debate on Sikh literature and/or it's authenticity on some points.
Since it's inception, Nidar Singh's Shastarvidya organization had proven to be tendentious at the best of times. The man has changed his narrative several times and even gone back on his words, vis-a-vis Balbir Singh of Budha-Dal, which he wrote in a self-published book in the 90's.In 2007 we witnessed the fiasco which went down at Nanded when he and Parmjit attempted to impugn Jathedar Kulwant Singh whilst downplaying ex-DGP Pasricha's role in the forceful resettlement of many Hazoori Sikhs. The result, which followed, was ironic and humorous. Not only were the both forced to apologize, but Nidar's views expressed on Teja Singh's Sarbloh site were compared with what was written in his In The Master's Presence. A contact I have in Nanded informed me that even today there are Hazooris who hold these two up as prime examples of why not to trust their Punjabi brethren; in the book, itself, Nidar and Parmjit contend the veracity of the 5 Kakkari Rehat whereas on Sarbloh Nidar is of the opinion that the Rehat is ever changing and the Tre-Mudras are the authentic symbols of the Guru whereas the other two are Singh-Sabha introductions. Post-fiasco- forgive me if I am mistaken in my chronology- we then had the four-men committee of the Tarna-Dal (consisting of Mahakaal Baba Jagir Singh Ji, Nihungs' Bhai Sukha Singh Ji, Rajha Singh Ji and Giani Mehtab Singh Ji) review Nidar's work and charge him of spreading falsity under the veneer of Shastarvidya. The backlash in the UK was immediate; prime Gurudwaras, where Nidar taught, expelled him and his presence was downsized. Veer Taran Singh Ji acquired a letter from several prominent Nihung Jathebandis, who by tradition are affiliated with Nidar, in which they roundly criticized him and expelled him from within their ranks. Nidar retorted that this letter was a fabrication- Mahakaal Baba Joginder Singh Ji's visit to the UK put the matter at rest; the letter was indeed authentic. Shastarvidya, or what Nidar teaches, is still a bone of contention among the Sikhs. My Hazoori contact informed me that in Nanded Nidar never claimed to be the last master of the full art; rather, he propagated that he was a practitioner- a Nihung dedicated to teaching the art to others. Surprisingly the Shastarvidya, or Gatka if you may, practiced at Nanded radically differs from that of the Punjabis and global Sikhs. It is full contact, employs speed and is often practiced in group scenarios. From what I witnessed during my trip to the locus, the vidya of Nanded is not exhibitionist- it is dedicated to quick, clean kills period; maybe this is why the Hazooris, a minority in the state, have so effectively defended the Takhat from both the onslaughts of Islamic fanatics and Hindu belligerents throughout history. It is high time now that the Shastarvidya debate be put to the rest. I believe that a committee consisting of neutral Nihungs from all major Dals, respected elders from the Hazoori community and Nidar's own students be formed to authenticate the veracity of his art and to clarify his perceptions on some matter. Most of his accusers, seemingly, where once his own students. They too should be allowed to express their own views in order that we may clarify what is Shastarvidya and whether any Nihungs in the Panth are also masters of the vidya. The controversy is not fictional, in the below video we have the 2007 fiasco uncensored: We then have the four-men committee's views: I think that this committee is part of Viki-Vind Tarna-Dal which is the secondary Dal to the original Tarna-Dal. What is more interesting is that in the past few years he has began associating with Taksali personalities. Currently his main base is in Hamburg- controversy is already beginning to brew there as well among the Punjabis and the local 3HO branch, one of whose member he has recently married. More humorous is the reaction of his students, I confess I don't know how the below started but the accusations are humorous. Who is Bhambra and what's up with all this blowing Balbir Singh? Nidar is the one affiliated with Balbir, despite his self-proclaimed neutral stance he professes Balbir Singh to be the supreme Jathedar of the Budha-Dal.
I shared this with several pages on facebook, and share it again on this forum as well. Nidar, the Lost Sikh Warrior, has now fled to Germany after divorcing his wife. His personal affairs his own, the main reason for his departure is probably the fact that his shop has closed down in UK. We all remember how several Nihungs, who he asserted were supportive of his dancing style-cum-"martial art," went on video and refuted his claims. Whilst surfing the net, I chanced upon some of his prior fallacies: "Baba Mohan Singh was unanimously elected as his (Giani Gurbachan SIngh Ji's) rightful successor to Samparda Bhindra. Why else would he still have control of the original shrines and lands at Bhindra established by Baba Sundar Singh?" http://www.<banned site filter activated>/htmls/article_samparda_kartar2.html Giani Ji's own views: http://www.gurmatveechar.com/audios/Katha/01_Puratan_Katha/Sant_Gurbachan_Singh_(Bhindran_wale)/Sant.Gurbachan.Singh--Passing.Taksal's.Mukh.Sewa.to.Sant.Kartar.Singh.mp3 His website is full of mendacious propaganda. To clear up some his falsities regarding Baba Santa Singh: "Niddar Singh has propagated the myth that as per the elder Singhs of the Budha-Dal, it was Baba Santa Singh Ji who acquired land for Giani Kartar Singh Ji Bhindranwale to construct the Chowk Mehta Branch of Damdami Taksal upon. Who these Singhs are he fails to mention. The Singhs we have approached substantiate (yes, they actually substantiate) that Giani Kartar Singh Ji became Jathedar of Taksal in '61. Baba Santa SIngh Ji became Jathedar of the Budha-Dal in '69. During '61 Baba Ji was in Ludhiana, conducting Amrit Sanchaars and there is no record of him ever having visited the original Taksali H.Q. let alone interfering in it's affairs."