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    • I think it is a lot more complicated rather than all clear, and black and white. Pan Sikhi as we know it today is the result of social media, we all are a lot more similar today than before, social media has promoted a Sikhi where we are clear on what is acceptable and what not. Social media has helped make Sikhi into something more organized among its followers and people in far flung areas can follow the same. As for my Grandfathers, my families main practice is "jatera" and have been doing it for generations, light a jyot in our ancestors tomb every Sunday put food there, when its winter we pul blankets there. They worship there and ask for whatever they want. They buy sweets and put them there, do matha tek and put money there. My mum said in the old days her family used feed Bhramins. My Grandfathers kept their hair but shaved their beards. My mum said in the pind there also used be a "professional mourner" a big woman who you had to go to when someone dies in the pind and she used to teach women how to cry! My mum also said how When someone used to die in your family or lane then you weren't allowed to eat certain things and had to sit on the floor for weeks! These were the practices! So how Sikh were my forefathers? Did they even call themselves Sikhs? i doubt it very much! Before a proper tomb was created they used to have a brick and they used light a diya on the brick. You have to remember in India, ones identity is their gotra and the traditions they follow is the traditions of their gotra. Before partition people of the same clan even used to marry regardless of religion. I was reading this Saini Sikh guys stuff online and he said his grandmother was a Saini muslim and that in his community all this was acceptable in those days! marriage between Kashmiri Pandits and Muslim Bhramins happened as well in Kashmir. And as for Anand Karaj, it only recently has became popular among people who now identify as Sikh than it actually was back in the days, especially in the pinds. This Sikh identity as we see it today is quite recent among most families tbh. It seem some point during our grandparents generation many gotras started leaning towards some Sikh practices and using sikh tick box in census, perhaps for political and social advantages? I think perhaps the religious reform movements played a role in bringing various clans into the fold of Sikhi, if not by practice then at least by the census tick Even today where my family are from most people will not identify as Sikh in pinds, they practice the traditions of their gotra. I remember as a teenager mona telling my cousin sister in India that i am a Sikh and she started laughing and saying where is your hair and then she said our family are not Sikhs. These days mona call themselves Sikhs as well, that never used to be the case, since monas have started calling themselves Sikhs i think more contradictions have entered Sikhi. Most people in Punjab are just various castes and clans, some have adopted some Sikh practices and that is about it!  I think this has resulted in a lot of contradictions, people who never were Sikh by practice and still are not Sikh came under the banner of Sikhi. The fact how the tomb in my dads pind was turned a gurdwara just shows how recently Sikh culture has entered many villages.  I think whenever Anand Karaj became the norm for various clans and castes is when these people started embracing a few other Sikh traditions but still keeping their ancestral practice. I think when people moved abroad they adopted Sikh practices more and this influenced their families back home a little as well. It also depends on the region of Punjab you came from. Gurdaspur region has always been the heart of Sikhi and things have probably always been more clearer there. I'm only speaking for the region where my ancestors come from. I mean 80 years ago how would people in far flung areas like Hosiarpur, Sialkot, Bhatinda etc know what was going on in Amritsar and all the revolutions? they wouldn't! My mum said no one even used to go Harmandir Sahib or any other historical gurdwara, its only now with cars that people have started going. Western born Punjabis who try to dissect this scramble would never understand it, they try to figure it from a very western rigid perspective. Sikh identity here in the west is a cultural identity so even monas and atheists call themselves Sikh, they then apply this to communities in Punjab but it just doesn't work like that over there. Punjabis in the UK created their own Sikh identity which probably never existed in their pinds back in the 50s and so !  So its a lot more complicated. I read how after the collapse of the Sikh empire, the vast majority people who identify as Sikh on the census today they actually identified as Hindu back then.   
    • I think we've been written off too many times only to survive. Yeah sure, things might not be the same as before, but that is inevitable anyway. I think pessimism or a defeatist attitude will only increase the chances of what you are suggesting happening.  What I believe will salvage things (in a big way) is a small group of intelligent, questioning, reflective khoji Sikhs who will set trends and reinvigorate the dharam. We've had such contradictory messages sent to the youth for so long with this hotchpotch of what on the surface looks like the dharam  but is really a mixture of colonial era manipulation and older (usually caste based) cultural practices which have a lot of negatives as well as positives. Once we start to explore, present and practice (as a society)the dharam without the hypocrisy, it will blossom.  
    • There is a theory that when the religion is weak in it's country of origin it will weaken every where else. When India was occupied by Muslim invaders and Hindus were brutalised by them for 800 years. This weakened Hinduism outside of India in places like Indonesia and Malaysia which eventually left Hindu Dharm for good and today they are Muslim. Same thing had occurred with the Sikhs after the fall of the Sikh empire. Sikhs were dissolving into Hinduism but thanks to Singh Sabha movement it was delayed because Singh Sabha movement permanently etched paranoia of Hinduism in the Sikh psyche which has saved us. Today our situation is that we are still a stateless people. But this time instead of Hinduism we are in danger of being dissolved in western cultural norms, western atheism and western universalism. Situation is the same but we now have a new opponent that we need to be aware of.
    • That may be one reason for it. But there are others as well, including plain fashion/styling (if people are into that look......) 
    • Sorry veer ji, please forgive me. I did not intend to sound as if I was calling myself superior or special in any way. My husband is special for me because he's a gift from waheguru ji to me hence I feel he's worth praying for. When we did our laavan, in my perspective I thought we were making a commitment to help each other on the path of sikhi and that if any of us were going astray (manmukh way) we would be there to support/guide each other back. The reason why I highlighted the word 'bride' in the hukamnamas was because I did an ardas to guru sahib that if he will save my marriage please show me the word 'bride'. I guess it may sound childish but that is possibly because I'm feeling broken. I know being amritdhari doesn't make us extraordinary, I actually feel ashamed that we're an amritdhari couple and we're doing this beadbi - in actual fact we're quite disgraceful as when people hear about our situation and the first thing they say is 'lehh what's the point being amritdhari etc etc'. We've let guru sahib down.  Yes you're right I'm very weak, I should have faith in waheguru ji and understand that whatever he does is for our good and that the pain im receiving is due to my past bad karam. But what I do firmly believe is that until the divorce is not fully complete (God forbid that there is a divorce) I will continue to pray for forgiveness for mine and my husband's previous bad karams in hope that our father has mercy on us. But yes u are right alongside this I should also do benti that I increase faith in waheguru and that everything he will do is for our best. Once again I'm sorry I didn't mean to do any sort of beadbi.
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