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Sikh Community Needs To Reconsider Its Perceptions About The West, Russia And China

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Sikh Community Needs To Reconsider Its Perceptions About The West, Russia And China



Generally, the Sikhs have an impressionabout the 1984 tragedy that IndiraGandhi (the Indian Prime Minister at thetime) was too close to the Soviet Unionand was very hostile to western countries.Even some Sikh scholars feel that Russiaincited and helped Mrs. Gandhi to attackSri Harmandir Sahib and the Akal Takhtin 1984, while western countries wereopposed to the attack. These impressions,along with some other factors,have contributed to the westward tiltamongst Sikhs. After the glorious revolutionof Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, afeudal and elite sect emerged among theSikhs which eventually struck a compromisewith the British colonialists andaccepted a subservient position. Theirstand was completely against Sikh principles,which emphasized continuous andunending struggle against oppressors,and was responsible for the beginning ofthe tilt toward the West. The increasedimmigration of Sikhs to the westerncountries, which is more than any othercommunity in India, has furtherincreased this tilt. However, the justreleased secret British documents(declassified after many years) about the1984 tragedy have shocked many Sikhsand shattered their previously held beliefsabout the tragedy, the West, and Russia.Their generally held impressions aboutwestern and Russian roles in the tragedyhave been challenged by the newlyemerged facts. Many Sikhs may realizethat western capitalism comes close tothe Mayadhari Sansar (an unbalancedmaterialistic society) which is condemnedin Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The conceptof a so-called liberated man in westerncapitalist society who is free to pursue hisdesires, also comes close to the conceptof Manmukh (a self-willed individualwho follows the desires of his mind)which is severely criticized in Sri GuruGranth Sahib. Similarly, the anti-Russianfeelings are not supported by these facts.First of all, we have to understand thatthere is a big difference between theSoviet Union and Russia. Even thoughthe Soviet Union was founded uponMarxist revolutionary principles, yet thefact is that it was thoroughly influencedby western capitalist principles of puttingeconomics above ethics and had mostlybetrayed the Marxist revolutionary principlesand transformed into a Socialimperialist state running almost parallelwith the American imperialists. It was nolonger a nationalist or revolutionaryRussia, but had become one of the twosuperpowers, the other being the US.However, after the collapse of the SovietUnion, a new nationalist Russia, qualitativelydifferent than the Soviet Union,has emerged. The new Russia is nowplaying an anti-imperialist role. The presentRussia cannot be blamed for the mistakesof the Soviet Union. The newRussia is working closely with China toend western domination and Americanhegemony, and for a more equal and justworld order. The western imperialistswant to finish all diversity and lead to aunipolar world under their dominationand under their culture and value system.All kinds of diversity: cultural, national,religious, social, economic, ethnic, racial,and political are seen as obstacles to thewestern quest for dominating the world,and finishing diversity and leading to uniformity.All forces who want to preservetheir identities and independent existenceare in the same boat. Therefore, theSikhs, along with other religions, are inthe same boat with Russia, China, Islamiccountries, and other third world countries.They are all struggling against westerncultural invasion.Even though all facts about the 1984tragedy are not before us, yet some thingsare obvious. Under British law, secretgovernment documents are released aftera period extending over some decades.However, some documents are still beingwithheld. We should demand for all ofthe documents to be made public so thatwe can know the whole truth about thetragedy. Whatever facts we have learnedso far, they all indicate that there was acommunication about OperationBluestar between the British governmentand the Indian government, long beforethe operation started. The British advisedthe Indian government and participatedin some way in this operation. Americaand England work hand-in-glove.Therefore, we cannot imagine that theBritish did not inform the Americansabout the operation and did not havetheir approval. Therefore, it is not justthe British but probably the westernblock that was involved in some manner.There are also suggestions that a lucrativetrade deal between India and Englandwas also considered at that time. Thisgoes to prove that the fundamental conceptof western capitalism, that economicsare above ethics, has not changed.This concept has led the west to abandonand negate the spiritual aspect of life forall practical purposes, and limit it only tothe material aspect. Therefore, the western-dominated globalization is economic-only globalization without any ethicalaspect. I feel that we Sikhs are less clearabout the roles of the west, Russia, andChina than other religions and communities.For example, Islam and the Sikh religionare the youngest among the sixmajor religions of the world. However,there is a very big difference in the clarityabout the roles of the West, Russia,and China between the Muslims and theSikhs. Most of the Muslims see westernconsumerist culture as the biggest threatto their religion. However, many Sikhsgenerally seem to have a more favorableimpression of western consumerist cultureand are less concerned about westerncultural invasion.We can have many differences withRussia or China, yet we have to understandthis fact that like us, they are alsostruggling to preserve their identities andtheir independent existence from thewestern cultural onslaught. Russia and China are workingtogether to end western dominationand American hegemonyso that the world canbecome more equal and just.The struggle is not simple andis not in a straight line, but isvery complicated and is in spirals.However, the ultimate aimis good; they want to changethe western-dominated andAmerican-led unipolar world toa multipolar world.The Sikhs should rise to theoccasion and let the wholeworld know that the concept ofa multipolar world is basedupon Guru Nanaks message oftolerance, accepting diversityand pluralism, love, universalconcern, universal welfare, andpeaceful coexistence. Todaysmajor trends are the decline ofthe West and the rise of theEast. Russia and China representthe leading forces of theEast. However, Sri GuruGranth Sahib represents thecontinuous evolution and thezenith of eastern wisdom andspirituality. Therefore, it canprovide an alternate model ofdevelopment to the collapsingwestern capitalist model.Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. isthe Chairman of the WashingtonState Network for Human Rightsand Chairman of the CentralWashington Coalition for SocialJustice. He can be reached at sawrajsingh@hotmail.com.

Source - http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=35428

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