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Ranjeet01

Sikh Leadership

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I look forward to a new generation of younger informed Sikh students moving into academia to displace the deadwood, but we are a decade away from that.

I'm not as hopeful as Singh Ji in regards to the mentality cultivated by the next generation of Sikhs entering the intellectual arena. If they're studying at the same institutions that the rest of their non-Sikh peers are attending, I don't think the contemporary educated Sikh professional is mentally strong enough to resist the ideological indoctrination of the western academic establishment. The environment and the culture is simply too overwhelmingly overbearing for a certain type of person to reject the mainstream orthodoxy, and then reassert their own values in its place as a viable alternative.

Blog articles and social media posts from these Sikhs offer a telling insight into how Sikhi in the West is gradually being shaped into being the "Indic" religious arm of broader far-left liberalism. I'm afraid we've unwittingly developed a generation of Ram Rais willing to kowtow to the ruling mainstream at the expense of the unassailable norms of their faith.

We aren't like Muslims who constantly need to defend their abhorrent scriptures by performing mental gymnastics in order to defend the indefensible, yet I don't see much evidence of so-called "educated" Sikhs retaining the classic Sikh combativeness in purely intellectual terms. Acquiescing to pressure from ideological opponents has somehow become a virtue for Sikhs, as if we're in a race to bow and scrape our beliefs away in a wish to be as inoffensive as possible. Our innate values of pluralism and ethos of, "I won't bother you if you won't bother me," has been warped by our own people. 

Maybe there's a gupt fauj of truly, spiritually "woke" young Sikhs who have somehow managed to avoid the brainwashing and the tempting lure of bland inoffensiveness (as it relates to the popular causes of the time as established by the western intelligentsia) as something to aspire to, but the evidence suggests not.

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2 hours ago, MisterrSingh said:

I'm not as hopeful as Singh Ji in regards to the mentality cultivated by the next generation of Sikhs entering the intellectual arena. If they're studying at the same institutions that the rest of their non-Sikh peers are attending, I don't think the contemporary educated Sikh professional is mentally strong enough to resist the ideological indoctrination of the western academic establishment. The environment and the culture is simply too overwhelmingly overbearing for a certain type of person to reject the mainstream orthodoxy, and then reassert their own values in its place as a viable alternative.

Blog articles and social media posts from these Sikhs offer a telling insight into how Sikhi in the West is gradually being shaped into being the "Indic" religious arm of broader far-left liberalism. I'm afraid we've unwittingly developed a generation of Ram Rais willing to kowtow to the ruling mainstream at the expense of the unassailable norms of their faith.

We aren't like Muslims who constantly need to defend their abhorrent scriptures by performing mental gymnastics in order to defend the indefensible, yet I don't see much evidence of so-called "educated" Sikhs retaining the classic Sikh combativeness in purely intellectual terms. Acquiescing to pressure from ideological opponents has somehow become a virtue for Sikhs, as if we're in a race to bow and scrape our beliefs away in a wish to be as inoffensive as possible. Our innate values of pluralism and ethos of, "I won't bother you if you won't bother me," has been warped by our own people. 

Maybe there's a gupt fauj of truly, spiritually "woke" young Sikhs who have somehow managed to avoid the brainwashing and the tempting lure of bland inoffensiveness (as it relates to the popular causes of the time as established by the western intelligentsia) as something to aspire to, but the evidence suggests not.

Is it because we simply haven't developed an institution that can give us a solid footing in the wider intellectual world, where we can bridge the gap between "sampardaic" and "missionary" outlooks and bring about a more coherent message we can all get behind?

how do we prevent our kids from turning into ram rahias while having to go through the system? there has to be a concurrent education available  to them so they can navigate the pitfalls.

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23 minutes ago, Jai Tegang! said:

Is it because we simply haven't developed an institution that can give us a solid footing in the wider intellectual world, where we can bridge the gap between "sampardaic" and "missionary" outlooks and bring about a more coherent message we can all get behind?

how do we prevent our kids from turning into ram rahias while having to go through the system? there has to be a concurrent education available  to them so they can navigate the pitfalls.

I'll tell you what we shouldn't succumb to: the other extreme of the madrassa-style, un-thinking, oppressive drilling of beliefs into young minds without vichaar and discourse. Short-term it arguably bolsters the impression that a religion or a group is thriving due to the obstinate and passionate manner of its adherents, but long-term, as we're seeing with Islamic apostacy movements in the West AND its traditional strongholds in the Middle East (where the internet has allowed previously isolated people to voice their experiences even under the guise of anonymity), such methods are sowing the seeds for future dissent and damage to the religion.

What I find disappointing in the emerging Sikh generations in the West who are culturally Punjabi but don't really have any serious working knowledge of the religion (or in some cases are labouring under misconceptions), is that there's an alarming lack of humility when approaching Sikhi. Of course, respect can come after some form of understanding has developed. I think what they're doing is transposing general Western attitudes to the Abrahamic faiths -- that sneering, hostile attitude towards the idea of religion as something that's outmoded and antiquated -- and adopting that same manner with Sikhi, which to my mind is wrong, because there's no historical or social precedent set by practitioners of the Sikh faith (unlike the undoubted atrocities committed in the name of the Abrahamic religions throughout history) which warrants that kind of behaviour. I don't know, maybe there are reasons that I'm overlooking or haven't experienced which would otherwise inform my opinion on this matter.

We could go into psychological or sociological issues pertaining to the Punjabi-Sikh temperament, and how that may -- when exposed to certain circumstances or variables -- manifest in a manner that does us no favours. Is that behaviour or mentality hardwired? Could it be altered? Again, I don't know.

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