Friday, August 10, 2012

#Sikhs and the freedom struggle | my 1998 column on Sikh sacrifices. Wahe guru, my brothers


Ghost Writer said...

what a marvelous piece - I remember being immensely happy when I first read this piece. I was just out of college and had printed it out and posted it on the notice board of the local gurudwara. Being half-sikh (on the maternal side) I was puffed up with pride that you - a dedicated Southerner - would commend our community.
The 1984 riots really rankled. Until I have memory - I will hate the KKK wallahs for that above all else. They really played with fire - perverted the sikh faith and then turned on the sikh community when things got too hot for them.

One thing you forgot to mention in your lovely article - The Sikhs bore a highly disproportionate share of the Partition violence. Gurbachan Singh Talib's book on that should be mandatory reading.

souixsie said...

I honour the Sikh sacrifices to the nation, and deeply regret and condemn the Congress-led Delhi pogrom against them. However, even as there are many Sikhs intermarried into my family, I have no apologies for the storming of the Golden Temple. Yes, the unscrupulous Congress party played dangerously with fire in initially supporting Bhindranwale and deserve a great share of the blame, but there were sizeable numbers of Sikhs who fell for the Khalistani propaganda and allowed these terrorists to shelter within the temple and to run a reign of terror against their Hindu brethren. I would have preferred that the Sikhs themselves rose against their Taliban and took back the sanctity of their temple, but they were too scared themselves and the Islamization of their faith had proceeded too far to the detriment of their Hindu roots. 

There were many brave and honourable Sikhs like KPS Gill and his police force who fought and decimated the terrorists, and whose sacrifice remains shamefully forgotten by the nation which prefers to provide cover for the same craven Sikh leadership that cowered before Bhindranwale and his armed louts. Thus there has been no honest recounting or reckoning for what really transpired during that bloody period in Punjab. Which has only led to more dishonesty about Sikhism's roots and its genesis. Sikhs, especially those in North America, tout at every opportunity that their faith believes in only one God, as though Abrahamic-like monotheism is a civilizational advance to be proud of. It only goes to show how thoroughly their faith, born out of bloody suppression of the Sanathana Dharma by Islam, has imbibed the exclusivist notions of their nemesis. The Stockholm syndrome taking hold of an entire community, and enforced violently by their version of Mullahs and the Taliban. This in a faith whose holiest temple (temple, not mosque) is named after Vishnu, and whose holy book is filled with innumerable references to him. 

An honest review would reveal that the Gurus were taken in by Sufi deception about the true nature of Islam, and sought to excuse the attocities inflicted on them by the Muslims as unIslamic aberrations and not really what Islam has always been all about. Thus the Sikhs ended up adopting the external symbols of their enemies, which, unfortunately, today make them the target of violent skinheads. It ought to be obvious by now that identification with their Islamic vestiges to the detriment of their more plentiful links to Hinduism is a deadend, and yet that is exactly what the Sikh leadership enforces to maintain its hold on the community. The Gurus, who were all proudly Hindu, would be in great despair to see how the community, especially in North America and the UK, has torn itself from its deep roots in the Sanathana Dharma and, instead, emulates those who oppressed them. It wasn't Muslims who offered one of their boys to be raised Sikh, it was Hindus. It isn't Muslims who, even today, feel comfortable praying at the Golden Temple, visiting Gurudhwaras and intermarrying with Sikhs! 

As a Hindu, I would welcome the Indian army assault any Hindu temple, however holy or important, that became a hostage of a violent separatist group that sortied out to kill other Indians. These are not actions taken lightly by the brave defenders of the nation made up of people from diverse faiths. Why should it be any different for Sikhs?

nizhal yoddha said...

thank you, ghost writer. it is a fact that though kerala is full of communists and others with extra-territorial loyalties, the 10% hindus from there appreciate what sikhs have done to keep the nation intact. vijayan's book is brilliant, but it has never been translated into english. and it won't be, because it honors sikhs. elsewhere, he calls them the 'first-born innocents', in a reference to what siouxsie says. the sikhs have sacrificed proportionately more for the nation than others, and i take my hat off to them. it was sacrilege that they were subjected to pogroms by the congress.