Thank you both for your comments. I was surprised and pleased to find my blog on this forum (which I didn't know existed before!). And I am happy that the last commentator really understood what point I was attempting to get across.
Sikhism, from its onset, was all about questioning practices that didn't make sense. The string Brahmin's wear to signify they are a higher caste, or God can only be found by facing Mecca, for example. And now I find that more and more we are becoming a people embodying everything that Sikhism was created in direct opposition of.
Many of the "rules" that are in effect today are so clearly in violation of the basic tenets of Sikhi that it is absurd they exist. I see no reason they should even be called a "controversy." I was recently made aware that the rule I mentioned in my blog about Amritdharis being the only ones allowed to perform kirtan at Darbar Sahib (the Golden Temple) also applies to women, regardless of whether or not they are Amritdhari or not.
And the irony is that both of these things are clearly going against what every single one of our Gurus fought against. Sikhism is the only religion I can think of that specifically states in its scriptures that women are equal to men in every respect, and there are countless couplets and poetic verses in the Guru Granth Sahib clarifying the many roads to the Almighty, and the clarity of the message of unity. Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/controversies/33385-kashmiri-muslim-performing-kirtan-tasleema-langoo.htmlReference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=33385
We don't discriminate on the basis of religion or caste, and yet this "rule" has created a form of a caste system where Amritdhari Sikhs are seen as more authentic. This rule has leaked into other aspects of society as well where many Amirtdhari Sikhs refuse to eat food prepared by non-Amritdhari sevadars. If that isn't a form of a caste system, I don't know what else you would call it.
But the most frightening thing is that nobody seems to be questioning the logic behind the membership requirements of the SGPC, the governing body of all designated Sikh Gurudwaras after the Gurudwara Reform Movement in the 1920s. Their membership requirements are restricted to Amritdhari Sikh men. No exceptions. This means no women, amritdhari or not, and sahajdhari (mona) Sikhs have a say in these matters! So my blog was written to at least start a discussion on things that really have no place anywhere in Sikhism, and especially in the Golden Temple.
Move the Movement. swordfight