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Have the Sikhs changed since 1984?

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Admin Singh, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Vinod Mehta of Outlook wrote that 1984 was the year that changed India. Jagmohan Singh (WSN) replied by saying that it was the year that did not change India. Har Jagmandar Singh takes the discussion further and asks whether the Sikhs have learnt their lessons or not. Readers are invited to share their thoughts.

    The anti-Sikh pogrom of November 1984 in Delhi and numerous other places in India, and the havoc at Darbar Sahib Amritsar five months earlier, came as horrible shocks to the Sikh nation, but placed in the historical perspective, these grisly events were neither unexpected, nor unprecedented, nor unrepeatable.

    The editor of World Sikh News, Jagmohan Singh has written an open letter to the editor of Outlook magazine, Vinod Mehta, challenging the contention of the magazine of India having changed and has concluded that 1984 did not change India.


    The view that the year 1984 has changed India is obviously false, provided we take it in the ironic sense in which Advocate H. S. Phoolka has remarked, “In 1984 this country’s politicians learnt the art of killing people, getting away with it and then going on to win elections in the aftermath. They have repeated that in Mumbai and Gujarat and somebody somewhere may be making the next preparations.”


    Now that we have observed the memories of the victims of November 1984 and we have cried over the last two weeks at India having not done justice to the Sikhs, it is time to ponder over a significant question, “Have the Sikhs changed since 1984?”


    The anti-Sikh pogrom of November 1984 in Delhi and numerous other places in India, and the havoc at Darbar Sahib Amritsar five months earlier, came as horrible shocks to the Sikh nation, but placed in the historical perspective, these grisly events were neither unexpected, nor unprecedented, nor unrepeatable.


    The repeated genocides of the original inhabitants (called Dasas or Dasyus) and the destruction of their centuries old civilization by the Aryans are mentioned at least five times in the Rig Veda. The Hindus carried out four mass murders of the Buddhists and almost eliminated them in India.


    Taimur, Nadir Shah, Muhammed Ghori and Aurangzeb, not to mention countless others, killed Hindus en masse.


    At the time of Partition there were indiscriminate slaughters of the Muslims in India and of the Hindus and the Sikhs in Pakistan.


    More recently, the Sinhalese mercilessly murdered 80 thousand Tamils in Sri Lanka. The pages of the world history are full of genocides of the people of one religion by the people of another religion. Nazis killed 62 lakh Jews because they were Jews. Pogroms of one nation by another have occurred in every country in every age. Examples can be multiplied endlessly.
    The genocide of the Sikhs has not occurred for the first time. In the holocaust of 1747 at Kahnuwan, Diwan Lakhpat Rai killed several thousand Sikhs. Fifteen years later, Ahmed Shah Abdali massacred 20 thousand Sikhs at Kup, near Ludhiana, and those numbers then were actually a large chunk of their small population. But the Sikhs were not dazed by these genocides.



    The reason was that they understood reality about themselves and about their enemies. They understood the intentions of their adversaries and were clear as to what they should do. They adopted the right attitude, struggled and achieved sovereignty.


    The events of 1984 have left the Sikhs aghast and bewildered. They continue to live in illusions. They have neither understood themselves correctly nor those who perpetrated the holocaust on them. They had not realized, but their opponents knew it, that they had a separate entity and hence separate interests.


    The Sikh leaders of present times have proved to be asses. The British, before they left India, wanted to give “political feet” to the Sikhs so that they could walk in the stream of history of nations and make their contribution. They wanted to make provisions to safeguard their future. But the stupid Sikh leaders, who suffered from umbilical fixation, refused to listen to them. Master Tara Singh declared, “While opposing the Pakistan scheme, some Sikhs have lost their heads and they are preaching the establishment of Sikh rule……Swaraj (self-rule) is the only solution of our country’ s misfortunes.”


    Jinnah warned the Sikhs, “You have known the Hindus as co-slaves but you will know their real character when they become your masters.” Even today, the Sikh leaders are not prepared to tell their followers how much right the great Muslim leader was. The Sikhs, after 1947, have been placed in a new situation, and they have to reorient themselves accordingly. History is a cruel teacher. The Sikhs should learn their lessons without receiving any more beatings. Learn they will have to----for their survival.


    According to a high police officer, who deposed before the Misra Commission, “The riots were organized to teach the Sikhs a lesson.” It was to be a lesson of slavish submission. God forbid the day should come when the Sikhs learn this lesson. What they really need to learn is the truth of history--- the truth that there is a permanent enmity and inevitable conflict between different religions and civilizations and survival and growth lies in being aware of one’s distinctness and constantly working towards the creation of an environment in which one’s nation can survive.


    The truth about the November ’84 pogrom of the Sikhs has been cleverly obfuscated by the media, leaders (Akali leaders among them), writers and other opinion makers. The whole blame has been laid on certain individuals like Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and H. K. L. Bhagat. It has been concealed that all this was, in fact, the result of the rancour which is inherent in Hinduism against Sikhism. Guru Gobind Singh was, in the course of 23 years, engaged in twenty battles. The Hindu hill- Rajas fought against him in twelve of these battles, either in alliance with one another or in co-operation with the Muslim rulers. The conflict was natural. The Guru has himself explained in ‘Zafar Namah’ that the conflict was due to the divergence between Sikhism and Hinduism:
    “I killed hill-men belligerent towards me because they worship idols and I am an idol breaker.”


    On the other side, Bhim Chand, a leader of the Hindu hill-Rajas, declared, “I cannot as a Hindu be on good terms with a man (the Guru) who hath discarded our holy faith.”



    Conflict between religions (and civilizations which are outgrowth of religions) is natural, as it is natural between living organisms. The law of “struggle for survival” applies to religions as well. It seems to be the intention of nature that there should be struggle between religions so that better forms of faith may evolve.


    The preaching of brotherhood between different religions is useful for the peace and stability of society. Sadly, it is only palliative. The deeper tensions continue and develop into clashes whenever there is sufficient stimulus. Such preaching plants confusion in the minds of people and disables them to understand and face reality. The tussle between Christianity and Islam is manifest in many ways in various developments in the modern world. Rise of anti-Semitism and intolerance towards Oriental religions in modern day Europe, with all its progressive ideals and practice is a reality.


    No two rival bands of animals or humans can peacefully share a tract of jungle. Urge for expansion is inherent in all living things; it is a mode of survival. Same is the case with religions. When a religion expands (expand as it must), it enters the territory of another religion; then conflict is inevitable. Before it is too late, the Sikhs need to be prepared to face reality as it unfolds itself, in India and the rest of the world. Respect for diversity should be developed but the underlying truth cannot be wished away.


    This is not a cynical observation but a stark truth of history. This is the bitter truth. Sikhs can ignore it only at their own peril for “---somebody, somewhere may be making the next preparations.”

    Har Jagmandar Singh is the author of A Story of the Sikhs –Pursuit of Sovereignty.

     

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  3. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Could anybody show me any evidence that Britishers wanted to give political feet to sikhs.
    Whatever I read about partition is that Britishers badly betrayed sikhs and gave them no option.Here is quote what 1 British officer wrote to Jinnah
    A look at pre-1947 leadership of Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus Sikh Centre's Weblog
    Francis Mudie wrote in September 1947, “I do not care how Sikhs cross the border of Pakistan. The great thing is to get rid of them as soon as possible.”

    As a british officer his duty should had been to protect the people irrespective of religion
    but I still don't understand Why he took the sides of muslims in the killing of sikhs.
     
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  4. Hardip Singh

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    Dear Veer jeo,
    Pl read the book " Saachi Saakhi" by Sardar Kapoor Singh . He was the historys only ICS officer whose service was terminated because he felt sorry to obey the dictats of Pt Nehru, than the PM of India, against Sikhs.
     
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  5. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Hardip singh ji

    I am not supporting Nehru or any other leader.I am hearing this from very long time that Britishers gave sikhs chance to have them their own state
    but sikh leaders of that time did not accepted it.But when i started reading about partition ,from no source i found this to be true
     
  6. Hardip Singh

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    Dear Veer jeo,
    This book is the most authentic work that too done by a person whose integrity is out of question. If you dont trust my words, pl ask our and your elders (even at SPN). Kindly first read this book. It will change your entire presecption regarding British and other political figures of that period. If you dont find it in your city pl ask me, I will mail you a copy. But do post me your address.
    Regards and Guru Fateh
    Hardip Singh
     
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  7. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Thanks for the offer Hardip singh ji.I will try to find out the book .But while searching on net about the book I found that there are allegations against the book of spreading myths
    by sikhs themselves

    A Critical Review of Sachi Sakhi and Parasaraprasna
    Myth no. 1

    On pages 101-13: Kapur Singh claims that the British offered Sikhs their own “Sikh State” and Mohammad Ali Jinnah offered them “an autonomous Sikh State within Pakistan”. However, the ignorant, naïve, and inept Sikh leaders like Master Tara Singh, Giani Kartar Singh, Baldev Singh and Maharaja Yadvinder Singh did not respond positively to explore these offers. Thus, they are responsible for rendering future generations of Sikhs subservient to Hindus. His claim is based on the information he got from newspapers, press releases, and his own conversations with Jinnah, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, Sir Jogindera Singh, Sardar Shivdev Singh Oberai and others. At no time he was personally involved in the negotiations between the Akalis and Jinnah or the British.

    It is difficult to imagine that the British or Jinnah’s offer to Sikhs was simply altruistic. Furthermore, it is difficult to imagine that few Sikhs like Master Tara Singh, Giani Kartar Singh, Baldev Singh and Maharaja Yadvinder Singh could have prevented Jinnah or the British from pursuing their objectives. They could have talked to other Sikh leaders or taken their offers directly to the Sikh masses to accomplish their goals. However, there is no evidence that they talked to any other Sikh leader about their offer. Most documents relating to the partition of India have been released and published, and there is no evidence, that either the British or Jinnah offered the Sikhs “a Sikh State,” or “an autonomous Sikhs State within Pakistan”, respectively. It turns out that the British as well as Jinah were trying to persuade the Sikhs to join Pakistan in order to avoid the division of the Sikh community into two halves, one in Pakistan and the other in India.

    The Sikh leadership declined this suggestion wisely because Sikhs remember very vividly the atrocities of the Mughal rule against the community. Instead, they threw their lot with the Hindus, as they had no prior experience living under Hindu rule. Had they accepted the offer of Jinnah the situation of the Sikhs in Pakistan would have been far worse than that of the Ahmadiyya Muslims. Dr. Abdus Salam, an eminent scientist of the twentieth century and a Nobel Laureate in physics, was stripped of his Pakistani citizenship.

    Many Sikhs fault the Sikh leadership for their naivete for relying on public statements made by Gandhi and Nehru that Sikhs would enjoy autonomy in an independent India. They argue that the Sikh leadership should have obtained written guaranty signed by the Hindu leadership. But would the Hindus have honored that guaranty after becoming “Masters” of India!

    India agreed to a UN supervised plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir to solve the Kashmir problem. Even the United Nations and the world opinion has not been able to force India to fulfil its agreement for more than fifty years. The same thing would have happened to any written guaranty given to the Sikhs by the Hindu leadership. There is no doubt that Sikh leadership was taken in by the liberal and secular façade put up by Gandhi and Nehru, who were diehard believers of the Hindu caste system and the perverse morality preached by Lord Krishna in the Mahabharta which simply put states: victory is every thing; cheating, lying, and manipulation is the essence of Dharma. But we can remind the ungrateful Hindu community and inform the world that had Sikhs accepted the offer of Jinnah, Pakistan’s border would have been close to Dehli and Jammu and Kashmir would also have gone to Pakistan?

    When the partition of India seemed inevitable, it was the Akali leadership who insisted that if the country was going to be divided on communal lines then why should East Punjab and West Bengal, where Muslims were in minority, be given to Pakistan. This idea was put forward by the Akalis, whom Kapur Singh calls stupid. The Congress leadership did not care if all of Punjab were to be included in Pakistan. They were eager to get rid off most of the Muslims so that they could establish their own Ram Raj (rule of Hindu god Rama).

    It is true that Giani Kartar Singh and Master Tara Singh did not match the education of Gandhi, Nehru and Jinnah, who were lawyers, educated in top British universities. However, both kartar Singh and Tara Singh were honest and self-sacrificing leaders, who worked very hard to safeguard Sikh interest and saved the community from annihilation. The Akali leaders also put forth the idea of total transfer of Muslim and Hindu-Sikh populations in Punjab. In pre-partition Punjab, the Sikhs constituted 13% of the population and were scattered all over Punjab with heavy concentration in central districts, with a slight majority only in one Tehsil, Taran Taran. After partition, the Sikhs were in majority in the Punjabi-speaking region of the Indian Punjab, which later on became Punjabi Suba (state).

    On page 115, Kapur Singh writes, “After an inquiry it was found that the British wanted to propose to the Sikhs that if they can’t come to any reasonable agreement with Muslims, then the Sikhs should accept ‘a Sikh State’ covering an area from Panipat to Nankana Sahib. This state could have an access to the ocean. This state could enter into a defense pact with England according to which 25,000 British armed forces would be stationed in the Sikh State for ten years. Seasoned British army officers would train the Sikh army. The Sikhs would buy military equipment from the British on the condition that 50,000 Sikhs would be employed in the British army for ten years. The treaty between the British and the Sikhs could be reviewed after ten years.” However, Kapur Singh does not mention the composition of the population of the proposed “Sikh State”.

    In 1947 there was no district in Punjab with Sikh majority whereas the partition of the country was based on the “population majority concept”. For example, the seven districts – Hoshiarpur, Jullandur, Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Lahore, Amritsar and Gurdaspur, according to 1941 census, had 28 % Sikhs, 46 % Muslims and 26 % Hindus and others[6]. According to the 1931 census, the population of the area from Panipat to Nanakana Sahib was 42% Muslim[7]. If these were any guide, the Muslim population would have gained further in percentage by 1947. The 58% non-Muslim population was divided between Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, and others. The Sikh population of this area was not more than 25%. Would Muslims and Hindus of this proposed “Sikh State” or Pakistan and India have allowed this state to become a Sikh state? Israel is a Jewish State because its population is more than 80% Jewish; Pakistan is an Islamic State because its population is more than 95% Muslim and India is a Hindu State because its population is about 80% Hindu. It is no wonder that there is no evidence that the British or Jinnah offered the Sikhs a Sikh State or an autonomous Sikh State within Pakistan, respectively.

    Myth no. 2

    On page 72-76, Kapur Singh mentions, “The Akalis prevented Dr. Ambedkar from converting to Sikhism. Had Ambedkar converted, 60 million Untouchables (Dalits) would have followed him and become Sikhs. Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala, had agreed to marry his sister to Ambedkar if he converted to Sikhism.”

    These assertions are incorrect. First, Gurtej Singh, a protégé of Kapur Singh, has himself refuted the assertion that the Akalis prevented Dr. Ambedkar from converting to Sikhism[8]. Besides, contrary to Kapur Singh’s claim, Ambedkar took advantage of the naivete and generosity of the Akalis who went out of their way to accommodate his wishes. They set up a press for his paper Janta and built a Khalsa College in Bombay for higher education of Dalits at a time when there were only few Sikh colleges in Punjab where the vast majority of the Sikhs lived[9]. How many Dalit students of this college became Sikhs?

    Ambedkar’s change of mind not to covert to Sikhism was a political decision of a politician. According to his calculation his conversion to Sikhism would not have advanced his political career. Had he really wanted to convert, who could have prevented him? Did anybody prevent Giani Dit Singh or Professor Gurmukh Singh from converting? Second, how did Kapur Singh predict that 60 million Dalits would have followed Ambedkar and become Sikhs? How many of them became Buddhists when he converted Buddhism? Human behavior is very difficult to predict, especially of those who have been subjugated and dehumanized for thousands of years, like the untouchables of India.

    For instance, if all the Dalits did not convert to Islam or Christianity during a millenium of Muslim and Christian rule when there were clear advantages and incentives for them to do so then how could Ambedkar’s conversion to Sikhism have persuaded them to convert to Sikhism? Even in Punjab most of the Dalits did not become Sikh over a period of 500 hundred years in spite of the fact that 95% of the Sikhs came out of sudras and untouchables.

    Most Sikh leaders after Guru Gobind Singh came out of Jats, Kalals, Tarkhans, Mazhbis, Labanas and Sansis, all of whom are lower castes in the Hindu caste system. In recent times Sikhs with Mazhbi and Tarkhan background have been appointed as Jathedar of Akal Takhat, the seat of highest religious authority. If these examples did not inspire Punjabi untouchables to become Sikhs then how could Dr. Ambedkar’s conversion to Sikhism have automatically converted 60 million untouchables, spread throughout India, to Sikhism. It is noteworthy that most Dalits entered the Sikh-fold in the early part of the 20th century during the Singh Sabha Movement and they constitute 8-10% of the Sikh population.

    Third, the statement that the Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh had agreed to marry his sister to Dr. Ambedkar if he converted to Sikhism also appears incorrect. Why would the Maharaja, who was persecuting his Sikh-subjects, would marry his sister to a Dalit converted to Sikhism? Would it not be akin to bribing someone to convert to Sikhism? On the Vaisakhi day of 1699 Guru Gobind Singh declared with a drawn sword in hand, “If any one wants to be my Sikh, come prepared to offer your head.” Guru Nanak said exactly the same in his liberating message to the people. People ho embraced Sikhism did it voluntarily.

    If you want to play the game of love (righteous path) then follow my path and come prepared to sacrifice your life. Once you step on this path, don’t be hesitant to offer your head. (AGGS, M 1, p 1412)

    It is surprising that Kapur Singh totally ignored the fact that it was Ambedkar, considered the brain behind the drafting of the Indian Constitution, who on his own or under pressure, clubbed Sikhs with Buddhists and Jains and made them Hindu under clause 25 of the Indian Constitution. What he did to the Sikhs with the stroke of a pen is similar to what Adi Shankaracharya and Hindu rulers did to Buddhists through violent means!

    Kapur Singh also ignored the fact that in November 1948, a ten-member sub-committee of the Constituent Assembly recommended reservation of seats for religious minorities in East Punjab, with weightage for Sikhs. But the minority committee of the Constituent Assembly, which included Ambedkar, Nehru, Patel and Rajendraparsad, turned down this proposal[10].

    Myth no. 3

    This incidence (p. 103) happened in March 1947 when Giani Kartar Singh was the president of Shromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Dr. Gopal Singh Ph.D. was his very close protégé. At that time there was great tension between Hindus and Muslims in Bengal. One day a delegation of Begalis led by an aristocrat from East Bengal came to Amritsar to meet Giani Kartar Singh. They requested and urged him to send some learned Sikhs immediately to Bengal in order to baptize about 500,000 Hindu Bengali youth to form a Khalsa brigade. They proposed to baptize 3 to 4 million Bengalis all over Bengal with particular focus on East Bengal in order to check the onslaught of pro Pakistani forces.

    However, Giani Ji cleverly evaded them by saying that he would take care of it immediately, but did nothing. When Dr. Gopal Singh asked him the reason for his inaction, Giani Ji told him the secret, “You don’t understand politics. Even if 10 million Bengalis were to become Sikhs, still there will be only one Sikh minister in the central government, and Sardar Baldev Singh is already there for that position.”

    How could anyone believe this story? If Kapur Singh thought that in 1947 the conversion of millions of Bengalis to Sikhism was so easy, then how come hundreds of learned Sikhs like him and aristocrats were not able to convert even five thousand untouchables (Dalits) let alone high caste Hindus of Punjab?

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If what is written above is true then I would take that book with a doubt
     
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  8. AusDesi

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    Another thing is, If sikhs would have got "home rule". Where would this supposed nation have been? Punjab was divided on the basis of populations of hindus and sikhs combined on one side and muslims on the other. What particular areas would have gone to Sikhs if they had gone alone.

    I know that majority of current Haryana and Himachal would have gone to Hindu India. As far as I know Sikhs were majority by themselves only in a few districts. Add in the Sikh princely states provided their leaders went to a Sikh state it would still have been a tiny country. From what I know even places like Jalandhar had a good percentage of muslims so even Jalandhar district might have gone to Pakistan along with Gurdaspur.


    btw, if someone can provide that map with percentages it would be great.
     
  9. Hardip Singh

    Hardip Singh India
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    Could you pl let me know the internet site where these are pasted and the name of the author. Regards
     
  10. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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  11. Hardip Singh

    Hardip Singh India
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    Thanks Kds jee. I am reviewing the above link and will let you know my views and some more facts. but still, if possible than do read this book and than give your independent views.
    Regards.
    Hardip Singh
     

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