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Indian Sikh/Western Sikhs

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Boota, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Boota

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    Dec 8, 2006
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    Sat Sri akal.

    I am new on this forum and have joined to ask questions specifically to sikhs living in India.

    The reason I ask is that i have been on another forum that deal with religion and sikhs have come in for a bit of a bashing verbally.

    That of course is nothing new but various allegations have been put to me that have made me think again.

    We have discussed Sikhi at length. I refer to various indepedent reports from Human Rights organisations, the few incidents of the recent forcible cutting of Sikhs hair, the Amritdhari Sikh Driver who was recently attacked by hindu activists, the Khalra incident, 1984, the Nirankaris, the broken promises from Nehru etc. etc.

    Let me add at this point that it is my firm view that it is the intention (and always has been) of the Indian government to assimilate Sikhs into the hindu maintstream. This is perhaps a seperate topic for another time.

    I am told by various hindus that I am just a western sikh who does not know what is happening in India and I am stirring up trouble. I am told sikhs in India are fine and I have no knowledge of what happens there.

    My question to Sikhs in India are as follows;

    Do you feel your faith is under threat?

    How do you percieve 'western Sikhs'?

    Do feel sikhism is just a branch of hinduism?

    Do feel discriminated or persecuted in India?

    Do you feel you have freedom of speech in India?

    Thank you


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  3. Akashdeep Singh

    Akashdeep Singh
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    Oct 15, 2006
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    Boota Singh ji,

    I am taking the liberty to answer these questions (though being in USA) since I have lived more than 20 years of my life starting from birth in India.

    Broadly speaking, I think the Sikhs outside India have better understanding of the problems related to Sikhism and plots against Sikhism as compared to their Sikh brothers in India. Following are the reasons:-
    1. Indian media is not free they only print what their masters want them to do so most of the facts are hidden from the masses. Take the example of most respected Indian magazines "India Today" and "Frontline" I had a lot of respect for them when I was in high school but slowly I understood that those top magazines are also playing in the hands of a chosen few. For exampe, recently in 2002 "India Today" printed the whole fake story of Godhara incident with diagrams - it was simply all fake. They turned an accident in the train to an attack by other religion all under the influence of the ruling party at that time.
    2. Books which simply do not cater to the need of the people in power are banned in India. You cannot have books revealing the family backgrounds of prime ministers in India like you can have books revealing about President Bush in USA.Therefore, the people in India are only getting one side of the stories, off course the side which suits the rulers.
    3. The means of communication are not that spread and readily available. Internet continues to be limited in bandwidth and is still expensive commodity for the majority of the population so they cannot read and be informed as easily as people in USA or Canada can be. (though this trend is changing and people are getting informed slowly, still it will take time).
    4. Independent thinking and logical reasoning has been killed from the Indian blood by the 700 hundred years of slavery. The rulers have made them like that so that they only believe what they are made to believe.
    Lately, I have seen many such incidents where an attempt has been made either to confuse Sikhs or to portray them in wrong colors. There are professional historians like Satish Chandra and Bipin Chandra who are continuously writing blashphamous writings against the Sikh Gurus in the prestigioius NCERT Board of education history books... and may such other things which will be too long to describe here.

    Let me start by mentioning that not all Hindu brothers are bad, I have decent group of Hindu friends and we have shared every joy and sorrow of life. But does that mean there is no threat? - lets see that by doing a mathematical analysis by some fair assumptions.
    According to 2001 Census of India
    At the national level, of 1028 million population,
    828 million (80.5 percent) have returned their religion as Hindus
    138 million (13.4 percent) as Muslims and
    24 millions (2.3 percent) Christians.
    19 million (1.9 percent) persons follow Sikh religion;
    8 million (0.8 percent) are Buddhists and
    4.2 million (0.4 percent) are Jains as per the 2001 Census.

    so we got in India:-
    • 8280 Lakhs Hindhus
    • 190 Lakh Sikhs
    Let me very lenient and make an assumption that only 10% of Hindu population are the fascist guys who are trying to malign Sikh philosphy or are attacking it with subtle motives (actual may be different, I leave it to you do decide whether is percentage can be greater or lesser than my assumption).

    10% Hindu Fascists would mean 828 Lakh people in India attacking Sikh religion.

    Now let me optimistic again and assume that almost 10% Sikhs from the Sikh populatin are aware of this problem and actually keep their eyes open and fight for the sake of defending Gurbani from adulteration and other attacks on their faith. This figure comes out to be 19 Lakh Sikhs.

    Therefore this approximate analysis gives 19 Lakh Sikhs against 8 Crore 28 Lakh Hindu fascists, that is just 2.3%. Now is that a danger? - the data speaks in itself. Someone will argue that why can't 90% Hindus (that I assume are not fascists) fight along with us against the Hindu fascists? I would rather throw a question back, why did most of them vote in favor of Hindi language and wrote Hindi as their mother tongue when a language based survery was done during the times of "Punjabi Suba Zindabad Movement" even when all of them never spoke or wrote Hindi? When they did not even favor Punjabi language, is it right to expect that they will fight for the bigger cause of saving the damage done to Sikh religion and philosophy? ....I am not convinced. Its our own battle and we have to fight it not depending or hoping that other will help. Also, down the line we have to be careful to not to hurt the feelings of our Hindu brothers who have no role in the attack on Sikh faith and are just leading the life of normal Hindus.

    To be honest, I believe more can be done from the means the Western Sikhs have in their hands.

    No not at all. This is just being presented by the factions like RSS to take the credit of all the Sikh sacrifices and battles against the Mughals. Sikhs are neither Hindus nor Muslims.

    • In day to day life, sometime yes and sometimes no. There are people who have respect for Sikhs but there also people who are disrepectful.
    • Historically, yes I feel discriminated. If I do not read history and do not care about the sacrifices of our forefathers I can simply say I am happy, but that does not seem to be the case. Every now and then my conciense rebukes me - of not doing anything and I cannot find peace. The incident of Godhara in Gujarat has shocked my mind I think India has not improved in this regard since 1984.
    • Partially yes!. You can say anything you want until it is not on big stage. Therefore, it seems very free speech but once it reaches on the bigger scale the true nature of the structure will come out and bans and persecutions will begin. In past, people were jailed just for raising the slogan "Punjabi Suba Jindabad" which simply means in English "long live the punjabi speaking regions"
    Please read and provide your views on the following topics:-
    1. S. Jaswant Singh Khalra - A role model
    2. Who organised Indian Army? - Captain Mohan Singh or Subhas Chandra Bose?
    3. Kill the history and the religion will die on its own
    4. Did the Sikhs Betray in 1857?
    5. Gurbani venerable but Sikh vulnerable
    ...pardon my response if it felt offending somebody. I am sitting sleepy here so there is high probability of mistake.

    Sat Shri Akaal,

    "Jabey baan lageyo, tabey ros jageyo"
    Guru Gobind Singh ji.

  4. Boota

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    Dec 8, 2006
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    Dear Akashdeep,

    Thank you for detailed response, very interesting reading.

    I wonder whether the views you have were 'formed' once you ceased residing in India. If so, it would lend support to my theory that sikhs in India are living a repressive regime.

    I will read your topics when I have time. Many thanks for your input


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