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Kerala's First Sikh Convert- Nintyone-year old Sardar Bhupinder

Discussion in 'Business, Lifestyle & Leisure' started by drkhalsa, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. drkhalsa

    drkhalsa
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    Nintyone-year old Sardar Bhupinder Singh from Kadakarapally is the only living Malayalee Sikh in Kerala. People call him "Sikh Chettan", that is, elder brother.

    On Baisakhi day in 1936, fed up of caste barriers, Bhaskaran embraced Sikhism and became Bhupinder Singh. he was not alone. Around 300 families, mostly from backward castes, converted at that time.

    There is a historical background to this conversion. During Vaikkom Satyagraha in 1922, at the instance of Mahatma Gandhi, a few Akalis came to Vaikkom to make langar for satyagrahis. After successful completion of satyagraha and the Temple Entry Proclamation, some of the Akalis stayed back. Some youth were attracted by the discliplined life and joined Sikhism.

    Bhupinder has a different story to tell: "After Vaikkom Satyagraha, backward castes basked in a renewed vigour. At that time, Ambedkar exhorted people that if you don't get self-respect and dignity in your own religion, you should get out of it. This prompted many of us to join Sikhism.

    Initially it was tough. "My father was liberal enough but his brother opposed my conversion tooth and nail. But I stuck to my belief."

    After becoming a Sikh, Bhupinder went to Gujaranwallah and Lahore for theological studies. He worked some time in Khalsa College. But the returns were inadequate. So he joined the British Royal Army as a technician in 1940. He retired in 1968 as Subedar.

    Though he married a Sikh, his daughters and sons are Hindus and married under Hindu Ezhava customs. "When the community shrank we found it very difficult to find matches. So none of us insisted the second generation to follow our example. Many families later re-converted to Hinduism. It is one of the reasons for our decline in Kerala."

    Bhupinder complains that when numbers became dwindled, the Sikh Committee stopped showing any interest in them.

    Every Sunday Bhupinder visits the only gurdwara in the State of Elamakkara in Kochi. Recently the Kochi Gurdwara Committee honoured him with a saropa.

    The nonagenarian always keeps a low profile. "Once S S Barnala came here. He was eager to know more about Malayalee Sikhs. He asked me so many things and wanted me to write a book, but I politely refused.:

    Leading a solitary life after his wife's death, Sardar Bhupinder has only one wish: "Till thee last breath I want to be a true follower of the Panth."

    so the children of people that embraced sikhism did not followed sikhism.
    the main reason i think is that they did not want to wear 5ks thats why they embraced hinduism.
     
    #1 drkhalsa, Jan 23, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2010
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  3. vijaydeep Singh

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    Gurfateh
    We lack missionaries as they were during the time of pre indipendance.

    Present day guys are more defensive and self conscius,then confidant to preach Gurmat.In fact we do not have any preaching missionary left in good numbers.
     
  4. Dimitri

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    Only hope for Sikh Philosophy or Sikhi in general is in West (i know bold statement)
     
  5. Lionchild

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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert- Nintyone-year old Sardar Bhupin

    well there is other countries in the world that sikhi can be spread to, it just takes effort and a little creativity. Its not easy, however, the benefits are large.
     
  6. gurc

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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    Gurfateh,

    We don't have trained missionaries who able preach in Engish/or other languages about Sikhism.
    For Christians, they have people going around trying to convert other.
    There are a few instances , when they stop me and start talking about Jesus Chris.
     
  7. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    why you people are not accepting reality.it is very difficuilt for each and every sikh to wear 5ks.that is the main reason people just leave sikhism.
     
  8. vijaydeep Singh

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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    Gurfateh

    If motivation is there then 5ks are an assets then a liability.
     
  9. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    you are right but how many people really have motivation?
     
  10. Bijla Singh

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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert- Nintyone-year old Sardar

    Well they have enough excuses for not wanting to become children of Guru Sahib.
     
  11. gurus_princess

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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    Can I ask how would it be so difficult to wear the 5ks? :confused:
    You can make up many excuses to not wear the 5ks but once you wear all of them and know the full meaning and understand then you will feel 'happy'.

    For example, your family says 'let's go swimming'; you can make many excuses to get yourself out.
    Your mother says 'wear goggles and a swimming cap so you can keep your eyes protected and your hair dry'; you can make many excuses to get yourself out this time as well.
    BUT, if you wear the goggles and swimming cap and you go into the swimming pool, you will enjoy your time while in the pool (and probably wouldn't want to come out) and look forward to going again.

    Bhul chuk muaf karni (I don't know how to spell in 'English-Punjabi') ;)
     
  12. kds1980

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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    if wearing 5ks is not difficuilt then why many sikhs are abandoning it.?
    wearing 5ks require spirituality , self control and courage.unfortunately majority of people lack these things thats why it is difficuilt for people
    to wear 5ks.
     
  13. Bijla Singh

    Bijla Singh
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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    Sikhi sure is a path of struggle but life itself is a struggle. Only winners stand up to the challenge and learn how to survive. Had Sikhs in 18th century made such excuses, Sikhi would've died a long time ago.
     
  14. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    things were different in 18th century.at that time majority of communities
    of the world proudly wore their religious symbols and traditional clothes.
    but after the onslaught of western culture majority of communities of the world have abandoned their religious symbols and traditional clothes.
    any person that tries to wear them mocked by the others.
    do majority of brahman keep " bodi" ,no do majority of muslims wear beard no
    infact sikhs are much tougher than other communities for not abandoning their religious symbols.
     
  15. Bijla Singh

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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    However it is much easier to keep hair and practice Sikhi these days since we have homes, cars and all the worldly things to keep us at comfort. We don't have to live in jungles anymore. We have food to fill our stomach. No prices are on our heads now. Singhs in 18th century lived a tough life but never gave up Sikhi which is why they were victorious and are remembered by the entire Panth daily in Ardaas. These excuses will do no good in Guru's Darbar. Time changes but Sikhi doesn't as truth always stays the same.
     
  16. kds1980

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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert-

    a respectful person can happily give his life.but if he is humilated again and again the it is really difficuilt for him to live.the same thing is happening with the sikhs they are humilated again and again by other people of society even by sikh girls.go to following blogspot and read the comments of many sikhs which are rejected by many girls for marriage just because they wear turban.

    Finding a Wife
     
  17. Bijla Singh

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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    This is not a humiliation but a choice. Those girls are uneducated and ignorant about Sikhi. It is better for an Amritdhari not to have a superficial girls as a partner. I myself rejected many girls because they were not in Sikhi as much or were non-Sikhs but it doesn't mean I humiliated them. Guru Sahib gave us this life, gives us food to eat and surely He will give everything else (including partner) only if we follow Him and do Ardaas. I don't think forsaking Sikhi over women is an act of a true Sikh. In any case, think about what will you say in front of Guru Sahib. People should have strong faith and self-confidence which comes from rehat and naam simran.
     
  18. gurus_princess

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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    Well, they don't know the meaning of the 5ks. That's why they don't wear them, simple as that.
     
  19. gurus_princess

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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    I agree 100% with Bilja Singh. :up:

    We have a 'Punjabi school' I go to, my uncle teaches Sikh history. He has told us a lot about the wars and challenges Sikhs had to go through. My dad has also told us how Sikh people had to live in jungles and live a hard life, so I'm grateful that I never had to go through any of that.

    Today, right now, we have an opportunity to make Sikhism shine but if we don't understand or at least know the basics of it, how can we? :confused:
     
  20. kds1980

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    Re: Here is the Story of Kerala's First Sikh Convert

    the main reason is that it is really hard to convince people that wearing 5ks
    is necessary in this world.
     
  21. gurus_princess

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