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Point of No Return?

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by kds1980, Jun 21, 2009.

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  1. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Point of No Return?
    Or to Re-think and Re-engage?
    Mansukh Kaur

    BALLAN: So, is this the final point of No Return? Have the Ravidassias finally moved out of the loose folds of Sikhism? By not having the prakash of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji at the bhog ceremony of the deceased leader of the Dera Sachkhand Ballan sect, has the dera indicated a permanent shift away from the larger Sikh panth/ And can the dera leadership thus collectively and so wholly control the minds of the dera followers who have bowed before Sri Guru Granth Sahib and have identified themselves with the casteless Sikhism? Will they suddenly now turn towards Hinduism? What will they tell the Census 2011 man soon about what to fill in the column of Religion?

    And must the SGPC and the other Sikh organisations immediately draw conclusions from this one move, no matter how seemingly decisive?

    Eighteen days after Sant Rama Nand was gunned down in Vienna, allegedly by radical Sikhs, what really does the decision of the sect mean if it has indicated a shift in religious practice by not having the parkash of Guru Granth Sahib on the occasion of antim ardas of the slain preacher?

    The 109-year-old Dera Sachkhand Ballan follows the teachings of the 14th century Bhakti preacher Ravidas who belonged to a low caste and is regarded as a “bhagat” bythe Sikhs though his followers worship him as a guru, a sore point with a section of the Sikhs. The Ravidas community’s practice of calling their current chiefs gurus was being resented by these Sikhs since they do not accept bowing before a living guru, that too in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

    The Indian media, almost full of unconcealed glee, reported that “the dera made a significant departure from its own traditions by not organizing the akhand path” and that “the palanquin, usually bearing Sikhs’ holy book, instead held the portrait of Sant Sarwan Dass in whose name the dera was established a century ago.”

    Forgotten in a split second was the universality and common heritage of the Sikh scriptures and there was not a single comment on the sect’s utter disregard towards the message of universal welfare that the scriptures hold aloft. Not one journalist or editor had it coming that here was a sect which, after a singular jolt of a loss of life, was giving up on a heritage of centuries and the only scripture that has helped preserve and disseminate the words of the very man that the sect considers Guru.
    At a macro level, the entire episode has brought to the fore the issue of identity of Adharmis to centrestage, and has also pushed the Sikhs to once again engage with the issue as to why the large sections of the marginalised that had turned towards Sikhism for succour are now drifting away and how the forces of Brahmanism are working beneath many such conspiracies to weaken the lure and strength of Sikhism.


    It takes dedicated refusal and utter blindness to miss a point that could be subtle only for a non-hybrid buffalo. But then when was Indian journalism last accused of having subtlity as a quality? It smugly reported that the shift in practice was a ‘reaction to Vienna incident’ and ‘a decision of sants of the dera’.

    The 40 hymns and a shloka of Guru Ravidass that was read out at the final prayers were the very bani of Sant Ravidas enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib.

    At a macro level, the entire episode has brought to the fore the issue of identity of Adharmis to centrestage, and has also pushed the Sikhs to once again engage with the issue as to why the large sections of the marginalised that had turned towards Sikhism for succour are now drifting away and how the forces of Brahmanism are working beneath many such conspiracies to weaken the lure and strength of Sikhism.

    It is time for the community to take note of how the innumerable deras are being perceived as providing support to the marginalised castes, something that should have come naturally from the Sikh elite.

    There is no denying the rising dalit consciousness in Punjab and Haryana and the massive political clout that the different deras wield in Punjab. The violent episode has also showcased is the casteist undertones to social interactions among the Indian Diaspora.

    In fact, those disappointed that casteism was not accepted as a form of racism at the recent United Nations conference on racism at Geneva, are hopeful that this incident will help bring international support to their argument.

    Many Ravidassias follow a number of Sikh practices and call their places of worship gurdwaras. The Ad Dharm movement started by a Ravidass follower, Mangoo Ram, in the 1920s brought many of the Chamar caste into its fold and it has a number of gurdwaras in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

    As a recent editorial in the Economic and Political Weekly, a respected Left leaning journal in India has brought about, the dalits, especially in the Doaba region, have moved up economically over the past few decades, but have found no improvement in their social position. In other places, the emphasis by the deras on social service and campaigns against alcohol and narcotic abuse has helped garner large numbers of devotees, especially women.

    The socio-economic growth of the deras has begun to be re-flected in an increasing political clout as is obvious by the deference shown to the chiefs by all political parties before the assembly and parliamentary elections.

    The popularity of these deras, however, is directly linked to the perception among the backward castes in Punjab and Haryana that the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) is dominated by the upper castes. That the SGPC is close to the

    Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) in Punjab is also a source of discomfiture for these sections. Many within the Sikh community feel that only a genuine effort on the part of Sikh institutions to involve the lower and backward castes will help stem the increasing sense of alienation that these sections feel and the periodic violent outbursts, which are a symptom of this alienation.

    By themselves such divergences do not necessarily imply a weakness in the body of research from which they emerge, and can even indicate a vibrant blossoming of ideas. Unfortunately, in the present case, each of these two contradictory accounts seems to be oblivious of the other’s claims and interpretations. Implicit in each narrative is a denial of the other’s validity. It appears that both accounts fail to live up to the demands of both falsifiability and coherence by refusing to accommodate or even accept the challenges posed by the other account.

    It does appear that the problem is not so much with the depiction of facts per se, as it is with the theoretical apparatus which is employed to collect these facts and make sense of them.

    While structural and systemic critiques have failed to integrate the working of democracy in their interpretative framework, studies of democracy and democratic theory have not paid sufficient attention to the structural foundations of underdevelopment. The inability to bridge this chasm weakens the social sciences as “debates” between researchers do not lead to a conversation between them or to the possibility of transcending the given problem. One of the challenges before social sciences is to transcend this contradiction within its own body and work towards a richer and better understanding of the linkages between democracy and underdevelopment.

    17 June 2009
     
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    A powerful article. Does this mean that the Badals have even more egg on their faces -- or are they in on the developments, maybe all along. :hmm:
     
  4. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    I don't know about Badals but its really sad that they are distancing themselves from sikhism.If in 2011 census they called themself Hindu's then it will be big blow to sikhism.
    There is good chance that sikhs will loose majority in punjab census and then RSS and other hindu organisations will start saying that Punjab is no longer a sikh state
     
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  5. vijaydeep Singh

    vijaydeep Singh
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    Gurfateh
    Well Sikhism Was made for the communties like Ravidasis.

    There is a proverb in Punjabi , Came to have fire and became house wife.

    People who bully them, do not know Sikhism at all.

    They want to end castism, while being Ravidasi, is more caste based sect. So if Sikhism is free of castes. If domnance of jatts is removed from sgpc or of bhapas from dsgpc, and Singh Sabhas are no longer Bhapa Sabhas or Jatt Sabhas, They will be with us.

    In Gurudwaras even in UK, das saw Jatts pro to thier caste. So separate Gurudwara for Ramgarhia or Ravidasis.

    Sikhs from Hajur Sahib, Patna Sahib, Assam are casteless, while in missionaries and AKJ, caste is tabbo. We can have hope in them.
    Akal Bless.
     
  6. Inder singh

    Inder singh
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    Vijaydeep ji

    Ravidasias always declared them as Hindus in all the census after India got independence. When Punajbi suba was formed the population of jallandhar and Hoshiarpur was evenly divided because of ravidasias being classified as Hindus.

    Ravidasias consider Bhagat ravi das as their Guru. For us he is a bhagat. That is the major difference between sikhs and ravidasias.
     
  7. vijaydeep Singh

    vijaydeep Singh
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    Gurfateh

    Dear Brother,

    When we visit Guru Dehra of them, we find that Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji's Prakash is there and picture is there where Tenth Master is giving his Kalgi/crest on the head of Bhai Sangat Singh(He was from Chamara caste and along Bhai Jaita Ji was child hood mate of Tenth Master, he was from Bihar/Bengal Area so called Bangeshar. There is gotra Arora in Chamars also, while Arora is caste in Punjab.Like Khatri is caste in Punjab while in jaats it is a gotra(Sub caste). Bhai Sangat Singh Ji face was like of Tenth Guru, Tenth Guru decided to fight till martyrdom in Chamkaur. Five Sikhs, Bhai Daya Singh(Khatri from Lahore), Bhai Dharam Singh(Jaat from western UP),Bhai Maan Singh(A Shia Muslim converted into Sikhism),Bhai Jivan Singh( from Valmiki/Churha community of Majha) and Bhai Sangat Singh(A Chamar from east India with Arora Gotra) ordered Guru to leave as an order of Guru Panth. Bhai took the crest and Muslims and Hindus cut his head and thought that Guru is killed).

    So coming it if Ravidasis are Hindu or not, about 80 years ago, there was no Ravidasi as such.We had only Ramdasia Sikhs(Chamars converted en block into Sikhism during the time of Fourth Master so named after him). They took part in Gurudwara reform movement also. But in Sikh institution they found jatt dominance(This was the reason that Ambekar was discouraged to join Sikhism) and no say of them. They are most educated among out caste. So they developed thier own institution named after Bhagat Ravidas. So Ramdasis became Ravidasis. It is possible and true that Hindus did support them to thier reversion as Ravidasis are Hindus in many parts of India(though many of the ravidasis in Punjabs have now joined Budhism, in UP Mayawati has also joined Budhism, why could not we bring them in Sikhism ?)

    But they are humliated in Gurudwara run by Nihungs, Sants like Nanaksar(Kaleran and Moga),Rumi sant of Buhcho(there separate sitting or langer for them is there and even bowl of Amrit or baptism is separate).

    while in AKJ and Sants like Mastuana or Dhadrian walley, they are treated equally yet the Bebeck or strict code is considered equal to Rahit(Sikh code of conduct),Which makes them run away from Sikhi like many other upper caste as power man can not afford strict restricted ritualistic life in the time of liberalism(Bebick is best but not the must as das's understanding)

    Lastly come the role of missionary, Majority of them are Bhapas or mercantile guys and rest are Sanskritize farmers or crafts men. They bring up new discoveries daily to get good lot of money. Money they get, they use in preaching in Sikh families than to get new converts. Preaching is in form of Gurmat Class or weekly gathering and discussion(Like Sunday for Christians, Friday for Muslims or Saturday for Jews but they must know Sikhs are unique). So they are rsricted to room and no door to door or field work.

    Then Buddhist,Christian missionary come in. Sirsa 's Sauda thing come in(in Malwa majority of Ramdasias are the followers of Sirsa cult), seva Bharti of RSS comes in(they make poor Sikhs worship Bharat Mata, which is nothing else but Durga, who dervied from mother earth. They use the qoute from Shri Guru Granth Sahib regarding Mata Dharti Mahat.. from Japu Ji Sahib).

    So they are cut off from us. Unlike Ravidasis we have good position in Majhabis, There a Sikh intellectual force is there which fights the attempts of Valmiki Hindus to revert Majahbis back into Hinduism.

    Well atempts are to be made to make Ramdasis also having similar force within Sikhis. They need to be practically brought eqaul. Then they have to be absorbed back into us. No trace of caste then should be left in the name of Ramdasia or Majhabi/Raghureta.

    operation in this field is already on. We need the blessing of Sangat.

    Soon a statement once it reaches das will be made online.

    (lastly criticism done by das of Sikh institution is not to offend them but should be taken positively to take some corrective actions like Bebeckis from AKJ or Sants though not leaving their Bebeck could yet have good relation with non Bebecki Singhs just like instead of making them full fledge members make them associate members while slowly taking them for Bebeck and if some one could not keep it, then also to have good relation with them and respect for them.
     
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  8. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    There is always a better chance of these Ravidassis becoming full fledged SIKHS/KHASLSA than say the Bhaiyas of UP or Bihar etc. Sikh Leadership is not supportive..SANT BABAS practise OPen discrimination..Jatts call them derisive names (Jatee soochak naams words) etc...NOT GURU NANAK JIS WAY AT ALL...SIKHI WAY is WAY OF LOVE...but sadly we are on path of PUSHING PEOPLE OUT than PULLING them in...I read somewhere that Guru nanak Ji personally MADE more SIKHS than todays Sikh Population worldwide....Clearly we are more into "excommunicating..than into ASIMILATING...
    SO What if anyone wants to call Ravidass Ji in nay title..IT DOESNT Make Bhagt ravidss Ji nay Bigger or any LESS than He already IS...Guur nanak ji took Him into PYAAR GALWAKRREE (HUG) and made Him SIT at PAR with HONOUR..we BOW to Him as well as the GURU JYOT in SGGS..why should we have any reservations of what people want to call lhim ??..after ALL what can we do when people call a human SATGURU..and our so called PANTHIC PAPERS carry his parwachans...waht can we do when people call Beas GURU..etc etc and they are not even having any Gurbani in SGGS ??
    Stricltly my personal views.
     
  9. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Gyani ji

    1 thing I don't understand is that people don't follow sikhism or create sect because of castre based discrimination.On the other hand just look at muslims they have truck loads of discrminations,complex of superiority etc.Arabs feel superior than rest of muslims ,Punjabi mohajir conflict in Pakistan etc.But despite all these I have yet to hear muslims renouncing faith because they are not treated equally or creating their own version of islam.so it clearly shows that faith of sikhs in Guru's is not as strong as the faith of muslims in mohammed.
     
  10. Inder singh

    Inder singh
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    Sangat singh was not ravidasia but a ramdasia sikh. Do not mix them up. Ramdaisa sikhs are complete sikhs and take baptism of tenth master. They became sikhs during the time of Guru Ramdas ji.

    Ravidasias are basically Hindu confined to two districts Jallandhar and Hoshiarpur. They were never counted as Sikhs.
     
  11. Inder singh

    Inder singh
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    It is not a question of treatment. They are hindus at heart. With money in their hands they are thinking to write their own Granth. So do not ask sikhism to conform to accommodate them.
     
  12. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    SIKHI/GURMATT CANNOT CONFORM..its the adherents that must CHANGE.
    1. The GHONA MONAS...(even those who do so much research on Dasm Pita Ji and write books on Him do PHds on His works...!!!) and clean shaven Sikhs can be considered as ONE or TWO STEPS BEHIND those who have Khandey batte dee PAHUL...and they may be 99.9% of our 25 million..BUT STILL the Rehat Maryada of the Guru Khalsa panth Stands SUPREME....SIKHS can change..NOT the REHIT/SGGS/Gurbani.
    Ginnttee minnttees DONT MATTER....clean shaven.less keshadharee etc have to Progress FORWARD..as and when they feel Guur Jis Pyaar..pull..KHICH...BUT they cannot expect the Panth to change to accomodate them...NO WAY.
     

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