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Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision of Akal Takht (from SikhChic)

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by IJSingh, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. IJSingh

    IJSingh United States
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    Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision

    by I.J. SINGH

    Originally published at SikhChic sikhchic.com | The Art and Culture of the Diaspora | Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision



    January 29, 2010

    I was thinking of the summary judgment at the Akal Takht that declared its own erstwhile chief guilty and excommunicated him in a proceeding that left little visible trail of an honest trial.

    But I spent half that night watching on television the British hearings on how Great Britain got involved in the Iraq War.

    The sole witness under the gun for several hours was Tony Blair - the British Prime Minister at the time when Britain got entangled in Iraq. He squirmed, and he hemmed and hawed, and he defended himself vigorously. He sat alone with his files and he periodically consulted them. He may have been the Prime Minister but he responded politely. He may have been the face of Britain for 10 years but here he was the star witness under the gun. He gave little ground but he was grilled incessantly. The questioning was polite but firm and insistent.

    I found it instructive and heartening, but not only because I remain opposed to the war and it is satisfying to see the mighty proponents of it humbled and reduced to size. I was most gratified that it was an open hearing; citizens could watch it over the tube. The next morning even the American newspapers carried a detailed report. Why? So that ordinary citizens like you and I could form honest opinions of a critical issue; so that we could judge for ourselves; so that we could become better-informed citizens.

    Such proceedings tell me that procedure is all-important - and it is this that was missing in the action against Darshan Singh.

    Important as it is to get to the truth, it is equally important, if not more even more vital, to know how we get to the truth. The highest court in a land is that of the people; all power flows upwards from the people, it does not dribble downwards except in despotic systems of governance. So truth must be revealed in a process that remains honest and transparent with clear accountability.

    Its called DUE PROCESS. All civilized societies recognize that without it, there is no semblance of fairness, there cannot be any claim to have been just. Period.

    There are no 'ifs' and 'buts'.

    Judges, no matter how intelligent, educated or dedicated, are human beings and, like us, have their own biases. Absolute objectivity is an ideal, never the reality. We all understand that. Yet, we accept their judgments, even when they appear entirely flawed, largely for two reasons: Because the process appears to be procedurally sound and, if we don't, society might crumble.

    As an example, I point to the 2000 Presidential Election in the United States that put George W. Bush in the White House. Even the Supreme Court was divided over the case and half the country still thinks that the judgment was wrong on both the facts and the law. But the fact that the people accepted with good grace what they knew in their bones to be clearly erroneous tells me that we live in a society of laws, in spite of the many times when we feel in despair about it.

    This brings me to the January 29 decision of the Akal Takht (with the other Jathedars acting in concert), to ex-communicate Prof. Darshan Singh, a legendary exponent of Gurbani through kirtan and of Sikh teachings.

    Is this judgment sound? Was the trial procedurally correct? What does it say about the state of Sikh justice and Sikh people at this time? What are its implications for Sikhs and the image of Sikh the world over?

    The fact that all five Jathedars, including that of the Akal Takht, are bureaucrats who remain subservient to the political realities of Punjab and serve at the pleasure of their political bosses makes me cringe at the quality of justice available or possible.

    But these are the ground realities in India.

    Many of us who remain attached to Sikhi see that our realities in the diaspora are different from those of Sikhs in Punjab and India. There is little, if any, political interference in our lives here. But an equal place at the table in this multifaith society outside India is the priority that drives us.

    It seems to us that Sikh institutions in India, including the Akal Takht, have little or no idea of our lives and concerns and little feeling or curiosity for it.

    What is the outcome then? Whenever there is an issue with significant ramifications for Sikhs worldwide, they become caught in the maelstrom of emotion and reason. We respect the historical position of the institution of the Akal Takht but despair at its reality. The gulf between our lives and the vision of Indian institutions continue to be almost unbridgeable.

    To me, this case is clear evidence of our need to evolve our own institutions to handle our own affairs in the diaspora and not remain tied to the inadequate and frayed apron strings of the Sikh institutions in Punjab. I say this, but I am not advocating that we abandon Punjab and our 500 year old history there. Let's nurture it, encourage and help that land and its people and culture - as equal partners. We just cannot remain subservient to their parochial concerns and often politically driven agenda.

    How then is one to respond to the edicts of the Akal Takht, including this one?

    I would not obsess too long about it. In the history of mankind, it is not the first nor the last time that governing authorities have acted unwisely or capriciously.

    Can one walk away from this edict while holding on for life to the teaching and the ideals of Sikhi? Or should the response be a knee jerk affirmation of obedience to a flawed process.

    This is a decision that each of us has to make. And we collectively need to respect the right of every Sikh to his or her own judgment. But let's not remain like an ostrich with its head buried in the sand.

    I started with the British hearings on the Iraq War. In religious trials, as in Governmental policy disputes, I would like to see this kind of a model of open hearings instead of closed or secret trials in camera, questionable evidence and insufficient procedural safeguards against capricious judgments. The bias should be less on obedience and more on respect for individual rights. That's the only way religions will rule the hearts and minds of people.

    If the trial by the Akal Takht against Darshan Singh appears procedurally flawed rather than one based on sound, honestly handled evidence, how can we assume the judgment to be sound? And what does it say about the state of Sikh justice today?

    Trial in a kangaroo court certainly doesn't measure up to the hopes, expectations and the standards of the Gurus. We seem to have missed the fundamentals of Sikhi in our feudal approach to basic human rights and procedures.

    No man is perfect and neither may be Darshan Singh. Am I an acolyte of Darshan Singh? Absolutely not. But summary ex-communication, like summary execution, speaks neither of justice nor of wisdom. It seems to have been a hurried, ill-considered step, not a picture of sehaj under pressure.

    Sikhism is, when honestly seen, a liberal, forgiving and tolerant doctrine and teaching. Let's not imprison it within the narrow prisms of our own limited vision.

    This decision excommunicating Darshan Singh, based more on local politics and narrow-mindedness than fact, reminds me of what the Roman Catholic Church did to Galileo, the finest mind of his day. In the 16th century. He was forced to recant, and under duress he did so.

    Slowly but surely common sense ultimately prevailed and ... 500 years later ... the Church forgave him.

    Will Sikhs too have to wait 500 years to discover the meaning of justice, accountability and transparency?

    In the final analysis, I suspect the Akal Takht will be obeyed and heeded about as much as it is respected and trusted.



    January 31, 2010

    ijsingh99@gmail.com
     
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  3. Randip Singh

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    Re: Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision of Akal Takht

    Good post.

    AS for Iraq, my opinion is open. I think Tony Blair, as with Kosovo always tried to deal with tyrrants first with diplomacy, then sanctions and then with force. He definitely never lied, and the Blair Witch hunt brigade are a bunch of despicable people. Like him or loath him, he is/was a brilliant politician and has huge amounts of charisma.

    As for the Professor Darshan Singh thing, this is just a joke. Darshan Singh ji did nothing wrong. The SGPC should hang their head in shame and Badal should be publicly whipped at the Akal Takht.
     
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  4. Tejwant Singh

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    Re: Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision of Akal Takht

    Inder ji: Thanks again for the great essay.

    Your vision and analysis are like the one who belongs to the Jungian circle where one can see things as being part of the circle and also from the outside of it at the same time.

    You are right on spot when say,"To me, this case is clear evidence of our need to evolve our own institutions to handle our own affairs in the diaspora and not remain tied to the inadequate and frayed apron strings of the Sikh institutions in Punjab. I say this, but I am not advocating that we abandon Punjab and our 500 year old history there. Let's nurture it, encourage and help that land and its people and culture - as equal partners. We just cannot remain subservient to their parochial concerns and often politically driven agenda".

    When a baby is born,we cut the umbilical cord so that the nurturing can begin after nature has played its part. By having our institutions in diaspora based on Sikhi ideals, we would be able to pitch in actively in the affairs that affect Sikhi and as we would not be artificially knotted with the political umbilical cord of Punjab,this would be the perfect way to see this "Jungian Circle" created by the honchos who are sitting cross-legged on their high chairs having no regards for Gurmat ideals given to us by our Gurus in SGGS, our only GURU.

    I have some general questions though for my own understanding of Sikhi and they are more like " thinking aloud" thoughts rather than directed towards yourself.

    1.What does ex-communication mean according to Sikh values?

    2.Can someone explain what kind of Gurmat values it is based on which are prescribed by our Gurus in SGGS?

    3. How can one stop someone from being a Learner- a Sikh- a Seeker?
    Ex- communication also defies and shows its disregard for Gurbani, which says, " Sabh Gobind hein, Gobind bin nahin koi".

    4.How can one ex-communicate Gobind?

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  5. Raja Singh

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    Re: Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision of Akal Takht

    As per PANTH PARVANIT Sikh Rehat Maryada, TANKHAH can be imposed on 'guilty' but there is no provision like 'excommunication'
    Prof. Raja Singh
    Canada
     
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  6. jangiro

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    Re: Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision of Akal Takht

    Been hearing about the controversy surroung Professor Darshan Singh Khalsa, re Dasam Granth. Is it true that he said the following during kirtan in NY (as can be seen in the taped version that's circulating over the internet):

    “Guru Gobind Singh went to the den of a prostitute in the middle of the night. He removed his robe and sat on the bed of that prostitute who offered herself to him. Guru Gobind Singh got into dilemma that if he does not oblige her then she will create alarm and defame him but if he does develop conjugal relationship with her then the one who will be born out of that relationship will be a bharua (pimp)”.

    If the above is true, why the support for a man who defames the guru?
     
  7. Admin Singh

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    Re: Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision of Akal Takht

    Gurfateh Jangiro Jios and fellow SPN'ers,

    This is a misconception created by deceptive editing of the Rochester video discourse by Prof. Darshan by 'Sardar' GS Lambah, advocate and his bunch of crooks...

    It is really shocking that we or Akal Takht's so called Jathedars could not see what is a deceptively edited video or a full un-edited video... have we become so blinded/biased in our approach that we can not even open eyes to what is being presented to us...

    If we would take care to view/hear the full video, you would realize that after stating the above statement, Prof. Darshan went on to state that Guru Gobind Singh could not have done this under any circumstances but he said (Prof Darshan): He was merely explaining what, infact, is written in Triyah Charitars 19-20-21-22, these clearly state that all the above was done by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, this view has been ratified by various historians including Dr. Jodh Singh ji and even many pro-Dasam Granth scholars hold this view that this is real life account of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Would you believe that all this has been mentioned in DG? Now, if someone tries to explain DG in plain simple Punjabi, then he becomes a traitor... Go ahead, who is stopping us from verifying this from directly reading and understanding, what is written in DG.

    Let us not be fooled/blinded by what just about anybody shows/feeds you. The need of the hour is to make a little effort of our own to educate ourselves and study and contemplate what are we being presented to us to bow down. Time to get out of herd mentality (Paed Chaall)... Time to Wake up Khalsa Ji. :welcome:

    For further study on this issue, please do care to read this topic: Controversy Surrounding Prof Darshan Singh Ji

    Gurfateh!

    :happysingh:
     
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  8. jangiro

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    Re: Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision of Akal Takht

    Aman, thank you for responding to my post. Have yet to see the whole video, thus my question was it true. I guess you have answered that part as well and once again, I thank you.

    Herd mentality? Interesting point. Problem with us Sikhs, we become to over zealous and start preaching, without knowing what or what not the other individual knows (I'm sure we are all capable individuals when it come to ascertaining historical facts on our own).

    Once again thanks bud.
     
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  9. Admin Singh

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    Re: Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision of Akal Takht

    Herd Mentality... Paed Chaall!! :)

    Here is the un-cut version of the Rochester Discourse Video: http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/116018-post33.html

    Gurfateh

    PS: My apologies for sounding like preaching but, unfortunately, Sikhs off-late have shown their inability to comprehend things in general... :}{}{}:
     
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  10. spnadmin

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    Re: Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision of Akal Takht

    One reason why this is hard to understand comes from the fact that the Jathedars and their associates did a quick switch regarding 4 Charittars mid stream in November and December.

    This is hard to explain and it was very subtle and easy to miss.

    Initially the jathedars, and associates like Mr. Lamba were stating that without a doubt the entire DG was written by Dasam Pita, and yes, the Charittars were about the life of Dasam Pita, to include the tales about his shoes left under a bed, etc. I won't go into detail.

    Next Dr. Jodh Singh proclaimed that he never translated the 4 charittars with incriminating verses to say that these were about Dasam Pita.

    The next episode was that Professor Darshan Singh gave a lecture in which he gave a full account of his concerns regarding the Charritars- the videotaped lecture from Rochester, NY. However, this was the tape that tape was edited so that it was made to look as if it was Professor Darshan Singh who was making incriminating statements about Dasam Pita.

    Then Dr. Jodh Singh accused Professor of misquoting him.

    When the edited tape was used as evidence, the jathedars now had two advantages. They had "caught the Professor on tape" so to speak. Of course this was pure deceit. Moreover, they now could back gracefully out of their earlier position regarding the Charritars in which Dasam Pita was a man of loose morals, thanks to Dr. Jodh Singh. At the same time they could accuse the Professor of blasphemy. Very clever.

    If you did not follow each press release in excruciating detail, this baiting of the Professor was easy to miss. The bottom line is that none of this really matters. A fraudulent tape was used to convict him.
     
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  11. jangiro

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    Re: Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision of Akal Takht

    Thanks Aman for the link (nah, you were not preaching bro :whisling:). Also thank you Narayanjot for bringing me upto speed of the whole affair re the professor.

    We should band together and show him our support people.
     
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  12. spnadmin

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    Re: Secret Trial = Kangaroo Court = Tainted Decision of Akal Takht

    The same article has been posted in this thread 3 times. If posted twice it can be a simple oversight. Leniency is called for. But 3 times it becomes spam. I have deleted the last instance. Please discuss the article. Thanks.
     

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