THE BRITISH & THE SIKHS by Bharat Vir Singh Ji Those who look at historical Anglo-Sikh relations,seem to forget that when the British maliciously broke the Anglo-Sikh Treaty with Maharaja Ranjit Singh,it resulted in two Anglo-Sikh Wars.After the Maharaja died,the British took over the Sikh Empire with the connivance of the treacherous Dhyan Singh Dogra,and annexed all Sikh territory into the British empire.They even coerced the child-ruler Dalip Singh to handover the famous Kohinoor diamond. Thereafter Sikhs were a ‘conquered’people,and with first-hand experience of the valour and undying spirit of the Khalsa warriors,the British enlisted the vanquished Sikhs into their own forces in both the World Wars and right up till today. The fiercely proud originality of the ‘Sikhi saroop’ was toned down to suit the ‘gentlemanly’ look of the British.A prescribed format was applied to the majestic Khalsa turban,and beards were tamed by pressing,tying-up or threading to look tidy,polite and effeminate instead of the manly lion’s-mane flowing beard of the sovereign Khalsa warrior.Sikhs were no longer a sovereign nation,they were merely mercenaries hired to fight and die for a conquering force,the British Crown.As a legacy of the British domination,even today the free-flowing,full open beard of the ‘sabat-soorat’ Khalsa is viewed with some apprehension and suspicion by the white British.In contrast,a pressed,tied-up beard and neck-tie is readily accepted as “British”. As soon as we were conquered we began calling the white ruler as “Sahib”. We forgot that Khalsa has only ONE Sahib, and that is Sahib Guru Gobind Singh Jee. That old pattern of subjugation is still covertly applied by certain British institutions like the civil service,judiciary,army,police,etc. and their Sikh employees serve their Angrez sahibs with the colonial slave mentality,albeit covertly.Our servile older generation must relinquish false notions of ‘Anglo-Sikh’ relations. Our new Sikh generations,born and brought up as free citizens of a free country will hopefully establish a newer,more genuine and independent identity of a ‘British Sikh’,rejecting the old prescription and challenging the white British establishment from a position of strength,not servility.