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Why am I not proud to be a Sikh?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Admin Singh, May 13, 2010.

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  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    by Harman Singh Sadana

    Being born in a Sikh family and having studied at a Sikh school in Punjab, I usually came across a lot of religious stuff including religious festivals, ceremonies, processions, speeches etc. I still remember that during my school days our school authorities usually called upon religious personalities for speeches in order to inculcate the spirit of Sikhi within us and they often said that “You are the future of Sikhi”.

    But as I grew up living those hollow rituals, I was also exposed to other cultures through media and my peer group. As an adolescent, I wasn’t a bad Sikh at all as I never took alcohol, frequently went to the Gurudwaras, concentrated on my studies and stayed away from complications. I was pretty happy and satisfied with my life until one day an elderly gentleman walked up to me in the gurudwara and pointing towards my trimmed beard he said (in Punjabi), “O Puttar!! Chann warga mukhraa hai tera, par eh daag kyun laa liya hai?” (Son! Your face is like the moon but why have you put a black spot over it?). That actually made me think. This funny and sugarcoated compliment was actually the first step towards my life being complicated by religion.

    I actually started feeling guilty and stopped trimming my beard. My interest in religious activities also increased but I never realized that I was getting distracted from my studies and I ended up having an average academic record. After I stopped trimming my beard, I was expected to read more and more bani which I did and after sometime I was expected to get baptized. After getting baptized, I was expected to propagate my religion to the non-Sikh world and bring the so-called patitis back on track. But when I realized that it wasn’t as easy as it sounds, I was expected to do it with all the resources at my disposal and even be ready to die for it.

    Today, when I look back, these are the same religious leaders who used to call me the future of Sikhi when I was a child now that I am fully baptized Sikh like them with 5 k’s intact; it does not matter to them whether I live or I die. But, I don’t blame the poor religious leaders for it as they only serve public figures and people in power and not the Sikh community. I’m useless to them as I’m neither a celebrity, bureaucrat, politician, business tycoon or a rich NRI.

    Is it a matter of pride to be a part of the community having the highest female foeticide rate and one of the lowest female literacy rates? Does projecting a group of some anti-national megalomaniacs as heroes cover all the garbage and crooked behavior that happened inside the Golden temple complex during 1984? Has this gone so much out of hand that we cannot even question it? The places that we consider to be sanctum sanctorum, have they become the offices of communist gentlemen having 5 k’s? Have we turned a blind eye towards our spirit of Khalsa and is our religion becoming the mistress of power? Will a communist utopia prove to be a stepping stone towards a perfect world or be a perfect world itself? Is our community living in a false paradise of being a global community amidst some serious identity crisis, and that too at the threshold of destruction?
    Many more questions come to my mind, but I’m afraid that they’re not being answered by Sikhi and Sikhi alone. Many people love to discuss such issues and in the end, just rationalize, play safe and leave things the way they are and let them propagate.

    Now being a rational and educated individual, when I think about life in a modern, civilized and scientific society without any spiritual and metaphysical complications, I can simply say that, “NO! I’m not proud to be a Sikh” because I just feel like any other normal human being who is rational and doesn’t have any false perceptions about himself based on a history often distorted and modified for the fulfillment of some selfish ends and means, and that history took place a long time ago.

    A message from the author:

    Please understand that I have not written this article to hurt anyone’s sentiments. I have just written this in order to zero-down the factors (through the participation of cybersangat) which are actually holding us back from being the No.1 community in the world. The truth is really bitter but we have to speak it.

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa,

    Waheguru ji ki Fateh!!
     

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  3. eropa234

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    He should have been a rationale individual to begin with. Reason and rationale is a requirement to understand any thing that requires learning and for a Sikh (student). No one should be proud or ashamed of who they are only what they do.

    I was at a langar following Akahand Paath there was a child maybe 10 or 11 years old who was serving Daal from a pot and was enjoying serving this was probably his first time. I observed a gentleman got up almost shouting at the child because he touched his Karchi to a pot that he was pouring Daal in. He took away a the karchi and pot of daal from him claiming it has become Jutha.

    The Kid had a terrifying look at his face he went to his mother and stayed there for a long time. I regret not talking to the child or the person who took away the pot from him. This child now should be 17 or 18 now and to this day I wonder how he feels today about this incident. I hope not like this individual. Experiences of this type can change the course of life of an individual. Thanks for the article.:disgustedmunda:
     
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  4. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Harman Singh ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    I admire your Sikhi fervour and you anger at the honchos of the chairs of power who wear five kakaars not as the wheels to this Gurmat train of pragmatism but as ornaments of arrogance, hypocricy and red light district vestments to attract the Johns of the feather.

    Most of all I admire your honesty of our shameless way of living where young female fetuses are aborted as if the men were born of the eunuchs- the hijras.

    Thanks for the shake up

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  5. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    Harman Singh ji,

    I admire your courage and honesty. I can see that you are trying to practice the great virtue of truthful living. However, as a rational and educated person, I think you are making one vital mistake.

    You have confused Sikhi with the Sikhs. There is a vital difference. Sikhi, as taught to us by our Gurus and through are Eternal Guru is perfect. It has no flaws. The same cannot be said of us Sikhs. We are a troublesome lot. We are sometimes violent. We sometimes do very bad things, like killing our daughters, practicing castism and being stubborn, narrow-minded jerks. Many of us try to control our children - even after they are grown - in everything from demanding they follow a particular career to insisting on whom they must marry. Sometimes we cannot even be trusted with our Articles of Faith. We are often hypocritical, often ethnocentric, we are loaded down with hateful prejudices. As individuals, we are weighed down by greed, lust, egotism, attachment, and anger. In short, we suffer from all the ills of humanity.

    Now, with all our faults as individuals and as a community, can you imagine what a dreadful mess we'd be without our Gurus, without our Sikhi to guide us?

    I like you. I like your spirit, your courage and your honesty. We need Sikhs like you who attempt to rise above our lowest common denominator. We need Sikhs who behave in a way we can be proud of.

    Don't play it safe! If you cannot be proud of other Sikhs, live as the kind of Sikh you can be proud of. If you do that and I do that and we encourage our friends and comrades to do this, just imagine the transformation we would see amongst our own people!

    !!
     
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    #4 Mai Harinder Kaur, May 13, 2010
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
  6. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    I think there is a strong overtone of irony in what Harmann ji has written. This is his way of inviting all of us to find our way out of a rut that is continually disturbing. But where it is too easy to become foul, like plant matter in a stagnant pond. He is attached to the message of Guru Nanak. If not his sense of painful awareness would not be so sharp. Harmann ji you are one of those people that make me take account of my personal shortcomings.
     
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  7. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    I have a slightly different story..same kid and the older grey beards..

    This kid and his father were sitting next to me in a Gurdwara langgar...the kid called out to the passing daal sevadaar for more daal..the sevadaar replied..puttar !! First FINISH what you have on your thali...its not good to leave jhooth (leftovers)....the Clean shaven Daddy immdiately jumped up and shouted...who the hell are you to tell all this to my son ? I am Doctor so and so and i paid so much for a life membership of this Gurdwara..even IF my son leaves behind an entire Pail of Jhooth (leftover) its NONE of yoru bloody business..your job is to distribute daal and do that or get out !!
    ......................... The Doctor stood for elections won a place in the management and made sure that sevadaar was stopped from doing seva etc...his son the kid is now pardhaan...
     
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  8. eropa234

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    This is a really sad situation it reflects our inability to elect people who are worthy of positions in our places of learning. In this case the Sevadar is the wise one, a young Sevadar probably would have given him more daal, but the father is actually a arrogant child, a very different situation when a child is trying to learn to be a Sevadar and if he continues to learn one day we could elect him to be our president so that he can provide the best service for us.
     
  9. ugsbay

    ugsbay United Kingdom
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    SSA,
    A honest eye opening post. Gyani Jarnail Singh Ji what that so called Doctor forgot completely is that he was sitting in a Langar, the place where we are all supposed to be equal yet he insisted on telling the Sewadar his Status & position, what a ignorant man, Top marks for the Sewadar for telling the child politely some order and common sense. This is what the problem is nowadays, it seems money and status takes over from common sense. It is plain and simple Ludricous.
     
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  10. roopsidhu

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    SSA,
    There are lot of Harman singhs in the same state of mind but this Harman has the currage, the intelect, the words, the pain and the effective way to express his feelings.
    All of us have to think that how we are going to stop lot of Harmans from feeling hurt the way this one feels.
    Best post Harman ji, keep it up, you might has realised that most of real sikhs are standing beside you.
    Roopsidhu
     
  11. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    So mr.Harmann is trying to say that people which are backward,irrational ,unscientific can only be proud of sikh?

    Anyway Mr. Harmann do you have courage to write an article that you are also not proud to be an Indian? Do you apply same logic of proud to be an Indian which you apply to be Proud to be sikh
     
  12. charanjit7815

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    by narrating such stories we are giving examples of sikh persons only not about sikhi or why one should proud or ashame of being of sikh
     
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