Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.
Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Admin Singh, Nov 10, 2011.
Thoughts shared from an email by an anonymous SPN'er...
The origins of the Sikh Regiment in India are from the British Indian Army,I guess after independence they had to stay with India.Also the British Army wants to promote diversity within the Army, by separating any group into a separate regiment twould not really be in line with their promotion of equality to all British residents.
dont they have scots irish welsh guards regiments etc ?? ??? Gurkhas ??/
Scarlet Pimpernel</SPAN> and Gyani Jarnail Singh you need to understand the historical background as to why there is no Sikh Regiment in the British Army and there are Gurkhas from 1947 onwards.</SPAN>
While the Indians were seeking Independence, Nepal, from where majority of the Gurkha soldiers came, was not agitating. While dividing the army between India and Pakistan, the British sought the willingness of the Nepal King to let Nepali Gurkhas serve under British flag. A poor country agreed, because their salaries and pensions would bring British Pounds.
On the contrary during the Second World War the feeling of Indian troops and in particular the Sikhs, who were a major part of the Indian National Army (INA) lead by Subash Chander Bose, was different. In fact the British began to look at all Sikhs in the then army with suspicion after their defection to the Japanese and formation of INA. My father was in the Army then and he mentioned this to me. So how could the English trust the Sikh soldiers and keep a Sikh Regiment in the same way they opted for the Gurkhas? More over Gurkha soldiers were not part of the INA because majority of them came from Nepal and very few from Dehra Dun and Dharmshala areas of India.
The British could have formed a Sikh Regiment later on but they didn’t feel the need because the Empire was winding down and they were down-sizing the armed forces anyway.
But fact remains that the Sikhs have always served with full devotion to which ever flag they opted to serve. While my direct ancestor fought against the English during the Anglo-Sikh wars of 1843 and 1849, his son (that is my great grandfather) served them in 1857, Second Afghan War and the Second Burma War as a gunner. Then his eldest son (elder brother of my grandfather) served with distinction during the First World War. My father was in the Second World War. And my younger brother and me have served the Indian flag, I think, with distinction. Therefore wherever the devout Sikhs are in the world they will always complement their new motherland.
Scarlet Pimpernel and Gyani Jarnail Singh you need to understand the historical background as to why there is no Sikh Regiment in the British Army and there have been Gurkhas from 1947 onwards.
While the Indians were seeking Independence, Nepal, from where majority of the Gurkha soldiers came, was not agitating. While dividing the army between India and Pakistan, the British sought the willingness of the Nepal King to let Nepali Gurkhas serve under British flag. He agreed because they would bring British Pounds.
On the contrary during the Second World War the feeling of Indian troops and in particular the Sikhs, who were a major part of the Indian National Army (INA) lead by Subash Chander Bose, was different.
In fact the British began to look at all Sikhs in the then army with suspicion after the POWs defection to the Japanese and formed INA. My father was in the Army then and he mentioned this to me. So how could the English trust the Sikh soldiers and keep a Sikh Regiment in the same way they opted for the Gurkhas?
More over Gurkha soldiers were not part of the INA because majority of them came from Nepal and very few from Dehra Dun and Dharmshala areas of India.
The British could have formed a Sikh Regiment later on but they didn’t feel the need. Since the Empire was winding down they were down-sizing the armed forces.
But fact remains that the Sikhs have always served with full devotion to which ever flag they opted to serve. I can quote an example. While my direct ancestor fought against the English during the Anglo-Sikh wars of 1843 and 1849, his son (that is my great grandfather) served them in 1857, Second Afghan War and the Second Burma War, as a gunner. Then his eldest son (elder brother of my grandfather) served with distinction during the First World War. My father was in the Second World War. And my younger brother and me have served the Indian flag, I think, with distinction. Therefore wherever the devout Sikhs are in the world they will always complement their new motherland.
Veer Ji What great stock you are derived from ,your family has such a good record in soldiering you must walk an inch taller just from your heritage.
World War II was a righteous war ,I'm very glad that the vast majority of the Sikhs were on the right side. Their contribution is their legacy.
Grateful for the complements Scarlet Pimpernel
I am glad there is no Sikh regiment in the UK. Why there should be? Sikhs were used by the Brits for their own advantage and thousands of them sacrificed their lives for the Brits in both World War I & II, opium wars in China and wherever else they were needed in the front-lines.
And what did they get in return from the Brits? A Kohinoor diamond decorating the Crown of late Queen Victoria which was stolen from the Sikhs.
Sikhs are only subjects to their own only Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, not to any Monarch which is best fit for Madam Tussaud's. Until and unless, Monarchy is eliminated and Kohinoor returned to its rightful owners-Harmander Sahib, no Sikh should serve in the British armed forces.
The Brits do not deserve the bravery,dedication and loyalty of the Sikhs.
Dear Tejwant Singh ji that is not a good approach. Believing in Guru Granth Sahib is a spiritual and personal subject for a devout Sikh if Waheguru so desires depending upon ones Karma.
Serving in the armed forces or any government or other jobs out side India is a matter of livelihood. If we go by your logic then no Sikh should be doing any job even with the Indian Government or any Indian company or organization after the way we have been treated in the past.
Going a step further, no Sikh belonging to the Malwa region of Punjab, where the Phulkian Dynasty ruled during the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, deserves to be called a true Sikh. Why? Sikhs and their rulers from that part of Punjab not only remained neutral during the Anglo-Sikh wars but allowed the English to use their territory for war against that part of Punjab where Shri Harmandir Sahib rests. Perhaps a read of ‘The Last Sunset –The rise and fall of the Lahore Durbar’ by Captain Amarinder Singh would put the subject in the right perspective.
For that matter no one’s hands in India are clean. Every community and region has the blood of the others upon their hands. How did the English start from a small trading post of Calcutta and reach Delhi and the borders of Punjab? The Purbia soldiers –Rajputs, Brahmins and Muslims- from Bengal, Bihar, UP and other parts of India fought for the English against their own religious brethren.
If we go by your logic, then one can point a finger even at Guru Gobind Singh ji for helping Muazam, the son of Aurangzeb, to become the next Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah. Guru Maharaj had stipulated two conditions for the support. Unfortunately, Bahadur Shah did not fulfill them after he sat on the throne. When they parted company at Nanded (Hazoor Sahib), Guru Gobind Singh ji told him that he would not rule for very long. The Mughal emperor was killed treacherously in a merciless manner by his own sons in Lahore eight years later. And what all happened to members of the Mughal Dynasty after that is something which had never happened before when people like Akbar the Great were favorably inclined towards the House of Guru Nanak.
If we go by your logic, then no true Sikh should step out of his home.
I must say I love your name. Having said that, I am sorry to say that you have missed the whole point of my post and you are trying to justify something that has nothing to do with my post or with the subject being discussed. I would like you to read my post again and the history of Sikhs who were sent to wars in the front lines by the Brits. You, yourself said that your own family fought for and against the Brits which shows your own family had conflicts about it. You are talking about the part of the history that has nothing to do with what I said nor is it related to this thread.
Allow me to share something with you. I have no idea if you have heard about Hardit Singh Malik who was the first RAF pilot with a turban but initially he was refused by the Brits which made him join the French Ambulance service. After some arm twisting by his British friend, he was eventually accepted and fought very bravely as the history indicates. You can Google his name and there are also a couple of articles about him in this forum. He was my Grandad's first cousin.
The fact of the matter is that Sikhs were used by the Brits and the point of my post is just that. Unfortunately, your post has nothing to do with the subject being discussed in the thread.
You may start another thread with your viewpoint if you like.
Thanks & regards
Veer Ji I thought this post was started by anonymous and your 'fact of the matter' contradicts the title of the thread?
I don't agree with 'used' it was a volunteer army that was raised and far more British died than their Sikh counterparts.
Doing ones duty has to be honourable ,what honour would there have been in us hiding from the Nazi's?
First, I was talking about my post and the point I was making. It has nothing to do with who started the thread. You missed that again.
Secondly, who reigned India at that time if not the British? So, if you read the history you would understand that it was not voluntary but coercion in a British manner.
Dear Tejwant Singh ji, thank you for loving my name.
I have spent all my life in the IAF as a fighter pilot and I am aware of Sardar Hardit Singh Malik’s exploits during the First World War. The British did not exploit him. He joined on his own accord as a brave and adventurous man. His photographs and a write up about him is enshrined in the Air Force Museum at AF Station Palam. I am proud of him as a brave Sikh flyer of good reputation.
Scarlet Pimpernel is right. All soldiers took up military service with the British in both the great wars on their own accord as volunteers for a livelihood. Exploitation would be if someone was forcibly enrolled into the Armed Forces, made to work for some time and shunted out without any benefits.
My family was part of the Sikh Empire and my ancestors and many from our village fought as a matter of our duty towards our Maharaja. We lost 18 young men from our village in those wars. For number of years there were no weddings in our village as I have heard from my ancestors. But that was all part of the political and historical past in the same way as the Patiala Kingdom sided with the British rather than their Sikh brethren. My ancestors carried on with Military service with the British as a source of livelihood though they were greatly honored when large tracks of lands were allotted on their retirement. Lyalpur and Montgomery districts, where majority of the ex soldiers were settled, became the granaries of India.
Don’t mix a Sikh’s religious devotion with his profession or livelihood. Majority of the common soldiers are farmers. There is no Regiment for people who hail from business background. A farmer’s life is tough. One or two brothers manage the family lands while others take up military service. That has been the pattern in the rural area.
You living in America can propagate toppling of the Monarchy. Would a Sikh living in UK be right in saying that? No. The British people love their Queen.
Therefore whichever country the Sikhs have now migrated to they would be right if they take up respectful military service as a source of livelihood.
As far as the Kohinoor is concerned, it came to Maharaja Ranjit Singh as a bargain for pulling out Shah Shuja, the dethroned Afghan King, from the dungeon where his own cousin had locked him up in Srinagar. And the Kohinoor came to the Afghans because Ahmad Shah Abdali swindled it from the Persian treasury along with much gold and precious stone when Nadir Shah was assassinated. And Nadir Shah, the Persian King, took the Kohinoor from Mohammad Shah Rangila the debauch Mughal emperor, by tricking him to exchange turbans in 1739. And the British took it from Maharaja Daleep Singh as a spoil of war. Winners of wars have always been keepers of the loot as a norm in the past. Therefore who has more right upon the Kohinoor diamond? Moreover, Maharaja Ranjit Singh had wished that the Kohinoor diamond be sent to Jagannath Puri temple after his death.
With warm regards,
Group Captain (retired)
Tejwant Singh ji,
Thanks for the response. Please do not distort my words. I never said Hardit Singh Malik was forced. If you had read my post carefully, all I said was that he wanted to be in the RAF but was rejected which made him join the French Ambulance as a driver because he did not want to give away his Sikhi. All those soldiers were not in the UK but under British reign in India and gave their lives. They were taught to tie the turbans the way the Brits wanted. Of course any one would jump for a job when there are none and repression is rampant. We all know the history of India then. British saw the asset in the Sikhs and they took advantage of that asset of bravery and justice for all. It was as voluntary in the same tricky manner as the conversions by the Christian missionaries all around the world.
Secondly, you have jumped to another conclusion without giving the benefit of the doubt. A Sikhi trait is the latter one. FYI, I was raised in the UK and hold dual citizenship and I know many who want Monarchy to go away. It is there as the Neon lights of Las Vegas, to attract the tourists. Many of my British mates of all hues agree with me.
Having said that,disagreements are parts of the learning process, let's agree to disagree:blueturban:.
Group Captain ji is a very senior rank, just under Air Commodore and above Wing Commander (in the British Army it would be Colonel ) It is a honour sir to share my families history with you.
Poverty is very hard ,my Baba had to provide for his three brothers and one sister,the whole family had only a few fields between them.My Baba's younger brother had four daughters whose marriages were paid by those army wages, later his older brother died on arriving in the UK.My Baba had four children himself but applied for his widowed sister in law and her children to come to the UK first, before applying for his own family ,he intended that they should not feel left out or left behind by not having their father.
Duty comes in all shapes and sizes what it is most important is that we don't shy away from doing it.
For Group Captain (Ret)Tejwant Singh Ji I vow to thee my country ,Katherine Jenkins - YouTube
I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
I heard my country calling, away across the sea,
Across the waste of waters she calls and calls to me.
Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,
And round her feet are lying the dying and the dead.
I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns,
I haste to thee my mother, a son among thy sons.
And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace
Sikhs contributed a lot to the war effort
sikh WW - YouTube
Remembrance - The Sikh Story - Part 1 - World War 1 and 2 - YouTube
No one, especially the British are denying their heroism nor bravery.NOWADAYS they are not.
In answer to the question why not a Sikg regiment ? Its simple. I am BRITISH and if I were to fight, it would be as an equal with my fellow citizens. WE do NOT have Catholic regiments in the UK !!! We do not have Sunni Muslim regiments nor Sharia...we dont have a token Buddist regiment...we dont have Lutherian regiments nor a Jewish regiment !!!!!!!.. and to Shinto regiments ????? WELL lets have an Athiest regiment and a hedonist regiment !!!!
WHY SHOULD WE !!!!!
We are citizens (well subjects here) of one nation. We serve and protect ALL !!!! If you have problems then I suggest you contact http://www.poppy.org.uk/ and ask them if they care about the brave Sikhs ??? and what they have to say
We wont see colour nor religion BUT JUST THE BRAVE THAT DIED FOR OUR FREEDOMS !!!!!
and for "I have spent all my life in the IAF as a fighter pilot Tejwant Singh
Group Captain (retired)"
TRY TO RESPECT PUJI....one of our bravest... DID YOU EVER SEE COMBAT ????
Remembrance - The Sikh Story - Part 2 - World War I and II - YouTube
Indian nationals were commissioned into the Royal Flying Corps for the first time during WWI.
The "colour bar" or nationality disqualification was removed in the RAF in 1939; prior to this, signing up was limited to "British subjects of pure European descent".
An air ministry confidential order to commanding officers in June 1944 stated: "Any instance of discrimination on grounds of colour should be immediately and severely checked."
In 1999, Group Captain André Dezonie OBE became the first black officer ever to command an RAF base when he took control of RAF Wittering.
Currently 865 RAF personnel come from an ethnic minority background - 2.2% of the total, the MoD says.