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Bogey Men

Tejwant Singh

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Jun 30, 2004
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Henderson, NV.
This week Annika Sorenstam, the most successful woman golf player of today, started on the first tee at the Bank of America Colonial (dubbed as Bank of Annika Colonial by her fellow players who happen to be all men). A first for her, she also is the first woman to play in a PGA tour - the exclusive boys club. Three months ago, Mejindarpal Kaur along with other sisters in arms tried to do seva in the Harmandir sahib along side men sevadars - their brethren in arms. They were the first women who challenged that, which is also perceived as an exclusive boys club.

The former went peacefully. However, lots of bushy eyebrows were seen racing north on the boys' foreheads.

The latter was chaos - pushing, shoving, and jostling - as if an invasion of an incurable disease had fallen on the boys.

PGA is the golfing boys club as LPGA is the girls', but there is no law that forbids either to participate in both tours. Personally, I would enjoy seeing guys in real skirts (not in kilts) competing in LPGA, the sign that they are not men enough to qualify in the boys club.

Harmandir Sahib the most sacred shrine of Sikhi that has four doors so all mankind from any gender, hue, creed, or faith can visit it hence perform the necessary seva - sign of equality. As a matter of fact, it is the first religious place in the world where all have to climb down rather than up to visit it - sign of humility, one of the basic tenets of Sikhi.

Vijay Singh the third ranked PGA player positioned himself smack dab in the crosshairs of the debate over Annika Sorenstam playing the PGA Tour when, after winning the Wachovia Championship, he told Associated Press that he hoped she would miss the cut. He also said he would withdraw if paired with her at the Bank of America Colonial. He ended up withdrawing.

My insecure brethren in arms say that Ishnaan seva in the Darbar Sahib, after the Guru Granth Sahib is removed for Sukhasan, is done by men in their keccheras, which women will not be expected to do.

Since when did the kecchera, one of the five Kakaars and a symbol of chastity and restraint, become the symbol of intimidation? Why cannot men wear more discreet vestments to do seva? Is it against Gurmat to do so?

Nick Price, last year's champion at Colonial showed his unhappiness about Anna being invited to play the colonial.

Brethren in arms also showed unhappiness, anger and even hatred towards Sisters in arms that were there to serve Ik Ong Kaar as is their right in this quest for fair play.

The boys of PGA felt Sorenstam's presence as an invasion to the playground that they have owned since the start of PGA about 100 some years ago.

Brethren in arms, who currently do the seva, have come to feel that it is their birthright handed down to them from their forefathers. It is a shame that they have forgotten the basic essence of Sikhi, that one is not born a Sikh but becomes one. They also forget that as far back as the fifteenth century Guru Nanak based Sikhi on equality.

The fact that women are not physically as strong as men makes the Boys of PGA feel more insecure and fearful. What if women like Annika do better than them at the tour? Then they will be left behind, which is shameful and unacceptable. They do not want to be second fiddles.

Sisters in arms may not be physically as strong as men, however, their Sikhi Spirit is inferior to none. They just want the equal opportunity to do seva as prescribed by Guru Granth Sahib ji. Nothing more. Nothing less.

You go, Sikh women!

Vaheguru is walking alongside you on this Fair Way of equality. Unfortunately, some of Vaheguru's seekers - my brethren in arms - are dragging their feet by not following Vaheguru…not yet.

In the end Gurmat will prevail with a 'hole in one' whereas Manmat will keep on making 'bogies'.

Tejwant Singh
 

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