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Humility, Equality, Human-rights. What Donald Trump Could Learn From Sikh Prayer

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Aman Singh, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Aman Singh

    Aman Singh
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    Admin SPNer

    Jun 1, 2004
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    When a lawyer of Sikh-Indian descent offered a Sikh invocation at the Republican National Convention in the United States, the prayer resonated in India, the cradle of the Sikh faith.

    As is the custom, Harmeet Dhillon covered her head with a silk navy-and-gold scarf when she sang “Tu Thakar Tum Peh Ardaas, Jio Pind Sabh Teri Raas.”

    It’s a hymn written by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan, which is said as a prelude to daily Sikh prayers called Ardaas.


    The verse is compiled in the Guru Granth Sahib, the primary Sikh scripture, and denotes total surrender and humility. Above all, it delineates the world as 'one family', with no distinctions whatsoever.

    “Tum Maat Pita, Hum Barik Tere,” writes Guru Arjan in this invocation to God, which when translated means “we are all your children.”

    Sikh Gurus opposed discrimination in any shape or form, be it on the basis of Hindu castes, religions, race or gender.

    My Sikh friends flooded Facebook and Twitter news-feeds instantly in euphoria, posting online videos and news reports about Dhillon’s Ardaas at the Convention, where Donald Trump was named as the Republican candidate for the US presidency.

    There’s absolutely no harm in singing Sikh prayers anywhere with traditional respect, which was very much evident from the footage.

    Anyone, irrespective of his or her birth, background or orientation, is welcome to gurdwaras, the Sikh houses of worship and learning. Essentially, that is the principle of equality, which the faith espouses.

    The first word in the Guru Granth Sahib is a numeral - and that is 1 written in Gurmukhi. This number is followed by Onkar - a term that dates back to Vedic ages. But when Guru Nanak placed one before it, he demolished all inequities in what became the fundamental creed of the Sikh faith.

    It was not the kind of statement that ancient and contemporary monotheists, and present-day political groups spreading their bets on diverse vote-blocs, usually pronounce.

    Rather, this construction sought to break the walls even among monotheists - the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims - the rich and the poor, upper and lower Hindu castes, men and women, let alone polytheists.

    The entire thrust lay on building networks and not creating pyramids where one set of people are perched on the top, another in the middle, and yet another at the bottom.

    Beyond theology, it was also a political philosophy for governance that must ensure no human values and rights are violated.

    Sikh history illustrates the need to preserve human rights, through intellectual awakening, talks, or, if all other means fail - by militarily intervention.

    It’s unclear to me what broader message Dhillon wanted to send when she picked a verse from a philosophy that’s uncompromisingly equality-oriented for a man the Washington Post described as “a unique threat to American democracy”, never mind the rest of the world.

    “Donald J Trump, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome,” the Post said in an editorial.


    “He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions.

    "Mr Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together.

    "His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew,” it continued.

    In November last year, he made an outrageous claim that thousands of New Jersey Muslims had celebrated the 9/11 attacks.

    Later, he called for a “total and complete shutdown” of America’s borders to Muslims in comments that prompted Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley to tweet “@realdonaldtrump removes all doubt: he is running for President as a fascist demagogue.”

    Trump then came out with an immigration plan to deport 11 million undocumented Hispanics from America.

    Worse, he vowed to build a wall along the Mexican borders if elected president of the world’s most powerful nation.

    In January, a turban-wearing Sikh protester was ejected from a Trump rally because he carried a banner reading “Stop Hate”.

    While Arish Singh was thrown out of the public meeting in Iowa, Trump was reported to have said: "He wasn’t wearing one of those hats was he? And he never will, and that’s okay - because we got to do something folks, because it’s not working.”

    There is a question about just how receptive Trump is to the notion of equality. From what he has said so far, it’s clear he’s averse to it. He believes in building walls and nourishing strong biases.

    Thus, I wonder whether the Sikh prayer Dhillon said at his nomination will change the perception that he has built among a cross-section of Americans and non-Americans.

    Or, will Trump himself take this unifying and spiritual command - high on symbolism - seriously enough and work to transform that perception?

    I don’t think he will, but he should.
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  3. JourneyOflife

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    Writer SPNer

    Apr 8, 2015
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    Very sad to see this article on here. Especially this part:

    When will SPN broadcast an article about lying crooked Hillary, who's track record proves she cares more about her own secrets than the secrets of America, that she will leave Americans to die in the middle east and then lie about it, and now recently that she will hijack an entire political convention to further her own political career? Where is the article on SPN lambasting her and her associates for wanting to attack Sanders' Jewish faith to drive down his favorability in the eyes of the American public- is that in line with Sikhi? No? Then let's see an article on what crooked Hillary could learn from the Sikh faith.

    Trump may not be perfect, but his democratic counterpart has proven herself to be an existential threat to the very pillars of the American republic. If clinton wins this election, it will be a watershed moment in american history, because it will send a message to politicians everywhere that they can engage in backroom deals which makes them multiple fortunes, they can compromise American security, watch people die and do nothing about it, rig the entire election process and then get away with it all if they lie well enough and have the media behind them.

    Sikhs need to stop pandering to democrats just because they are the supposed "left wing" party and kissing up to american liberalism. Our people and our leaders need to have enough pride and courage in their own ideals to not overlook someone's disgusting behavior and vote for them just because they have one set of genitalia over another (and let's be honest, when she isn't riding the coattails of her husband, clinton can only invoke her gender to win over the american public), all in order to appear mainstream and as "that one cool religion". How pathetic that we have stooped to such a low level, where someone's genitalia is enough to win over our community despite their treacherous and disgusting track record of greed, manipulation, self-interest and undermining of American democracy.
  4. Original

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    Jan 10, 2011
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    Gentlemen - both views are justified within which they have been made. Admin Singh's religious relativism and JourneyOflife's critique thereof, albeit, political can be said to have some important aspects about them. But what of its religious connotations as regards Ms Dhillon and the Ardas at the Republican's Convention? Definitely beyond calculation for Sikhi in terms of its pervasiveness and pretty much in line with Darwinian's theory of evolution.

    What does that mean ?

    Well, the theory that in a given population of self-reproducing organisms [humans] there will be variations in the genetic material and upbringing of the individuals. These variations will mean that some individuals are better equipped than others to draw the right conclusions about the world around them to trigger flourishing and fulfilment of their potential to the max. These individuals [Ms Dhillon, for example] will be more likely to survive and reproduce and their system of belief [Sikh] will come to dominate.

    Sikhs worldwide have a cause to celebrate because the shabd of Nanak is resounding far and wide. And, it is the shabd that will transform the bad n ugly to good and beautiful, prerequisite of which is faith, meaning, Sikhism.

    Believe it or not, we're moving in the right direction !

    Much obliged
  5. Seeker2013

    Seeker2013 India
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    Writer SPNer Thinker

    Aug 29, 2013
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    I will chose a democrat over a republican any day.

    Republicans only think of themselves and the multi billionaires and create more wars.
  6. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Jan 31, 2011
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    This is a forum where we debate articles and the like, we provide information on how Sikhism is affecting and interacting with the world, no article or post represents the view of SPN, and where an article has been posted, many times it does not reflect the view of the poster, it has been posted for information purposes.
    SPN broadcasts nothing, it is merely a forum where views are shared, it is up to us, the posters, if you feel you wish to balance the above article with something about Hillary Clinton, then please post it
    Please post one!
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