Rebranding Pakhand A Response to Baba Sukhdev Singh Karminder Singh Dhillon PhD (Boston) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. REPRINTED WITH COURTESY OF THE SIKH BULLETIN (www.sikhbulletin.com) As far as the Internet Sikh Sangat is concerned, Sikhism’s most recent desecration has come in the form of a Malaysian Baba named Sukhdev Singh. Shocked and angry Sikhs have reacted to his antics by describing them as pakhand and heretical. The July Issue of Panthik Weekly has captured the essence of the anger of the Sikh masses via its report titled: “New Heretic Baba on the Prowl.” Even the ordinary Sikh population and Sikh institutions of Malaysia came under fire for “condoning” his heresy. There is nothing unusual about such a reaction. And there is nothing usual about this Baba, hence this response. Granted, spiritual fraud is not new to Sikhs. Cloaked in religious garb, draped in spiritual paraphernalia and surrounded by rabid followers, Babas of all styles have wrapped themselves in some version of pakhand. Nine thousand eight hundred of them have been counted in Punjab alone by one reputable study. These are the established ones, and one suspects that there are many more. But these are the “old school” Babas – below average intellect, non English speaking and non-educated closet thieves dressed in flowing garb as charismatic saints. They are unable to make a living by normal means and use their Baba-hood as a means to accumulate wealth by cheating common folk. Their creed is superstition and their dogma is Pakhand. Their tenets are steeped in ritual and their theological basis is the crude distortion of Sikh principles. NEW SCHOOL BABA. Sukhdev Singh is no old school Baba. He is educated, a professional, and speaks fluent English. He owns and runs a blog at Swam.com | Swam | Obtain Copy Of Birth Certificate | SBA 8A Certification | Veteran Owned Business Certification. He writes and publishes. He wraps his dogma in quasi-intellectual pretensions. Yet he is a Baba; albeit a new generation Baba. His deviancy is not only unprecedented; it is of a different class and creed in that it descends to new lows while appearing to reach new heights. His is a pakhand that is camouflaged as “change.” Such pakhand may well be the envy of all other Babas whose only claim to education may be that they walked their donkeys behind a village school. This Baba has greater affiliation with schools. He actually passed out from one and is qualified to teach in most. The old-school Babas are content with being top dogs in their deras to chelas in physical attendance. But Sukhdev Singh sets himself as head hog of an international web-based organization titled Sikhs with a Mission (SWAM). The title of this organization is deeply imbued in pakhand. Is the suggestion here that non-SWAM Sikhs are Sikhs without a mission? Is the suggestion also that Guru Nanak and the nine Gurus who succeeded him created no mission for Sikhs and that the heavens had to wait for some heretic to come along 540 years after the founding Guru to spell out a mission? The reality is simple. Every human soul born into the House of Guru Nanak comes with a mission that is given by WaheGuru Himself. To be born a Sikh is to be born with a mission as set by Guru Nanak himself. The word ‘Sikh” has to be defined within the context of a mission. The Sikh is a spiritual seeker, a traveler, a voyager. The definition of all three terms already entails an embedded mission. Every seeker – especially one traveling in the name of Guru Nanak must, by definition, already have a mission. Every travel has a destination and to reach there is the mission. The mission of a Sikh is Sikhi. The mission is to reach the Dar (door) of the Guru and through that the Ghar (abode) of WaheGuru. But if SWAM does have a mission, then it is to de-commission Guru Nanak’s mission. Additionally, SWAM’s mission appears to confuse, obfuscate and bamboozle the core principles of Gurmat, Gurbani and Sikhism to the extent that they fit the dictates of the SWAM-ee himself. The mission is to promote the deviancy of the Baba and to serve as a platform to justify his heresy. The mission is to endorse the snake oil salesmanship of the Baba andto provide pseudo intellectual hog-wash for the pakhand that is being propagated. RE-PACKAGING PAKHAND. The old school Babas are content with distorting Gurmat with half baked sakhis and disfiguring Gurbani with half-cooked interpretations. But this new-age Baba wants to re-invent Sikhi altogether. He wants to re-brand Sikhi. He wants to re-package Sikhi. He wants to re-sell Sikhi. As if Sikhi was a commodity for the market. He declares that “the old Sikhi needs a massive change of image, purpose and direction,” then goes on to add “Sikhi needs a total and complete transformation.” This heretic has some gall to declare the Sikhi of Guru Nanak as “old.” One wonders if he even understands an iota of Guru Nanak’s Sikhi. Sukhdev Singh then takes on all the ten Gurus at one go and declares: “the last time…it took 230 years…we will (however) achieve our goal sooner. We have moved the decimal point by one digit -– 23.0 years.”  Two points may be worthy of consideration here. One, that destruction never requires more than a fraction of the time taken for construction. Two, pakhand has never succeeded in building, only destroying. Sukhdev Singh wants to re-brand the Sikhi that was conceptualized in the spiritually perfect mind of Guru Nanak, nurtured in the perfect care of nine more Godly souls, and placed with perfect authority and spiritual marvel in the Guru Granth Sahib. He must know pakhand very intimately indeed to achieve such a goal. And he must understand pakhand in ways the old-school Babas could never dream of comprehending. This Baba must be very impatient with his own pakhand to declare that the Gurus were too slow because they took 230 years. The Gurus actually took 239 years (1469 till 1708), but in his own twisted mind, this heretic is doing the Gurus a “favor” by knocking 9 full years off their Godly mission. Either that or he sees no use for all that the tenth Guru did in the final 9 years of his life, and thus simply writes off those crucial years. Sikhs know that these final nine years were as important as any; particularly because the Guru ordained the Guru Granth Sahib (GGS) as the Guru in these 9 final years. The attack on the GGS is a common thread that runs through every Baba, Pakhandee and Heretic. They simply have to get the GGS out of the way so that their ignorant chelas can fall at their feet instead. The old school cheats twisted Gurbani verses and claimed that the GGS itself mandates a “human guru.” This new school deviant writes off 9 years of Guruship to achieve a similar goal. “This is how pakhand ought to be propagated” can well be this Baba’s tagline. Why move the decimal point “by one digit?” Why not two? Before going any further, it may well be worth the effort to know that decimal points are not moved by “digits” but places. Unless the Baba is referring to his physical digits, by which he means he intends to poke his pakhand-dripping finger into the Sikhi pie and soil it to rotten with his heresy. Nevertheless re-packing and re-branding are indeed part of this Baba’s mission. And the truth is that he has re-invented Pakhand. He has re-packaged heresy. He has re-branded deviancy. For such heretical goals, he may well move the decimal point to oblivion. But that is about all his digits will get to move. This is because for every new heretic that is born, there are countless true Sikhs that are willing to stand up to decimate such pakhand with decimal point accuracy. OBFUSCATING THE CORE OF SIKHI. Ek Oangkar is obviously the nucleus of Guru Nanak’s Sikhi. It cannot therefore escape the adulterous intentions of anyone who wants to obfuscate. Some old school Babas adulterated it to either of three tainted versions: Ek Omkar, Ekem Kar or Ek Mokar. The first adulterated version kept the Vedic “Om” as its core even though Guru Nanak amalgamated it to “Oang”. The second reduced the superb concept to the meaningless “One Kar” (literally One Line). The third further reduced it to comical levels – “One Cheat,” or “One Lie.” Other old-school Babas postulate that Guru Nanak borrowed it from the mythological texts – texts these Babas rely on so heavily to base their pakhand on. The idea is to insinuate that even Guru Nanak relied on this fabled stuff. But this internet savvy Malaysian Baba goes for the jugular of Guru Nanak’s Ek Oangkar. In his re-branding and re-packaging type of pakhand, he replaces Guru Nanak’s (a) OOraa with the English alphabet ‘G.’ The OOra is the first alphabet of the Gurmukhi alphabet and Guru Nanak’s genius is obvious from his choice. The Guru used the first numeral and the first alphabet. There is no alphabet before (a) Ooraa and no numeral before 1. This establishes the spiritually powerful point that the One God is the beginning of everything. The Malaysian Baba’s choice to replace Guru Nanak’s (a) is “G” which is neither the first nor the second alphabet. It is the 7th alphabet – enjoying no status equivalent to (a). But it does look like Guru Nanak’s (a). That is the essence of pakhand. It does sometimes look like the actual. The act of “looking like” something is much easier to achieve than actually becoming that something. Any imposter can look like Guru Nanak or Guru Gobind Singh. The heretic Raam Rahim was walking a similar line by attempting to dress like Guru Gobind Singh, putting on a Kalgee etc while stirring a huge cauldron of sugar water. The Kaar of < that Guru Nanak added to his Ek Oangkar is a solid curve. It is something entirely original. The Kaar is graphic. It is an illustration. A drawing if one prefers. But one that is truly worth a thousand words. It shows clearly that anything and everything is under the unwavering control and power of the One Waheguru. The Malaysian Baba has given the Kaar a snaky twist. The solid curve is transformed into a curl, akin to a reptile waiting to strike. This is the logo of SWAM. This Baba further brands TM above the logo which he plagiarized and distorted from Guru Nanak’s Ek Oangkar. Even ordinary pirates stop short of claiming stolen property as their trademarked or patented possessions. The alphabet “G” in the stolen logo stands for “Guru.” Does this Baba harbor aspirations to be a guru - the one guru for the new Sikhi – as soon as he is done moving enough decimal places? Or as soon as he is done being a swami, a Baba and a heretic? Judging by the acts of his caress-blessing of other mortal beings, (as displayed in Video accompanying the Panthik Weekly report) one is led to conclude that such aspirations exist. OBFUSCATING AMRIT / KHANDE DA PAHUL. Another important contribution by Guru Gobind Singh – also undertaken in the final 9 years of his life – was the administration of Amrit. Now it becomes even clearer why Sukhdev Singh writes off the final 9 years of the tenth master’s life from his skewed calculation of the Sikhi period. He intended to write off the entire Amrit portion in his re-branding, re-packaging and re-selling of Sikhi. The Amrit of 1699 was the old Sikhi. It was the old Amrit. It has no place in the “mission” of this SWAM-ee. So this heretic has invented the “guru-jal” (literally guru’s water). No mention is made of the Kakars, the Panj Pyare and the Banees. He stirs up some tap water all by himself using a chamcha and distributes this instant potion using the same spoon. The result is the creation of a platoon of befuddled chamchas that are more than willing to swear by the Baba’s pakhand. These perplexed chamchas are the Baba’s prized possessions and he uses the numbers to declare that he must be doing something right to get this many followers. One chamcha writes about Sukhdev Singh’s chamcha jal heresy, a photograph of which “ceremony” appears in the Panthik Weekly report: “He is merely performing the Janam Sanskar Amrit.”The confusion must be truly deep for someone to justify a gross heresy with a non-existent sanskar (ceremony). The SRM sets out the Janam Sanskar (birth and naming ceremony) clearly. No where does it talk about any Amrit or any jal being administered to a new born baby. Yes, the old-school Babas have another version of this pakhand. These Babas read five pauress of the japji, (in place of the five banees) single-handedly stir the water and sugar with a kirpan (not a khanda) and offer it to the child and mother. Other Babas just blow a few puffs of a glass of water and offer that as “amrit-jal.” This new-school Baba has re-branded and re-packaged such existing pakhands by giving them a whole new twist. Chamchas have a way of bending over backwards and just bending. The former is called chancha-giri and happens when some innocent Sikhs first come under the influence of the Baba’s pakhand. The latter is akin to bending spoons by sheer mental power and occurs when their mental faculties are able to see through the pretense. One group of his ex-chamchas (for lack of a nicer word) have gotten together to set up a face book site titled Anti SWAM. The objective is to expose his pakhand. Others have provided the infamous videos that were put up on internet sites showing the Baba administering his pakhand laden and gender-select caress blessings that border on criminality. Some have written to Gurdwaras and institutions asking for action to be taken to stop the heresy. It does seem that reformed chamchas are displaying a stronger resolve than many ordinary Sikhs. “G” FOR GURU. “G” FOR GOD.” The Baba has said, done and written enough for one to conclude that his aspirations will not stop at merely being a Baba or Swam-ee. Replacing the (a) in Guru Nanak’s Ek Oangkar with a ‘G” is perhaps the starting point. There are other indicators. The administration of the guru-jal is also a step in this direction. The administration of Khande da pahul is always by five specially selected Sikhs. The only incidences during which this pahul or other forms of initiation (charan pahul for instance) were administered amongst Sikhs by one individual were undertaken by the Gurus themselves. The last such incidence was in 1699 when the tenth Guru single-handedly administered the pahul to the initial five. Single-individual prepared Amrit is something which ONLY the Guru can do. For this reason alone, it is usually administered by every pakhandi who aspires to be a guru. The attraction is that the single-handed administration of such an initiation provides the pakhandi with a psychological hold over his chelas and chamchas since they look up to him as their guru. The biggest obstacle for fake Babas aspiring to be gurus of the Sikhs is the Guru Granth Sahib itself. The general trend is thus to somehow cast doubts on the principle of shabad Guru. The new-school Baba has come up with an ingenious way to do just this and much more. First he goes about changing the name of the GGS. This heresy is more insidious than it appears. In the 540 years of Sikhi, the GGS has been named and renamed only once – and that too by a GURU. Guru Arjun first named it Pothee Sahib. And Guru Gobind Singh re-named it Sri Guru Granth Sahib – in line with his decision to accord the Guru-ship to the Granth. It is clear therefore that this heretic Baba is unceremoniously laying claims to guru-ship in “renaming” the GGS with his whimsical name – Jyot Sahib. Equally important is the prophetic manner in which he announces the renaming of the GGS on his website. “And then it suddenly all came together in one big rush….I had seen the Light” he declares. The Baba’s pakhand is as bright as the mid-day sun. But his “seeing of the light” is as dark as any moonless night. The insidious assertion is that he had a sudden revelation or ilham type of prophecy. “Light’ is in upper case – suggesting the “revelation” came to him from the Light itself, meaning God. He then moves into a denigration mode, declaring: “A granth simply means a volume, or a scripture that is voluminous. Nothing glorious about it.” Indeed, there is nothing glorious about the GGS to all the sham Babas. How else can they make their own glory higher than that of the GGS if not by attempting to lower the glory of the Shabad? But ask a true Sikh, a believing Sikh and more importantly a GGS reading Sikh and he/she will tell you that there is nothing more glorious than the GGS. This is no ordinary Granth we are talking about. It is the Guru Granth. It is the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. It is the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. It is the Aaad Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Now, if Baba Sukhdev will go to a dictionary and check the meanings of the all the words before and after the word Granth and he will probably get an inkling of how glorious our Granth is. Five thousand years of human civilization has no parallel for the glorifying status given by Sikhs to the Granth of GGS. And yet this pakhandi sees no glory whatsoever in anything other than his charade. He then moves into heresy mode when he writes: “The Guru is not the Granth. It may have been the ancient way to refer to holy books.” This heretic is suggesting that Guru Gobind Singh was wrong when he said “Guru Maneyo Granth” meaning “accept the Granth as the Guru.” The heretic is suggesting the tenth master was “ancient” in his command. He is further implying that the GGS is just another of the “holy books.” He then delivers the final heretical blow in a menacing reply he cooked up for someone who asked him “But why then did Guru Gobind Singh say – Sabh Sikhan Ko Hukam Hai, Guru Maniyo Granth” His reply: “I would have explained myself to Him…the Guru would have overwhelmingly supported me.” This heretic actually expects Sikhs to believe that the tenth Master would have admitted his “folly” to a fumbling heretic. What exactly is meant by the gibberish phrase “overwhelmingly supported me?” That the Guru would go on his knees before this heretic? Or was the Guru expected to be overwhelmed by this heretic’s brain wave and declare “why didn’t I think of that?” Only his chamchas can accept such hogwash form this humbug Baba’s, just as one such fellow bends over backwards to “overwhelmingly support” the Baba’s heresy of renaming the GGS by writing as his comment: “Brilliant (pun intended)! To that one may add “Blinding brilliance indeed.” The Panthik Weekly report of 17 July has one Gursikh commenting that the Baba’s “parchaar” is mixed with statements such as “If I am God.” It is perhaps only a matter of time when the Baba will decide to move the decimal point in such a declaration as well and drop the qualifying “If.” The propagation of the concept of “Jyot Sahib” over “Granth Sahib” has a calculated place in the pakhand riddled scheme of things of this Malaysian Baba. Old school Babas have, at appropriate times in their “careers” declared that Guru Nanak (or any other Guru) first “comes to them,” then comes into them” and finally “resides within them.” Many have gone on to declare“I am Guru Nanak.” When the time comes for this Baba to step on that higher pedestal of pakhand, he will have a choice of claiming that the “jyot sahib” has “come into me” or that “I am the Jyot,” over its “old” and perhaps unsophisticated version, namely that the “Granth sahib” has “come into me.” FROM SANT BABAS TO MINISTER BABA. The Malaysian Baba has little tolerance for old terminology of old-school Babas who were content with being tagged generically as sants, mahants, mahapurash or specifically as Chador Valey, Kalee Kamli Vale, Khoondee Vale etc. Ordinary terms such as kirtenia, sewadar or parcharak are perhaps below his class and rank. He has declared himself as a Sikh Minister in charge of his “Perfect Light Ministry”. A minister, would by definition minister or administer something. Gurbani and Gurmat are not meant to be ministered or even administered. Gurbani is meant to be read by the self, listened to, sung, discussed, understood and walked upon. Sikhs can inspire each other and we can discuss Gurbani. There is hence no place for any kind of Minister-ship in Gurmat. But pakhand - because it is for others - is always administered. Fraudulent blessings are always administered to others. Sham “cures” for the ills of others are also administered. Sermons are similarly administered. Blessing, curing, sermonizing and miracle performance are concepts that define the realm of so called “faith healers” who simply caress away even the deadliest of diseases. All these terms and concepts are alien to Gurmat and the only way they can be reconciled with “Sikhi” is via administering pakhand and ritual. Yet one finds them scattered throughout the literature that carries the name of this Baba Minister. LATCHING ON TO EVERY STRAW. Pakhand needs legitimacy. The old school Babas acquired such legitimacy for their dogma by claiming succession to an earlier Baba. They told and retold fake stories about the miraculous powers of the deceased Baba and his “godly” abilities. They celebrated his Barsis (death anniversaries) till eternity using each occasion to recycle, expand and reinforce the propaganda. Some publish fables and pass them off as biographies of their deceased Baba. The whole idea was to plant in the minds of their chelas that the predecessor Baba was God incarnate. The legitimacy of the reigning Baba thus rested on the notion that he was hand picked by none other than that particular God incarnate. This new-school Baba acquires legitimacy via a more sophisticated approach. He latches on to a wider variety of established personalities – spiritual and non-spiritual. He conspicuously carries a book with the photograph of Gyani Niranjan Singh of Patiala on its cover. Gyani ji was a learned and dedicated Sikh scholar who had deep links with Sikhs in Malaysia. In Sukhdev Singh’s “guru-jal” ceremonies (as seen in the photograph accompanying the Panthik Weekly report) this book is placed prominently beside him. In his blog, he describes Niranjan Singh as his “vidya guru.” The correct term is “vidya daata” (the giver of the gift (daat) of education. But the Baba changes the word “daata” to “guru.” The aim is to perhaps imply that his Baba-dom is in some way descended from Niranjan Singh. Some critics of the Baba, have on the internet, pointed out that there is no evidence of this Malaysian Baba having spent time with Gyani ji. Cursory reading of the material on the Baba’s blog is even more revealing – there is no evidence that this Baba has even read the book that he carries along so diligently. There is however evidence that the Baba himself is unsure of his association with Giani ji. He begins a paragraph by saying “I am a student of Sant Baba Niranjan Singh of Patiala.” In the next 13 sentences Sukhdev Singh tells, in great detail, “an incident” that personally involves Niranjan Singh, some overzealous Sikhs and unsavory behavior. This incident could only be known to those who were physically present when the event happened. In fact the aim of narrating this story is to confirm the ‘fact’ that he was close to the Patiala luminary, and privy to incidents such as the one described. In the 14th sentence, the Malaysian Baba has a change of heart and declares: “Actually, I was not a student of Baba Ji at that time.” The truth perhaps is simply that “actually, the entire story is concocted.” Those who know Gyani Ji would attest that his soul was simply too soft to have uttered the stuff that this Baba narrates. Elsewhere he latches on to Harbhajan Singh Yogi. In an attempt to deflect the flak that he was getting for his heresy, Sukhdev Singh attempts to garner fake empathy by speaking of American Sikhs: “Instead of welcoming them with open arms, Sikhs all over the world rejected them.” The fake comparison is clear: Sikhs all over the world should welcome the Baba’s pakhand with open arms too. One wonders which world this Baba is talking about. Yogi ji was recognized by (among others) the Akaal Takhat for his undying sewa of taking Sikhi to the educated, developed and modernized world. American Sikhs have been honored repeatedly at the Harmandar. Although HSY used the instrument of Yoga (perhaps because it was already established in the West then) to get Westerners into his ashrams but his ultimate aim was always to connect the converted Sikhs to the GGS , the Khalsa amrit as given by panj pyares, the five kakars and the Khalsa Rehat. The Malaysian Baba’s affiliation with HSY and his movement is highly suspect. But his aim of association – as evident from his sprinkling of the HSY name in his articles – is to appear to be in the same league as Singh Sahib – taking Sikhi to an educated and sophisticated group of humans. But this Baba’s methods and the nature of his chamchas tell an entirely different story. Sukhdev Singh distorts Sikhi, muddles Gurmat and obfuscates the religion to sell to those who want a distorted Sikhi to suit their personal failings. In essence then, the difference between HSY and the Malaysian Baba is stark. HSY took true Sikhi to a distorted people. The result: some people became true Sikhs, some stopped at Yoga, and others remained as they were. This Malaysian Baba takes a distorted Sikhi to distorted people. The result: the distorted people become staunchly distorted, and some innocent Sikhs get distorted as well. Another stark distinction: HSY used Yoga to get people to become Sikhs. This Pakhandi Baba uses Sikhi to get people to become his chamchas. Spiritual people are not the only ones this Baba latches on to. He recites the mantra of change which was given a boost by Obama. Many a world leader, particularly the corrupt, dictatorial and inept ones have, in their attempt to re-brand, scrambled to be Obama-like. While the old school Babas would probably ask “Obama who?” this new school Baba has hopped on the Obama wagon without blinking an eye-lid. The word “change” is plastered all over his web-site. The reason: to deflect criticism of heresy that is being leveled at him from true Sikhs. This is done by labeling his critics as “old Sikhi types” and defining himself as an agent of the “change” that Sikhi needs badly. Another reason for screaming “change”: to obfuscate his pakhand a “change.” I am here to give them the change Sikhi needs. I am re-branding, re-packaging, and re-selling Sikhi. I will move the decimal places to turn the “old” Sikhi into “new” Sikhi. If I don’t do it, there will be no Sikhs left. There are crucial differences between the kinds of change that Obama talks about and that of this Baba. First, Obama wants change to move his nation and people forward. This Baba wants change that will move his chamchas backward into the very muck that our Gurus lifted us out of. In his article titled “For Change” he writes: “The buzz words of the times are … mantra, yoga, consciousness, karma, energy and so on.” Readers of Gurbani would know that these are things our Gurus threw out as backward. Anyone whose notion of change is based on “buzz words” is unschooled about change. Second, Obama is talking about changing mindsets to deal with new realities. This Baba is talking about changing Sikhi to fit discarded realities. Obama said it clearly “we are the change that we aspire.” The Baba writes: “in 1997 we became aware of a growing need in the Sikh religion. This need was ‘Change’.” As far as this Baba is concerned, it is the religion that needs to be changed. This is heresy masquerading as change. THE TWISTED WRITINGS OF THE BABA. The Malaysian Baba writes. But his writing is more twisted than the snaky coil that is the trademark of his logo. He runs a blog but brands the ideas of those of disagree as “hate-mail.” He calls his critics ugly names. He starts an article by emphasizing - in five paragraphs - the point that “attacks and hate mail” do not bother him to warrant a response. He argues that such mail is written by “a small group who we know” (rehabilitated chamchas who had seen the light?). He then says: “I have not read anything that these people have written, when I see it, I delete it.” And “I am not going to waste my life replying silly emails from kids still wearing diapers.” He then goes on to write a six thousand word tirade about the very same thing that he says he will not write about. It needs a master of twist have such convoluted writing skills. One’s thinking must be wrapped in diapers to write such stuff under the guise of spirituality. His logic is twisted. He first tries to stand in the same league as President Obama, saying: “If he spent his time replying to emails….who is going to do the work of running the country?” He then stands in line with ex-Malaysian Premier Mahathir by suggesting “he didn’t care what…Malaysians thought of him.” His logic cannot comprehend that Obama replies his emails and runs the country and that Mahathir cared enough for his people’s views to have authored more than 35 books. Finally he ropes the Gurus into his twist. “Guru Nanak received more opposition and hate mail than any of us ever will.” And “So did Guru Gobind Singh...(because) (t)hey could not understand why He was changing things,” adding that “Every single Guru Sahib ji received opposition and hate mail.” Now that this Baba was done equating himself to the Gurus, he turns his attention to the “kids in diapers” who take on him. He puts them in the same league as Prithi Chand, Dhir Mall etc. The Baba’s twist is illuminating indeed. “You can’t imagine the amount of hate mail that was received by Guru Arjun…His own brother was the biggest culprit,” declares the Baba. And “remember how Dhir Mal sent so much hate mail to Guru Tegh Bahadur and CC’d it to Aurangzeb.” Then he labels his critics as Brahmins: “these hate mailers…are behaving in the same way the Hindu Brahmins were behaving.” In a clear reference to the Anti-SWAM website, he suggests that Guru Nanak’s critics would have “gone home and launched a website called www.antinanak.com.” What makes his six thousand word invective even more warped is that it is aimed at ridiculing, tarnishing and defiling the character of the e-mail writers – by labeling them with all sorts of ugly names and putting them on par with anti-Guru Ghar forces. His diatribe is written in malice, spite and in anger. The twisting is intended to cover a big lie; but ends up exposing it. This Pakhandi propagates a lie that his inner peace is not affected by criticism. In the opening paragraph this falsehood is stated thus:” “I laughed and said to him (webmaster)…I am not going to waste my time replying…” But the six thousand words of reply tell a different story – that this Baba is indeed affected to the core of his bones. And that he is not laughing, but wailing and weeping over the fact that others can see through his heresy. He says he will not reply, but he is unable to stop replying – rambling into six thousand words. The biggest lie is in the title. The heading is “We are Growing Again.” An accurate title (based on what is written) should be “We are Growling Again.” Such is slack in the moral integrity, ethical honesty and decency of the writings of this Baba. Of what worth, then are his pretensions? Yes, Guru Nanak faced criticism. But he dealt with it with peace and confidence that were rooted in his spiritual honesty. The Guru invited them to have a discourse. His discussion with the Sidhs for instance, is accurately and truthfully titled “Sidh Ghost” meaning: a dialogue with the Sidhs. His opening statement of this banee on page 938 of the GGS is “Sidh Sabha Kar Asan Baithey, Sant Sabha Jaikaro” meaning: the Sidh group (sabha) assembled, and these saintly people (sant) declared/announced a discourse. The Guru is labeling his critics as “saintly.” The three-thousand word banee is written in a question and answer style. Guru Nanak recorded each query, comment and criticism and then proceeded to give direct and forthright responses. The same goes for the Guru’s dialogues with Muslim saints, Hindu sages and Yogis. Sukhdev Singh’s take on Guru Nanak is illustrated within his six thousand word essay.” He declares in bold letters: “Guru Nanak did not go around trying to convince those who did not agree with him.” Then what was Guru Nanak doing traveling 40,000 km by foot for 24 long years? Is this heretic suggesting that Guru Nanak was going around trying to get convinced? Sajjan the thug, Kauda the man eater, Wali Khandhari the egoist, Malik Bhago the conceited – and countless others, were obviously not those who agreed with Guru Nanak. If Guru Nanak did not convince them, then how did they become Sajjan the friend, Kauda the blessed and Kandhari the humble? Or is this Baba suggesting to us that we have all got it wrong, and that it was Guru Nanak who got convinced? But the gold medal for twisting is reserved for the final paragraph of the Baba’s six thousand word essay. There he inserts a Gurbani shabad of Kabeer: Nindo, Nindo Moko Log Nindo. He now puts himself in the same league of Kabeer by appearing as magnanimous as Kabeer was in suffering from Ninda. What the Baba needs is a dictionary. Ninda is slander and that involves the spreading of untruths and is done behind one’s back, as was the case with Kabeer’s critics because they had no courage to face the Bhagat. Here, it is the Baba who is spreading untruths while hiding behind the notions of “change,” “modernity” and the like. The criticism against him is in the open and posted on the internet. It is the Baba who has no courage to face his genuine critics. He condemns his critics by wrapping his tirade in six thousand words of distorted arguments. It is thus the Baba who is guilty of ninda more than his critics. TWISTING FACTS AND LOGIC. The Baba’s writing is not the only thing that suffers from twisting. His facts, logic, reasoning and arguments are twisted to serve his Pakhand. The following examples (taken from his articles) provide support for such an assertion. He has been taken to task by Rehat abiding Sikhs. His response is that the Sikh Rehat is outdated. He then quotes one half of a verse “from the “Rehatnama” “Khalsa Soe Jo Chareh Tarang.” Meaning: A Khalsa shall mount a horse. The Baba’s argument is that no one, including those Rahetvaan Sikhs who attack him rides a horse nowadays. They are therefore “hypocrites,” for calling themselves Khalsa while not riding a horse, and also that “such Rehat was only applicable hundreds of years ago.” The Baba is has already committed four horrors here. First, he wrongly translates mounting as riding. Secondly, he conveniently ignores the second half of the verse. Third, he obfuscates the fact that the verse is not from a Rehatnama but Tankhahnama of Bhai Nand Lal. Fourth, his source of this “Rehetnama” is the Amrit Kirten! It is not that this Baba does not think or he cannot. His thinking is distorted. And he intends to distort the thinking of others. If everybody rode horses hundreds of years ago, why would riding a horse be part of the Sikh Rehat (or anybody’s Rehat for that matter?). Were the writers of Rehatnamas so devoid of mental faculties that they made, as articles of Rehat, what everyone did just to get around? And if riding a horse was the definition of a Khalsa, then Genghiz Khan, Napoleon, Robin Hood and even Don Quixote would be Khalsas. A primary school child can figure out that this half line is not a definition of a Khalsa, and definitelynot a Rehat injunction! The word “Chareh” does not translate as riding, even. Why then does the Baba mistranslate it as “only that person who owns and rides a horse has the right to call himself or herself a Khalsa” There is no mention of owning, riding or having a right to call oneself as anything anywhere in this line. Why does not this Baba provide the proper context and the proper interpretation of this single line? Answer: because it serves the Baba’s interest to distort. Because it serves the Baba’s agenda to whack his Rehat abiding critics as “hypocrites” through such naked distortion. This is a Baba who is willing to distort, dis-inform, mis-interpret and warp everything tied to Sikhi so long as his agenda of pakhand is propagated. That the Baba actually knows the true meaning of the above Tankahnama line and has purposively distorted it is evident from his other writings. In his Change article he writes: “even today, we hear Sikhs describe themselves as brave, courageous, strong…words that mean nothing. (N)obody in the whole world, including Sikhs themselves is interested in any of (this) stuff.” In the next paragraph he writes: “(our) mission is to return the Sikh to being a healer of the world…” And in the next paragraph “the buzz words of the times are meditation, mantra, yoga….” And then “nowhere in (these buzz words) is the words bravery, courage…”(Italics added). It is clear now that in the Baba’s Pakhand to be a “healer,” to be a “blessing showering Baba” a “head and arm caressing” guru and a “meditation, mantra and yoga dishing” Sikh Minister, he has to obliterate any and every Sikhi principle that stands in the way of his hermaphrodite version that he calls “new Sikhi.” Courage is one of the principles that this Minister wants to administer out of Sikhi. Courage, after all, is the antidote of pakhand. When Babur invaded India in the 1490s, the people went to the Yogis to ask for their assistance to lead their courageous resistance to the pending inhumanity and cruelty of the invading forces. The Yogis gave them the same reply that this Malaysian Baba is providing. “We are healers, we are people of peace, we will shower our blessing on all of you and we will meditate and perform Yoga. Just go home and sit in peace. We will read the mantras (buzz word of the 15th century) and the invading forces will become blind.” Guru Nanak records this cowardice of the spiritual leaders on page 417 of the GGS. Koe Mughal Na Hoa Andha, Kiney Na Parcha Laiya. Meaning: No Mughal was blinded and none of their mantras worked. Guru Nanak took the Yogis to task for being cowardly in not providing courageous spiritual leadership. The philosophy of Guru Nanak in this shabad is centered on inner courage, bravery and inner strength – the same words that “mean nothing” to this Pakhandi Baba. Spirituality without courage is cowardice. Of what use is being pious if one does not have the courage to speak out, to take actions against injustice or to stand beside the weak, the oppressed and the needy. This is the essence of the Sant-Sipahi Sikhi of Guru Nanak and that of Guru Gobind Singh’s Saint-Soldier Khalsa. To wash this principle of courage down the filthy drain of his pakhand, Sukhdev Singh denigrates the Khalsa in his Change article: “we hold to the mindset that the Khalsa is …fighting some imaginary war that does not exist!. (A)nd that today, it is the duty of the police and army to protect the public…” It is clear this Pakhandi’s life mission is to distort the core of Sikhi. Which planet is he living in to be unaware that 90% of the world’s human rights abuses, atrocities, and injustices are inflicted by governments, police and their armies on their own people? Is this heretic Baba expecting his mantras, his meditation, his blessings and his caressing to protect the victims of such gross violations of human decency? The second verse of the above Tankahnama line will help us put the Baba’s Pakhand in context. The full verse is “Khalsa Soey Jo Chreh Tarang. Khalsa Soey Jo Krai Nit Jang”. Meaning A Khalsa shall mount a horse. A Khalsa shall battle daily.” The first line is a tankah (penal) injunction. The government, police and armies of the day had issued a proclamation that no individual other than themselves could so much as mount a horse. Never mind if you don’t intend to ride, you will lose your head if you so much as mounted this animal. And the Guru says to his Khalsas and Bhai Nand Lal puts it down in his poetic Tankahnama. Now here is what you have to do: You will mount your horse. Never mind if you have nowhere to go. Never mind if you don’t intend to ride it. Just mount it as per the Guru’s instruction. The objective is to defy the injustice, to defy the unjust order, and to stand up for what is right. The objective is to underline the fact that the Khalsa is autonomous and not subject to unjust and arbitrary laws. The mounting is to instill the courage without which spirituality is as good as non-existent. Now let’s look at the second line of the verse. No Khalsa, including the Guru himself engaged in daily battles in the physical sense. Again, then, this cannot be the definition of a Khalsa. Naturally then, it is about the pre-requisites that are required to mount the horse for the sake of making a courageous stand. One cannot have the courage of his convictions to stand up for what is right unless one battles daily with one’s inner fears and worries, with one’s inner demons – Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh and Ahangkar. No Sikh who is imbued in lust, greed or attached to his own survival or drowning in self pride will ever be able to stand up courageously for what is right. So the Tankahnama verse is saying – this is the order. Fight your inner battles and fight them daily. Then display the courage that is essential and quintessential to Sikhi (by mounting your horse). The Pakhandi Baba either understands this much or he doesn’t. If he does, his distortion is clearly exposed. If he doesn’t, he should sit down and educate himself. Why did the Baba take one half of the verse - the “horse” part? Answer: because it suited his intention to declare Sikhi Rehat as outdated. Horses are outdated only if seen as a means of transport. That is why the heretic translates “chreh” as “to own and to ride.” Why did the Baba ignore the “daily battle” part? Answer: the “daily battle” part did not give him the opportunity accorded by the “horse part.” So he ignored it all-together. Such, obfuscation underlines the moral integrity, ethical honesty and decency relating to the Baba’s use and misuse of verses of historical Sikh luminaries. Why did he obfuscate a Tankahnama with Rehat? Answer: because it provided him an opportunity to ridicule both the Sikh Rehat and his critics. The Tankahnama is contextual. It is situation and time based. Mounting a horse would only apply as a penal code (literal translation of Tankahnama) provided and so long as there was an unjust injunction against doing so by the government of the day. The principle and underlying justification for the penal injunction (verse two – Krai Nit Jang) would remain valid, but the nature of the injustice may change. When an emergency was declared by the Indian government in the 1970’s, the Sikhs of Punjab led a peaceful and courageous movement to bring democracy back. They filled the prisons of Punjab to fight against the injustice. The rallying cry of Akali Dal then was “Khalsa Soey Jo Krai Nit Jang.” No one was asked to “ride a horse” but “to take to the streets” and “to fill the prisons.” The penal injunction had altered, but the justification remained. WHAT IS OUR RESPONSE? Our duty as Sikhs is to strive to expose any and all pakhand that is committed in the name of our religion. The criticism leveled by the Internet Sangat against Sukhdev Singh speaks for itself, but the censure of the Malaysian Sikhs and institutions is perhaps misplaced. Malaysian Sikhs do not have a genetic make up that is different from Sikhs elsewhere - we are as susceptible to deviant Babas. It must be stated however, that Malaysian Sikhs have contributed their fair share towards exposing this local Baba. The premier Malaysian Sikh Religious body – the Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (About MGC) has received written calls to act. Almost all of the 120 local Gurdwaras are members of this Council. The allegation on the Internet that the MGC is protecting or otherwise condoning the deviancy of Sukhdev Singh is unfounded. The MGC has indeed initiated action and has the right to issue an appropriate directive to its member Gurdwaras. The suggestion for the MGC to take this issue before the Akaal Takhat on behalf of Malaysian Gurdwaras is on the table. A sub-committee of the MGC in charge of SRM matters (of which I am a member) has submitted its opinion to the Executive Council. Beyond that however, more needs to be done. Given the modus operandi of this new school Baba, there is a body of voluminous deviant material that has been posted and published on the internet by him. Much has been circulated in hard copy in Gurdwaras under the guise of parchaar. This material has an equal propensity to distort the Sikh psyche when compared to the damage done by his personal anti-Sikh work (chancha amrit/guru-jal, caress-blessings, rosary bead blessings etc). There is therefore a need to reply and respond systematically to all the posted material. I urge Sikh writers, publishers and website owners to come together to share this sewa and contribute towards this endeavor. The Sikh Bulletin’s willingness to publish this article displays the journal’s consistent struggle against pakhand, heresy and deviancy propagated by Babas in sheep clothing. It is hoped that other publishers and website owners will help extend the reach of this struggle. End. The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org  Panthik Weekly July 20 Issue at panthik.org.  Quote taken from “Sikhs with a mission for change,” as appearing on SWAM Website.  Quote taken from “Sikhs with a mission for change,” as appearing on SWAM Website  For a detailed description of the difference between “Om” and “Oang” the reader is invited to refer to my article “Ek Oangkar” as published in The Sikh Bulletin Vol 9, No 7&8 (July-August) 2007 (available on line) and The Sikh 2007.  Quote taken from article titled “The Sri Guru Jyot Sahib Try Saying it Again,” as appearing on SWAM Website.  Ibid.  Ibid.  Ibid.  Ibid.  Article titled “Congratulations! We are Growing Again, appearing on SWAM website.  Ibid.  Op.cit.  Article titled “Congratulations! We are Growing Again, appearing on SWAM website. Remaining quotes in this section taken from this article.