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Sikhs Must Learn From Recent Violence

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Aman Singh, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Aman Singh

    Aman Singh
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    Admin SPNer

    Jun 1, 2004
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    This weekend the Sikh community celebrates the Khalsa festival, a time to educate Canadians about our faith and to ensure our culture is kept alive by new generations of Canadian-born Sikhs.

    But the fighting going on at Sikh temples — Gurdawaras — is tarnishing the image of the entire faith.

    Last Sunday, a meeting at the Sri Guru Nanak Sikh Centre turned into a riot, with machetes, axes and hammers pulled and four people sent to hospital.

    And two weeks ago, the stabbing of a Sikh lawyer outside his Brampton temple has made some Canadians believe the kirpan is potentially a dangerous “weapon.”

    Now is everyone going to be afraid of going to the Gurdwaras? Is this what we are trying to teach our next generation, or what we’re trying to teach Canadians about us?

    You can bet the stabbing in Brampton will shine a light on this ceremonial knife on April 25, when Sikhs will march in the Khalsa day parade.

    Undoubtedly, that attack was wrong. With this particular incident, the Sikh community’s image has been harmed and the debate over the kirpan has already ramped up again.

    Sikhs do not perceive the kirpan — a two- to eight-inch blade carried at all times by baptized Sikhs, sheathed under their clothes — as a weapon and the literal meaning, “dagger,” is inappropriate, given the pejorative association between a dagger and violence.

    At the parade, Panj Pyare (five Sikhs) will hold unshielded and shining big kirpans in their hands and lead the Sikh parade from the CNE to Queen’s Park.

    The Sikh community must learn from this stabbing.

    Follow what the tenth master told us to do. Yes, the kirpan is a weapon, but when Sikhs were baptized by the tenth master, he made some rules for them to follow.

    In every country, Sikhs fight for five “k”s for practical and symbolic purposes.

    Baptized Sikhs are bound to wear the Five Ks, or articles of faith, at all times. The five items are: Kes (uncut hair), Kangha (small comb), Kara (circular iron bracelet), Kirpan (dagger), and Kaccherra (special undergarment). The Five Ks have both practical and symbolic purposes.

    But due to different laws and regulations in different countries, Sikhs cannot carry all five items with them all the time. So they fight for their rights.

    Then someone uses the kirpan and proves it can be a weapon.

    If the media try to highlight the issue, they will be blamed for targeting the Sikh, Punjabi community. However, these community members are themselves at fault if they are acting irresponsibly.

    One mistaken use of the kirpan exposes the entire community. If the authorities take some action against the use of the kirpan, the whole community has to pay the price.

    Symbolically, the kirpan represents the power of truth to cut through untruth. It is the cutting edge of the enlightened mind.

    We need to find that enlightenment again as a community so we’re known for our faith, not our fight.

    — By Surjit Singh Flora is a writer in Brampton
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  3. seeker3k

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    May 24, 2008
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    Dear Aman Singh ji,

    Good thoughts. Lets face it the kipan was needed when Guru Ji gave it to us. That time kirpan was the weapon that was needed. Now the 6” kirpan don’t do any thing. It is only a symbol. So if it is a symbol then why not make it of plastic or attach it on the kanga as it was common in the 50’s Or make a small one that any one cam carry it around the neck and the Christians have cross. I know many people are ready to take out their kirpans to cut my throat. We have to be realistic not arrogant. It was changed from 3’ to 6”. Why not small so we can put it like a locket. Things have been changed a lot in the world. If we don’t change with it we will be finished. We should be dwelling on the message in the SGGS not in the (chin) symbol. Guru was against the chin.

    There are very wide division in Sikh religion about the sehajdhari Sikhs and amritdhari Sikhs. Amritdhari don’t want the sehajdhari to vote in the SGPC yet they will take money from the sehajdhari. It looks like all the fight is about the money.

    If we want to keep the kirpan in Canada or other peaceful law abiding countries then we have to make changes or stay in India where one can do what ever. We come to these peaceful countries knowing that no weapons are allowed. We will do any thing to get in these countries but have no respect for their rules. This is arrogant to me. Christain also had sword made it look like cross. Now they don’t carry sword at all. Sword will not protect any one from gun. Maybe we should fight to get the AK47 gun legal and make it our symbol.

    SGGS’s message is great but we are fighting for little things that don’t represent the real values of Sikhism.

    #2 seeker3k, Apr 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2010
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