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Sikhs Reflect And Object. Who Will Cast The First Stone?

When is someone NOT a Sikh (check as many as apply)?

  • He/she has not taken Sikh Baptism (khande de pahul)

    Votes: 2 6.9%
  • His/her spouse is not a Sikh

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • His/her children marry outside of the Sikh faith

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • He/she eats meat

    Votes: 4 13.8%
  • He/she consumes alcohol or other intoxicants

    Votes: 11 37.9%
  • He/she cuts, dyes, threads, shaves hair

    Votes: 7 24.1%
  • He/she smokes

    Votes: 16 55.2%
  • He/she is a member of a dera

    Votes: 16 55.2%
  • He/she engages in yogic practices

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • He/she seeks inspiration from the writings of other religions

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • He/she has sexual relationships outside of marriage

    Votes: 15 51.7%
  • He/she wears western clothes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • He/she has a personal guru or baba

    Votes: 16 55.2%
  • He/she opposes Khalistan

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • He/she supports Khalistan

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • He/she chooses a career that is not in line with Sikh values

    Votes: 8 27.6%
  • Other. Kindly tell us about it in the discussion thread.

    Votes: 6 20.7%

  • Total voters
    29

spnadmin

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Jun 17, 2004
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Sikhism: Reflections on objections, judgments and casting the first stone.


For the week of July 7 through 13 the Internet magazine, SikhChic, found itself reflecting on some essential questions: Who is a Sikh? Who is not a true Sikh? And should they report on people in the news who do not fit the bill? The editors conducted this discussion in the format they call The Roundtable Open Forum. A problem is presented and readers are invited to express their views. The roundtable topic was entitled, "Cast the first stone."


It appeared that the site had received many complaints following stories about individuals who were either born Sikh, called themselves Sikh, or “sported Sikh names” – yet the subjects of these stories did not always conform to requirements laid out by the Sikh Rehat Maryada. I found this to be a fascinating article, because it was a call to the SikhChic audience to help the site achieve a clear understanding of its own readership, and their values and perceptions regarding these two very important questions.

I have been reading articles in SikhChic now for approximately 5 years. Personally, I never considered the publication as a definitive resource on matters related to Sikh philosophy or doctrine. Nor does SikhChic aim to be such a site. As a matter of personal opinion, I also have never considered Sikhism to be a religion that is heavy on doctrine. For that reason, SikhChic more than anything always seemed to be a comfortable zone to find out more about contemporary Sikhs and Sikhism in the modern world, specifically in the diaspora. SikhChic’s spectrum of content ranges from articles on faith and food, humor and art, controversy and the partition, and they have an outstanding collection of eye-witness stories of the 1984 Sikh Genocide. It is not a site devoted to heavy-duty vichaar of the Shabad, or rigorous analysis of a concept like dharma in Sikhim. When seeking rigorous analysis and vichaar, there are many other sites that I consult. SikhChic writers include keshdhari and amritdhari Sikhs, and some are not even Sikhs.

I was intrigued to read about the objections raised by their readers against people covered by SikhChic who are “not a true Sikh” and “not worthy of being reported." At SPN we have also read similar objections.

Since I do not have permission to quote verbatim from this article, intellectual property laws in the US only permit me to paraphrase. So I have summarized what SikhChic readers found objectionable about the untrue and unworthy Sikhs. Their demerits included: Cutting hair; drinking alcohol, a career choice at odds with Sikh values, both eating and not eating meat; marriage outside of the Sikh faith; having children who married outside of the Sikh faith; being amirtdhari but having a wife who cuts her hair; engaging in yogic practices; using a caste name (Dhillon rather than Singh or Kaur); membership in the Congress party; memberhip in Akali Dal; following a Baba or belonging to a dera; tying one’s beard; wearing western clothes; wearing nihang bana; supporting Khalistan; opposing Khalistan; abusing a spouse; being a fanatic; being disinterested in Sikhism.

A lot of contradictions, aren't there?

In other words many readers found these traits to be not only demerits, but reasons to exclude someone as a legitimate topic for a story on a site considering itself to be a Sikh web site.

The editors went on to ask whether anyone possessing any of these flaws should be ostracized. They pointed out that there might be no one left to cover. Should they adopt an editorial policy in which only those Sikhs who are without any of these demerits are the subjects of SikhChic stories in the future? They invited their readers to be the judge. Then they added this caveat: “Courts of law require litigants to come before the judges "with clean hands", if they are seeking relief. That is, the court will grant relief to only those litigants who themselves have not been wrong-doers.”

Who decides?

The discussion that followed this roundtable was as intriguing as the question itself. Here are excerpts of the responses. Names have been deleted. Replies have been shortened. The readers who participated in the roundtable discussion seemed for the most part to be very different from the segments of the audience who voiced complaints about SikhChic’s coverage.


  • I am content with sikhchic.com celebrating Sikhs, with warts and all.
  • Every one who believes in Guru Granth Sahib and in the Sikh Gurus deserves to be recognized as Sikh and deserves to be written about.
  • It is best to talk about everyone, and people can filter out what they disagree with.
  • We do not need to criticize others, that is between them and the Guru. We need to judge our own actions, our principles, our thoughts.
  • If we take the 'listed criteria' to exclude people from declaring their Sikhi, then almost instantly we've shrunk Sikhs into a negligible number.
  • Let's all revert to Guru Nanak's wonderful message: "There is no Hindu, There is no Mussalman ... [There is no Christian, There is no Jew ...]" I
  • For me, an amritdhari consuming alcohol is far worse than an average Sikh cutting his/her hair. Let me explain: the amritdhari has reached that stage (hopefully) after reaching a high level of discipline, and then has taken vows to live such a life of full discipline in the service of humanity. His/her then taking alcohol is akin to a betrayal - not unlike a Christian priest committing a sexual crime or a police-officer breaking the law. The analogy is not perfect, but it at least stands for the point I am making.
  • All I can say is that I have seen numerous manmukhs become gurmukhs and vice versa. It all comes down to what type of sangat (company) we associate with.
  • The day a person finds the power of Naam, then he/she will end up following the Guru's path.
  • Anyone who does not believe - in JUST AND ONLY JUST the ten Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib - should not be considered a Sikh. As Sant Bhindranwale said …"If you are Hindu then be a complete Hindu, if you are Muslim then be a complete Muslim, and if you are SIKH, THEN BE A COMPLETE SIKH!"
  • The Guru's emphasized the importance of sangat, for this reason alone it is the sangat that helps you reach your goal. If you want to play tennis, spending time with those who like golf will not help you. But those golf players will eventually influence you to like golf, just because their presence will encourage you to do so.
  • I greatly enjoy reading articles on sikhchic.com about all types of Sikhs and I don't think alienating people is a philosophy Sikh cyber-leadership should espouse. We need more things (such as these websites) that bring us together rather than driving an already fractured community further apart.
  • I believe it is the moral and ethical responsibility of educated and privileged Sikhs everywhere to provide a balanced view of these people and not shy away from pointing out where they have failed with regards to moral and ethical standards which are accepted world-wide ... it is reprehensible to provide a distorted view and mislead people into believing that these people are model figures to be idolized or not held accountable for their misdeeds!
  • Every saint has a past and every sinner a future. When the time is ripe and you are ready, the unmanifest become manifest and visible.
  • please don't portray those who have openly declared their conversion to another faith as if they are within the Sikh sphere. It is plain false. .. Nikki Haley is a blatant example of someone of this type.
  • Start casting a Sikh within. The stone will fall down itself. A Sikh is in the learning, not a mask on the decorated body. Sikhi is also not inherited. Everyone has to begin with receiving the true Naam. Sikhi is lost when the wisdom of true Naam is lost. All that is left then is a worldly religion.
  • We cannot keep narrowing our vision. Please keep us connected to issues, friends, news and views. There are plenty with regressive mindsets addressing only those who fit their bill.
  • Those who don't give a damn about the rights and wrongs of a certain situation or issue, have somehow become progressives?
  • Can we say that Guru Nanak was not a true Sikh because his constant companion was a Muslim? If not, how can we castigate those who are friendly with, or marry people of other religions. So long as we believe there is only one Oankar, religious divide does not come in. These are the views of a simple and honest man.
  • Progress is connected to the term "progressive", and progress today is in learning to navigate the world, by reaching out, not by staying within walls that are killing our motivation, and alienating fellow Sikhs. Our efforts are better spent on learning about our new world than obstructing it, keeping compassion as our basis for progress.
  • I have been reading articles on sikhchic.com for a few years and I have to say that many of those who write have double standards - one for girls/ women, another for boys/men. The majority of the articles I see on the site showcase achievements of boys/men are about those who are turbaned and who have not cut their hair. But on the other hand, when they publish an article on Sikh girls, they don't care whether she has uncut her hair or not.]
  • Instead of trying to understand what the Gurus said, we are trying to force ourselves as gurus of today's date. The Sikh Religion has doors open to anyone, everyone.
  • Anyone who claims that his/her only and living Guru is Guru Granth Sahib is a Sikh. What kind of Sikh? That is between him and his Guru. As is Guru Granth for a Sikh, there is Guru Panth. So I am loyal to His sangat. My prejudices are overruled by His acceptance.
What are your reactions?
http://www.sikhchic.com/roundtable/cast_the_first_stone_the_roundtable_open_forum_36_july_7_13
 
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Mai Harinder Kaur

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Oct 6, 2006
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At present, I accept the definition of a Sikh as in SRM:

[SIZE=-1]Any human being who faithfully believes in
i. One Immortal Being,
ii. Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib,
iii. The Guru Granth Sahib,
iv. The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1] v. the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh

Except for the second part of point v, these are all internal things which no one except the person can judge. It is usually possible to tell if someone owes allegiance to some other religion, hence I would not regard a member of a dera as Sikh.

This raises an interesting question: Are those excommunicated by Akal Takht Sikhs if they meet the requirements of the SRM? :confusedkudi:
[/SIZE]
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,205
24 hours later it looks like SPN members and visitors are interested in the topic (69 views) and members are less likely to draw a hard line in the sand on the subject.
 

Tejwant Singh

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Writer
SPNer
Jun 30, 2004
5,028
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Henderson, NV.
And I am still the only vote.

Let me rephrase my question:

Which is the higher authority in Sikhi. The SRM or the Akal Takht? This is a real question that I would like a definitive answer to.
Mai ji,

Guru Fateh.

For me personally, the only authourity is SGGS, our only Guru which leads us to the objective reality.

SRM, Akaal Takhat, SGPC, DGMC, etc etc are based on subjective truths hence some of their actions/ practices contradict the teachings of SGGS, our only Guru.

As the above are subjective, they should change and mold themselves with time in an objective way because Sikhi is not like a broken clock that stopped in time like other religions based on dogmas.

Pragmatism, the foundation of Sikhi demands these constant changes from the above entities. Otherwise they would remain political puppets as they are now, full of me-isms rather than helping others to become connected with the ONE.

Regards

Tejwant Singh
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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Tejwant Ji,

Of course, no Sikh could disagree that SGGS ji is our highest authority. Nothing else can even be compared.

My question is just between these two lesser Sikh things.

If someone meets the criteria outlined in the SRM and is excommunicated by the Akal Takht, in this most recent case, specifically Darshan Singh ji, am I as a practicing Sikh to follow the SRM, which doesn't consider excommunication or am I to follow the edict of the Akal Takht?

I know you understand that already, but some others might not.
 

Balkar Singh

SPNer
Oct 30, 2008
37
48
"Ilahi khair ho us carvan ki jis ka har shakas meer-e carvan ho" God save the carvan where every-one is sardar (leader). We need to follow one maryada, and check that no one be allowed to add or delete. Satguru Ramdass ji have compared these adulterers with 'son of a veswa' who's father will never get cogratulations. Unnecessary criticisms, raising doubts and objections, is not a Sikhi. We must come close like sons of One Father and like 'a sikh-family'. Shed ego, be sevadar and trust the Great Guru. Satguruji bless us all.
 

hpannu

SPNer
Dec 17, 2007
91
156
At present, I accept the definition of a Sikh as in SRM:

[SIZE=-1]Any human being who faithfully believes in
i. One Immortal Being,
ii. Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib,
iii. The Guru Granth Sahib,
iv. The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1] v. the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, is a Sikh

Except for the second part of point v, these are all internal things which no one except the person can judge. It is usually possible to tell if someone owes allegiance to some other religion, hence I would not regard a member of a dera as Sikh.

This raises an interesting question: Are those excommunicated by Akal Takht Sikhs if they meet the requirements of the SRM? :confusedkudi:
[/SIZE]
VAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA
VAHEGURU JI KI FATEH !

Mai Ji, I consider SIKH to be as defined under the SIKH REHAT MARYADA (SRM), excommunication by Akal Takht now a days is under the influence of other parties NOT Jathedar's. We as Sikhs have to give NIRPAKH opinion/decision following teachings from GURU GRANTH SAHIB. The 2nd ? you raised was who is superior AKAL TAKHT or SRM - AKAL TAKHT is supreme authority not SRM - but we all have to free AKAL TAKHT from leaders who are anti panthic/sikh ( all they care about is votes and promoting their families members/relatives - there hunger for power is bigger than the PANTH ).

Bhul Chuk Maaf,
:eek:rangesingh:
 

hpannu

SPNer
Dec 17, 2007
91
156
Tejwant Ji,

Of course, no Sikh could disagree that Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is our highest authority. Nothing else can even be compared.

My question is just between these two lesser Sikh things.

If someone meets the criteria outlined in the SRM and is excommunicated by the Akal Takht, in this most recent case, specifically Darshan Singh ji, am I as a practicing Sikh to follow the SRM, which doesn't consider excommunication or am I to follow the edict of the Akal Takht?

I know you understand that already, but some others might not.
Mai Ji - if we call ourselves SIKHS then we have to follow AKAL TAKHT SAHIB. Infact if we follow teachings from Shri Guru Granth Sahib - then we SIKHS should practice NIM ke rehna ( humbleness ). Just like Maharaja Ranjit Singh accepted AKAL TAKHT's verdict. Right or Wrong the edict of AKAL TAKHT SAHIB has to be followed. If i ever get called to AKAL TAKHT SAHIB to apologize to the PANTH i will do it without questioning who is right and who is wrong ? it is so easy to say i am CHOTA ( smaller ) infront of AKAL TAKHT / PANTH !

I think i have answered your questions in this forum to the best of my ability. if not i apologize upfront. Bhul Chuk Maaf karna Ji.

Harjot Singh:blueturban:
 

Bmandur

SPNer
May 16, 2008
198
235
Canada
And I am still the only vote.

Let me rephrase my question:

Which is the higher authority in Sikhi. The SRM or the Akal Takht? This is a real question that I would like a definitive answer to.
ANSWER TO THAT IS:
Any human being who faithfully believes in
i. One Immortal Being,
ii. Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib,
iii. The Guru Granth Sahib,
iv. The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and

[SIZE=-1]v. the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion, [/SIZE]is a Sikh

 

Bmandur

SPNer
May 16, 2008
198
235
Canada
Mai Ji - if we call ourselves SIKHS then we have to follow AKAL TAKHT SAHIB. Infact if we follow teachings from Shri Guru Granth Sahib - then we SIKHS should practice NIM ke rehna ( humbleness ). Just like Maharaja Ranjit Singh accepted AKAL TAKHT's verdict. Right or Wrong the edict of AKAL TAKHT SAHIB has to be followed. If i ever get called to AKAL TAKHT SAHIB to apologize to the PANTH i will do it without questioning who is right and who is wrong ? it is so easy to say i am CHOTA ( smaller ) infront of AKAL TAKHT / PANTH !

I think i have answered your questions in this forum to the best of my ability. if not i apologize upfront. Bhul Chuk Maaf karna Ji.

Harjot Singh:blueturban:
Which Akal Takhat Sahib Are you talking about?
MARYADA, JATHEDAR"S, AKAALI"S, Takhat of Patna, Takhat of Nandher( HAzursahib)

BHul CHuk Maaf
 

Tejwant Singh

Mentor
Writer
SPNer
Jun 30, 2004
5,028
7,180
Henderson, NV.
VAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA
VAHEGURU JI KI FATEH !

Mai Ji, I consider SIKH to be as defined under the SIKH REHAT MARYADA (SRM), excommunication by Akal Takht now a days is under the influence of other parties NOT Jathedar's. We as Sikhs have to give NIRPAKH opinion/decision following teachings from GURU GRANTH SAHIB. The 2nd ? you raised was who is superior AKAL TAKHT or SRM - AKAL TAKHT is supreme authority not SRM - but we all have to free AKAL TAKHT from leaders who are anti panthic/sikh ( all they care about is votes and promoting their families members/relatives - there hunger for power is bigger than the PANTH ).


Mai Ji - if we call ourselves SIKHS then we have to follow AKAL TAKHT SAHIB. Infact if we follow teachings from Shri Guru Granth Sahib - then we SIKHS should practice NIM ke rehna ( humbleness ). Just like Maharaja Ranjit Singh accepted AKAL TAKHT's verdict. Right or Wrong the edict of AKAL TAKHT SAHIB has to be followed. If i ever get called to AKAL TAKHT SAHIB to apologize to the PANTH i will do it without questioning who is right and who is wrong ? it is so easy to say i am CHOTA ( smaller ) infront of AKAL TAKHT / PANTH !

I think i have answered your questions in this forum to the best of my ability. if not i apologize upfront. Bhul Chuk Maaf karna Ji.

Harjot Singh:blueturban:
Harjot Singh ji,

Guru Fateh.

How would you reconcile with your above two posts which seem to contradict themselves? Let's not forget that the same Akaal Takhat gave OK and wrote editorials to many antiSikhi books which they had to ban later on.

About Sri Guru Granth Sahib, our only Guru teaches all of us who call ourselves Sikhs more than just to show humility through actions and the same message is for the honchos of the entities mentioned in my first post.

In my opinion, the word humility used in the English language under these kinds of contexts is the most arrogant word.


Sikhi, unlike any other religion is an evolving way of life which means we as Sikhs evolve with time, thanks to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, our only Guru and this evolution means to change,adapt,mold so that goodness can be bred within which can be shared with others.

I would love to hear your opinion on your two posts.

Thanks & regards

Tejwant Singh
 

JimRinX

SPNer
Aug 14, 2008
166
148
Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
Venerable jis
Just a word, after reviewing these comments, on this Wise Statement
"....then we SIKHS should practice NIM ke rehna ( humbleness )", from your favorite Buddhist Interloper.
While I understand your urge - your need (in such a diverse nation/place as "India") - to stand apart, for the sake of maintaining your Identity, and thus keeping your Noble Faith 'Pure', I hear more than a faint note of Fanaticism in these words; more than a hint of Too Much Pride.
Please don't do that. We have enough Fanatics in the world; and they are driving us apart in dangerous ways.
I have Much Respect for all that I've learned about Sikhism, over the last few years; as your Faith is, in my Humble Opinion, Pure Dharma.
Think of Guru Nanak ji going to Mecca. What would HE think of all this Prideful Banter? was this not a lesson to all that EVERYONE is a Sikh?
To those with Open Minds, merely studying Sikhism would do them a lot of good; but when you start saying things that make other people feel as if they can't possibly be a Sikh, too - it's only a matter of time before the Hot Irons (or Plates) emerge from the torturers closet, and the 'Infidels' get it.:firing:
And please, though you got stiffed (like the Kurds, the Sand Arabs, and so many others) by the Raj, after Independence, work to UNITE - not Divide! - as that's the only way we will be able to Save The World!
Sikhism has so much to offer, as far as that kind of thing is concerned.
PEACE - or else!
 

Bhai Harbans Lal

Writer
SPNer
Sep 24, 2004
35
37
89
“Sikh” is defined in section 2(9) of the Gurdwara Act of 1925, which reads as under: --<?"urn::eek:ffice:eek:ffice" />
“2(9). “Sikh” means a person who professes the Sikh religion or, in the case of a deceased person, who professed the Sikh religion or was known to be a Sikh during his life time.
 
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Mai Harinder Kaur

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Writer
SPNer
Oct 6, 2006
1,755
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British Columbia, Canada
“Sikh” is defined in section 2(9) of the Gurdwara Act of 1925, which reads as under: --ffice:eek:ffice" />
“2(9). “Sikh” means a person who professes the Sikh religion or, in the case of a deceased person, who professed the Sikh religion or was known to be a Sikh during his life time.
Bhai Harbans Lal ji,

If I am reading this correctly, it is saying that anyone who says s/he is a Sikh is a Sikh. This seems a bit broad.
 
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Bhai Harbans Lal

Writer
SPNer
Sep 24, 2004
35
37
89
Bhai Harbans Lal ji,

If I am reading this correctly, it is saying that anyone who says s/he is a Sikh is a Sikh. This seems a bit broad.
According to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Bhai Gurdas and Bhai Nand Lal, Sikhee is to spread in the four corners of our globe, among all cultures and shades of people. This requires a definition that is inclusive and can accommodate a very wide variety of people seeking a religion. A broad definition is our Founder’s choice. <?"urn::eek:ffice:eek:ffice" />
 
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kds1980

SPNer
Apr 4, 2005
4,502
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39
INDIA
According to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Bhai Gurdas and Bhai Nand Lal, Sikhee is to spread in the four corners of our globe, among all cultures and shades of people. This requires a definition that is inclusive and can accommodate a very wide variety of people seeking a religion. A broad definition is our Founder’s choice. <?"urn::eek:ffice:eek:ffice" />
Well so it means when a person can gain any benefit from sikhi then he/she can declare himself/herself sikh but when nothing is available or rampaging mobs are searching for sikhs then they are not sikhs.When maharaja Ranjit singh was in power there were 5-8 million sikhs after that only 1-2 million declared themself sikhs.Even Britishers predicted that this religion ios going to end.Thanks to so called talibani,orthodox sikhs to whom people abuse daily here sikhism survived.The liberals already left the boat
 
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