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Why Is There Discrimination Against Lower Caste Sikhs?

RD1

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I'm not sure if youve noticed, but the heads of basically all religious institutions Akal Takht included have become corrupted.
Hence, a previous comment I made - What religion out there is not a "failed religion?"
Corruption has seeped in everywhere. Religion is twisted and used for one's self-interest - to actually promote fear, hate, and division, rather than love and tolerance.
 

Harkiran Kaur

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Sure there are problems in Akal Takht etc but there could be a lot worse! Can you imagine what will happen if one of the groups who hates Sikh Reget Maryada gets in power? How much that will divide Sikhi???
 

Sikhilove

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I'm not sure if youve noticed, but the heads of basically all religious institutions Akal Takht included have become corrupted.

Satguru Ji speaks of times like these in Dasam Granth Ji. Your typical Panj Pyaare are very likely no saints, i wouldnt epitomize many people right now.
Hence, a previous comment I made - What religion out there is not a "failed religion?"
Corruption has seeped in everywhere. Religion is twisted and used for one's self-interest - to actually promote fear, hate, and division, rather than love and tolerance.
Hence the First Masters teaching, that there is No Hindu No Muslim.
 
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Sikhilove

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Sure there are problems in Akal Takht etc but there could be a lot worse! Can you imagine what will happen if one of the groups who hates Sikh Reget Maryada gets in power? How much that will divide Sikhi???
Sikhi is the path of Truth. Other past teachers have also taught Truth. Its not a Sect, and its not exclusive to the earth realm. Its a path to eternity and the practice of freedom and Balance.

Humans Group together in attachment to each other when the Masters taught that attachment is a vice. They fight and argue all under the guise of religion instead of living how they should.

When institutions the Masters set up become corrupted and unrecognisable from how they were originally, theyre no longer valid and should be disregarded, live how they wanted you to live.
 

sukhsingh

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I think the problem is that Sikhism has become or at least the dominant thread of it is transforming in to organised and institutionalized religion when guru nanaks message clearly opposed hierarchical structures with a intellectual /priesthood /politicized identity. It was pluralistic at it's very heart.. I think the conflation of the Sikh identity with that of khalsa panth and the trend since Singh sabha movement for them to be one and the same has as a unintentional consequence undermined the plurality and enable social hierarchies to become culturally embedded
 

RD1

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I think the problem is that Sikhism has become or at least the dominant thread of it is transforming in to organised and institutionalized religion when guru nanaks message clearly opposed hierarchical structures with a intellectual /priesthood /politicized identity. It was pluralistic at it's very heart.. I think the conflation of the Sikh identity with that of khalsa panth and the trend since Singh sabha movement for them to be one and the same has as a unintentional consequence undermined the plurality and enable social hierarchies to become culturally embedded
Hierarchies result in divisions and separating people, creating power imbalances, and essentially discrimination and oppression - whether by caste, gender, race, etc. Every aspect of out existence is hierarchical - from politics, to the work place, to our homes. Are we humans incapable of living without hierarchy?

A part of Sikhism is organized/institutionalized with the Khalsa. However, I would say that Sikhism does not have as many strict "rules and regulations" as other religions. It is quite open, and not simply a religion, but a way of life. And still, it was also made clear by our gurus that Waheguru is the only Master. All humans are equally below the One.
 

Harkiran Kaur

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Are we humans incapable of living without hierarchy?
.
The ones in power don't want to lose that power over others. That includes government over the people, higher caste over the lower castes, males over females etc. I'm quite sure those in the lower positions would love to see heirarchy die.
 
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RD1

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The ones in power don't want to lose that power over others. That includes government over the people, higher caste over the lower castes, males over females etc. I'm quite sure those in the lower positions would love to see heirarchy die.
Agreed. However, it seems that throughout all of humankind, societies have always organized themselves around hierarchies. There are those who constantly seek power, and others who give away their power. Some people just seem to want to bow down to someone.....like how so many people basically worship the British crown - despite their extremely violent and intolerant history/legacy.

Perhaps hierarchies only truly become dangerous when the ones on top start to abuse their power and influence - which seems to be the case today when it comes to governments and wealthy corporations, in particular.
 

Harkiran Kaur

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Agreed. However, it seems that throughout all of humankind, societies have always organized themselves around hierarchies. There are those who constantly seek power, and others who give away their power. Some people just seem to want to bow down to someone.....like how so many people basically worship the British crown - despite their extremely violent and intolerant history/legacy.

Perhaps hierarchies only truly become dangerous when the ones on top start to abuse their power and influence - which seems to be the case today when it comes to governments and wealthy corporations, in particular.
When said hierarchies are temporary and elected by the people then I have no issues. Society needs governance.

But on personal level is where I have problems with it. Lower caste stuck in the lower position from both to death and through no desire of their own. Why is someone higher than someone just because of what body / family they happened to be born in? They aren't according to Gurbani which says every human is equal and that we are to see that in everyone. Even worse how can Gurdwaras pop up for only certain castes like Ramgharia Gurdwaras I have seen?? Gurdwaras are open to everyone even nonSikhs!

Same with 'traditional' ideals for family and women's place. Even in sikhi we see women forced into subordinate role beneath their husbands who are 'head' (or even 'God' in some Rehet maryadas) of their family. There are countless 'Singhs' out there who believe the reason why the male leads in the lavaans is to demonstrate how he will 'lead' and his wife will 'follow' (aka be obedient) in the marriage. (They obviously don't get the metaphor and what's being passed during the lavaans has nothing to do with physical marriage but instead our souls relation to Waheguru as husband Lord) but I digress... husband and wife are equal halves to one whole and have equal say in their marriage as two consenting adults. A party of two doesn't need a perpetual leader and a perpetual follower... that would be a master / servant relationship. Some of those Singh's even say that a wife's 'dharam' is to serve her husband while he never has to serve his wife in this life. That suggests being born female is a punishment for past Karams? While being born male is a reward?? Is this what our Gurus taught???
 

sukhsingh

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Agreed. However, it seems that throughout all of humankind, societies have always organized themselves around hierarchies. There are those who constantly seek power, and others who give away their power. Some people just seem to want to bow down to someone.....like how so many people basically worship the British crown - despite their extremely violent and intolerant history/legacy.

Perhaps hierarchies only truly become dangerous when the ones on top start to abuse their power and influence - which seems to be the case today when it comes to governments and wealthy corporations, in particular.
All hierarchical structures are based on power and hence open to abuse.
I have always seen guru gobind Singh jis submission to the panj pyare a demonstration of how even guru was not beyond rapprochement
 

Sikhilove

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Hierarchies result in divisions and separating people, creating power imbalances, and essentially discrimination and oppression - whether by caste, gender, race, etc. Every aspect of out existence is hierarchical - from politics, to the work place, to our homes. Are we humans incapable of living without hierarchy?

A part of Sikhism is organized/institutionalized with the Khalsa. However, I would say that Sikhism does not have as many strict "rules and regulations" as other religions. It is quite open, and not simply a religion, but a way of life. And still, it was also made clear by our gurus that Waheguru is the only Master. All humans are equally below the One.
The difference between authority of the Gurus and that of mayadharis is that Gurus put their heads at the feet of all.

This is rare.

Many have forgotten that the prerequisite of spirituality is losing your head.
 

sukhsingh

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The difference between authority of the Gurus and that of mayadharis is that Gurus put their heads at the feet of all.

This is rare.

Many have forgotten that the prerequisite of spirituality is losing your head.
Humility
 

Jasdeep118

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I pray for the day we will see Guru Nanak Dev Ji's wish for Sikhi come true... elimination of ALL forms of social class and status. Not just caste but gender discrimination also which is rife in especially the youth these days. (Just search online and you won't have to go far before you see Singh's saying Kaurs were ever meant to have Amrit, never meant to have leadership roles in Sikhi, should not be able to have equal status with Singh's with regards to seva as Panj Pyaras, even suggestions that wives are subordinate to husbands and that the wife follows in lavaans to show this subordinate place - and yes even brahminical idea of women and sootak has made its way in there too keeping women from seva of SGGSJ in certain times). Why do I bring these up in a caste thread? Because they are intimately related. In caste system women were lower than even the lowest caste males, regardless of their caste. A woman was told her only hope was to serve men for this life (and likely another 6) before hoping to be born as even a low caste male.

Social divisions and statuses are a bane of human race and all ethnicities and cultures have not been able to get rid of it. Guru Nanak Dev Ji saw differently that ALL humans were equal and carried the same divine light equally. It's us who can't see past statuses. But you can't take your status with you when you die. Like the story of the King who dreamt he was a popper and had lost his kingdom. What he doesn't realize is it was never his to begin with. I always say be the change you want to see so speak openly about caste and how it goes against Gurbani and what our Gurus wanted.

Nobody said speaking up is easy. I have done so and gotten banned on several other forums for speaking for equality for Kaurs. Yes banned... because I spoke against how certain jathas are given higher status and other jathas members are called every horrible thing under the sun. (I spoke directly against how AKJ was called Pakhand Kirtan Jatha, without moderators saying anything yet a much more benign comment about another group was moderated and deleted simply because of who that jatha was). This is just as bad as casteism I think. Jatha-ism should we call it??? Why can't we just consider every Sikh as equal??
Banned because I spoke openly about Kaurs having equality in Sikhi, and spoke against the horrible things being said about Kaur's place in Sikhi.

If you truly are against caste divisions in Sikhi then as the current youth YOU have an opportunity to stand up for what is right. And recruit others to the cause. Start a petition and submit to Akal takht to stop this caste divisions in Sikhi as all Gurdwaras are open to everyone that even includes non Sikhs! How can they discriminate supposed caste when Our Gurus denied caste all together!? Change won't happen over night and with one person. But it won't happen at all if not for one person initiating that change!
I agree with you too, I hope that in the future that we will seee Guru Nanak Dev Ji's wish come true, and that there would be no caste, but only equal human beings.
 
Our only hope is that our hope will carry the torch of Sikhi, and will help cleanse it of its vices
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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The question is not "why is there discrimination against lower caste Sikhs?" The question is "why are there lower caste Sikhs?" Caste has absolutely no place in Sikhi and its presence is the strongest argument that the Hinduizers have that Sikhi is not a separate religion, but merely a branch of Hinduism. All the human Gurus preached strongly against caste. Guru Gobind Singh ji even instituted a new naming system amongst the Khalsa to help with the abolishing of caste. Why this scourge is still practiced amongst Sikhs is beyond me. Isnt it time we grow up and leave this ancient, outdated, childish concept in the past where it belongs?
 
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Not sure how to properly say this, maybe you guys can correct me. I get that there should be no castes, I agree with it and really wished elder generations would have had similar thinking. Jatts marry only Jatts, Saini to Saini, etc. My family did the same with me, they found a Saini girl. To be honest that had nothing do with my decision on whether I liked that person or not. Just solely based on their character. But the idea that we all should only have Singhs and Kaurs as last names. I guess it was good idea back in the 1500s, but remember the Sikh population was probably in the 10s to 100s of thousands (I could be way off), BUT now you have MILLIONS of Sikhs. Just from a sensus perspective, can you imagine how many people would have similar names. Jasmeet, Jaspreet, Jasdeep, etc. and that's just a tip of the letter "J". I'm not trying to change anything here on last names, I think the idea behind it was very unifying. I'm just saying would it still be practical today, and could we not use Singh/Kaur like middle names (as most do) and still do away with castes. To me having a last name other than Singh, gives my family an identity. Singh may help in identifying me as a Sikh, but my last name gives my family an identity. Not sure if that makes sense.
 
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Jasdeep 118, You sound abit like me when i was 14. Age doesn't matter, wisdom can be seen at any age, and you showed it in your first post.

This issue is due to Punjabi Brown culture, it has nothing to do with Truth (Sat).

All you can do is teach, don't get angry about it, accept that people can be ignorant and teach them.

Whether they listen or not is up to them. We are here to live and teach (serve), not force people to change. Punjabis can be racist.

My mum used to tell me that if I didn't marry a Jatt, she would disown me.

Years later, now she tells me that caste doesn't matter, because I taught her that racism is wrong and she listened :)
Totally agree, the Punjabi culture has a lot of influence. Older generations where brought up where questioning ones parents or elders would give you a nice beating. But with each generation, changes will come slowly. And it starts with each of us. If we believe this is wrong, chances are we will pass that passion and knowledge to our kids. My wife, who if had married and lived in India, would probably be typical by the book, listen to your parents, no questioning or thinking outside the box type of person. But since being in the US for the last 12 years, she's experience kind of a whole new world. She's met and friended people of different religions/backgrounds, sexuality, family status. Most of my family (cousins, massi's, mama's etc.) wont admit it, but probably unknowingly been practicing a caste system. If you're aware of it and can change your family going forward, and make it better, than that's awesome.
 

sukhsingh

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Well, I mean we all have different hobbies and interests. Mine is just looking at history, and religion.
All power to you for enquiring. . Khoj is a beautiful journey and you are right at the beginning of your quest!
 

Jasdeep118

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Totally agree, the Punjabi culture has a lot of influence. Older generations where brought up where questioning ones parents or elders would give you a nice beating. But with each generation, changes will come slowly. And it starts with each of us. If we believe this is wrong, chances are we will pass that passion and knowledge to our kids. My wife, who if had married and lived in India, would probably be typical by the book, listen to your parents, no questioning or thinking outside the box type of person. But since being in the US for the last 12 years, she's experience kind of a whole new world. She's met and friended people of different religions/backgrounds, sexuality, family status. Most of my family (cousins, massi's, mama's etc.) wont admit it, but probably unknowingly been practicing a caste system. If you're aware of it and can change your family going forward, and make it better, than that's awesome.
Maya work's in mysterious ways. I know a lot of Sikhs that are affected by ahankar (conceit) ego or pride in one caste. Let me tell you Punjabi Music is making Ahankar, with Putt De Jattan this, Putt De Jattan that, let me tell you you don't see other people doing Putt de Mazjabian, Putt de Kambojan, etc. If there is a Putt De, we should be Putt de Sikhian. Which is why Sikhism and Culture is different, but it feels like Culture has a grasp on Sikhi. For example TruthSikher31, Guru Nanak said women are equal, yet ironically we have the highest abortion rates.
 

dalvindersingh grewal

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We lived in villages society where every one was chacha taya, chachi tai etc irrespective of the caste. We played together with friends from other religion and the castes which are now told low. We never new that some people are of low cast. it is only after independence that so much hue and cry is raised about caste. I Even now in the remote corner in city we find the people of all caste celebrating all functions together without caring for castes and religions., The wedge appears to be purposely being created for certain personal gains etc. and for no other reasons. Important is to live peacefully, with love for all in a common brotherhood where the point of castes does not crop up.
 

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