Sikh Leaders and Speaking Up for the Sikh Identity

Recently I have read a few articles about instances where Sikh leaders have partaken in activities with various anti-Sikh groups, such as theRSSandDera Sacha Sauda.

In part, the controversies that have arisen are rooted in the questions of what role Sikh leader ought to play in the context of anti-Sikh propaganda.Should our leaders be attending functions organized by anti-Sikh groups? Should they boycott them? Many leaders have been seen supporting such organizations byhobnobbing with,accepting gifts from, and turning a blind eye to their activities.

Jathedar.jpg

Onerecent instanceof this is the Jathedar of the Akal Takht and others accepting pictures which expressly co-mingle Sikhi with Hinduism (with Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Sri Ram) at an RSS function. It may not seem like a big deal, but one of the RSS’s assertions is that Sikhs are derivatives of Hinduism and that the Guru’s are the descendants of the Hindu God Ram. I wonder if anyone else feels that our Jathedar’s acceptance of such a picture is a bit shady?As a Sikh I expect my leaders to stand up for Sikh beliefs and the Sikh identity – not accept memorabilia which dilutes my identity and depicts something that they sit on stages across the globe and negate.

As I write this post, I realize that some of you may be thinking that of the instance above does not amount to much, but I think it is illustrative of a much larger issue …if our leaders do not take a stand on something as simple as “Sikhi and Hinduism are not the same,” then where does that leave us as a Sikh nation? How are we to face other challenges to our identity in the West? What are our expectations of our leaders? And are there any avenues we can take to enact change?


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4 Responses to “Sikh Leaders and Speaking Up for the Sikh Identity”

  1. P.Singh says:

    When a crook like Badal can remain in power for as long as he has, I have my share of doubts re how much change can be affected.

    That said, if Sikhs had adopted pessimistic attitudes like mine, instead of "chardi kala" as a national moto, we would have been wiped out long ago.

    In this case, the Jathedar has to be called to task for his involvement with anti-panthic organizations like the RSS. For Sikh leaders, attendance at any such event should be taken as an opportunity to denounce anti-Sikh actions taken by the organization (RRS and cohorts).

    The details escape me, but allow me to share a short story with you. A few years back, a young female student put in considerable work re protection of environment, conservation, and highlighted the negative impact of corporations on native communities etc.

    For her humanitarian work and conservation efforts, she was honored at an event hosted by one of the major oil companies – Esso, I think.

    When she went up to the podium to accept her award, to Esso's horror, she removed her jacket to reveal a shirt with an anti-Esso logo (picture the no cigarrette logos). Then, to the continued mortification of the hosts, she proceeded to take the microphone and denounce Esso for its excesses, providing detailed accounts of abuse in foreign countries.

    If our leaders had half the courage and integrity of this young woman, we'd be in amazing shape.

    We've had idiot Jathedars in the past – this Jathedar needs to explain himself, and needs to be publicly reprimanded (somehow).

  2. P.Singh says:

    When a crook like Badal can remain in power for as long as he has, I have my share of doubts re how much change can be affected.

    That said, if Sikhs had adopted pessimistic attitudes like mine, instead of “chardi kala” as a national moto, we would have been wiped out long ago.

    In this case, the Jathedar has to be called to task for his involvement with anti-panthic organizations like the RSS. For Sikh leaders, attendance at any such event should be taken as an opportunity to denounce anti-Sikh actions taken by the organization (RRS and cohorts).

    The details escape me, but allow me to share a short story with you. A few years back, a young female student put in considerable work re protection of environment, conservation, and highlighted the negative impact of corporations on native communities etc.

    For her humanitarian work and conservation efforts, she was honored at an event hosted by one of the major oil companies – Esso, I think.

    When she went up to the podium to accept her award, to Esso’s horror, she removed her jacket to reveal a shirt with an anti-Esso logo (picture the no cigarrette logos). Then, to the continued mortification of the hosts, she proceeded to take the microphone and denounce Esso for its excesses, providing detailed accounts of abuse in foreign countries.

    If our leaders had half the courage and integrity of this young woman, we’d be in amazing shape.

    We’ve had idiot Jathedars in the past – this Jathedar needs to explain himself, and needs to be publicly reprimanded (somehow).

  3. yadig says:

    Recently Lucha Sauda killed another sikh in a protest in mumbai and what else is sad is that no one thinks this fool ram rahim is problem. Also, no guruduara did ardaas for this guy who became a shaheed. On the last note I was wondering if langar hall was going to post anything on the death of this sikh by ram rahim's people?

    yadig?

  4. yadig says:

    Recently Lucha Sauda killed another sikh in a protest in mumbai and what else is sad is that no one thinks this fool ram rahim is problem. Also, no guruduara did ardaas for this guy who became a shaheed. On the last note I was wondering if langar hall was going to post anything on the death of this sikh by ram rahim’s people?

    yadig?