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In Defense of Sikhism and Khalistan – Part 2

Bijla Singh                                                                                                                                                        July 12, 2012

Continuing with the series, this is our response to part 2 which addresses some philosophical and historical questions. Red ccomments are from the Hindu author.

1. Sikhs don’t believe in the caste system unlike the Hindus who are riddled with caste

The Foundation of Sikhism is built upon One God being the father of humanity and the entire human race being equal to each other. Since all have been created by God, there is no one superior to another. Gurbani and Vaars from Bhai Gurdas Ji are clear on this subject. The Hindu author is confused over Sikh beliefs versus actual practice of some Sikhs who do not adhere completely to their faith and are stuck in the prevalent Hindu caste based environment for generations. We address his assertion below (highlighted red),

To derail this myth, many Sikhs eschew caste surnames and instead adopt the name of town of their birth – i.e. Balwant Singh Rajoana – Jarnail Singh Bhindrenwala or alternatively by their profession like Harjit Singh Solicitor

Adopting name of town, village etc. does not amount to practicing caste system. These names have nothing to do with the caste altogether. Such names are adopted to avoid confusion of mistaking one person with another of the same name. However, no one can tell the caste from such names, which carries connotations of a certain position in society over or under another caste

There is probably not a single Sikh who is unaware of his caste origin. Beneath the veneer of a casteless society the dominant Jat caste proudly exclaim their caste pride in numerous songs and saying – The Khatri Sikhs are equally proficient in proclaiming their mercantile abilities and caste groupings and their caste link with the line of the Gurus. The Gurus themselves only married into their own castes and also arranged their children to do so.

The author has presented no evidence to support his baseless claims. Unless he has done a survey of the entire Sikh nation, his argument is invalid. There are many Sikhs who not only oppose caste system but also do not adopt caste names. Being aware of one’s genealogy is not the same as practicing caste system. It is simply a matter of knowing one’s heritage, background and ancestors. Those who audaciously claim their caste are going against the principles of Sikhism and are not Sikhs. The Sikh Gurus practiced the ideology they preached. To state otherwise is foolish and ignorant. The Sikh Gurus held no importance to caste system and took strict measures to eradicate it. It is oft-repeated argument of the Hindus that the Gurus married within their own caste system yet not once a single source is presented that identifies the caste system of their noble wives. The Hindus are ignorant of the fact that a person being from a certain caste does not prove that the caste system was practiced. In other words, the Gurus considered characteristics rather than the caste to choose a spouse and there is not a single incident in the entire Guru period history that is remotely related to a wife of any one of the Gurus going against the injunctions of Sikhism or practicing caste.  Lastly, the argument presented by the author loses all relevance when looking at non-Indians who have adopted Sikhism.  What of their caste and lineage, which has no place in caste system, a Hindu concept?  Their adoption speaks volumes for the universality of Sikhism beyond the borders of India and lays waste to the mistaken assumption that Sikhism has any place for the caste system.  Such a concept of adopting Hinduism by a non Indian is preposterous – where would one fit a Indian into the caste system?  This in itself draws a sharp delineation between Sikhism and Hinduism.

The Mazhabi Sikhs are at the bottom of the Sikh caste system and have recently had one of their prominent religious leaders murdered by upper caste Khalistani fanatics in a Sikh Temple in Vienna, Austria – Many are moving to create their own ‘Ravidassia’ religion to escape the terrible inequalities that they suffer

The term “Mazahbi” actually means one who is strong, dedicated and faithful to his religion i.e. fundamentalist. The caste system is advocated by the Indian political system through the system of reservation. All Indians, including Sikhs, are required to report their caste system to determine if their children qualify for reserved seats in colleges and universities. In reference to the Vienna incident, the author is referring to the heretic Ravidasis sect that falsely worship Bhagat Ravidas and elevate him to equal level of Guru Granth Sahib. The person killed in Vienna was warned to not insult the sentiments of the Sikhs, which he continued to do. The incident had nothing to do with Khalistan or the caste system.

Caste violence in rife in rural areas and attempts for the Dalit Sikhs to escape or to follow their own religious preferences are met with both mob and state violence from the Khalistanis and their fellow travellers in the establishment

No evidence presented. To the surprise of the Hindu author, it was their “father of nation” Gandhi who advocated caste system and went to hunger strikes to stop Dalits from converting to Sikhism. Not once has any dalit ever been killed by Khalistanis for belonging to a so-called low caste.

The few Brahmins who are Sikh tend to hide their caste origins to escape censure and opprobrium from the other Sikhs- In general the Brahmins are views with much the same prejudice as suffered by the Jews in pre-war Nazi Germany.

This point has already been refuted in Part 1. Again read Hindu Sikh Brotherhood

The Hindus all over India have actually made progress in the removal of caste prejudice in India – Persons from all castes are now able to become Pandits and religious Gurus and to reach political positions such as the President of India and the Chief Minister of various states.

This is nothing but a farfetched idea and an empty statement by the Hindu author. The caste system is propagated by the Vedas and Simartis. To go against the caste system means going against the very scriptures of Hinduism. For the sake of argument, if we assume that a dalit can become a teacher of Brahmin and teach him Vedas, what exactly would he teach in place of caste system? The real step forward would be to remove any text related to caste system from the Hindu scriptures and pass strict laws abolishing its practices.

Read Sikh position on caste system: Caste and Varna

2. The sikhs gave over 90% of the sacrifices for Indian freedom

The fact remains that the Sikhs gave more sacrifices than other communities. Being only 1% of the population (at that time) the number of sacrifices by the Sikhs is significant compared to other communities. Sikhs fought Anglo-Sikh wars, then Bhai Maharaj Singh, Naamdharis and other movements started by the Sikhs speak for themselves. Light of freedom was kept lit by the Sikhs.

What they don’t tell you is that the figure has conveniently ignored huge mass movements like the Quit India movement of 1942 (over 10,000 hanged or shot by the British) the rising of 1857 (nearly one million people killed) and numerous other non-violent and violence revolutionaries across India

Again, where is the evidence? Rising of 1857 was nothing but feuds for personal gains drive by self-motives against the British. It has already been addressed here: Truth Behind 1857

They also include movements like the Akali movement which was solely for the right to run the Sikh gurudwaras

The Gurdwara Reform Movement was launched to free Gurdwaras from the clutches of Hindu backed Mahants who had become greedy enough to mismanage the Gurdwaras. Success of Sikhs was applauded by Gandhi who states, “The first war of India’s independence has been won”.

The true figure is nearer 5%

According to what survey? Here are the actual numbers.

 

Type

All Communities

Sikhs

Percentage

Prison term over 1 year

2,125

1,550

73%

Deported

2,646

2,147

81%

Death sentence

127

92

72%

Indian National Army (I.N.A.)

20,000

12,000

60%

 

 

For more information go here: Origins of Non-Violence Movement in India

3. Bhagat Singh became a Sikh again before his hanging by the British

The Hindu author tries unsuccessfully to protray Bhagat Singh as an atheist yet he fails to address how it even relates to Sikhism or Khalistan for that matter. Whether Bhagat Singh was an atheist or a Sikh makes no difference to the movement of Khalistan. Bhagat Singh was initially an atheist but few days prior to his hanging wished to take Amrit and become a Sikh. However, his request was denied by the British.

The myth began when Bhagat Singh was challenged in prison by Randhir Singh the leader of the ultra-fanatic Akhand Kirtani Jatha (A.K.J.) for cutting his hair and removing his turban. Bhagat Singh was so moved by the insults heaped on him by the religious zealot Randhir Singh his wrote his famous essay ‘Why I became an atheist’

Bhagat Singh was a political prisoner and no one was allowed to see him. Bhai Randhir Singh, a pious practicing gursikh, could care less about meeting Bhagat Singh. However, the meeting was requested by Bhagat Singh himself who was no touched and mesmerized by the magnetic personality of Bhai Randhir Singh that he instantly wished to become a Sikh. He stopped cutting his hair and became a believer. But his request to be baptized was not granted by the British just as wish of Bhai Sukhdev Singh and Bhai Harjinder Singh to become Sikhs was not fulfilled by the Indian authorities before their hanging. The last picture of Bhagat Singh has been given in Jail Letters written by Bhai Randhir Singh and the essay of Bhagat Singh was written prior to the meeting because Bhagat Singh was hanged a few days later.

Bhagat Singhs writings and the testimony of his own family are not enough for the Khalistanis though – They insist on showing Bhagat Singh as a Sikh and threaten dire consequences to those who disagree

The author has presented no evidence to prove that the family of Bhagat Singh has ever received any threat from Khalistanis. Further, what motives of Khalistanis are fulfilled to claim Bhagat Singh as a Sikh? He died for a good cause and a country that would provide freedom and human rights to its citizens. Apparently, that did not happen.

What Khalistanis don’t want you to know is that the leader of Bhagat Singhs group was a Brahmin Hindu –Chandrasekhar Azad who was eventually killed in a shootout with the British Police.

Khalistanis do not care what group Bhagat Singh worked in. The fact remains that he sacrificed for the freedom of all citizens of India yet all minority groups are being oppressed and massacred by the majority Hindus. We are sure even Chandar Shekhar would be highly disappointed and ashamed of India.

What they also don’t want you know is that his two colleagues who were hanged with him were Hindus – Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar – they have almost been wiped from Punjabi folklore for the reason that they were Hindus and who in Khalistani Mythology must be cowardly and cant fight..

Sikhs have nothing against Rajguru and Sukhdev. On the contrary, in order to hide their shame, Hindus are falsely writing history to claim many of the Sikh personalities and martyrs as Hindus. Further, Sikh martyrs from 1849-1947 are never mentioned in Indian history books because the Hindu media does not want to give due credits to the Sikhs and wishes to attribute all glories for the Hindus who were very insignificant and small in number compared to the Sikhs.

4. The revolutionaries like the Ghadar party were inspired by sikhism 

Revolutionaries or Gadari Babas were practicing Sikhs who upon arriving in USA observed the freedom granted to its citizens and how their brethren in India were suffering and being humiliated by the British. This is why they formed a Gadar Party and opened a Gurdwara in Stockton to discuss their matters. They also started a newspaper. Their pictures are well saved and preserved which clearly prove that they were Sikhs. Sikhs like Kartar Singh Sarabha died at the age of 16 and surely his inspiration was drawn from the Sikh history not communism. Taking an example of Russian revolution does not prove their adherence to communism. It was the plan of the revolutionaries to go to Punjab and start a revolution by seeking the help of Sikh soldiers in the British army. If these revolutionaries had no ties to Sikhism, then they would not have opened a Gurdwara, planned to go back to Punjab instead of any other Indian state and seek help from Sikh soldiers rather than Hindu or Muslim sepoys. Unfortunately, their planned was leaked and stifled before it could take effect. In contrast, Lala Lajpat Rai took the money of the revolutionaries and kept it to himself. As soon as he left USA, he joined Gandhi and chose the cowardly path.

5. Bhai Haqiqat Rai was a Sikh martyr

It is a common argument put forth by the Hindus that Bhai Hakikat Singh was a Rai and therefore a Hindu. It is understandable that from the entire unfortunate, shameful history of Hinduism, the Hindus want to claim some credit of sacrifice during the Mughal regime but they will have to look elsewhere because Bhai Hakikat Singh was in fact a Sikh and the old historical records prove this beyond the doubt. Here is a short write-up on this.

Family Background – Bhai Nand Raam was a resident of village Goltiyan who became a Sikh of Guru Harrai Sahib Ji. According to the hand written account of the family, Bhai Nand Raam was given three instructions: not to cut hair, not to eat tobacco and wear turban instead of a hat. Bhai Nand Raam had two sons – Bhai Bagh Mall Ji and Bhai Bhaag Mall Ji. Both took Amrit from Guru Gobind Singh Ji and became Gursikhs. Bhai Hakikat Singh was born in the house of Bhai Bagh Singh (Mall) Ji.

Nankay (Maternal) Family Background – In 1648 in village Sodhra, Bhai Kanhayea Ji was born in the family of Bhai Nathu Ram Ji and Bibi Sundari Ji. Bhai Kanhayea Ji met Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji in 1674 and became a Sikh. Later, he took Amrit from Guru Gobind Singh Ji and became Bhai Kanheya Singh Ji. He is well known in the Sikh world for his great selfless service. He had one son – Bhai Lacchi Raam Singh Ji. Bhai Lacchi Raam Singh Ji had two daughters Bibi Kauran Kaur and Bibi Gauran Kaur and one son Bhai Arjan Singh Ji. Both daughters married Bhai Bagh Singh and Bhai Bhaag Singh. Hence, the mother of Bhai Hakikat Singh Ji was Bibi Kauran Kaur Ji.

In-laws Family Background – Bhai Hakikat Singh was married to Bibi Nand Kaur Ji, daughter of Bhai Kishan Singh Ji. Bhai Kishan Singh had two brothers – Bhai Dall Singh and Bhai Mall Singh. All three brothers were Amritdharis and Bibi Nand Kaur was a Gursikh. According to “Sidak Khalsa”, Bibi Ji was a practicing Gursikh who would choose death over giving up Sikhi.

Bhai Hakikat Singh’s father was an Amritdhari and his family had been in Sikhi since the time of the 7th Guru Sahib.  His mother was Amritdhari, whose family had been in Sikhi since 9th Guru Sahib and his in-laws were all Amritdhari. This proves beyond the doubt that Bhai Sahib was from a family of Amritdhari Gursikhs and himself was an Amritdhari gursikh.

The Bhatt Vahis, hand written records of his descendants, Bhai Kartar Singh writer of Sidak Khalsa, Bihari Lal Shaant(writer of Hakikat Chrittar), Agar Singh Sethi writer of Hakikat Vaar and numerous other accounts make it clear that Bhai Hakikat Singh was not a “Rai” or a Hindu but an Amritdhari Gursikh. His family relatives were all Amritdhari and companions of Baba Banda Singh Ji.

The Hindu author has given a link to Wikipedia which has a synopsis on Bhai Hakikat Singh. It is not clear whether it is given to support the case of Hakikat Rai as a Hindu or not. However, it does not prove that he was a Hindu. In fact, Wikipedia states:

“He is described as a Sikh in the original story but is later described as a Hindu with the Rai surname replacing Singh.”

Sources

Hakikat Rai or Hakikat Singh by Sukhpreet Singh Udokay

Gurmat Parkash Magazine February 2012

This concludes the second part of the response. The readers must note that in the entire write-up the Hindu author presents no evidence or a reference yet calls his statements “facts”. This is not the old age of ignorance in which Hinduism prevailed and became the mass religion. Without a doubt the arguments of Hindus are unsubstantiated and invalid.