Monday, May 01, 2006


As I see, two great eastern religions stand out from the rest in terms of compassion, social justice and gender equity. Buddhism and Sikhism are those two. In terms of ensuring social justice, Sikhism is further ahead as sikhi have been guided by gurus with examples of sacrifice or being martyrs to protect downtrodden and helpless masses. Kirpan meant being a protection to those needed to be protected.

The social milieu prevailing in India under the Brahmin hegemony forced revolutionary movements within the society to spring up. Siddharth Gautam or Buddha, Mahavir of Jain fame were earlier revolutionaries. Then, with the invasion of Moguls, two suppressions were in operation in the society; Mogal and Hindu Brahmin hegemony. But movements of social justice erupted within both Muslim and Hindu communities. Sufi saints, Kabir panak , Guru nanak, are consequential products of this oppression. Their thoughts were powerful and relevant and that is the reason why we find them in Guru Granth sahib ji.

Sikhism was outstanding among global religions as it gave prominence to the gender equity. Biological dominance experienced by men and the lower status given to women in Hindu society were trampled upon by gurus. Guru’s highlighting of the fact that great warriors were created inside the womb of women are testimony to the fact that women were equal to men. They needed to be treated in exalted position Removal of furdah from among Punjabi sikhi women is yet another positive aspect of Sikh gurus. Guru Amardas introduced marital ceremony ( Anand karaj) rituals laying aside Hindu rituals that had been for centuries. Marriage was made an eternal bond thorough which bride e and bridegroom were attached to the Wahi Guru. As this bond was eternal, separation was not supposed to be and divorce was not promoted. Nor there was a need as sikhis were taught to respect their wives as they do love their mothers. Extreme oppression as found in some other religions was not propagated . Instead, the value of females was highlighted. All these thought sprang within my self as a response to an e mail titled “ What Are We Fighting For? found in my e mail box By Kamalla Rose Kaur.
She questions “Gender equality within Sikhi was lost. Many reverted to practicing caste [un-Sikh practices] , and Sikhs even stopped playing music with anyone who doesn't wear a Sikh turban. Poor Guru Nanak and poor Guru Amar Das and poor Guru Gobind Singh. What were Sikhs fighting for anyway?

I adore Buddhism and Sikhism as they are the religion which attacked caste system propagated by Hinduism. It has been mentioned that Darbar sahib ji’s four entrances symbolise four castes. It is a testimony to the shedding away of castes and embracing the equity of man. Sikhi had followers from all walk of life. Buddha also had the same in his sanghat. They practically showed us the truth that development is impossible with division. As a part of a research on Hinduism and it’s revival in Caribbean, I found that among indentured labourers ( jahji’s) cast system had to be ignored as Christian missionaries used this tool too convert Jahajis. The outcome was the total ignorance of casts in Indo Caribbean society in contrast to other Hindu societies. Arya Samaj influence was responsible for this movement according to Carribean Historians . But what do we find in India ? . In SL, casts were based on certain occupations . But, today it is only confined to marriages. The great majority of the new generation doesn’t consider an iota of the caste factor

Sikhsm’s greatness lies in love and compassion for mankind . It’s social value is in its social and gender equity. Sikhism is a force of unification rather than separation of man into several sub groups. Missionaries have intruded in to the cradle of Sikhism. According to reports from Punjab, Sikhs are converted to other faiths from a faith that is a way of living. Drug addiction is in the rise. Youths are moving away from religion. Don’t we need a relevant strategy to fight for keeping our religion alive so that it continues to transfer valuable aspects of life to the future generation. Your comments?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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19 May, 2006 17:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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19 May, 2006 17:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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19 May, 2006 18:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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19 May, 2006 18:30  
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09 July, 2011 03:29  

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