image caption: Gurmukh Singh OBE

Guru Nanak Parkash 550 series conclusion: Guru Nanak Versus Priesthood & the Oppressive State


* The Guru rejected exploitation and oppression under any pretext.

* He made human beings, at the top of the evolutionary chain, implicitly responsible for the global environment.



    No matter where the Sikhs live, they are net contributors to the economies and human welfare &ndash from remotest parts of India to diaspora countries. That is due to the revolutionary thought of Guru Nanak Sahib.

Honest living through hard work, service (seva) and sharing without discrimination are essential components of God awareness (Naam Japna) for achieving the objective of human life. This combination revolutionized an impotent people who were following opt-out ideologies and false gods and were at the mercy of the tyrants and invaders and ignorance -spreading priesthood of orthodox religions. The same people were converted into an invincible Akal Purakh ki Fauj, the Khalsa, with clear Miri-Piri objectives.

Dr Ganda Singh wrote that Sikhs are a living practical example of the impact of the life and teachings of Guru Nanak on history. Like the Guru himself, they are practitioners of a way of life which combines spirituality with honest work and serving and sharing. They are never afraid to put their hand to any type of work that comes their way and they would strive to every nerve to make it a success. That is practical spirituality &ndash an expression coined by Brig. Rawel Singh in a recent article (see footnote articles).


In his Later Mughals, William Irvine wrote: In all the parganas occupied by the Sikhs, the reversal of previous customs was striking and complete. A low scavenger or a leather dresser, the lowliest of the low in in Indian estimation, had only to leave home and join the Guru when in a short space of time he would return to his birth place as its ruler, with his order of appointment in his hand. As soon as he set foot within the boundaries, the wellborn and wealthy went out to greet him and escort him. []]Vol 1 pp 98-99]

Sikhs have led India in non-violent struggle (satyagrehe) as well as armed struggle against oppression and for the freedom of all peoples of India. Yet, today, the Brahmanic-Hindutva boa begins to embrace Sikhi in its suffocating coils. The process started with Clause 25 of the Indian Constitution and now the clouds of bhagwanwaad Hindu Rashtra are descending in the name of ekta (unity) &ndash the type of ekta enforced by Islamic fanaticism in the 17-18th centuries and lamented by poet Bhai Santokh Singh. Once again, we are reminded that Guru Nanak Sahib first revolted was against Brahmanic hegemony when he refused to wear the caste thread (janeu). So, history seems to have completed a full circle. Not surprisingly, the Tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh, warned his Khalsa against the Bipran reet. Yet, we keep following these. That makes the Hindutva objective of assimilating Sikh that much easier.

Under Guru Nanak Parkash 550 series, this column has looked at the ongoing revolution started the Guru against exploitation and oppression under any excuse. The responsibility is ours to shun Bipran practices and to follow the path shown by Guru Nanak Sahib for the future survival of humankind.

(Articles commissioned by the Sikh Missionary Society UK, also celebrating its 50th anniversary, at: )



Gurmukh Singh OBE