image caption: Gurmukh Singh

Renewed Challenge by Hindutva Fanatics

A good neighbour should not insult you by misrepresenting your identity and heritage because he thinks he knows better. That is the amazing situation the Sikhs have been in for decades with Hindutva fanatics.

A prominent Sikh British forwarded recent videos being circulated by Hindutva preachers. These parcharaks hope that if they keep parroting the same sort of selective quotations from Sikh literature and tradition, Sikhs would start believing that they are Hindus! That if Sikhs do not accept that falsehood then they must be Khalistani. So, their warped logic is that a Sikh is either a Hindu or a Khalistani, but not a Sikh!

They have already demonized all Khalistanis as evil extremist separatists. The Hindutva pundits keep on distorting Sikh tradition in their desperate attempt to show that the British created the distinct Sikh theo-political identity to serve colonial interests. They continue to ridicule and insult highly respected Sikh scholars in these videos. The definition of Khalistani has been widened to include all Sikhs who do not accept that they are Hindus. It is not difficult to see where all this is leading.

Sikhi, despite the usual cultural and idiomatic influence of any majority community on minority religions in any country including India, is based unequivocally on the monotheistic concept of One Unborn, Timeless and Self-aware (Anbhav Parkaash) Creative Power. Other main features of Sikhi are: no (priesthood) brokerage between the Timeless Creator and human beings direct access to Sri Guru Granth Sahib written in the popular language of the people freedom from fear of the seen and the unseen (all in Hukam) spiritual and temporal balance through the saint-soldier disposition rejection of monasticism stress on family life and community obligations demolition of every traditional excuse used to perpetuate gender bias rejection of all types of discrimination. (based on Dr I J Singh of USA).

Thus, there is hardly any similarity between the Nirmal Panth of Guru Nanak and the conglomeration of Vedic systems loosely called Hinduism by Westerners.

Gurbani evidence that Sikhs, the followers of Guru Nanak are not Hindu or Muslim, is clear, for example: ਏਕੁ ਗੁਸਾਈ ਅਲਹੁ ਮੇਰਾ॥ The One Lord of the World, is my Allah []]or Raam or called by whatever Name ]. ਹਿੰਦੂ ਤੁਰਕ ਦੁਹਾਂ ਨੇਬੇਰਾ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ  He adminsters justice to both Hindus and Muslims. ||1||Pause||&hellip..and conclusion: ਨਾ ਹਮ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨ॥ I am not a Hindu, nor am I a Muslim []]by implication, nor follower of any other religious path]

ਅਲਹ ਰਾਮ ਕੇ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਪਰਾਨ॥੪॥ My body and breath of life belong to []]the One Giver of Life by whatever Name called] &ndash Allah []]or] Raam []]etc] ||4|| (Guru Arjan Dev ji, SGGS 1136)

Thus, Guru Nanak laid the solid foundation of the egalitarian Khalsa Panth to lead the war against oppressive Bipran []]Brahmanic/Vedic] social system and practices, foreign invasions and forced conversions. He also laid the foundation of the movement to free the Indian Sub-continent from foreign rule. Therefore, a statement by S. Tarlochan Singh ex-MP and Indian Minorities Commissionar that History should not be distorted by proclaiming 1857 as the first war of Independence, can be read in that context also.

Sikhs are not Hindu. Or, to the Hundutva fanatics who insult highly respected Sikh scholars like Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, ਹਮ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਨਹੀਂ .

( ਭਾਈ ਕਾਹਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਾਭਾ, Book available at the Sikh Missionary Society UK.)

Gurmukh Singh OBE

Principal Civil Servant retd. (UK)