After recently becoming exposed to the world of “brown Twitter”, I’ve realised just how deep the cracks in our foundation have become.
Why are we actively seeking out ways to divide ourselves rather than to unite?
We’re not the same: you’re Tharkhan, I’m Jatt.
You’re from Malwa, I’m a Doaban.
You identify as Indian, I’m a Khalistani.
Do you think any Sikhs’ lives were spared in 1984 depending on how they categorised themselves using the above terms? No. Because a Sikh is a Sikh to the outside world, regardless of any of the factions that we like to spend our time raving about.
These days we’re all for devoting our energy to naming and shaming one another on social media.
You drink alcohol and eat meat, that makes you anti-Panthic.
You don’t read your 5 Bania every day, you’re not as devoted as I am.
You don’t keep your kes (hair), your opinions on Sikhi are invalid.
Attacks on inter-faith marriages (and even criticising two Sikhs having an Anand Karaj!) without stepping back and considering the bigger issues at play.
And the shocking thing is that much of this divisiveness is instigated by our youths!
But I get it.
Deep down it comes from a good place, we all want everyone to follow Sikhi “properly”, to not dilute it, but we really need to rethink our approach.
Can’t we see that we’re being counter-productive here?
We’re allowing our ahankaar (pride) to take over, telling people that we’re essentially better than they are.
Subsequently, those who have genuine love for Sikhi but may not have developed a proper Rehat yet, are starting to feel attacked, judged and shamed by our words and they’re turning away from the Sangat, from Guru Ji.
Is this what we really want?
When did we become so high and mighty that we felt we had the right to judge our brothers and sisters like this? They may not be perfect, but neither are we, only our Guru is perfect.
Sabh Gun Tere Mein Nahin Koye – You are virtuous, Waheguru, I am worthless.
Isn’t the point of Sikhi to always consider yourself lower than everyone else and to surrender your ego?
So why are we going around pointing fingers and calling people out like we’re the Panthic Police?
It does nothing but to create a toxic Sangat that no one wants to be a part of.
We’re a minority community that’s always fought tooth and nail to exist in this world. We need to remain united and strong for the sake of all of the Shaheeds before us.
Rather than fixating upon our differences and shaming people on social media, we should be kind and encourage everyone to learn more about Sikhi and the Guru’s teachings, because they’re beautiful!
Ever heard of the saying: you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar…
Arming our Sangat with knowledge of Sikhi in an encouraging, loving manner is the way forward.
Telling someone that they’re “not Sikh enough”, on the other hand, makes us part of the problem that we think we’re solving.
I know that it’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s up to an individual how they choose to live their life and practice their religion.
We need to remember that Waheguru creates a hukam for everyone, so wherever they’re currently at and whatever their mindset is right now, it’s right for them.
But the beauty of faith is that it isn’t static, our beliefs and understanding are constantly evolving.
That mona (male with a hair cut) who currently drinks every weekend may be inspired to take Amrit in 5 years time…you never know. Only Guru Ji knows our hearts. Telling that guy that he’s a disgrace to the community now will just alienate him, it’ll do nothing to bring him onto that path.
All we can do is focus on ourselves and our individual journeys. We need to BE the positive change that we want to see in others, and hope that this will encourage those around us to stick to their faith too.
The rest is all in the hands of Waheguru.
5 thoughts on “Punjabi Sikh Sangat: The Cracks In Our Foundation”
So true !
It’s the same everywhere. In Catholicism the disagreements and factions are many and varied on a whole range of doctrines and practices.
And while these disagreements have always existed, I think the internet is bringing them to light and exacerbating them. People are exposed to a broader range of opinions and there’s a pressure to express our own views and align ourselves on every issue. At the same time there’s less deference to authority, so people are more willing to stick by their diverging beliefs and lifestyles, and also feel emboldened to attack others as self-appointed defenders of the faith.
This fractionalisation will probably continue for a while. It’s great that you can find the wisdom in your own faith to endure this time with patience and hope, keeping your eyes on what truly matters.
I believe that belief is fluid however there are many who think it static and dogmatic.
Well said. People just want to criticize others, either this way or the other. Everybody should be free to do what they want without harming others.
People like the cage they have built for themselves. And same goes for their ways of comparison and attaining pride from it.
There will be many days of trial before there is success. We’d hope.