Tag Archives: Hate Crime

मित्र राष्ट्रों के हिन्दू-सिख समाज की मदद भी करे भारत सरकार

(अमृत पाल सिंघ ‘अमृत’)

मित्रतापूर्ण सम्बन्धों को बढ़ावा देने के लिये हमारी केन्द्रीय सरकार ने साल 2014 से लेकर जनवरी, 2018 के बीच अफ़ग़ानिस्तान को 2,088 करोड़ रुपये और श्रीलंका को 1,025 करोड़ रुपये दिये हैं।

मित्र राष्ट्रों की मदद करना बहुत अच्छी बात है। सरकार के इस क़दम की मैं प्रशंसा करता हूँ।

भारत एक बहुत बड़ा देश है, जो आर्थिक तौर पर बहुत तेज़ी से उभर कर विश्व के सामने आया है। हम दुनिया की पांच बड़ी सेनाओं में से एक हैं। हम सबसे ज़्यादा आबादी वाले मुल्क़ों में से एक हैं। हम विविध संस्कृतियों और भाषाओं वाला देश हैं।

जब भी विश्व में कहीं भी हिन्दू, जैन, सिख सम्प्रदायों की बात होती है, तो भारत का भी ज़िक्र आ जाता है। यह स्वाभाविक है। ऐसा इसलिये है, क्योंकि हमारा यह देश हिन्दू, जैन, सिख सम्प्रदायों की मातृभूमि (homeland) है। हमारे संविधान के सेक्युलर होने के बावजूद हमारे भारत की यह विश्व भर में एक विशेष पहचान है। यह एक तथ्य है। कोई इस तथ्य को नापसन्द तो कर सकता है, लेकिन झुठला नहीं सकता।

हिन्दू, जैन, सिख सम्प्रदायों की मातृभूमि (homeland) होने की वजह से भारत की इन सम्प्रदायों के उन लोगों के प्रति एक विशेष ज़िम्मेदारी भी बनती है, जो कहीं विदेश में अपने सम्प्रदाय की वजह से ज़ुल्म का शिकार बनते हैं। उनको ज़ुल्मों से बचाने के लिये असरदार क़दम उठाना भारत सरकार की नैतिक ज़िम्मेदारी है।

अफ़ग़ानिस्तान में लम्बे समय से चल रहे गृहयुद्ध की वजह से वहाँ के हिन्दू-सिख समाज को बहुत ज़ुल्मों का शिकार होना पड़ा है। हज़ारों अफ़ग़ान हिन्दू-सिख परिवार अफ़ग़ानिस्तान में अपने घरों को छोड़कर विदेशों में जाने के लिये मजबूर हो गये हैं। जैसा कि स्वाभाविक ही है, बहुत सारे अफ़ग़ान हिन्दू-सिख परिवार भारत में भी आये हैं। इनमें बहुत ऐसे हैं, जिनको अभी तक भारतीय नागरिकता नहीं मिल सकी है।

जो बहुत थोड़े-से हिन्दू-सिख अभी भी अफ़ग़ानिस्तान में रह रहे हैं, उनकी हालत बहुत बुरी है।

ख़ानाजंगी का सामना कर रहे अफ़ग़ानिस्तान के पुनर्निर्माण के लिये भारत समेत कई देशों ने बहुत बड़ी आर्थिक मदद दी है। यह एक अच्छी बात है। लेकिन इसका एक पक्ष यह भी है कि अफ़ग़ान लोगों की मदद के लिये दिये जा रहे इस धन का कोई विशेष प्रयोग अफ़ग़ान हिन्दुओं, सिखों पर नहीं किया जा रहा, जबकि यह सबसे छोटा अफ़ग़ान अल्पसंख्यक समुदाय ही सबसे ज़्यादा नफ़रत का शिकार बना है।

हम अमेरिका जैसे मुल्क़ों से तो यह उम्मीद नहीं कर सकते कि अफ़ग़ानिस्तान को आर्थिक मदद देते वक़्त वे अफ़ग़ान हिन्दू-सिख समाज का विशेष तौर पर ध्यान रखें, लेकिन भारत सरकार से तो हमें यह उम्मीद रखनी चाहिये कि अफ़ग़ान हिन्दू-सिख समाज का विशेष तौर पर ध्यान रखा जाये।

भारत सरकार जब अफ़ग़ानिस्तान सरकार को किसी भी प्रकार की मदद दे, तो उसके साथ यह शर्त भी हो कि अफ़ग़ानिस्तान में रह रहे हिन्दुओं-सिखों की सुरक्षा हो। अफ़ग़ानिस्तान सरकार को आर्थिक मदद देते वक़्त उस धन का एक निश्चित हिस्सा अफ़ग़ान हिन्दू-सिख समाज की भलाई पर भी ख़र्च हो। अफ़ग़ानिस्तान सरकार को दी जा रही आर्थिक मदद का एक हिस्सा ज़रूरी तौर पर उन अफ़ग़ान हिन्दुओं-सिखों पर भी ख़र्च हो, जो भारत में रह रहे हैं।

साल 2014 से अब तक जो तक़रीबन 2,088 करोड़ रुपये अफ़ग़ानिस्तान को दिये गये हैं, अगर उसका बीस प्रतिशत भी अफ़ग़ान हिन्दुओं-सिखों पर ख़र्च किया जाता, तो उनकी बड़ी समस्याओं का समाधान किया जा सकता था।

भारत सरकार ने श्रीलंका सरकार को भी 2014 से अब तक 1,025 करोड़ रुपये दिये हैं। अफ़ग़ानिस्तान की तरह श्रीलंका से भी हिन्दू शरणार्थी भारत आये हैं। जो मेरा सुझाव अफ़ग़ानिस्तान के लिये है, वही सुझाव श्रीलंका के लिये भी है। श्रीलंका को दी जाने वाली आर्थिक मदद का एक निश्चित हिस्सा श्रीलंकाई हिन्दुओं पर ख़र्च होना चाहिये। श्रीलंका को दी जाने वाली आर्थिक मदद का एक निश्चित हिस्सा भारत में रह रहे श्रीलंका के हिन्दू शरणार्थियों पर भी ख़र्च होना चाहिए।

म्यांमार से निकाले गये रोहिंग्या लोगों का हमें भी वैसा ही दुःख है, जैसा पश्चिमी देशों की सरकारों को है। लेकिन हमें अफ़ग़ानिस्तान और श्रीलंका से निकाले गये हिन्दुओं का भी दुःख है। पश्चिमी देशों की सरकारों ने तो अरबों डॉलर अफ़ग़ानिस्तान पर ख़र्च करते वक़्त अफ़ग़ान हिन्दुओं, सिखों के बारे में कभी सोचा भी नहीं।

आख़िर ऐसा कब तक चलता रहेगा कि जिन देशों से हिन्दू सिखों को निकलना पड़ रहा है, भारत सरकार अपने करदाताओं की मेहनत की कमाई उन देशों को देती जाये, बिना वहाँ के हिन्दू-सिख समाज की मदद किये?

We support Israel-India friendship

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has been forced to cut short his program on the last day of his Palestine visit amid protests by a group of Palestinian students. They were protesting against India’s growing engagement with Israel.

As luck would have it, the President had inaugurated India-Palestine Centre of Excellence in ICT in the Al Quds University just before being hit by this protest. The President told the gathering of India’s long-standing commitment to the cause of Palestine He emphasized that one of the purposes of his visit was to suggest a framework for the future encompassing closer political interaction, deeper economic engagement and academic collaboration and wider cultural contacts and people to people exchanges.

Do Israelis protest like this against India’s engagement with Palestine?

It is the reality that India needs Israel for various reasons. Palestine is of no use for India. Yet Indian leadership extends the hand of friendship to Palestine. Palestinians should appreciate this gesture by Indian leadership.

We have no doubt that blind opposition to Israel and Israelis is a new form of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is a hate crime. We express disapproval of any form of anti-Semitism. We support Israel-India friendship. This friendship should never be sacrificed just to give pleasure to a few anti-Semites.

Related News.

Hindu ‘Refugees’ in India

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

After two shootings in Copenhagen city in Denmark, Prime minister of Israel Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu is making a $46 million (Indian Rs 276 crores) plan to persuade Jewish people living in Ukraine, France and Belgium to migrate to Israel. He is asking Jews living in these countries to come and permanently settle in Israel.

Netanyahu is a visionary leader. He says, “This wave of attacks is expected to continue. Jews deserve security in every country, but we say to our Jewish brothers and sisters, Israel is your home.”

Economy Minister of Israel Mr. Naftali Bennett said, “Israel is always waiting for them. This will never change. Jews can and should have the right to live anywhere, but if there are Jews who are concerned about their future, we are certainly waiting for them.”

I have a high regard for Israeli leadership. They as a matter of fact care for their Jewish people. They are inviting persecuted Jewish people to Israel to permanently settle there, and to help them Israeli government is providing Rs 276 crores. These are the real leaders. I salute them.

Now, take a look at Hindus suffering in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Shri Lanka. Where should they go to save themselves? Many of them have come to India, as they consider India their ‘homeland’. They are waiting for citizenship for many years. Many of them are living in very bad conditions in different parts of India.

There are no special government funds for them. There are no ministers taking care of them. What can these persecuted Hindus get in India? Hindu and Sikh refugees from Pakistan, who came to India in 1947 and settled in Jammu and Kashmir, could not get citizenship rights even after 67 years, what to talk about those Hindus and Sikhs who have come to India in recent years.

Prior to bring Jews living in other countries to Israel, Israeli leaders are making proper plans of Rs 276 crores. They will make plans for this amount, with the intention that Jews migrating to Israel can be helped the moment they enter Israel.

On the other hand, Hindu and Sikh refugees already have come to India for many years (and many more are coming), there are no government funds to help them settle in India.

If Jews living in other countries come to Israel, they will never be called ‘refugees’. They will be honourable citizens of Israel as soon as they enter Israel. When such Jews enter Israel, they receive warm welcome on airport. They do not live in ‘refugee camps’. Instead, they live in their ‘own homes’.

Jews coming to Israel are ‘citizens’ and Hindus/Sikhs coming to India are ‘refugees’. That is the difference. And this is a big difference, very big difference. A ‘refugee’ knows this difference, others perhaps do not.

Jews in European countries and Hindus/ Sikhs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh etc are facing lots of problems. They have been attacked by brutal fanatics. Their properties have been attacked. They are living in fear. However, such Jewish people have the hope. They have a nation of Israel that takes care of them. They have leaders like Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Bennett, who are always ready to help such persecuted Jewish brothers and sisters.

On the other hand, Hindus and Sikhs of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have no such hope. They have no country committed to them.

Their only hope is their Bhagwaan, their Vaheguru (God). May the God Almighty bless these ‘refugee’ Hindus and Sikhs !

संतु न छाडै संतई

(अमृत पाल सिंघ ‘अमृत’)

मेरे मुहल्ले के एक घर में एक पालतू कुत्ता है। बहुत भोंकता है। जब मैं उस घर के आगे से गुज़रता हूँ, तो भोंकना शुरू हो जाता है। उस का भोंकना भी बे-वजह है। मैं चोर नहीं हूँ। मैं उस घर का, या उस घर के बाशिंदों का भला ही चाहता हूँ। फिर भी, वह कुत्ता मुझ पर भोंकता ही रहता है।

जब वह कुत्ता अपने घर में मुझ पर भोंकता है, तो मुझे क्या करना चाहिये?

जब कोई कुत्ता मुझ पर भोंके, तो क्या मुझे भी उस पर भोंकना शुरू कर देना चाहिये? क्या उस पर भोंक कर मुझे भी बदला लेकर यह दिखा देना चाहिये कि देखो, मैं कितना बहादुर हूँ?

कुत्ते पर भोंक रहा इन्सान, इन्सान ही कहाँ रहा? वह तो कुत्ता हो गया। दिखने में वह इन्सान ही है, biologically, शरीर विज्ञान के अनुसार भी वह इन्सान ही है, लेकिन काम तो कुत्ते वाला ही है।

कोई उसे पूछे, “भाई, कुत्ते पर क्यों भोंक रहे हो?”

क्या कहेगा वह? यह कि “यह कुत्ता मुझ पर भोंक रहा था, इसलिये अपनी बहादुरी बताने के लिये मैं भी इस पर भोंक रहा हूँ। मैं कुत्ते पर इस लिये भोंक रहा हूँ कि कोई इन्सान मुझे यह न कहे कि इन्सान हो कर कुत्ते से डर गये?”

क्या वह यह कहेगा कि मैं बहादुरों की क़ौम से हूँ और कुत्ते का भोंकना हरगिज़ बरदाश्त नहीं कर सकता?

कोई इन्सान कुत्ते पर भोंकेगा, तो उस इन्सान की ही हंसी उड़ाई जायेगी। बाक़ी इन्सान उस भोंकने वाले को ही बुरा कहेंगे।

“अरे भाई! कुत्ता को भोंकने दो। कुत्ता है वह, भोंकेगा ही। तुम तो इन्सान हो। तुम क्यों कुत्ते बनते हो?”

कुत्ता भोंके, तो उसको नज़रअंदाज़ कर दो। किसी का पालतू है। उसको रखा ही गया है भोंकने के लिये। ज़्यादा प्रेशानी है, तो उसके मालिक से बात करो। उस का मालिक है, तभी तो वह कुत्ता बहादुर बना फिरता है। उसको लगता है कि वह अपने मालिक की हिफ़ाज़त में है, इसलिये भोंकता है।

अगर हम कुत्ते के भोंकने पर वापिस कुत्ते पर नहीं भोंकते, तो फिर उस आदमी के religion को, पंथ या धर्म को क्यों गाली देना शुरू कर देते हैं, जो हमारे पंथ या धर्म को गाली दे रहा है?

कोई मेरे धर्म के लिये बुरे लफ़्ज़ बोल रहा है, तो क्या यह ज़रूरी है कि मैं भी उसके धर्म के लिये बुरे लफ़्ज़ बोलूँ? कोई मेरे इष्ट को गाली दे रहा है, तो क्या मुझे भी उसके इष्ट को गाली देनी चाहिये? क्योंकि कोई कुत्ता भोंक रहा है, तो क्या मुझे भी भोंकना ही चाहिये?

कोई क्या कर रहा है, यह उस का कर्म है। अपने उस काम के लिये वह ही ज़िम्मेदार है। मेरे अपने काम के लिये मैं ही ज़िम्मेदार हूँ।

मेरे लिये महत्वपूर्ण मेरा धर्म होना चाहिये। मेरा कर्म, मेरा काम मेरे धर्म के अनुसार होना चाहिये। मेरा कर्म, मेरा काम मेरा धर्म ही निर्धारित करेगा। किसी की गाली मेरा कर्म निर्धारित नहीं कर सकती। अपने कर्म के लिये मुझे निर्देश अपने धर्म से लेना है। किसी बुरे इन्सान की गाली से मैं अपने लिये कोई निर्देश क्यों लूँ? मुझे वही करना चाहिये, जो मेरा धर्म मुझे कहता है। मेरा रहबर मेरा धर्म है, किसी की गाली मेरा रहबर नहीं है।

किसी के मूंह में ज़हर भरा है, तो मैं भी अपने मूंह में ज़हर क्यों भर लूँ? किसी बुरे इन्सान को जिंदगी ने ज़हर ही दिया है। उसके काम ऐसे रहे होंगे कि उसको ज़हर ही मिला। उस का परिवार ऐसा रहा होगा कि उसको ज़हर ही मिला। उसके हालात ऐसे रहे होंगे कि उसको ज़हर ही मिला। या फिर उसकी क़िस्मत को ही इल्ज़ाम दे लीजिये कि उसको सिर्फ़ ज़हर ही मिला है। उसको सच्चा गुरु न मिला होगा, उसको सही मुरशिद न मिला होगा, इस लिये उसको ज़हर ही मिला। बस, उसने ज़हर ही संभाल लिया है अपने मूंह में।

मेरे गुरु की कृपा हुई मुझ पर, मेरे रहबर की रहमत हुई मुझ नाचीज़ पर कि मुझे अमृत मिला, आब-ए-हयात मिला, मैं उस को क्यों न अपने मूंह में संभाल-संभाल के रखूँ? कोई भले ही अपने मूंह से ज़हर उगलता रहे, मुझे तो अमृत-बोल ही बोलने हैं।

अरे भाई, मैं करूँ भी क्या? मेरा गुरु मुझे ज़हरीले बोल बोलने सिखाता ही नहीं।

भक्त कबीर साहिब महान क्रांतिकारी हुये हैं। उनसे पूछो, तो वह फ़ुरमाते है कि संत अपनी संतताई, संत वाला अपना स्वभाव नहीं छोड़ता, चाहे उसको करोड़ों असंत मिल जायें। मल्य पहाड़ पर होने वाले चन्दन के पेड़ को साँप भी घेरे रहें, तो भी चन्दन का वह पेड़ अपनी शीतलता, अपनी ठंडक को छोड़ता नहीं है।

कबीर संतु न छाडै संतई जउ कोटिक मिलहि असंत ॥
मलिआगरु भुयंगम बेढिओ त सीतलता न तजंत ॥१७४॥
(१३७३, श्री गुरु ग्रंथ साहिब जी)।

असंत लफ़्ज़ उनके लिए है, जो संत नहीं हैं। संत का मन शान्त है, असंत का मन बिलकुल ही शान्त नहीं है। संत दूसरों का भला करता है, असंत दूसरों का बुरा करता है। संत मीठे बोल बोलता है, असंत कड़वे बोल बोलता है। संत की वाणी से अमृत झरता है, असंत ज़हर उगलता है।

अगर कोई संत है, तो वह दूसरों का भला ही करेगा। जो बुरे हैं, संत उनका भी भला करेगा। जो उस संत का बुरा करेगा, संत उस का भी भला ही करेगा।

ऐसा नहीं है कि संत कोई प्लानिंग बनाता है कि उसने किसी का भला करना है। बस, उससे दूसरों का भला हो जाता है। ऐसा नहीं कि सूरज यह सोचता है कि मैं रौशनी बाँटूँ। बस, सूरज के होने से रौशनी हो जाती है। सूरज है, तो रौशनी बंटेगी ही।

चन्दन क्या यह सोचता है कि आज मैं ख़ुशबू बांटुंगा? ख़ुशबू चन्दन का अपना सहज गुण है। चन्दन है, तो ख़ुशबू होगी ही। ख़ुशबू चन्दन का धर्म है। ख़ुशबू और चन्दन एक दूसरे से घुले-मिले हैं। चन्दन होगा, तो ख़ुशबू होगी ही। कितने भी ज़हरीले नाग चन्दन के पेड़ को लिपटे रहें, चन्दन फिर भी ख़ुशबू ही देता है, ज़हर बांटना नहीं शुरू कर देता।

ऐसे ही, संत है, तो दूसरों का भला होगा ही। संत का सहज स्वभाव है दूसरों का भला करना। कोई उसका भी बुरा कर जाये, संत उस बुरे का भी भला ही चाहता है। चन्दन है, तो ख़ुशबू होगी ही। संत है, तो दूसरों की भलाई होगी ही।

सूरज के आस-पास अँधेरा है। गहरा अँधेरा है। गहरे अंधेरे के बीच रहते-रहते भी सूरज रौशनी देने का अपना स्वभाव छोड़ नही देता है। संत भी अगर करोड़ों असंतों, करोड़ों बुरे लोगों के बीच रहे, तो भी वह असंत नहीं हो जाता है। करोड़ों बुरे लोगों के बीच रहते भी वह अपना संत-स्वभाव छोड़ता नहीं है।

अँधेरा है, तभी तो पता है कि रौशनी क्या है। अँधेरा है, तभी तो सूरज की क़ीमत पता चलती है। अँधेरे की ग़ैर-मौजूदगी हो, तो सूरज को भी कौन जानेगा? अँधेरा न हो, तो सूरज की भी क्या ज़रूरत?

बुरे लोग हैं, तभी तो अच्छे इन्सान की क़ीमत है। बुरे लोग न हों, तो कौन किस को अच्छा इन्सान कहेगा? बुरे लोग हैं, तभी तो अच्छे लोगों की ज़रूरत महसूस होती है।

कुछ लोग होते तो अच्छे हैं, लेकिन कभी कुछ बुरे लोगों के साथ रह-रह कर उनके असर में बुरे ही बन जाते हैं। किसी बुरे इन्सान के बुरे काम देख कर वे भी बुरे काम करने लग जाते हैं। कभी किसी ने उनके साथ बुरा किया, तो बदले में अब वे भी बुरा ही करने लग गये हैं। ऐसे लोग कुछ भी हों, लेकिन संत तो नही हैं, क्योंकि संत बुरे लोगों की संगत में अपना संत वाला स्वभाव छोड़ नहीं देता। हमें संत बनना है। हमें गुरु की शिक्षा को अमल में लाना है। बुरे लोगों के साथ रह-रह कर, बुरे लोगों के प्रभाव में आ कर बुरा नहीं बनना है। हमने अच्छा बनना है। गुरु ने हमें अच्छा बनने की शिक्षा दी है।

Sikhs Abroad Should Engage In More Social Activities

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Many people in the West still do not know that Sikhs are not Muslims or Arabs. They are being attacked, because their attackers by mistake believe that they (Sikhs) are Muslims. So, basically these are cases of mistaken identity.

Despite their so small population in the West, Sikhs involve themselves in social service. These social service activities by Sikhs are selfless. More and more Sikhs should engage themselves in social work on a large scale. It is their religious duty to be engaged in social work. It will also help people know who Sikhs are. Never forget that Sikh Gurus were involved in social service and that too on a large scale.

Sikhs are known for military services. They are highly appreciated in Indian Army. Many Sikhs took part in the world war and stories of their bravery are still known to many in the West. However, only a few Sikhs join army in Western countries presently. More Sikhs need to join army and police etc.

At present, the western civilisation, culture, and languages are in danger. Sikhs in the western countries are westerns. They should engage themselves in western cultural activities as well. A few Sikhs are doing all this, but more is required in these fields.

We, Sikhs in India, always pray for Sikhs abroad.

Stay in high spirits…

–o–

Sikh Are Not Muslims

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

After a series of four organized attacks launched by Islamist terrorists upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, many Sikhs were attacked in the US, because attackers wrongly believed that they (Sikhs) are Arabs or Muslims.

For example, on September 15, 2001, the 42-year old attacker killed Balbir Singh Sodhi, a gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona. The attacker, who apparently wanted revenge for September 11, mistook Sodhi for an Arab because of his turban, and his beard.

On August 5, 2012, an attacker named Michael Page killed six Sikhs and wounded four others at a Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. All of the male victims wore turbans as part of their cultural and religious tradition. The injured included a responding officer, Lt. Brian Murphy, who was shot fifteen times at close range.

On May 7, 2013 an elderly Sikh man, Piara Singh was attacked with an iron bar in Fresno, California in a possible hate crime.

On September 21, 2013 Dr. Prabhjot Singh, a Sikh professor was brutally attacked in Harlem by a group of 20-30 men who branded him as Osama and Terrorist. It is obvious that the attackers thought that Prabhjot Singh was a Muslim.

All such Sikhs have become subject to discrimination, because their attackers mistakenly believed that their targets are Arab or Muslim. Many of Americans and Europeans do not know that turban wearing Sikhs are not Muslims. This is in the face of the fact that Sikhs are living in the US and Europe for many decades.

Sikhs are not Muslims. There is sufficient information available on internet. (For example, this link provides information on this issue).

Here, I am making just a few points on this issue.

Many would say that Sikhs should not be interested in being identified as ‘not Muslim’. Sikhs should be interested in being identified as who they are, rather than who they are not.

If a specific question is asked to explain difference between Sikh religion and Islam, or Sikhs and Muslims, there is nothing wrong to explain it. If Sikhs are mistaken for Muslims, there is nothing wrong to tell that Sikhs are not Muslims.

Many people mistake Sikhs for Muslims due to their turbans, which often make Sikhs targets of anti-Muslim violence. It is often said that there is difference in Sikh turban and Muslim turban. A few web pages explain such view while trying to describe the difference between ‘Sikh’ turbans and ‘Muslim’ turbans.

Turban is a part of dress in many cultures. Even a few hundred years ago, most of male members of Indian society used to wear turbans. It had nothing to do with religion. Hindu Rajputs used to wear turbans. Hindu Jats used to wear turbans. Hindu Marathas used to wear turbans. Even today, many Rajputs, Jats and other Hindus wear turbans in India. So many Hindu saints wear turbans.

Those Hindus, who do not wear turbans in their daily life, wear it on special occasions, such as marriage etc.

Rasam Pagri (ceremony of turban) is a social ceremony common to Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, conducted upon the death of the oldest member in a family, in which the oldest surviving male member of the family is given a turban in the presence of relatives and friends. The ceremony of turban indicates the shift of duty for the welfare of the family from the deceased to the surviving oldest male member.

We find mention of turbans in ancient Hindu scriptures. It means turbans remained a part of dress for thousands of years. Indians have been wearing turban even before the birth of Islam.

Balochs and Pathans wear turbans. It does not mean that they started wearing turbans when they became Muslims. Turbans were part of their dress even before birth of Islam.

If we study old pictures of 18th and 19th centuries, we can see that different styles of turban had nothing to do with religion. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs used to wear same style of turbans. Many Sikhs mistake pictures of old Rajput warriors for old Sikh soldiers. A picture of Amir Sher Ali, an Afghan ruler and a Muslim is widely publicized as that of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, a Sikh ruler in Punjab.

Even within Sikh circles, Sikhs wear different styles of turbans. Nihang turbans, called ‘Dumala’ are very different to Patiala Shahi turbans. Members of different Sikh sects wear round turbans. Many Sikh women wear turban.

Sikhs, who keep unshorn hair, wear turbans. However, a big number of Muslims do not wear turban.

Sikhs are required to keep their hair unshorn. Muslims are not required to keep their hair uncut according to Islamic rules. Though, many a Muslims keep beard and cut their moustache, majority of Muslims are seen without beards.

Though there is controversy whether Sikhs are allowed to eat meat or not, one thing is sure that a Sikh is not allowed to eat ‘Halal’ meat, the meat that has been slaughtered in the manner prescribed by the shari’a, the Muslim law. In fact, it is a big sin for a Sikh to eat ‘Halal’ meat.

According to Muslim tradition, women are expected to cover their face, though many Muslims say it is not compulsory. On the other hand, there is no such restriction on Sikh women. Instead, the third Guru of Sikhs, Guru Amardas Ji made it a rule that Sikh women should keep their face uncovered. Women with covered face were not allowed to come in the congregation.

The religion of Sikhs is a flag bearer of equality of entire human race and co-existence. The holy text of Guru Granth Sahib, the Guru of the Sikh people is a great evidence of co-existence. Guru Granth Sahib contains holy hymns of Sikhs and non-Sikhs. For example, Bhagat Ramanand Ji was a Brahman, a non-Sikh. Bhagat Namdev Ji, Bhagat Kabir Ji, Bhagat Ravidas Ji were non-Sikhs. Shiekh Farid Ji was a Sufi saint. The contributors of Guru Granth Sahib belonged to different social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. They spoke different languages. That is why Sikhs are friendly to people of different religions, cultures, languages, and races etc.

Sikh principles and traditions are compatible with the western values and western society. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sikh religious principles and traditions have no disagreement with this Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On the other hand, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, an organisation of Islamic countries adopted their own version of human rights declaration, called the ‘Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam‘ (CDHRI) in 1990. It has been signed by 45 Islamic states. The CDHRI was strongly criticised by the International Commission of Jurists, when it was presented to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1992. This declaration is an Islamic response to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948. The United Nations’ Declaration is the western understanding of human rights, which is compatible with Sikh values and traditions.

Terrorists and hate mongers can be found in almost every society, country and ideology. However, we have to see if a society, government or an ideology supports terrorist activities and hatred or not. So far as Sikh religion is concerned, there is no place of terrorism and hatred in Sikh beliefs.

ਭੈ ਕਾਹੂ ਕਉ ਦੇਤ ਨਹਿ ਨਹਿ ਭੈ ਮਾਨਤ ਆਨ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੁਨਿ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਤਾਹਿ ਬਖਾਨਿ ॥੧੬॥
(੧੪੨੭, ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ).

One, who does not terrify anyone, and who is not afraid of anyone either; says Nanak, listen, O mind! call him a wise person. (1427, Guru Granth Sahib).

Two Sikh-Gurus were executed on orders of Muslim rulers. The fifth Guru, Guru Arjun dev Ji was martyred in Lahore city (now in Pakistan) on orders of Muslim ruler, Jahangir.

The ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji was martyred in Delhi on orders of Muslim ruler, Aurangzeb. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji was asked to convert to Islam. When he refused to embrace Islam, he was tortured in prison. In order to intimidate the Guru, the qazi, Islamic magistrates made a plan to torture to death, the Sikhs arrested with the Guru before his eyes. They thought that the Guru would embrace Islam out of fear on seeing the Sikhs murdered.

The qazi decreed to cut Bhai Mati Das with a saw first of all. The qazi asked Bhai Mati Das, “Brother, embrace Islam and enjoy the pleasures provided by the government. Moreover when you die as a Muslim, you will go to heaven where there will be streams of milk, many kinds of wine to drink and beautiful women to enjoy. If you do not embrace Islam, your body will be sawn into two.”

Bhai Mati Das replied, “I can sacrifice hundreds of such heavens for my faith. I need neither women nor wine. I see all the happiness in the path of the faith.” By the order of the qazi, the executioners sawed Bhai Mati Das across from head to loins.

Then, the qazi asked Bhai Sati Das to convert to Islam. When he refused, the executioners wrapped Bhai Sati Das in cotton, poured oil over it and set fire to it. Thus he was burned alive.

The Qazi pronounced his Islamic order that Bhai Dayala must either accept Islam or embrace death by being boiled in a cauldron. Bhai Dayala heroically accepted the latter. He was put into a big cauldron full of water which was later heated to the boiling point.

When Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji refused to convert to Islam at any cost, he was then beheaded in Delhi in 1675.

Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh were the two younger sons of the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh. They were arrested along with their grandmother on orders of Muslim governor, Wazir Khan of Sirhind city. Wazir Khan asked both the sons of the Guru to accept Islam. He promised them to give lots of money and rank if they renounce their faith and embrace Islam. The two innocent children faced their adversary courageously, determined to stay firm in their faith.
When they refused to renounce the faith and embrace Islam, the Qazi, Islamic magistrate ordered that they be bricked up alive. The sons of the Guru remained faithful as brick cemented upon brick rose about them forming a wall which rose chest high to suffocate them. As their air supply diminished, the wall gave way and collapsed. Then, the heads of the innocent 7 and 9 year old sons of the Guru were severed from their bodies.

Thousands of Sikhs were martyred when they refused to convert to Islam. For example, Bhai Mani Singh, the priest of Sri Darbar Sahib, mostly known as Golden Temple these days, in Amritsar Sahib City, was ordered by the Governor of Lahore, Zakaria Khan to convert to Islam. When he refused to give up the faith, he was ordered death by dismemberment. He was executed at Nakhaas Chowk, Lahore in 1734.

Thus, Sikhs are not only non-Muslims, but also victims of Islamic extremism.

-=-

More references:

Are Sikhs Muslims?
The Difference Between ‘Sikh’ Turbans And ‘Muslim’ Turbans
The Cairo Declaration On Human Rights In Islam
Bhai Mati Das

Not looking like father

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Every parent has the duty to care for his/her child unconditionally. Every new born deserves love and compassion. However, every now and then new born is not appreciated by its father or mother.

A Chinese, named Jian Feng, living in Northern China, has filed for divorce from his wife after he found their newborn baby to be ‘incredibly ugly’. He has accused his wife of dishonesty, since the child girl did not look like him.

Feng said that his wife tricked him into the union by appearing to be a fine-looking woman when she was instead ugly. It was an obvious case of false advertising, as it turned out that his once-beloved had spent over $100,000 in plastic surgery to alter her look.

Shocked by the fact that his wife had never revealed that surgery had enhanced her looks, Feng took the matter to court and won $120,000 in an agreement.

We see many persons, who do not look like their fathers. Also, we see many persons, who do not look like their mothers. When someone does not look like his mother, no one takes notice. However, if someone does not look like his father, people start saying bad things. It sometimes happens where most of people are uneducated or less educated.

There is a person, who does not look like his father. In actual fact, he looks like his paternal uncle. People say awful things about him. This person gets angry. He now has started even physically attack people in a fit of rage. He is irritated by the fact that he does not look like his father, instead looks like his uncle.

It is common to hear people saying, “Do you know what we call a person who does not look like his father?”

Jian Feng sued his wife. Can their daughter sue her father for being a bad parent? Or, can parents sue each other if the child is born with a birth deficiency? Can a person instigate legal proceedings against his wife, if their child does not look like his father?

What would happen to daughter of Jian Feng, if when grown up she hears that his father called her an ‘incredibly ugly’ baby? It surely will break her heart. She will be unable to find self-esteem.

If a child is not beautiful, it is not his/her error. Why should s/he be insulted for not being good-looking? Even if someone is illegitimate, it is certain that it is not his/her fault. Unquestionably, it is a fault of his mother. People should stop insulting others for such silly points.

Jail for Kodnani, Bajrangi and Others

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

We welcome the order of the Additional Principal Judge Jyotsna Yagnik on Friday, August 31, 2012, in which the BJP MLA Maya Kodnanai (a woman) has been sentenced to 28 years in jail. The court awarded Babu Bajrangi life imprisonment till death, while 30 other convicts were awarded life terms in the same case. Kodnani was found guilty, along with Babu Bajrangi, under Sections 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of IPC.

Maya Kodnani was an MLA (on Bhartiya Janta Party’s ticket) in Gujarat state assembly at the time of the incident. She was made Minister of State for Women and Child Development in the Narendra Modi government in 2007. Babu Bajrangi was a leader of Bajrang Dal.

The Naroda Patiya massacre had taken place a day after the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002 which had triggered the state-wide anti-Muslim carnage. On February 28, 2002 when a bandh call was given by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a large crowd, allegedly led by Maya Kodnani burnt to death 97 Muslims in Naroda Patiya area of Ahmedabad city in Gujarat, while 33 others were injured in the violence.

The court had conducted trial against 61 accused over 402 days. A total of 327 people were cross-examined during the trial. Total 32 accused were found guilty by the court.

(Key excerpts from the judgement)