Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sikhs Still Have Sights Trained On Dera Baba

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Dera Sacha Sauda sect guru Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh is still in boiling hot water for dressing like the 10th Sikh patriarch Guru Gobind Singh:
The Haryana government on Wednesday decided to give Z-plus security to Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda sect whom Sikhs have accused of blasphemy.

"We have decided to provide him with the Z-plus security cover in view of the threats to eliminate him," Haryana's Additional DGP (CID) P V Rathee told PTI.
The hit is out in the Punjab, and we doubt that even Z-plus security is gonna cover the Baba's ass. With an ongoing boycott against his group and the ire of an inflamed populace, the Baba doesn't have much choice other than to hole up, stay low and keep ducking.

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11 Comments:

At 6/07/2007 9:45 PM, Blogger taman said...

Hi,
I have been reading your blog for quite sometime now. Though I am not a regular, I visit your blog once in a while.

I will take this oppurtunity to ask you the little you know about Sikhism. I am a Sikh and till date, I haven't been asked to go and kill anyone. Is that a surprise to you?
Have you ever...ever once read or studied the holy book of Sikhs?
By the way, I won't come running after your life just because you spoke shit about my religion on your blog. All I am trying to do here is- put in a little effort so that you understand that Sikhism is not what you see.

 
At 6/07/2007 10:01 PM, Blogger jody said...

I will take this oppurtunity to ask you the little you know about Sikhism. I am a Sikh and till date, I haven't been asked to go and kill anyone. Is that a surprise to you?

No. But among the raging rioters in the Punjab angry at the Baba, I think it's safe to say that one or two... hundred were calling for the his demise.

Have you ever...ever once read or studied the holy book of Sikhs?

No. But one doesn't need any knowledge of Sikhism to understand that folks were/are in a murderous rage at the Baba.

All I am trying to do here is- put in a little effort so that you understand that Sikhism is not what you see.

I don't doubt that. However, folks getting that angry because someone dresses up like a revered patriarch is indicating something about Sikhism. I certainly don't think they are better in any way, but you probably wouldn't find Christians in this country staging full-on riots because some preacher was dressing up like Jesus.

 
At 6/07/2007 10:27 PM, Blogger taman said...

"No. But among the raging rioters in the Punjab angry at the Baba, I think it's safe to say that one or two... hundred were calling for the his demise."

So? If a few hundred were asking for his demise, you will conclude that Sikhism is a millitant religion?
Sikhs are probably in millions or more. Does their opinion count or are you going to believe what the mdia shows you?

"No. But one doesn't need any knowledge of Sikhism to understand that folks were/are in a murderous rage at the Baba."

Sure you don't. But before you conclude anything, you surely need to know more.

"folks getting that angry because someone dresses up like a revered patriarch is indicating something about Sikhism."

I believe that you fail to see the politics behind this drama. There are millions of deras in Punjab and millions of babas. Why, exactly, do you think they are not cared for but this one specially is? The reason is simple-politics. Those politicians, they are neither Hindus, Sikhs or Muslims. They are simply put- politicans.

I won't take a second to condemn the acts of what people did in Punjab, if I find them wrong. But to say Sikhism is a millitant religion on the basis of what a few hundred people have done, only shows how ignorant you are.

You are a big fan of upnishads, aren't you? What does the current state of India and the way the religion is followed tell you?

"I certainly don't think they are better in any way, but you probably wouldn't find Christians ...Jesus."

Why does it matter then? When you in the first place think that christians are in no way better than the Sikhs in India. :)
It is very commendable that people do not get so crazy here. But it is also important to understand the situation of law and order in India. Do I need say more?

 
At 6/07/2007 11:13 PM, Blogger jody said...

If a few hundred were asking for his demise, you will conclude that Sikhism is a millitant religion?

Well, that and the sword in the hat thing, even if only symbolic now.

Sikhs are probably in millions or more. Does their opinion count or are you going to believe what the mdia shows you?

It gets weighted pretty heavily in the survey of the event from the U.S. I'm not saying that all Sikhs are rioting, but like Christianity in the U.S., I can imagine there are more and less militant factions.

Sure you don't. But before you conclude anything, you surely need to know more.

You mean conclude that Sikhism is militant?

I suppose it could be an erroneous view. But I'm not alone in having it.

I won't take a second to condemn the acts of what people did in Punjab, if I find them wrong. But to say Sikhism is a millitant religion on the basis of what a few hundred people have done, only shows how ignorant you are.

That wasn't my entire basis, but I admit ignorance as to the nature of Punjabi politics and its relationship to religion.

You are a big fan of upnishads, aren't you? What does the current state of India and the way the religion is followed tell you?

That folks don't get it. But they weren't designed to be a social blueprint.

Why does it matter then? When you in the first place think that christians are in no way better than the Sikhs in India. :)

Well, it sheds light on the extreme nature of the response, but if it's as I think you are saying, the response had a lot more to do with politics than religion or folks being angry because a baba dressed up as a revered figure. Is that the correct view?

It is very commendable that people do not get so crazy here. But it is also important to understand the situation of law and order in India. Do I need say more?

I just report what I find in the news online, trying to make it funny somehow. Thank God there are readers willing to take the time to correct me when I get it wrong somehow.

 
At 6/08/2007 12:47 PM, Anonymous freefall said...

Taman said:

So? If a few hundred were asking for his demise, you will conclude that Sikhism is a millitant religion?

My little undestanding of history of indian religions tells me that sikhism was indeed militarized by its last guru. Ironically, militarization of sikhism was to protect hinduism from persecution by islamic zealots and the last guru of sikhs is claimed as a hero equally by the right wing hindutva-vadis. Therefore to disown the militaristic character of sikhism is not entirely honest.

I also understand that due to martial flavour of their religious beliefs, sikhs were favoured in british army -- a tradition that continues to this date in indian army.

 
At 6/09/2007 11:22 PM, Blogger taman said...

"Well, that and the sword in the hat thing, even if only symbolic now."

I don't exactly understand what you mean here. I think you're talking about the comb int eh turban thing. :P They say its required for every baptized Sikh to carry it. I have a different point of view, though.

"but like Christianity in the U.S., I can imagine there are more and less militant factions."

I believe so. I will talk more about this in the next post.

"I suppose it could be an erroneous view. But I'm not alone in having it."
Some 500 years back, when Aurangzeb was ruthlessly killing hindus and Sikhs alike, it only seemed natural to form an army and protect ourselves and others. I will add, though, that there is very little or completely no mention of voilence and training armies in the Guru Granth Sahib (holy book of Sikhs). It talks about meditation and to worship only One God.

"but I admit ignorance as to the nature of Punjabi politics and its relationship to religion."
I would talk more about the politcs of country as a whole. Its hard to explain unless one is very familair with the systtem, so I will leave it here.

"That folks don't get it. But they weren't designed to be a social blueprint."
Exactly my point. Thank you. :-)
"The Sikhs of the 21st century" aren't exactly Sikhs. They do take pride in calling themselves so, though. Let me also say this: I am not a Sikh either, I am trying to be one. They are also not designed to be social blueprints.

"the response had a lot more to do with politics than religion or folks being angry because a baba dressed up as a revered figure. Is that the correct view?"

I very strongly believe that its easy to misguide the general public. The task becomes much more easier when the crowd is uneducated (a lot of people in India are, by the way, uneducated). Yes, it does have a lot more to do with the politics of the nation and Punjab.

I am glad you listened. :-)
Thanks!

 
At 6/09/2007 11:38 PM, Blogger taman said...

"My little undestanding of history of indian religions tells me that sikhism was indeed militarized by its last guru."

Well, there are a lot of issues that need to be understood and resolved before we say the above statement. At least I won't. I know many other people who would galdly agree to the above statement.

"Therefore to disown the militaristic character of sikhism is not entirely honest."
Sikhism in itself, is not militaristic in nature. The holy book which is the only source that I trust, does not talk about all this at all. It mainly talks about meditation.
The result of following the religion whole-heartedly is that The individual(s) becomes stronger than an individual who doesn't. He is more deatched from the materialistic world, does not fear death, lives a truthful living are some of the things. In such a case, if the society needs you...you would be more more than willing to help. No? At least they were.
(The above result can also come from following other religions whole-heartedly as we see in the case of Jesus Christ)

Traditions should change with time. Sometimes, at least.

Also, I wouldn't blame you for the view you hold. Almost all of my Sikh friends understand that Sikhism is a militaristic religion.

 
At 6/10/2007 4:27 AM, Anonymous freefall said...

Jody said:

"Well, that and the sword in the hat thing, even if only symbolic now."

Taman said:

I don't exactly understand what you mean here. I think you're talking about the comb int eh turban thing.

No. It is about the sword.

Isn't it an article of faith in sikhism to carry a sword (or a knife) all the times?

Taman said:

Some 500 years back, when Aurangzeb was ruthlessly killing hindus and Sikhs alike, it only seemed natural to form an army and protect ourselves and others.

Well taken.

However that was 500 years ago. Does it explain why they have to carry their swords and knives today and that too as a religious belief?

 
At 6/10/2007 4:00 PM, Blogger taman said...

"No. It is about the sword.

Isn't it an article of faith in sikhism to carry a sword (or a knife) all the times?"

Well, majority of Sikhs view it that way. I don't think so. I know some people (and they are of course a minority who think that the sword is not supposed to be an article of faith).
I can actually find lines from Guru Granth which will show that Sikhism is against wearing religious robes and calling yourself a man of God. But sometimes, there's no arguing with people.

"However that was 500 years ago. Does it explain why they have to carry their swords and knives today and that too as a religious belief?"

Not entirely. As I said, I don't think sword is an article of faith. At least to me, it is definitely not. However, if one wants to protect him/herself from say...whatever, why not carry a sword or pistol. But that again, doesn't count as anything religious.
We can always talk more about the issue given that you are interested. :-)

 
At 6/11/2007 5:57 PM, Anonymous freefall said...

Taman said:

Well, majority of Sikhs view it that way. I don't think so. I know some people (and they are of course a minority who think that the sword is not supposed to be an article of faith).

Well, the conduct of the majority of the followers of a religion does tell something about that religion even when more enlightened followers claim it as an abuse of that religion. To me it is abundantly clear that the way a particular religion can be abused has some deeper connection with the fundamentals of that religion.

For example, educated muslims always denounce terrorism and term it as abuse of Islam. However, the fact that Islam can be abused for whipping up terrorism, while Jainism or Buddhism cannot be abused in such ways tells us something about the fundamentals of Islam, Jainism and Buddhism.

Take another example, vedanta can be abused by megalomaniacs to pose as self-styled gods, while Islam cannot be abused in this way tells us something about vedanta and islam.

Similarly, if sikhism can be abused to whip up militant passions, it does tell something about fundamentals of sikhism, notwithstanding opinions of some of the more enlightened follwers of sikhism.

 
At 6/12/2007 8:09 AM, Blogger taman said...

"To me it is abundantly clear that the way a particular religion can be abused has some deeper connection with the fundamentals of that religion."

I don't think I agree. I am not saying that I am more enlightened. If a situation comes that I have to fight for the right, I will.

"educated muslims always denounce terrorism and term it as abuse of Islam."
You think that Sikhism is one other millitant religion?
I did not denounce the use of a weapon. The only thing that I said was: to not make it religious. Religion only and only shows us a way to God.

"the fact that Islam can be abused for whipping up terrorism, while Jainism or Buddhism cannot be abused in such ways tells us something about the fundamentals of Islam, Jainism and Buddhism. "

Different religions can be abused in different ways. I don't think I need examples here. They can be abused not because of their fundamentals but because some people choose to do so.

"Similarly, if sikhism can be abused to whip up militant passions, it does tell something about fundamentals of sikhism"

It tells me that my ancestors have faced extreme terrorism. First, they haven't been a cause of it. Second, they fought not for themselves but for others. They sacrificed their lives for others. Now, if you know this and you are still telling me that there is something wrong with the fundamentals of Sikhism, I will pray for you. :P
I also request you to find out what is wrong with the fundamentals of the religion, and educate me on the same.
If that doesn't seem easy, I will share.

"notwithstanding opinions of some of the more enlightened follwers of sikhism."

First, I am not enlightened. Second, this is not my opinion. I can prove what I say by quoting verses from Guru Granth Sahib.

By the way, there is only one fundamental that I have found as yet: naam japna (remember God with every breath). End of story.

 

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