I remember doing seva in langar as a kid, while doing it the only time you looked at another persons plate was to see if it was if it was empty and if it was you made sure it was filled but if it was filled you never took it away. While I don’t spend as much time there, nor am I as religious that particular concept always resonated with me. That governing belief I have carried throughout of my life in that the only time you should look at others to see if they have enough, if not, see to it they do.
What right the Sikh have to live this life in willful ignorance? He who bows to a book, calls his almighty the teacher and himself the student, to which his relationship is one based upon his own enlightenment and not his own enslavement.
So today is the day of Diwali, a day of celebration marked millions of Hindus and Sikhs worldwide. While it is widely known for themes of family get together’s, going to religious and the setting off fireworks. Sikhs however we should not neglect the history behind it. For today marks the day marks the release from prison, the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind. He was wrongfully imprisoned by the Intolerant Mughal empire of India, along with him were 52 innocent Rajahs. Eventually the Emperor had a change of heart and allowed that the Guru be released. The Guru refused unless others were freed as well, the emperor conceded saying that however many Rajahs could hold his coat could leave with him, in the knowledge that this would limit them to a few. The Guru instead had a special cloak woven with 52 corners, and proceeded to lead all 52 Rajahs out of the prison to freedom. I believe in that spirit of freedom and opposition to tyranny and injustice is what Diwali should be about. Such an act was necessary then as it now for tyranny and injustice still continue to this very day, as is the need to stand against it. So instead of people spending money on sweets which are not only bad for health as Punjabi community continues to struggle with diabetes and heart disease, I propose that we ought to use that money and donate Amnesty International. an organization that’s symbol is a lit candle an organization whose motto is “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness” not unlike the purpose of the lit divas of our faith, but most importantly it is a group that perpetuates the fight for the rights of the wrongly imprisoned, stand opposed to injustices that our fellow human beings continue to face. Its good that we celebrate the greats deeds of our storied past, rather than merely celebrate we ought to be a reflection of that in our present, and build upon that foundation laid so long ago rather than merely admire it.
While the gurudwara committees continue to criticize the youth for getting high on drugs,they ought to glance in a mirror for they are no different, they continue to get high on their own false pride and hubris, in their drunken delusion they believe their age and position begets respect and not wisdom, that any stupidity on their part that is unbecoming of their age is above legitimate criticism. Fighting in a religious place over politics? How is that no different than a drunk fighting in a bar? Except the drunks bottle only harms himself, whereas the the committees intoxicant harms the whole community. The danger lies not in the intoxication of drugs and alcohol, but in the intoxication of power and pride of the committees abuse frequently, they are like a rotten cancer, unseen and unchecked they will destroy everything from the inside out, and like a rotten cancer they serve no purpose and should be removed upon detection.
So I have been perusing facebook recently, I have seen people parading this around like Sikhism has achieved something, like this is something to be proud of.It is not. What I have seen here is not the promotion of our faith, but the prostitution of it. This woman Harmeet Kaur Dhillon has saw fit to whore out our beliefs, whore out words to raise her own profile all for a party.Faith and politics ought to remain separate for the sake religious tolerance.But since she already gone there. I feel it is only right to address the unsuitability of her actions. Our faith has always opposed the tyrant, not crawled into bed with them. She used the words of a faith whose Guru believed it was better to lose his own head than to allow followers of another faith face persecution, and whose son then preceded to wage war on the empire that pursued such police, for the party believes that all Muslims must subject to special restrictions. She used our words for a party that does not believe that women have the ability to control their bodies and supports a leader who has time and time again disparaged women. How can standby when our founder way back 1400’s raised the status of women by saying “from her kings are born”. How dare she claim our ardass for a party that fails to recognize the barbarity and savagery in not allowing free healthcare , to sentence people to death for the crime of not being able to pay. To not allow cheaper education or higher wages so people can lift themselves out of poverty. How exactly is the concept “sarbat the bala” pursued by them? Our gurus opened the 4 doors our of holiest shrines so that all may enter, gave food free of charge so that may none face hunger, broke the caste system so that allow may live free of judgement. We broke barriers between people while the republicans fight to raise them. We bled and died fighting tyranny while they gather to inflict it upon others. This women has made a mockery of Sikhism, and this is not praiseworthy,
Normally I have a pretty liberal attitude with how I believe people should worship and stuff, but there is something that has been bothering me of late. What I don’t like these days is the practice of bringing of catering to the Gurudwara or doing special arrangements. I find the practice abhorrent and in congruent with the principles of our faith. Sure it is your big day and everyone wants it to be perfect, but that doesn’t trump the principles of equality we have espoused through out the ages. It is guru ka langar not village of india langar or brar’s langar. It is supposed to be simple food that its very core, an act of bring people of different backgrounds to sit on the floor together as equals, It was Guru Amar Das that made the great Mughal King Abkar sit, before granting him an audience, regarding king and beggar alike. So who are we to challenge that institution when the emperor of India could not. Yeah in the age of social media, with Facebook, Instagram etc. In Brampton especially among Punjabis its become a dumb hedonistic and materialistic competition to one up each other with extravagant weddings all for likes, go ahead do it at the engagement, do it at the reception. But that attitude of one man upmanship has no place in the Gurudwara, and that should be respected.