It seems to many that Sikhs in politics is a brand new development a product of the 21st century, with our recent migration to the west. I frankly disagree with that assessment. We are Sikhs, to the word Sikh means to learn, and only the way to learn is to question, to question those in power and their beliefs is very a political act. Sikhism from its very foundation with Guru Nanak in questioned the logic of the caste system when in his eyes all humans were the same, the idea that women are equal and that money should be earned honestly or not at all, ideas radical then and in many ways still are now. These challenges to power formalized after the execution of the Fifth Guru Arjan, his son Guru Hargobind set aside the seli topi (caps of holy men) asked for a sword i and the kalgi of a king instead. He was given one but it was put on the wrong side, so he asked for another as well. Those two swords would represent Miri and Piri, the need to be powerful in the spiritual world so as to know injustice, and the physical world so as to have the means to actively oppose it. With that Sikhism challenged the might of the Mughal empire and opposed the religious intolerance of it. Time and time again our faith challenged those that sought to oppress whether they were the Afghan kings or the British empire. To say being political is in conflict with our beliefs would ignore that long history of active opposition to injustice and oppression. No, to be political is a consequence of who we are, where we come from and what we believe.

How the faithful forget themselves, what right do they have to possess the blindfold of ignorance in this life? Bowing to his holy books, he surrender his being to the knowledge within the calligraphy, those same eyes finding truth among scratches upon a page, yet not seeing the same within the humanity that surrounds him?

While I am glad I sit in Canada far removed from the Charlottesville protests, one cannot help but look at whats happening. I can sympathize with the white supremacists to a certain extent. I understand times are changing things, things you have enjoyed are being taken away, it would be terrifying no doubt. The sympathy I extend is the same the same sympathy I extend to a child’s terror when a light in a room suddenly shuts off, where it was on. It is your fear, your lack of¬†education or lack of knowledge that provokes my sympathy, not your cause. Yet I find the protest silly, the ideals of equality, tolerance and diversity scare them so much, that it takes so much away from them. Their anger is misdirected why blame the treatment? Blame the disease of racism that requires such a bitter and harsh treatment, if so much was not given earlier on that was not yours to take, not so much would need be given back now. If the attempting to end racism is so brutal bloody then so to was bloody and brutal the process of its unchecked growth on humanity.

Wealth does not equate greatness, for greatness is not so much tied to material goods as it is tied to character. Wealth is nothing if the man that holds it is feeble or unprincipled, for him to have wealth is to have the ability to choose the poison that will eventually corrupt and destroy him.