Fifth largest religion in the world, and people are ignorant enough to call us Hindus or Muslims. Educate yourself.
We are Sikh. Our faith matters to us. So much so that we will gladly give our life fighting for what we believe in as many saint soldiers have done in the past, including our own Gurus.
Sikh mothers had their newly borns chopped, limb by limb and then placed around their necks like garlands. This was the price they payed for not converting to another religion, those brave Sikh women remained in high spirits and sang the praises of Guru Nanak & Vaheguru.
We made up less than 2% of the Indian population yet 67% of the Indian army were Sikhs.
The first battle for freedom from British was won by Sikhs, when after loss of many lives in 1929 they were able to take over the charge of their shrines from British.
Our ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji offered to sacrifice his life to protect another religion. He laid down his life in defense of religious tolerance, freedom of worship, and freedom of religion. He gave his life for the Hindus’ right to wear the sacred thread despite the fact that Sikhs themselves do not believe in these rituals. This was martyrdom for the defense of basic human values.
In 1709, Guru Gobind Singh Ji left this world with a lifetime of heroic events which changed the History of India. (which I cannot even compress enough to make it into this text post & still do it justice)
Bhagat Singh while studying in Berkeley University in California went back to Punjab to fight against the British army and was hanged in 1913 while fighting for freedom.
Punjab lost its most fertile part to Pakistan during the partition. However, today due to hard labor of Sikh farmers, the Punjab in India produces much higher quantities of food grain than the fertile Punjab in Pakistan. Punjab contributes 40% of rice and 51% of wheat into the central pool of food grains in India.
On April 13, 1919, the British conducted Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which consisted of killing 1300 unarmed Indians, 62% of those who were Sikhs in a single day.
1984; we don’t even KNOW how many Sikhs were brutally murdered in the most inhumane ways possible because the Indian government burnt all the bodies without keeping track.
And that’s not even half of the history covered; Seeing news like the picture above absolutely shatters my heart, our Gurus and martyrs didn’t give up their life to be called someone we’re not. We have been given a unique identity so that the world may recognise a single Sikh in a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people.
We wear a turban in which we have a small wooden comb to keep and protect our sacred gift from God, our uncut hair, our Kes.
We wear a Kara (iron bracelet) to resemble handcuffs, which reminds a Sikh to be a servant of the Guru & think twice about doing evil deeds.
We wear a Kirpan (a sword) which symbolises dignity, self-reliance, capacity and readiness to always defend the weak and the oppressed.
We wear a Kachera (undershorts) which reminds the Sikh of the need for self-restrain over passions, lust and desires.
A Sikh is a devotee first and to protect his devotion, a Sikh is a warrior as well. A real Sikh will never let weapons take the precedence over his spiritual values and devotion. A real Sikh will always help the one in need and fight for him/her regardless of the person’s caste, color or religion. When all other means of self-protection fail, the Sikh can use his sword to protect himself and others. A Sikh is never to use his sword to attack anyone.
So please, don’t call us something we’re not. We are Sikh. But before that, we are human.
Mass Effect RP character. Sepah’Ouam is a quarian entomologist, who joined Andromeda Initiative after being denied her Pilgrimade gift by every single ship on the Migrant Fleet (because she is so useless noone wanted her aboard, and pretty much noone care about an exhaustive collection of Tuchanka’s flies).
She ended up being the Pathfinder of the quarian ark somehow, after the initial Pathfinder, Raaj’Kwitt, left the ark shortly after their departure. She was in stasis in the wrong pod (following administrative issues) so Raaj gave her the Pathinder acces by mistake. She awakes in Andromeda with SQ: (her version of SAM, bugged af and blocked in qwerty) and since lives in denial.
Narratives of Punjab’s Partition (I’m addressing specifically Punjab’s rn- Bengal and Kashmir were also partioned, and the impact was horrible, but at the moment I’m just focusing on Punjab) really expose people’s anti-Sikh sentiments on both sides of the border.
Sikhs are blamed for “erasure” of the experiences of Muslims and Hindus in Punjab’s Partition. We are blamed for allegedly saying that the identifier of Punjabi is solely ours. However, in reality, we are only louder because we are one of the populations that lost the most. That fact is glossed over by people on both sides of the border, so we need to speak loud enough for you to hear us. We are not being loud to drown out your voice. We are being loud not to be drowned out by yours, because yours is hegemonic.
The truth is that during the pre-partition meetings Sikhs were duped into believing that they would receive an autonomous Punjabi sooba in the new country of India if they sided with Gandhi and Nehru. This was a lie and the Punjabi sooba wouldn’t be formed for another two decades, and not without the flowing of Sikh blood, and the removal of Himachal and Haryana from Punjab- making the remnants of the state unrecognizable.
The truth is that on the western side of the border our places of worship were taken away from us. The power vacuum partition created gave rise to small gangs taking control of Nankana Sahib and other places of worship. Sikhs who tried to access these Dharm Isthhaans would be butchered. Now Sikhs can visit these places, but they are still occupied by the Pakistani government and Sikhs still don’t have jurisdiction over these places of worship- something we pray to regain on a daily basis. That’s the equivalent to a non-Muslim government laying claim to the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina and not giving Muslims the rightful jurisdiction to run it.
The truth is that while Sikh activists in the 50s and 60s gave their lives for language rights of Punjabi, a large majority of Muslim Pakistanis and Hindu Indians in East Punjab and West Punjab pushed for Urdu and Hindi to be their only identifier, not Punjabi.
The truth is that today on both sides of the border Sikh history and the legacy of Sikhs has been erased. In Pakistan, schools gloss over the Sikh Raaj under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and through my research during my undergrad I have seen that Pakistani academics have framed Sikh leaders like Baba Banda Singh Bahadur as uncivilized brutes. In India, our identity is treated as a joke, and we are told that Sikhs aren’t a distinct community of their own, but simply a sect of Hinduism.
The truth is, even to this day, many people amongst Pakistani Punjabis and Indian Hindu Punjabis at their community centers here in Canada rallied their communities not to mark Punjabi as their language, but rather Urdu and Hindi during the last Canadian census.
The truth is that Punjabi is ridiculed on both sides of the border and is seen as inferior. It is seen as a crude language only fit for comedic relief. In West Punjab, Urdu is seen as superior, and despite long standing activist from a minority of Muslim Pakistani Punjabis, little has been done to protect Punjabi. The same is the case with India, where Punjabi is seeing a decline in schools and academia.
Punjabi youth in West Punjab would rather identify themselves with Arab/Persian culture, and Hindu Punjabi youth in East Punjab would much rather identify themselves with the pan-Indian Hindu identity. You have the privilege to do that, we don’t. Our faith and our language are so ingrained in the land and culture of Punjab, a land that has faced erasure and neglect.
We never claimed you are not Punjabi, or stripped you of your Punjabiness, but the truth is that many non-Sikh Punjabis DID strip themselves of their Punjabiness. Your lack of ability to identify with the culture of Punjab is not because we push you away, it’s because you are in a sociopolitical group that has historically moved away from Punjabiyat. If you wish to identify with Punjab, no one is stopping you and no one is saying you have no claim to it.
However, something does need to be said about this knee-jerk reaction against Sikhs. As a minority on both sides of the border, we are vocal, because colonialism and Partition stripped us from everything our community worked for. It left us trauma that cannot be undone- trauma that was inflicted by both Pakistan and India. We aren’t quiet about that, and a loud minority speaking up in a hegemony will sadly always be seen as a nuisance.
I’m not saying Muslims and Hindus didn’t also face trauma. The pain everyone felt during this time is unimaginable. I’m not stopping you from sharing their stories. And yes, there are community narratives that are not often spoken about, such as the case of Christians and Dalits and how those intersections played out.
However, while sharing these narratives, you don’t need to silence Sikhs, or claim that somehow we are committing erasure. The reality is, that we are the ones who have faced erasure for far too many years and we are not about to be silent about that.
10) write in silence or with background noise? with people or alone? Is this with “people in the room” or with people in general because I still wanna do a fanfic war with Raaj. I don’t write with people in the room because I live alone and I like that.
Uh generally I like to write with background noise as long as it isn’t too distracting. So I’ll listen to instrumental music or something that’s soft and slow etc. I also like to write in silence! It just depends on what I’m going for.
11) what aspect of your writing do you think has most improved since you started writing?
Hmm probably just sentence structure in general. I mean… given that I started writing as a super young age, EVERYTHING improved, but if I look at some of my fanfics even a couple of years ago, it’s gotten better. I mean, every story is more experience and practice so of course things will get better!!
Fun fact: my first couple of BD fics are in present tense because that’s the tense that most RPers tend to write with, and I could not for the life of me switch back to past tense. Now I can switch back and forth easily :D
I’m Punjabi. I do not identify with a country whose government inflicted a genocide on my people, and who continuously denies that fact. I do not identify with a country whose pop culture uses my Sikh identity as a joke. I do not identify with a country that treats women, minorities, and underprivileged people like crap. I do not identify with a country that day in and day out ignore the sacrifices made by Punjabi freedom fighters against the British Raaj (the road to independence was NOT non-violent).
Moreover, while Canada is my homeland (on which I live as a settler in Unceded Coast Salish Territory), Punjab is my motherland. In 1947, Punjab was split in half between Pakistan and India, so why should I idenitify with a country that has only half of my motherland, be it India or Pakistan?
I've always wanted to ask this question but don't know if you are right person to ask but anyways why is it that the punjabis hate ghandi? Like in school we are taught he is was a great man and such but the punjabis always hate on him, why is this? My parents always talk bad about him as well
Hi there! I can only give my personal opinion and share those of the people around me so here it is. :)
It’s not that people HATE hate Gandhi (although some do, and they have their reasons), but rather then hate how idolatrous his image has become. People are annoyed at how little critical analysis there is about his life, and the things he’s said and done, and how unwilling people are to hear any criticism. As you may have read from my previous sources he has done and said some pretty backwards things.
Moreover, we don’t view him as the “father of the nation.” As a Sikh, the Father of our Sikh nation is Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and no one else. Plus, what nation should we support? Half of our motherland has been split into the Pakistan, and the remaining piece of motherland we had on “Indian” soil has been divided into Himachal and Haryana (yes, they were originally Punjab).
Furthermore, Punjab is one of the more socially revolutionized areas in the subcontinent. Many freedom fighters who fought the British came from Punjab, so when you say that independance was brought on by “peaceful revolution” that spearheaded by Gandhi, you are spitting on the faces of young men and women who lost their lives in the pursuit of freedom from British imperialism. Bhagat Singh is one of the dearest figures in a Punjabi’s heart, and Gandhi’s refusal to intervene to stop his execution will likely never be forgiven.
It is evident that Gandhi showed regionalism, and he showed no respect to Sikhi whatsoever.
He claimed that “Sikh Gurus were Hindus” (even though the Guru Sahibaan rejected a lot of Hindu beliefs) and that Guru Gobind Singh (despite having majority of his abttles fought against Pahaarhi Hindu Raaje) was “one of the greatest defenders of Hinduism” (Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi Vol. 28 pg. 263).
At one point in time 60 million people who Hindus at the time considered “Untouchables” wanted to receive Guru Sahib’s Amrit, become Sikhs, and free themselves of the oppressive caste system. Gandhi said, “I don’t mind Untouchables if they do desire, being converted to Islam or Christianity” (CW, Vol 48, pg 98) , however he didn’t want them to convert to Sikhi: “Today I will only say that to me Sikhism is a part of Hinduism. But the situation is different from a legal point of view. Dr. Ambedkar wants a change of religion. If becoming a Sikh amounts to conversion, then this kind of conversion on the parts of Harijans is dangerous. If you can persuade the Sikhs to accept that Sikhism is a part of Hinduism and if you can make them give up the separate electorate, then I will have no objections to Harijans calling themselves Sikhs.” (CW, Vol 63, pg 267)
Gandhi also denounced the Bani of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and believed that Sikhs shouldn’t present themselves in their sant-sipahi form: “I read your Granth Sahib. But I do not do so to please you. Nor shall I seek your permission to do so. But the Guru has not said anywhere that you must grow your beards, carry kirpans and so on” (CW Vol. 90, Pg. 80).
Gandhi believed that Gurmukhi was an inferior script: I wish you would persuade enlightened Sikhs to take the Devnagri script in the place of the Gurmukhi" (CW Vol. 64. pg 41). Gurmukhi is as sacred as Guru Sahib and cannot be divorced from Guru Granth Sahib Maharaaj.
Gandhi wished for Sikhs to renounce the parts of their religion and culture that he felt prevented them from being “reabsorbed” into Hinduism. Two of the main obstacles to such an objective were the different language of the Sikhs and the institution of the Khalsa Panth.
During the Partition of 1947, the British were in the talks of giving Punjab to Sikhs as their own sovereign state, however Gandhi, in an attempt to quell this Partition said, “No Constitution (of India) would be acceptable to the Congress which did not satisfy the Sikhs,” (CW Vol. 58. p. 192) essentially trying to tell Sikh leaders to join the Indian movement, which they did. This promise was quickly broken right after independence. To this day though, not a single Sikh has ever signed the Indian Constitution. Infact, the Constitution goes out of its way to declare that Sikhs are indeed a part of Hinduism (Article 25). False promises from Gandhi!
Gandhi is known as a man of non-violence, but when Sikhs practiced non-violence to reclaim of Gurdwaras that had been handed over to Brahminical powers in the early 1900s, Gandhi mocked the Singh Sabha Movement: “The Akalis (Sikh Warriors) wear a black turban and a black band on one shoulder and also carry a big staff with a small axe on the top. Fifty or a hundred of such groups go and take possession of a gurdwara; they suffer violence themselves but do not use any. Nevertheless, a crowd of fifty or more men approaching a place in the way described is certainly a show of force and naturally the keeper of the Gurdwara would be intimidated by it.” (Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol. 19 pg. 401)
Gandhi could not understand why Sikhs would peacefully protest while wearing arms. To him, this constituted cowardice, that one carries arms while walking in peace. He did not understand, or try to understand, the Sikh perspective. He simply imposed his belief on others (quite ironically too, as that is what he wanted the British to stop doing).
These are only a few example. Talk to your elders, you are bound to hear more stories about him. One more thing that i find annoying is how Gujarat was made into a dry state to respect Gandhi’s views of alcohol (as Gandhi was a Gujarati). However, Punjab’s youth population is sinking into alcoholism and drug addiction, and nothing is being done about it. What about respect to the religious scholars born and raised in Punjab. Challo, as we saw, there doesn’t seem to be any respect for Sikhs, but at least see what Punjab contributed to Hinduism! Many people won’t know this, but the Rig Ved (first of the four veds) was written during the Vedic Period in the area of Punjab. However, I see no attention brought to that. Why does Gandhi’s state get special treatment while other states are withering away?
Apologies for the length of this rant, but there are many reasons why Punjabis are critical of Gandhi and do not deify him.