01/06/2009

After the News Reports came from Viana

In the city of Viana of Austria, on 24th May a sikh gurudwara is attacked, two sikh preachers who went there from India on a tour, were injured, one of them dies later on. Along with this news, there was another news that the attackers were from an opponent sikh group. When this news reached Panjab, violent protests started. In many places in Panjab trains and buses have been burnt, Gurudwaras attacked, different sikh groups attack on one another, in the initial incidents two died and several injured. In atleast four cities curfew was imposed. Army has been called. Circumstances turn critical. Violence spreads upto the neighbouring state Haryana. The reasons for this violence are being told that this is the dispute of sikh-mat followers among themselves. And basically this is related to the caste system. Like Hindus among Sikhs as well there is sect and caste based and by-birth discrimination exists. Gurudwara under attack in Viana, is the lower castes Gurudwara, the victims of attack were the preachers of the same community.

This story is of that mat (religion)..

And this entire story relates to that mat, five hundred years ago, which was formed against sects, class and cast system. Founder of the mat Baba Nanak used to beleive in Unity of God, used to belive in one Creator and Lord, was against idol worship, wanted to eradicate sectorial differentiation. Like wise his teachings were close to Islam, as many of his biographers wrote. But cleverness and wisdom of those should be admitted who are the founders of caste system and by-birth human discrimination, that they played such tactics that the part of Panjabi nation which following Guru Nanak formed a seperate religious identity in the name of Sikh nation, returned back to previous beleives and rituals. In the life of Baba Nanak these tactics did not succeed but people coming later got affected. And even it has been told that "the formation of sikh-mat was for the protection of Hindu Dharm." Not only that, Sikh rulers and Muslim rulers political wars were referred to as wars between sikh-mat and Islam and this way successful efforts were made to make ever lasting differences among Muslims and Sikhs.

Present position of Sikh-mat.

Now the position of Sikh-mat is that, it is divided in several sects. Jat sikh, Dalit sikh, Ravi dasi sikh, Namdhari sikh, Sahaj dari sikh, Religious sikh, Udasi sikh, Kesh dari sikh, Nirankari sikh - Many deras established, many new are being established. The fact about deras is that any sikh who is not satisfied with the main stream, by defining sikh-mat on his own, establishes his seperate Gurudwara. In sikh nation majority is of lower class who are the followers of Ravi das. In previous years followers of Sant Ravi das Ji established hundreds of their Gurudwaras in India and abroad, which Jat Sikh do not like. Situation is very crucial. But the reason for the situation is obvious, that is sikh nation getting away from its origin. By Baba Nanak teachings and his practice history comparison if the current sikh-mat situation is viewed, it looks different. In sikh-mat even now there are big intellectuals and knowledgeable scholars still there. They might have taken the notice of the situation. And certainly might be thinking about the reformation, but who knows they are discussing the fundamental question or not that five hundred years ago why Baba Nanak felt the need to form seperate Sikh-mat .?

01/06/09 khabar-o-nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Ibrahim Shaikh

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