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The Sikh Idenity

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Waheguruji ka Khalsa

Waheguruji ki fateh

The Sikh Idenity

GURU GOBIND SINGH ON VAISAKHI of 1699 established the Khalsa brotherhood.

As integral to the moral discipline he ordained that all his Sikhs keep

unshorn hair. Essentially he created a casteless and classless society

and assigned the title ‘Singh’ to all males, meaning lions and ‘Kaur’

meaning princess to females. After the partition of India in 1947 and

more so after the genocide of the Sikhs in 1984, some disturbing trends

among the Sikhs need serious thinking by our intlligentsia, religious

and political leaders as how to arrest and counteract them without any

further loss of time. The following trends need to be urgently addressed:

1.A large number of Sikhs have started trimming their beards. Some trim

so badly that they give a poor image of a Sikh. Usually sons of such

Sikhs who indulge in trimming their beards do the same or simply shave

off. We often see a father or a grandfather holding a clean shaven son

or a grandson. Trimming of long hair by the Sikh girls has also become

fashionable. The result is, that it is not uncommon to see a Sikh and

his wife with bob hair.

2.Many Sikhs now feel shy to use ‘Singh’ or ‘Kaur’ in their names. You

come across names like Harjit Soni, Birinder Kohli, Gurdeep Gill, and so

on, without using ‘Singh’ or ‘Kaur’. It appears that perhaps they want

to hide their Sikh identity. This defeats the very purpose and the

spirit in which Khalsa was created as one brotherhood.

3.All over the world, people converse in their mother tongue. In India

also, Marathis, Bengalis, Tamils, Gujaratis, etc. speak in their mother

tongue among themselves, including their children whether they are

living in their own state or any other state in India or out of India.

Surprisingly, only Punjabis, both Sikhs and Hindus, who consider

themselves “modernâ€Â speak Hindi with their children. They falsely

consider it more refined than Punjabi. Even many grown ups and well-to-do

Punjabi Sikhs converse in Hindi although they can speak in Punjabi as

well. This is indeed very strange. Those who consider themselves elite

or upper class prefer to speak in English. This trend is primarily due

to the fact that Punjabi Hindus disowned Punjabi and declared Hindi as

their mother tongue. Since well-to-do Hindus converse in Hindi with

their children and quite often, among themselves, Punjabi Sikhs thought

it to be more ‘fashionable’ to converse in Hindi and elite Sikhs in

English. This complex from the minds of the Sikh need to be removed,

especially because Punjabi Muslims also declared Urdu as their mother

tongue. So Punjabi is now left to be the mother tongue of the Punjabi

Sikhs only. If Sikhs don̢۪t take a note of this, then, in few years time,

they may be speaking only Hindi which will become their mother tongue.

4.Young Sikh boys wear a ‘patka’ to cover their hair. It is o.k. till

they are 13-14 years old. Thereafter they should start wearing a turban

especially from class 9th onwards if not earlier. Those who don̢۪t start

wearing turban at this stage, continue to wear a ‘patka’ not only till

they finish school, but also when they go to the university, which does

not give proper image of a Sikh. Some of our sportsmen are in a ‘patka’

even while giving interviews for TV coverage or to the press or in ads.

Wearing of ‘patka’ while playing games is ok but not in social, official

or other public functions and occasions. Quite a few Sikhs are seen in

a ‘patka’ in TV serials, which is not correct.

5.Although over 50 years have passed since independence, not a single

good Punjabi movie has been made. This is inspite of the fact that a

large number of actors and producers are Punjabis. Sikhs are

occasionally shown in Hindi movies, but more so as jokers, taxi drivers,

doormen at five star hotels, and so on. Moreover, they are not shown in

proper Sikh form. Their beards don̢۪t look normal and natural and they

wear funny type of turbans. During the course of the movie, a Sikh

character alternates with trimmed beard and a turban, and then without a

turban and shorn hair on the head. This is highly objectionable. They

are never shown in proper respectable Sikh form. Since Punjabi Hindus

disown Punjabi as their language, the Sikhs have to seriously think of

producing some good Punjabi movies based on novels, plays and stories by

well known authors. Sikh characters in respectable and proper Sikh form

should be heroes and heroines. If Hindi movies revolving around a

Muslim family with a Muslim hero can be made, then why not around a Sikh

family with Sikh youth as a hero.

6.Well known Sikhs in their respective fields who get media coverage

need to take special care about their form and behavior as they are an

example for the younger generation to emulate.

7.I hope my suggestions will be taken seriously by the Sikhs, both in

India and abroad, and will take immediate steps to take remedial


(Extract from Sikh review )

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  • 3 weeks later...

good point, especially that it should always be wasy to recognise Sikhs wherever they are, and kuriya should think about wearing dustaar if they want more of an identity, because its like my cousin said, u cannot always tell who are Sikh girls because Hindus and Muslims also wear shol or chunni

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