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Sikhism And Caste


kdsingh80
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OK so below is the some shameful part of Sikh history which I read on sikhnet I don't know the accuracy of sakhi ,may be it is cooked up but if it is true then what it suggest that Many Sikhs even from the time of Guru gobind singh ji had castist mentality?

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http://www.sikhnet.com/Sikhnet/discussion.nsf/SearchView/A15973BE4CEBB6F08725726C0040EC87!OpenDocument

According to Mahan Kosh, Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj sent five Singhs (Baba Binod Singh, Kahan Singh, Baaz Singh, Bijay Singh, Ram Singh) with Baba Banda Singh towards Panjab.

About Kahan Singh, Kesar Singh Chhibber, an early eighteenth century writer narrates the incident as an eyewitness account. He was grandson of Dharam Singh the treasurer of tenth Guruji. He had met Mata Sundari ji, Mata Sahib Kaur, and Guru ji’s uncle Mama Kirpal Singh and Bhai Mani Singh. His father Gurbax Singh was appointed the guardian of Amritsar city by Mata ji so Kesar Singh came to Amritsar with him. Kesar Singh as a child witnessed the incident that he describes in a book that he wrote later. He wrote ‘Bansawalinama Dasan Patshaheean Ka’ in which this incident is described.

A translation of the Punjabi text is given below. Point that may be noted is that Kahan Singh around whom this event revolves was one of the companions of Baba Banda Singh and he must have taken Amrit during tenth Guru ji’s lifetime and must be very close to Guru ji. Moreover he was descendent of second Guruji. The text goes thus:

Kahan Singh Trehan from Goindwal and a descendent of Guruji.

As a Sardar (chief) Sikh sat at the Bunga (Akal Bunga, Akal Takhat) himself.

Sikhs came to the fair (organised by) local residents circumabulating (the Harimandar).

A Sikh going in front of them met these Sikhs and embraced them. (4)

These Sikhs also hugged him lovingly.

They loved him very much.

After hugging each other when they departed.

Kahan Singh ji saw that particular sikh when all those Sikhs separated. (5)

He (Kahan Singh) sent a man to bring that Sikh to him.

Kahan Singh ji asked,”O Sikh! Which Sikh are you, what caste are you called by?”

Sikh stood there hugely embarrassed.

Then Singh ji again said,”What Sikh are you known as?” (6)

Then he said, “Sir, I am a Mazhabi Sikh (a sikh originally from a low caste)”.

Then Singh ji ordered those other Sikhs to be brought in as well immediately.

Those local Sikhs all arrived,

The ones who had embraced and hugged this other sikh lovingly. (7)

(Singh ji) spoke thus, “Bhai Sikhs, do you know this sikh?”

All those said.”Yes sir”.

(Singh ji) spoke thus, “Which sikh is he, what is his caste?”

They said, sir, landowner sikh and he is known as ‘Sandhu’ (8)(usually a jat surname but occasionally lower castes also may have this surname)

Then he was asked in front of these Sikhs.

“Bhai Sikh! What is your caste? He mentioned, ‘Mazhabi’ (sikh from low castes )

The local Sikhs were surprised on hearing this.

These Sikhs said, “Sir, he has eaten food with us” (9)

All of us Sikhs have served him food making him sit in our own kitchen.

(persons of lower castes were not allowed to enter kitchen of higher caste persons)

Food in (our) plate and water in the bowl was given to him to drink.

This sikh (had) said ‘I am landowner sikh and am a local resident of Amritsar”

All Sikhs have served him with food in their own homes one by one. (10)

Singh ji asked (the ‘Mazhabi’ Sikh), “Why Bhai! Why did you do this?”

He said,”Sir, I am sorry. I forgot (went astray)”.

(Bhai Kahan Singh)Spake thus,”It is not you who forgot (went astry), it is these (Sikhs) who forgot (went astray).

They only saw Guru’s insignia, didn’t see your body (person).” (11)

Bhai Sikha! How could you forget?

Why didn’t you check for your mother, father, brother, sister or relatives?

Those in whose family you were born, grew up and had food together and socialise. How did you forget that (you are from that) family? (12)

It is these Sikhs who got misled by just recognising Guru’s symbols.

Why did you forget? You seem to be fairly knowledgable.

You have done this intentionally.

It is these Sikhs who got misled who saw only Guru’s symbols. (13)

Following just the Guru’s symbols these Sikhs got misled.

So that nobody may repeat this mistake (in the future).

A barber was called and his hair were shaved.

Making him sit on a donkey was taken around the town. (14)

He was hanged by the side of Tunda Sar (a water pond )

And (Kahan Singh) asked this to the local resident Sikhs.

“You arrange a Yag (a sacred purification Hindu worship), do Gurpurab, and prepare Parsad”.

“You were misled by Guru’s symbols, so you are not stigmatised by this”. (15)

“Do not talk about this in the township”

“Keep the tenets of Sikhism in your mind”.

“The Turks (muslim rulers) are eager to find faults lest some trouble arises”

“There should not be any gossiping about this in the township at all”. (16)

All the Sikhs said,”Sir, you did the right thing that you punished him”.

None would repeat such a thing again.

It created such a fear and respect for Sikhism.

That even if someone dropped a thing somewhere, it would continue lying there, and no one would take it away. (17)

(Fourteenth Chapter of “Bansavalinama Dasan Patshaheean Ka” “Genealogy of ten patshahis”)

From www.Amritworld.com

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First thing, let's imagine it is true. Does that make what happened okay?

Secondly, is there a well established/known precedent by Sikhs for this type of thing? If not, could it be an isolated incident?

Kahan Singh's behaviour in the above tale doesn't sanction it within Sikhi. Being a Guru descendant/relative doesn't give him any extra weight either. If colonial records are anything to go by, some of the Bedi and Sodhi descendants of Guru Jis were some of the most prolific kurimars for example. We know how many relatives tried to make money out of Guruship on the 9th mohalas ascension as well.

The way Kahan tries to hide what has been done afterwards itself indicates some sense of shame or stigma attached to what has taken place.

Besides, being a Brahmin, Chibber might have been pushing his vested interests into his work by essentially validating such an incident. It could be made up and even if it isn't made up, was it more to do with Kahan's personal feelings than Sikhi per se?

I'd like to see some original Gurmukhi text too. Someone could have mistranslated it for all we know.

Edited by dalsingh101
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i did a search on caste sikhs and hit upon this informative website, i think the title suitable for this website should be 'sikh communities' check this www.sikhcastes.com

the above mentioned incident is really shameful, what i feel is 'caste' which makes a person 'higher' or 'lower ' should be condemned and not community.

in the states you come across lat names like weaver and draper, now thats like a 'joolaha' in india and is considered low caste. What needs to change is is the attitude of the people towards grading communities higher or lower.

Edited by jaikaara
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seems extremely doubtful. with enemies on all sides people tend to forget internal divisions. those things creep back in later, after the dust has settled (during maharaja ranjit singh's raj for example). Such an insanely harsh "punishment" for another sikh, during a time of war and uncertainty, when both high and low have to share food out in the field (during campaigns) anyway??? a fake sakhi imo.

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well if u say this is impossible , how abt the incident which happened during the time Babasaheb Ambedkar was analyzing and perhaps on the verge of finalising to convert Dalits ot Sikhism, the mazhabi sikhs in village of punjab were thrown out of the langar.

That incident opened his eyes to caste hatred in Sikhs and he dropped the plan.

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I heard he wanted to do rishta of his daughter with some Sikh leaders son but they refused.

Anyways Ambedkar and his followers later converted to Buddhism, and there are less than 2% buddhists - that shows something. But indeed we could've gained lots of more converts to Sikhi had it not been for our moorakh leaders.

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I heard he wanted to do rishta of his daughter with some Sikh leaders son but they refused.

Anyways Ambedkar and his followers later converted to Buddhism, and there are less than 2% buddhists - that shows something. But indeed we could've gained lots of more converts to Sikhi had it not been for our moorakh leaders.

The benefit of reservation was not given to Budhist Dalits it is only recently they India accepted that they too should be included in the reservation category.I even read that Sardar Patel was not willing extend benefit to Lower caste Sikhs ,but Thanks to Master Tara Singh the benefits were extended to them O/W all the lower castes Sikhs would had declared themselves Hindu's

No matter what Ravidassia's say the fact is they will never ask GOI to recognise them as separate religion as if their demand is fulfilled then reservation benefits will be stripped of as the entire religion can never be in the category of reservation

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  • 4 weeks later...

I believe it was a Maharaja Bhupinder Singh who said to Ambedkar that he could marry his own sister.

But I believe Ghandi and Nehru foiled this, as it would ruin their plans for destroying Panjab

Master Tara singh was another numpty who was a hindu at heart. He did make a mistake, it was calculated.

and now, the Sikhs are forever stuck, fighting amongst themselves, the faith of Guru Nanak has been hijacked and is slowly being disassembled and will be swallowed up just like bhuddism and jainism has been...

Edited by unbreakable
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  • 3 years later...

well if u say this is impossible , how abt the incident which happened during the time Babasaheb Ambedkar was analyzing and perhaps on the verge of finalising to convert Dalits ot Sikhism, the mazhabi sikhs in village of punjab were thrown out of the langar.

 

That incident opened his eyes to caste hatred in Sikhs and he dropped the plan.

​Bro, can you please provide any source/reference?

Thanks

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The other day I went to the guru ghar to do some seva. I was cutting up veg(as chefs do) and this freshie joined me. We got talking while doing langhar seva and he said tera caste ki. Quite frankly I was shocked, never have I been asked in the guru ghar what caste I belong to. I assumed he was a jatt, turns out I was right. 

 

It got me thinking though are our people that fixTed on caste? Why does it matter so much to some people?

 

Crystal

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The other day I went to the guru ghar to do some seva. I was cutting up veg(as chefs do) and this freshie joined me. We got talking while doing langhar seva and he said tera caste ki. Quite frankly I was shocked, never have I been asked in the guru ghar what caste I belong to. I assumed he was a jatt, turns out I was right. 

 

It got me thinking though are our people that fixTed on caste? Why does it matter so much to some people?

 

Crystal

​Was he a Singh? If not, then it is fine. 

A Sikh should never ask another Sikh, his/her caste.

Bhul chuk maaf

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​Was he a Singh? If not, then it is fine. 

A Sikh should never ask another Sikh, his/her caste.

Bhul chuk maaf

What has if he was Singh or not got to do with it? We are the followers of the same Satguru right, so.............

 

Crystal

Edited by Crystal
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What has if he was Singh or not got to do with it? We are the followers of the same Satguru right, so.............

 

Crystal

​Still bro, I won't mind a mona (patit) asking me about my caste, but it will hurt if a Singh asks.  A mona or a patit cannot be classified as a Sikh, so he can ask such a question. Not a big deal.

Bhul chuk maaf

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​Still bro, I won't mind a mona (patit) asking me about my caste, but it will hurt if a Singh asks.  A mona or a patit cannot be classified as a Sikh, so he can ask such a question. Not a big deal.

Bhul chuk maaf

I think you have DISGUSTING views if you really believe with what you saidsaid above. A Mona cannot be classified as a Sikh? Who gives you the right? 

 

Crystal

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I think you have DISGUSTING views if you really believe with what you saidsaid above. A Mona cannot be classified as a Sikh? Who gives you the right? 

 

Crystal

Why can't a mona be classified as a Sikh?

​Without khanday wala amrit, a person cannot call himself a Sikh.

Furthermore, kesh is the root of Sikhi. How will a tree grow, without roots?

Quote

pRQm rihq Xih jwn KMfy kI pwhul Cky ] soeI isMG pRDwn Avr n pwhul jo ley ]
prathham rehith yehi jaan kha(n)ddae kee paahul shhakae ||asoee si(n)gh pradhhaan avar n paahul jo leae ||

To drink the Ambrosial Nectar of the Khanda (Amrit) is the primary instruction for the Sikh. He who abandons all other initiations is truly a great Sikh.

Unquote [1]

[1] - http://www.sikhitothemax.com/rehat.asp?id=92

No khanday da amrit = no Sikhi = non-Sikh

More details in the post below.

Bhul chuk maaf

Edited by paapiman
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I am a monna/sehajdhari and am strongly against caste hierarchy....i have high regards for dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar...i am more comfortable with my dalit brothers than others from the so called higher castes ..i cant figure out what difference does it make in my perspective towards caste whether i am monna or a singh.

I have seen more castieist attitude amongst Singhss who talk big ...will give respect to a khan than to a mazhbi.

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The other day I went to the guru ghar to do some seva. I was cutting up veg(as chefs do) and this freshie joined me. We got talking while doing langhar seva and he said tera caste ki. Quite frankly I was shocked, never have I been asked in the guru ghar what caste I belong to. I assumed he was a jatt, turns out I was right. 

It got me thinking though are our people that fixTed on caste? Why does it matter so much to some people?

Crystal

​Well don't leave us hanging, finish the story. What is your caste?

Lol Im pulling your leg.

Now we know the problems associated with caste. We all get it.

However you also have to understand that in puratan times caste was your tribe/dynasty, mark of your ancestors and your profession, and thus it was your identity. When that dude said, "what is your caste", if he was born a thousand years ago, would translate to "who are you? who are your ancestors? and what do you do?"

But that longer works because tribes have scattered, people have become ignorant of their ancestors and professions have changed and are in flux.

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I bet even the hereditary 'occupational trades' background of people haven't been as consistent as made out either. 

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calling out Non-amrit ones isn't helping anyone. Beginners should be encouraged. Be the bridge between your fellow person and god, don't burn it. 

We should encourage beginners. There is no doubt about it. But, it is a fact that non-amritdharis cannot do certain sevas in a gurudwara.

Anyways, we should not mix two concepts here. This topic is about caste, not about monay. Let's stick to it.

A mona (who took amrit when he was young), irrespective of his caste is a patit (outcast).

A person, irrespective of his caste, who is amritdhari belongs to Khalsa fraternity.

Bhul chuk maaf.

Edited by paapiman
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