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"Thought - or lack of" of Sikh Youth


Niranjana
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I have noticed that there is a rising trend amongst Sikh Youth circles to impose their views on all and sundry using every means at their disposal with a blantant disregard for privacy, law, common decency and honour.

This can stem from smear campaigns - quite a few names should easily come to everyone's mind in the last 12 months alone on this front with several websites created to justify and intensify the instance with threats made to further the witch hunt to the individual's family, marriage (or any future marriage) and career - bogus websites to seek ridiculing of other figureheads, mass online petitions to have XYZ individual 'removed from the Panth', crashing websites of those who have a different outlook to your own (even if these websites are not necessarily religious or political, just purely community based), hacking into individual e-mail accounts and computers (the height of honourable Sikh actions!) through to unlimited threats and execution of violence (oh I forgot we are warriors right!!!), again plenty of events should come to everyone's minds for just the past 12 months for this as well.

All of the above invariably seems to run counter to the law of countries in which these events tend to occur, however it seems that "Singhs" of today seem to regard themselves as "above the law" and rather like other "ungrateful immigrants" would like to impose their own version of some "holy law system" (which invariably will have limited historical precedence).

These modern day internet and street "warriors" clearly revel in fantasies of somehow being the modern day "Bhai Sukha Singh Kalsi Shaheed" or "Baba Deep Singh Shaheed" as they play dress up to further extend their hyper masculinity whilst degrading the names of such hallowed persons into street "gangsta" talk and imagery.

What seems to be of even greater concern is that those who head up the chain of these minions masquerade as "Community Officers", "Developement Officers", "Accountants" and "Lawyers" (although a quick internet search will reveal evidence of some element malpractice in most cases as most will be aware) - nonetheless the above actions even under these "Chari kala Amritdhari Hardcore Rehitvaan Singhs" who are also "educated professionals" seems to be condoned as perfectly acceptable behaviour.

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I Totally agree with what you have said. But the problem is that a lot of young youth currently are having a identity crisis, and are easily led up the garden path.

majority will grow mature and move on with their lives, others will end up depressed and insecure. The responsibilty of these consequences will lay with these so called "Community Officers", "Developement Officers", "Accountants" and "Lawyers" "Chardi kala Amritdhari Hardcore Rehitvaan Singhs" who are also "educated professionals".

Education with exposure to vast amount of knowledge and life experience is the only way i can see these misguided kids from making grave errors.

may God bless them with an openmind and the ability to understand Gurbani.

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Once i was talking to this kathavachaik, he explained me sad state of panth by exactly this words- He goes, just like hindu, islamic dharam have mobs who claim to die hard followers of their faith, we also have our own share- soo called amritdhari gangsters....he point towards youth sikhs in western countries who take amrit without cleansing their gangster mentality/ black and white looking at things.

This is exactly what is happening.

I m sorry if i m harsh but just quoting sant baba jagjit singh ji harkhowale- he goes - don't feed amrit to snakes, these are same snakes who would bite back and kill the panth..just like how dograie sikhs attacked their own khalsa brothers- baba bir singh nurangabad dera and destroy khalsa raj contributed by maharaja ranjit singh by the blessings and help of great sant khalsa yodhai's like baba maharaj singh ji naurangabad and baba bir singh ji naurangabad

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indeed it is a problem. and the first step to solving it would be to get youth to actually listen to kathavachiks like baba jagjit singh, instead of listening to tupac/50 cent and watching garbage movies.

Katha needs to some how be promoted to the youth, or we need some english katha or something......it seems like the only time youth come to the gurdwara is when its a AKJ program/youth keertan.

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Are you all nuts? These people have met Guru Gobind Singh! Haven't you seen how they 'assume' they know everything Guruji thought, thinks and will be thinking? Not to mention what Guruji did, does and will be doing! Without these 'Chardi Kala(Afghana) Gursikhs' Gurmat would seize to exist and Sikhi would be run by Ramgharias and Khatris!!! We simply CANNOT allow that to happen!

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I feel that Sikh Gurus message is being misused either by quoting Gurbani out of context or simply by using emotional political remarks. There is a great fear in youth from R.S.S & other organizations whom they consider shark which will attack and destroy their faith. The whole internet is filled with "Panthic" websites but nobody is going towards Panthic problems. The main issues is on supporting political parties or forming new ones under the name of "Panthic" united front. I see this trend in western youth that they are more inclined to imitate very extreme views where there is no forgiveness and everything has one solution and that is revenge. The whole outward appearance is becoming more and more important than understanding great message of Gurbani.

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Guest Javanmard

I think everyone here forgets:

1. That this the case in all communities in the UK, Canada and US

2. That the larger context is the anglo-saxon notion of lose multiculturalism where communities live next to another NOT with each other and where the sense of citizenship is simply non-existent. Add to that the lack of general culture in school education and lack of critical thinking. Add to that the fact that the government interacts with communities via hardline well organised bodies such as the Muslim Council of Britain or the Sikh Federation both proven to have links with exteremists.

The case of Gurpreet Kaur's play has been the best example. A play that condemned hypocrisy, falsehood and abuse in our community using examples we all know occured was suppressed because the government prefered to listen to extremists rather than realise that this play was a mirror of self-criticism. Citizenship and critical thinkig has left the scene in favour of sheer stupidity and patriarchal community domination.

It's very simple: the UK stinks of hatred in every community. Without a common sense of citizenship you just can't have a healthy diverse national community. But then again in a country that never had a revolution , let alone a constitution and where citizenship is the fact of being the subject of the queen instead of being the adherence to core values I am not surprised...

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It's very simple: the UK stinks of hatred in every community. Without a common sense of citizenship you just can't have a healthy diverse national community. But then again in a country that never had a revolution , let alone a constitution and where citizenship is the fact of being the subject of the queen instead of being the adherence to core values I am not surprised...

I don’t think that a person should have to abandon ones culture and traditions just to have citizenship of the host nation. Demanding that a people abandon their ancestral traditions in favour of the host nation's culture is no different to how Islamic theocracies work which only treats one as equals if one were to adopt a certain lifestyle. I think that we need to get out of this Talibanistic mindset and look at the bigger picture which is that we are many who have diverse lifestyles, cultures, traditions, and no one should be forced to give up their culture just to ‘fit in’.

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Guest Javanmard

Singh47 you are the typical example of what I am talking about: lack of sense of citizenship because of your Anglo-Saxon environment.(no offense intended)

Sense of citizenship does NOT mean adopting the host community's culture nor does it mean assimilation as you understand it.

Citizenship implies adering to core humanistic values that transcend communal boundaries be it Christian, Hindu, Sikh or Muslim. It also implies that one thinks oneself as part of the national community (whilst keeping one's culture) and the good of all before one's own communal interests.

I NEVER implied that it meant adopting another culture.

Now regarding ancestral traditions I am afraid some of these are in conflict with what I just mentioned especially when it comes down to women. Women have the right to chose their life partners and the right to education and work. Several communities do nevertheless think that in the name of some tradition they don't need to follow that. I could easily mention the cases of "honour killing" in the Mirpuri community (I have worked on two cases of these), or the habit of some Bhatre Sikhs not to allow their girls to have an education and let us not even go down the marriage theme. There was a time when in most Asian families (be it Sikh, Hindu or Muslim) girls didn't even have the right to chose their life partner. Somalians think that cutting off a girl's clithoris is an ancestral tradition: well sorry, that's just not acceptable! Many Muslim husbands think it's ok to beat their wives (even though real Islam forbids it) and think it's a tradition: guess what? NOT ACCEPTABLE! When a few years back the Home office wanted to put restrictions on a certain type of arranged marriage some "Sikh community leaders" claimed it was " a Sikh tradition". In fact some guys I know still talk about allowing their daughter to marry this or the other guy: guess what? women actually don't need your approval, they have free choice in that matter!

Not all ancestral traditions are good...

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Every culture is good be it Arab, Chinese, Bengali, Punjabi, Japanese, Rajasthani etc but at the same time every culture has some aspects which can be categorized as a dark side of the culture. It seems to me that westerners only concentrate on the dark side of the many eastern cultures as if we are the barbarian who need civilizing by the civilized westerners. I always hear westerners with the typical “Holier than thou†attitude saying:

“Oh Look how they oppress their girls! They won’t allow her to have pre-marital sex or have homosexual relationshipsâ€

We have our traditions dating back thousands of years. It’s not easy to let go of them simply because YOU don’t like it. You don’t see Punjabi Sikhs imposing on white women not to have pre marital sex, then why do westerners have such an issue if we don’t adapt to their values?

Western culture has many admirable qualities which Sikhs have adopted or are adopting while living in the west. But don’t expect us to abandon our core values anytime soon.

Many Muslim husbands think it's ok to beat their wives (even though real Islam forbids it) and think it's a tradition: guess what? NOT ACCEPTABLE!

Please visit the following website:

http://answering-islam.org.uk/Authors/Arlandson/beating.htm

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Guest Javanmard

You still don't get it...

You're talking about culture... I was talking about citizenship... which again proves my point: the absence of it in Anglo-saxon countries where you happen to live...

And what is even funnier is what you call "white people" as if Italians, Germans, Portuguese, Greek, Anglo-Saxons and French shared the same culture. Do you even know that North Europeans discriminate against Mediteranean people such as Greeks, Italians and Portuguese and they're considered as barbarians too? And as usual you reduce "western culture" to pre-marital sex and homosexuality (You have done that a couple of times actually). Trust me Singh47 try and talk about these issues to Portuguese, Sicilians or Greek people and you'll see how ridiculous you sound! In fact large section of Europeans don't agree with these two things BUT fact is people have a right to deserve a deeper place in hell as long as it is done among consenting adults.It's their choice.I may not agree with it but then again it's not my life. This is different from a 12 year old somali girl being mutilated because her family thinks that girls shouldn't have a clithoris in order to enjoy sex and that women have no right to sexual pleasure. Here it is a lear case of basic human rights violation! Cultures don't clash with citizenship as long as cultures don't incorporate elements that go against fundamental human rights which are btw not Western but universal. Oh btw when you visit New York don't forget to visit the United Nations building. You'll find a monument there with a text on basic human rights written by...guess...come one guess...Imam Ali (as)! A proof that they are universal and not just Western.

As if pre-marital sex and homosexuality didn't exist in Panjab...give me a break...ridiculous...

For the beating of women in Islam...you're giving me Sunni sources yet again. I was mentioning real Islam not Bakrism. I suggest you read the articles of Zanan and Mohsen Kadivar on the issue...

Good night sleep tight!

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"Husbands should take full care of their wives, with [the bounties] God has given to some more than others and with what they spend out of their own money. Righteous wives are devout and guard what God would have them guard in the husbands’ absence. If you fear high-handedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great." (Sura 4:34 of the Holy Quran)

This is not Shia or Sunni. This is the Holy Quran.

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Guest Javanmard

WOW Singh47 you really impress me. Now as you know (as you seem to be Saikh ul Islam now) any verse of the Qur'an can only be interpreted with help of the hadiths...and what do these say about that passage?

1. Some hadith mention a very mild tap on the arm with a miswak (medicinal stick to clean the teeth)

2. Other hadith do nevertheless urge husbands from even abstaining from that and clearly condemn any other form of violence.

Giving a mild tap with a miswak is far from being domestic violence. But agreed many Muslims don't care about these hadith and do exactly what you have done Singh47 i.e. read the Qur'an without the necessary knowledge to read it and the use it for their own selfish purpose...

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Ahh the wonderful paradox in islam,

There is no higher authority then the word of God (the Qu'ran) and yet the Qu'ran can only be interpreted and understood by hadith, which vary and contradict one another.. Also we cant really claim that shia hadith are more reliable or sunni hadith, as both contradict on many points and swear their own lagitamcy of authority through reference to the Qu'ran..

But then again, im no ayatollah. Ya Ali..

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Guest Javanmard

You're right N3O. The problem Niranjana has mentioned only appears in societies where the sense of citizenship is either non-existant or weakened. India for example is based on secularism and a set of universalistic values yet it is weakened by the existence of communal politics that work in favour of their own community first before the nation. The UK because it has no constitution does not even have a central overarching sense of citizenship common to all. In a multicommunal society witout centralising factor this brings about two types of behaviour:

a. members of minorities feel forced to fit in the majority culture either through assimilation or subserviant behaviour

b. members of minorities live in mental ghettos with no real interaction with the outside

This is tragic and leads eventually to conflict because there is no sense of unity.

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That is true but I think this extends beyond mere citizenship issues to deeply psychological ambiguities

...once there is an adoption of a idealised sense of identity (rehitvan gursikh) I personally feel that many feel a strong sense of conflict between what 'ought to be' and 'what is' the case about themselves. Instead of working hard in humility at these psychological inadequacies within, quite a few of our 'young brothers and sisters' externalise this inner psychological conflict and project it onto others (standard ego defence mechanisms).

Likewise they find a sense of value in their own actions through 'representing' and 'protecting' the idol they have made of their beliefs (which is integral to their sense of identity), and thus react emotionally and violently to any challenge (real or imagined).

Rather than holding to the countless examples of nimrita, dhiraj and dyaa among historical gursikhs, they instead distort the idea of 'sant sipahi' and 'singhs of old' into the very worst of behaviour which can only further the inner rot and nihilism within themselves.

I recall one particularly venomous 'gursikh' who seemed to relish in spreading demonisations of one notortious UK based martial artist (ahem) everywhere, revealing what was clearly a childhood of serious undiagnosed depression, and that his 'roop' was the means by which he dealt with that. Whatever the sense of inadequacy or morbidity he felt intially was removed by something of such value that when someone questionned this, it was no longer a challenge to an idea (not even an established principle of a religion), he could only percieve this as a challenge to his very psychological stability. That sounds heavy but is what I feel is going on here. Living in a distorted world of idealism that is so reductionist and bigoted, it can only be played out with violence.

What I think is very good about recent times is that for at least half of these individuals, the change in Taksal will see the simplistic understanding they hold crumble or perhaps divert to a new UK based form of Taksal wherein only the example and image of Sant Jarnail Singh will be upheld and the actual tradition and its literature totally ignored. This is where the responsibility lies on the real Taksalis to teach the youth at things like Sikhi Camp about its traditions and perspective.

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some really good points tsingh veer ji :D

totally agree with this statement:

they instead distort the idea of 'sant sipahi' and 'singhs of old' into the very worst of behaviour which can only further the inner rot and nihilism within themselves.
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