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~ Time To Re-evaluate The Real Meaning Of Shaheedi..!


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First of all , let me be clear this topic is "nowhere an personal attack to personal individuals/jatha who have fought during the times of 1980's". However this topic touches a very fine mindset of an true militant who have got complete understanding of "dharam yudh maryada" within sikhism and examples of shaheedi set by our beloved Guru Sahibs- Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji.

I think every sikh with bibek buddhi can somewhat agree that not all sikh militants back in the time of 1980-1995 were 100 percent genuine and they were some who were driven by vengeance not "revenge". This two different terms, vengeance is state of mind where a person who is soo driven by it, that will use any "unjustified force" to eliminate the target, even though that unjustified force will kill innocent civilians. Whereas true sikh of sri guru gobind singh ji, will use only "justified force" to eliminate the target that means abort the missions if its turning out that there are innocent civilians on the way of target. In real world, this is painful, talk to any militants around the world, amount of pressure they get and planning they have spent to eliminate the target is over-whelming, hence in their dictionary if target (ruthless opressors/killer) is eliminated even in the cost of one-two innocent civilians is acceptable, but remember we are not just any joe blow sormaie/soldiers , we are given an beautiful concept of saint and sipahi, we are given ideals of khalsa, shaheedi, maryada in the dharam yudh. In the dharam yudh, singh under no circumstances doesnt not target - innocent civilians. Regardless how much pressure, how much planning is done to kill targets, singh should instantly boycatt/cancel the mission to target (ruthless killers/oppressors) after knowning it will cost an live of an innocent.

Classical example of such sikhs who have gravely failed to be sikhs of sri guru nanak dev ji let alone- sant-sipahi, or shaheeds is an clip below, fwd to 3 minute- http://media.cbc.ca:8080/ramgen/cbc.ca/new...wski_030909b.rm

Quote " There will be sikhs around, thats a price of our revolution".

Now its sikhs in the interview shown in the clip, i dont care where they from, which group they belong, they have every terrorist intent around that time in their mind to target anyone , have no regards for life of an innocent individuals, as sikhs in that clip said- after all this is the price of our revolution.

not targetting the jatha/personality but targetting the mindset of such fanatics, question to sangat , do they qualify to call themselves sant sipahi of sri guru gobind singh ji? if they were killed, do they qualify to be in realm of shaheedi which is very very pure concept laid down by examples of our guru's, sahibzadas, great warriors- baba deep singh ji, 40 mukhte, great mothers within khalsa panth. Do they qualify to have their names read next to great warriors like- baba deep singh??

Sikh need to be first sant (dya, dharam, sat, santokh, gyan) and then sipahi, its not other way around, only sipahihood in an person makes them demonic/tamoguni nothing else. You need santhood first and sipahi to anaylise each and every suitation in dharam yudh to questions- how much justified force need to be used? do assessment of dharam yudh, how is it impacting other innocent civilians life? how can one eliminate an target(ruthless killers/oppressors) soo pricesly that no innocent life is lost. And no these attributes of santhood first then sipahihood and questions and assesmment of dharam yudh is not only limited to only jathedar but each one of us who have desire to be shaheeds for the panth and Guru have this responsiblity.

Call this personal opnion since i dont have direct proof but fight for khalistan was failed because some in the movement

a) were just people, joe blow soramaie with terrorist intent use khalsa panth for their personal revenges ie- oh guy killed my family, i m going to kill his, all in the garb of kesh, dhara and all in garb of khalsa panth

B) gov't infiltration, nobody is ignoring that, however to use this govt inflitration on every stance is foolishness. to even be more foolish that to deny lack of acknowledgement that there is strategic failure.

c) lack of acknowledgement that there is such thing as "sikhs with terrorist intent, fanaticism within sikhs.

d) ignoring dharam yudh maryada the points are listed in sri dasam granth.

e) ignoring the concept of santhood (dya, dharam, sat, santokh, gyan) and then sipahi, its not other way around, only sipahihood in an person makes them demonic/tamoguni nothing else. You need santhood first and sipahi to anaylise each and every suitation in dharam yudh to questions- how much justified force need to be used? do assessment of dharam yudh, how is it impacting other innocent civilians life? how can one eliminate an target(ruthless killers/oppressors) soo pricesly that no innocent life is lost. And no these attributes of santhood first then sipahihood and questions and assesmment of dharam yudh is not only limited to only jathedar but each one of us who have desire to be shaheeds for the panth and Guru have this responsiblity.

Last but not least, yesterday i went to gurdwara, its my personal observation, but in the langar hall, all i can see pictures of "shaheeds" with no description of what they did, how genuine they were etc. This leads to great misconception if forgein reporter, media person walks in, he/she all they will see its guns, violence ruthless killers thats what they see , they need more information to change what they saw. This needs to be changed, description needs to be added, as for calling each and every sikh with gun in the langar hall - shaheed, i wouldnt go that far, i would hold my judgement until i study them, i think shaheed label itself just like- sant, bhramgyani, gyani, das is been over used and over abused.

Its about time we all re-evaulate our stance on concept of shaheedi laid by our beloved guru's via santhood-sipahihood, dharam yudh maryada lets not use pure term very freely,losely. Not saying to be hard core skeptic fanatic either but just have open mind, bring your own opnion after studying them.

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in my opinion, modern day shaheedi is no different to the modern terrorist concepts of martyom, its as stupid and pointless.

Die for any cause link it to religion and you can con God and your community into accepting you as a great martyr... automatically gain access to heaven or something good and be praised.

The fanatics worry about Hindu influences in mainstream sikhi or n-ih-angs, however I think they should worry about confused Islamic influences in their beliefs, such as this crazy new shaheedi

In the history of the world there have been countless shaheeds, yet they are all unnamed and unknown, we pay our respects through the ardas we do every day, those great maha shaheeds who are known and remembered earnt that through not the way they died but the way they lived. It wasnt the end of their life we respect as much as it is the power that they had built up through seva, simran, sangat that led to them being able to leave this world in the manner they did.

To me thats the first rule of becoming a shaheed to be shaheed while alive, the death part is unimportant.

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  • 1 month later...

can you please list some names of people that are considered shaheeds and some information that you have against them?

people like Parmar, although I don't know much about him, aren't really held in high esteem by people in the Toronto area that were around in the 80's. I dont know about other places in Canada, but atleast in Toronto i havent heard too many people refer to him as shaheed...people understand there is too much controversy around him.

And the pictures you speak about...I assume you are talking about the ones at Dixie. The pictures I can think of from the top of my head...Jathedar Gurdev SIngh Kaunke, Sant Jarnail Singh, Bhai Amrik Singh, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh and Avtar Singh Brahma...there are probably a couple pictures of Sukhdev Singh and Anokh Singh there too. Personally, I can't think of anything against any of these Sikhs..,maybe I'm just ignorant? I have never heard of people glorifying people that decided to kill people for personal motive - these types of people are the ones blamed by Sikhs for ruining the movement.

The fact that some uninformed youngsters today started glorifying Parmar shouldnt be held against the wider Sikh community...if anything we are starting to see the effects of eSikhi.

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gurpreet singh ji,

i have nothing against people whose pictures are in the langar, however my concern. I ll quote my post again:

Last but not least, yesterday i went to gurdwara, its my personal observation, but in the langar hall, all i can see pictures of "shaheeds" with no description of what they did, how genuine they were etc. This leads to great misconception if forgein reporter, media person walks in, he/she all they will see its guns, violence ruthless killers thats what they see , they need more information to change what they saw. This needs to be changed, description needs to be added, as for calling each and every sikh with gun in the langar hall - shaheed, i wouldnt go that far, i would hold my judgement until i study them, i think shaheed label itself just like- sant, bhramgyani, gyani, das is been over used and over abused.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Shaheedi is a great seva, and requires very good karma to attain. I remember hearing in katha that the Sikh dharm grows by sacrifice (including shaheedi). I don't know if it's true, but I've also heard that every few decades or so, the plant of Sikhi requires watering from the blood of shaheeds. Would be interested in some verification of this by those in the know.

Trust me, there will come a time when shaheedi will be happening on a regular basis. Baba Kulwant Singh ji, of Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib (the only one there who is allowed into the Sach Khand), has told a singh I know that there will come a time in the future so difficult that every Sikh will have a gutka sahib in one hand, and a kirpan in the other at all times.

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Perhaps we can discuss the entire concept of Shaheedi within Sikhi - there is a rather controversial paper available on the subject by one Louis E. Fenech which challenges our commonly held beliefs that it stems from the words of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and example of Guru Arjan Dev Ji.

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I like to share an interesting point regarding this shaheedi.

source: pop from sikhportal.com

There was a time when peaceful protest ment sitting on a hot tava, or being boiled, having your head removed.

You compare that to picking up a sword. Now a days a gun, easy to kill an enemy without even seeing his face from affar, thats easy. Comming face to face with your enemy and still having the face of compassion of humality and of restraint, that is true strength.

That is the strength our Gurus led and left our legacy for. Sikh ithas is full of those examples. Lets hope we set examples here and not pages we would want ot skip over of Sikh history in the making.

===

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The main thrust of Louis E Fenech’s article on Martyrdom in the Sikh Tradition rests upon the premise that the concept of “shaheedi†has developed historically, and acquired different meanings in the changing historical contexts as opposed to our common understanding. In other words, the idea of martyrdom does not have a long history in the Sikh tradition.

His argument then points out that the notion of martyrdom only acquired prominence only in the 19th century and that shabds and other sources used from the 16th and 17th centuries the term “shaheed†is used to signify a Muslim rather than a Sikh martyr.

The rest should be straightforward to deduce, he cites a series of late 19th and early 20th century sources, notably the 1921 newspaper “Akali†which implored Sikhs as “O sons of the martyr!... Today, we must follow the sacred, exemplary achievement of Guru Tegh Bahadur and become martyrs†to argue that this was an innovation of the Tat Khalsa school of thought.

From there on, he seeks to show the politicisation of the concept amongst the Sikhs as early as the 1940s, when Sikhs volunteered to sacrifice their lives to oppose Muslim League's claim to Pakistan and post independence Sikh nationalists accepting the “Singh Sabha legacyâ€, which emphasised the importance of self-sacrifice and shaheedi (others have in the past 5 years argued that this is used as an emotional blackmail tool to prevent young Sikh men from trimming their beards or cutting their kesh altogether).

Press commentators and reporters have subsequently used his article to argue that the late 1970s and early 1980s saw this concept of the Sikh martyr further heighten for the protection of their religion as Sikh leaders utilised it as a means to change “Centre-State†relations.

Naturally, mainstream press reporters were quick to draw this line of thought further in their assessment of Sant Baba Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale Khalsa Ji Amar Shaheed, who they argue, used the discourse of shaheedi to fuel militancy in Punjab to persuade Sikhs to take up arms against Indira Gandhi's Hindu government'.

I raise the above, since the majority of work to counter the arguments of Louis E Fenech have unsurprising done little in an academic sense, but in line with other efforts by what I have elsewhere termed the “Bhasauria†school of thought, the Global Sikh Studies camp and the IOSS camp and others like them have done little but seek to attack Mr Fenech’s personality, much like their critique of Harjot Oberoi’s work and the relationship of these individuals to their arch-rival Dr Hew McLeod.

I have a fundamental problem with such arguments, namely that whilst such points are worth consideration as periphery items (at best), to use them as the core component of one’s argument is no different to what we witness on Sikh Youth forum day in, day out – a lot of brawn and not much brain – effectively a string of “argumentum ad hominem†wherein rebuttals to an argument are made by attacking or appealing to the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.

This is shame, but seems to plague all aspects of Sikh society, the UK and Canada are good examples where many like to cite examples of Sarbar Bahadur Sukha Singh Kalsi as a means to justify their physical assualt on what they describe as the “modern day masands†of various Sikh Gurdwaras, comparing the latter to Massa Ranghar. What they seem to forget is that those in charge of Gurdwaras, regardless of their faults are there because, that is what the Sangat has elected, which despite theoretical ‘elect a donkey’ arguments may suggest, is the way that particular institution has been established – Massa Ranghar had forcibly taken control over the Harimandir Sahib, hence his forcible removal, the modern day “masands†as 20-year old adults like to term them, are there on the strength of votes (crooked or otherwise), if you really wish to rid the system of them, then do so via the same means – get yourself elected!!!

As per Shaheedi, it would be useful for the forum members to perhaps familiarise themselves with Mr Fenech’s work to discuss his assertions (and hopefully not him) with more clarity here.

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