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Everything posted by Balkaar

  1. Yes, and simply being a non-Sikh doesn't mean you had a hand in the downfall of the Sikh Empire. The overwhelming majority of the Sikh Empire's population were non-Sikh and committed to their country. Shah Muhammad's Jangnama Hind Punjab encapsulates this mood well, this was a non-Sikh writing of his patriotism for the kingdom of the Sikhs. They were not responsible for its downfall, the intriguing of the court was, and most of the people at court were Sikh. You can't just absolve our people of all responsibility every time they goof up and don't act in the way you think Sikhs should by saying they aren't actually Sikhs.
  2. I didn't respond because I didn't need to. You were right. And you never asked me to. Still haven't answered my question. Banda Singh Bahadur has nothing to do with this. Changing the subject again. For what seems like the umpteenth time to me, you said - "Bahadur Shah is proof that these enemies should never be trusted, Guru Sahib decided to help him because he knew he could teach a lesson to the Sikhs in the future." On what basis have you decided that Guru Sahib's motive for helping Bahadur Shah was to teach a lesson to future Sikhs not to trust these enemies (by which I presume you mean Muslims), given that there is no scriptural or itihaasic source corroborating you?
  3. Extremely wishful thinking. Sahib Singh of Patiala, the other cis-Sutlej Sardars, Ajeet Singh Sandhawalia and his family, etc were definitely Sikhs and they had no aspirations in the direction of theocracy I assure you. Neither did anyone else at the court of Lahore. You need to hit the history books. Tons of the people that joined the Khalsa under Baba Ji did it in order to acquire power (as Sikhs were rulers), out of fear of being plundered (also, forced conversions to Sikhism were rare but not nonexistent) or to join the army and participate in the sacking of Mughal Punjab. Bro you need to read actual Sikh itihaas instead of regurgitating the usual fluffy Sikhi camp myths. Many Puraatan Sikhs after Guru Gobind Singh Ji's departure were never the angels we have slowly turned them into by a process of historical whitewashing and rewriting - a byproduct of British tinkering with Sikh tradition which led us to impose Western notions of chivalry and heroism on our historical figures. Often they weren't very different from you and I.
  4. Total non-sequitur, I never suggested that Guru Granth Sahib and Muhammad exist on equal terms. Don't try and dodge the question by turning it around on me and putting words in my mouth. You said "Guru Sahib decided to help him [Bahadur Shah] because he knew he could teach a lesson to the Sikhs in the future." I pointed out to you that Guru Sahib makes no such claim in his own Bani, and that no itihaasic source makes such a claim either, rather they say that Guru Sahib helped Bahadur Shah in order to secure the religious rights of non-Muslims in his kingdom. So on what basis have you decided that this was Guru Sahib's motive for doing what he did? You have no right to say this.
  5. Where in his Bani or his writings does Guru Gobind Singh give any indication of having that motive for helping Bahadur shah? You should not impose your own motives/agenda on Guru Sahib and assume that you speak for him, particularly when there is zero scriptural evidence for your position. Neither is there any historical evidence that I'm aware of - the histories say that Guru Sahib's motivation for allying with him was the condition that non-Muslims would be treated fairly under his regime. So, I ask you, how do you know that was Guru Sahib's motive for helping Bahadur Shah?
  6. The Dogras were the most immediate cause of the empire's downfall, but the fundamental cause for the collapse of the Sikh Kingdom was Ranjit Singh's fatal decision to make himself king of the Sikhs and replace the Khalsa's republicanism (Sarbat Khalsa, Gurmatta, Jathedari) with a system of absolutist monarchy which centralized all power in his hands - this had no place in a 'Sikh' nation. His miscalculation ensured that the kingdom would all but fall apart his death and be vulnerable to vultures, particularly in light of the uselessness of his heirs. I disagree veerji. This Sikh kingdom would never have become as powerful as it did if not for non-Sikhs. The Sikh Empire was so successful while Ranjit Singh was alive precisely because he managed to integrate and secure the loyalty of the Punjabi musalman who constituted most of his subjects - and thereby ensured economic productivity and public order. The Khalsa army of the Lahore durbar was also not just made up of Sikhs - all cavalry were Sikh, but virtually the whole of the artillery was Muslim, as was a significant portion of the infantry of the regular army (included Pathans, Punjabi Muslims and Gurkhas). Secondly if not for the induction of non-Sikh European officers into the Sikh army, it would never have relinquished its fixation with irregular cavalry or its revulsion at the idea of infantry. Without the innovations of these non-Sikhs, therefore, the Fauj would never have advanced to first rank among the armies of Asia. An army composed entirely of cavalry is fine when you're fighting a guerilla war, not so much when you're building and defending an empire against men with guns and artillery. Furthermore not all non-Sikhs in the kingdom were disloyal to the durbar, and not all Sikhs were loyal. The Muslims of Punjab routinely resisted the calls of the Afghans (and later, the mutineers of 1857) to join them in jihad against the infidel Sikhs. The Fakir brothers (Muslims) were loyal to Ranjit Singh's memory to the last, as were several of the other Hindu Dogra generals of the Khalsa army (Dogras are a race, not a family. It was one family of Dogras in particular which caused most of the trouble). And while there were good, loyal Sikh nobles such as the Attariwalas and the Nakkais, there were many more who were fickle and treacherous. Rani Jindaan was notoriously corrupt , as were the Sandhawalias, who murdered Sher Singh, the only successor of Ranjit Singh with even a shred of competence, by blowing him to pieces with a shotgun. I think your stance is way too absolute bro. An empire is by definition multicultural and cosmopolitan. The Vatican is not the most apt comparison here (It is a country in name only).
  7. Very true, Sikhs need to read their actual history rather than imbibing Indian Government propaganda which endlessly regurgitates the trope that Sikhs are the predestined enemies of Musalman. Puraatan Sikhs and Maharaj themselves did not keep grudges forever and ever. Jahangir was ultimately responsible for the execution of Guru Arjan Dev, and yet he and Guru Hargobind Sahib eventually became friends. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed by Aurangzeb, Guru Gobind Singh Ji could've embarked upon some blood feud against all Musalman and the entire Mughal dynasty after this but he actually supported Bahadur Shah's bid to become emperor. The Sikh Misls also formed periodic alliances with the Afghans, who had earlier wronged them on so many occasions. You are right, Sikhs are not and must never become the enemies of Hindus or the enemies of Muslims, this is a perversion of Dashmesh Pitaa's vision for us. We are supposed to be the enemies of the oppressors, that is all. I agree. But when has any group of our meager size ever risen to prominence without allies? Sikh Raj didn't just fall out of the Sikhs' rear ends, it's emergence was enabled by the constant shifting of alliances which Johnny has alluded to - sometimes with Marathas, sometimes with Kashmiris, sometimes with Rohillas and sometimes with Afghans. There aren't enough of us for us to go it alone, not yet anyway I hope.
  8. absolute vs relative morality

    I do not believe in an absolute morality, dharam is not the same for each and every individual. This is not to say that dharam does not exist, only that it doesn't exist in a monolithic form. This concept is reflected very well in the life of the Mahapurakh Sant Baba Thakur Singh, 14th jathedar of Damdami Taksaal. Babaji was a strict vegetarian like all members of Taksaal, so for him eating meat was a great sin. However when he visited the chaunis (encampments) of Nihang Singhs around Chowk Mehta he would often bring offerings of goats to be jhatkaa'd by the nihangs and later consumed. Because eating meat was not a great paap for them as it was for babaji, rather it was their tradition and he respected that the role they were given by the Almighty was different from his own. Satguru's Hukam affects each person differently. Eastern dharams tend not to impose moral codes on the whole of humankind, as though such codes apply to everybody. Yes there are certain basic guiding principles of human morality - don't murder, don't rape, but most sane people don't really need to be told not to do these things by a religion because they feel an inherent revulsion towards them. However beyond this things can get quite flexible. Some people are meant to be householders and provide for a family, whilst others are meant to be celibates and devote their lives and all their energy to Akaal Purakh and Seva of the Panth. If God creates someone with the intention that they will become a warrior, battle becomes dharam for this person, a righteous deed. If however God creates a man and by his hukam determines that this man is to be peaceful saint, battle is adharam for him, not righteous. This is why different sampardas/jathebandiaan exist in Sikhi. Guru Ji is not/was not anti-samparda or anti-jathebandi, if they were, they wouldn't have created or blessed so many of them themselves. I don't know if what I'm saying is right, but this is the conclusion I have arrived at from my study of Sikhi. Others will have arrived at different conclusions, and good thing too - Sikhi is a garden full of many diverse flowers. I do not believe Guru Ji aspired to make all Sikhs, or all people, identical in their religious outlook and practice.
  9. I sympathize with a lot of what you are saying, but 'divide and rule' seems like a highly inaccurate and misleading phrase in this situation. You can only 'divide' something, a country or a people, if it was united in the first place. 'India' was never united, no such country existed before 1947. The bengali troops who fought against the Sikh soldiers in the Anglo-Sikh Wars were not Indians fighting their fellow countrymen, but foreign invaders attacking somebody else's country. Indian nationalists often sling mud at the Sikhs for giving into this supposed 'divide and rule' by refusing to participate in their so-called 'war of Indian independence'. They completely skim over the fact that it was not a war for pan-Indian independence at the time, but a Mughal restoration. This narrative, like the narrative of divide and rule, gained most of its currency with postcolonial Indian scholars - after the Brits had left India - who attempted to construct a completely mythological narrative of India as a once united country which was later 'divided' by scheming Brits. This was done in part to discredit the various separatist urges which had sprung up in parts of India after independence, among peoples who understood that it had never been one country - Kashmiris, Sikhs, Nagas, Tamils etc. I think the divide and rule myth is actually harmful to the cause of Sikh independence, because it allows Hindu supremacists and Indian nationalists to explain away our genuine grievances against their terrorist state as the seeds of 'division' planted in our minds by the Brits. Whilst the British undoubtedly supported Pakistan over the Republic of India, the divisions between India/Pakistan and Hindus/Muslims were more the children of Gandhi than of Jinnah or the Brits. In other words the product of home-grown errors and prejudices, not British innovations. Jinnah remained committed to the idea of a united India right up until around the time Gandhi was made the figurehead of the Congress Party. Congress purported to be a party for a secular, united India, so it ought to have had a secular leader who could have bridged the gap between communities. Instead what it got was an unambiguously Hindu sadhu/fakir type. Moreover, the language of this fakir and of the avowedly secular congress movement smacked of Hindu supremacy - the country which they wanted to create was personified as 'Bharat Mata' a Hindu goddess, Gandhi's justification for the unity of India in his work Hind Swaraj was the presence of Hindu temples across the breadth of the subcontinent, and he made attempts to have Indians of all faiths start revering the Hindus' sacred cow as a symbol of India. Of course Jinnah and Muslims were going to feel alienated by this figure, who barely managed to conceal his chauvinistic ideas beneath layers of euphemism. The tension which formed as a result of this, between Jinnah on the one hand and Nehru/Gandhi on the other, was perhaps the decisive cause in Jinnah's 180 degree turn from supporting Hindu-Muslim unity to advancing a Muslim homeland. This was a highly convenient turn for the Brits, yes, but it was not of their design.
  10. I personally think WAAAY too much is made of British 'divide and rule'. The British didn't really cause the divisions which exist in the subcontinent, they identified and exploited them. The divisions between Hindu/Sikh/Muslim, this caste and that caste, this country and its neighbor, have extensive historical precedents reaching back centuries before the Raj. Where the Brits succeeded was in preserving these divisions - come 1947, it was almost as if India had been in a stasis for 200 years. I think this notion of some omnipotent, endlessly scheming white devil is a convenient myth for a lot of South Asians, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh to absolve themselves of personal accountability for their own circumstances. In particular blaming the goraay for current problems such as Indian/Pakistani poverty is a very convenient way for the corrupt, money-grubbing elites of the two nations to continue their exploitation of their countrymen and simultaneously throw them off their trail. In my opinion bhenji most of the serious problems in South Asia are due to radical Islam or Brahminism/caste-Hinduism, and the mutually reinforcing relationship between the two. The Brits created neither of these things.
  11. To be fair bro this guy probably dreams of cutting his kes. Whenever you see outwardly kesdhari Sikh kids committing behzti like dancing sexually or smoking cigarettes, it's usually the case that the kid is not a believing Sikh but is forced to look like one by his family. Their parents should just let these kids cut their hair and prevent total beadbi of guru's roop, as in the video above.
  12. 1) That is not true bhenji, read about the history of the Sewapanthis, the order descended from Bhai Kanhaiya, who did precisely that. Many of their good works were carried out in the Muslim areas of the Punjab in order to counteract the poison being spread about the Khalsa by the propaganda of Mughals and toxic Maulvis. Their selflessness also attracted thousands of Muslims to the Sikh fold. 2) I agree, the Sikh demographic situation is a ticking timebomb. But if we just selfishly hoard all our resources like every other panth in the world (christian, hindu, muslim) people are gonna look at us and assume we are no different than they are - with good reason. And when they start thinking that they will lose all interest in Sikhi, or the thought of becoming Sikh. Our ancestors became Sikh because they thought it was something better, something different from the rest. We should celebrate our uniqueness, not try to copy the thinking of others "Muslims only look out for Muslims, therefore we Sikhs are only gonna look out for Sikhs". Why should Sikhs take their cues from the Muslims when we have our own Gurus and an endless litany of Mahapurash to inspire us? In any case, Seva shouldn't be a game of religious politics. I think everyone would do well to read, reread and read again the excellent post by SoulSingh and ponder it for a while. Seva with an agenda is not seva at all.
  13. Something I've noticed, whenever a Sikh woman marries a non-Sikh man her children are practically never raised as Sikhs and she herself converts to her husband's religion (or lack thereof). But whenever a Sikh man marries a non-Sikh woman, the kids are almost always raised in Sikhi even when the woman herself does not convert. I have seen a few Punjabi guys (usually the recent immigrants) attend my local Gurdwara with their Polish/Baltic wives, who do not appear to be Sikh but who have kids with patkas. I wonder what the reason is for this dynamic.
  14. Kharku Thread

    1) They were not deliberately regionalised, but in many cases the fighters came from the same area or set of villages. This phenomenon has been common fixture in Sikh history, in Banda Singh Bahadur's time Majhails and Malwais tended to fight alongside their kinsmen, and the Sikh Misls were also headquartered in certain parts of the Punjab. In more recent times, BTF (Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan) was most active in Tarn-Taran, KZF (Khalistan Zindabaad force) in parts of Jammu and Kashmir, but the others had a consistent presence across the whole region. 2) Yes, most of the Babbars were AKJ and it was mandatory for their fighters to be Amritdhari and rehitvaan. 5) Many traveled by foot yes, but they also used jeeps to carry fighters from one place to another in the rural areas, and when ambushing police cars. When carrying out hits against panth dhokiaan Singhs tended to use motorcycles as these were the perfect vehicles for hit-and-run tactics, and for making quick escapes through the narrow, crowded streets of the cities where most of their targets were based. Sukha and Jinda famously used a motorcycle to kill Gen. Vaidya. 7) Kharku comes from the Punjabi word 'kharka' meaning a racket or a loud noise. So a kharku is someone who makes loud noises, who causes trouble. I believe it was initially used as a derogatory term for Sikh fighters by the enemies of the Panth, but Singhs went on to appropriate the label for themselves.
  15. Sant baba ranjjit singh

    Basically Dhadrianwale is criticising Kanwar Grewal for singing at Dera Sacha Sauda. He doesn't seem to have realised that the reason Grewal went to Sacha Sauda was to turn its misguided members towards true religion, not to pay homage to their pakhandi rapist baba. You can only reach the people if you actually go to the people. Puraatan Sikh missionaries in Sikhi's early days used to go to the Tiraths of Jogis and Dargahs of Sufis all the time, not to pay homage to the heads but to access the people. In this respect he's doing more than most of our Sikh parchaaraks, who have practically abandoned the mazhbis to derawaad and are only just realizing the magnitude of their mistake. Rate Kanwar Grewal very highly, a truly humble and genuine human being.
  16. Seva is more about intent than effect. One out of one is a more generous gift than one hundred out of a thousand. The effect is also not just on the people the volunteers help, but on the karams of the volunteers and donors themselves. Seva is a way for us to get closer to Maharaj, and to help us realize that his jot blazes in all living beings. The rehat does not prohibit fasting. Bani essentially says that fasting is pointless and unnecessary if one practices it under the assumption that this will please God, which is the reason Muslims tend to give for it. Ravi Singh did not fast for this reason, he did it to show solidarity with the people he was helping. Try to put yourself in Ravi Singh's shoes for a moment. I think plenty of people would have misgivings about stuffing their faces around people who were starving and living in the direst of circumstances but still refused to take the food you offered them. Can I ask why you are being so quick to ascribe the basest and most cynical motives to fellow Sikhs and human beings? The other Sikh volunteers present somehow managed to eat their food without being noosed. This is not the 'true fact', it is your personal bias speaking brother.
  17. Khalsa Aid doesn't exclude Sikhs veeray, you can see a list of their projects on their website where they clearly set out the work they do with Sikhs in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq: http://www.khalsaaid.org/projects/kabul-refugee-aid http://www.khalsaaid.org/projects/displaced-sikhs-in-iraq http://www.khalsaaid.org/projects/displaced-sikhs-in-pakistan As well as Sikhs in Punjab and other parts of India: http://www.khalsaaid.org/projects/punjab-floods-2007 http://www.khalsaaid.org/news/sikligar-sikhs-project http://www.focuspunjab.org/ Muslims can help their brothers and sisters, but often they do not. The Palestinians for instance, despite the lip-service paid to their cause across the Islamic world, have been all but abandoned in practice. The response to the Syrian refugee crisis by the rest of the Arab countries was also shamefully tepid, and the plight of the Kurds elicits little sympathy from anyone. In a world which is increasingly full of chauvinism, I believe we should be glad to belong to a community which is one of the few that even attempts to rise above the divisions and embrace its responsibility to the wider human race, when most others are only concerned with looking out for their own - the people in their own house, or their own country, or of their own religion. I am happy to see the Sikh Panth taking steps towards realizing what I hope is its destiny as the moral conscience of the entire world.
  18. Waheguru, good information, believe Damdami Taksaal can be added to this list as it came into being with the direct blessing of Guru Gobind Singh. Mukhis were traditionally associated with nirmalas but the first jathedar was Akali Nihang Baba Deep Singh, so it seems to have been a separate order altogether.
  19. What are you talking about? Of course we do. Our lack of publicity is the number one reason so many Sikhs are targeted in the West by confused bigots, why every rally we ever hold in support of our self-determination is routinely ignored by Western media, and why Guru Nanak's message is barely spreading outside the Punjabi demographic. Publicity is exactly what we need.
  20. The Singhs who dragged Bhai Kanhaiya before Kalgidhar Patshaah sounded very similar to you. "Why give water to some muslim, an enemy, when you could be giving water to a Sikh instead? Shouldn't the Sikhs be a priority?" I shouldn't have to remind you how this turned out for them. When Dashmesh Pitaa asked Bhai Sahib why he had done this, Kanhaiya replied "I saw no Mughal or Sikh on the field of battle Maharaj, I saw only you". Guru Gobind Singh said that of all those present in the group Kanhaiya alone had understood the real message of Gurbani. Bhai Kanhaiya was right. The Singhs were wrong. I believe you are wrong about this too bhenji. Be careful not to become so obsessed with protecting 'sikhi' that you forget what you're supposed to be protecting in the first place. Helping somebody is never a waste of anything, it is not only one of the best things we can do for others, but one of the best things we can do for our own Sikhi.
  21. Some more Home Truths

    Look, anyone familiar with my post history knows that I myself have made several claims in the past about Muhammad being a paedophile/slaver/warlord, and about Islam being a false religion, very similar to the those which you and proactive sahib have posted here. I reached these conclusions from my study of the man-made books the Koran and Hadiths. I now believe that this was always just my manmat. Guru Gobind Singh Ji is no man but the antarjami Akal Purakh himself, and he says of Muhammad and Islam in Zafarnama: Na Danaam ki een mard paimaan shikan Ke daulat prast ast iman Fikan Na Iman Prasti na auzai Na Sahib shanasi Muhammad Yakeen Har aan kas ki iman prasti kunad Na peiman kudash pesho pasti kunad Maharaj says that Aurangzeb does not follow Islam and has not comprehended its meaning. He also accuses Aurangzeb of having no faith in Prophet Muhammad, and that no man who believes in his faith makes false promises. If everything you say about Muhammad and Islam is true, and Maharaj knew it and said the above about him in spite of it, I would leave Sikhi this very second. But I feel I know enough about Maharaj's character through his own Bani that he would never speak in the above terms about a paedophile or a slaver, therefore I believe Muhammad, and Islam, cannot be what Muslims say they are. I was wrong for a long time, and I believe you are wrong too. I don't care if every Muslim on earth and every book ever written about Islam says Muhammad was a paedophile or a slaver, if Maharaj says anything which gives me reason to suspect that this may not be true I will take his word over the entire world. I think my time on this forum is over. So many of the things I've written over the years have been the products of my manmat, and the hatred and anger I have in my heart. I spared nobody from it, not Muslims, not Hindus, not Christians and not other Sikhs. Maharaj tells us how we might find him, and it isn't through clever discussions and arguments, but by seeing only Him in every person we meet, like Bhai Kanhaiya did, whether they are Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Sikh. This forum has done everything it can for me, I now have a much clearer idea of what to do next. One final thing before I go, thank you, truly, to all of you my brothers and sisters. I have learned so much about Sikhi and about myself through from talking to all of you here, and though you may not even be aware of it, you have been an invaluable support to me in the absence of any physical Gursikh sangat. (Some of you in particular, I believe you know who you are deep down, must find a way to bring your knowledge to Sikhs in the real world, rather than letting it languish here in a virtual bubble. You are the qaum's future, try to make it a good future). I wish you all the best of luck, Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
  22. Some more Home Truths

    I'm actually quite familiar with these so-called isnads. 'Chains of transmission' can be invented for the sake of political/religious expediency as well, and often are, this has happened all throughout history. In Ancient Persia when one aristocratic dynasty usurped another they would promptly engage the priests, who doubled up as the historians of the empire, to invent fictitious 'chains' of transmission which linked their family name to semi-divine ancestors. This was done to make their illegitimate rule appear legitimate. I don't find it at all improbable that similar things happened in the case of the Koran, both among those who brought hadiths to the scholars, and among the scholars who compiled them. Men trying to legitimate their illegitimate actions in the name of Muhammad. The element of personal bias cannot be ruled out either. The compilers of the hadith were men just like any other with prejudices and biases, who would have had some of their own ideas about Muhammad which influenced their chances of terming a Hadith reliable/unreliable. Religious faith makes objective historical enquiry into a religion very difficult at times, because the scholar has an emotional investment in his work, and therefore a dangerous bias. As soon as one uses chains of transmission to confirm the reliability of a hadith, they immediately encounter the problem of having to gauge the reliability of these chains of transmission themselves. And the methods used by the early scholars of the hadith to check the reliability these isnads were incredibly shaky and subjective to say the least. Ultimately, the Hadith can never be anything more than the 'best' guess at filling in the historical wilderness of 150-odd-years separating Muhammad's death from the gathering of the Hadiths. Why do you think that?
  23. Some more Home Truths

    This claim is verified by the descendants of Bhai Mardana living today, self-professed Muslims all, who are naturally something of an authority on the matter of their own family's history. The Quran endorses neither slavery nor paedophilia. These claims are made in the Hadiths, which are not religious scripture at all but collections of highly unreliable historical anecdotes supposedly concerning Muhammad. None of these were ever written down until they first were, which was well over a century and a half after Muhammad's death. As a result nobody compiling these hadith could be 100% sure that any of them were true, and certain Muslims no doubt took advantage, justifying their own selfish motivations or opinions by inventing fictions associating Muhammad with similar thoughts and behaviors which no-one living could disprove for certain. No honest student of history can take the Hadiths seriously. Gurbani says Muhammad was sent by God himself (and later lost his way due to hankaar), I do not believe Maharaj would say this about a paedophile or a slaver, rather I'm convinced that many of the things Muslims say about Muhammad and Islam, based on Hadith rather than Quran, are untrue. My understanding of 'Islam' is formed around this belief, and around my readings of the Quran. Need to be wary of conflating these pseudo-historical myths about Muhammad with the actual philosophy of Islam, which is in agreement with Sikhi on a number of important points. Bhai Mardana was a Muslim and a Sikh in this sense, though even the labels Muslim and Sikh ultimately mean nothing to Waheguru.