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TejS

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Everything posted by TejS

  1. How To increase Sikh population in UK

    Apart from the ignorant British attacking a Sikh wearing a turban (which I hear is very rare, I'm Canadian/American btw), I doubt that the British people will target Sikhs. Instead, what they will do is far worse, they will use our history with the Muslims to incite us and basically use us as fodder as they did in their Raj, though this time, it'll be purely against the Muslims.
  2. Ravi Singh, of Khalsa Aid, is someone who I immensely look up to, and I'm sure many others do as well. He is the embodiment of a true Gurmukh who does not preach Sikhi, but practices it. He is a human being that sees no religion/caste/creed and through Khalsa Aid has done great humanitarian work. My question to our community on here is this, how can Ravi Singh be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize? I know this man deserves it, but how can we as a community get him that nomination? Any ideas, any suggestions? Jason Kenney, Canada's previous Minister of National Defence, a position currently occupied by Harjit Sajjan, has voiced similar sentiment as well:
  3. Will maharaj listen to me

    I've never heard a 7th grader refer to themselves as "daas".
  4. Ravi Singh needs a Nobel Prize

    I agree with the notion that we must first succeed as a community ourselves, before going out and fixing the issues of others, and of course, charity begins at home. However, what Ravi Singh is doing isn't bad at all. I think we as a community have developed a very bad habit of criticizing each other for any achievements whatsoever. I agree that Ravi Singh should be doing more for Sikh issues, but he's also not doing anything bad either, he's instead following Sikhi by helping people irrespective of their faith, creed, ethnicity (so basically recognizing the human race as one). I think we need to overlook some of his faults (which I agree he does have, but who doesn't) and instead see how we can get not only him more exposure, but our community good exposure as well. Name one Sikh that has won a Nobel Prize, none. It wouldn't hurt to have one, and so if there's a likely candidate such as Ravi Singh, why not back him up? @jkvlondon Of course the reward of seva is unmatched by anything, however a Sikh getting a Nobel Prize is a great achievement for our community, collectively. So I don't see what's wrong in helping Ravi Singh achieve that goal, which is ultimately a communal goal.
  5. Ravi Singh needs a Nobel Prize

    Yes, I was aware of this. But how can we as a community raise this idea up to the people, the few elites as you say, that can make this happen? Surely, there's something we can do to get Ravi Singh more exposure.
  6. Pray for hurricane Irma

    That was classic!
  7. @Siddhartha I would like to say this, our religion, our Granth, our Gurudwaras do not incite or preach hatred against any other group of people or religion. So your Sikh friend(s) that are getting playful with Hindu jokes are not representative of the religion. However, their actions and sentiments towards Hindus, which though condemnable, have occurred for several reasons if I may say so. In fact, taking a recent look at Sikh-Hindu relations, one would conclude that their actions/sentiments are natural responses to what's taking place. See, Sikh-Hindu differences have always been present from the start (think Gangu), but have never been as extreme as they have been in the past 33 years. I don't think I need to state the obvious, but 1984 was a deciding factor for the Sikh-Hindu relationship, one that has gotten bitter and sour. And to be honest, it was not the people, but the work of governments that divided religious groups for the vote bank, but the damage has already been done. And Sikh jokes, Sikhs not getting constitution rights, the Sikh identity being ridiculed and misconstrued, the rise of the Hindutva supporting BJP, the rise of RSS and its clashes with Sikhs are not making any things better, and are instead dividing the relationship our two communities share even further. So, what do you expect from your Sikh friends? To go along happily seeing the ridicule their community faces, or to act out, albeit foolishly, against the community doing the ridicule. Come on now, be realistic. If the Hindus want to have a cordial relationship with Sikhs, why don't they then amend their mistakes. Perhaps the Indian youth (including the majority of Hindus) can join up together to ban Sikh jokes that are subversively cancerous to my community's image, maligning us as idiots. But no, instead I see even the most liberal, educated Hindu youth take pleasure in these jokes, and they expect my Indian Sikh cousins to laugh along. Oh come on, how low can you people get! Take a look at Vir Sanghvi, an Oxford-educated gentleman, who believes that Sikh jokes are part of the "good-natured Indian tradition", well what a "great" tradition the Indian people have, ridiculing a minority to whom many Indian Hindus owe their very existence to. Perhaps you could get us our identity in the Indian constitution, as we are Sikhs, an independent group of people with independent beliefs not affiliated to Hinduism. But no, even the most "informed" Indian I've met is likely to say that Sikhs are nothing more than the military hand of Hinduism, and have been created to protect it. Well, thank you for completely tossing out the foundations of our religion, and resorting us to nothing but a military faction of Hindus. Perhaps, you can collectively get us justice for 1984 by punishing the perpetrators walking in broad day light. But no, not only do the governments protect them, many Hindutva supporting people of India justify the deaths of Sikhs in 1984, and believe that we deserved it. What's funny is that with a significant percentage of Indian Hindus holding the opinions of above, how do you not expect us to not only break away from you, but also to despise you. We are Sikhs, but we are also humans with flaws, and so we have every right to hate what's been done to us, and to hate who did it, and of course these lessons will be passed down to our children, so they that don't end up facing what we did in the past. I hope you will realize that the hate you experienced isn't senseless, it's the result of years of differences, deceits and a genocide that have led to this feeling. So perhaps take a broader look at why your Sikh friends are treating you the way they are. And I honestly believe that these relations that have been damaged by governments, can be mended by people, but in the current situation, the Indian Hindu majority doesn't seem to want that, and instead are looking towards a far more dividing goal: a Hindu India.
  8. I often think about this too. I agree that most of Gurbani is not in Punjabi and even the few parts that are in Punjabi, are in a very archaic form that is not clearly understood by the modern-day speaker. I still however think that Punjabi Sikhs (not all Sikhs) should be imparting Punjabi to their oncoming generations. Punjabi is the language of our ancestors and is a part of our identity. I've often noticed that the kids that do speak Punjabi are the ones that are more likely to be proud of who they are, and not feel insecure about their identity. The ones that are disconnected from Punjabi are the ones that have outlandish and shaky ideas regarding not only themselves but Sikhi as well, especially my Hindi speaking "Sikh" cousins, forgive me for judging them. So, if you want your oncoming generations to know who they are, where they come from, imparting Punjabi is a great initiative. But all Sikhs need to be imparting something far more important, and that is Gurmukhi. Not the language, but the script. I think that if we can get Mandarin, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, English written in the Gurmukhi script, then that is the ultimate way Sikhi can flourish. Most Sikh youth today cannot read Gurmukhi, and thus are experiencing a disconnect from Sikhi. I myself have only recently learnt Gurmukhi and it makes a huge difference once reading the GGS straight up, rather than having to read English translations.
  9. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance I feel that we are in a dire need of a Sikh Renaissance, where Sikhs will be able to contribute to the world at their zenith. I believe we were heading to that point during Maharaja Ranjit's time but it dwindled from there on. I think that we as a community need a re-emergence, and realizing it and bringing it into reality should be our main and only priority for now. Hearing and seeing the Sikh youth in Punjab being gripped by drugs, and in certain parts of the Western world becoming unmotivated, and failing in life is disheartening to see. I think through the following steps, we can emerge as a powerful force, however it will take extreme strife. Here is what I think is needed: Sikhs need to spiritually reconnect with Sikhi Become entrepreneurial by creating new industries or by taking control of existing ones, as a means of gaining great economic resource which can then be channeled to the Sikh cause, think Bill Gates & Mark Zuckerberg type of entrepreneurial success and economic gain Put the Khalistan movement on the back burner for now, as it is only damaging and polarizing the community, and instead build ourselves up to a formidable level where we have a respected global image and can command power; and then bring back the movement through calculated ways and not martyrdom Refocus on being a Sikh, and not a Sikh-Hindu, and pledge allegiance to the Sikh cause by being a united community - agreeing on our future goals, this can only be done by having more parchariks like Jugraj Singh, and supporting them through economic resources which in itself can only be provided by entrepreneurial Sikhs mentioned in my second bullet point Having to set milestones and future goals such as Sikhs winning Nobel Prizes, Oscars, Pulitzer Prizes and etc. Encouragement for meaningful learning and education ( this is the need of the moment, why is it that most of the Sikh youth hates pursuing education, especially Sikhs from Punjab?); we need more Sikhs aiming for the Rhodes Scholarship Branch out into more reputable fields/industries - i.e. Science, Engineering, Medicine, Politics, Academia, Arts/Media, Technology, Business (this honestly is the crux of the Renaissance and I can see some of it already taking place in the Western world); I say this because most Sikhs join the Indian Army and most go for soldier as an occupation, but we need to step back and stop putting our lives on the line and instead need to focus on educating and securing our community through personal development Evolve and be more open - accept Sehajdari, Mona Sikhs, 3HO Sikhs, Sikh sects as a part of the community, the more the merrier, however gradually, with love, help them correct their ways Immigrate from Punjab to the Western world (however through legal means and with the intent of gaining meaningful education, i.e. studying at esteemed institutions in America/England/Canada and not some merit-less community colleges, and gaining reputable jobs), as this will allow Sikhs more global exposure and opportunity Increase our numbers through procreating more children or adopting children and raising them into the Sikh faith, and marrying out (i.e. bring spouses from other faiths/ethnicities into the Sikh fold through reason and willingness, not force like love jihad) Be clear in our focus, respect other communities, but do not advocate their causes (such as the Sikh Coalition standing up for Muslims and Hindus, this is not benefiting us) Reap the benefits of the system, and do not fight it or challenge it for the meantime, however retain allegiance to the Sikh cause (make use of the IITs in India, and Medical Colleges, and the student scholarships that send worthy students to Ivy Leagues); I think the Parsis have been most successful in this Become role models,and in turn inspire Sikh youth, and establish an encouraging network (often times the Sikhs that do attain success, are extremely averse against helping other Sikhs - this is wrong, as we need to create a community that encourages and supports individual success such as the Jewish people) Stop riding the coattails of our ancestors, and instead create new sagas of success in the present-day Uphold the warrior spirit, but put on a thinking cap so that communal decisions can turn out to be effective ones, and not ones that are conducted in the heat of the moment, which ultimately lead to little gain and more damage Revise Judeo-Christian influenced English translations of the GGS and translate the GGS into other major languages (Arabic, Russian, Chinese, French, Spanish) and Indo-Aryan languages (Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Marwari/Rajasthani, Bihari, Nepali) to make Sikhism more accessible and understandable for those interested Removal of caste altogether (it has no place in Sikhism, and any pride on ones caste should be absolutely condemned and derided - more Singh/Kaur surnames, zero gotras, let's get out of this tribal thinking) Although I may have repeated myself a few times, this is what I came up with at the moment. Feel free to criticize, discuss and contribute your thoughts about improving the Sikh community. Apologies in advance, if I've offended anyone.
  10. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance

    Can you please explain what you mean by safety measures that the Gurus have put in place to prevent dogma? Because bani being poetic and musical does not prevent dogma. In fact, in Islam, an Abrahamic relgion, the koran is written in poetic verse. In Christianity, also an Abraham religion, gospels are sung to music. So your argument doesn't exactly hold true here.
  11. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance

    I think this thread has gone off-topic. To wrap up the previous argument on my part, I'll say this, I believe that Sikhi is a rule of principles that need to be followed, and therefore it is dogmatic. Now if any of you would like to argue this further, you or I can either make a separate thread for this. I'm hoping that members on this forum can further criticize and contribute to my list. And then eventually, we can collectively come up with a way to put this list into motion and not just talk. I would like many of the things on this list to happen soon, and I would definitely like to be a part of it. So, any suggestions, ideas, criticisms are welcomed.
  12. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance

    I never said that dogma gives way to freedom, instead I believe dogma and more importantly religion require restraint. Seva is also every Sikh's duty, therefore a principle and dogma of Sikhi. But the Guru's have told us the answers, the truths in a way. They have enabled us to do certain things, and restricted other things through their bani. So I fail to see how is Sikhi not dogmatic. Casteism, idolatry and such are things that have been accepted as false in our religion, and we do not accept as truths. Bani states there is a creator, Waheguru and therefore it is an accepted truth in Sikhi. We as human beings can challenge the existence of a creator, but as Sikhs we cannot, because it has already been accepted by our religion. Also, how does accepting certain truths inhibit us from learning further, learning is not only gaining new knowledge of whether something is a truth or not, but also applying that knowledge in our day-to-day lives. I would say that Sikhi is perhaps the closest to the Abrahamic religions out of the Dharmic religion group, as we have a fixed set of principles that are incontrovertible truths, just like Abrahamic religions.
  13. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance

    Brother, I fail to understand the freedom you talk about. Let me take an example of yours, you said that Khalsa Aid was the kind of parchaar that we needed. I researched into them, and I agreed. I agreed because they put "seva" into practice, and not just preached about it. They became examples of Sikhi in practice. However, the concept of seva is a defined principle in Sikhi: ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਤ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਹਕਾਮੀ ॥ ਤਿਸ ਕਉ ਹੋਤ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਸੁਆਮੀ So, in a way, Khalsa Aid is essentially adhering to the dogma of Sikhi established by the Gurus, and thus Khalsa Aid is dogmatic as well. So when you say total freedom unbridled by dogma, what do you really mean? Please, can youelaborate more, because I have failed to understand what freedom you are talking about.
  14. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance

    Exactly what I'm saying. Religion, at the end of the day, is dogma, and it needs to be followed, in order to live the life the religion has entailed. If one doesn't like it, then change your religion, simple. I think there are people who don't want to follow religion, and think that reaching God can be done without a set of dogmas, and that is absolutely fine imo, and I am not saying they are worse or better than anyone, but what I'm saying is that if you identify as Sikh, then you will have to follow the dogma. Otherwise, don't identify as Sikh. It's not like the Sanatan Dharma where can you practice anything and everything which sometimes is contradictory in nature and still be considered a part of the community. We have room for interpretation and openness to a certain extent, but we also have certain outlined rules to follow.
  15. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance

    But our Gurus did ultimately define Sikhi and layed down a dogma for us in the GGS, one that needs to be followed, right? The principals are part of the Sikh dogma, and the dogma preserves the message. Now I could be looking at this from a very narrow-minded perspective, but I'm sorry brother, I'm unable to understand how upholding the dogmas will compromise the principals, when they're interdependent on each other. And yes you're right that Sikhi is sanji, however if you have some people bringing in their own inference to Sikhi, which clearly goes against its principles, such as casteism, and they identify as Sikhs, then I think we as a community must take action and correct those miscreant ways, otherwise those certain inidividuals aren't following the Sikh way of life, which itself is very clearly defined and fleshed out.
  16. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance

    I'll admit that I haven't understood the Dasam Granth in its entirety, so perhaps I should first read through it, understand it from all perspectives, and I would then be in a better position on offering my opinion of it. But I agree with you that the Sri Charitopakhyan is not only critiquing women, but also men. It's just the wording, which in other parts, such as the tales, can get quite vulgar, and my initial response of certain parts being deemed inappropriate was based off of that. I will, however, definitely make time to go through the Dasam Granth in its entirety, and not only glaze over the controversial passages.
  17. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance

    Listen I'm not a Dasam Granth opponent. In fact, I think certain parts should be read and applied and it should be seen in Gurudwaras, but the sexually explicit nature of some of the tales, albeit describing the downfall lead by kaam, are far too explicit for something a Guru would write, and with the Dasam Granth being lost after the Battle of Kup, it certainly raises valid suspicion that perhaps some of the writings aren't of Guru Gobind Singh's. And yes I was talking about Sri Charitropakhyan.
  18. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance

    Well there are things like saying women aren't to be trusted, consumption of intoxicants and then performing fornication under their influence - things like these which are clearly not the words of our tenth Guru.
  19. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance

    I agree with absolutely everything you have said (even regarding the Dasam Granth, albeit it does have some controversial mentionings, it also shows the inferiority of Hindu practices, and is also extremely uplifting, perhaps something our astray Sikh youth could use). I'd like to add these points to the list on page 1 if you will allow.
  20. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance

    Apologies for the delay in responding, however as I was unaware of Nanak Naam, I've been spending the past few days reading about their mission and watching their content, and I feel that I know enough about them that I can now respond. I can see where you're coming from and I agree that the kind of "parchaar" that Khalsa Aid/Nanak Naam does is universal, and is unparalleled due to their practicing nature, rather than just preaching. These kind of initiatives are representative of true Sikhi in practice, and are great for the unaware to become acquainted with Sikhi. However, there are certain issues that our community is currently grappling with, such as Hindu influenced practices, and to rid those we need to apply a far more aggressive, calculated and dogmatic approach - which I personally see nothing wrong with. Remember, religion is dogmatic itself, otherwise you would not have Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims. I think intrinsically humans are attracted towards dogma for a reason, we need them to have an identity and feel defined. And so I think that in order to pull our pseudo-Sikh people away from Brahmanical practices, the Sikh dogma outlined in the GGS will need to be aggressively upheld, and demographics will need to be kept in mind. This is the only way that we can separate ourselves from Hindus practices - which have fragmented our community to the point of despair (casteism leads to hatred/dislike/prejudice among Sikhs, which then fuels sirsa deras and fake babas like gurmeet ram rahim, who in turn manipulate/exploit those prejudiced Sikhs).
  21. And I'm not saying we should ignore what they're doing. All I am saying is we need to first know what is a Sikh, which most of our population does not know. You will find many so-called Sikhs agreeing with Rajiv Malhotra's claims, due to their lack of knowledge on Sikhi, so when our own stand divided, how can we combat these foreign forces as one united group. We can't stop these people from talking unless we combat it as a united force. When one Sikh will deny any relation to Hinduism, ten other Sikhs will stand up saying we are connected to them - so in the end, the struggle becomes useless and futile. We need internal reform, before we can combat these type of people. And regards to the like of Sakshi and her anti-Sikh sentiment, well it isn't a new thing at all. It's always been present (think of Gangu) however with the rise of the BJP and Hindu nationalism in India, more and more people like her are becoming vocal about it. The reason we have to endure this, is because of the mistakes our elders made in not securing a separate country during the Partition. But our generation of Sikhs aren't any better, for we too are making similar mistakes as our elders. I'm sure Sakshi will be slammed with hate speech charges, perhaps a Sikh lawyer in India can get on this and escalate this case, although I think they're dealing with it: http://news.statetimes.in/police-probing-conspiracy-to-break-hindu-sikh-unity-search-for-sakshi-bhardwaj-intensified/
  22. Let him, or anyone for that matter say whatever they wish about Sikhs. What truly matters is what we, as Sikhs, believe in. Do we truly believe that we are a sect of Hinduism, who uphold the caste system, do pointless rituals such as pilgrimages/fasts/idolatry, or do we believe none of that and follow only what's written in the GGS, and go about living life according to it? Because there are many so-called Sikhs that adhere to the caste system and conduct those mentioned pointless rituals, you can't help but see that our own people are agreeing indirectly through their actions to what Rajiv Malhotra is saying. However, if you are the latter type, then you should not be hazed by comments coming from such insignificant people and should stay firm in your way of life. The Hindus name-call us a sect, because they see us doing exactly what they do. Until our Sikhs don't follow the guidance of the GGS, such people will always exist. It is not their fault, it is ours. Let's not give them a chance to call us out on practicing their pointless rituals/caste-ism. When most of the Sikh population itself believes that Sikhs are very much a part of Hinduism, then why does it matter if an outsider says so. We need to change ourselves first, in order to change others.
  23. Jasleen Josan, the first Sikh women in the world to undertake a Mars mission I think this is a great achievement, and is ideally great exposure for our community on the global stage. We need more people like her (not necessarily all going to Mars ), but branching out into other professional fields. Thoughts?
  24. The Path to a Sikh Renaissance

    Likewise, your responses to my posts have encouraged great conversation, and have even challenged me in the sense that I've had to organize my wandering thoughts about Sikhi, and deliberately debate over my own beliefs in order to clearly respond to you. Now, in response to your claim that sending out parchariks to educate others would be a sign of hankar, I disagree with this. I think it would be egotistical of us to assume that we know better than others, but in this instance, we aren't assuming that, we are instead seeing the result of lack of Sikh knowledge, in the form of deras and Sikh youth being absorbed by drugs. To assume that I am very knowledgeable, and that you are not so much, would be egotistical of me. To see that you are struggling with something of which I can offer assistance, is not egotistical, but being helpful and productive. Having pride in one's knowledge gained is hankar, using that knowledge to help others, is teaching. A parcharik is simply one that educates and clears doubts, like a teacher. And so if teaching the illiterate or unlearned is considered hankar, then how would any learning be ever achieved. And if the ones that are confused regarding Sikhi, assume that they know what's right, then is that not hankar either. By teaching from the GGS, the parchariks will simply be expelling doubts that the general population has regarding Sikhi, and it doesn't even have to be on the assumption that others are confused, but simply a routinely recital of the GGS and its colloquial meaning to serve as a reminder to Waheguru. Coming to your second point, I can agree that Jugraj Singh was not a parcharik that would be able to cater to all demographics, but do we really need a parcharik that can? If a certain parcharik caters to all demographics, will he/she not be spreading themselves out too thin, and how will they cater to the nuances of each demographic. Because interest is extremely important to hook the general population to parchariks, and if the interests of a certain group of people are not being catered to, then no connect will form between them and the parcharik. And lastly, I think it would be egotistical of any parcharik or person to think that they can emulate the knowledge, and caliber of the Gurus, and thus I don't think we'll be seeing such a parcharik as the one you described, ever. All love to you as well my brother, and let me know what you think.
  25. Great achievement by a Sikh woman

    I agree, however by exploration what I meant was to seek knowledge about possible life systems in other worlds. Gurbani, I think and I may be wrong, is for self-exploration, understanding how to live life and gaining spiritual knowledge. But Gurbani also encourages the pursuit of all knowledge, for we are Sikhs/students, and therefore space exploration is a great method to gain worldly knowledge. Although, worldly knowledge is second to spiritual knowledge, it is still required that we learn both. Therefore, I think both the recital of Gurbani and search of worldly knowledge (including in the form of space exploration) is important to us humans.
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