dallysingh101

Dasmesh pita on Singhs retaliating for rape by enemy army (Translation of Suraj Prakash text)

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Here's Piara Singh Padam's text of the sakhi for those interested. He basically translated the original text Sau Sakhi text into modern Panjabi:

sau sakhi psp.jpg

Edited by dallysingh101
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If the Sikhs took revenge [by raping in retaliation] it should be recognised as good.

Was the bold supposed to be a question from the Sikh? Since the period confused me.

but badla in this sense could mean simply chatka of the turk ... as often was the response to beadbhi of many kinds at this time period no mucking about . Guru pita cannot on one hand say pariyaan maat dhi bakhne and then tell go take badla of same nature against innocent women.

 

The bit in square brackets is my inference, translators can use this to keep the flow of text/ideas going. People who've learnt English to any sort of decent degree should know this. But people are asking good questions. Yes, I think the posted bit above (minus the portion in the square brackets) is supposed to be a question from Singhs. 

Looking at the text now, I see that the nature of this badla that Singhs are talking about is not explicitly specified. What is clear is that (according to the text) Singhs were not expected to retaliate in any lowly way for the abuse of females by the enemy. It explicitly mentions that the Sikh path was considered to be morally higher one that the enemies faith, and that Singhs should restrain themselves from acting like the enemy. In this context I think Guru jee explicitly forbidding retaliating against females of the enemies is the clear idea. Plus we know from early Persian texts (Jangnama I think) that Singhs did actually abide by that dictate in the early days of the Khalsa.

That all being said. Please remember that the original text was compiled well over a century after the events. Until we find this a Sau Sakhi or Panj Sau Sakhi that can irrefutably be dated back closer to Guru ji's time, valid critical historiography will  ask the question of whether this actually represents an actual discussion or not. 

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 'The Amritsar Singh-Sabha (Sanataan) was set up and backed by conservative Sikhs belonging to the Khatri Caste, many of whom were descendants of early Sikh Gurus. They included men such as Baba Khem Singh Bedi, a direct descendant of Guru Nanak, Thakar Singh Sandhanwalia, Avtar Singh Vahira and Giani Gian Singh, a noted Sikh scholar of the time. The conservation of this Amritsar based group stemmed from the fact that they saw the Sikh Panth as one among the myriad streams constituting "Sanataan Dharma," the so-called eternal tradition that identifies its source of authority as the Veda. These self-styled 'Sanataan Sikhs' can be traced to those groups that refused to take Khalsa initiation on the grounds that the "Khande-Ka-Pahul" ceremony polluted their ritual boundaries and threatened their Caste status which they regarded as primary.  Though they resented the democratic tendency within the Khalsa groups, they continued to co-exist within the broader Sikh Panth even as they remained aloof from the mainstream Khalsa practices.'

Mandair, 'Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed,' pg. 83.

 

Interesting. Have you read the whole book? What did you think of it? I'd like to see Mandair's evidence for this though - "These self-styled 'Sanataan Sikhs' can be traced to those groups that refused to take Khalsa initiation on the grounds that the "Khande-Ka-Pahul" ceremony polluted their ritual boundaries and threatened their Caste status which they regarded as primary." Some of those people listed above weren't Khatris, so his point seems a bit dubious.

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Is this online ? I have never jeard of it being translated into english before.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/73649680/Sau-Sakhi-English-Translation-by-Attar-Singh-1873

Was done a long time ago, in reaction to the Kuka revolt (and use of the work) I believe?

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What do you feel about this text looking at the translation 5 years on Dal?

Mate, I so miss the days when I had the time and energy to do stuff like this. I wish I was a rich man who could devote more time to these things instead of chasing money to live, but chalo. Waheguru's will. 

The most I'd say to your question is that I think the translation is a reasonable one. 

Another thing I will say is that unless we are constantly engaged in translating/reading old texts it becomes very easy to forget the meaning of archaic vocabulary you've previously encountered. 

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33 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

The bit in square brackets is my inference, translators can use this to keep the flow of text/ideas going. People who've learnt English to any sort of decent degree should know this. But people are asking good questions. Yes, I think the posted bit above (minus the portion in the square brackets) is supposed to be a question from Singhs. 

Looking at the text now, I see that the nature of this badla that Singhs are talking about is not explicitly specified. What is clear is that (according to the text) Singhs were not expected to retaliate in any lowly way for the abuse of females by the enemy. It explicitly mentions that the Sikh path was considered to be morally higher one that the enemies faith, and that Singhs should restrain themselves from acting like the enemy. In this context I think Guru jee explicitly forbidding retaliating against females of the enemies is the clear idea. Plus we know from early Persian texts (Jangnama I think) that Singhs did actually abide by that dictate in the early days of the Khalsa.

That all being said. Please remember that the original text was compiled well over a century after the events. Until we find this a Sau Sakhi or Panj Sau Sakhi that can irrefutably be dated back closer to Guru ji's time, valid critical historiography will  ask the question of whether this actually represents an actual discussion or not. 

Interesting. Have you read the whole book? What did you think of it? I'd like to see Mandair's evidence for this though - "These self-styled 'Sanataan Sikhs' can be traced to those groups that refused to take Khalsa initiation on the grounds that the "Khande-Ka-Pahul" ceremony polluted their ritual boundaries and threatened their Caste status which they regarded as primary." Some of those people listed above weren't Khatris, so his point seems a bit dubious.

Well, we have many sources from the pre-Misl era, that mention the great treatment of women by Sikhs. However, when we go to Sikh empire era (when many Hindus took Amrit and enlisted into Khalsa, thinking Sikhi was a warrior sect of Hinduism) there are a few sources that claim that Sikhs actually raped Afghan women in retaliation of Afghan atrocities. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranjit_Singh#Mughal_accounts)

But, these sources are mostly written by Moslems and are not to be taken seriously. Plus, A lot of non-Sikhs served in the Khalsa Army including Pashtuns, Punjabi Moslems, Gurkhas and Punjabi Hindus.

Edited by 5akaalsingh

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35 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/73649680/Sau-Sakhi-English-Translation-by-Attar-Singh-1873

Was done a long time ago, in reaction to the Kuka revolt (and use of the work) I believe?

I heard there was some Singh who had the original SAu Sakhi pothis but refuses to share them due to some instructions, can you shed some light on that?

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2 hours ago, Kira said:

I heard there was some Singh who had the original SAu Sakhi pothis but refuses to share them due to some instructions, can you shed some light on that?

I've not heard that but it doesn't surprise me. It's becoming increasingly obvious that many families have ancient pothis in their private possessions that they are loathed to share with anyone for whatever reason. I just pray that these don't become destroyed (through neglect or natural deterioration) before they are copied for posterity. 

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On 2/5/2017 at 10:15 PM, dallysingh101 said:

I couldn't actually find that in the link you posted? 

Well, yes you can't find that on Wikipedia.  I can list some sources which mention what I said: 1.Sohan Singh Seetal (1971). Rise of the Sikh Power and Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. Dhanpat Rai. p. 56. OCLC 6917931. (note: the original book has 667 pages; the open access version of the same book released by Lahore Publishers on archive.com has deleted about 500 pages of this book; see the original)

2.Gardner, Alexander (1898). "Chapter XII". Memoirs of Alexander Gardner – Colonel of Artillery in the Service of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. William Blackwood & Sons. p. 211.

3. The Pathans by Olaf Caroe

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9 hours ago, 5akaalsingh said:

Well, yes you can't find that on Wikipedia.  I can list some sources which mention what I said: 1.Sohan Singh Seetal (1971). Rise of the Sikh Power and Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. Dhanpat Rai. p. 56. OCLC 6917931. (note: the original book has 667 pages; the open access version of the same book released by Lahore Publishers on archive.com has deleted about 500 pages of this book; see the original)

2.Gardner, Alexander (1898). "Chapter XII". Memoirs of Alexander Gardner – Colonel of Artillery in the Service of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. William Blackwood & Sons. p. 211.

3. The Pathans by Olaf Caroe

Respect for the sources. It would be nice if people who have access to the original publications could post scans of relevant sections for further debate. That way we can keep the discussion high level.

I also note that there are lamentations in Prem Sumarag (in the section on marriages), that the practice of buying girls has crept into the community. The date of PS looks to be at least the early 1800s if not earlier, so by then this was becoming a problem that people noticed and tried to combat.  

 

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Rape as revenge is implied here rather than just killing. Revenge is almost always universally proportionate, eye for an eye,, tooth for a tooth..life for a life. Singhs would have been killing the Muslims anyway in battle for killing them in revenge for rape would not make sense unless of course these Muslims were common Muslims rather than Muslims in the armies of the Mughals. The Guru implicitly forbids rape as revenge because the Panth is founded on higher principles rather than the Islam of Mohammed. 

The idea that carnal relations with a Muslim women is what makes a Singh into a Muslim is an interesting concept and tied into the idea that no one could be forced to become a Muslim unless they let their base instincts and lust get the better of them. Lust and rape is hence tied to Islam. A follower of the Guru was not to lust after or rape women. For the Singhs in the Gurus army there would only be two ways of them coming into a situation where they could have carnal relations with a Muslim women.

1. Having captured a Muslim woman and raping her. Here it is clearly shown that the Guru was against the rape of captured women even though Mohammed and Ali both did this with captured Arab women and hence this behaviour is central to Islam and has been done by Muslims throughout the last 1400 years the latest example being the way ISIS have raped Yazidi women in Iraq. So if a Singh in the Gurus army rapes a captured Muslim woman then he transgresses the Guru's instruction (Gur Shashtar) as well as following the example of Mohammed which incidentally Muslims believe is the ideal behaviour for a Muslim to emulate! 

2. Carnal relations with a Muslim woman outside of warfare. Here it could  be through either the Singh being captured and being offered his life for converting to Islam along with this in order to cement his conversion it was usual for him to be offered a Muslim woman as a wife. By accepting this the Singh has naturally become a Muslim. Also the rule in the Islamic state is that no Muslim woman can marry a non-Muslim. So if the Singh had a romantic attachment to a Muslim woman then for him to have carnal relations with her would mean his conversion. 

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