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On 11/06/2017 at 11:31 AM, 5akaalsingh said:

Truth is that habits like drinking and watching nautch dance were very common among Indian rulers and misldars.

 

I don't think this should realistically be played down like this.

The problem with this kind of behaviour by the leaders of any nation/society is that they don't live in a vacuum. If they did, they could theoretically get up to whatever kind of depraved anti-Sikh debaucheries they felt inclined to as far as I'm concerned. As long as these didn't adversely affect their rule in particular and the behaviour of society as a whole. Which, in itself is a pipe dream.

The reason why that's not advisable policy in any event in the real world is because leaders possess a very real and powerful signalling function. This can be highly beneficial in the right hands and potentially seriously dangerous in the wrong hands. Public perception of a leader's behavior is hugely magnified, and, inevitably, it filters all the way down society.

Therefore, leaders have a strict duty and responsibility to their subjects to set them a healthy and positive example to follow. They need not only to possess the correct morals, but more importantly, to be seen to possess the correct morals. This is more or less dharam, to which the Maharaja appeared to give wild abandon towards the end of his life.

Now these kinds of restrictions could well be deemed a bit of a straightjacket for a red-blooded ruler, and I suspect that the one being referred to here felt that to be the case. But, quite frankly, that is the price of the job. Either accept it, or leave it to someone with greater self-restraint.

At this point, it should be self-evident that any form of widespread addiction to the baser sensual pleasures is seriously detrimental to the future existence as a going concern of any nation. I shouldn't need to explain how these addictions encourage and normalise the very vikaars that produce a society of weak, shallow, easily manipulable individuals, low in morals, and crippled by a complete absence of the family values that are required to maintain a healthy strong and growing nation.

However, by the Maharaja and most (though not all) of his close leadership indulging in this exact kind of downright utter gundh, it gave a green light to the rest of society that this stuff was strictly A-OK. So you could get drunk, get high, sleep with multiple partners that you never intend to get married with, and still call yourself a practising Sikh. All with the endorsement of the Maharaja. Happy days.

Ironically, the Maharaja, increasingly brazenly in his latter days, got up to the very kind of anti-Sikh rubbish that the Khalsa was instructed and mandated to eradicate. So much for Khalsa Rahe Niara.

Consequently, I think that the roots of the current simplistic, unsophisticated, promiscuous, and shallow "balle balle" drinking/dancing/bhangra culture (which is incidentally a totally mughal imitation) that our society is currently infested with can be traced back to this era.

As a result, I believe that Guru Maharaj gave us a good and well deserved lesson when the Khalsa Raj that was abused in this fashion came crashing down. Yet, apparently we've learnt nothing, and some people appear to actually fantasise about returning to an age where this exact same gundh can be repeated and replicated with impunity, whilst somehow avoiding the side-effects that are bound to accompany it. It's impossible.

No serious nation ever prospered whose rulers gave into cheap pleasures, sensual thrills and hedonistic debauchery.

Edited by jashb
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We cannot hold the Maharaja responsible for everything. This stuff was considered OK long before he was even born. Go to Pakistani Punjab, tell someone that you don't drink sharaab and they"ll tell you: "Why? Are you a kid?" lol. These values were prevalent back then. The more you drunk, the more respect you gained from fellow sardars. It must noted that  Rehat for common Sikhs back then was : not to smoke, not to touch tobacco, not to eat beef and kuttha and never to marry a Muslim. And when once the Maharaja broke the rehat and married a Muslim, he was punished with public flogging. I think it is wrong to judge someone according to the social ideals we have today.

Khalsa was the name of the armed forces of the empire. Before Khalsa was every armed baptized Sikh ,but as the empire came into being, every man from Peshawar to Jind, grew his beard, said " Waheguru" , ate pork and claimed to be a Sikh. These hypocrites joined the Khalsa, while having no morals. Some like the Dogras even became ministers. Old Sikhs were known for their loot and plunder, but these people were the ones who did all the immoral stuff. Now, Ranjit Singh had maintained a "&ti t-for-tat" policy. Whenever a band of Pashtun tribesmen crossed the borders and sacked a village, the Maharaja would never hesitate seek retaliation by doing the same. This was a way of controlling the tribes.

 

Edited by 5akaalsingh
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On 6/11/2017 at 10:31 PM, 5akaalsingh said:

Truth is that habits like drinking and watching nautch dance were very common among Indian rulers and misldars. True Sikhs of that time only existed among Nirmala and Nihang orders. Most Punjabis didn't cared much about habits of their ruler. Instead, the prosperity he brought to the region made him a hero in their eyes.

The Nirmalas were probably the most corrupt order at the time. We all know how Mehtab Singh, and his patrons at Patiala, joined the British in creating a new "loyalist" Sikh identity. His fellows were soundly thrashed at Hazoor Sahib. Unable to fight, they took to publishing literature downplaying the role of other Sikhs and glorifying their own so-called "unsullied" Sikhi. This is where the Sanataan School of Thought really came from.  

Edited by 13Mirch
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12 hours ago, 13Mirch said:

The Nirmalas were probably the most corrupt order at the time. We all know how Mehtab Singh, and his patrons at Patiala, joined the British in creating a new "loyalist" Sikh identity. His fellows were soundly thrashed at Hazoor Sahib. Unable to fight, they took to publishing literature downplaying the role of other Sikhs and glorifying their own so-called "unsullied" Sikhi. This is where the Sanataan School of Thought really came from.  

True, but that happened after the Sikh raj had fallen. My point is that not everybody was a good Sikh, at least , acording to the ideals we have today.

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42 minutes ago, 5akaalsingh said:

True, but that happened after the Sikh raj had fallen. My point is that not everybody was a good Sikh, at least , acording to the ideals we have today.

That's the crux of the issue. Are all of the ideals we hold today rooted in a SIkh past, or are some of them accretions which stem from the colonial period and are rooted in outsider, European nonSikh thinking?

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On 6/12/2017 at 2:21 PM, jashb said:

 

 

No serious nation ever prospered whose rulers gave into cheap pleasures, sensual thrills and hedonistic debauchery.

The English didn't do too bad in this respect. 

On the flipside, trying to build up a nation whilst in in denial about the normal earthly instincts of the majority of subjects just creates a false 'conservatism' that gets routinely flouted (albeit covertly) despite the show of reserve on top. That's where we are right now as a community - and from what I can see, it doesn't look like it's doing us any favours to be honest.

Edited by dallysingh101

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16 hours ago, dallysingh101 said:

That's the crux of the issue. Are all of the ideals we hold today rooted in a SIkh past, or are some of them accretions which stem from the colonial period and are rooted in outsider, European nonSikh thinking?

What I find humorous is that the very parameters, of identity, utilized to define "colonial Sikhi" versus "pre-colonial Sikhi" are somewhat ambiguous. In relation to Hinduism, it is argued that modern Sikhi is but a Europeanized revamping; yet if the same parameters are applied to Hinduism then it emerges that Hinduism too is a Europeanized revamping. 

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10 hours ago, 13Mirch said:

What I find humorous is that the very parameters, of identity, utilized to define "colonial Sikhi" versus "pre-colonial Sikhi" are somewhat ambiguous. In relation to Hinduism, it is argued that modern Sikhi is but a Europeanized revamping; yet if the same parameters are applied to Hinduism then it emerges that Hinduism too is a Europeanized revamping. 

Absolutely. My feelings are that 'Hinduism' as is conceptualised today didn't exist in the pre-colonial period. But we're Sikhs and we have to let Hindus figure their own stuff out, we need to focus on our own thing. 

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12 hours ago, dallysingh101 said:

Absolutely. My feelings are that 'Hinduism' as is conceptualised today didn't exist in the pre-colonial period. But we're Sikhs and we have to let Hindus figure their own stuff out, we need to focus on our own thing. 

So it would be fair to say the 'sikh' identity is also constructed? 

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8 hours ago, Sukhvirk1976 said:

So it would be fair to say the 'sikh' identity is also constructed? 

Only for the brain dead. More and more people are waking up. Colonialism essentially involved dumbing down the wild Panjabi masses and turning them into conforming, useful tools for the imperial agenda. 

The difference between the brain-f**k that goray gave Sikhs versus the Hindus is that Hindus have benefitted from their reconfiguration big time (getting a country for themselves, now having a chance at unity with common language and umbrella concept of 'Hindu', having increasingly powerful military capabilities etc.). Sikhs instead got ar5e-raped. Lost country, redefined along caste/race lines which causes havoc with unity to this day, complete loss of military strength which is largely reduced to a blunt symbolic 'dagger'.

 

Try reading this if you haven't already:

 

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15 hours ago, dallysingh101 said:

Only for the brain dead. More and more people are waking up. Colonialism essentially involved dumbing down the wild Panjabi masses and turning them into conforming, useful tools for the imperial agenda. 

The difference between the brain-f**k that goray gave Sikhs versus the Hindus is that Hindus have benefitted from their reconfiguration big time (getting a country for themselves, now having a chance at unity with common language and umbrella concept of 'Hindu', having increasingly powerful military capabilities etc.). Sikhs instead got ar5e-raped. Lost country, redefined along caste/race lines which causes havoc with unity to this day, complete loss of military strength which is largely reduced to a blunt symbolic 'dagger'.

 

Try reading this if you haven't already:

 

Naipul, in his India Rediscovered, states that given the diversity of Hindu society (Hindu being a geographical label) it was very easy for the British to re-engineer it into some form of a politico-religious philosophy. Men like Dayanand Saraswati, schooled in Occidental thought, were conveniently maneuvered into prominent positions from whence they could argue that akin to Christianity Hinduism too was a monolithic religious tradition. The evolution of this re-construction is the ultra-orthodox brand of nationalism which we see today in in India i.e. Hindutva, where Hindu (as per the fundamentalists) is synonymous with Indian and nationalistic.

Edited by 13Mirch
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5 hours ago, 13Mirch said:

Naipul, in his India Rediscovered, states that given the diversity of Hindu society (Hindu being a geographical label) it was very easy for the British to re-engineer it into some form of a politico-religious philosophy. Men like Dayanand Saraswati, schooled in Occidental thought, were conveniently maneuvered into prominent positions from whence they could argue that akin to Christianity Hinduism too was a monolithic religious tradition. The evolution of this re-construction is the ultra-orthodox brand of nationalism which we see today in in India i.e. Hindutva, where Hindu (as per the fundamentalists) is synonymous with Indian and nationalistic.

I agree the label 'hindu' is totally inadequate as a way to capture such a diverse group of philosophical traditions. 

It also seems to be be applied and used by people /writers when it is a convenient device to homogenise a group of people to criticise. It happens on this forum when people talk about Hindus, Muslims, 'gora' or liberals. It just a lazy way of articulating arguments stepping around actual analysis or pinpointing problems.. 

Edited by Sukhvirk1976

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23 minutes ago, Sukhvirk1976 said:

I agree the label 'hindu' is totally inadequate as a way to capture such a diverse group of philosophical traditions. 

It also seems to be be applied and used by people /writers when it is a convenient device to homogenise a group of people to criticise. It happens on this forum when people talk about Hindus, Muslims, 'gora' or liberals. It just a lazy way of articulating arguments stepping around actual analysis or pinpointing problems.. 

I believe that problems with belief/ideology might be the problem e.g. Caste is a part and parcel of Hindu belief or a majority of it. Is criticizing Caste akin to criticizing Hindus as a whole?

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1 hour ago, 13Mirch said:

I believe that problems with belief/ideology might be the problem e.g. Caste is a part and parcel of Hindu belief or a majority of it. Is criticizing Caste akin to criticizing Hindus as a whole?

I don't think criticising caste is akin to criticising Hindus as a whole since.. It's a social construct and a aberration of the philosophy.. Casteism should be challenged at every opportunity. But by conflating it is not useful.. The book of manu out of which casteism developed did not promote inequality but was used by the elites to provide justification to support structural inequalities 

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Power is never given, you've got to take it.

The current set up at the moment may make things difficult to do this. However, if there is a vacuum and there is an opportunity then it is something that needs to be grabbed.

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