Where do the Sikhs stand?
We are passing through the darkest period in the five and a half centuries of Sikh history. We were survived and flourished even when attractive prizes were awarded on our heads, because we were having the mind set how to face and fight back the tyranny. But, we are not accustomed and prepared for this undeclared WAR OF NERVES which we are facing. You may analyze the series of present events, how the peace loving and progressing Punjab and the Sikhs are thrown into the flames of one or other agitation?
The story starts soon after getting the so-called independence of the country, when the Sikhs were no more required to misrule and plunder the people and the country. The Sikhs were rewarded for their exorbitant and highest share in the freedom struggle by declaring them Criminals. Dr. Sangat Singh in “The Sikhs in History 2010”, page 242 Quotes. “It was mainly because of Gandhi’s pressure that the Government of India, the new Punjab Governor, Sir Chandu Lal Trivedi, on October 10, 1947, got issued a confidential policy letter to all Deputy Commissioners (Dist. Collectors) and Superintendents of police in East Punjab. It said “The Sikhs were a lawless people and was thus a menace to the law abiding Hindus in the province.” It called upon them to take “special measures” against the Sikhs.
Then the water flowing in the rivers, canals and electricity produced in Punjab was denied to meet the requirements of Punjab itself, purposely to convert the lands barren, to break the backbone of the Sikhs as majority of them were farmers. To curtail the number of Sikhs in defense and sports, a policy was framed to recruit proportionate to the population. To destroy the Sikhs after the misrepresented and most maligned Anandpur Sahib Resolution, agitation against emergency, Operation Blue Star and several other operations, in addition to genocide a long range policy is devised, by utilizing our religious preachers and leaders as affective and unquestionable tools for diverting our attention and funds. We are made to adopt the destructive projects of Five Star Culture in every respect, by reconstructing fabulous structures and exorbitant celebrations, Langars etc., in personal and Panthic life. All of our historical sites were demolished in the name of Kar Seva for constructing new structures.
A new wave in the name of Satkar (respect), the cremation of used and slightly spoiled few pages of Shri Guru Granth Sahib, Gurmukhi literature and most valuable manuscripts have been started. Whereas all other communities preserve, read, understand and follow their Scriptures. Instead of reading and understanding Gurbani, we have been dragged far away in the name of Simran (chanting of name), which does not have any sanction of the Gurbani. While all other communities are run by “Brain Power”, our community has been gradually dragged down by “Religious Emotions” and misleading slogans. We are made so addicted for celebrations with unwarranted lavish pomp and show that we have lost the vision to look after the needs of our deserving fellow people which form the “Guru Panth”.
The Sikhs from the topper position among all and their Homeland Punjab among all States in every field, Punjab has been converted by all the political parties into nothing but a GRAVE YARD OF SIKHISM. You cannot name any drug or intoxicant which is not freely available in Punjab. Instead of water, liquor is flowing in this land of rivers. As Dr. Sir Mohammad Iqbal has rightly said :-
Mashware yeh ho rahey hain baghbano mein
temhen barbad kardalen tumhare ashiyano mein.
mSvry ieh ho rhy hYN bwZbwnoN myN,
qumhyN brbwd krfwlyN qumhwry AwiSAwnoN myN[
In the present circumstances, I would like to draw your kind attention towards our responsibility to look after your own dependents, towards whom you have the first and foremost charge. After your own children to some extent, the other family and community members, afterwards the turn of serving the society comes. If you serve the society first then who is going to take care of your children?
Let us introspect between the poor and deserving, then decide for properly using our limited sources, shall we help the poor or the deserving? There is difference between these two. The poor may not deserve and the deserving may not be poor. Let us decide on priority of awarding benefit so as to make them worthy, respectable in the society and becomes able to serve others. The selection should be carefully made of the talented, who can bring good results, as betting on the prospective winning horse is done and not on all the participating horses. The attitude like distributing Kadah Pershad to all should not be applied here; otherwise it is nothing but dumping your precious sources on the lot of debris.
In other words, it is observed that in the name of good education to all, we are spending a lot of money which is increasing the school drop outs. Let us also introspect what for are we funding? Subsequently what is the output? If any of our exercise does not produce competitive personnel, we should not be complaisant that this would be doing some or other service to the society. In other words, you may be just increasing the number of unemployed. We don’t have the means of our self grooming the youth; we may counsel them to avail the facilities provided by the Governments.
Regarding unemployment, the Times of India, Hyderabad, of October 10, 2015, has reported that in Vishakhapatnam of Andhra Pradesh, for the 6 posts of watchman for which no educational qualification is required, 2,000 candidates had applied; among whom 338 are M.B.A. and B.Tech.
For God’s sake, please stop helping all and sundry en masse, irrespective of merits, making them beggars holding beggar bowls. Their hands are strong, hard working and skilled than most of us. For wise parents, all the children are equal, and they don’t discriminate or differentiate among them. But they definitely focus and concentrate on the child which requires more of their attention for various reasons.
What they require is proper counseling to achieve the target. We should not forget that the Governments with their perennial sources and funds could not eradicate poverty among them, then how can we attempt that? By providing some financial support or facilities, it is absolutely a myth that we can change their living standards. Instead of spending on the lot, select and choose right from the primary schools some meritorious students, spend sufficient money on their total requirements, on extra coaching, day to day counseling and guide them for selecting the appropriate and correct career according the individual’s capacity and intellectual level in any field of life. The world has become extremely competitive, such as examinations for selections in State, foreign and indigenous scholarships for studies within the country and abroad, admissions in prestigious educational courses and services, sports or other skills, so that they can bring laurels for themselves and for the community. This helping an individual student will eradicate poverty from one family and subsequently the others will follow his precedence to become successful. Moreover, this benefitted person will also help other community people as his obtained position is from your assistance. He could never forget that this could happen only due to the help of his community people which was otherwise not possible. By this way you are creating a correct person as a Missionary, who will serve his community more aggressively than any other dedicated and devoted person.
3-Few Outstanding Stars
One of my friends Sardar M. P. Singh of Delhi’s car driver Ravinder of Ranikhet village of Uttra Khand’s son is pursuing school studies on scholarship in Singapore. One of my friend Sardar Sarabjeet Singh Renuka of Ludhiana’s daughter Jalnidh Kaur got scholarship of 50 lakhs to study M. Phil., in University of Oxford for 2 years and another Hyderabad friend Sardar Gurdeep Singh Sahini’s daughter Aman Deep Kaur got a scholarship of 80 lakhs for doing Ph. D. in Australia, for 3 years.
It may not be out of place to remind that among the candidates selected for the prestigious I.A.S., some were from Urdu, Punjabi, Telugu and other regional languages. Out of the sponsored candidates by our Guru Nanak Dev Educational Trust, Hyderabad, from the remote villages, who had schooling and Intermediate (plus two) in Telugu medium, have obtained high positions in the Government, needs to be mentioned. One is serving as Dy. Executive Engineer. From the Banjara Sikhs, one is a Dy. Civil Surgeon and another is Drugs Inspector. From the Sikligar Sikhs one is a Senior Lecturer in Government Polytechnic. Why we should not select handful talented candidates to prepare from out of the lot towards achieving much higher results?
4-Unemployment among Sikhs
Now the self styled religious and political leaders have become icons, setting aside the fundamental religious beliefs. Particularly the Sikhs are kept away from their Scriptures and a common Sikh is not bothered to read and follow it, but vehemently inclined to follow the customs introduced by vested interest. The priesthood system of befooling the devotees and extortion of money out of religious customs which has utterly smashed Hinduism and condemned by Sikh ideology is governing in all affairs of the Sikhs. The hard earned money, which is supposed to be spent on their personal development or for extending helping hand to the fellow beings, is criminally wasted in exhibiting riches in false ego of pomp and show to project superiority over the others. Otherwise these funds should have been spent for bringing up their own children at excellent level and make the parents and the community proud.
According to the NSSO a government survey release, during 2009-10 unemployment was highest among Sikhs. Among communities, unemployment increased only among Sikhs, and not in any other community. At the same time most unfortunately, per capita spending was highest among Sikhs. At the all-India level, the average monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE) of Sikh households was Rs 1659. This is by taking average, covering a few super rich among huge multitude in abject poverty.
According to comprehensive data available for 2012 National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB),
at least 13 kinds of different drugs are being smuggled. As per the state wise data Punjab has emerged at the top position with 10,220 registered cases in 2012.
5-Conversion of Sikhs
Most of the common Sikhs are living around the poverty line. They cannot dream of educating their children, and are prone for conversion in other religions due their attractive incentives, moral support and welcoming by that community people.
We have closed our eyes from the incidences of conversion due to our negligence. In the month of November 2008, 35 young Sikhs from Fateh Gadh Sahib, Punjab, became Christian Preachers, where 2 infant Chote Sahibzade, sacrificed their life for upholding the honour and concept of Sikhi. This happened after their representations failed to get redress their socio-religious and economic problems by the leadership and individuals of the community.
Subsequently, in March 2012, another batch of 40 Sikh youth embraced Christianity from a village Dhotian in Tarn Taran district. It should be noted that Taran taran district has the highest Sikh population among all the districts of Punjab followed by Amritsar at 87%. There are 31 Gurdwaras in this village and one historical shrine. Langar is daily served in the village’s large Gurdwara, but the Mazhabi Sikhs or so-called scheduled castes Sikhs are refused entry. The ‘Mazhabi’ Sikhs in the village had great number of freedom fighters. This shows negligence from our own people, and how Sikhs are being aggressively converted into Christianity by brain washing and lucrative incentives in their own home land of Punjab itself. Whereas, by converting into Christianity they will be losing Scheduled Caste Status and benefits, which they are entitled by remaining in their birth caste or converting into Sikhism. Most unfortunately, none of our workers or organisations are working to deliver at least the government benefits, leave aside helping them from own sources. Let us frankly admit that, we have utterly failed to retain them in Sikh fold and resist their conversions to other religions even in other parts of the country also. Figures from other parts of country are not available with me.
6-Poorest of the poor
I will quote just a few examples of other people working on the project of ending poverty among the poorest of the poor such as labours, rickshaw pullers and doing other menial jobs etc. Talents do exist among them, but it is a matter of searching and supporting them. For example, only one single person’s brain child and sponsored by a mathematician Anand Kumar’s Super 30 in Patna, Bihar, is a model serving since 2002 for such candidates. He gives free boarding, lodging and coaching to 30 candidates every year for admissions in to highly prestigious IIT-JEE (Advanced) entrance test. This year 2015, 25 out of 30 students have cracked the exam. Following this precedence a former DGP Abhayanand’s Rahmani 30, started exclusively for Muslims, which had 15 achievers out of 21 aspirants in 2015.
In the last couple of months, Mansa India, Delhi, administered its internationally recognized IQ test to over 4,000 underprivileged children as part of a unique project aimed at identifying and mentoring poor children with high IQ. They conduct an aptitude test in Class X to determine their strengths and the kind of vocations they are likely to excel in and do all help to realize their dreams to the end. Interestingly one selected girl posed a question, what to fill in the address column, as she lives in the street.
7-Regarding the poverty
Regarding the poverty, more than two third of the population comprising of any religious group is poor. Particularly the Sikhs are the worst hit and over estimated people. The rich among them do not want to come out of their Ivory Towers. So far, I could not understand how they don’t observe to see the Amritdhari and Kirpandhari Sikhs among the child labor, labor in every phase of life, rickshaw pullers, drivers, porters on the railway platforms and air ports etc. Poverty is international phenomena; I have seen native people begging in the cities of U.S.A. and U.K., such as London and New York etc.
I would like to share one precious experience with you. I have been representing before the Andhra Pradesh Backward Classes Commission to include Sikligar community in the list of backward classes. In the process, the Commission used to visit different places for hearing and verification of the facts. When I tried to find out about its visit at Nizamabad by the then chairman, Justice Puttu Swamy, he said, “Nobody came to represent, but when we went for a morning walk, in the surroundings of guest house we were astonished to see their living conditions. I know the Sikh people spent crores of rupees on festivals and buildings, but I could not understand how such a rich community ignores their own people?” Ultimately, in January 2006, the Sikligar community is included in the list of Backward of State and Central Backward Classes. This situation is not confined to this particular group of community only. Most of the common Sikhs are also living around the poverty line.
8-Present day condition
If we don’t have any plans for our community, at least we can observe and follow the strategy of the Muslims and Jains. How they are gaining power and favor from all corners and developing their community? The remarkable present situation is that the Communist parties and infamously known anti-Muslim party of BJP is competing with the Congress to woo the Muslims. The B.J.P. has dropped the agenda of construction of “Ram Mandir” at Ram Janam Bhumi of Ayodhiya in its 10 points election manifesto, released on April 3, 2009. They declared, “On the Ram temple issue, the BJP must end confusion and continue with the position that it will respect the opinion of the courts”. Whereas the same BJP a coalition partner of the Akali Dal Government in Punjab is destroying the Sikhs by interfering in their religious places and diluting the philosophy for assimilation into the Hindu folds.
9-What to do?
The worst treatment meted out to our younger generation in the past, is responsible for their attitude to leave this country. But now the situation has been turned around. The policy for appeasing Muslims in the name of minorities included Sikhs throughout the country. This has opened a new chapter for overall development of the Sikhs right from getting free education from 1st standard to Ph. D. level. And for doing any sort of business, the Minorities Finance Corporations are established all over the country to give subsidy up to the extent of 60% of the loan amount (not to be returned) and the loans are granted on easy terms at lesser rate of interest.
But who should educate them how to avail? It is important need of the hour that we should appoint liberally paid counselors to educate and work for our people to approach them at their doorstep, fill up their applications, and follow-up the process in the offices.
10-Nanak Naam Leva
I would like to share a few words for your serious and deep introspection about the new terminology used about the “Nanak Naam Leva Communities” said to be Sikligars, Banjaras, Lubanas and Satnamis etc., with an imaginary count of 18 crores. I say so, because there is no official census or our own research on this subject, but it is just repetition of some body’s brain child.
Basically I am a public worker and a social scientist, engaged with several other societies also. I would like to share my personal and practical experience. Since more than half a century, I have been working with these people at grass-roots level that is right from their hutments. I have seen their entire family sleeping in a tinny hutment, in which even legs could not stretch. Let us distinguish the fact about the religious faith of these people; Sikligars are the Keshadhari Sikhs for generations. No doubt, the Lubanas, Banjaras and Satnamis etc., are Hindus and who ever embrace Sikhism is a Sikh otherwise not.
My humble submission, without the fear of any contradiction is that, to designate all persons of these communities as Sikhs, is nothing but a gimmick. You can see lakhs and lakhs of Hindus and some unfortunate Sikhs also going to the Tombs of Muslim saints across the country, they even outnumber the Muslims. Nobody says they are Muslims. They come there as it is their belief that they get Godly boons and gifts from that sacred place. I have never come across any Muslim extending help towards them believing them to be Muslims. It is mandatory for the Muslims to give charity as Zakat and Fitra at their festival Id-ul-Fittr (Ramazan) to the only Muslim. This cannot be given even for the Mosque, its maintenance and salaries. It is mandatory for the Christians to give 10 percent tithe of everything they earned to the local church, and/or ministries and missions. (Naturally this is spent for Christianity)
In view of the teachings of Shri Guru Granth Sahib and Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji that, serving the Sikhs should be our priority. We have to keep in mind that the people belonging to Sikh faith are our responsibility. We have to look after them out of our Guru Ka Daswandh Funds. It is Guru’s treasury; it cannot be used according to our will and pleasure, to appease everybody nor to project our personal image. Nowadays it has become a trend and fashion to follow the tradition unmindfully. The Sikh in Sikhi Saroop (looking like a Sikh) is our charge, by ignoring our own people, how could we spend our Daswandh Funds on the people of other faith?
11-Sikh da munh
As a conviction of Sikh philosophy and in accordance with the teachings of earlier and later Gurus, Shri Guru Hargobind Sahib has said, “Sikh da munh-Guru di golak”. It is also reiterated and documented in the Sikh Rehat Maryada, “Garib (poor) da Munh-Guru di Golak”. This document is meant for the Sikhs and has to be followed by the Sikhs hence it can only mean “Garib Sikh da Munh”. But unfortunately without applying mind for the accurate interpretation with reference to the original text and also for appeasing the non-believers, we have silently allowed to be twisted it as “Garib da munh-Guru di Golak” for general purpose of the garib of rest of the world. Thus, this attributed statement “Garib da munh” is a violation of the letter and spirit of the philosophy and traditions and is its clear distortion.
In Ardas, we first ask all boons for the Sikhs only. At the conclusion we say:-
“nwnk, nwm cVHdI klw, qyry Bwxy srb`q dw Blw”
Nanak, Naam chadh di kala, Tere bhane sarbat da bhala
This means, Nanak Says, the Name of God should ever prevail. In His Will all should be benefited. In view of the above quotations, let us rethink the interpretation of “Sarbat da bhala”, and stop neglecting our own Sikh brethren who have the first charge on our charities.
The Government of India Census Report 2011, regarding literacy rate of religions is still under tabulation. Let us see the 2001 report. According to it, Jains are having 94.1% literacy rate at the top of the country and holding the key positions in all Governmental organizations though the most prosperous business community. From the beginning, the Jains were pleading for minority status at par with Buddhists and Sikhs, and got it now. On the other hand; the Sikhs are at 4th position with 62.16% literacy rate in the country, and still lower in Punjab at 4th position with 58.67%.
Let us introspect, where the Sikhs stand? The Sikhs are not counted to appear on higher posts or otherwise in any establishments to rule, within the Governments, policy makers, sports and defense services. Last but not least, now we have realized our deficiency in literacy and a welcome trend has evolved to work for educating our people. But the quantity of education among the masses is not the guarantee for the development of the community, while quality of higher education is essential for it? For progress of the community, the chosen outstanding among the children are required to be trained specially. We should pick up them while in early age, give special attention for their extra coaching in education or sports, try to meet their coaching and personal requirements if necessary so that they may totally and absolutely devote themselves for achieving the targets in this most competitive world and bring laurels to the community. This is the only way left for us to bring the Sardari and Sahebi of the dreams of Shri Guru Gobind Singh ji for Panth Di Chadhdi Kala. The names attributed to the Punj Piyaras could not be their early names as described by some historians, as they are the qualitative names in sequence of Gurmat. 1- Daya (compassion), 2- Dharam (righteousness), 3- Himmat (courage), 4- Mohkam (consistency) and the 5th Sahib (master). The names inspired the qualities to be cultivated among “Wahguru Ji Ka Khalsa”. The sequence of the names given by the Guru Sahib is indicative of the progressive transformation of character in a Sikh ending with Sahib “The Master”.
13-How to Achieve?
Today’s burning topic of the country is the ongoing agitations for inclusion of the communities in the list of Backward and Scheduled Castes for getting the benefits for their communities. This new wave recently started with of the Gujjar community’s claim for inclusion in the list of Scheduled Tribes, which took more than 50 lives and crores of private and government properties were lost. The agitation was started in Rajasthan, and spread in other states. Haryana has started agitation for inclusion of “Jaat community” and now in Gujrat the “Patel Community” is agitating on war footing. From this we can understand the importance and benefits of getting reservations for the community’s welfare.
Our problem is that we are neither aware of utilizing the privileges we are rightly entitled nor we try to get acquainted with any such information which the government is providing to the general public for which we the Sikhs are also entitled. In Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Delhi, some of the communities of Sikhs are listed as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes. Throughout the country some of our communities are included in the list of Back Ward Classes, who are entitled for much higher amounts of scholarships than the minorities and better opportunities of admissions and services due to reservations. We are lacking any mechanism to propagate this boon, among our people nor we are bothered to make them avail the government facilities, which is our legitimate right.
14-Justice Sachar Committee’s report
The Justice Sachar Committee’s report of 2006 revealed astonishing facts about the Sikhs saying that, “The 61st Round Survey of The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO – organization in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation of the Government of India.) found that almost one-third that is 30.70% of the Sikhs in India belonged to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.”
Initially, when the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes were listed only from the Hindus and those who embraced Sikhism were kept out for enjoying the privileges. A strong agitation under the guidance of Master Tara Singh compelled the Government to change its stand. Now the Government of India and all State governments are extending the benefits to the category of such people of Hindus and Sikhs, and even to those Scheduled Castes who embrace Sikhism.
15-Availing the legitimate rights
Now let us analyze, what is wrong in availing the legitimate rights conferred to the needy sections of our society? It is a fact that begging is not existing in Sikhs all over the globe. At the same time you cannot deny that most of the Sikhs are living around the poverty line. Let us be realistic and come out of the false pride of our Sardaris. Treat all Sikhs religiously and socially as equal member of a single unit of yourself, without restraining the economically weak for availing the government benefits. Their right to avail the benefits conferred to the reserved categories is far better than given to the minorities.
This does not constitute begging or charity. It is a matter of right to be included as partners in development of the society and the nation at par with other deserving people of the country. This has to be availed leaving no stone unturned, from all sources at your disposal including tactful brinkmanship. It is known fact that the people who do not exercise their rights are presumed as ignorants and fools.
The Christian and Muslim institutions apart from their management, have constituted team of experts to get acquainted and update them in the matters of Government Schemes and appoint staff to follow-up. As such their institutions and individuals are the largest beneficiaries of the schemes. They acquire the funds from the Government and public and spend on their people and make money out of those prestigious institutions. Strangely most of the Sikh charitable institutions such as dispensaries, hospitals and educational institutions etc., are established and run by the donations of the Sikhs for the benefit of non Sikhs in the name of “Sarbat Da Bhala”. Let us learn the strategy of the other communities, how to deliver the benefits to our own people? And make sure to get elevated from the disgraceful 4th position of literacy to a higher position.
I would like to draw the attention of the leaders of our institutions towards a simple and basic point. They have to do it professionally having entered into it, by employing skilled staff, get acquainted and gain mastery in the subject. We should “Hire the Brains” for running our institutions. There is a need of appointing a social worker, correspondent or P.R.O. (public relations officer) to look after the interests of the institutions and spread awareness among the beneficiaries. Another important step should be taken to hold annual conference of the Sikh educational institutions for spreading awareness and to deliberate the confronting issues with open invitation to the institutions and interested individuals from nook and corner of the country to be benefitted by their vast and worthy experiences.
16-Plant the Tree of Treasure
I would submit that, if you extend monetary help to any Sikh, you are serving one person. But if you help to get a “Caste Certificate” for him/her to avail the reservation and other benefits, you are sowing a “Tree of Treasure” in the yard of their house. Don’t wait for others to come forward; you can do it alone, by approaching the candidates. To get certificate, contact the concerned clerk of the office of the Tehsildar, and study about the formalities to be completed. Do not dump bunch of applications, submit them separately on different dates. This revenue officer of their residential area is the only competent authority to issue certificate. If you face any hindrance, approach the elected representative of the area to get their work done. The local leader will invariably help you, as he also requires your help at the elections. Pease keep in mind that, no one can do better than what the local leader can do.
For honorable survival and progress in Indian democracy, the only way is to increase the strength of your vote, by enrolling in large numbers in the voters list, ensuring the casting of votes en bloc and to be seen standing at queues at polling booths. Once you make the leader realize your potential, his support towards you will automatically follow. In 2009, you have witnessed your strength of vote in Haryana, where the Congress Government was forced to declare Punjabi as the second official language of the State, after struggling 44 long years for this legitimate demand.
In view of the above facts, let us introspect where do the Sikhs stand? By closing our eyes from the happenings around, we should not continue to live in “Fools Paradise”. Let us resolve not to make any false claim of “Panth Di Chadh di kala” in the tone of our so-called leaders. In spite of our annual lavish spending crores of rupees of Daswandh (Guru’s Treasury), as the field workers let us realize the ground reality. The rigorous tragedy is, our daughters are being lifted by others and our sons are leaving the glorious and most modern religion of Sikhism. The Government of India Census Report 2011, shows us the mirror. It is revealed that the Sikhs saw the negative trend of growth in comparison to all other religious communities of the country. The Sikhs were 0.77 percent of India’s total population in 2001. But have decreased in 2011, and gone down to 0.7 percent.
When we are not able to hold our own youth in our fold then what is the fun of running after the other people in the name of “Nanak Naam Leva Communities”? The reason is quite simple; we have utterly failed to follow up and adopt the strategies of converting the people like the other do? Are we not criminally wasting our resources on them, neglecting our own people? Let us frankly realize our forgotten and neglected responsibility and give serious thought upon the issue of how to spend on the uplift and welfare of our community people to strengthen for the “Chadh Di Kala of the Guru Panth”, which could please our Guru? At least individually resolve and work for making our people feel “Proud to be a Sikh”, and adopt “Each one-Teach one” formula to brighten the future of the Panth.
I would like to quote a famous couplet of Dr. Sir Mohd. Iqbal, who has awakened the underdog Muslim community to become the incredible proud community of two sovereign countries in this subcontinent.
^udw ny Awj qk, aus kOm kI hwlq nhIN bdlI[
nw ho ijs ko i^Awl, ^ud ApnI hwlq ky bdlny kw[
Khuda ne aaj tak, us qaum ki halat nahin badly.
Na ho jis ko khiyal, khud apni halat ke badalne ka.
Nanak Singh Nishter, President,
Guru Nanak Dev Educational Trust,
E-mail: [email protected]
(Paper presented in a seminar on “Uplifting the Neglected Sections of Sikhs” on 14th& 15th November, 2015, organized by the Institute of Sikh Studies Chandigarh.)
Editor’s note: The views in this article are of the authors.