Every nation has its share of self-seekers. Individuals possessed with mammonistic ambitions never consider the irreparable damage that they cause to their nation or country merely to obtain temporary advantages. They even forget that their lust for power and pelf would inevitably recoil upon their own progeny. Being part of the nation, they too, one day, would have to suffer the consequences of the catastrophe wrought about by their inordinate greed. Ambition and avarice render them blind to such an extent that they fail to recognize the self-destructive demon propelling them to their own doom. No amount of pleas, entreaties, cautions or logic moves them. Ethics and morality touch not their souls. They invariably operate in a subtle and hypocritical manner, projecting themselves as champions of morality, lovers of liberty and crusaders for national glory. They create a halo around them and assume extremely amiable and altruistic postures. Very soft-spoken, apparently helpful, they climb up the social and political ladder and manipulate positions that can be profitably used to promote their private projects.

Sikh history is replete with instances where flourishing Sikh fortunes were ruinously reversed either through internal sabotage or through internacine quarrels and jealousies. Sikh leaders, especially after independence, have either played second fiddle to the congress or traded precious Sikh interests to secure small personal gains. Enemies of the Sikh nation operate by glorifying such villains and help in projecting them as true leaders of the Panth.

It was in such an atmosphere of utter degeneration that Sant Jarnail Singh emerged on the scene and with his supreme sacrifice exposed the duplicity and rapacious greed of the self-seekers.

His sacrifice demands of the Sikh intellectuals to discard their diffidence and indifference and involve themselves in a positive way to arrest and eliminate the rot. They must identify the knaves and mobilize Sikh Sangat to purge them from Sikh body politic. Their role assumes all the more urgency in the prevailing atmosphere where it has become difficult for an ordinary person to sift the grain out of the chaff. The atmosphere has been so confounding vitiated through rumours and fabrications that the credibility of every leader stands soiled. There is a systematic attempt to besmear even the best of the men so as to make the betrayers of the Panth less conspicuous.

The situation demands immediate attention. Sikh masses, particularly youth, will have to assert themselves and courageously challenge and defeat the scheming villains. Time for snobbish “unconcern” on the part of intellectuals and of idle spectators on the part of Sikh Sangat is over: They can indulge in these escapist exercises only at their own peril. They must act now and act effectively to rescue the nation from the mire of slavish mentality. They must help expose all those selfish leaders who refuse to learn any lesson even after the tragic and horrendous nightmare to which Sikhs were ruthlessly subjected by a disgustingly communal government.

Article extracted from this publication >>  June 14, 1985