SOCIAL EVILS TIME TO EXAMINE OURSELVES
I have read your editorial of May 1, 1987, and letter of Gumam Singh Brard published on May 15, 1985. But before going into the merits of campaign methods in Punjab, let us look at the situation here in the United States and Canada itself.
We have no dearth of education about the serious consequences of drinking. For example, it is a well published fact that during the 10 years of Vietnam War, 45,000 USS. soldiers were killed, but during the same 10 years, 274,000 US. citizens died in accidents involving alcohol. We also know:
that long term effects of alcohol include liver damage, heart disease and brain damage. It was perhaps due to these personal and social damaging effects of alcohol and other intoxicants which were foreseen by our reverend Gurus that they completely forbade the Sikhs against their use.
But dear Editor, I am pained to observe that while we are applauding or at least tolerating even the violent methods adopted by our Sikh brothers in Punjab, against this evil, but we do not care to adopt even a social attitude against this habit amongst ourselves.
I know many cases where even Amritdhari Sikhs are offering free alcohol at their parties. At those parties, I have seen well respected Sikh gentlemen drunk to the hilt and almost unable to hold their bodies or their mouths. Sometimes these people do not hesitate from drinking even within the boundaries of holy places. I am sure your readers know many more such glaring and sacrilegious examples where alcohol and other intoxicants are being freely indulged in by Sikh youth and Sikh gentlemen and in some cases even Sikh ladies. Why do we not do something against this evil among ourselves. . The least we can do is to ask at least the Amritdhari Sikhs not to host or participate in a party where alcohol is being used or is likely to be used. Next thing we can doisto show films and distribute education materials to the Sikh masses (freely available in all major cities). Our lecturers and Priests should also make it a special point to frequently emphasize the taboos enunciated by our religion against the use ‘of intoxicants.
I will be looking forward to some kind of mass movement where Sikhs in large numbers will be taking solemn oaths before Guru Granth Sahib to completely abandon their drinking habits (if they have it) or completely disassociate from the Sikh parties where alcohol is likely to be used.
Daljit Singh Topeka, Kansas
Article extracted from this publication >> July 3, 1987