By printing an article of Mr. Harkesh Singh Ahuja and a number of letters to support his viewpoint, you have tried to tell the readers only one side of the story. I strongly differ with him as his allegations against the Sikh leadership are baseless and his self-created theories on Sikhism and its roots are against the basic tenets of Sikhism. I would like to state as follows:
Nowhere in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji there are praises of the Hindu kings Rama & Krishna. The name Ram comes a number of times, which means the one who is present in every living creature God. In Guru Granth Sahib and in the Dasam Granth, God is remembered by a number of names which include the Moslem name Allah, Christian name Isa (Jesus Christ), and many other names. Sikhism has its own postulates and code of conduct and is a distinct and separate religion like any other religion. Guru Nanak clearly says, “Nahum Hindu na Musallmaan” We are neither Hindu nor Moslem. Therefore to say that Guru Nanak declared that “our salvation is in reciting Ram Nam” and interpreting Ram as the Hindu Avtar is absolutely wrong. Guru Nanak believes in Ram who is never born and the one who never dies. About the Ram of Ramayana, Guru Gobind Singh says, “Jo kaho Ram ajoni ajay att, kahey to Kaushal kookh jayo joo. 2’ meaning thereby” if you say that Ram is unconquerable and is free from the cycle of life & death, why then, he was born out of the womb of (his mother) Kaushalya.” Another point that Mr. Harkesh Ahuja has brought out that Guru Gobind Singh jee was a devotee of Rama was absolutely baseless. Perhaps Mr. Ahuja never read the Rama Avtar. Rama Avtar is simply a summarized translation of the story of Ramchandra written solely for historical interest and that does not make Guru Gobind Singh ji a devotee of Rama. The great Guru says in the daily evening prayer “Rehraas” “Ram, Raheem, Puran, Quoran, anek kahen, mat ek na maniyo” which means, “The theories & postulates of my belief are entirely different from that of Rama, Raheem, Puran and Quoran and others. I have nothing to do with what they say.” Just by writing a translation of the holy book of a religion one does not become a devotee of the hero of that book. Mr. Trump, a German scholar was the first one to translate Guru Sahib in a foreign language. Will you call him a follower or devotee of Guru Granth Sahib? No!.
Mr. Harkesh Singh, although admits that the Sikhs do not believe in caste system a system developed by the Hindu Shastras to divide the entire humanity into four Varnas, yet he goes on to derive a conclusion that Sikhs are closer to Hindus as they practice caste system. No, Mr. Ahuja this simply means that the influence of the majority community (Hindus) is so prevalent that the Sikhs follow it. Same is the reasoning for celebrating the Hindu festivals like Diwali, Rakhi, etc. Most of the Sikhs in U.S.A. and Canada keep Christmas trees in their houses and celebrate Christmas with their Christian friends. Would you say that the Sikhs of USA and Canada are closer to Christians?
Mr. Ahuja seems to be prejudiced against Moslems that is why he forgot a very common name Iqbal Singh derived from Moslem names. Although we have only a few names derived from Moslem names, but they are there. The reason for having so few such names is that most of the Sikh converts were from Hindu origin and that Sikhs mixed with Hindus mostly as Hindus were sup pressed community at that time.
Sikh leadership is right in saying that if the Sikh religion is closer to any religion; it is Islam and not Hinduism. The similarities are given below:
- I) Islam believes in One God unlike the belief of Hinduism
- ii) Islam does not believe in worshipping idols, whereas Hindu religion has a firm belief in idols and the Hindu temples keep Murtis of their various gods.
iii) Islam does not believe in caste system, whereas the foundation of Hinduism is based on caste system (Varnasharam) The yard stick by which Mr. Ahuja wants to measure the quality and calibre of the Sikh leaders, he will probably disqualify our Gurus because they never attended any school or university. Mr. Ahuja has not listened to the tapes of our late Jarnial Singh Bhindrawaley, who has very clearly mentioned in his tape to punish the culprits irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. Punishment is decided in the courts and enforced by the governments and to blame the Sikh leadership for not doing anything about it is absolutely wrong & foolish.
Another advise of Mr. Ahuja to the Sikhs to break the silence and speak out against the Sikh leaders, when he himself, in his own words, “became sick & tired” and “stopped going to Gurdwara and set up my own Maharaj di Bed in my house” is hypocritical. If the idea of Khalistan is so silly, why “Raj karega Khalsa aki rahey na koeay” is recited at every Gurdwara ever since the times of Guru Gobind Singh jee?
Sikh scriptures teach us to treat every human being the same way irrespective of his/her caste, creed or religion and any preferential treatment to any religion or faith is against the basic tenets of our religion. Therefore we cannot take Mr. Ahuja’s advice to make special efforts to improve relations with Hindus. We have never broken our relations with anyone and so the question of improving relations does not arise. We have spoken truth and we will keep following that path.
I would like to advise Mr. Ahuja to go through the Sikh scriptures (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji) and study Sikh history before writing an article about the Sikh Nation as misquotes will not be able to solve any problems.
Article extracted from this publication >> August 16, 1985