RELIGION AND POLITICS IN SIKHISM
ALTHOUGH all religions have the same goals, yet each religion has different practice based on the best path perceived by their founding prophets. Sikhism is unique in more than one way probably because it is the most modern (15th century) of all major religions.
Sikhism has never believed in making converts (by force or by coercion) since it believes that all religions, when truly followed, lead one to the final goal like different solutions to the same problem some short and some simple; others elaborate and lengthy.
Sikhism has also professed direct communication between Man and God (without the Pundit; the Mulla or the Padri). It is a democratic religion in which the Tenth Guru showed how to be a GURU and CHELA (follower).
In the same way Sikhism also professes another concept which was practiced by more than one Guru. The Saint Soldier. A true saint must be capable of defending his faith with physical force if necessary. Otherwise he will always live the life of a slave under attack from Mahmood Gazni, Aurangzeb or Ahmed Shah Abdali. A religion which practices acceptance of INJUSTICE, SLAVERY, OPPRESSION OF THE WEAK, DISCRIMINATION, TYRAN— NY, and VIOLATION OF BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS does not score high on any scale.
How true that Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And how true that the Politics is the last refuge of a scoundrel. It is, therefore, not surprising that those in power doses Saint Soldier as a potential threat. This is exactly the cause of all the commotion on the part of the tooling leadership in India when dealing with the Sikhs.
If religion was practiced in politics, the power will not then corrupt and the rulers will be God fearing, fair and kind to their population like Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Well that is Sikhism. If Hinduism does not believe in these values so be it. That is why Sikhism is a different religion. It is not a subject for a public opinion poll whether religion and politics should go together. It will be like taking a poll to determine if Sikhs should continue keeping long hair since times have changed and Aurangzeb.is long dead.
It will go a long way if Sikhs were spared the unwelcome suggestions on Sikh principles from non-Sikhs. It is rightly being seen~ as wolf making suggestions to a lamb on the food value of eating meat.
Joginder S. Ahluwalia Windsor, Ct.
Article extracted from this publication >> March 27, 1987