Dr. Jagjit Singh Chohan Dear Sir:
I have read with keen interest your article on Rashid Akhtar Nadvi’s book, Aurangzeb, published in your issue for 10 to 23 December, 1987.
While joining you in the condemnation of the aspersions cast by Mr. Nadvi on our Gurus, I must express my disagreement with the conclusions implied by the questions posed by you by way of introduction to the article.
I seek the courtesy of your columns to voice this disagreement and hope that you will extend to me the right to reply, and give my reply the same prominence as was given to your questions. (You have, anyway, asked the questions and must, therefore, accommodate the reply as well.)
- You have asked if Pakistan is a friend or foe of the Sikhs struggling for freedom. I don’t think that ‘writings by one person can reflect the attitude of entire nation. There are some among the Sikhs who oppose the freedom struggle and advocate loyalty to their tormentors, the Hindu fascists. But this does not mean that they represent the views of the entire Sikh nation, or even of sizeable section of it. As the saying goes, one swallow does not make the summer. How can, then, we brand an entire nation as our enemy simply because a few misguided individuals say unsavory things about our Gurus? How can we ignore the fact that several Muslim saints were close friends and disciples of our Gurus? How can we ignore the truth that the foundation stone of the holiest of our shrines, the Golden Temple at Amritsar, was laid by a Muslim saint, Mian Mir? How can we ignore the fact that the people of Pakistan accord us warm welcome ‘whenever we go to that country on pilgrimages to the holy shrines at Lahore, Nankana Sahib and elsewhere? When judging the attitude of a nation towards us, we must weigh the isolated matters like the book in question against the mass of positive things like the ones cited above. A fair assessment of the facts in this manner will clearly show that the people of Pakistan are our natural allies.
- You have asked if the books like the one in question are creating bad blood against the Sikhs among the people of Pakistan. Of course, books like this are aimed at creating bad blood. But we should not forget the volumes being written by Pakistani writers to promote Sikh Muslim amity we should not fail to weigh the impact of the negative writings like the one by Mr. Nadvi against the volumes of positive writings by the fair minded writers in Pakistan, Singling out just one book to draw conclusions about our next door neighbors is irrational and insane.
- Your third question is based on a misunderstanding of the situation. God, not the United States, is the guardian and protector of. Pakistan. Pakistan was achieved in the) name of God Almighty, for the sole purpose of establishing a political entity in which the sole Master shall be God, not man and the 40 year history of Pakistan is replete with instances to show that she is protege of God, not the super powers of East or West. Similarly, Ganga Singh Dhillon and Deedar Singh Bains are not the “deserters of their homeland”, as you have put it. They are emigrants like your own good self. If coming to Britain is right for you, how can going to the U.S.A. be wrong for them? Thus, your assumption that will give joy to the USA, Mr. Dhillon or Mr. Bains, is as unfounded as your assertion that the USA is the “protector” of Pakistan and that Dhillon and Bains are “deserters of their homeland”. You have only to acquaint yourself with the proceedings of the US Congress to know that the American politicians have a high regard for the Sikh nation. You have only to look back over the Sikh history since 1947 to understand that Dhillon and Bains are true patriots, struggling for the liberation of books like the one under reference their homeland.
- Your next question implies that the Pakistani support for Khalistan struggle is in retaliation for the Indian role in the creation of Bangladesh. This, too, shows your ignorance of the history of Khalistan movement. The movement started long before 1970. I, Mr. Dhillon, Mr. Bains and many others are on record as roponents of a sovereign Sikh state, long before the people of East Pakistan started their struggle for succession and the people of Pakistan are on record as being sympathetic towards our struggle from the very beginning. Should we not, then, conclude that the Indian role in the creation of Bangladesh was in retaliation to the attitude of Pakistanis towards our struggle not the other way round, as you have suggested.
- Your last question is whether or not anybody in India could dare write books insulting the Sikh Gurus. Invite you to read Satyara the Parkash by Swami Daya Nand, which describes Guru Nanak Dev ji as “ignorant”, “uncouth” and “ignorant”. The matter does not end with writing alone —— this venomous and slanderous book enjoys the status of ‘a sacred scripture of the ruling Hindu fascists. Do you need any further evidence to show the Hindu fascists encourage, even revere, mudslinging on the Sikh Gurus?
You have added the comment that answers to your questions will make our intellect sharper than our zeal for freedom. J hope that the above replies will sharpen your intellect, helping you see the fallacy in your zeal for supporting the Enemy Number One of the Sikhs Hindu fascism.
Article extracted from this publication >> February 12, 1988