I have been asked whether I support the idea of a separate Sikh state. I neither support it nor oppose it. How can a community that has contributed so much to the struggle for their country’s freedom wish it to be fragmented? The decision is really for the Government of India and Mrs. Gandhi to make. Do they want people with turbans to remain with them? We want to live in India. The Center should tell us whether they want us to stay with them or not. If they want us to stay with them, they must give us our rights in line with the sacrifices we have made. We will not stand up on a stage and ask for Khalistan but if the Central Government gives it to us, we shall take it. We shall not repeat the mistakes of 1947. It is the responsibility of the Central Government. They can keep us with them or call us ‘extremists’ and separate us from India.


The Sikh religion is a prophetic religion founded by the Sikh Gurus. It has nothing to do with Hinduism and Islam. Guru Gobind Singh required Khalsa to be ‘Niara’ meaning ‘distinct’. In another reference the words used are ‘Panth Nirala’ again meaning different. Our scripture is different from Hindu scriptures. There is no provision in any Hindu scripture for the salvation of Muslims and low caste Hindus. There is no provision in the Koran for the salvation of the non-Muslims. In our scriptures, all are welcome. The Sikh scripture includes the compositions of Brahmins, Muslims, and numerous other denominations and castes. Sikh places of worship have four doors symbolic of the four different castes among Hindus, four classes among Muslims, four stages in human life, the four directions etc. They symbolize equality, unity and free admission to all. The Hindu women cannot wear the symbols of the Hindu religion. The Muslim women cannot do the pilgrimage to Mecca and must be in purdah when praying in the mosque. In contrast, Sikh women pray alongside of men and are their equal in every way. In all religions, you can pray at the place of worship but to get food from there, you might have to pay. The Sikh religion is unique in that the Sikh places of worship run free kitchens open to everyone regardless of religious affiliation, caste, age, sex, nationality, etc. The Sikh religion is unique in that it requires its adherents to bear arms and be ready to protect the weak and the innocent, to defend the scripture, and to defend the honor of women whether Sikh or not. When questioned about a religious person bearing arms, Guru Gobind Singh replied, ‘“‘I am the son of a kshatri not a Brahmin.’”’


 I urge you to devote yourselves to the study of Guru Granth Sahib (The Sikh scripture regarded as the living Guru by the Sikhs); to keep your hair unshorn; to bear arms for the defense of the oppressed and the weak, the scripture, and the honor of women; to take ‘Amrit’ and become Khalsa; to be devoted to Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple); to assemble under the Nishan Sahib (the flag of the Sikh religion) and live and work in cooperation; to be careful about person who believe in any human being as a guru, who hanker after political offices and gains from serving the rulers, and those who suck the blood of (torture) martyrs. Try to save the persons who the Government of India wishes to destroy, and those who are at present suffering at the hands of the Government.


To the Muslim, there is nothing beyond Mecca; to the Sikh there is nothing beyond Harmandir Sahib. Should the Government, in their folly, invade the Golden Temple, do not wait for instructions from me or from Sant Longowal or anyone else. You know what you should do. You will at once avenge the sacrilege by punishing those responsible for the invasion. You will also punish those who celebrate the invasion.

Article extracted from this publication >> March 8, 1985