In the context of the history of the Indian subcontinent, the Sikh Gurus are the first known true practitioners of the creed of nonviolence as an instrument for seeking social change and justice.
Guru Arjan (5th Guru) was the first to willingly submit to physical torture at the hands of the State’s agents rather than give in to blackmail to change the truth written in the Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs. He showed that nonviolent protest is the right philosophy which everyone could practice. Next, it was Guru Teg Bahadur (9th Guru) who also followed the path of nonviolence, Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded on Emperor Aurangzeb’s (the 6th Mughal) orders for refusing to yield on the question of the rights, especially of Hindus, for freedom of belief, worship and practice of religion.
Contrary to popular belief nonviolence was not the finding of Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi. He took his inspiration from the Sikh Gurus (without giving any credit to them). To say that Mr. M. K. Gandhi was the father of nonviolence is a misstatement indicating a lack of familiarity with the history of the Subcontinent.
In accordance with the nonviolence teachings of the Sikhs Gurus and in order to seek justice, since 1947 (past 38 years) the Sikhs have been pressing the Indian Government for peaceful settlement of various religions, economic and political demands. The response by the Indian Government has been completely in conflict with the legacy left by Mr. Gandhi. Last June Mrs. Indira Gandhi unleashed the full might of the Indian armed forces against the Sikhs resulting in killing of thousands of innocent pilgrims in the Golden Temple complex at Amritsar. Did the Sikhs realize that nonviolence, as practiced by Mr. M. K. Gandhi, worked only because it was against British who are a reasonable and civilized people and not someone who is very dictatorial and authoritarian like the government led by Mrs. Indira Gandhi? AT LEAST MRS. GANDHI SUCCESSFULLY MANAGED TO PROVE ONE THING. NONVIOLENCE HAS NO PLACE IN MODERN DAY INDIA EVEN THOUGH THE CREED ORIGINATED THERE.
Article extracted from this publication >> June 28, 1985