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Sikh History
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Namdharis/Kookeh cont'd

The Namdhari movement was not only a Sikh religious and spiritual movement, but a highly political institution. The Namdharis, like the Nihangs of the time also believed in overthrowing the British in the Punjab.

With this goal in mind, Baba Ram Singh commanded his followers to:

1. Boycott all government services.
2. Boycott all government institutions
3. Boycott of courts of law, and advocated settlement of disputes in village councils - the ‘Panchyats’ (a ruling body of five selected individuals).
3. Boycott of foreign goods, and call to people to use indigenous goods and clothing only.
4. Boycott British postal services and other means of British introduced communication.
5. Boycott of railways.

The British began to note the anti-Raj activities of the Namdharis. On 3rd July 1863, the British ordered the confinement of Ram Singh to Bhaini Sahib. Ram Singh then inaugurated five ‘Subas’ (lieutenants) to spread the Namdhari message.

The inevitable Namdhari conflict with the British came in 1871.

Namdharis/Kookeh cont'd

In India, the cow has always been considered a sacred animal. During the times of the Sikh Raj, the killing of cows was punishable by death.

Within ‘Ugardanti Bani’ found within Dasam Guru Durbar, Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh speaks of destroying the ‘Malesh’ (foreigners) who kill cows. The ‘Ugardanti Bani’ is part of Akali Nihang and Namdhari daily liturgy.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh
During his reign, the killing of cows was subject to capital punishment, circa mid 19th century

To this day, all Chatka-eating Sikhs do not eat beef. In the USA however, some Sikhs, attempting to make concessions to American culture have begun to consume beef. As the British came to power in Punjab during 1849, they decided to apply a ‘divide and conquer’ policy and utilized the medium of cow slaughter to split the Muslims from the Hindus and Sikhs. In Amritsar itself, a slaughterhouse was opened adjacent to the clock tower near the Golden Temple where Muslim butchers began to slaughter cows. As beef began to be sold in Punjab for the first time for over half a century, conflict arose between the Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. Birds of prey began to carry carrion and bones away from the slaughterhouses and this would occasionally drop within the holy precincts of the Golden Temple and other nearby Hindu temples. The Sikh and Hindu priests were infuriated at this, and began to protest to the authorities. The British Governor of Punjab ignored these protests.

The Namdharis, fired up by the zeal of a new reformist movement decided to take matters into their own hands, and on 14th July 1871, a handful of Namdhari fanatics attacked a slaughterhouse in Amritsar known to be killing cows. Four Muslim butchers were killed, and three others injured. The cows were set free. The governors of Punjab were caught completely unaware of this dramatic act of violence and the superintendent of police in Jullandar, Mr Christie, was entrusted to investigate this incident. Mrs Beant Kaur, a noted Namdhari historian states:

‘…. . the police suspecting the band of local people in these killings arrested some of the Nihangs of the Golden Temple and the local Hindus. They were tortured and made to confess their guilt, though they were innocent. After a simple trial, the Session judge convicted the innocent people to death sentence.’
‘The Namdhari Sikhs’, by Beant Kaur, Pa. 25

The Namdharis who had carried out the raid returned to Bhaini Sahib where Baba Ram Singh persuaded them to have themselves to the authorities in order to prevent the British from targeting innocent individuals. The Namdharis obeyed their Satguru and of the six that handed themselves in, four - Lehna Singh, son of Musadha Singh of Amritsar, Fateh Singh, Hakam Singh and Beehla Singh were hanged to death on 15th September 1871 in Ram Bagh in Amritsar. The remaining two of the six Namdharis, Lehna Singh, son of Bullacka Singh, and Lal Singh Sepahi were exiled to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Another Jhanda Singh was hanged in connection with same incident a year later. Approximately a month after the above incident took place, another similar incident occurred in near the village of Raikot.

A group of Namdharis were passing a Gurdwara in Raikot, on their way to Bhaini Sahib when they were summoned by the local priests. The priests took the Namdharis to temple precincts where crows were seen to be dropping carrion. The Namdharis decided to spend the night there, and in the morning they attacked the local slaughterhouse and killed four Muslim butchers and seriously wounded seven others. These Namdharis were arrested and brought before the magistrate at the village of Bassin. On 5th August 1871, three Namdharis - Mastan Singh, Gurmukh Singh and Mangal Singh were hanged to death at Raikot. On 26th November 1871, two more Namdharis - Giani Rattan Singh of Mandi and Rattan Singh of Naiwala, who were innocent, but were considered associates of above hanged Namdharis, were also hanged to death in Ludihana.

Namdharis/Kookeh cont'd

Such incidents of violence brought the Namdharis to the full notice of the British rulers. Mr Macnab, in his government report against the Namdharis, advised the British rulers to deport Baba Ram Singh from the Punjab. Meanwhile, the British continued to encourage Muslim butchers to open slaughterhouses in the Punjab and increase the selling of beef. In January 1872, the Namdharis had gathered at Bhaini Sahib to celebrate Maghi.

A Gurmukh Singh of Farwahi village narrated to Sirdar Heera Singh a tale of how an ox had been deliberately slaughtered in his presence in Malerkotla, and how the police on this occasion used abusive language towards him.

Against the wishes of their Guru Ram Singh, the hot-headed militant Namdharis decided to attack the butchers at Malerkotla. On 13th January 1872, approximately 100 Namdhari fanatics, lead by Sirdar Heera Singh and Lehna Singh started from Bhaini Sahib for Malerkotla. Two Namdhari Sikh women, Bibi Ind Kaur and Bibi Khem Kaur, were also amongst them. Meanwhile Ram Singh sent his close companion, Lakha Singh, to warn the British commissioner of Ludihana about the impending action of his renegade followers.

On the way to Malerkotla, the Namdharis tried to steal horses and firearms from the local Sikh feudal chief of Malaudh, Sirdar Badan Singh. The Sikh chief, who according to some sources was initially willing to assist the Namdharis, opposed them, resulting in a fight that caused the death of two Namdharis. Four additional Namdharis were seriously injured. Unable to get any firearms from Malaudh, the Namdharis continued their journey which was now a further nine miles.

On 15th January 1872, the bloodthirsty Namdharis reached Malerkotla. At 7 am, the Namdharis attacked, and a bloody fight ensued between the forewarned police, and the Kooka fanatics. The police, who received eight causalities, was lead by an officer named Ahmed Khan. Seven Namdharis were killed, and as more police reinforcements arrived on the scene at midday, the remaining Kookas fled to the village of Rar.

As Kookas began to flee to their villages, the police pursued them and arrested 68 Kookas who were brought to the police station of Sherpur. On the evening of 15th January, the British deputy commissioner of Ludhiana, Mr. Cowen, also reached Malerkotla. On 16th of January, he summoned Baba Ram Singh from Bhaini Sahib to Malerkotla and released the 68 Kookas.

The two Namdhari women were amongst the arrested Kookas that Cowen had set free. From the remaining 66, 22 were seriously wounded. On 17th January 1872, the harsh Cowen, without any judicial process, ordered the barbaric execution of 49 Kookas by having them blown away by cannons.

Some sources state that one young Namdhari lad named Bishan Singh attempted to choke Mr Cowen but was pulled off and cut down with a sword. In this way, Cowen murdered 50 Kookas in all. Namdhari tradition records of how one Viriyam Singh, being too short, elevated himself by placing bricks under his feet so as he could be executed by cannon fire more efficiently. On 18th January 1872, in the presence of Mr Forsyth, another 16 Kookas were blown away by cannons as they sang hymns from Sikh scriptures.

During these killings, Baba Ram Singh was in the nearby village of Siar. On the night of 17th January, he and four companions - Sahib Singh, Lakha Singh, Jwahar Singh and Nanoo Singh, were arrested. They were sent under Gurkha guard, headed by Mr Jackson, to Allahabad prison where they were detained under the Bengal Regulation III act of 1818.

Soon after, seven more leading Namdharis were arrested and sent to Allahabad. On 10th March 1872, Baba Ram Singh, along with his personal attendant, Nanoo Singh, were sent by train from Allahabad to Calcutta. From there, at 7 pm. on 11th March 1872, they were shipped to Rangoon. Baba Ram Singh was interned in Rangoon till 18th Sept 1880. From there, he was shifted from prison to prison till he reached Murghuiat, a remote village in Burma. Baba Ram Singh died of diarrhea in prison on 29th November 1885. However, Namdhari Sikhs to this day vehemently believe he did not die there.

‘The British Government shifted Satguru Ram Singh Ji to Mergui on 21-9-1880, Satgur Ji made miraculous disappearance from the captivity of the British at Mergui on 21-11-1885. The Government could not trace him thereafter. The only escape left for the Government was to declare Satguru Ram Singh Ji dead. In this way, the prophecy of Satguru Ram Singh Ji made by him years before his banishment from Bhaini Sahib “The Government will falsely declare me dead. The fire cannot burn me, and water cannot drown me, I will come back in the same form. Do not believe that I am dead”, came out to be true. Satguru Gobind Singh Ji had prophesized in ‘Sau Sakhi’ that Satguru Ram Singh Ji would live for 250 years………The Namdhari Sikhs firmly believe that Satguru Ram Singh Ji is alive even today and as promised by him would re-appear again.’
‘The Namdhari Sikhs’, by Beant Kaur, Pa. 32&33

The Memorial erected at Malerkotla, Punjab, that commemorates the martyrdom
of the 66 Namdhari 'Shaheeds' (martyrs). The pillar is studded with 66 holes, one for each martyr

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sites of Sanatan Sikhs:




Results of 100 years of Tat Khalsa brainwashing:

While Bhai Gurdas himself says the following about cow slaughter in his Vaar on the traits of slanderers and apostates:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Vaar 17 Pauri 21 Counting the slanderers and apostates

Millions are slanderers, millions are apostates and millions of wicked persons are untrue to their salt.

Unfaithful, ungrateful, thieves, vagabonds and millions of other infamous persons are there.

Thousands are there who are slayers of Brahmin, cow, and their own family.

And Guru Amardas says:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If a Brahmin kills a cow or a female infant, and accepts the offerings of an evil person, he is cursed with the leprosy of curses and criticism; he is forever and ever filled with egotistical pride.

esamskriti.com is running some pictures of Nankana Sahib, birth place of Guru Nanak.
Pakis have been recently renovating Nankana Sahib as part of their khalistani divide and rule strategy. The truth is exposed by the fact that Nankana looks decidedly deserted- no people to be seen. peace of the kabaristan = peace of Islam.
<!--QuoteBegin-dhu+Mar 31 2006, 11:26 PM-->QUOTE(dhu @ Mar 31 2006, 11:26 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pakis have been recently renovating Nankana Sahib as part of their khalistani divide and rule strategy.  The truth is exposed by the fact that Nankana looks decidedly deserted- no people to be seen.  peace of the kabaristan = peace of Islam.

There are less than 2,500 sikhs( 700 familes) left in Pakistan. per Pakistan official stats.

Most of those left, are petty traders in the Swat valley
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sikh temple removes Hindu paintings
<b>Frescos of Hindu gods missing </b>
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Tarn Taran, March 30
<b>At least six frescos of Hindu gods, including Lord Rama and Lord Krishna, which were unique specimens of the Sikh school of art of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh era have been replaced with Sikh paintings during kar seva at Darbar Sahib here</b>.

The upper storey would be opened to the Sikh sangat on the 400th death anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev in June this year.

The frescos were visible on the upper storey of the sanctum sanctorum of the Sikh shrine before launching the kar seva. However, Baba Amrik Singh of Dera Baba Jagtar Singh Kar Seva Wale, while talking to The Tribune, claimed that he was not aware of any painting belonging to Hindu gods on the upper storey of Darbar Sahib. He said most of the paintings were beyond recognition since these were destroyed due to seepage from the dome.

The frescos were unique specimens of the Sikh school of art, completed in 1824 during the regime of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. According to Sikh history, Maharaja Ranjit Singh got the gold-plating and interior decoration of the Darbar Sahib completed by taking personal interest.

<b>The other paintings visible at the time of the kar seva were, however, preserved after a lot of painstaking efforts.</b> Now, all 16 paintings which were revived by using a similar style and colours as that of the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, belong to Sikh Gurus, Sikh warriors and religious leaders, including Baba Deep Singh, Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Ghanaiya, Baba Budhaji, the first head granthi of Harmandar Sahib, four Sahibzadas (sons of Guru Gobind Singh) and Bhai Gurdass. Some of the paintings depict Guru Nanak Dev flanked by Bhai Bala and Bhai Mardana. Jaswant Singh, an artist of Dera Baba Jagtar Singh Kar Seva Wale said specified colours were used to complete the art work and the paintings would last long as efforts had been made to stop seepage in the upper storey.

When Dr Kanwarjit Singh Kang, a renowned fresco expert, visited Darbar Sahib, Tarn Taran, in June 1971 in connection with his Ph.D thesis “Mural paintings in the 19th century Punjab”, several frescos were intact in the upper storey of the shrine. According to Dr Kang, though originally the paintings were executed sometime in the middle of the 19th century, the dome of the shrine developed cracks during an earthquake in 1905 and was rebuilt again and embellished afresh with murals.

<b>In June 1971, the surviving frescos depicted mixed themes, including portraits of Sikh Gurus and scenes from the Hindu mythology.</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->J.N. Sarkar's transcripts of the Jaipur Kapaddwara records contain a letter
that may be from Banda to Jai Singh of Amber. The letter begins with
Banda's characteristic salutation 'Fateh darshan and expresses the writer's
surprise at Jai Singh s having 'forsaken Hindu dharma, especially since
'Akal Purakh has commanded that the time of the Turks has reached its
end and it is the turn of the Hindus.' The letter states that 'the foundation
of dharma must be strengthened' and asks Jai Singh to join the writer in
marching on Delhi 'to kill the oppressive Turks.' It ends by stating that 'I
do not need sovereignty (shahi) but have been sent by Akal Purakh to
strengthen the foundations of dharma (National Library, Calcutta, Sarkar
transcripts, notebook 105, p. 2). The exact nature of the letter is
problematic, especially as the original is not listed in the latest catalogue
of the Kapaddwara collection (Bahura and Singh 1988). The grammar and
diction are occasionally irregular, and the transcription bears the name
"Guru Gobind' at the bottom, although it is unclear whether the words
are an addition by Sarkar or by a Jaipur scribe or record-keeper. It is of
course also possible that the letter represents a transcript of a forged letter
sent to Jai Singh in the name of Banda.

"Sikh Religion, Culture and Ethnicity by Christopher Shackle, Gurharpal Singh and
Arvind-pal Singh Mandair. Curzon Press, Richmond, Surrey." - Pg 44<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Good site with translations of some very important banis and other Sikh scriptures, I think this is run by a Namdhari Sikh. It also has good info about the 66 Namdhari Sikhs executed by the British, the Namdhari contribution to the freedom movement against the British has not been highlighted properly till now, time we did that.

Also this site is another one which has translations of the 2 major Sikh scriptures (SGGS and the Dasam Granth) and the vars of Bhai Gurdas:

Post 39:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Bauddhas, Jains, Sikhs and others are Hindus too. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Who are the Bauddhas?

Post 48:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sikhism is a separate religion and that the Khalsa was not created to defend Hindus<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> The truth is different, but I suppose for reasons of expediency we must consider alternatives and concentrate on our own troubles.
What would the impact be for the future though, if we make official statements contrary to the truth? How would a closed door on both sides affect future Sikhs? Upto now one side was wide open, the other side was slightly ajar.

Post 42:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->we should unite all Hindus instead of begging Sikhs to be Hindus (which will only increase sikh separatism).<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->I agree with this. What if we make no statement about Sikhs at all, neither of them being Hindu nor of them being a separate religion? That way, we make no final decisions either way. The door remains open, but within people go about their business not noticing the visitor. This is neither inviting nor forbidding.

The Sikhs who claim to be Hindus should know that they are welcome. Declaring a separate term as Sikh-Hindus/Hindu-Sikhs is a dangerous move I think. It would make the We're Not Hindu group more alarmed, although it is meant to be less threatening. (There are already many Sikhs who believe they are Hindus, without us having done anything to convince them of it. Therefore, we are only letting them know that we think of them in the same manner.) What a dilemma.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pakis have been recently renovating Nankana Sahib as part of their khalistani divide and rule strategy.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Do the khalistanis think that Islam is going to threat them any differently? They might imagine themselves to be monotheists and expect to receive the same treatment as People of the Book, but they are <i>not</i> People of the Book. Do they understand that they too will be seen as Kafirs just like the rest of us? Do they know that being People of the Book has not stopped genocides by Muslims against Jews and Christians and Zoroastrians?

Do the khalistanis only want to carve out a homeland from within India, or are they being fair and asking for the relevant part of Pakistan as well?

Post 55:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The moderator of www.jattworld.com claims that this was true only for the Khatri community. He says Punjabi Jatts were never Hindu to begin with.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> I know quite a few Jats who'd say otherwise. They insist Jatts were always Hindu. But I guess that is why jattworld's propaganda is necessary, to convince the hesitant people who <i>can</i> be convinced of the opposite.
Judging from the Sikh perspective. We Sikhs believe that Hindus are "Unreformed Sikhs"

Instead of praying to an Idol of Ramchandara it is much better to live truthful living (ideals of Rama). Truth is above god and truthful living is even higher says Guru Nanak Dev. The day Sikhs and Hindus realize the futility of rites and Rituals in Gurdwaras/Temples that day they will become the true GurSikh. So if you are living truthfully to your responsibilities and not visiting Gurdwara/Temples you are GOOD.

When you bow to a book in Gurdwara you are bowing to your Guru not God. Guru is your teacher while God is your creator.

According to Guru Nanak in Japji sahib Eating/drinking/food/attire/language/culture/color/creed/gender do not make you a better or worse person (Punjabi Khalsa is not greater than Arab Khalsa or Black Khalsa or Chinese Khalsa or Tamilian Khalsa but EQUAL).

True Gursikh means the student of Waheguru. I.e. Waheguru is the GREATEST TEACHER (God). Sikh is student and Guru is teacher. When you listen to Guru Granth Sahib and realize the truth and practice that truth you become BRahmGyani and at that point your Guru Becomes GOD (not granth sahib anymore). BrahmGyani meaning "You gained the knowledge of Brahma i.e. universe"

Similarly, the attire of Khalsa is just a symbol if you do not practice to be away from Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh, Hankaar and towards Satt, SAntokh, Daya, Dharam, Sabr.

So the PRACTICE is higher/higher/higher than any rites/rituals/junk. Khalsa as created by Guru Gobind Singh was based on ancient Panchayati system of India. That's why the number five is so important (Rig Veda starts with describing the Five basic elements) thus we have five panch, five kakkar, five Banis and thus according to Guru Gobind Singh five member of elected khalsa are above Guru.
(Democracy) And at the lowest level Indian Panchayati system of Democracy is older than Greeks. (But these days Sarpanch and Panches in villages do not have power to implement law)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

COMMENT: Punjabi identities before the Punjab’s partition —Ishtiaq Ahmed

The emergence of revivalist religious movements in the early 20th century as a reaction to the proselytising activities of Christian missionaries resulted in the establishment of community schools and colleges as well as newspapers and magazines by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. These developments helped promote a more exclusive and puritanical religious identity

Much has been written on the question of Punjabi identity but as yet the scholars are not agreed on whether such an identity was important in the lives of the Punjabi-speaking people or that religion, caste, biradari (kinship lineage) or sect played a greater role in creating networks and solidarity groups. I think the notion of a composite Punjab in which all Punjabis shared a strong sense of solidarity, derived from their common culture; as well as the one that religious differences make for a permanent conflict among Punjabis are exaggerated — each of these is an oversimplification of reality.

Pre-colonial Punjab had been under Muslim rule for several centuries till Maharaja Ranjit Singh established his kingdom at Lahore in 1799. Ranjit Singh initially used overwhelming force to pacify the Muslim ruling class of the Punjab, but once he consolidated his power he ruled in the traditional manner — as a patron of all communities. The three main communities of the Punjab — Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs — were represented at his court and held positions of authority in the state. After the British annexed the Punjab in 1849 by defeating the Sikh armies in a number of battles they continued with a tolerant approach to religion.
<span style='color:blue'>
Prakash Tandon, whose Punjabi century 1857-1947 (of 90 years!), is a classic account of the pre-partition Punjab notes that Brahmins were not a privileged class among Punjabi Hindus. As was common elsewhere in India, Punjabi Muslims and non-Muslims did not eat together and marriage between them was taboo. Hindu eating habits were governed by rules of pollution and were also applied by the superior castes against lower ones.

Dietary rules were so elaborate (and absurd) that even Brahmins and Khatris could not eat together. Hindus and Sikhs, of the same caste, on the other hand, could eat together and even inter-marry. Cross-community marriages took place especially among the trading castes of Khatris and Aroras.</span>

Some villages and areas were entirely Muslim or Hindu-Sikh but there were mixed villages and urban localities too. Sikh and Hindu landowners and cultivators employed Muslim tenant cultivators, artisans and the lower service castes. Similarly Hindu service castes served in pre-dominantly Muslim villages. There were some villages in which both Muslim and Hindu landowning and cultivating castes lived together. Sir Denzil Ibbetson notes in his famous Punjab Castes that the agricultural castes of the Punjab identified among Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs shared the same gotras (kinship lineages). Conversions from the Hindu trading castes and Brahmins to Islam were few.

However, changes in social structure and communal organisation began to take place after the British established modern education institutions and a capitalist economy. Muslim aversion to British rule prevailed even in the Punjab. In fact during the 19th century Wahhabis had gained influence in the Punjab as a result of the jihad movement launched by Syed Ahmed Shahid Brelvi. Moreover, modern banking and investment procedures introduced by the British were unacceptable to the Muslims. Due to such factors Hindus and Sikhs left Muslims behind in educational and economic terms.

The stratum that gained most from the opportunities created by the colonial order was the Hindu trading castes of Khatris and Aroras and Sikhs of the same stock. Hindus and Sikhs were the first to take to modern education and establish modern businesses and enterprises. From the beginning of the 20th century urban Hindus and Sikhs established a firm hold over the modern economy. Hindu-Sikh partnerships and joint business ventures were noteworthy but Muslims were almost invariably excluded.

The emergence of revivalist religious movements in the early 20th century as a reaction to the proselytising activities of Christian missionaries resulted in the establishment of community schools and colleges as well as newspapers and magazines by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. These developments helped promote a more exclusive and puritanical religious identity. Moreover, while all three communities spoke Punjabi at home, Muslims began to declare Urdu their mother tongue in the census records, Hindus identified themselves with Hindi, and Sikhs with Punjabi. These processes were certainly accentuated in the new colonies where in upwardly mobile Hindu families while the educated men progressively liberalised their social attitudes the women continued to represent traditional puritanical values.

Som Anand the author of, Lahore: Portrait of a Lost City, provides insight in how upwardly mobile Hindu Khatri families continued to practise the pollution code against Muslims:

“To keep themselves away from the Muslims’ ‘polluting touch’, the Hindus had set-up many barriers in their daily life. My mother, for example, would never allow any Muslim to enter her kitchen. No cooked food was accepted from them. I remember how, if any of our Muslim neighbours even sent any special dish for my father, it never went beyond the dining table, a place where she did not take her own food. While eating she would never allow any of her Muslim friends or neighbours to touch her. During my childhood such inhibitions were generally not observed by male members of educated Hindu families. (Women have always been more conservative in these matters.) Some decades earlier these rules formed a strict code of conduct for all, no matter how educated or enlightened a person might be.

“The absurdities of such Hindu restrictions notwithstanding, the Muslims had come to accept them as a law of nature. Their older generation knew the limits of a relationship with the Hindus and considered it improper even to offer them drinking water from their utensils.... The Hindus have always complained of Muslim fanaticism but they have never understood that the walls they raised around themselves could have not resulted in any other attitude....

“It took many centuries for the Hindus of Punjab to realise how absurd and harmful their anti-Muslim prejudices were. In this respect the first current of change was felt during the Khilafat movement in the early twenties. Though the spirit of Hindu-Muslim amity received many reverses in later years, at the social level the urban elite had changed its code of conduct for the better. This was due, in part, [to] Western education. What this change meant was evident in my father’s attitude. When he was young, my mother used to recall, he would come back to change his clothes if a Muslim had touched him while walking in the bazaar; but during my childhood in Model Town, father had several Muslim friends and he considered my mother’s inhibitions a sign of backwardness.”

The author is an associate professor of political science at Stockholm University. He is the author of two books. His email address is Ishtiaq.Ahmed@statsvet.su.se

[quote=acharya,Jun 20 2006, 05:17 AM]
Tuesday, June 20, 2006

COMMENT: Punjabi identities before the Punjab’s partition —Ishtiaq Ahmed

This is another of the apologias for Islam that circulates the media rounds.

Punjab was not ruled by the Muslims for centuries. their so called 'rule' was contested bitterly every day, and for every inch of soil.

Though much of the data/ historical records have been lost in the turmoil of the last 8-9 centuries, there is still plenty of data, but it is buried under the Islamic and Colonial shadows. Research is bringing it out, as on the Jathistory forum.

The author attempts to portray Punjab society as governed by rules of pollution. All Punjab, was jat or non jat, but still a part of a broader Vedic/'Hinduism' in a sense.

Most of the populace, save those who accepted the orthodox hindu rituals, followed various gurus, sants/sadhus. Brahminical rituals were not followed except by the Khatri and a few others.

The heirarchial varna system, was not accepted by the Jats, and most of them took to Sikhism, or the Arya samaj.

None the less, beef eating was taboo, and 'Hindus' who converted to Islam, took to this, and to other muslim rituals - cross cousin marriage etc, and were ostracized from the bretheren, never to be accepted back in the fold..

Ravi Chaudhary
<b>I stand by what I said: Sushma</b> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi, June 24: <b>Under attack from pro-Congress Sikh religious leaders here for her comments on the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said she stood by her remarks that a Hindu courtier had little role in the execution of the fifth Guru ordered by Emperor Jehangir</b>.

She also received support from Sikh scholars who described Jehangir's courtier Chandu as a "small fry" behind the Guru's execution.

"I did not concoct a story. I quoted excerpts from a book, <b>'Pancham Guru, Jeevani Guru Arjan Dev', by Satbir Singh. It clearly states that Jehangir was primarily responsible for the execution of Guru Arjan Dev as Sikhism was becoming popular fast because of its principles and teachings," </b>Swaraj said.

Her comments came in the wake of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) Chief Harvinder Singh Sarna accusing her of distorting historical facts related to the martyrdom.

<b>"Is Sarna trying to belittle such a great sacrifice by linking it to a tiny courtier like Chandu who had some grudge against the Guru because he turned down a matrimonial proposal from him for the Guru's son," Swaraj said.

Sikh scholars also endorsed Swaraj's views, which she had expressed at Tarn Taran during a martyrdom anniversary event that Jehangir had his own reasons for ordering the execution.

"In a way she is right. There was a war of succession and Jehangir had to take a hardline to remain in power,"</b> Bhai Veer Singh Sahitya Sadan Director Mohinder Singh said.

In his comments, columnist Mahip Singh quoted excerpts from Jehangir's autobiography in which the Mughal emperor mentioned why he ordered the execution.

<b>"In Tuzuk-i-Jehangiri, the emperor himself has used highly disparaging remarks against Sikhism and pledged to wipe it out,"</b> Singh said.

Akali parties also threw their weight behind Swaraj as they criticised the DSGMC Chief for what they called "politicising" the Guru's sacrifice.

"The martyrdom was not an ordinary event. It should be seen in its right perspective. There's no denying that it was the Mughal emperor who put the Guru to death," Akali Dal (Panthak) leader Manjit Singh, also a DSGMC member, said.

The Shiromani Akali Dal also accused the DSGMC of attempts to create a controversy out of Swaraj's remarks.

<b>"Political differences are one thing, but history is another. It's sacrosanct. The DSGMC has tried to politicise a great sacrifice,"</b> SAD general secretary Onkar Singh Thapar said
<!--emo&:clapping--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/clap.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='clap.gif' /><!--endemo--> RSS film shows Sikhs as part of Hindus
[ 16 Aug, 2006 1642hrs ISTPTI ]

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NEW DELHI: An RSS film on core Hindutva ideology has tried to project Sikhs as part of the Hindu community, an issue that can be used by critics of Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal against the SAD-BJP alliance in the Punjab Assembly elections due next year.

Screened to a packed auditorium here on Wednesday evening, the film shows Sangh chief K S Sudarshan making no distinction between Hindus and Sikhs as two separate communities as he recounts the bloodshed during the 1947 partition.

In the 90-minute documentary on the late Sangh leader Guru Golwalkar, Sudarshan insists that Sangh activists were ordered to protect "every Hindu" from attacks when the subcontinent was being divided into India and Pakistan.

"They were asked (by Golwalkar) to ensure every Hindu is safe (in the region)," he says in the film directed by TV actor and former BJP MP Nitish Bhardwaj, who played Krishna in tele-serial Mahabharta .

Also, it shows a Sikh man beaten up by Muslim attackers in a scene depicting the violence during the division of Punjab. His wife is chased by another sword-wielding attacker.

Both are saved by armed Sangh activists who shoot down one assailant and force the other to retreat.

In Punjab, Badal is under constant attack by his critics both in the Congress and other Akali groups, which accuse him of promoting the RSS Hindutva agenda for votes.

The film also carries footage of SAD leader Master Tara Singh attending a meeting during the launch of the VHP.
<!--emo&:argue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/argue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='argue.gif' /><!--endemo--> Urn of Guru Gobind brought from Pak to India
[ 27 Aug, 2006 2126hrs ISTPTI ]

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WAGAH (AMRITSAR): Ganga Sagar, an urn gifted by Sikh Guru Gobind Singh to an ancestor of Pakistan National Assembly member Rai Azizullah Khan 300 years ago when they ruled Raikot (Ludhiana), was brought back here on Sunday.

Khan, who brought with him the metallic golden urn of high religious significance to the community, was received by a large number of Sikh devotees led by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) after entering India through the land route of the international border.

A direct descendent of the Nawab of Raikot Kalah III who was gifted the urn by the 10th Sikh Guru in 1705, Khan had taken the Ganga Sagar to Pakistan just before the Partition.

It was brought for display at Gurdwara Tahliana Sahib in Ludhiana in 2004 and made its way to Amritsar district after being brought from Britain.

Khan said his family felt blessed that his ancestor was given the Ganga Sagar by Guru Gobind. "We are taking special care of it and had kept it in a bank locker in the UK".

He said he was the only son of Rai Faqirullah Khan and migrated to Pakistan along with his father after the Partition in 1947.

Narrating the Ganga Sagar's history, he said Gobind went to Machiwara in 1704 leaving Anandpur Sahib after the order of death warrant against his family by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

When the Sikh Guru reached the princely state of Raikot, the Muslim ruler Kalha welcomed him and asked him to be his guest for as long as he wanted. Gobind spent 16 days with Kalha
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Why was the First Son made a Sikh </b>
In May 2004 Manmohan Singh became India's Prime Minister. When a person becomes PM it is natural for papers to show pictures of his immediate family. Mumbai's papers showed his brother, Surjit Singh Kohli and father K Kohli. I wondered! This meant that the PM's surname too was Kohli (caste Khatri or Kshatriyas) but for some reason he had decided to omit it. People called him India's first Sikh Prime Minister. This confused me even more because neither did my next-door neighbor Vikas Kohli sport a turban nor was he a Sikh.

When I asked 74-year-old Punjabi mother about this contradiction she said in Punjab there was a tradition where the first son was made a Sikh, dedicated to the Army. My next question to her was why did the Punjabis dedicate their first son to the Army? She did not have an answer. Here is what I discovered.

After reading Veena Talwar's book and three others I have come to the following conclusion. Am willing to stand corrected and would be keen to know a different view.

According to volume 7 of the History & Culture of Indian People published by the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan - "Disciples of Nanak called themselves Sikhs derived from the Sanskrit word sishya, meaning a learner or a person who takes spiritual lessons from a teacher. The public called them Nanak Panthis or Sikhs. Panth literally means path or way and it has been traditionally used to designate the followers of a particular teacher or of a distinctive range of doctrine".

"Singh means devotee". However, today Singh has come to mean Lion & has come to be associated with fighting classes throughout North India esp. in undivided Punjab (modern day Punjab, Haryana & Himachal Pradesh). The change was brought about the British. One of the principal changes that the British made after the 1857 mutiny was a reduction in the number of Bengali soldiers because it is they who were involved in the mutiny. They were replaced by Sikhs & Punjabi Muslims who had supported the British during the mutiny.

Veena Talwar wrote in Dowry Murder, "By the late 19th century, Punjabis made up 57 infantry units & Bengal (included Bihar & Orissa) fewer than 15". For details read book 'Thoughts on Pakistan' by Dr B R Ambedkar, click on

W H Mcleod wrote in his book, Who is a Sikh, "Appreciative of the strength of opposition encountered during the Anglo-Sikh wars & as a result of the assistance which they received from the Sikh princes during the Mutiny, Sikhs were easily accommodated within the British theory of the martial races of India & Sikh enlistment increased steeply. For the British, martial Sikhs meant Khalsa Sikhs, and all who were inducted into the Indian Army as Sikhs were required to maintain the external insignia of the Khalsa". The British paid their soldiers very well, allotted them agricultural land & pension. Other castes like Khatris, Aroras & Ahulwalias did not want to loose out economically so they made the first son a Sikh meaning they had to grow hair etc.

Further Veena Talwar wrote, "To prevent the sort of mutiny they experienced from sepoys in 1857, the British organized religiously segregated regimental units from the alleged martial races, Sikhs, Pathans, Rajputs etc. This severely restricted Hindus of other castes particularly Khatris, who had served in Maharaja Ranjit Singh's forces. Khatris were arbitrarily lumped together by the British as trading castes. Many families got around this artificially imposed caste barrier by raising one or more son as Sikhs, chiefly by having them adopt the name Singh and grow hair/beard to match".

The maximum number of followers of Khalsa were Jats who as we know are tall, sturdy and big built people. (Jats are found in modern day Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh). Because of reasons listed in the preceding paras other castes like Khatris made one more sons a follower of Khalsa. Today sons of such Sikhs are considered to be followers of Sikhism while sons of the brothers who did not become Sikhs called Monas are considered to be followers of Hinduism.

The Punjab terrorism problem in the 1980-90's resulted in a deterioration of Hindu Sikh relations. Sometime around 1985 I remember my Delhi cousins telling me of the problem this created for the families of two elderly cousin brothers one of whom was a Hindu and another a Sikh. This happened because one of their forefathers wanted to avail of the economic benefits offered by the British to followers of Khalsa and decided to become a Sikh.

Impact on Names - today anybody with a Turban has Singh as his middle name or last name. Two people with the same surnames could be Hindu & Sikh. Let me explain. My first boss was born Sukhwinder Chadha & has a turban. Due to the resurgence of Khalsa he wrote his name in Inter office memos as Sukhwinder Singh Chadha to show he is a Sikh but signed cheques as Sukhwinder Chadha because that was the name as it appeared in his birth certificate.

Conversely there is another Chadha, school friend Vineet Chadha who is considered as a Hindu because he sports no turban. Non-Jat Punjabis with turban meaning Khatris etc invariably put Singh as their middle or surname because they have to prove they are Sikhs. Here is another example.

A girl I was looking to marry had the surname Batra. When she went to her father's place she used her Dad's email id whose name was J Singh (he retired from the Indian Air Force). I was confused. I asked her whether she was a Batra or a Singh (not that I had a problem with either). However, she never told me how father & daughter could have different surnames. Since her father sported a turban he was considered a Sikh. To know the answer read next para.

Impact in Indian Armed Forces by Sandy - "I cannot help but give a input on Sikhs. This is based on my interaction with the armed forces for the past 21 years. I joined NDA at the age of 18. Before I joined I used to think that Sikhs are one community without any caste bias. But I was wrong.

<b>After joining the services I realized that the Sikhs are more divided on caste lines than Hindus. The Jat Sikhs consider themselves to be superior to others. The Sikhs who have surnames common with Hindus e.g. Chawla, Arora, Kohli etc. are called "Bhapaa" sikhs or the trading (read Baniya) Sikhs and are considered inferior as compared to Jat Sikhs who are basically Zamindars or Landlord Sikhs. (* Tells you how that happened).

Another sect/caste of Sikhs, which are considered even lower than "Bhapaa" Sikhs are the "Majhabi" Sikhs who are basically SCs in the Sikh community. Their parental/ancestral occupation was of sweepers/garbage lifters. Even the British encouraged this caste system by having the Infantry units segregated on caste lines. When one says he is from Sikh regiment, it means that he is basically a Jat Sikh.

However, when a Sikh soldier belongs to Sikh LI (Sikh light infantry), he is a "Majhabi" Sikh. A Jat Sikh would be seen dead rather than join a Sikh LI unit. You will find hardly any Jat Sikh officers in Sikh LI regiment. Only Hindu officers would be heading the "SikhLI" units. That is why the non Jat Sikhs never reveal their surnames for the fear of being ostracized / ridiculed in the Sikh community. They always suffix their first names</b> with 'Singh', period".

<b>Unlike a Khatri or Arora caste who needs to prove that he is a Sikh a Jat has no such compulsions. A Jat Sikh has Singh as part of his name e.g. super cop K. P. S. Gill. However, note that S stands for Singh but is silent. </b>

* 'The British passed the Punjab Land Alienation Act of 1900. This piece of legislation created a favored, dominant, agriculturalist class i.e. Hindu & Sikh Jats and Muslim tribes and non-agriculturists were Hindu Brahmins, Khatris and Banias. This act made tribe & caste the basis of land ownership. The act was not done out of concern for peasants but to pacify the landowning classes and deflect a rebellion and to aggravate/exploit any tension that existed between Hindus & Muslims so as to keep their own grip on Punjab. Peasant discontent was converted into fresh & deep religious antagonisms that smoldered dangerously in 1907 that eventually resulted into the flames that ravaged Punjab in 1947.

British sought to anchor itself in Punjab by playing the distinctions between Hindoo and Mahomedan while nurturing the Muslim and Sikh Jats as loyal subjects.

Friends what was the impact of this, some thoughts - it created two classes of people the agriculturists & others dividing society in the process, meant that Jats only owned land in modern day Punjab, wrongly branded the Hindu as a greedy moneylender thereby increasing friction in society. These divisions contributed to the full blown communal incidents that partitioned Punjab in 1947 on religious lines. Two recent implications of this Act. One of the reasons why the Punjab terrorist problem of the 1980-90's in India started was because the Jat Sikh farmer refused to let the govt give Haryana's farmers the waters of the Bhakra Nangal Dam (constructed between 1955-60). Two the 1900 Act resulted in the non-agriculturist class migrating to urban areas. So today you find other caste as Khatris & Aroras in mainly urban areas and Jats owning nearly all the agricultural land in Punjab'.

The above gives you an important effect of the British decision to allow only Khalsa Sikhs to be employed by the Indian Army. I believe that the British deliberately did this to drive a wedge between Hindus & Sikhs using modern day connotations. The famous divide & rule policy.

If you like to read more on the Impact of British Rule in Punjab then read -

<b>1. How the British created the Dowry System in Punjab.</b>
2. State of Education in Punjab before British - this link takes you to the chapter Indigenous Education in India at the 18th century, you must go the chapter titled 'Leitner's Report on Punjab'.
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Oct 5 2006, 07:10 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Oct 5 2006, 07:10 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Why was the First Son made a Sikh </b>
In May 2004 Manmohan Singh became India's Prime Minister. When .....

It is not correct that Sikhs became renowned as a fighting force due to Brits. It is true that when Sikhism arose it was largely a peaceful religious sect. But when Gurus were killed and the persecution of Hindus and Sikhs became the norm at the hands of muslims the Gurus of Sikhs decided to make Sikhs into a fighting force. For this reason the ballads of bravery were sung at Akal Takth to inspire the followers of Sikh Panth. These ballads were of rajput warriors from Rajasthan and UP/MP.

Banda Bhadur organized a sikh force and was the first sikh sovereign of Punjab. Though his rule was short but it was glorious and he jolted the mughals at its roots.

Then when Maharaja Ranjit Singh became the king of Punjab, his sikh troops became a terror in the heart of afghans. And do note that muslims in Kashmir do not eat beef till today just because of sikhs.

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I was trying to create a new topic under Sikh History and this is where it ended up...
Well this is what I observed from a very popular Sikh site under discussion titled "Judgement of Sikh boys and men"

Hardeep123456 is wondering why so many Sikh girls are not willing to marry a turbanned Sikh. Surinderpal S Suman calls this girls' preference as "selfish requirements of manmukhs". In other words, he calls girls selfish and manmukh, which clearly isn't behavior of good Sikh as name calling is probably isn't behavior of a good sikh.

I try to post that this is girls' choice whomever they want to marry and I got a response from the moderators, "Your opinion is fine on another forum. This is a Sikh forum where hair is considered mandatory and the comment was, as we
understand, regarding Sikh matrimonial." In other words, they fully support that sikh girls should not have right to choose.

So, I sent them another message asking why they think Sikhism is dogmatic and why they allowed participants to call those girls selfish and manmukh and they responded, "A Sikh is expected to marry a Sikh. Someone who wants to be identified as Sikh but does not live like one is, a Manmukh."

There have been some incidents in past in Bangadesh that some guys threw acid on the girls' face because they refused to marry them. Looking at behavior described in the posts regarding this issue, it seems some of the Sikhs today are getting the same mentality of fanatics.
<!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> Let me 1st start with Manmukh and Gurmukh for the benefit of those members who don't have a clue about the terminology which is being used in ur extrapolated discussion. I think after putting these 2 words side by side, most of the people can c the difference and can easily make out what has been talked on the issue.
In India, I think, we have mostly fanatics and Sikhs are no exception. Being just 1% of the population of India, their means to survive are understandable esp when we have Parsees whose nos. are dwindling.

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