The recent order by Government of Karnataka banning acquisition, possession and carrying of arms without license, specified in category V of the schedule I of the Arms Rules of 2016, in public places under the jurisdiction of Bengaluru city of has resulted in banning wearing of Kirpans by Sikhs. The order not only hurt the Sikhs but has left many of us shocked – how can a government in our own country be so insensitive or ignorant about the religious symbol of Sikhs!
Kirpan is a religious symbol of the Sikhism and it is an inseparable article of faith for the Amritdhari Sikhs. Our Dasham Pitah Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji had given 5 Kakaars to the Khalsa and Kirpan is one of the 5 articles which Amritdhari Sikhs must carry when they take khande di pahul.
Humbly quoting Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji who introduced the metaphor of the Kirpan with reference to God and his qualities –
“O Sword, O Conqueror of continents, O Vanquisher of the hosts of evil, O Embellisher of the brave in the field of battle. Thy Arms are unbreakable, Thy Light refulgent, Thy Glory and Splendor dazzle like the sun. O Happiness of the holy, O Crusher of evil intent, O Subduer of sin, I seek Thy refuge.” (Guru Gobind Singh, Vachitra Natak, Chapter I).
The world needs to understand that an Amritdhari Sikh follows Guru’s orders and wear a Kirpan to protect him/her self and others. Sikhism does not cultivate the culture of attack and so Kirpan is not a weapon of offence!
I also quote the Constitution of India which under the Article 25 specifies that Sikhs have been granted exemption to carry Kirpan (article of Sikh faith) under freedom of practice of religion.
Why I am so concerned about making the world aware about Kirpan, beginning from India, because in past also, such incidents have happened and embarrassed the Sikhs. Like at the Bengaluru airport, a Sikh passengers was forcefully deboarded from the flight when he refused to board the flight without his Kirpan!
I wish to tell my Sikh brethren that Sikhs traveling in domestic flight in India are allowed to carry the Kirpan with size 6 inch blade and 3 inch handle on board under Civil Aviation Rules, Govt. of India.