I want to slap Yashpal once more…

I have seen the struggle of Santokh Singh and his family ever since DSGMC chose to extend legal and financial help to them to depose before the SIT. I could feel their wounds and pains of 1984 carnage in which they lost not only their brothers but their children also suffered major injuries. Their pain weighed on my heart.

“The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is the duty of the living to do so for them.”

On November 1, 1984, a mob led by then Congress leader JP Singh in which Yashpal Singh and Naresh Sehrawat were at the forefront torched Sikh shops in Mahipalpur. These two men killed  Hardev Singh (24) and Avtar Singh (26) by beating them and throwing them off first floor. The humanity stood shamed that day because both Yashpal Singh and Naresh Sehrawat knew Singh brothers and often bought groceries from their shop!

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When the verdict in this case was announced on November 20, 2018, Santokh Singh, the eldest brother who had lost three members of his family, had tears of joy because he had won this battle after 34 years and even when the Police had closed the case as untraced despite witness testimonies of the deceased’s four brothers, who came to Delhi for justice travelling all the way from Jalandhar where they had settled after 1984 genocide.

I have seen the struggle of Santokh Singh and his family ever since DSGMC chose to extend legal and financial help to them to depose before the SIT. I could feel their wounds and pains of 1984 carnage in which they lost not only their brothers but their children also suffered major injuries. Their pain weighed on my heart.

And when on November 15, 2018 the final hearing of this case had happened; I slapped Yashpal outside the court. I slapped him twice; hard and without any guilt.

Why? Because he wasn’t ashamed of killing innocent people; rather he  carried his actions as a trophy and even provoked me saying ‘bhool gaye ’84, yaad dilaun kya (have you forgotten 1984… should I make you remember)’…Then I couldn’t control myself.

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Sikhs have suffered a lot; physically as well as emotionally during 1984 Sikh genocide. Thousands of families were ruined; they lost their loved ones and even source of livelihood. And post the massacre; Sikhs were labelled terrorists and humiliated.

YET… we have chosen to follow the legal way with patience and waited for justice for 34 YEARS which is not a small achievement! So if anyone still has harsh words for the community, I wouldn’t mind slapping him right in front of public.

Today, I thank the community for fighting this battle of justice staying united and I also thank Narendra Modi Ji because it was NDA govt which constituted the SIT and 60 cases related to the massacre are being investigated.

I want to tell Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler that they will also meet their fate soon for their crimes were the worst! And till that day comes, someone from the community would surely slap them as well.

My open letter to Gopal Singh Chawla

I warn Pakistani Sikh leader Gopal Singh Chawla to stop spreading lies and his hateful propaganda. In last few days, we have been noticing him acting on the directions of terrorist Hafeez Sayeed and spreading lies on banning  uttering of words ‘Raj Kareg Khalsa’ in India only to save face of Pakistan which stopped Indian Envoy from visiting Gurudwara Sri Panja Sahib in Rawalpindi.

I am ashamed to call you a Guru ka Sikh for you do nothing but spread hatred and violence. You clear agenda is to incite the citizens of India particularly the Sikhs and you are doing so to please Hafeez Sayeed, a most-wanted terrorist!

Had you followed the teachings of Guru Sahibs, you would have never sided with Pakistan government’s decision to stop Indian envoy to pay obeisance at Gurudwara Sri Panja Sahib and now all the false information being spread by youis just a cover up to hide that folly!

I take strong offence to your propaganda against Indian Supreme Court. “Raj Karega Khalsa” is not banned in India and would never be. India is a democratic secular country which has given utmost respect to Sikhs. I wish you had heard PM Narendra Modi Ji on June 24th, 2018 Mann Ki Baat edition where he talked about Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teaching and exhorted people to join in 550th celebration of Parkash Utsav of Guru Sahib.

Your only motive behind this slanderous campaign, lies, baseless stories is to misguide the Sikh community so that Sikhs should wage a war against India and you may show this as an achievement to your ISIS bosses.

I challenge you to show me a court order copy which says that saying Raj Karega Khalsa is banned in India.

If you show such a copy – I would quit politics the very next day!

I reiterate that ‘Raj Karega Khalsa’ is very much part of Gurbani and daily Ardas done by the Sikhs and no court has ever banned and no one can ban such slogan which is inseparable part of Sikh way of life.

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I request my Sikh brethren to ignore this crazy evil man Gopal Chawla who has now become the mouthpiece of Hafeez Saeed and their only agenda is to work for disintegration of  the country and harming the Sikh community maximum. Sikhs were always loyal to India, have already led from the front against the adversaries of the country and will continue to serve the nation… Mr Gopal Chawla, you may note this in your diary!

Hola Mohalla – Shining Swords reflect the brilliance of Sikhism

Let me tell you about Hola Mohalla – a festival of Courage, Hope, And Faith played amid Colours in Punjab.

Hola Mohalla is Punjab’s biggest annual fair which is celebrated every year at Anandpur Sahib immediately after Holi. A festival which epitomizes the spirit and valour of Punjab, Hola Mohalla has earned the stature of a National Festival as well in the year 1996. The festival gives pilgrims and visitors a chance to bask in the glory of Punjabi spirit, Sikh religion and Punjabi courage. It is one of those unforgettable Punjabi festivals which reflect the dedication & heroism of Punjabi community and Punjabi way of life.

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History – Hola Mohalla gets celebrated in Anandpur Sahib on the day following the festival of Holi. The practice of Hola Mohalla was started by Sh Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Sikh guru. The festival is celebrated for three consecutive days; each day the participants can witness rare display of physical strength by Sikh warriors. It has been beleievd that Guru Gobind Singh rechristened the Holi festival as Hola Mohalla and used the festive occasion to indulge his forces in martial arts and the art of warfare. In those days, Guru Sahib made his Sikh warriors, Nihangs, to form two groups and engage in mock battle which was like a practice of war for them.

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What all make Hola Mohalla so very special –

Three days of energy & enthusiasm; there is so much excitement you would want to be a part of.

  • Shining swords and long spears in the hands of warrior Sikhs.
  • Conical turbans and twirled-up moustaches of Nihangs
  • Daredevil acts by Guru di laadli Fauj; acts like bareback horse-riding, standing erect on two speeding horses, Gatka (mock encounters), tent pegging etc
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  • Music and Poetry competitions
  • Kirtans and Langars
  • The last day procession which is led by Panj Pyaras. This processions starts from Takht Keshgarh Sahib, one of the five Sikh religious seats, and passes through various important gurdwaras like Qila Anandgarh, Lohgarh Sahib, Mata Jitoji and terminates at the Takht

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So next time, make sure to visit Sri Anandpur Sahib to cherish Hola Mohalla!

 

It’s time to review our history books…

Our history books arefull of details and discussions on Delhi Sultanate, Mughal rulers, Mughal architecture and the role of Mahatma Gandhi in Indian freedom struggle. Doesn’t this incomplete and biased history bother you?

Each one of us, despite our dislike for history, remembers the lessons we read in class 9 and 10 in our NCERT history books. They are full of details and discussions on Delhi Sultanate, Mughal rulers, Mughal architecture and the role of Mahatma Gandhi in Indian freedom struggle. Doesn’t this incomplete and biased history bother you?

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Why do our history books only talk about what Gandhi did? Why don’t we learn about what Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Chandrashekhar Azad and Maharana Pratap did for the freedom? Most of the history books don’t even mention what Sikhs did for the freedom of India.

Our history books don’t even narrate the story of Battle of Saragarhi which is considered an iconic event when 21 Sikhs faced over 10,000 Pashtuns at Saragarhi and won.

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It has been rightly said that History is written by the winners and the winners in Indian History have been foreign invaders. First it were foreign invaders and later the Britishers. Though Britishers were the recent invaders but our history is highly biased in favor of Islamic rulers as they left a very strong legacy and culture in India.

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How will our children come to know about the valour and sacrifices of vernacular heroes if our history books don’t even mention that?

Noticing this void, I had requested Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi Ji to direct NCERT to include a chapter on the life of Chaar Sahibzaade (sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji were lovingly called Sahibzaade). My request has been accepted and soon our NCERT history books will include a chapter on the story of Chaar Sahibzaade and their unparalleled sacrifice.

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But this is not just about Sikh history or Chaar Sahibzaade. Right now, our youngsters are facing a worse identity crisis and they need to discover their heroes. They should be made aware about countless Bhagat Singhs, Maharana Prataps and Rani Laxmi Bais.

If we do not raise our voice now, our kids will be left to imagine that the only fascinating part of Indian history was centered around Mughals and they will have to read through Google about heroes like Baba Banda Singh Bahadur!

 

Seeking the support of Sangat for Gurdwara Gyan Godri Sahib, Haridwar

We have made it very clear that Sikhs will not compromise to establish Gurdwara Gyan Godri on some another place till the Government doesn’t allocate the original venue of Gurdwara Gyan Godri on banks of Ganga river in Haridwar. 

Gurdwara Gyan Godhri, Haridwar is the historical Gurdwara associated with Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji. The Two Sikh Janam Sakhis narrate about the visit of Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji to Haridwar which took place on Vaisakhi in 1504 AD.

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Historical site of Gurdwara – at the banks of river Ganga

Gurdwara Gyan Godri Sahib was constructed on the banks of river Ganga where Guru Sahib had rejected the superstitious rituals and talked about omnipresent God.

Gurdwara Sahib was demolished during anti-Sikh movement days. The Sangat is trying ever since for the restoration of the Guru’s house. The same space is now occupied by an office of Scouts and Guides.

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This year, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has given a clarion call to  Sikhs across the world to stand united to re-acquire the land of Gurdwara Gian Godri at Haridwar. The beginning of Gyan Godri campaign for the reconstruction of the historic Gurdwara Sahib was started with the Path of Japji Sahib on May 14, 2017.

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We had urged the Sangat to come together in Gurdwara Manji Sahib in Amritsar collectively to read the Japji Sahib Bani.

Recently, the municipal corporation record of 1935 depicts existence of a Gurdwara near Har ki Pauri. Documents of the Bharat Scouts and Guides office also relate to a Gurdwara at the site. Surfacing of this evidence will boost our campaign to re-establish the Gurdwara Sahib.

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We have made it very clear that Sikhs will not compromise to establish Gurdwara Gyan Godri on some another place till the Government doesn’t allocate the original venue of Gurdwara Gyan Godri on banks of Ganga river in Haridwar.

I seek the support of people of all religion in coming forward to restore the historical Gurdwara Sahib at Haridwar. I wish to share it with all that Haridwar is the place during fourth ‘Udaasi’, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji had shared the message of humanity. We all should raise a collective and stronger voice so that Uttar Pradesh Government re-establishes the Gurdwara that reflects the valuable teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

Let’s make the world aware about Kirpan

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!

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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

Sharing the pain of Sikhs in Kashmir

Isn’t this surprising while Kashmir enjoys a special status under Article 370; the state does not accord Minority status to Sikhs!

Kashmir, despite being called the ‘heaven on earth’, have been facing numerous problems. The turbulent times of Haminastu land can be traced to the interference of a scrupulous neighbour like Pakistan. But that alone is not the reason why Sikhs are unhappy in Kashmir. Sikhs, being a minority in Jammu and Kashmir, deserve minority welfare measures and schemes which has not been given to them by any of the previous governments.

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I seek kind attention of Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi Ji towards the plight of Sikhs in Kashmir. I also ask CM Mehbooba Mufti Ji that isn’t this surprising; while Kashmir enjoys a special status under Article 370; the state does not accord Minority status to Sikhs!
Sikhs have contributed a lot to development of Kashmir. But they need facilities and welfare measures from the Govt side. The state govt should accord Minority status to Sikhs.

Sikhs in Kashmir have suffered both economically and politically especially because Agriculture and transport sector traditionally have been the main stay of the Sikhs in Kashmir. Introduction of Agrarian Reforms Act ensured that the excess land beyond prescribed limit was either escheated to State or given to tillers and land that which was cultivated by tenants was transferred to them. This resulted in a setback for Kashmiri Sikhs because it meant that the Sikh youth needs to search new jobs or avenues for sustenance. Sikhs being in minority have no reservation in govt jobs while private sector is not very lucrative for them.

Talking about the repercussions of militancy, Sikhs had to face unfortunate incidents of Chitti Singhpura and Mehjoor Nagar killings.

But one must admire the faith of Kashmiri Sikhs that they have not left their motherland and are still looking for sunshine days in the valley.

So on behalf of all Sikhs of Kashmir, I use this space to bring it to the notice of PM Narendra Modi Ji and CM Mehbooba Mufti Ji the need for Minority Welfare measures for Sikhs. Being a minority in Kashmir, they deserve Minority status and benefits of schemes.