5 lessons from Moshi-Moshi farce

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Moshi-5-lessons-cThere are many lessons to take home from the Moshi-Moshi prayer fiasco. For starters, I now know there’s a night club called Moshi-Moshi in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

On a more serious note, though, there are some serious lessons to take home. To recap, a night club owner had taken the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) to his joint for a prayer session. A renown raagi jatha was also brought to the prayer session.

LESSON 1: IT WAS WRONG

When word of the incident spread via the social media, the reaction from Sikhs was swift and sure. They condemned the action. The word beadbi – disrespect – emerged in their conversations.

On the whole, most Sikhs felt it was not proper to bring the SGGS to the night club. Everyone is pretty clear what the place is all about. Just two days earlier, on Friday, it had its Ladies Night. On offer was complimentary Vodka bottle for five ladies, tagged under #‎5LadiesReceiveComplimentaryVodkaBottle

So, we know what goes on here. Even avid club goers felt this was not done. Gurdip Maan, who states on her Facebook account that she works at an Australian-based aged-care provider, comments: “Sorry la I’m a massive club goer but this is just wrong, defending this is just ANYway is just ungodly.”

To be fair, the organiser of the prayer had immediately acknowledged the mistake. They apologised very early on via a Facebook page of the night club.

LESSON 2: COLLECTED RESPONSE

It was good to note the calm and collected initial response from those angered by the disrespect shown to SGGS. They did not overreact. They did not start burning cars or get themselves into a punch up. That would have been sad. Such poor judgment, had it taken place, would have ended up as the headline, and not the beadbi itself. Well done, guys!

Sikhs, whether individually or in jathas (groups), must always temper their responses in such events. It’s okay to be angry. It’s fine to be unhappy. In fact, it is great to note that Sikhs were moved enough to want to do something when they saw the blatant disrespect shown to SGGS.

However, they must always temper that raw anger with love and wisdom that Guru Sahib wants us to carry.

LESSON 3: DISPUTE RESOLUTION MECHANISM

On the whole, the matter was well handled. It is good to see community leaders rising to the occasion in unison, and showing matured and an almost collective response.

When word got around, a group of Sikhs had gone to the location. When the event was over, they had respectfully  taken the SGGS away from the premises. Fortunately, no scenes were created here, by all parties present.

The next day, four organisations met to discuss the matter further. Present were representatives from Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM), Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC), Sant Attar Singh Ji Brahm Vidya Niketan Malaysia and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Academy (SGGS Academy). All four organisations are involved, in one way or others, in Sikhi parchaar. They decided to set-up the Panj Pyareh, consisting members from the various organisations.

The move was laudable. It is a good start in developing a dispute resolution method.We don’t need to go to Akaal Takht or look elsewhere every time are faced with difficulties.

Now, let us make the process stronger, more collective in nature. The next time, they should also involve representatives from the Coalition of Malaysian Sikh Organisations (CMSO). This is a loose coalition of eight Malaysian Sikh organisations, including Khalsa Diwan Malaysia (KDM) and Sant Sohan Singh Ji Melaka Memorial Society Malaysia. No reason to leave them out. Let us fortify the dispute resolution mechanism by making it more collective, more wholesome.

LESSON 4: ALTERNATIVE IDEAS

If the owner insisted on conducting a prayer session, he could have easily organised it minus the SGGS. No one would have objected, no hue and cry would have ensued.

Why bring the SGGS to the night club? In fact, you can stretch that question further: why take the SGGS to homes and places of business?

People should stop doing things just because we’ve always been doing it. So, if others have been bringing SGGS to their homes, do we follow suit? These are questions that we should ponder. Let us better understand our actions, and test them against the teachings of Guru Sahib.

LESSON 5: BOOZE IS OK?

The next obvious question is on the use and abuse of alcohol.

One Facebook user who waded into the issue had something interesting to share. Ajitpal Singh from Seremban says: “I don’t blame the Giannis…They probably have done similar prayers at [people’s] house where I dare say a significant percentage of them have liquor on display in their homes….trying to work out how this is any different…maybe becos we don’t call those homes as bars…”

In another thread on the same topic, a 28-year male Sikh, responded to calls to boycott the pub in question. He writes: “Why you people want to boycott Moshi Moshi pub…if you all are really sad about the beadbi why not try to follow the teaching of our Guru Sahib…Do you think Guru Sahib will be happy you all boycott Moshi Moshi but still go and drink alcohol in any other pub.”

Most of us are quite clear about what Sikhi says about intoxicants, alcohol included. The only question is: Do we want to do anything about it?

So, these are some of the lessons we can pick up from the Moshi-Moshi Prayer Fiasco. If you have more, please share them in the Comment page. — ASIA SAMACHAR (Jan 11, 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

 

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. Please share to inform your friends of this new portal for Sikhs in this part of the world. Go to www.asiasamachar.com]

 

EARLIER STORIES ON THIS TOPIC AT ASIA SAMACHAR:

Moshi-Moshi prayer fiasco

Parties admit to mistakes in Moshi-Moshi prayer fiasco

 

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Brother,
    I have this article from a Navneet Kaur was written in the face book sometime 2010.
    There must be TRUST and Most of all Undivided Faith in the SGGS.

    Waheguru kaun hai?
    September 21, 2010 at 9:21am

    Waheguru kaun hai? Written by Navneet Kaur.

    Many of have this question and many at times we have asked this question to ourselves and people around us. Most of the times, we go & asked our so called “Granthi or Gyanis or Bhai of a gurudwara” and all would guide us towards “SGGS (Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji)”… or would tell us “Guru granth sada pita, paramatma te Akalpurakh hai”. This has been going for hundreds of years and from generations to generations.

    We all are put on the path of “rituals & reading the bani”. We have been doing this for hundreds of years and from generations to generations. And if someone tell us this is not the right path, we give example of “My great grand father was doing it, my grand father was following it, my father taught me this and now I am teaching this to my son”. We argue that “Everyone cant be wrong”

    Let’s ask SGGS and hear what bani has to say on this. According to SGGS “Roop, Rang ne Rekh kich, Treh gun to the prabh bhin, Tisse bhujaaye Naneka, jiss hove suparsan”.

    The bani is very clear about waheguru (akal purakah), who is beyound 3 qualities, which are ROOP (HE is not beautiful nor Ugly), RANG (HE is not black or white or any other color) & RAIKH (HE is beyond any shape)…… before we go into any further details of these 3 qualities we must clarify one thing in our mind… Waheguru is either full of 3 qualities or have NONE of these qualities. Don’t understand this? I know this sounds a little absurd but here we are talking about WAHEGURU, who is everywhere and HE is nowhere similarly HE is full of these 3 qualities and HE does not have any of these 3 qualities.

    So, if god is beyond these 3 qualities than our “imagination” of waheguru, whom we believe is in a kind of HUMAN shape with certain features becomes invalid. A lot of people believe that a SIKH means a certain “characteristics” of a human. Let’s ask SGGS what our gurus have to say about this. According to SGGS “Chodo vais baikh chaturayee, dubidha eh, fal nahi jiyo”.. Guru is very clear that any OUTSIDE characteristics or “VAIS” that we wear is going to create a lot of doubts in our minds and in the end we will be tied with “VAIS” only and forget what is the real meaning of a “SIKH”

    The other very important point that about “WAHEGURU”. We all have formed an illusive image of Waheguru in our minds, which is that “I must do THIS” (could be anything like rituals, recitation of bani or charity or anything) else “HE” would not be “Happy” with me or “Punish” me. Let’s ask SGGS and hear what guru has to say about WAHEGURU (Akalpurakh). According to SGGS “Mith bolada ji, harr sajjan soami mora. Haon sammal thakki ji, Ou kade naa bole Kauda”.

    So if the guru is saying that I have tried everything and in the end I have realised that Akalpurakh knows only ONE thing, which is LOVE, HE does not (it does not matter how bad we are) know how to speak or do anything BAD to his children (like a father, who does not know how to be bad to his kids).

    But I guess the problem is that we FEAR because we don’t realize that HE is our father. We treat him like a “Head Master” of a school, who only knows how to teach discipline to the children. Whereas Father knows how to teach HIS children the etiquettes (how to be a good SIKH) but with LOVE.

    In order to understand this relationship of Waheguru (akalpurakh) and a Sikh (children), we need to understand the relationship between Father & children. Let’s ask what SGGS has to say on this. According to SGGS “Jaisa balak bhaay subhai, lakh aapradh kamaave, kar updesh childke bahun bhanti, bahud pita gall laave” means as a we children only know (as the habit of children) to do silly mistakes but the father would some time shout at you but in the end would give you guidance and would hug you & praise you so you do good next time. Do we have such relationship with WAHEGURU (our father)?

    Do we trust our father? What is the trust of children on their father? For example my son asked me for Rs. 100/- to buy something for his needs. I without any hesitation gave him the money but that made me realise something, which is the trust of a child on his father, which is that his current need was only Rs. 100 and he asked me for that only because he has a trust on me that if he needs more tomorrow, he can certainly ask me again. But do we do that with our father??? On the contrary what we do? We don’t trust HIM, we want to have everything “TODAY”. It seems we don’t have a trust that our “FATHER” may not grant our “wishes’ tomorrow.

    How we treat Waheguru? We treat him like a “superman”, who can solve all our problems, who has a solution for everything. Yes, this is right but we need to understand that HE is NOT a superMAN. He does not need things or so called “rishvat” (bribes) from us to grant us favors. We treat him like a human. We go to gurudawara and present a few rupees (without realizing that it is HIS money and in reality they are some mere papers) or some flowers (without “realizing that they are from HIS garden, called planet earth which is created by HIM) and want HIM to grant all our wishes in exchange. We do charity like an investment in the hope of GOOD RETURNS. We don’t do it for HIS love.

    My dear veers & sisters, we need to open our eyes & hearts and look for Waheguru outside our “Beliefs” & “Thoughts”. HE is not OUTSIDE, HE is INSIDE and we can only find HIM with LOVE. We can find him with love in “BANI” (we have to read Bani to find him or connect to him and not do it like a duty a few times a day), with love in “PEOPLE” around us (because HE is in everyone..) and most importantly with love for HIM in “US”…

  2. kudos to Malaysian Sikhs for reacting quickly to this issue and professional addressing it but we must be consistent. What about a Sikh NGO which organised a concert full of vices and branded it a SIKH festival?

  3. we need credible religious organisations to take the lead in dispute resolution when it comes to SIKHI. Leaders must themselves lead by practicing Sikh values. Are the leaders of this loose CMSO coalition up for it?? This issue is not a political issue but touches on religious sensitivity. Maybe Malaysia should just elect permanent members of a dispute resolution board.

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