| Opinion | Malaysia | 4 Aug 2016 | Asia Samachar |
There’s a raging hurricane within the Sikh Diaspora community in Malaysia right now, threatening to tear through the very fabric of brotherhood that the pioneer generations so proudly wove. The arguments, the debates, the mud slinging, are mainly happening on the social media. Multiple groups and threads are sporadically mushrooming amongst a wide variety of circles, it’s really impossible to have a handle of how enormous these generated discussions have evolved.
Factions have rapidly emerged, with each rearing its ugly head of bearing the responsibility to uphold the truth and nothing but the truth. The natural leaders of these factions have taken it upon themselves to be the keeper of these truths, for they hold the knowledge they have painstakingly acquired over the years that the Sanggat are not privy to, or not even ‘Graced yet’ to behold and appreciate. These leaders will very quickly credit their knowledge, that they’ve understood and realised, to the Guru’s Grace they’ve received specially from, and have taken it upon themselves to be responsible to spread the knowledge to the more unlucky Sanggat who are perhaps not as Graced as they are.
There’s an oxymoron in there somewhere. Humbled with Grace, yet arrogantly proud to the not so Graced. Indeed, all factions and their leaders will unflinchingly proclaim that the Sanggat is be uphold second to the Guru bar none. Perhaps, the very same Sanggat does indeed need encouragement and enlightenment from these keepers of truth. After all, I try to be part of the Sanggat and Waheguru knows I need enlightenment as much as the Sikh next to me.
You see, the debate centers around a collection of texts that is revered by some of us. The authenticity of the writer of these texts have always been believed to be our Greatest Spiritual Father Guru Gobind Singh. Some of us have challenged this authenticity claiming that it contradicts His core principle that His Sikhs are to only bow down and revere to His successor, Guru Granth Sahib, and absolutely nobody else.
Anyway, as the debate grew and attracted more inputs from wider circles within the Virtual Sanggat, truths deemed subjective by their opponents are shared and some even imposed onto the debate. Authorities from the Sikh echelons are brought in to be school prefects and weigh in to cut away at the uncertainties. Yet, these Sikh personalities are also critically questioned, and let’s be honest, finding one with pristine credibility maybe a stretch for our imaginations. This is the state of our cynicism as a whole community. Those keepers of truth earlier mentioned won’t easily concede to the opposing keepers of truths, and these discussions will rage on, further widening the chasm between the factions. It’s a vicious cycle.
Don’t get me wrong. Discussions within these Sanggats in the digital virtual realm aren’t a bad thing at all. By virtue of being a Sikh, a seeker of truth, questioning and discussing is an integral part of the process to learn and realise. The harder the questions, the harder the realisations.
Introspection is as vital in this process. Challenging our own beliefs as we introspect is key to a fundamental teaching of our Gurus. And it’s a never ending process till our dying breath.
So, these discussions and questioning on the social media platforms are as powerful and influential as the outreach they have.
However, there are no boundaries, and apparently no decorum and no regulation on the rules of engagement (if that actually even exists). It’s the Wild West and it’s free for all. Be it for the influential powers that they behold, like everything else, there’s the specter of the double edged sword. It can be so good to propagate learning and awareness to the masses with multiple generations to benefit from the discussions and debates, but it can be so bad that hysterical fear can spread like wildfire from the threat of uncertainty and ambiguity.
The keepers of truth have huge responsibilities on their hands as they wield this double edged sword.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE! Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
FROM THE SAME AUTHOR:
Naujawan Sabha at a crossroads (Asia Samachar, 26 March 2016)
Too young to be an amritdhari? (Asia Samachar, 7 Jan 2016)
Samelan organising committee took a bold (Asia Samachar, 25 Dec 2015)
Looking for next Santokh for Malaysian football (Asia Samachar, 25 Oct 2015)
Granthis aren’t built like they used to anymore – JAGDESH (Asia Samachar, 6 April 2015)
Would it be so bad if I married a Muslim? – JAGDESH (Asia Samachar, 5 Mar 2015)
SGGS-DG Discourse: Another stumbling block towards Ekta of the Sikh panth? (Asia Samachar, 4 Aug 2016)
Sikh council tells Malaysian gurdwaras not to permit Dasam Granth preaching (Asia Samachar, 3 Aug 2016)
MGC: Dasam Granth video clips not a ‘directive’ (Asia Samachar, 3 Aug 2016)
Dasam Granth video directive ignites debate in Malaysia (Asia Samachar, 1 Aug 2016)
Dasam Granth: Twisting Bones Till They Snap (Asia Samachar, 30 June 2016)
Twister to Father’s Day message (Asia Samachar, 25 June 2016)
Father’s Day and Dasam Granth (Asia Samachar, 21 June 2016)
Guru Granth and Dasam Granth: A comparison (Asia Samachar, 12 June 2016)
AWAT: The Terrible Two’s Again? (Asia Samachar, 28 May 2016)
Dasam Granth again (Asia Samachar, 29 April 2016)
Khoj Gurbani at two (Asia Samachar, 29 April 2016)
Q&A with Dr Karminder Singh on Dasam Granth issue (Asia Samachar, 22 April 2016)
MGC fears Akaal Ustat Semagam can split Sanggat, cause disunity (Asia Samachar, 21 April 2016)
‘One Granth One Panth’ call from Global Sikh Council (Asia Samachar, 11 April 2016)
False lure of the past: Lap dogs, watch dogs & attack dogs? (Asia Samachar, 5 April 2016)
When our quirks define us: A parable revisited (Asia Samachar, 10 March 2016)
Questioning faith (Asia Samachar, 26 Feb 2016)
You want to respect Guru, make shabad accessible (Asia Samachar, 14 Jan 2016)