Dasam Granth Debate: The double edged sword

Dasam Granth issue in Malaysia risks degenerating into a Wild West debate, and may sow seeds of uncertainty and ambiguity, argues columnist JAGDESH SINGH

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.

Jagdesh2Jagdesh Singh, a Kuala Lumpur-based executive with a US multinational company, is a father of three girls who are as 
opinionated as their mother


[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]


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  1. Sakat Saang na keecheeyeah is SGGS advise to Sikhs.

    Gyani Ji
    Agreed but as is commonly known there are many other prohibitions in SGGS Ji and by our Guru Jis. These include payment of dowries, respect for women and elders, maintaining of Sikhi Saroop, daswand to name a few. Sadly the practices still continue including taking the SGGS Ji to hotels for wedding ceremonies and houses with liquor bars having the SGGS Jis saroop in a room.

    Like most religions followers selectiveness may be common even among Sikhs.

    To err is human and WAHE GURU JI IS ALL FORGIVING.

  2. Gursharan singh ji..if i am not mistaken there is a SAKAT cult in India..they worship Mahakaal and meat and alcohol, free sex etc are part of their religious rituals. Sakat Saang na keecheeyeah is SGGS advise to Sikhs. The ajanta mandirs paintings etc may be from that era in Hinduism when SAKATS were the Majority.This was also called the Sakas.. Also in Hinduism the male and female organs of reproduction are actually openly worshipped..there is one such open session in japan also..so as you said..to each his own…

  3. The carvings on ELLORA/AJANTA CAVES OF NUDE POSTURES ARE ART TO SOME BUT PORNOGRAPHY to others depending on which group one belongs to.
    In Karanatka [Mysore] State in South India there is a VERY LARGE NUDE STATUE OF LORD BUDDHA IN ALL ITS GLORY and visible for miles around due to its size and location on a hill top. I have visited it.
    I get the perception that the ‘DG’ may be in the same category. TO EACH HIS/HER OWN.

  4. As I see, it is easy to be critical,and make up stories.This issue is not new, but since 1895.The text has been repeatedly rejected only to be brought back by the not so much as truth holders, but bullies and people with ego and turned into wild west.

    It is counter oxymoron to believe somewhere in there a Sikhs has withheld TRUTH from the not so graced.It is the duty of the no so graced to get graced with rightful knowledge and not oxymoron stories; and spread that as the grace of truth.

    Get both the outer and inner perceptions right, and light of grace will shine.