| Opinion | 22 Aug 2016 | Asia Samachar |
Like Pokemon, it’s becoming the talk of the town. At recent weddings and sangeets, a discussion on the latest Dasam Granth (now popularly referred to as DG) debate raging on the social media is a must. By and large I personally have been uplifted and educated by the debate.
However increasingly, many seem to view it as a battleground. This is an irony as upon close examination, you will find that the pro-DGs and anti-DGs have more common cause between themselves than with the majority of our Sikh sangat (who don’t know or don’t care).
Here’s a short summary of how they are alike:
- Both camps revere and venerate Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Pro-DGs believe DG is a compilation of Guru Gobind Singh’s writings and therefore DG should be venerated as a chota granth (smaller granth) and given its due respect. Anti-DGs believe it is an insult to connect Guru Gobind Singh to most of the works contained within the DG due to the inconsistencies and contradictions with Gurbani, salutations to Hindu deities and the signing off by different poet names…among other reasons.
How do they come to such different conclusions? They have different perspectives and teachers…but hey, at least unlike us, they have actually taken the time and effort to read it! This brings me to point number two.
2. Both have read or studied the DG
Pro-DG manage to interpret to their satisfaction and take more controversial portions on faith. They regard it as Guru Gobind Singh’s attempt to imbue his Khalsa with martial spirit during those testing times of siege and battles. Anti-DG find it hard to ignore the overbearing presence of Hindu-based mythology and constant evocation of a Hindu deity. They consider a majority of DG content to be random literature and translation works rather than elevated spiritual writings of Guru Gobind Singh.
3. Both believe that the other party has a secret agenda in pushing their belief systems
The accusations hurled at each other often name the other party as minions of certain scholars, agents, sants, political leaders. Like many of us we all have friends on both sides of the debate. Personally, I see little evidence of this. Most are just actual seekers of truth afraid that the other camp is out to manipulate the Sikh sangat. And, unfortunately, this fear is evident in the way they conduct themselves. This brings me to my next point.
4. Both should be ashamed of engaging in unbecoming Sikh behaviour online
This is actually directed to the few aggressive individuals, not the whole camp. These are the individuals who do not read before commenting, who fail to engage with integrity, who respond with arrogance and insults, and who name-call and cyber bully those they do not agree with. Go view the debates and you can see who they are for yourselves.
These individuals should look within themselves and confront the character weaknesses that exist despite their attempts at elevating themselves spiritually. If you cannot debate an issue and still remain friends with your fellow Sikh brothers than go back to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and fortify your virtues within. For that I am thankful for the last similarity I have found….
5. Both accept Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as our undisputed source of spiritual wisdom
If we all agree that Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is the one and only Guru, than never fear we Sikhs will be divided. Guide those who have been consumed by their anger and fear back to the incomparable and undisputed Sachi Bani of SGGS ji.
The battle of DG is unnecessary. Let’s battle fear and ignorance instead.
Sharan Kaur, a mother of three, is involved in Sikh community work in Malaysia and Singapore
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of the Asia Samachar.
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