‘SRM is a compromise made at a much more divisive time’

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Opinion | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 25 May 2017 | Asia Samachar 

By Autar Singh

Malaysian sanggat has always been united in believing in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (SSGS) as our eternal Shabad Guru and the Panth Parvanit Sikh Reht Maryada (SRM) as our one unifying maryada.

This unity started eroding when alternative maryadas got introduced in Malaysia through deras and groups. We were divided on mool mantar, on nitnem, on Rehraas, on our diet (vegetarian or not), and so many other issues. But at least we still had Gurbani in our Guru to guide us.

The matter became worse when an agressive attempt was made to promote other compositions outside Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as gurbani. Simultaneously, the granth from which these other compositions were being promoted, was being promoted as the bani of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, therefore to be accorded similar respect and reverence as the bani of the other Guru Sahibaan in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Examples were given of the two Takhts outside Punjab, deras and Nihung chhaunees where parkash of this Dasam Granth was done together with the parkash of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. In fact the Sarab Loh Granth was also promoted to be installed next to the other two as in Nihung chhaunees.

We have the freedom to believe in whatever we like in our personal lives. However, on a community level we need to have a unifying belief as we did all this while. That unifier is Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as our Guru with the Gurbani in it as our only Shabad Guru, and the Panth Parvanit Sikh Reht Maryada as our sole Code of Conduct and Conventions.

Some of us talk of compromise. Please remember that the SRM is a compromise made at a much more divisive time. It is a document that is meant to unify all the myriad groups that were present then and have increased now. In these times we need to stand as a rock with the SRM if we want unity. If that compromise document is not accepted today, no other compromise is possible.

The SRM was not created by either one of the organisations in the centre of our local dilemma. It is therefore a neutral document to all parties. It has the strength to unite the sanggat again if all parties sincerely subscribe to it.

Thank you.
Guru raakhaa
Autar Singh

Autar Singh is the outgoing Secretary General of the Coalition of Malaysian Sikh Organistion (CMSO) and a former jathedar of Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia

* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.

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