LETTER | MALAYSIA
We may have many Sikh non-governmental organisations in country, but I belief that none has the stature of the Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM) as a single most significant.
It will not be exaggerating to say that almost every Sikh household in Malaysia would have at some point participated in an activity organised by the SNSM. As a matter of fact, many of us grew up associating with the SNSM as a sole-pillar which brought us together, only to become stronger.
Over the years, the SNSM has organised many impactful and meaningful events, signature being the Gurmat Parchar Samelan, Hola Mahalla Games and Vasakhi Semagam.
While the Samelan has grown to include international participation, Hola Mohalla games provides a platform for young Sikhs to gather and demonstrate unity by competing against each other in the spirit of brotherhood.
The Vasakhi semagam, previously fondly known as “Cheras Programme”, has propelled Sikhi into remarkable heights. This event has indeed been significant in fortifying the foothold of Sikhi in Malaysia, taking us closer towards the teachings of our Gurus. Collectively, the Kirtan sessions nurture our soul while the parcharks (preachers) mould our thinking; in many cases leaving a significant impact in our lives.
It is therefore vital that these parcharaks and kirtanis are carefully identified and selected with strict due diligence process in place, regardless of any sponsor’s interest. After all, it is an unwavering responsibility to serve the wider sanggat, which goes beyond fueling personal interests. The ultimate objective must be to nurture Sikhi, the right way, premised on fundamentals outlined by Panth approved Sikh Rehat Maryada (SRM).
This year, it was initially a shocker when a seemingly controversial individual from the UK, based on the person’s YouTube videos demonstrating blasphemous ideology, was entrusted to address the sanggat at the Vasakhi Semagam, but congratulations to the SNSM leadership who rose to the occasion and later retracted that same invitation.
It is important that our key organisations such as the SNSM demonstrate leadership is ensuring that our religious school of thought as ordained by our Gurus is not in any way disrupted by controversial individuals. In this instance, our leaders at the SNSM had realised their responsibility as individuals vested with the power to ensure that the Sanggat remains united at all times.
It must be a fundamental rule that Semagams, especially those organised by SNSM, to only feature individuals who subscribe to teachings as ordained by Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and conform to the established principles of the Sikh Rehat Maryada (SRM) are allowed to do parchar. Nothing more, nothing less!
We cannot and must not at any cost allow our own individual belief to risk disuniting the larger sanggat. While we have witnessed ugly scenes unfolding in our backyard previously, we should never pave the way for more destruction?
It is hoped that the SNSM leadership is more careful when extending invitation to parcharaks and kirtanis in the future. A thorough due diligence must be conducted.
Well done, SNSM!
Darshan Singh Dhillon
* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com] 18559
SNSM Vaisakhi kick-off starts on April 5 at Tatt Khalsa (Asia Samachar, 16 March 2018)
Malaysia’s annual Vaisakhi kick-off goes to Klang (Asia Samachar, 14 March 2016)