The God of Agendas

What we had in Iqbal Singh was a rogue agenda dressed in the finery of a conviction; supported by the venality of the ruling class; and allowed to persist by the corrupt and decadent Sikh leadership at the SGPC and Akal Takhat.

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Iqbal Singh attending the Ayodhya mandir foundation stone laying event on 5 Aug 2020. Inserts: (Left to right, clockwise) Iqbal when talking to media, aarti pooja at Patna Sahib, Indian PM Narendra Modi speaking at Ayodhya and slaughter of goat at Patna Sahib
By Karminder Singh Dhillon | OPINION |

Agenda is the new god of religion in the world we live in. It’s a god whose existance requires the Creation of truths where none exist. It’s a god whose worship requires the Sustenance of rewriting history. It’s a god who seeks to Destruct all those who do not submit.

Every idea, action and event that counts as religious must fit into the Agenda.

The foundation stone laying event at Ayodhya on August 5th was no exception. The prime minister of a 1.2 billion secular nation prostrated to his Agenda god in clear and succinct language when he said in his public address:

“From Somnath to Kashi Vishwanath, from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath, from Amritsar to Patna Sahib, from Lakshadweep to Leh, the entire of India is Ram Maya.” In real terms what this head of state made clear was that the Agenda god of his religion comes complete with its trinity too: Conquest, Subjugation and Assimilation. He continued: “There is Kamban Ramayana in Tamil; and Kumudendu Ramayana in Tamil, Oriya, and Kannada. If we go to Kashmir, there is Ramavatarcharit, Ramcharitam in Malayalam, Krittivasi Ramayana in Bengali, Guru Gobind Singh himself wrote Gobind Ramayana.”

One could be excused for wondering if these were the words of a head of state or a high priest. So great is the love and devotion towards the agenda that conjuring up historical facts pertaining to others and for others appears to have become the pooja of the poojari in chief.

OUR OWN POOJARIS

The Dalai Lama turned down the invite to be present. He is a man of wisdom. He surely had not forgotten what he had said at the height of the dispute: that the clashes over Ayodhya “caused me deep personal anguish.” He said that he considered the row as “an aberration” and he believed that “the issue could be resolved through mutual trust, mutual faith and mutual respect. If he attended, he would not only be standing over the rubble of a destroyed Masjid, but on the ashes of his own convictions.

The Christian, Muslim and Jaini leaders were nowhere to be found. If nothing else, the COVID-19 pandemic could have acted as a polite excuse to stay away from an event that celebrated the destruction of one place of worship to build another. The 22-kilogram silver foundation brick notwithstanding.

Indian PM Narendra Modi speaking at the Ayodhya mandir foundation stone laying event on 5 Aug 2020 – Photo: Screengrab from live video on his Facebook page

But the logic-defying, position grabbing, and sacked polygamist former jathedar of Takhat Patna, Iqbal Singh found it fit to make his presence felt – and heard. He had acted as a high priest of his own Agenda god for a good 35 years. He has pursued his agenda of proving that Sikhs are Hindus, that Sikh Gurus worshipped Hindu gods and goddesses, that Sikhism was a mere offshoot of Hinduism, the sahibzadey were reincarnations of Hindu gods, and the Sri Guru Granth Sahib was no more than an exegesis of ancient Hindu scriptures.

For 35 years as jathedar of Patna, he had taken pains to ensure the Takhat was indistinguishable from a mandir. He installed the Bachittar Natak in the sanctum sanctorum of the Takhat. He ensured a goat was slaughtered publicly, cooked and consumed daily by the poojaris under his control. And its blood applied as a tilak to the cache of weapons kept at the Takhat. He conducted arti pooja on a daily basis. And he issued nonsense filled statements on a regular basis.

What we had in Iqbal Singh was a rogue agenda dressed in the finery of a conviction; supported by the venality of the ruling class; and allowed to persist by the corrupt and decadent Sikh leadership at the SGPC and Akal Takhat. His agenda was paid for by the millions of gullible and credulous Sikhs all over the world who visited the personal shrine that this man had made the Takhat to be. These millions handed him the legitimacy for his agenda on a silver platter in the form of huge regular attendances and ever larger collections.

So why would Iqbal Singh want to give Ayodhya a miss. It was his best opportunity to further his agenda. And that he did without missing a heartbeat.

While the mandirs of Ayodhya were undertaking the akhand paths of the Ramayan; Ayodhya’s Gurdwara Brahamkund Sahib – at the behest of Iqbal Singh – decided to undertake the ritual of an akhand path of the Guru Granth Sahib to express gratitude for the construction of the temple. Iqbal Singh showed up to perform the ardas during the bhog of akhand path before proceeding to the mandir site.

At Ayodhya he declared that Sikh Gurus were descendants of Luv and Kush – the sons of Ram and Sita. In one sweeping concocted lie, he had ingratiated himself to his masters. In one move, he had plugged his ??? Koor agenda into the larger umbrella one. Much like emptying his trash can into the bigger dumpster.

The stench of Iqbal Singh’s own trash blinded him to the shenanigans of inviting a Sikh leader to be present at the Ayodhya event. The event was a blatant attempt to sour Sikh – Muslim relations, a chance to show that Sikhs were part of the Hindu fold, and a sham attempt to show that the mandir construction had widespread acceptance amongst other faiths in India. But all of these were of no concern to Iqbal. It was of no concern to him that Sikhs themselves had suffered the humiliation of the destruction of their places of worship – the Darbar Sahib and Akal Takhat in 1984; and that Sikhs could never support the act of constructing places of worship by destroying those of other faiths.

It was of no concern to him that the court decision on Ayodhya had made a mockery of Sikhs, their Gurus and their religions. Pages 63,64 and 65 of the Addenda to the judgement recorded as “facts” deduced from testimony of “experts” that (i) Guru Nanak sought “darshan” of Ram Chander’s birth place at Ayodhya. (2) Guru Nanak got an “appearance of God” which prepared him to go see Ram Chander’s birth place and 3) Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh ji also sought “darshan” of Ram Chander at his “birth place” at Ayodhya.

One Hindu commentator put it succinctly: “it was almost asif Gurus Nanak, Teg Bahadur and Gobind Singh had come back from the beyond to give testimony on behalf of Ram Chander to the 5 judges hearing the Ayodhya case.”

Some Sikhs may have taken solace in the fact that at least the Akal Takhat and SGPC leaders of the Sikhs chose not to attend. But the solace is as hollow as the three claims made in the judgement. True, the acting jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh chose not to attend. But he has shown moral timidity in not stating publicly his reason for staying away. A truth that goes un-uttered in a timely basis is a worthless truth – akin to the barking of a guard dog after the thieves have left with the loot.

The Hindustan Times, on 4th August carried this report about Harpreet Singh. When asked if he would be attending the event on August 5, the jathedar said, “I have not read the invitation.” When told that the contents of the invitation had been published in the newspapers, he said, “I have not read the newspapers.” At the time of this writing, the jathedar has yet to say anything regarding Iqbal Singh’s attendance and actions.

Sikhs need to understand that truths are never invented to serve agendas, but that truths liberate us from them. Sikhs will never be able to move forward while stuck in backward agendas of the Iqbal Singh type. So what is the truth?

RSS – Photo: Unofficial RSS Facebook page
THE TRUTH IS COMMON SENSE

That Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists are Hindu just because they are descendants of the Indus is indeed the hogwash argument that is presented by the by BJP, Shiv Sena and RSS.

The same defective argument is applied by some skewed Jews who claim Christians and Muslims are breakaway or deviant Jews because they descended from the same civilization. Civilization and spirituality are not to be confused. Every prophet was born into an existing religion. Christ into a Jewish family. Buddha and Guru Nanak into Hindu families, Mohamed into an animist one. But they exited their inherited belief systems and started new and independent paths.

Just like every child is born of a mother. But the child is distinct and possesses a separate identity from the mother from the moment of birth. Only a puerile person would argue that we need to go to the mother to take her vital signs whenever the child needs treatment.

Sikhs are not Hindus. And our Gurus did not descend from mythological figures. Those who continue to propogate such humbug are the poojaris of the god of their Agendas.

 

Note: This article appeared in The Sikh Bulletin (Vol 2020 Issue 3, July-Sept 2020). See here for the pdf. The author, Karminder Singh Dhillon, PhD (Boston), is its joint-editor. He can be contacted at dhillon99@gmail.com. 

 

RELATED STORY:

Reignition of Dasam Granth controversy (Asia Samachar, 21 Aug 2020)

Taking Sikhi Back to 1468 (Asia Samachar, 11 June 2020)

Lost in Translation (Asia Samachar, 8 May 2019)

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Again a subject that needed discussing openly has turned into a slanging match by Barmy karmy. Barmy Karmy says that Iqbal Singh installed Bachitar Natak at Patna Sahib which is an outrageous lie. It was installed there from centuries.

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