Sunday, May 27, 2007

Dera Sacha Sauda

The Dera Sacha Sauda episode refuses to die out. The other day, it was the subject of a heated debate in our house too... here are the "exclusive" excerpts:

"He" stands, obviously, for the person I was having this discussion with.

He: How can someone dress up like Guru Gobind Singh? Use the same baptism mode? This man does not even measure up to the toemail of the Guruji.
We have nothing against the creation of Deras. They do not come under Sikhism and we have no issues with how someone else runs a spiritual center. But to mislead simple people with a well known image, and to benefit from the replication of such an image, when you are not worthy of any such replication, is not acceptable. For a corrupt criminal like him to even place the word "Singh" after his name, is a disgrace to Sikhsim.

Me: Sure he doesnt measure up to Guruji. Thats why he is copying, remember? But how does it make a difference to my faith if 10,000 ppl dress up like Guru Gobind Singh? I know they are not Guru Gobind Singh, and never can be.

He: That may be the strength of one person's faith. But the majority will not have a faith that strong.

Me: We are not responsible for the strength of other people's faith.
Tell me, why are there Dalit Sikhs in Punjab in the first place? To have a Dalit Sikh is to deny the very foundation on which the Sikh faith was built. "Ek noor te sab jag upajaya, kaun bhale ko mande"
एक नूर ते सब जग उपज्या , कौन भले को मंदे ॥
(One light has given birth to all, so who may we call Holy and who unholy?)
Are the people who exploit these poor Sikhs and keep them as Dalit Sikhs, worthy of being called "Sikhs"? They are the bigger criminals in the books of Sikhism।

Why is it that a state that was ravaged by the political play of the INC, voted the same party back to power? The party that was responsible for the economic devastation and the social fabric tarnishing of the state, was brought back with honours? How can a people allow this? Even a so called "caste driven" state like UP has shown better political sense! The current issue is also hugely driven by politics, but we as Punjabis continue to be drawn into a battle that is non existant to start with.

Human Gurus are not allowed in Sikhism. Go to the gurudwara in Sec. 38C of Chandigarh. You will find pictures of these "gurus" from various Deras in the basement of the Gurudwara. That is not the icing on the cake. The icing is that these pictures are placed in the form of a square "Pradakshina" . This gurudwara comes under the SGPC.

Sikhism also prohibits a Sikh from using any form of Caste identification. Yet, more and more Sikhs are found writing "Singh Chawla" or "Singh Banipal" etc. after their surname. I find that a recent phenomenon in the Obit columns of newpapers. It is not about rituals. It is about the spirit behind that rule. That spirit is violated when you place a matrimonial ad asking for "Ramgarhia Sikh match required for..."

If the SGPC needs to accuse anyone, it is itself. If Sikhism needs to look anywhere, it is within.

The third person in the room: "Will the two of you please shut up? "


Mai said...

I said something similar in our blog the other day. I think that castism is a major cause of the popularity of these deras, and if we would be proper Sikhs, the problem would become much less.

Please come visit and read the's right before the current one about the movie AMU?

Just as a kind word of advuce, most of the interesting comments on my blogs come from 'anonymous.'

Neihal said...

That reminds I need to read about this. Kya ho raha hai?

Velu Nair said...

Half an year was gone in a blink, and I return here to read much that I had missed. Hope u have been doing good!

dharmabum said...

completely agree - not just sikhism, every religion needs to look within. we need the boldness to identify and root out our own evils first.

read an interesting article in the paper yesterday -

i would like your views on it too - if u don't mind please :)

virdi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
virdi said...

arre yar religion ne india ki aur indians ki band baja ke rakjh di hai... and about Sikhism and politics, I would suggest you should see the last names of all the High post officers in Punjab... Be it in Electicity boards, in pollution control boards, education boards... all of them are Sidhus, Randhawas, Aujlas, Brars, bajwas, etc... who are all these people??? Jat Sikhs.

All tis brings in cast based discrimination... Its there everywhere in Punjab... The move to give pain to Dera Saacha Saudha was totally right if this person had hurt the sentiments of the sikhs... But there is a way... Akal Talkht should have sent a letter asking for clarification.. this was glorification of the wonr doings of the sikhs... Sorry but i was ashamed to see sikhs out on the streets wiuth swords... Looked like we have taliban rule in Punjab...

waise Deepu ka JEE result aacha nahi raha... His AIR is 6076.. counseling is on 22nd June.. Lets see... But he did well in AIEEE, AIR is 2075 and TN Rank is 31... will get through REC Trichy...

Cyberkitty said...

I had not heard of dera sacha sauda before this idea why they are thinking that its bad to dress like a religious leader. Other religions have plays where actors dress up like religious figures all the time.

Psycho Surd said...

Dont you really think this issue has been over advertised,publicized and politicized???.. i feel once we really stop attending such trivial issues such unfortunate incidents wudnt even take place...

bawazee said...

Unfortunate. I hope it ends peacefully !

How do we know said...

Hi Mai: I read the post and kind of agree with the post, but there are other things that i saw at the blog, that merit discussion.. another time, perhaps.

Also wish i could see Amu - its not released here yet.

Hi Neihal: Ab kuchh nahi ho raha hai. Lets look for the next scandal in India ;-)

Hi Velu: You were sorely missed, and am very glad u are back. Hang in here now please.

Hi Dharma: Am flattered to be asked for an opinion :-) the link, unfortunately, got truncated, and i reached the master page of all stories in the Hindu on that day.. think you could retry posting the link please?

Hi Virdee: I soooo agree.. We are going back to the pre-1947 days in terms of religious and caste fanaticism. Dekhte hain is baar kaun sa hissa takseem hota hai.
Good to know abt Deepu's result, and REC Trichy is neat!!

Hi Cyberkitty: Personally, i also do not understand the pain of someone repeating the baptism ceremony of Guru Gobind Singh. Just to clarify, what happened was that this person impersonated the 10th Guru, and a very, very respected Baptism ceremony that was started by the 10th Guruji. In doing so, he indicated that he is on par with the 10th Guru, and is, in fact, the next avatar of the Guru. The Sikhs did not quite agree.

But people who have been antagonised do have a perspective, that I have put in the first paragraph of this post. If you look at it that way, it makes sense as a possible point of view. However, its not a point of view that I agree with.

Hi Psycho Surd: Haan, perhaps, way too politicised. Perhaps a wake up call. To everyone.

Hi Bawazee: Gud to c the old name!

Nidhi Narayan said...

hi, so youve been writing on some real serious stuff now-a-days.........gooood
well my take on the whole issue is that the whole incident was really blown out of proportion

Anonymous said...

Check this out

Check out

dharmabum said...

guess u got the link after all.

i'm in a violent mood today u know. i really respect guru gobindji and feel like killing that dera fellow right now :)

btw, read about someone going to rec trichy - i studied there too u know :)

How do we know said...

hi Nidhi: Good to c u back after ages. Where have u been?

Hi Gullu: Saw. Thanks for the link. Am glad that he had a good time there. However, his desc. of the Dera is that of a pretty standard Dera in Punjab, so was not surprised at all. I would have asked uncomfortable questions about the blatant lifting from Sikhism,about the personal lifestyle of the head of the Dera, about the court cases and the allegations of sexual abuse of the girls. Or maybe, i would have laughed inwardly and congratulated them on a stage show well managed. :-)

Hi Dharma: Whoops! I didn't know abt the REC Trichy bit. Good!
In a violent mood...hmm.. then you will have to kill a lot of "Gurus" in a lot of "Deras" around Punjab :-) , who are all copying blatantly off the practices of a religion. But its not the Gurus that amuse me - it is the Sikhs who go to these Gurus, and then go back to the Gurudwara to be devout Sikhs. If a man cannot get salvation and peace with one guru, what hope does he have with 2? Or with a hundred? As Kabir Ji once said, If only he had looked within..

Da Vinci II said...

Nice post...enjoyed ur write up :)

Anonymous said...

Here is the link of the post I was referring to.

How do we know said...

Hi Da Vinci II: Nice name, and thanks! Welcome to blogging btw!

Hi Gullu: I did see the post the last time you linked it in the comments, and have responded to it in my response comment above.

gary said...


singh said...

which guru can give us spiritually peace