The Sikh Rehat Maryada has some weak points, but considering that it was put together in Panjab at least 65 years ago, it is not a bad document. But page 38 gives the impression that on the day it was written only Taksali types were present and that Singh Sabha types had taken the day off.
Sub p : You must not associate with a Sikh who had uncut hair earlier and has cut it or a Sikh who smokes.
About cutting your hair : wearing of any of the 5 Ks does not make you into a good person, giving up one of the 5 Ks does not make you into a bad person. There is no indication in the Guru Granth Sahib that keeping your hair is a value in itself. Breaking your amrit is of course bad news.
I know a Singh who broke his amrit as he gave up 4 of the 5 Ks, but he did not break any of the other Khalsa rules and was always ready to do seva, more so than many Amritdharis. Should I boycott that person ?
Although I smoked tobacco and bhang before I was a Sikh I am very happy that Guru gave me the strength to give up these useless and unhealthy habits. But why is tobacco singled out here and not mentioned under Sub q (5). Tobacco is an intoxicant, it is very addictive and it kills.
Will boycotting smokers or others who break the rules mentioned in this section, be good for those we boycott, or good for those that keep the rules ? Our Mother/ Father has endless compassion, but should we be harsh ?
Sub q : The following individuals shall be liable to chastisement involving automatic boycott :
1. Anyone maintaining relations or communion with elements antagonistic to the Panth including the minas, the masands, followers of Dhirmal or Ram Rai, et all, or users of tobacco or killers of female infants;
Here we find thrown together the minas, masands, followers of Dhirmal or Ram Rai with users of tobacco and killers of female infants. When was the last time you heard from minas, masands, and the followers of Dhirmal or Ram Rai ?
There are plenty ‘elements antagonistic to the Panth’ and most of them are inside the Panth, but they do their utmost to dilute the beautiful message of the Guru Granth Sahib.
The use of tobacco is bad news, as I write above, and killing of female infants before (scan and abort) or after birth is indeed a major sin, but killing your spouse or killing male children seem to be lesser sins.
Will be continued !